I recently bought these three kabuki brushes at three local drugstore/grocery stores. All three are readily available and (relatively) inexpensive. I've spent the last several weeks using and comparing these brushes to find out which is the better drugstore kabuki brush.
Here's what I found:
|SOHO, Essence of Beauty, ELF|
What I expect from my kabuki:
large, dense brush
easy and convenient storage
What I use my kabuki for:
apply a thin layer of powder to set my foundation
after I finish applying my makeup, I like to use a big kabuki brush to make sure my powder, blush, and bronzer are nicely blended together
*all three kabuki brushes were washed before photos and reviews*
SOHO Professional Kabuki Brush
"The SOHO Professional Kabuki Brush compact dome shape shape and ultra-soft goat hair bristles flawlessly blend powder onto the skin for a polished finish"
- largest of the three brushes-good for applying powder to my face and neck & quick overall blending
- the handle was large and weighted which felt nice in my hand
- most expensive of the three brushes
- felt very scratchy on my skin
- shed like crazy after washing
- bristles were not as compact as I prefer which gave me less control over my powder products.
- this brush/stand combo made it impossible for me to store this brush in my makeup drawer. I have to keep it out on my vanity, which means I'm constantly knocking it over...annoying.
Essence of Beauty Kabuki Brush
"use this soft, durable kabuki brush to apply powder, bronzer, or blush"
"made of all animal hair"
(did not specify what kind of animal hair....this thing could be made of grizzly bear fur for all I know...eek)
- less expensive than the SOHO brush
- applied powder to my face and neck evenly
- blended my face products (powder, bronzer, blush, highlighter) together nicely
- bristles are more compact, giving me more control over powder products. I would feel comfortable using this brush to apply a light dusting of bronzer all over my face.
- brush is short enough to store in my vanity drawer
- not quite as soft as I prefer, still was a bit scratchy on my face
- sheds quite a bit after washing (but less than the SOHO brush)
- seemed to lose some of its original, compact shape after washing
- Though this brush is smaller than the SOHO brush, I still would not feel comfortable applying blush with this brush like it claims...hello clown cheeks
ELF Studio Kabuki Brush
"this antibacterial synthetic haired Taklon Brush is softer and more absorbent and can be used with wet or dry products"
"use for powder, blush, and bronzer"
"provide a light to full coverage on your face or body to ensure a flawless finish"
- ultra soft on my face, very comfortable to use
- applied powder to my face and neck flawlessly
- gave me a nice, even, overall blended look
- no shedding to mention what so ever
- maintained it's compact shape, even after washing
- small, dense shape gave me tons of control with my powder products. I would feel comfortable applying powder, bronzer, and blush with this brush.
- short enough to store in my vanity drawer
- vegan friendly...at least we know this one isn't made of grizzly bear fur!
- cheapest of the bunch
- Uhhh...I really don't have any....
Note: I only used this brush with dry, powder products. I did not use this brush with wet/cream products so I cannot vouch for its claims. I just prefer to use my short, dense synthetic brushes for my wet/cream products.
No contest...the ELF brush is clear cut winner. The bristles are soft and dense, making it the most versatile brush of the group. It was comfortable to use, convenient to store, and the cheapest brush I tested. What more could you ask for?! Overall awesome product!