It took some time to write this review, hopefully when you are reading this you are 1) sitting comfortably 2) having a delicious relaxing drink, if not, please do, it will be quite long…
My fingers ache from scrolling and typing, sorry about the length of this Part 1… How can you briefly review a big set like this, keep it short but still give enough information for you to decide if you should splurge in one, two, more or none… ? Hopefully I have covered most of the topics and if I haven’t you are very welcome to leave any questions.
This Part 1 is a review on the brushes, there is another Part 2 coming soon that will be an interview with Rae. In this part 2, Rae and Jim will answer the questions I had, not only about this collection, but also about themselves so it should be quite fun
This set is very special to me because the review of the first version 2 years ago is what made me meet some of you and become very close friends. If today I am not truly fully enjoying the very first set, I am certainly fully enjoying your friendship, I believe that without the first set, I wouldn’t have met you, so it was well worth it.
The first range of the Rae Morris brushes was launched approx 2 years ago and I ordered that first set because I thought they would be perfect. Unfortunately the set I received was not meeting my expectations, it had some issues and they changed it for me. It was better but I wasn’t loving the functionality of the magnets, they were causing the brushes to strongly stick together and this was not compatible with my storage methods. I strongly believed on the design of the brushes but I did not love the quality, that was the main reason of my frustration : so much potential but not consistent quality.
This year Rae Morris changed things (Part 2 will address this) and she recently launched the revamped version of those brushes, they are still carrying the magnets but the brushes are much more solid and tempting, I am lucky that today I own the full new collection so here it is reviewed for you:
I have to tell you how I ended up with all her new range… so this is what happened:
When I first saw the new brushes online I clearly noticed an improvement in how they looked, the handles seem much better achieved, I know I said I wouldn’t get them this time but since the foundation 23 and the ultimate cheekbone were two of my fav brushes ever, I had to see if these could be better and more durable versions of them. I ordered just those two and when I received them, my suspicions were confirmed, they were much better.
That made me order a few more: the little smudger, the little crease one, the new Radiance and a few others, that re-confirmed my previous statement, much better brushes. Now I had two simple choices : either stop there or order more.
“Stop there” was not a happy choice because I know that you were interested in a full review and to be honest, I did want more brushes.
“Order more” was a thought I was considering but it was leaving a sort of bitter taste because if my review was positive the feeling of “forwarding” you to them after my issues with the first set… I don’t know, I wasn’t sure I really felt ok with that. I guess my feeling is just human, I hope you’ll understand and that nobody will blame me for it, neither Rae nor you. Instead, I really wanted to understand what happened and also get to know her a bit better, this is why in Part 2 I will have the pleasure to share something very special for you, an interview with Rae Morris.
It all started with many email exchanges with Jim, Rae’s husband who has a very important role in the Company – after very long, detailed email conversations, our contact started to get more friendly and ended up being fun and personal with both Jim and Rae. They told me they had seen my previous “hardcore” review and that they wanted me to test the new brushes, therefore I ended up with the rest of the collection offered by them, this is why part of this collection has been paid by me, part has been offered by Rae for me to try it and see if they could “magnetize me”… and this is how I ended up with all the brushes!
I think my first virtual encounter with Rae Morris was in the UK when I saw her book “Beautiful Eyes”, I was searching for some inspirational looks and that book was very interesting, stunning pictures and a lot of simple and precious advice.
Later I saw Wayne’s videos using her brushes and I wanted them. Much later I saw this video here, I am truly convinced that this video is “the most loaded with tips per minute” video I have ever seen on youtube. I can only recommend you to watch it and take a pen because she will fire them at you and it will be difficult to remember everything. Also this tutorial is a must-see, if you haven’t yet, you need to watch it. I have been applying my eyeshadow like this for so long and it’s like magic for the eyes.
If you want to know more about her, you can read her story here.
In part 2, we will know a little bit more about Rae and Jim and I sincerely hope you will enjoy both the questions and the answers
Some brushes are natural, some are synthetic. I am just not sure what the fan material is right now, could be raccoon, water badger… not sure.
The white brushes (Deluxe, Mini Kabuki, Radiance, the 8.5 crème shadow) are goat hair, for reference the softness of the goat hair is softer than the Hakuhodo Japanese Tradition series and less soft than the Hakuhodo J Series, just gives you an idea of what to expect.
The small synthetic brushes (eyeliners, lip, concealer) are firm but they are easily controllable, do not poke or irritate the skin if you use them perpendicularly.
The 23 Foundation brush is also synthetic, extremely soft and the black surface of the head feels like velvet on the skin.
