Even if I have many crease brushes, I always reach for the same ones over and over again, my favorites are the Tom Ford 13, the Louise Young 38 family, Hakuhodo and recently added to my favorites, the Trish 29. These two brushes were calling my name and I was intrigued to finally try Nars eyeshadow brushes.
Both Nars 12 and 13 brushes are made of squirrel hair as per Nars description, they are soft yet firm, pointy yet wide enough to allow a precise but non-streaky application. If you have both, these two together are the perfect combination and crease multipurpose to place – define – blend.
Nars 13 Large Dome
Hair length measures 1.8 cm, base of the ferrule measures 0.5cm, the widest point of the head is 1,2 cm wide and that’s were the layers of hair start, that’s approx 1cm from the base of the ferrule and the layers are consistent all the way till the point. The brush is dense and I cannot see any quality flaws. Still, it’s an expensive brush : 32.50 Gbp, but I am pleasantly surprised with the result.
You can see by their shapes that some are wider or more pointy, it depends on what result you want to achieve, if you want more precision, more blending capabilities, etc…
I tend to choose the LY for precision, the Nars for blending, the Trish for a windshield wiper type of application (in the very center of the crease)…
When I work with a light-medium crease color I use a larger, less pointy crease brush, if I want to work with darker shades, I will use the LY the Mac 226 or even better, the smaller Nars 12.
If I had to choose only one, that would be the Tom Ford, probably my favorite of all because it really feels like the most luxurious, I love how it’s dense, soft and tapered, but now that I have the Nars, I use both as much.
Even though I can blend the eyeshadow application with the Nars 13, I always finish the blending with the Hakuhodo B214, with the B214 I blend but also press the powder more into the skin, the look looses a little bit of definition but I feel it lasts longer and it’s more appropriate for the office.
Nars 12 small dome
The hair length is 1.3cm, base of the ferrule 0.4cm, costs 22 Gbp. It’s very well shaped, one little hair in the center is longer than the others though 🙂 but other than that, I am impressed with the quality and even more with its precision and blending abilities ! It picks a lot of product, a lot but not too much, I have to tap the excess off but I always do that, it’s made of squirrel hair but these Nars bristles pick a bit more product than the softest Hakuhodo.
Some time ago I realized that I wasn’t using the right brush to apply my dark crease color, I was also bringing the dark shadow too close to the inner of the crease, and not enough defining in the outer v, I was also covering too much of my crease with a medium-dark shadow. With this kind of small crease brushes I can create a more gradient shading and make my eyes appear less hooded, more lifted. When I started using small crease brushes, I could see a big difference. The dark shadow was placed exactly where I wanted it to be, then I just had to blend.
I don’t know if this is going to be a HG because recently I have been ordering extraordinary brushes and the competition is really tight but when I will upload my new favorite brushes, this one is certainly going to be in there.
The Louise Young 38b is also a gem and a must-have.
The Rae Morris is a bit too small for that same purpose but not a bad brush. I like when I have something in my hand that is balanced, feels heavy and gives me more control, I find the handles of her smallest brushes too light and sometimes too thin, it’s also a matter of preference.
The Hakuhodo is also a very pointy brush, absolutely heavenly soft.
Maybe you can see the wild hair in the close up picture 🙂
Bottom line : I probably will have to rewrite a post with my new favorite brushes because I have just started discovering many new fantastic brushes over the past few weeks ! These are great brushes and must-haves…
It is like you have read my mind! I am just thinking to suggest to you that you should rewrite a new favorite brush post and here you already planning to do one. 🙂
My favorite makeup artist (who is a Taiwanese) launched a book revealing his HG products (brushes included) which introduces me to Addiction pencil eyeliners. Two of the brushes he recommends are the Nars 12 & 14. Being unable to view the brush myself I withhold the purchase. After your review, I might now go and order these online! 🙂
I am interested in the 14 as well but I have the similar Suqqu and Hakuhodo Kokutan and the Addiction C is on its way to me.. It’s a shame I have passed on these Nars brushes before, when you want to buy a car you don’t see it exposed dirty and damaged, if you see them new and clean it’s another story… 🙂
Who is your favorite Taiwanese make up artist ?
