shu uemura Handcrafted Natural 18 Goat Foundation Brush Review

May 19, 2009
shu uemura Handcrafted Natural 18 Goat Foundation Brush ($39)

Handcrafted by Japanese artisans, this natural goat foundation brush is designed to apply foundation evenly with a high-coverage effect. The perfectly shaped #18 brush uses ultra-fine, uncut goat hair tips to create a smooth application with a professional finish.

The natural hairs are uncut and hand placed so they are very comfortable on the skin. The shape and size are perfect for applying and blending foundation in quick strokes.

Use one side of the brush to apply foundation to your face, then flip the brush to the other side to blend the foundation across your face. Use the tip of the brush to blend in the more difficult areas, such as under the eyes and around the nose.


If you forced me to choose the five makeup items that I currently couldn’t do without, three of them would be Shu; pretty impressive considering that I’ve only tried a few of their items, but it’s truly a testament to the quality of their products. So what are these three items? Well given my mascara obsession, my Shu Uemura eyelash curler is necessarily a definite must-have (and has been for years). The other two are newer acquisitions, purchased during Bergdorf Goodman’s latest gift card event (see my haul HERE): the extra large Shu Hard Formula Brow Pencil (read my rave review HERE), and this itty bitty little foundation brush.


Now I don’t know about you, but when I think goat, I think scratchy–goats and soft & cuddly just don’t seem to go hand in hand. But the uncut and hand-placed bristles on Shu’s #18 foundation brush contour beautifully to the planes of your face and never feel rough or itchy. Happy sigh!


I wasn’t too crazy about the Shu technique for applying foundation using this brush (described above), but when I used just the tip of the brush to apply my foundation, the magic happened. The small brush head gives me amazing control and I find that I can use less foundation that I normally would. Using light, quick strokes I can achieve a flawless finish in a matter of seconds and applying my foundation has seriously never been so easy.


While I was always a fan of my MAC 187 for applying foundation, lately the floppiness has been bothering me a little. Because the bristles are so bendy, I don’t get nearly as much control as I’d like, plus stippling away can get to be rather time-consuming. Now don’t get me wrong, I still really like my 187 for blushes and other powders, but the Shu definitely outshines it for foundation application.


There are complaints out there that application using this can be a little streaky, and I’ve found that if you do use the sides as the Shu people instruct, you will see a few streaks. Instead, I only use the top of the brush (the end part), dab it in my foundation, and then apply using light circular motions. I really can’t say enough good things about it! The #18 accompanied me to Korea, Boston, Connecticut, and it’ll be going many many more places with me in the future.


Shu Uemura’s 18 Goat Foundation Brush was designed to smoothly apply thicker cream foundations, but I absolutely love it for any and all formulas. I’ve used it with my super runny Guerlain Parure Extreme foundation and it picks up and evenly distributes this runniest of foundations with the greatest of ease; same with my medium-thickness Guerlain Parure Pearly White, and my super thick La Mer Treatment Creme Foundation. I know $39 isn’t exactly a bargain for such a small foundation brush, but this is one of those few times that I can say that the product is a great investment and was well worth it! I’m totally loving my little impulse buy!

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