The other darker hair brushes are squirrel hair :
The softness of this squirrel hair is variable depending on the brush, when I tried to see which one felt softer I found a strange pattern, if she did that on purpose that was really clever, but I am sure she did… They are all soft but in this picture they are ordered by the less soft of the series on the left to the softest on the right, the clever thing is that the brush that needs to have the strongest hair is indeed the #21 for mineral foundation, therefore it’s normal that it is less soft than the others. The softest brushes are the flat ones and the powder brush, in the middle the crease brushes that need more blending capabilities than the flat ones…. I just noticed that pattern when I uploaded this picture so I did not arrange them thinking about this at all. The difference between each brush here is really not that obvious anyway but I thought it was worth mentioning
The softest is the big face brush #22, it is not as fine and soft as the Chikuhodo Z series (if you know the Z series you know it is one of the softest collections you could get) or the squirrel hair used on Hakuhodo or Koyudo’s brushes but it is very very soft. Same for the eyebrushes, they aren’t as soft as Z series but on the other hand, I do find them more efficient and still surprisingly very soft.
If you have any of the Nars crease squirrel brushes (12 and 13) or Paula Dorf (which are all made with squirrel hair as well), the Rae Morris are of much superior quality and softness and in addition to that, they still have the grip and power of bristles that can compete against goat hair brushes, so you have the benefits of the softness without compromising on the efficiency.
How it compares to the old range
At first of course you will think these are the same brushes, just improved versions of them. It is true for some.
Others look similar but they aren’t, the crease brushes are now more dense and full at the surface, the material (handles and hair) is of much better quality. The bundling is more even therefore their final shape and specially their purpose can also differ, before you couldn’t easily use a flat brush to blend because they weren’t very dense, today you can. I took pictures with the old range and you see that they are not really the same brushes.
I had issues with my first set, reviewed here, they replaced it for me at the time but I still wasn’t happy for the price. Some were too rough for my very delicate skin, or a bit too thin and light for me to hold properly. These two issues I had are not present in the new collection anymore. The balance is adequate and all the brushes are soft for delicate skin. The less soft of the collection is the 8.5 crème shadow but you do need more buffing strength with this kind of brushes when you are playing with creams.
The magnets are still here but this time they don’t bother me as much, they are now located at the back of the brush (the metal thing you can see on each brush).
In the past the magnet was inside the ferrule, now the magnet is attached to the bottom of the brush handle, the handles are ebony-stained oak. Nearly all the brushes have magnets, when you see the metal end it’s because it has the magnet. The magnets are there for organization purposes. They have released a plate with the Rae logo in the center to organize them just like you see on the picture. If you have the whole set, it’s better to have two plates because it will simply be easier to grab them. You have to watch Bora’s review, it’s fantastic, it will give you a lot of info on the magnets, the pros and cons.
This is the best ever example of a love-hate relationship. What I love is how they look on the plates standing on my dresser, when you enter my still-under-renovation office where I keep my makeup and brushes, the first thing you notice is the Rae brushes. They look stunning on the plates, since I have two plates this looks even more complete. The other thing I love about the magnets is that I know where the Rae brushes are, they could only be on those plates so I don’t need to hunt for them in the cups.
The left side of the dresser (eyebrushes) :
The right side of the dresser (face brushes) :
Now, sorry for the long story but I want you to understand what I honestly think about them…
What I hate is simple, when I need to wash them, every time some end on the floor (even twice) because I am not paying attention, they stick to each other, much less than the old set and as you can see in the following group picture they only stick at the bottom where the magnets are. If you put them inside a cup and you lift one, others may follow. If you lay them down on the dresser, when you pick one if it’s close to another, others may eventually follow. It sticks just enough for you to still be able to separate them with one hand but also just enough for the others to have the possibility -if you are not paying attention- to follow the leader and eventually fall on the floor.
Funny… I experience exactly the same situation with my motorbike. It is big, powerful, beautiful, reliable, in terms of performance it offers everything that I want, but it’s a big (super high) bike which is more comfortable to ride for longer distances but can be tricky when you have to stop.
This bike was the reason why I started to ride, just because it was gorgeous. Since it’s too high for me, I have to always keep in mind where I am stopping, at all times, if I stop in an uneven crossroad with small potholes there is a probability of me falling sideways and if I do, not even sure I can lift it on my own. There is a constant “warning light” turned on in my head looking out for the surface where I will have to stop, my mind cannot rest but despite this issue (that will never bother other taller riders) I still love my motorbike to pieces and I am more than ready to deal with it. The same happens for her brushes, the magnets are a deal breaker for some but a reason to buy them for others, or maybe you will love the brushes so much you won’t even care about this topic at all.
Are you missing on something if you don’t take the brushes because of the magnets? Some of her brushes, even if they weighted 200 tones I would still use them because I can’t live without them anymore.
Since they look so terrific on the plates I am considering keeping them that way and just pay more attention when I clean them or when I grab them.
