Thursday, June 4, 2009

StudioTools Dual-Finish Brush: Now, If I Had Two Dollars…

Hi everybody,

My name is Dao and I am a brush hoarder. Although I do not want to milk the cow dry, I did not feel happy after I got sick. To cheer me up, I went to Target (my neighbor) for a walk. In fact, I would walk anywhere that have AC but places like that tend to want to sell me something. Target is a wonderful place to be and I can spend endless hours walking around and looking for stuff. My excuse is “I’m a beauty blogger, I need to do my research!”

Usually, the house of Tarjé in the neighborhood is slow in stocking up new stuff. When everybody in the net has already touched Sonia Kashuk highlighting brush at their local Target, I did not see them in store until very recently. The above-mentioned brush is a dual fiber (or fiber optic, skunk) brush that is similar to the legendary MAC 187 that I’ve been lemming for so long. After I saw the presence of SK highlighting brush, I squealed and made a dance right in the beauty section. (Thank goodness nobody was there, otherwise it would have been embarrassing!)

Now, here’s the money part:
MAC 187: $42
Sonia Kashuk highlighting brush: $12.99

A lot better, right? To be honest, the SK brush is really soft and big. It is not as dense as a 187 and since I was not comfortable with its ability to stipple liquid foundation, I did not buy it. Then I tottered around to touch them ecoTOOLs brushes, which Target carries the full line. And I just wished right then and there to get a cheaper skunk brush that I can stipple liquid foundation with.

And then I went on with my air-conditioned indoor walk to the other side of the store. Later on, I went back to the beauty section to look for the new NYC nail polishes but Target no longer carried NYC. But I saw something that made me squeal again…

StudioTools Dual-Fiber brush!
$1.99 per brush!!!

Really, it's a two-dollar brush!

Head shot, see how full it is

I’ve used StudioTools before. In fact, my first eyeshadow brushes were from them. For those who are not aware of this brand, StudioTools is Target’s store brand of makeup tools. They are super cheap ($1.99 to $2.49 per item) and I guess Target was the first store to have makeup tools available. The brushes are not as soft as Sonia Kashuk’s but they do their job and last for a long time. Mine still work, although I do not use them as much since I have some better brushes.

This dual fiber brush is different from the original 187: the bristles are made of synthetic fibers, not a blend of animal hair (black fiber) and synthetic material (pointy white fiber.) Also, the StudioTools rendition is not as soft (and I don’t expect it to be since it only costs a dollar and ninety-nine cents!)

However, the advantage of this brush is it is super full. The black and white fibers are packed densely enough to keep the brush sturdy. This brush is not one of those willy-nilly 187 dupes out there that are too flimsy to stipple. Also, the white fibers are shorter than in the 187, which make it better as a stippling brush. For those who look for a synthetic skunk brush for their liquid foundation, this is an excellent candidate. The people at StudioTools figured everything right, and they price it very right as well. In fact, if they priced it at $5, I would have bought it as well.

Compared to a quarter

All the fibers are synthetic
Again, see how full it is?

Before washing, this brush was in between the sizes of a 187 and 188. After some couple of washes, it became fuller and got softer as well. It did not shed even a strand, and also did not bleed. This brush did not smell bad when I bought it. Also, it’s easier to wash.

Beside not being the softest brush on earth, it is kind of heavy. Since the handle is made of opaque plastic, it constitutes to the weigh of the brush. However, a thicker handle can be a good thing: it allows firmer applications when you use liquid products. Although this is a two-dollar brush with a plastic handle, it does not look cheap. In fact, it’s quite good looking.

So, let’s redo the math here, shall we?

MAC 187: $42;
Sonia Kashuk highlighting brush: $12.99;
StudioTools Dual-Fiber brush: $1.99.

