Product Type: Bare Escentuals Body Care
Newest Review: ... make the brush lovely and soft. The brush feels lovely when brushed against the skin and it's great quality so hardly any of the bristles ... more
Bare Escentuals id Full Coverage Kabuki Brush
Member Name: savvyshopper6476
Bare Escentuals id Full Coverage Kabuki Brush
Advantages: Provides a beautiful even finish, solid construction, soft hair is gentle on skin
Disadvantages: Goat hair, expensive if brought from BareMinerals.co.uk
Quantity made way for quality and so began the cull of the brushes in my kit as I paid closer attention to the brushes I use and need, discarding and replacing only the essentials with a like for like of higher quality. Three years or so ago, when I made the transition to mineral makeup however, some of my brushes weren't conducive to applying this type of cosmetic and so several replacements were required.
The BareMinerals Full Coverage Kabuki, as it's now known (formerly BareEscentuals) is. for me, an absolute essential and the brush I consider to be most important in my collection. Partly because it's the most used but also because it's just a fantastic all rounder.
~~~ What Is The Kabuki Brush ~~~
Kabuki's are designed to be used with dry, powder based cosmetics which is why this style of brush is ideal for use with mineral makeup. This Kabuki is incredibly versatile and although is excellent for applying blusher I use mine solely for applying my mineral foundation and mineral veil because the two products can be used together or on their own so it doesn't matter that I use the same brush for both products.
The Kabuki brush originated from Japan where they were used predominantly by Geishas to contour the cheekbones, adding definition. Nowadays, Kabuki's are associated as much with the application of bronzer and all over face cover like translucent powder as they are blusher.
The brush has a distinctive and easily recognisable design. Typically this brush is squat with a stumpy handle and dense head of hair that's approximately a half to two thirds larger than the base. This particular Kabuki has hairs are tapered into a gentle, almost dome formation, being shorter towards the outer edge and ever so slightly longer in the center. Some Kabuki's have a retractable handle making them easier to store. This one doesn't. It's a stand alone, so if I want to pop it in my handbag I need to cover the hairs first, storing it in a small cosmetic bag as they do have a tendency to trap some of the minerals after use, causing makeup residue to be distributed onto other contents in my possession.
~~~ Brush Design & Quality ~~~
Kabuki's range greatly in size. BareMinerals offering being quite small. An almost mini Kabuki, if you like measuring just 6 x 2.5 x 2.5cm. Despite it's dainty dimensions, I've found it to be the perfect size for applying my mineral makeup. Because it's not oversized, it's very easy to dust the brush over the face, allowing particular attention to a given area. The brush is incredibly light weight, no more than about 20g or so at best, yet, in my experience, in use, it remains very easy to handle and control.
The overall design, is not one that instantly screams superior, particularly the shinny (mock) chrome handle which I think visibly cheapens the brush. In comparison to similar brushes within the same price range, this one, at first, appears over priced. Looks can be deceptive however, as after three years of daily use and with the exception of a few scratch marks and some writing printed on the handle that has long since worn off, the brush remains stable and has steadfastly kept almost all the hairs in place. In fact, with the exception of a few stray hairs when the brush was new, which I'm convinced were mainly leftovers from the manufacturing, it's a rarity for any to shed at all and the odd few that do from time to time are to be expected and there for perfectly acceptable considering the use it gets.
The most distinguishing feature of this brush is the bristles, light brown in colouring. For me they are of paramount importance because their quality dictates the difference between a good makeup application and a great one. This Kabuki features a compact head of hairs, no more than 2.5cm approximately in length. Their overall structure is quite rigid allowing little flexibility. I feel this lack of movement is an advantage as the hairs don't bend or flex during application, leading to a superior coverage as the minerals are precisely directed to the skin, thus providing a fuller, more even coverage, less wastage and of course mess.
When I first began using my Kabuki, back in 2009 the hairs were luxuriously soft and silky, from their bottom through to their tips which is largely thanks to the fact they're made from goats hair. I appreciate the delicate texture of animal hair is favoured by makeup professionals, however I personally deem this to be disadvantage and, in my opinion, the only real negative aspect of the brush.
I'm certainly no animal rights activist, more a silent supporter of animal welfare and I've yet to be fully convinced methods of obtaining the hairs aren't cruel. BareMinerals claim the hairs for this brush have been sourced humanely, a statement I trust otherwise I would not continue to use their products. What they fail to say however, is exactly what country the hairs have been imported from. Whilst I don't doubt regulations are in place in some countries, in others they are most definitely not.
