Etude House My Beauty Tool Secret Face Makeup Brush 121 Review


Ever wanted to try out an oval makeup brush, but hesitated to spend on those gorgeous-looking Artis Elite brushes? Korean cult brand Etude House has an affordable solution.
The Etude House My Beauty Tool Face Makeup Brush 121 is a small toothbrush-like, oval-head brush with a gold plastic body. It comes with a removable head and comes with a sponge attachment as well. The only makeup sponge I swear by is the Beautyblender. Everything else is latex-y, and the sponge attachment of this brush is no exception. So I will be concentrating on the brush attachment.
Etude House My Beauty Tool Face Makeup Secret Brush Skin 121 Review, Use

Scroll down for my experience with the Etude House My Beauty Tool Secret Skin Face Makeup Brush 121.




I bought this as soon as I read a review on Musings of A Muse. Unlike traditional makeup brushes, this brush does not have a ferrule, and the brush head is an extension of the wand. The brush head is very, very densely packed so the surface feels like velvet and not like separate bristles. Kind of like Bert The Squirrel's skin (the only pet I had. Died many years ago on October 16 and I still mourn the cutie).
The bristles are so dense that they are a bit of a dust and lint magnet so I have to get rid of the dust each time I use this brush. 
Etude House My Beauty Tool Face Makeup Secret Brush Skin 121 Review, Use

The plastic handle of this brush feels flimsy to me. I sometimes think it will snap one day when I buff in too hard. But I could be wrong and the brush could be sturdier than it looks.
The brush head is small; only 2cm in length and 1cm wide. Oh, and the bristles are incredibly fine. Like lint. And they are pettably soft.
Etude House My Beauty Tool Face Makeup Secret Brush Skin 121 Review, Use

To use, what I do is, dip the bristles into a bit of foundation - be it liquid or cream - and buff it into the cheeks/forehead/chin, and glide it over hard-to-reach areas. I also use this brush to apply setting powder (but not if I am using powder foundation alone or wet-and-dry compacts). I get a smooth, even finish and the brush head is small enough to reach the corners of the nose. Because the brush is so dense, it feels like I am applying makeup with a blending sponge and not a brush.
The best feature of this brush is that it leaves absolutely no brush marks or streaks. None at all, even with Bourjois's BB Cream Compact (trickiest formula I've dealt with). I do not know if that is a feature of all oval brushes.
Etude House My Beauty Tool Face Makeup Secret Brush Skin 121 Review, Use

I did not even bother photographing the sponge end of the brush. It felt latexy and wrong.
I have been cleaning this brush with Johnson's Baby Shampoo. It does take time and effort to get the gunk - and lather - out from the nooks and crannies, and I have had the odd bristle shed. Nothing noticeable, maybe 1-2 in 4-5 washes.
Etude House My Beauty Tool Face Makeup Secret Brush Skin 121 Review, Use

EDITED TO ADD:
This morning, the bristles fell out of the head (out of the attachment, even) when I was dusting on Shiseido Sheer Mattifying powder. I was not using force. I have been using this brush since mid-August. This is what has happened - about half a dozen bristles still remain in the brush head attachment. I could glue back the bristles, but because the head is so shallow, I'm sure the glue will affect the bristles as well.
Etude House My Beauty Tool Secret Face Makeup Brush 121 Review
Etude House My Beauty Tool Secret Face Makeup Brush 121 Review
Etude House My Beauty Tool Secret Face Makeup Brush 121 Review

Verdict and where to buy

I'm sold. I want more oval brushes. It is nice to find alternatives to the Beautyblender, and I get an even, flawless finish without marks. This brush is definitely not as sleek or sturdy as the Artis brushes, but the price point, at a mere $14, it will not break the bank.
I may not repurchase this brush because of the flimsiness, but will definitely get more ovals. There is a Missha oval makeup brush, also reviewed by the Muse, and I definitely want it as a backup. It appears sturdier than this and is black (I always prefer stark, dark colours for everything), so I will be buying it shortly - W2Beauty will stock it soon. Watch out for the review once they do!
Are the Artis brushes still on my wishlist? Yes. They look so sleek and pro. But so are Hakuhodo and Wayne Goss brushes. I have a feeling these brushes will remain on my wishlist for a while.
To buy the Etude House My Beauty Tool Brush 121, hit W2Beauty here. They ship worldwide tracked for a mere $2.50 and add some nice samples and Korean candy. They have a plethora of Korean beauty goodies. Get $5 in vouchers/points when you sign up at W2Beauty with my code 2758605 - I will get the same points if you use the code. You can also buy it from from Korean sellers on eBay.com.

Edited verdict: 

Above is my original verdict. You must have seen the photographs from this morning. Awful, innit? This is, without doubt, the flimsiest brush I have used. I have never had the bristles fall out of any brush (in just ONE month) like this before. I am about to shoot off an email to Etude House about this. I am apprehensive about gluing the bristles back - the brush head is so shallow that the glue is likely to affect the bristles as well, and the brush will be ruined. I will definitely try out the Missha brush (which the Muse says is sturdier) and maybe save for the Artis brushes.



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