With the money to buy a MAC 187 brush, you can get 21 StudioTools stippling brushes and still have 21 cents left! And then, you can go around acting like Oprah: “You get a free brush, you get a free brush, you get a free brush!” However, as I mentioned before, this brush is not the 187 but it comes very close. Of all the 187 dupes I’ve seen so far, this one does a decent job to stipple in foundation. It also does a good job with powders. I guess this is the best two dollars I’ve ever spent on a brush.

Compared with my other stippling brush I have from Everyday Minerals
Top: Studio Tools dual-fiber, bottom: EDM old dual-fiber (they don't sell it anymore!)

(L-R): EDM and Studio Tools dual fiber brushes
See how much fuller the Studio Tools one is?

Side by side: EDM (top) and Studio Tools (bottom) dual fiber brushes

It gets spikier when wet
How 187 is that?

So, if you have two dollars to rub together, I urge you to go to Target and get this brush. And don’t worry; it gets softer after each wash.

Note: Not a long time ago, Everyday Minerals released their version of the skunk brush called Unskunk Foptic brush at $10. It was a built-up suspense since EDM announced their launch of an all-synthetic skunk brush. However, from what I’ve seen, that brush is really flimsy and does not stipple well. I’m just appalled of how it happened as EDM has the baddest flat top brush in the world. Now they are having a sale on that brush, I guess another version is in the making.

That’s all for today, folks. Take care and as always, stay gorgeous!

Your Makeup Blogger

P.S: If you like my blog, please subscribe to my feed. Thanks a lot!


  1. I have this brush and I couldn't believe the price when I saw it, I had to look twice, I really like, I use it to apply my blush. I am definitely gonna invest in more, it's a deal! :)

  2. Haha! What a coincidence - I was at Target yesterday and saw this brush. I felt it up, liked it, and ended up going home with two of them. To be honest, I like more than either the 187 or 188 - I have both, and neither were quite the right size to use for blush on me. The 187 sees some use as a highlighter/foundation brush, and the 188 is my favorite for blending out concealer, but I think this tops both of them. I raved about it to Aly, and we promptly went to Target again today :D

  3. I would recommend this brushes to anyone. Unless they want to know when their significant others

  4. Dear Rayqueenbee,

    I had to take it all the way to the price check machine to make sure it's $1.99! This brush is seriously good and I'm glad you feel the same.

  5. Hi May,

    I always wanted to get a 187 for foundation but as you said, this one works a whole lot better so the real 187 is not coming home anytime soon (unless it's a gift.) I really wanted to go crazy and bought a bunch of them but I only bought one. Oh well, Target is my neighbor anyways :)

  6. Hi Semipermanent Makeup,

    I definitely recommend this brush as well, there's no need to spend a lot of money.

  7. omg running to my target NOW (who more than likely won't have them *sigh*)

  8. Hi Kia,

    Girl, don't walk, don't even run, sprint to Target and get that brush! I'm telling ya, you will not get any cheaper brushes than this one. It's been my go-to brush for foundation.

  9. :( we do not have Target over here... Anyway, on the topic of fiber optic brushes, the ones from Adorned with Grace are wonderful! I have one (a blog special, discounted :) ) and just ordered another two!

    I had ordered the one from EDM (with the 50% discount), but the customer service emailed me telling me they were very sorry but they had ran out of stock. They were great because they let me replace it for an eye kabuki (more expensive $29 without extra charging :)

  10. Hi Knit_tgz,

    How are you doing, my fellow knitter? I missed the first time AwG sold that brush but I just got a mini one for blush. It is really soft! If you already got the bigger one, you're set for life because it's almost the same as the much coveted 187.

    I think EDM is going to revamp their dual fibre brush because they one they put on sale (and got sold out) was not that good. I'm glad they give you the eye kabuki instead. I've heard a lot of good things about it.

  11. Oops, I meant the eye kabuki was more expensive $2 and not $29 (way too expensive :) )

  12. Hi knit_tgz,

    I thought you included shipping in it :) Yeah, $29 would be too expensive for a brush.


Dear Dao...


Related Posts with Thumbnails