Secondly, this brush may not be suitable for anyone with a severe allergy to animal hair. I've never endured any adverse effects from using, despite having sensitive skin but that said, I don't suffer severe allergies to animal hair either so it's worth bearing this in mind before you commit to a purchase.
~~~ In Use ~~~
This Kabuki brush has been designed specifically for use with mineral cosmetics and presumably it's smaller size was intentional as it's an almost perfect fit to swirl in the lids of the larger 8g mineral pots to retrieve the minerals. The brush will collect even the smallest amount of minerals. Even when tapping off the excess before application, very little is lost. You don't see any product on the brush, mainly because of the colouring of the hairs but also because the brush holds the minerals deep inside the hairs so it can be tempting to keep loading more product. Don't! as you begin to apply, the excess minerals will clog your skin and the overall finish will be less than perfect, leaving you with a chalky, unflattering appearance.
Using my Kabuki for applying mineral foundation and veil allows me to build an even coverage very quickly without using dozens of separate brushes. On contact with the skin the bristles are incredibly soft making application incredibly easy as the brush gently glides and follows the contours of the face without causing irritation. Because the hairs are densely compact, as you buff the makeup onto the skin using circular motions, the brush releases just enough of the minerals to provide a full coverage (obviously with the exception of the delicate eye area where the Kabuki is too big to provide an even coverage).
I have sensitive skin which typically consists of dry patches. The Kabuki brush allows me to cover my problem areas on my cheeks, nose and forehead with precision. The size of the brush head also makes it very easy to blend the minerals around my jaw line without leaving a "tide mark" and because the hairs are so soft, they cause no irritation either.
When I use my minerals I do tend to use two different shades and rather than mixing the colours prior to application I use my Kabuki brush to blend them on the skin, which it does beautifully and because the brush is so effective at covering imperfections you don't need to apply much pressure and it's size alone means I can quickly cover my entire face. Obviously a brush of this ilk is compulsory for applying mineral makeup although I feel, due to the high quality of the bristles it would be perfectly suitable to using on traditional dry cosmetics, providing a far superior finish to than a sponge of powder buff.
~~~ Final Thoughts ~~~
Although I received my Kabuki brush in a BareMinerals starter kit although, through no fault of BareMinerals, it was quickly replaced a couple of months later because my younger daughter ruined the bristles. I've had my brush now since 2009 and it's still going strong although showing significant wear and tear. The handle shows minimal abuse, all of which is just superficial and it has a good grasp of the hairs, barely allowing any free over the past three years. Unfortunately the hairs have not been as fortunate and now look quite shabby. Continual use has resulted in the hair tips being worn down, this is particularly evident with the shorter ones towards the outside where, unsurprisingly the continual motion of buffing into the container lids has caused them to become slightly misshapen. The result is that the hairs no longer feel quite as soft as they once did and although the appearance of the brush suggests it needs replacing, it does actually still work quite well.
Overall the brush has been superbly constructed and continued to provide me three years loyal service. I've no doubt that a contributing factor is down to the care I take with my brushes. I wash them every couple of weeks with warm soapy water, not just to prevent a mineral build up but also prevent bacteria and germs. I should imagine my rigorous cleansing routine has aided in extending the lifespan although BareMinerals really deserve the credit for manufacturing such a reliable and durable brush.
It looks tatty in appearance but this should not detract from it's ability to do the job for which it was made. It's held together perfectly and in use, I still achieve the same great application results as the day I first started using. It shows no sign of giving up just yet as it still continues to provide me with the same coverage it did on day one. Purchased at full price I would expect the hairs to retain more of their shape but other than that I really have no complaints. I may not have perfect skin but I do at least have an almost perfect makeup brush. Five stars.
~~~ Price And Availability ~~~
As stated, my Kabuki came with my BareMinerals starter kit along with the Maximum Coverage Concealer (£14) and Flawless Application Face brush (£19). To purchase these individually would cost a whopping £57, the Kabuki brush alone setting you back £24 from BareMinerals.co.uk with additional postage of £2.99. If your looking to change to mineral makeup, buying a starter kit at £42 which also includes three trial sizes of minerals would be a sound investment and considerable saving. The Kabuki brush however can be purchased at most major department stores for the previously stated price or sourced more competitively online. Shopping around will pay dividends as some online retailers are selling the Kabuki for as little as £13.
Summary: A high quality cosmetic brush perfect for applying mineral makeup