If the magnetized part was the plate and the brushes had metal ends that would stick to the magnetized plate (instead of the other way round), I know that would better fit some of us. The problem is that I don’t know if in terms of physics if they would hold on properly onto the plate. Choosing where you want the magnets to be (either the brush or just the plate) would be an ultimate solution but, I have to admit, they have something unique and look stunning on the plates!
Sticking together :
This is me lifting one brush with another that follows, by the way, I like how the back of the magnet looks with the Rae logo… they look very professional.
The magnet is quite strong and you can lift one brush horizontally with another…
The reason why (in the first picture) I could have them stand close to each other without sticking is because I have this UHU Patafix, you put some at the back of the brush and they stay put against the surface of the table, so clever
That was my bf’s idea, one day I was looking lost and desperate in the Do-It-Yourself shop searching for a solution, he asked : “What are you looking for ?” I explained my problem (that I was having for 2 years!!!) and it took him 30 secs to find a solution for me, impressive ! I was really happy and it changes my life for the pics!! He is very proud of that finding and now he feels he can bring his ideas into our world of brushes
I have several of these Nici pouches for pencils, useful! On the left the roll open, on the right closed, you are limited to the number of brushes you store inside but you can still put quite a few, I use it mainly for eye brushes.
If you want to store Rae’s brushes inside a drawer, you can use this idea as well and leave the roll open, that’s what I do with the old range, they won’t stick to each other :
To store them you have several possibilities, either you put the Rae plate on the dresser or you use other methods… If you put the plate on the dresser without sticking it with tape, it can lift sometimes, it’s not the end of the world but today I did find a way that is solving both the “lifting” problem and the “space” problem, I bought shelf hooks and I attached them to the wall:
For the moment my wall is covered with wood but not for long, this month they should be able to renovate my room and remove the old wood, I will have to drill two holes for each plate again but at least it doesn’t move and it doesn’t take space on dresser. I could have used strong double-sided tape but I don’t trust it, if it falls it will damage the white dresser and I don’t want to risk it. It is solid and it looks really nice (will look better without the wood later on…)
I am very very sorry about the dirty brushes, just wanted to quickly show you how it looks underneath and also wanted you to see that you can store other cups in the same surface…
With the dresser (the mirror and decoration will change after the renovation, this was just temporary) :
In the shops (near the photo frames section usually) you have long metallic stripes that you can stick and then use for the Rae Brushes, this is an example with two options that I bought locally, when the room will be renovated I may stick these somewhere, probably under the big shelf, this will be helpful when I want to dry the brushes upside down.
The plate can host a lot of brushes but having two plates when you have the full set is quite useful to more easily grab the brushes, depending on how fast you need to rush in the morning, it could even be a necessity.
The plate has 4 little rubber protectors so that it doesn’t scratch the surface of your dresser and it comes in a nice pouch. Please watch Bora’s review linked before because you will see it in action
Unlike the old range, now they come in smaller boxes with safer packaging. They are all wrapped individually so they cannot pick a particular softness or shape before shipping, you will only see it once you cut the plastic packaging. This is the first pic I took of them with my phone:
They come in black cardboard boxes who come inside other brown cardboard boxes! If you order the full set, it won’t come in the long luggage packaging but in smaller more handy boxes.
The full set costs 999 AUD (approx 892 USD), comes with 28 brushes and 1 plate. It is available either at Love makeup or at Rae Morris website. The price range varies depending on the brush but they are expensive, some are same price as Hakuhodo or Mac others are more expensive. For official details on the set, please click here but she also sells the brushes individually.
Today I will show you all of them here, with pics on my face (sorry the pics are greenish… will replace them with others later on) but at least you can their size to scale, I have a big face though
Rae has a short video for each brush of approx 30sec long where she demonstrates how to use it, they are located on her website under each brush description and she also added comments to each brush, make sure you read those too..
In terms of audience, this set is targeting professionals but also beginners, which is really fantastic. It has all the brushes you would ever need… although I would add two more : a soft pencil brush and a small less dense blush brush, I will tell you why later on.
1. Deluxe Kabuki & 2. Mini Kabuki
Goat brushes, I find them softer than the Hakuhodo, but the Rae are denser, they grab more, buff more. The old Deluxe Kabuki are not as nicely shaped. Needless to say, they are super cute.
Due to their high density the application can be medium to heavy, I love to use them with Suqqu, RMK or Chanel JC blushes because of how well they work with sheer products, also the polished finish is achieved perfectly well with these brushes. They did not shed and the bundling is even which makes the brushes not only look great but be durable and efficient.
Despite my super tired face, I still wanted to fulfill my duties and show you the face pics the number one:
The number two which is much smaller:
You can also use it to blend the eyeshadow application, it’s a big one but some of you have larger lid space and this brush would totally fit there. On my eyes it fits, although the sides touch the eyebrows depending on how much pressure I put but that doesn’t matter, still fits that purpose.
