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The Cruelty-Free Makeup Brushes That Will Probably Change Your Life

The Artis Elite Makeup Brush Collection is beautiful, no doubt. But will it really up your makeup game?
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I am obsessed with makeup brushes. Case in point: I have to set aside at least an hour to clean my entire arsenal. Buzzing foundation brushes, egg-shaped sponges... I've swiped, blended and dusted with just about every type of brush out there. So naturally, when I saw the gorgeous, toothbrush-shaped brushes from Artis, which claim to revolutionize how we apply makeup, I had to get my hands (and makeup) on them. to see if they were more than pretty designs and clever marketing.

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The Claims
These makeup brushes -- there are 10 in the collection, covering everything from concealer and foundation to blush, bronzer and eye shadow -- come with a list of claims as lofty and spectacular as the oh-so-lovely brush designs. Made from synthetic fibers with tapered ends, each brush contains three to 10 times as many fibers as other makeup brushes, resulting in the densely packed, toothbrush-esque shape of the brush head. This reportedly helps blend and buff makeup into even, flawless results.

They even promise that you'll use less product. Because of the unique bristles, less product is absorbed into the brush so you waste less. And, since they're man-made and cruelty-free, they won't cause sensitive skin to freak out.

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The Test
I've tested my fair shade of soft, ultra-luxe makeup brushes (both animal hair and synthetic bristles), and have never experienced any as soft as this. I'm not even ashamed to admit that I spent several minutes stroking my face with the brushes before even applying makeup. If you felt how soft the bristles are (read: softer than puppies or rose petals) you'd understand. Artis Elite Collection: 1. Other makeup brushes: 0. (Pictured top to bottom: Oval 10, Oval 6, Linear 6, Oval 3 and Circle 1R.)

Next, I put the brushes to the true test: a face-off against the brushes I swear by daily. Were they going to give me a better application than my makeup sponge, poufy powder brush and my go-to slanted liner brush, shadow brush and crease brush? Despite their claims (and incredible softness) that say that they could, I was skeptical that these gorgeous-yet-weird-looking brushes would actually deliver.

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The Results
The futuristic, high-tech brush heads are angled, making application a breeze. Even the Linear 6 (a long, skinny brush for applying eyeliner), which looks complicated to work with, is very user-friendly.

The silky, densely packed bristles are attached to the brush in a way that keeps all the fibers in contact with your skin. This keeps the application -- whether you're putting on eye shadow or foundation -- from looking streaky or patchy. It also means the amount of product the brush wastes is next to nothing.

The Oval 6 brush applied my BB Cream and liquid foundation evenly, though if you want superquick results, the smaller brush head may not be for you. Because of the packed bristles, it applies a little heavier than a makeup sponge or even a flat foundation brush (and it definitely applies more evenly than the latter). But, after applying my foundation, the brush had just a miniscule amount of product left on the bristles -- I wiped it on the back of my hand and hardly anything came off.

Designed for contouring, it placed my contour shade down evenly and precisely. I blended my lines with the Oval 10 brush, a magical creation that is a wiz at blending and buffing makeup into natural-looking perfection. Compared to brushes that are fluffier, this one applies setting powder a little heavier, so use a light touch or be prepared to blend.

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The Final Verdict
By no means difficult to use, these brushes do take some playing around with the get the technique down. If you're willing to invest the time to learn to use your tools correctly, you'll be rewarded with streak-free, completely blended foundation and precise, controlled eye makeup. (Not to mention, you'll love putting on your makeup because the bristles are so soft.)

High-tech, soft fibers and a sleek, modern design that deliver streak-free, expertly blended results -- I'm off to Pinterest to find a way to display these gems (and keep them close at hand) on my vanity.

BY ALLIE FLINN | JAN 26, 2015 | SHARES
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