A couple of weeks ago MUFE launched their new series of artisan brushes. There are 75 in the range and it has taken 25 years to perfect them. With such an extensive, tailored series of tools, there's something for anything you could possibly need for any form of made-up expression, anywhere on your body!
Last week, we were invited for a little workshop to try out this revolution in makeup tools.
[Mr. Stanley Wong, ever amicable, was our host]
[The first brush to catch my eye: Kabuki-loving!]
Before we got to perv on the brushes and molest them, we were given a brief background on MUFE and the reason for why they felt the need to scientifically create brushes.
[Dani Sanz - Founder of MUFE]
MUFE started as a company that catered to specific needs of makeup artists. Prior to this, Dani Sanz was a body painter who accidentally fell into the world of makeup. As such, the makeup and tools are designed to meet the needs of any form of artistic expression that deals with the human body. The 75 brushes in this collection contain everything from eye-shaping to body-painting varieties, and they will make any brush hoarder (i.e. me) more than happy. If you follow me on Instagram, you'll know that it's been a month of brush acquisition for me, so when this workshop turned up on my radar, I was a little too excited for my own good.
In line with MUFE's creative direction, they have launched a school dedicated to TV & Cinema makeup which is absolutely spectacular. If anyone will do this right, you know it's them. The course isn't available in Malaysia, but should you be keen, you can look to Singapore for the opportunity.
[TV & Cinema School]
Eunice Leong then took the floor to introduce us to the brushes. She's one of their leading MUAs, and a whole lot of fun.
[Lovely Eunice Leong]
Our dear model, once again, was Joyce!
[Joyce - The chosen one]
The moment the brushes hit the table, everyone started ooh-ing and aah-ing because they're not just aesthetically pleasing, but incredibly soft as well. My preference for brushes runs towards the natural hair-ed variety simply because I've yet to find synthetic brushes that compare in terms of softness. MUFE has done an amazing job in engineering these because they meet the test of replacing a soft, fluffy pet!
Eunice took us through the features of the brushes that set them apart from what's currently on the market. They're all engineered with durability and multipurpose use in mind without compromising aesthetics and quality.
There are four primary facets to each brush that have been put together to form a perfectly engineered work of art.
Firstly, we have the synthetic fibres which allow you to use the brushes with both liquid and powder products seamlessly. The fibres are also made to dry quicker and maintain their shape more effectively. Of course, all this is dependent on your treating your brushes with their due respect. If you don't look after your brushes, then don't expect them to last the extent of time that they should.
Secondly, we have the ferrule (the metal tube attaching the fibres to the handle). It's been constructed to remain in tact and prevent decay. When your brushes shed, more often than not it's because the ferrule has loosened and isn't holding the shape of the fibres anymore. This makes the brush more or less redundant and this is the actually one of the more important features of brushes. The reason you need to dry your brushes flat or upside down is so that water doesn't seep into the ferrule and loosen the glue that holds it all together.
Thirdly, we have the handle. It's made of European beech wood that's meant to be extremely durable, even in our weather. I like that they've accounted for the absurd humidity on this side of the world and it's good to know that it won't cause excessive wear and tear. It's an absolute plus that the wood makes the look of these brushes extremely sleek and beautiful. I like that they've steered away from the traditional black of high end brushes and chose a deep, chocolate brown that is gorgeous and won't hold finger prints.
[Beech Wood Handle]
Finally, the end of the brush handle is angled to make it a tool in itself. Hygiene should absolutely be a factor in makeup, and this is especially so for MUAs. As these brushes are constructed to be used by industry-based persons, as well as us enthusiasts, this provides that something extra to send it over the edge of perfection.
The slanted edge allows it to act as a scoop which will let you use potted foundations and concealers more hygienically by scooping the stuff out instead of dipping your fingers in.
[Slanted Edge - Simply Brilliant!]
Eunice also pointed out that it allows you to dot the product onto your face as well, which I'm very excited about!
[Dot Dot Dot...]