3. Ultimate Cheekbone
You will not easily find similar brushes out there, compared to the old one, it’s thicker, fluffier, not as sharp but for me it’s a plus. I use it for contour, just like Rae shows here, you don’t need to swipe the entire length of the brush onto the product and you can flick it in a way that it provides a more directional application but if you want a thinner and more precise application you may take the little square kabuki instead (#4) or start higher in the hair line.
If you are starting with makeup, maybe one personal advice I can give you is that while applying makeup, the shape of the brush is not the only thing that matters, your technique (could simple be a different movement with the wrist) is also important, a bit like playing badminton, you can change the angles, flick the brush, do very short strokes or very long… thinking out of the box with makeup brushes brings new techniques that may change one brush from not being easy to use to being a staple.
It’s squirrel hair, in terms of softness, softer than the old #3.
In terms of density, much dense as well and compared to the Hakuhodo little angled brushes, the Rae is firmer which implies more blending capabilities but also a heavier application. I prefer the Rae because its size and the results match better my needs (using contouring products that aren’t overly pigmented) so a firmer brush does help.
I prefer to use the flat Hakuhodo little fan for highlighter and the more tapered one for contour but the necessity of having so many little fan brushes is not the reason why I own them… it’s just because I find them irresistible
My fav is definitely the new Rae #3, for quick and easy daily application of contour, it became my go-to.
4. Square Kabuki
Again, squirrel hair, without being pokey at all, it has enough softness and firmness to achieve many multipurpose applications. Sculpting, blending, etc. Sculpting the sides of the nose is the functionality that best fits my usage.
Rae recommends this brush also with cream products, we know it’s squirrel hair and squirrel hair is not the best for cream shadows but if she recommends it, it’s because she can. I think the shape of this brush is perfect for highlighting the cheekbones and if we can use it with cream products, a good reason to own it. I’d rather use the goat little kabuki but that’s a personal preference.
It is firm enough to pick soft cream products and I do prefer an application of a highlighter stick with a brush, the application results more subtle and it won’t mess around with the foundation you are wearing underneath.
It has more firmness and precision than the Hakuhodo and it has a better bundling capabilities (denser and rounder) than the old #4.
A sideways comparison :
5. Flawless shader
Rae recommends this brush for shading the hair line or the jaw line, also to use with bronzers to give dimension.
I do prefer the Koyudo H012 because I have a big face, large front, big jaw… so no worries for me to use an even larger brush!
I have to admit that the Rae fulfils more purposes than the Hakuhodo or the Koyudo would, it can do both of their jobs, where I find the Hakuhodo to be too thin for some applications and the Koyudo to be too wide for others. It’s quite expensive though, but at least it has something that others don’t have, the size is versatile. The old #5 was a bit firmer, not as even and not as soft.
Compared to the Hakuhodo and Koyudo, surprisingly it has similar softness, the other brushes are a mix of goat and squirrel but still feel similar to the touch. Sometimes squirrel hair can be a bit too fine to blend effortlessly and in my humble opinion, the most efficient yet soft combination in a makeup brush is either squirrel with goat, OR, the soft yet efficient squirrel hair Rae is using on her brushes.
6. Deluxe Pro Blender
Super tough competition you will see here with the other similar brushes because this is the type of shape that captures my heart so I have many… I already liked the old #6 but this is even better bundled, denser and softer. Really cute to look at and very pleasant to use either on the eyes for finishing and blending or to sculpt the cheeks. It is quite big to use on the eyes, you will not easily blend a precise application but if the blending you want to do is on a larger area, this is possible with the surface of the brush, which is dense and flat-ish. If you look at the video here, you see how Rae does it.
I thought a size comparison with the other similar shaped brushes from the set would be useful to you, so here it is :
The Hakuhodo S116 is softer but since it’s much tapered at the surface it doesn’t have the similar blending capabilities.
The Koyudo BP025 is slightly bigger than the Rae but this Koyudo is just absolutely stunning and for the price, the Koyudo is a steal. The handle doesn’t look as nice as the Rae but the brush is a heavenly dream. The Hakuhodo K001 is not as soft as the Rae, this time it is a blend of goat/squirrel but too big to use it to blend eyeshadow and not as soft.
I do love the Rae #6 a lot, because of how thick it is versus its shorter length of the hair, it is super cute and super efficient. I even apply blush with it sometimes or layer too different blushes with it, you can play with the angle because it’s fluffy and dense enough to use the surface as well.
7.5 Deluxe Round Shader
Once more, great balance between softness and firmness, now, some of you would have preferred a denser brush, but denser also means less fool-proof if you use it to apply a base color. Denser and firmer also means more movement on the skin, that’s why I like it the way it is.
