Two things converged to make me buy the Magic Collection Oval Brush. First, I have been exposed to hype about the Artis Oval 7 brush in the form of YouTube videos for at least a year now. I resisted buying one because I wasn’t all that interested in that particular method of foundation application and because with the exchange rate it costs a monumental $83 Canadian (before shipping). Second, I ended up in my local beauty supply store to buy hair dye and ended up wandering into their makeup section. Though I’ve been frequenting this particular store for several years now – it’s where I get my Wella T-18 toner – I’ve never actually checked out their makeup section. There are a lot of black-owned brands there as well as the much-hyped LA Girl, and most of the brands are very inexpensive. I managed to make it out of the section with nothing in my hands. That is, until I spotted a bunch of Artis brush dupes for a mere $9.99. I’d truly never been interested in this type of brush before, but I’ll chalk this up to the hype penetrating my subconscious and the utter wondrous magic of beauty supply stores. (Seriously, I think I’ve lost time à la an alien abduction in those places…) I just had to know if it was any good!
The Magic Collection Oval Brush in the XL size is a large, oval-shaped brush (duh) which resembles an oversized toothbrush. It is very densely-packed with bristles, and viewed from the side it has a dome shape. It is exceptionally soft.
As compared to my standby foundation brush, the Real Techniques Buffing Brush, the Magic Collection Oval Brush has a significantly larger surface area. Here I’ve compared the two:
You can see that the Oval Brush is both slightly wider and significantly longer than the Buffing Brush. This has the obvious effect of covering more area on my face faster when blending in foundation. Despite its size, I don’t find it particularly unwieldy when it comes to blending foundation into the nooks and crannies of my face, though I think this is the maximum size I’d enjoy before it became annoying to use. There’s supposed to be some sort of ergonomic benefit to brushes of this shape; I personally don’t find it particularly easier to use than a regular foundation brush, but it’s not harder to use either.
As I said, the brush is incredibly soft and feels lovely on the face. It also blends in foundation very quickly. I think this is a combination of the size as well as the density of the bristles. I find that it works best to use this brush in a swiping motion and then to buff to blend further. I know a lot of people say that the Artis Oval 7 brush maintains a very full coverage; personally I don’t find this to be the case with the Magic Collection Oval Brush. I actually find that coverage may be slightly compromised, but with the upside that the brush buffs foundation so seamlessly into the skin that it gives the most natural finish out of any brush I’ve ever used. Personally I prefer my foundation to be on the borderline between light and medium coverage and to look skinlike, so this suits me well. I also haven’t tested this brush with a super full-coverage foundation, so I can’t say how it would perform in that instance.
As always, some foundations play better with some tools than with others. I’ve tested this brush with all three foundations I currently have. I like it best with the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD foundation; I always find I like the look of that foundation the best on my face when it’s sheered out slightly. It works quite nicely with Maybelline Fit Me Matte and Poreless as well. That’s a foundation that has the tendency to look a bit dry on my forehead, which brushes often exacerbate, but I think it looks nice when applied with this brush. Once again, I get a coverage that’s on the low end of medium and that looks like skin. The Oval Brush doesn’t play as nicely with NARS All Day Luminous Weightless, but I find that that foundation doesn’t look good on my dry skin when applied with brushes at all; I get a beautiful finish when I apply it with a damp sponge, but otherwise it looks terrible. It does look better applied with the Oval Brush than the Real Techniques Buffing Brush, but after testing it out once to see if it would work I have no desire to revisit that experiment.
The Magic Collection Oval Brush in XL can be ordered from Sistawigs and is most likely stocked in your local beauty supply. If you’re someone who prefers a light to medium coverage and a very skinlike finish from your foundation, you’d probably enjoy this. If you like a flawless, full coverage, I’m not sure that this brush is for you.
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