By this point, I was ready to pull the fire alarm and run away with all 75 brushes, but I restrained myself. As an added bonus, every single brush is handcrafted, meaning there are no machines used in the process, and each brush requires 30 people to put it together. If anything, this is probably where the price tag on the brushes comes from. It also means that not every brush is identical, so it's a little like having a brush manufactured just for you. That's the dream of every makeup addict, isn't it?
[So, so pretty!]
Another brush which was of particular interest was their lash & brow brush.
[Lash/Brow Brush (MUFE 276)]
This has become the preferred mode of production for these brushes of late. If you look at the metal end, you will see that the teeth aren't encased in wider plastic sides. This makes it ideal for you to comb through your lashes to separate them if your mascara has clumped them together. A definitive plus!
Eunice also explained that there are 3 distinct brush hairs in this collection: Straight, Wave and Straight & Wavy.
[The Holy Trinity]
The purpose of having these options is for you to be able to get exactly the kind of finish you're looking for.
[Arm donation by Samia]
So, what finish do each of the options give you? Straight bristles will give you a more densely packed colour payoff, while wavy bristles provide a more diffused look. And that leaves the combination of the two which will give you a little more colour payoff than just wavy bristles, but it leaves a softer finish.
[Straight & Wavy, Wavy, Straight]
[Straight, Wavy, Straight & Wavy]
[Straight, Wavy, Straight & Wavy]
All the brushes are labelled with the types of bristles on them as well, and they're also number-coded for their use. They range in 100s, 200s, 300s and 400s. The brushes which are in the 100 category (e.g. 108, 124, etc.) are for the face, while the 200 category (e.g. 250, 276, etc.) are for the eyes, and the 300 category (e.g. 304) are for the lips. They also have the 400 category brushes (e.g. 408, 410, etc.) which are meant for body painting. However, as mentioned, all these brushes are multipurpose and since the bristles work for a multitude of different textures, you could definitely interchange them if it works for you. It's just a useful guide to have.
Of course, care is a necessity as well. I did mention that the brushes dry rather quickly, but for the lazy lot (i.e. me), there's always Instant Brush Cleanser.
[MUFE's Instant Brush Cleanser]
They also have their traditional brush cleanser for deep cleansing should you be so inclined.
While this collection hosts 75 brushes, your average Sephora only carries a fraction of the range. To view and purchase the entire collection, you'll have to visit MUFE's pro boutique at Sephora Starhill.
[75 New Pieces of Lust]
As this was a workshop and not just a showcase, we got to molest the brushes to our hearts' content and actually try them out. Actions definitely speak louder than words so we got to remove our makeup and re-apply. The aim of the game was to use our fingers for half our faces and brushes for the other half. With Joyce as our lovely sacrificial lamb, Eunice got to work on her and we were to follow suit.
[Fresh-Faced and ready to be turned into a work of art]
Of course, the first step is priming the skin. The left of Joyce's face was selected for fingers, and the right for brushes.
[Primed & Ready for Action]
We were told that we could use the same brush for primer and foundation so we got to work. This was my brush of choice:
[MUFE's 106 - Straight Bristles]
[Base - Check!]
Next up was concealer. We all need a bit of this stuff in our lives.
[Concealing the sleepless nights Joyce has dealing with us]
[MUFE's 226 - Straight Bristles]
Since powder isn't really a finger-ready product, brushes are a necessity!
[MUFE's 126 Straight & Wavy]
[That's right! Makeup is meant to be fun!]
And of course a bit of blush to add some dimension...
[Blush is always a necessity]
This dual-ended brush is quite interesting since it's meant for blush on one end, and contouring on the other. I've never been a fan of dual-ended brushes because they are a pain to store, but I will admit I'm a little tempted by this because it's so pretty, and so soft!
[MUFE's 158 - A blend of Wavy and Straight & Wavy]
This brush really did surprise me. When I used it to apply their HD Cream blush, it didn't look like it was picking up any product, but the finish was fantastic. *tryingtoexhibitselfcontrol*
Picture Courtesy of MUFE
[Right: Brushes; Left: Fingers]
So, how do the brushes fare?