Here is a pic for you to see its size compared to the similar brushes of the collection :
The Edward Bess is firmer, it has more blending capabilities but if you have delicate skin, you will not enjoy the EB. I kept it because the size for a blender is spot on. Happy that the Rae happens to have similar surface area. The Paula Dorf you see here is firmer, not that much of a blender but more of a placer.
The Nars is less dense but firmer, I love this Nars brush but it is a bit rough, on a daily basis I prefer softer brushes but I keep it because I use it on my less delicate days. This Nars is actually a shape between the 7.5 and the 7, not as flat as the 7.5 and not as pointy as the 7. The brush that could replace the Nars is the Rae #7.
7. Deluxe Point Shader
It has the same shape as the old #7 but it is fuller at the surface.
The Chicca is not a brush I use often because it’s so pointy that it doesn’t have enough density at the top and it has way too much flexibility at the point, I am getting more used to it with time but still not in love with the functionality -although I do love the shape.
The Wayne Goss and the Hakuhodo are amazing brushes, they cover a bigger surface so they aren’t as precise but their blending power is fantastic, they are actually in between the 7 and the 7.5, not exactly flat, not as pointy.
If you have the WG or the Hakuhodo G5522, you’d rather pick the pointier version (#7) instead of the 7.5 blender, although you could pick all of them
8. Medium Point Shader
A must-have, you will see yourself reaching for it on a daily basis. I enjoy it a lot, very fool-proof, I can easily control the intensity of the darkest shadows that can end applied with precision but still with soft edges.
The Mac 226 is a no-go for me, way too rough. Most of the others are either too directional in comparison (LY, Kiwami but this is not a bad thing), or a bit more flexible to allow the equal precision (Hakuhodo, WG), not a bad thing either, it depends on your own needs…. We are not performing nano surgery either, the difference in the application is not that striking but I need to compare the brushes so I am doing my best to describe the differences
8.5 Crème Shadow Shader
I can see you are interested in this one… It is bigger than the Hakuhodo J5522, not as soft. As you can already imagine, when it comes to cream products it is better that the hair is thicker and not as fine and soft, you still need strength in the bristles to blend the product, it has more strength than the Hakuhodos here, more firmness, similar density but the Rae is more splayed out.
Actually I see myself using this brush with cream contour (face) because the application of cream eyeshadow on the eyes is a bit too sheer for my own use (I prefer a thick cream shadow application near the lashline and blend upwards), I was curious so in my interview I asked Rae with what type of products she uses it.
The Tom Ford is more directional and feels softer. The Chikuhodo has similar firmness but is not as dense. The Mac is firmer, more directional but I wish this Mac was denser and more even at the surface.
9. Detail Point Shader
As you see in the pic here, another one with tough competition, I love little crease brushes even if they are a bit rough (Nars 12). Don’t ask me to choose between the Hakuhodo S146, Koyudo Red or the Rae, they are all amazing, if you have one you don’t need the other. Even the LY, they are all so good. I believe the Rae #9 does it better in terms of efficiency but it depends what you expect from them in priority: grab more pigment and diffuse it more easily ? yes the Rae will fit better because the bristles are slightly thicker and more splayed out so thanks to this I will less use the Nars and use the Rae instead, which is better because it is softer Score!!
10. Deluxe Oval Shadow
This has always been an interesting shape, when I was selecting the Rae brushes I wanted, I had so much trouble with that. I couldn’t make up my mind and narrow my choice to just a few, I believe Jim was probably laughing while reading my mails and orders… and probably kindly thinking “looks like she caught the Rae bug hey”
The shapes looked so interesting, not only for professionals but also for beginners, for anyone. I think that the best quality her new brushes have is the wide range of audience she targets with the design of the shapes and the material used.
To me the best quality of this brush is the density, it’s dense like the Z-5, as soft as the Kokutan and nearly as soft as the Z-5, really not that much of a difference going on here.
With a nice surface at the top to blend, so you can use this brush either flat or with its surface. It is dense and super pleasant to use.
11. Medium Oval Shadow
A smaller version of the #10.
Very similar to the Koyudo here, if you have one you don’t need the other.
The Koyudo is thicker and just very slightly softer, same for the Z-5. It is really a nice brush to have but unlike the #10, I do have similar dupes for this #11.
12. Lashline Smudger
Now… are you ready for this ? this is gold. Pure gold to me. Geez, do not separate me from this smudger ever. Side note: I love little smudgers, my fav shape of all eye brushes.
The Sue is a bit too big but still super efficient (but a bit too rough). The Tanseido is super soft and nice size but too thin, the Mac too rough. The Hakuhodo S138 fantastic but quite firm. The G5510 not soft enough for me.