I have two favorites: Taiwanese Kevin Zhou ( http://www.herworldplus.com/beauty/updates/5-celebrity-makeup-tips-from-kevin-chou ) and Japanese Masaru Hamada. I take extra attention everytime they recommend a product.. They are making me broke.. 🙁
ha ha, I thougth exactly the same thing for a new “favorite brushes”. I have to check the nars brushes at my local sephora, I’ve never paid much attention to them but the large dome seems very promising for blending : how does it compare to the Paula Dorf’s one, they seem to have the same shape. as for blending, is the nars large dome comparable to the edward bess eyebrush ?
As you I like very much the hakuhodo 214 to press powder on the lid but I finally prefer the hakuhodo G5524 for this and for blending even though, as you know, I was quite disappointed that it was so loosely packed in the ferule. It has become one of my favorite eyebrushes except when I wash it – it seems so miserable with this big gap 🙂
A new updated favorite brushes will be done as soon as I get the Hakuhodo J series 🙂
can’t wait ! but I am already selecting the ones that I could not live without !
Both have similar hair softness, the Paula Dorf has more spring in the bristles. The difference is not huge but the Nars is also more tapered, therefore the PD will cover more skin surface on the tip of the brush.
For the Edward Bess, well, I don’t use the Edward Bess a lot.. I prefer to place the powder more precisely and finish with a big smooth blending, I don’t have it with me now, I will be able to tell you tonight exactly the difference between the two. I am not a big fan of “one brush for everything” 😛 I know it’s good for blending, but other than that I don’t reach for it.
I am really looking forward to the J Series… I wanted a brush like the G5524 and the 214 to use with cream colors and these Series are just what I was dreaming of…
you’re right, in the J series there is the same brush as the 214 and some others that seem very promising. They should put the new collection soon I think, the most difficult would be to select the ones I really need : my list is really big and becomes bigger everyday 🙂
here’s wishing you a ‘belated’ HAPPY birthday:))
I prefer the PD sheer crease to the Nars 13. My #13 is rather scratchy compared to the PD. In fact although it has a great shape, I find the LY38 scratchy too:((
Maybe my lids are getting more cranky with age:D
Have you tried any of the Daniel Sandler brushes?I think they’re good value brushes and I reach for the blender a lot. I also like the Trish McEvoy 29 which is lovely & soft but I just REALLY dislike the acrylic handles. It puts me off completely.
The EB luxe brush is much fuller than the Nars 13 & softer. I love this brush!! The top of the ferrule of the Nars is approx 6mm and the EB is 9mm.
The Nars # 12 is a lovely brush to use.
I have cut my Hakuhodo list down a LOT since I spent so much on Koyudo:)
Gosh I love those brushes!!
That’s really weird.. my Paula Dorf brush is as soft as the Nars, same for the LY ! but the Edward Bess feels scratchy compared to the Nars ! It’s funny how the same brushes can be so different !!! 😮
I was prone to horrible migraines and I just couldn’t stand a scratchy brush on my cheeks or my eyelids…
I am really happy that you told me that !
Yipp, I think brushes are like pairs of jeans – each one is unique.
So often, I have bought two pairs of jeans – same brand , make & size and they fit completely differently. One was perfect, one was not:(
that’s right.. remember the Rae Morris case ? I will soon be able to tell you if there is a difference between the sets…
Oh yes….I nearly forgot!!
Remember I had issues with the cancellation of my Mihoko order?
She got back to me and explained that Paypal had automatically cancelled all the orders until they got confirmation of Mihokoshop’s new address. The official letter they sent to Paypal took a week. Anyway, moving or not, I said that she could at least have sent me some kind of explanation earlier. I was completely baffled when my money was simply refunded without any explanation at all.