[Right: Fingers; Left: Brushes]
[MUFE's HD Foundation photographs beautifully, doesn't it?]
For the record, their HD range has been reformulated to withstand the next generation of HD technology which will eat through regular HD makeup products.
[The man who tempts us all with his wares!]
[Laura & Sabby having a ball!]
I feel that you can actually get away with applying your base with your fingers. The finish won't be as airbrushed, but it's do-able. The true necessity comes in where the eye area is concerned. It's so difficult to get precise shadow application with your fingers. They work well enough for packing on colours, but to create gradients and proper blending, you definitely need tools.
So, next we have the eyes!
[Can't create a define crease with your fingers!]
[Tough to blend out...]
[Much more precise with a brush]
[Lashing of mascara...]
If you're trying to diffuse a strong shade, your fingers work well enough, but to outline the lips properly, you definitely need a good lip brush. Lip brushes also allow you to skimp on lip liners because they let you fill in your lips with a light layer, followed by blotting.
[MUA at work!]
[Eyes are the windows to the soul]
[The Finished Look!]
Esther is a really fantastic makeup artist, so the base doesn't look at stark as it would if I tried to do my entire base with my fingers. However, you can see the difference in the eyes and brows. They're so much more vividly done up with brushes (your left).
[Can you tell which side was done with brushes?]
[The ever gorgeous Samia]
[More pictures of lust personified...]
[Joyce & Me: Fabulous in HD!]
[My Base Look]
As always, MUFE were incredibly generous and ended the event by giving us a taste of the fruits of their labour.
[Stanley with a goodie bag!]
[Not 2...or 3]
So what was in Santa's sack?
[3 brushes & a thumb drive]
We were given 2 eye brushes and a lip brush.
[MUFE's 244 - Straight Bristles]
This is a very large eye brush and I've used it to pack on powder, cream and multipurpose liquid-y shades, as well as loose pigments, and they all went on effortlessly. Because of its size, it's a great brush for an all-over lid colour.
[Compared to a regular shader brush]
While this is the same length as your traditional brush, the brush head itself is quite a bit larger. Of course, they have shader brush heads which resemble that of the traditional style, and it's just as soft as the rest of the range.
Next up is a brush I wasn't too enthusiastic about when I pulled it out of the bag. I've been playing around with it for the last few days and I must say that I'm surprised. It's quickly become my favourite liner brush.
[MUFE's 256 - Straight Bristles]
Why do I love it? It doesn't show very clearly in the picture but the bristles are slightly curved so that they hug your lash line perfectly. I also adore the fact that it's very densely packed and stiff so that you can get a precise line without it flimsy-ing about and getting everywhere. I've used this for gel, cream and powder liners and it works very well. It's also easy to wing out because of the curve. What an ingenious plan! I would never have thought to curve the line slightly!
Finally, we have a lip brush. Can we just talk about the design on this for a moment?
[MUFE's 304 - Straight Bristles]
When capped, it looks like a long bullet! And the cap attached to the end to make it longer so that it's of a regular length. If you want more precise control, you can omit sticking it onto the end and use it short. Versatility is so important!
The bristles on this are also densely packed and it's a rather small brush so that you can line your lips easily without getting it everywhere.
I'm actually rather more enamoured with this collection of brushes than I thought I would be when I saw them online. I thought it might have a been a whole lot of hype with no substance, but I'm sort of glad I was wrong. These brushes are a little on the pricey side, but for good reason because their construction and multipurpose nature means you will get a lot of use out of them. Walk into Sephora or the Pro Boutique to feel some of them for yourself. I would recommend the Pro Boutique though because you have more choices, and the brushes are bound to be less fiddled with.
And of course, MUFE know how to throw a party and the workshop was a whole lot of hands on fun!
Picture Courtesy of MUFE
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