The Rae #12 is small but has enough surface to work with eyeshadow flat or perpendicular mode. Now, I still think something is missing in Rae’s range, it’s a firm yet soft pencil. I did ask Rae so we’ll see what she thinks about it in part 2.
I found more like this (RBR and Paula Dorf) in my collection but again, too rough. When I need to smudge something in my lashline, they need to be firm, efficient but super soft. The Paula Dorf I own feels like needles, the others are fun, the Jane Iredale for example, fluffy tiny unique brush. I use the Rae #12 for the application of eyeshadow in the inner part of the mobile lid or to apply gradients of shadows, one in the inner corner, one in the middle, it’s small enough to achieve that.
13. Deluxe Eyeliner, 14. Precision Eyeliner, 15. Precision Bent-liner
I don’t use these much, since I own the Tom Ford liquid eyeliner I am not reaching for the cream eyeliners anymore. I tried them and they do the application of gel liners very easily, have enough flexibility to not poke the eyes and are super controllable, they follow your movement without any question. The past Rae collection was not ideal for me because the eyeliners were too firm, as a beginner I couldn’t use them easily.
With the #13, I can keep the application very close to the lashline, this week I tried the Suqqu eyeliner with it and loved it. Saves me from throwing the Suqqu liner at the bottom of my drawer. The Suqqu liner doesn’t last that long on me but with this brush I can apply it just at the bottom of the lashes then I set it with powder, the result is more of a soft application of liner with no harsh edges. If you want to use this brush for a more sharp definition of eyeliner, no problem at all, either way works.
This #14 eyeliner brush is either for precision concealing or precision eyeliner, it is very thin but the synthetic bristles stay close together so the application is … precise. I used this type of eyeliners a lot in the past but today I don’t anymore unless it is for special tutorials where I like to play with white, pink or silver gel creams but that would be to apply on the bottom lashline.
This #15 Bent eyeliner is better than the old from Rae Morris in my opinion because the old one was way too firm, this is more controllable and as you will see in the comparison pictures, the tip is also longer.
Some random eyeliner brushes to compare the size:
16. Brow Definer
Very different from any other brow brushes I own. I thought I had discovered a new functionality with this brush but actually I just noticed that Rae had already put that suggestion in the description: it also serves as eyeliner! That is why I recommend you to read her comments on each brush, very useful I nearly missed on that!
I discovered this morning that I could blend my pencil application with it, use it with powder and either set the gel liner with it or wing out a powder liner application, terrific! truly works wonders. It is synthetic, unlike other stiff brow brushes this is soft enough to use around the lashline too. The point picks enough powder or pencil to apply an even line, for me it’s precise enough to define the root of the lashes without being too harsh, 100% foolproof.
I use thicker brow brushes on myself but this kind of thin brushes are great when you want to give some lift to your brows, I mean by that cheat a bit on the upper part of the brows, drawing some little brows just to enhance the shape of the arch. I do that sometimes and that is why smaller brushes are still a necessity, the cheating is so subtle and looks so natural that nobody notices it.
Since it is softer and has more flexibility, it is more versatile than the other small brushes here:
17. Mascara applicator
That is a tricky one, I am not a patient person, I do not use this as a mascara applicator, I did in the past and loved it, very full application, but I just don’t have time for that on a daily basis for now.
It is exactly the same as the last version:
Not sure how much I need this one except for combing my brushes and that is why I wanted to try it :D
Gentle combing that is!!! very gentle, you don’t want to damage the bristles! Removes dust and “refreshes” the shape
18. Brow Brush
I tried over and over again to try this brush on my bf’s brows (they need some grooming), I really would like to “take care” of his brows during his sleep but if I ever do that, I will wake up one day with no hair on my head… we don’t want that.
You can use it in the hairline around the face as well by the way.
In comparison with the usual spooly type brush, this is how big it is (didn’t take pics for that one…) :
19. Lip Brush
This brush is genius. Utterly genius, this is the first time I am deeply in love with a synthetic brush but I will tell you exactly why I love it.
It reminds me of a train on a track, when you apply lipstick with it, you feel it’s so stable on the lips that you forget it, it will just do its job and go back to its original position. Fan-tas-tic! doesn’t absorb product but that is not even its best quality. The best quality is the even pressure of the borders from left to right, the swatch will show that. Vertically on the left is the lipstick straight from the bullet, on the right the 3 swatches. See how even the RM application is ? with just one swatch.
It’s firm but has enough flexibility to follow the lips with an even pressure and without a surprise flick at the end. You usually have to rub your lips together to have the lipstick sink perfectly on your lips, this brush does that for you, it will marry your lips with the lipstick. All that with a synthetic brush ? yep. Since I cannot wear strong and dark lipsticks this brush is perfect for me, I apply a sheer/medium lipstick all over with this brush, then I apply a darker stain in the corners of the lips, love it, love the finished application and love the way it works. If you were not using lip brushes before, this may be a new future need for you. I will take some backups later on but I’ll tell you why at the end of the post.