Anyway, I will order there again because they are about the cheapest out there & they have a LOT of stuff which I just HAVE to have:))
I need to go to Japan !!!! you know what ? I have nice colleagues over there, I wonder if they could help me…
Not unless you take us with you!!!!!
Great comparison post Sonia! Very helpful because lately I have come to the same conclusion: that I need to change the way I am doing my crease color. Need to open and lift the eye more. I will try the Nars and need to get the TF. I agree also that “one brush for everything” is not for me. I love my EB eye brush for sweeping a single shade over the lid first then blending at the end….
Buggiesbee, Thanks for the update on Mihoko! I really liked to order from them but was concerned with your experience.
Yipp, I thought I’d better update my issue with Mihoko. It wasn’t really their fault but they should have informed me.
I re-ordered my entire Mihoko order with Cherrycosmentics and the price difference was HUGE!! Cherry has fantastic commumication BUT also astronomical pricing compared to the other Japanese online stores.
Why don’t you guys pay sales tax if you import??
if I sent you a package valued at say €200,- wouldn’t you have to pay the USA or your particular state’s sales tax on the total value of the parcel?
As to opening the crease…..that it a learning curve that I’m on too.And hey a few more crease brushes & eyeshadows used in the right way are a LOT!!!! cheaper & less painfull than cosmetic surgery 😀
Oh my goodness Buggsiebee I do agree with you!! We are in essence saving so much money on “unnecessary surgery” aren’t we?! In fact I just ordered the 2 Nars brushes and 1 Tom Ford along with a Burberry Eyeshadow in the color Almond to “experiment” with! 🙂 I had read about the Nars 13 time and time again but it appears Sonia is the one to push me over the edge…..
When I receive an overseas package I never pay anything but the price I originally pay to the vendor. If you were to send me a package I would not pay to pick it up even if you declared a retail value for insurance purposes. Your paying customs fees are eyeopening to me. I didn’t know… If I were to send you a package as a gift for example would you have to pay to receive it??
Hey Sonia in your spare time in the future 🙂 can we have a post on eyeshadow placement and color usage for de-aging the eye? I can imagine it would be a good one!
Stacy, so that you know how much we have to pay.. I got the info saying that the replacement set of the Rae Morris brushes was waiting for me … the taxes I have to pay for it is : EUROS 165 (usd 200.-) this is not the price of the brush set, this is JUST the price of the taxes… even if in their invoice, they have already added AUS 63.55 of taxes,… can you believe that ?
Sonia, that is horrible!!!!!!
Thank you, Buggsibiee, my birthday is in 15 days, I don’t really like all the fuss that day but I love pampering myself with a long wanted gift (If you want something done right, do it yourself 🙂
It’s been a long time I wanted the Edward Bess eyebrush but I think there will be some nice options with the new hakuhodo.
Brushes differ quite a lot. the hakuhodo 212, for example, is scratchy while on all blogs it seems to get a lot of rave. One thing I observe is once a company gets quite well known, quality goes down and prices high, weard!
Stacy, you are lucky not to have to pay high taxes when the parcels reach you. It’s a nightmare for us in Europe !
I read you ordered the brushes 🙂 I think you will love them ! I hope they are as good quality as mine ! I have the Almond eyeshadow, I use it a lot !
Sure I will do that, I still need to do some adjustments with the camera, I cannot take good pictures of close ups, I think I may need to buy a macro lense… I have a one-day photography course in 3 weeks, I need it 🙂
After reading your posts and posts from Messy Wands, I have been thinking a lot about buying new brushes – I just have used basic ones from Clinique, Smashbox and MAC, but now I feel like I need to branch out!!
Hi Latoya, In that case, think Koyudo and Hakuhodo, you will not be disappointed !