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Friday, February 4, 2011

Review: MakeUp Show Brushes

Edited 5 Feb 2011 : Price, Purchase & Shipping Information added! All prices are quoted in Singapore Dollars.
(Apparently quite a few of you out there are keen on these ^_^)

I'm not going to lie. This is a long overdue review, as in 2-months long overdue *droops head* because I received these brushes just when my work was gearing up into overdrive, and knowing how looong and rambly my reviews could get, it seemed a gargantuan task at that point of time. *My sincere apologies, Chloe*

And by the way, if these brushes, especially the brown walnut-handled ones, seem familiar to you, it's because Jenn (frmheadtotoe) used them in several YouTube tutorials, the latest being in her Tron Legacy Gem Sirens tutorial :)

To cut through the chase,
MakeUpShow ("MUS") is a leading cosmetic brushes brand in China.It carries a wide variety of makeup brushes and accessories, all with supreme quality, aesthetic design, and versatile functionality; but with competitive prices.
MakeUpShow is a professional cosmetic brush manufacturer; they are also the original manufacturer for some of the world-leading brush brands.
They use carefully-selected raw materials to produce their first-class cosmetic brushes; they also have decades of brush making experience with advanced techniques from Japan and Korea.
The brushes are divided into several ranges.
The short, chic, black-walnut-handled brushes are from the High Series.
The longer black-handled brushes are from the Black Series.

And these are the brushes sent to me for review purposes. Note that I do cross-review them with my Sigma Brush Review from time to time.

FACE BRUSHES (top to bottom)
H01 Powder Brush
H02 Blush Brush
22B 01 Large Contour Brush
Face Brushes
General Overview
One thing which makes MUS face brushes different from the other brushes I own or have seen in the market is their size (or rather, lack of thereof). They're SMALLER than most face brushes.
Thus, if you have a small face like me and find "standard-sized brushes" infuriating, these are worth looking into. I mean, look at the 22B 01 - that's their LARGE Contour Brush. I could just imagine how perfect the 18B01 Angled Blush Brush would be for me if I'm in the market for one! :D

My favourite brushes of the lot is the H01 Powder Brush and H02 Blush Brush. Been reaching for them nearly every day since I got them!
And the rest, though I don't reach for them as often, seem tailor-made for my (small face)-size ^_^ <3

EYE BRUSHES (top to bottom)
H13 Blending Brush
H08 Concealer Brush
8E 05 Medium Shader Brush
8E 07 Medium Shader Brush
5E 05 Pencil Brush
Eye Brushes
General Overview
I'm a sponge tip applicator fiend, undoubtedly. I own many Asian eyeshadow palettes and their formulation just works better with sponge tips.
However, I do use brushes when the occasion calls for it (which is why I own an arsenal of eye brushes as well :p).
The MUS eye brushes are Hits or Misses, IMO. You either love them, or hate them.
Personally, I found 2 of them Hits, and the rest, sadly, Misses.

H01 - POWDER BRUSH (S$49.90 - Singapore Dollars)
Bottom: H01 Powder Brush; Other brush for comparison purposes
Pictured (top to bottom):
- Sigma F30 Large Powder Brush
- H01 - Powder Brush

"How do I love thee? Let me count the ways..."
THIS, and the H02 - Blush Brush, are my favourite brushes from the whole bunch sent to me.
For one thing, they're the SOFTEST (natural)-bristle brushes I've ever felt in.my.life. (Eat your little hearts out, MAC & Sigma :p).
Probably because the bristles are harvested from...wait for it...squirrel hair!
And no, I do not know what kind of a squirrel has fur THIS long but let's not get anal, shall we? ^_^

My review on the Sigma F30 still stands - love it for bronzer, not so much as as all-over powder brush.
The problem is, when I want to bronze (is "bronze" even a verb? ;)) myself with the Sigma F30, half the brush needs to go into my hairline (AND HAIR!) due to its massive-ness.

Another thing: I rarely set my base with loose powder (sacrilege to some, gasp all you want, I just don't like to), but when the fancy to do so strikes me, I will only set the T-zone, which is damned difficult to isolate with the Sigma F30, again, due to its size.

The H01 Powder Brush does all of the above...PERFECTLY... <3

Rating: 5/5
Top: H02 Blush Brush; Other brushes for comparison purposes
Pictured (top to bottom):
- H02 Blush Brush
- 15S 01 Large Highlight Brush (to be reviewed later - notice how "large" it is?)
- Sephora Professional Flat Blush Brush (discontinued)
- ELF Studio Blush Brush

I love ALL the blush brushes pictured. Their small size is to my advantage :) and I use them interchangably (or whichever happens to be clean :p).

So, what does the H02 Blush Brush  have over them?
For one thing, the shape. It's not significantly noticeable in the photo, but it's fuller with more bristles, and a tad more dome-shaped.

When I use a base which doesn't set non-tacky, I would use the H02 Blush Brush over the whole cheek with a barely-there blush or iridescent powder for a glow, and then the blush proper just on the apples (either with the H02 Blush Brush again, or another blush brush).
Easy peasy to get a gradient blush effect :D

Rating: 5/5

22B 01 - LARGE CONTOUR BRUSH (S$28.90 - Singapore Dollars)
22B 01 - Large Contour Brush
Okay - so this is my first ever angled brush, but by sight, it's by far smaller than the MAC 168.
I've never had the need to contour and sculpt my face for I'm rather skinny, and having too-pronounced cheekbones just makes me look gaunt.
Anyway, for the sake of trying the brush out, I did the whole fish-face rigmarole, and I must say, its small size fits the hollows of my cheeks perfectly.
Also, it didn't bring the contour colour too high up onto the the actual cheek area. 
Et voile! Instant cheek bones! (In my case, instant-skeletal-runway/editorial cheeks =_=)
So yes, it works very well, but since the britles are of goat hair, it's not as soft as the H01 - Powder Brush & H02 - Blush Brush.
And as I mentioned above, this makes me wonder how perfect the 18B01 Angled Blush Brush would be for me.