20. Concealer Brush
Another synthetic brush, maybe this is why it works better with concealers that have a drier texture, will not absorb product and will not leave your skin looking dry.
You can put pressure, it won’t hurt and it will keep its shape. If you need precise placement you can draw a very thin line as well.
21. Mineral Buffer
This brush is much more interesting than the one from the old Rae range, the thickness of the bristles and the material is ideal for the application and buffing of mineral foundation. It delivers high coverage (flat surface= more pore coverage). Stipple and buff in round motions if you want very high coverage, or keep the application sheer with less stippling and more spacing. I have tried it with loose powder foundation, works exactly the same way as the Bare Minerals brush, but you have more coverage and you can build it up more easily. If you swirl and tap off the excess you have the perfect amount left on the brush. I also tried it with compact powder and it’s exactly the same, both applications are flawless. The only problem is that my very dry skin doesn’t like powder foundation but I am very relieved that this brush is soft enough to use in a stippling motion. I was curious about this one not for my own usage but to be able to use it on others… will tell you why later on
It doesn’t poke at all and even if it’s not as soft as the H008 or Z contour or the BP022, it is soft enough for my delicate skin. It is less domed than the others therefore, at least on my face, it covers more surface easily and with the same pressure.
Most of you probably own the Sigma F80, to give you an idea of the Rae’s size, a pic side to side :
22. Pro Powder
Here’s something unique. Most of you probably own similar shaped brushes already, this is the softest candle-type shaped brush I own today.
It doesn’t apply as heavily as the Kashoen, or as precisely as the Hakuhodo because it’s softer, less dense and less firm but still works well with bronzer, its best job is the application of powder.
Just showing you another comparison pic I shared on Facebook … the softest of all these :
23. Liquid Foundation
Another brush made of pure gold. This was the reason why 2 years ago I wanted her first range so much: because of this brush. It is insane, I love how soft it is, when no other brushes can even touch my skin (on very sensitive days), this one still manages to do the job, softly and efficiently. I have good and bad skin days, at this moment my skin is suffering and is super sensitive, most of the brushes feel like needles, I do not wear any makeup at all on weekends anyway but this weekend my skin was so sensitive that I couldn’t even comb my hair, this morning same thing. This brush still manages to apply the foundation when I am in that situation, I am not over hyping the thing.
This brush is also the main reason why I insisted and contacted Rae a few weeks back. If she decided to include it in her new range it changes many things. Seriously I was so sad that this particular was only temporarily available within her old range that I was furious she did not release it individually, I need this in my life.
Today I have 3 of them (including the old one), I will keep them like museum rarities because if one day she discontinues it, I need to have backups. I imagine myself old and wrinkly but still enjoying this brush
It delivers more blending power than the Hakuhodo or the Mac. The longer white bristles are so thin and soft that you barely notice them on the skin, this brush doesn’t feel like a solid mass of hair but it will follow the shape of your face, adapt accordingly to your features, you will just have to dose the pressure and you don’t need much.
Also denser than the Hakuhodo or the Mac… The longer white bristles place the product, the black base buffs it, it does not absorb foundation.
24. Foundation Contour
Very useful brush, either to sculpt or to apply concealer in larger zones, or even to place the foundation before buffing with the Radiance.
Angled, thick and dense = benefits from stronger blending power compared to a more flat brush. Also the synthetic bristles are fluffier than others at the tip which I love since you can also use the surface perpendicular to your skin. Also fits in the browbone area in case you like to apply product in that zone (foundation, primer…).
25. Fan Highlighter
Like most of you I don’t use this type of brushes a lot, if I want to remove the fallout I will use either a cotton bud or a denser brush. For highlighter I tried it, loved it although I prefer a brush that allows more control. This brush is not a necessity but it looks nice now that it has a different handle. I would not use it for shading, not enough control in my opinion to achieve an even application.
Sorry about the shape of the old one… was not comfy in the drawer but still wanted to show you the different handles and that it does look much better now.
Since the first day I used this Radiance it was a big love affair, it changed my routine completely.
Most of the time what I do to apply foundation is use a flat brush or the fingers before to place it, then use the Radiance to blend and finish. It is part of my life now and whenever I go on a trip, if I don’t take it, I don’t feel safe
Today I have 5 of them, all the generations that Rae released, 2 grandmas, a mum and a daughter and even a hidden child, it was a prototype that was sent to me by mistake instead of the official Radiance when I ordered it, we were a few in the same situation and they let us keep the brushes it’s just the same brush with different stitches (it’s the only difference I see…). With all the Radiances I own today my room should glow in the dark ! It doesn’t yet but I am probably not that far away from that, soon you will be able to spot my room from outer space.
