Artis Makeup Brushes: Works of art, but not just a pretty face. They will transform your beauty routine, forever (and in a good way)
By Alison Blackman
When an everyday object becomes a work of art, and allows you to become a true artist, it’s worth writing a feature to tell you about it. A new company called Artis has created makeup brushes that are so different, so truly unique in the way you approach makeup application, so pleasurable to use, and so effective, I was speechless the moment I saw them. When I tried, them, I was truly beyond words. Artis is derived from the Latin word for: “skill, method, technique, conduct, character.” The line was created by Matthew Waitesmith, a former senior vice president at MAC Cosmetics, who is now a consulting partner at Taiki USA, a leading global brush manufacturer.
I reviewed a couple of Artis brushes for a holiday review. but after using them for a few months I just had to know more, and try more. These brushes are so glamorous, you feel pampered, special, empowered, using them. They take some practice, but once you get the hang of it you’ll be amazed every single time how professional (and effortless) makeup application can be. You’ll wonder why more brushes aren’t designed like this (but they aren’t so get a collection of Artis brushes).
Artis brushes have ergonomic handles and round or oval heads with very close set bristles. The shiny oval backs look like spoons, and the bristles are plushy, not like your usual makeup brushes at all. The synthetic fibers that are short and packed together feel like silky when you touch your face with them, but they not only hold and diffuse powder, cream and even gel and liquid products differently, the brushes are designed so specifically that you can apply color perfectly to a specific area of your face with one swipe. That’s the real difference. You slide your product on, you don’t saw it back and forth over the same area as you do with a traditional brush. Master the technique, and the shape and size of the brush distributes the color just where you want it , perfectly applied in one “swipe.”
For those who need to know, Artis brushes are made exclusively with CosmeFibre, a revolutionary engineered fibre made for applying cosmetic and makeup products. The plushy heads of Artis brushes are cruelty free fiber. It also makes them more hygienic and easier to clean, too. If a CosmeFibre® brush ever gets bent from compression during storage, you can revive the shape by holding the brush under hot running water for a few seconds, reshaping, and then allowing it to dry back to its original shape. CosmeFibre® is more resistant to UV than conventional animal hair makeup brushes. Your brushes won’t degrade due to sun or light exposure. The Advice Sisters were told that the brushes stood up to torture test of having their brushes tested against 2 qualities of more conventional brushes [prestige and mass] by having a simulated skin surface move against the brush bundles for 48 hours continuously. Artis® brushes were unharmed, but the other brushes lost bristles, and in both categories, they broke and split
The design of these brushes is beautiful, but ergonomic. The rubbery, textured grip pad and specially designed handles of the Artis Mirror Collection let you hou hold them securely and comfortably in your hand and finger. The Artis Fluenta brushes are even more stunning, somewhat reminiscent of flowers with long, black, thin, elegant stems and silver accents. The handles are slightly longer, but they don’t have the wider, rubberized grip on the handle making them a bit more challenging for beginners, but still beautifully balanced. The bristles are the same so no matter which brush type you choose, you will enjoy the unique qualities of the brush. The way the fibers are held in place also allows them to be aligned perpendicular to the handle and skin surface. This keeps the fibre tips continuously in contact with the skin during application and creates superior laydown and blending. In other words, that “back and forth” that you need to do with most brushes to blend color, is virtually eliminated.
Speaking of which, even cleaning Artis brushes takes a different technique, too. Most of us don’t clean our makeup brushes regularly or at all, and they gather dust and bacteria, not to mention so many different colors of product that all you apply become muddied. When you are ready to clean them it’s a major deal, shampooing them and hoping they dry in the same shape you started with, and hoping the bristles don’t shed. But Artis brushes don’t require water to clean them, which means they’re not going to get all messed up and out of shape, nor will you have to wait hours for them to dry. You clean the brush heads simply by sliding them over a special cleaning cloth (created and sold by Artis) that removes all makeup and restores the fibers without having to rub, scrub or pull the fibers and distort the shape. It was so quick and easy, it prompts me to clean my brushes and keep the colors I apply to my face, true. If you wish you can use a special Artis cleanser in a pump bottle as well. The cleansing process is so quick and easy it encourages you to clean your brushes more often which not only keep the colors you use true and clean, but is also healthier for your skin. You can wash and dry these brushes too, but the other methods are really much more effective, quick, clean, and easy.
Videos: You can find all of these on the Artis Web Site, but I’m including the two introductory videos to the Artis Elite Mirror Collection and the Artis Brush Fluenta Collection so you can decide for yourself which sizes and shapes you would like to choose.