Rating: 4/5

Top to Bottom: H13 Blending Brush, H08 Concealer Brush, 8E 05 Medium Shader Brsuh
I'm not going to review (pictured Top to Bottom)
the H13 Blending Brush,
the H08 Concealer Brush and
the 8E 05 Medium Shader Brush
in detail because much as I tried, I just can't get them to work for me :(

H13 Blending Brush & 8E 05 Medium Shader Brush are sable-hair eye brushes, and according to MUS' page on the differences in bristles, sable hair is of premium quality.
However, to me, they feel very stiff and synthetic, almost Taklon-like. Maybe they'll work better with cream products, but powder, uh-huh. It's so difficult to pick up product, and by the time I pack on enough and blend, my eyelids are sore :(

As for the H08 Concealer Brush, I guess one man's meat is another's poison.
For me, it's too big for spot-concealing; too small for the undereye.
Also, its stiffness just rings a death-knell for liquid concealers for you'd just end blending away the coverage altogether!

Rating: 1-2.5 / 5

On to the HITS...

8E 07 MEDIUM SHADER BRUSH (S$18.90 - Singapore Dollars)
Top: 8E 07 Medium Shader Brush; Other brushes for comparison purposes
Pictured (top to bottom):
- 8E 07 Medium Shader Brush
- Sigma E55 Shading Brush
- E.L.F. Professional Shader Brush
- Generic Shader Brush from Coastal Scents/Crown

If you're looking for a budget-friendly version of the MAC 239, THIS.IS.IT.

I sold my MAC 239 because it packed on way too much product for my liking, but it is undeniable that this brush is as close to the MAC 239 I've ever seen, from the white goat hair bristles, density, stiffness, every criterion of a brush.

The Sigma E55 Eye Shading (and the rest) doesn't even come close ^_~
Note: I've not tried the Loew-Cornells though...

Rating: 4.5 / 5 if you love the MAC 239

5E 05 PENCIL BRUSH (S$15.90 - Singapore Dollars)
Top: 5E 05 Pencil Brush; Other brushes for comparison purposes
Pictured (top to bottom):
- Essence of Beauty Crease Brush Duo (small)
- Essence of Beauty Crease Brush Duo (large)
- Sigma E30 Pencil Brush
- MAC 219

This is my favourite MUS eye brush ^_^
You've heard me say time and again that no pencil brush is as good as the MAC 219 and I still stand by that. 

THIS, dear readers, is a mini-me of the MAC 219...As above, in every criterion of a brush.
I use this exclusively to apply a {THIN} line of eyeshadow on the lower lid, which is impossible to achieve with most sponge tips, the MAC 219 and the smaller Essence of Beauty crease brush.

Yeshhh, I love the Essence of Beauty Crease Duo Brushes and I plugged them like no tomorrow in Ryan's sale thread.
I still reach for them almost every time I need an upper eye lid brush, but the smaller one is still not stiff enough for the lower lid :(

This is definitely one of my MUST-HAVE eye brushes <3

Rating: 5 / 5

Purchase Information:

These brushes can ONLY be purchased exclusively at MakeUpShow's official website.

At the moment, MakeUpShow ships INTERNATIONAL from Singapore because there are no authorised dealers in the United States as yet. Their International Shipping information can be found HERE.

However, plans are on the way for direct shipping within the United States soon! Stay in the loop via their FaceBook page.

FTC Disclaimer: These MakeUpShow brushes were sent to me for review purposes on my Blog and/or my YouTube Channel. I was NOT paid to write this post, I am not affiliated in any way with the company, my opinions are my own and always honest. 


  1. Yay! A reference to Elizabeth B. Browning! Totally appropriate for the love of good brushes. I'm still on the hunt but don't want to spend the money! O_o

  2. OMGGGG i have been OBSESSED with that brush she was using and have made NUMEROUS attempts to contact her to figure it out. you just completed my life! lol :)))))) but omg. 50 bucks for a brush! yikes!! i want that huge powder brush wah! hahah thanks for this post! <3

  3. @Carol *sobs* I'm so glad you "recognised" Elizabeth....
    Ask most people here and they'd say Shakespeare spouted those immortal lines ~_~
    I wouldn't say ALL MUS brushes are ground-breaking, but the H01 & H02 are definitely worth saving up for...Superior to MAC & Sigma yo! (IMO-naturals bristles)

    @Jessica ^_^ Would it be a consolation if I told you the prices are quoted in SINGAPORE dollars, and not US? That powder brush is superior to MAC & Sigma (brushes with natural bristles)...Really, and it's not because these were sponsored :)

    I believe Jenn credited MUS brushes only in her 2NE1 tut, and none after that...How sad, as I could see people asking about them...

  4. OHHH for seriously!?!?!?? do u know how much that is in US?! LOL u dont actually have to tell me that because i can probably look that up. I wonder if they sell it anywhere in the US bc i'm sure shipping from singapore would be mucho dollars! if you are saying these are amazing... you make me want them too! hahahaha i am going to do some research now! LOL :) THANKSSS !

  5. ohhh fabulous review =D
    good face brushes that have a nice weight, nice in our hands, right for our face, works, looks pretty, has a nice quality && decently priced is so hard to find!!!

  6. @Jessica Replied ya on the contact details via FB! :D

    @Steph Oh yesshhh...I'd plug the H01 & H02 if and when I resume live vids again... :P HAHAH

  7. omg this is a ridiculously amazing brush review!