When I ordered these brushes some days ago I did not know I was going to Japan in June. I had planned that trip but due to the house works it got postponed to at least September. I am not going into the details but thanks to some recent news and even though it was late for booking, we found not only the time to do it but a super offer that just made my dream come possible. If I knew I would be going to Japan so soon, I would have skipped this online order with Ichibankao.
When I was at the Three counter last year I wasn’t very much tempted by the Three brushes and I had to make a choice, I could not buy every single brush I wanted in Japan! I found they were nice but I had other softer dreams and wishes at the time… Today I am still looking for soft brushes, but I have new needs for less soft options too.
I got the Blend In, the Foundation and the Face S.
|Material||Price (excl. tax)||Total length||Hair length||Ferrule width|
|Foundation brush||Goat and PBT (polyester)||5000 yen||15.5 cm||2.8 cm||2×1.4 cm/ 2.5×1.5cm
|Face brush S||Canadian squirrel||3600 yen||16 cm||2 cm||1 cm|
|Blend in brush||Weasel/horse||3000 yen||15 cm||1 cm||0.7 cm|
More details and link to the Three website here.
THREE Foundation Brush
This brush is meant to be used either with foundation or with their shimmering glow duo.
It’s a stippling brush with the particularity of… not being round! Kind of original to say the least… At first I was very happy, I was thinking of all the possibilities it could offer: foundation, contouring, precision with blending capabilities and that sounded really promising!
After some uses here are the pros and cons I found:
- Pros : unique shape, proper size, longer handle than the RMK
- Cons: not enough density, weird beigy/grey color of the synthetic bristles
The size and shape allows you to use it around the nose/eyes more easily but although it blends enough to not have to use any other brush afterwards, I think it still lacks density. It is firm compared to the big Mac 187, at the base it has thickness but starting in the middle of the head it gets thinner and when you have product on it, it narrows even more. More density at the surface would be fantastic, just like the Mac 130 has. The Mac 130 is shorter, firmer and denser so in terms of blending and diffusing I find it is a much better candidate, still small but more efficient.
The handles are heavier and longer than RMK brushes, so that’s a great thing for me since I prefer longer handles. The material feels more solid although the ferrule looks very similar. Both brands are made by Chikuhodo.
I saw it with the stamp “new” on the site but on the pics I did not see that it wasn’t round, it’s slanted and with a flattened ferrule.
When I first used it, I used a paddle/swipe/stipple/confused technique. Not sure how to drive that thing because I was feeling like I was missing on something and… that was density. So I read the instructions and it said something like that (beware, that has been googlelized from Japanese):
To the back of the hand, I take the Fluid Foundation.
Hold the brush vertically in the hands of two reverse, and they hit the back of the hand and the break even point of a brush, and let you be familiar with the uniform foundation .
In the sense that from the inside to the outside of the face 3 , to whip Unplug the power , extending while drawing a large spiral.
In the details , such as the side of the ridge of the nose and wings of the nose and let you be familiar while moving from side to side brush, a foundation which remained to hair destination
So I tried it again as they instructed:
Point 1 and 2, easy, you pick the product with the brush after you placed it on the back of your hand, so that it’s evenly distributed on the surface of the brush
Point 3 is to apply from the center of the face with large spiral motions towards the sides.
Point 4 is to finish and blend and not forget the more difficult to reach areas like the side of the nose …. using the remaining foundation on the back of your hand.
I am 100% sure of my translation but either way, if you get it wrong hopefully it’s not going to be that critical, worst case, you’ll use it differently until you find the best way for you.
I don’t place the foundation on the back of my hand unless I have no choice, if I can directly place little dots on my face and then use the brush just to blend them it is just faster, sometimes I even use a cotton bud to do that, more hygienic. So, once I finish blending in large spiral motions as they recommend, I don’t need to do more buffing with a different brush, this one gets the job done, but as I said before, I would be happier if it was denser, for some of us it will clearly lack buffing power, for others it will be just fine. I have more buffing power with the Rae Morris 23, the base of the shield is dense to help with the blending, which is not the case at all with this Three foundation brush, the top of the darker goat hair do not really offer a strong base to blend.
So I thought it would be nice for contouring and I have been using it with the Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate, again, I prefer when the brush is denser to pick and blend more efficiently. I do use it but for me it lacks precision and blending power.
Otherwise for cream highlight it is better because that is more a surface application that should absolutely not alter the foundation underneath so I don’t mind that it is less dense at all, it is actually a good thing, it will be gentle and work without messing with anything.