The new Radiance #26 has a different handle and is now thinner, 5.8cm vs 7.2cm for the #27, it will be easier to hold if you have smaller hands. The bristles feel softer, it has similar density, there isn’t much difference and still delivers the same finish, if you have one you don’t need the other unless you want a different handle and a slightly softer version.
For now I still prefer the old one, I am not sure why, maybe because it looks more Japanese Traditions but most of you will prefer the new version, I used both on my face at the same time, one on the left and the other on the right, the result is similar. If you are interested in my previous review, you can see one here.
I also have the similar Becca that Iris (RougeDeluxe) gave me as a present when she visited me last month. How insanely lucky I am geeez !! Thank you Iris!!
I am pleasantly surprised with the quality of the Becca, but it is much denser than the Radiances and less soft. When you wash it you don’t even see the root of the hair, it’s so thick! The only issue I see with this brush is that the blending on the face can be quite aggressive, mess with the products a bit too much instead of delivering a lightweight and airbrushed finish. For example if you apply a lightweight liquid foundation, if you blend with the Becca it might be a bit too strong to fit the purpose, it will blend but it may remove some of the product as well in the process. I do see it better with powder but for the face it may be too big and less easy to control than a Radiance.
Next to the Becca, the RM Radiances look tiny The new Radiance has whiter hair, it looks less natural, more refined. It had a strong smell when I first washed it but now it doesn’t smell at all. Does not shed, feels more solid than the old versions but my old Radiances are still going strong and have absolutely no signs of ageing.
I use it the same way as Rae does in the demo video here.
If you are not sure about the magnets and want to order just some of them to see if they are compatible with you, I would recommend you to try any of these first:
26 or 27 Radiance
3 Ultimate Cheekbone
6 Deluxe Blender
8 Medium Point Shader
9 Detail Point Shader
10 Deluxe Oval Shader
12 Lash Line Smudger
16 Brow Definer
19 Lip Brush
22 Pro Powder
23 Liquid Foundation
24 Foundation Contour
Now, you will have to pick some that you think will best fit into your routine of course.
As far as I am concerned, I am enjoying all of them but very specially, these are now part of me and will always be:
26 or 27 Radiance
10 Deluxe Oval Shader
12 Lash Line Smudger
16 Brow Definer
19 Lip Brush
23 Liquid Foundation
Overall, I truly believe that this new range is worth its price and I am not saying this because I did not pay for all the brushes… Therefore, I will mention the strengths and weaknesses that I noticed, starting with the weak points
Despite the fantastic brushes within the Magnetic collection and even if some are indeed very versatile, just because I am really a pain in the B I would still add:
- a soft dense pencil brush (in my questions to Rae I mention this and asked her if she could consider an extension to her range).
- a SOFT denser outer V brush, like the little #9 but thicker, shorter more for very precise cut crease work. I have many like these but still looking for my holy grail, I can picture it, I can’t find it.
- a foolproof blush brush, less dense than the deluxe kabukis and less directional than the flat brushes (#3, #5) in order to work with very pigmented blushes a bit more easily, as it is I cannot find a brush I can easily use with very pigmented blushes, the #22 would do but it is too big for blush
- maybe also a fluffier bronzer brush that can pack more product than the current #22, something like her old #24:
- I would add a sort of thin cap to the lip brush that could contain enough lipstick for 2 or 3 applications (you know, like a toothbrush protector) but that would allow you to throw the lipstick brush into your thin handbag when you are dancing all night, I still want the full length brush rather than a convertible lip brush, loving the full length of it!
- I would love removable magnets so that all of us can be happy but I think that with this range, you are missing on something if this is the only blocking point
Oh dear, yes… some of her brushes just made it to the very top of my top favs ever. Absolute staples. I find her brushes to be more unique than most of the brushes you’ll find anywhere else, they will become a revelation for some. There is a place for very high end luxurious makeup brushes (like the Chikuhodo Z series, Hakuhodo S100 series, etc…) and there is a place for efficient yet soft enough brushes. Lovers of Paula Dorf Sheer Crease type of brushes will find the same kind of efficiency with Rae’s collection: very well studied for the function they are supposed to fulfil.
Why backups ?
I told you I would need some backups for some of her brushes and this is why… At this moment I am preparing for an exam for a work-related topic but as soon as this is done and I am more available, I will start a makeup artist certification (never too late hey , I already talked to the teacher and this is now in the pipeline… I will need brushes that I will use only on the models I will be working with and some of Rae’s will be just perfect for that, they are durable, efficient and soft enough to allow me more time with the models before they need to shout for help :D
Thank you for reading this part 1, part 2 is coming on the 10th of March 2014 :)