VIDEO: Artis Elite Brush Collection
VIDEO: Artis Fluenta Collection
BUY ARTIS: If you are a bride to be planning on doing your own makeup on the big day, these brushes are a must have. And for anyone who wants to look better, much better, on a daily basis, they’re a sound investment.
If you want the entire set of these, the Artis Elite Mirror 10 piece collection is $350.00 and the Fluenta 9 piece collection is $400. A 5-piece brush set is $160 in the Elite Mirror Collection and $190 in the Fluenta Collection. This includes the Oval 6, which is a makeup artist favorite for applying foundations, blush, and contour. The Oval 4 and Oval 3 will help you apply eye makeup with ease and perfection. The Linear 1 will apply a thin line of product along the lashes or help perfect the brow shape. And the Circle 1 is wonderful for lip colour application or for applying concealer to small areas of the skin). However, here are my recommendations (from the Artis Elite Mirror collection which I personally tested) if you’re not going to buy an entire set or if you want to try one of these unique brushes before investing in more of them:
For lining eyes the easy way (and for brows) choose the thinnest of the Linear Brushes. Linear 1 makes the thinnest line, Linear 3 makes a medium line, and Linear 6 makes the thickest line. I chose the Linear 3 to produce a perfect “cats eye” line, but I also used it under the eye without making me look like Rocky Balboa after a fight! The Linear 3 ($36.00) , has a medium width [about 3 mm] row of fibres to help concentrate product application in a line, such as along the upper lash line or below the lower lashes. This patented brush applies a perfect precise line of product along the upper lash line or tucked under the lower lash line. It can also be used for special effects makeup to create medium size lines and linear shapes. I love the linear brushes!
For applying eye shadow: You have several choices. If you can, get the Oval 3, 4, and 6 and you’ll cover all your bases. But if you are going to choose just one, I think the middle range of Oval 4 or 6 are the most versatile, depending upon the size of your lid area. Either should cover an an average lid in one stroke. I had a small lid area, so I like the Oval 4 ($40.00) with an overall “footprint” of fibres sized to facilitate application to a particular portion of the eyelid, like the area from the upper lash line to the fold in the eyelid. This patented brush is great for applying concealer to the area under or around the eye. Or, to place a highlight on the brow bone. I also like the slightly thicker Oval 6. These are the ones I reach for the most often to apply one beautiful swath of lid color, but your preferences will vary.
For Face: These are two must-haves that have made my skin look flawless. Oval 8 is a large brush that works for blush and highlight, and power, while Oval 10 is larger, and covers your face, flawlessly, with bronzer, powder makeup, etc. Oval 10 ($72.00), the largest brush in the Artis collection, is so large, I originally thought it was a child’s elegant hairbrush! It is a bit of an investment, but imagine applying makeup in just a stroke or two and finding your flawless complexion! The Oval 10 has over 250,000 fibres. Use it to apply a setting powder to the entire face; or blending highlighting powders to the face or body. This brush can be used to apply powder or bronzer or foundation to the entire face in seconds. Or it can apply a shimmer effects product to other large areas of the body such as the shoulders or chest area. The Oval 8 ($62.00) looks almost the same, but it’s slightly smaller. You can also use this to apply foundation, bronzer, etc but it’s really best for blush and highlighting. However, since you can use it as both a foundation and blush tool, if you have to choose one, I’d select the Oval 8 as slightly more versatile.
For Lips, Spot-correcting: The Circle brushes are the ones you want for lips and smaller, rounder areas. The Circle 1R ($32.00) is my favorite for lips and for concealer, even though Artis suggests the slightly large Circle ! for applying lip products (to me, it’s tricky not to smudge with a the larger round bristles unless your lips are large). You can also use the Circle 1R brush to apply product into the fold/crease of the eyelid quickly and softly to help sculpt, and can also be used for other targeted small areas like the corners of the eye or beside the nostrils. Even though you can clean these brushes between colors and products, I’d get a separate one for lipsticks. These brushes don’t come with covers, and if you don’t clean that intense red off the brush after you’ve applied your lipstick, the brush can make a mess if it touches another brush accidentally, or you brush your hand by it’s little, round head of bristles. This is especially true if you don’t separate the brushes, but just keep them in a round container as you might with other brushes. I wish this one had a cover so I didn’t have to clean the brushes every time I use them or isolate them “from the pack.” There is a beautiful, acrylic display holder made especially for each individual collection of Artis brushes, but they’ll set you back another $220.00.
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