For cream blush it does work as well, but my cream blushes are often quite hard, the sparse bristles on the brush won’t really pick the product evenly, it will blend ok but once more, my preference goes for denser brushes for cream blush application.
In terms of aesthetics, I don’t find this brush to be very appealing, the color of the hair does not look “fresh”, it’s kind of yellow/grey/beige, the brush in the pictures is clean, it’s just the way it looks clean, not white. If you use it on models, they may think it’s dirty, but it’s not. The darker goat bristles are greyish/brown/black so that’s ok and normal but the other bristles that I would have preferred white, are in my opinion too dark to appear clean, I don’t know if it is supposed to look like that but since I will be in Japan soon at the Three counter I can check that out 🙂
Sometimes we attach too much importance to things that on the counters they consider as “just a detail and not relevant” but the detail also matters to me and if I have to use this brush on someone I don’t want to have to think about my client’s reaction when he or she sees the color of the brush and could even think I am using dirty brushes on them!
A clean dry brush :
A clean wet brush :
A dirty brush (so so sorry but I think it’s useful that you can see the shape with product on) :
With other brushes (here it’s clean so you can see that the white bristles are not white), maybe we are too used to see white and black stippling brushes and this is why I find it weird 😛
Here you can see better, but it’s clean!!!
THREE Face brush S
Official description (translated from google):
Around the eyes and the part which is covered with a concealer, such as when the wings of the nose, face brush shape slim to use when overlaying the powder in the details. Well, per skin feel comfortable is also a sensitive part such as the eyes good include flour, is a soft light quality of hair
“Soft light quality of hair” yes indeed, it’s soft, airy, difficult to believe this is a face brush since it’s very small for it’s for detailed powder placement.
It’s not firm like the Takeda here, with the Takeda you can blend more efficiently. Reminds me of the Suqqu L, similar kind of flexibility, not as soft but you can also notice it is canadian squirrel hair and not pine squirrel hair. If you have the choice, I’d go for the Takeda.
The Mac 239 is here for size reference.
I used it for the pink shade from the Three compact shown further down, when tried with the brown shade it did pick up enough color but it’s just a bit too flexible to consider using it for eyeshadow placement but I don’t see the problem also using it for blending. If you can blend with the Suqqu L you will blend with this eyeshadow. I think this is a nice price for this brush and if you like tiny little face brushes or huge eyeshadow brushes you will enjoy this one if you get it at the Japanese price.
THREE blend in brush (round)
Description on the site (transgooglelized from Japanese):
“Can easily make undertone, brush excellent compatibility and sub-tone Redefining eye pencil. The bristles trimmed to a dome-shaped round, well, per skin is feeling kind to delicate eyes. To make a brush, and trace the line drawn in the eye hole, eyes a shade easily is completed.”
- Pros: perfect to use with Three cream type shadows, nice size and handle
- Cons : not pokey but rough, you can see that these are probably cut (trimmed?) bristles.
The shape is quite similar to the Bobbi Brown smudger, a bit more precise because it’s firmer.
This brush is fantastic to use with their cream shadows, much easier to grab product than with a goat, or a 100% weasel or synthetic brush but you will feel it is much rougher and may be quite unpleasant, won’t poke but won’t caress you either. It’s like my bf’s “dynamic” back massages, you won’t feel any pleasure during the process but you will be very satisfied with the results 😀
This is 4D palette Star Guitar, review post here.
I applied a swatch with the Three Blend in and another with the Evgeny eyeshadow (it’s not pictured here but it’s a flat brush made of sable), the Three brush will deliver a heavier application. The Three brush and the Three cream shadow are made for each other, I did not find any other option that applied it as good. Also on the bottom lash line, it’s a bit too large but still ok to smudge some cream shadow with just enough precision for a gradient sultry and application.
I wouldn’t have considered it before but with the training coming up, I forced myself and lowered my skin tolerance and now “accept” more rougher options into my collection, sometimes it makes the process less enjoyable and I suffer but it offers different results and a new view and opinion on the brushes. I will always prefer a softer brush and I will always tell you the softness of a brush versus its efficiency so… this brush is not really soft (5/10) but it’s very efficient and every time I will use the Three cream shadows I will use that brush, despite not necessarily enjoying the process, I adore the results. Here our french quote is very true “Il faut souffrir pour être belle” 😀