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During a recent spending splurge on E.L.F I came across an item that was called a Kabuki brush. I decided I might like one to apply face powder and popped one in my basket for £3.50. I went for the face version but there is also a body version for slightly more at £5.00.
Kabuki brushes seem to have become popular for women applying mineral foundation, I can't wear mineral foundation because I have dry skin and my skin tone isn't even enough to pull it off so my plan was to use mine for loose face powder to set my normal foundation. I tried to find out why they call them Kabuki brushes but all I could find was Kabuki is a Japanese dance drama and I'm sure that's not why! However, they are widely available right now.
A Kabuki brush looks like one of the old fashioned shaving brushes men had years ago, so a flat bottom that contains all the bristles and the bristles fan out of the top. The entire item is only about 2 inches tall so they are pretty compact and could be carried in your bag for a night out.
The E.L.F Kabuki brush has a black plastic bottom and the bristles are a mixture of dark brown and red so it looks like someone's hair who has red lowlights in. They look really nice actually and the bristles are very soft too.
The first thing I noticed about mine when I took it out of the box was a few stray bristles hanging around. I actually kind of plucked at the brush and removed these before I used it. To use in loose powder you just shake some powder free into the lid (same thing with mineral foundation) then tap off the extra and apply in light strokes on your face. I often use loose powder and prefer to apply it with a brush as opposed to a sponge type applicator.
When I use this brush the powder goes on beautifully, very evenly and with no areas where clumps of powder can be seen. I also use powder as a base for eyeshadow and it covered my eyelids very well too so I was very pleased with the results except for one thing. More bristles had fallen out and were placed all over my face like I'd stuck my face into a horse! I had to pick all these bristles off one by one so as not to rub my make up and obviously you don't want them getting in your eyes so be very careful. I thought it might have been just because it was new but everytime I use the Kabuki brush it does the same thing and I end up with bristles all over the place, it doesn't matter if I pluck loose ones out of the brush before use or not, it still happens. That's put me off a bit if I'm honest, it does work well but the loose bristles make it annoying.
So overall this brush is compact, soft, works well to apply powder or blusher but sheds like crazy each time it's used. A middle of the road 3 stars from me but if the shedding hadn't happened it would have got a full 5.