Thursday, 9 December 2010

Curious about the E.L.F. Stippling Brush? Me too.

Recently E.L.F., budget cosmetics magnate, released a flurry of new brushes for all of us to ponder over. One of the brushes which has piqued curiosity in particular is their new Studio Line Stippling Brush, which shows how E.L.F. have noted the niche market of MAC's 187 and decided they would have a pop as well.

Having owned three 187 brushes, been bitterly disappointed and foisted them off to various friends and family members, I still fell hook, line and sinker into the trap; lured by the £3.50 price tag and obvious simulacrum of MAC's iconic skunk brush, I was interested to see how this compared, if it did indeed compare.

You can see by the pictures that this isn't a straight-cut dead-ringer for the much-beloved 187; its proportions of a long, skinny handle and long bristles make it more of a dense 188. It is extremely lightweight - not a bad thing but borders on feeling flimsy, and unlike other Studio brushes by E.L.F., it doesn't feel reassuringly well-made.

Full-whammy shot!

The bristles let this brush down. During its first wash, 4 bristles fell out immediately, and more broke upon using it to stipple my foundation on; I doubt it would last very long for daily use, and is definitely not suitable for professional use. The bristles themselves are soft to the touch, but far too soft to get that airbrushed look people flock to these sorts of brushes to achieve. The bristles just seem to collapse when touched to the face for some stippling action; they're just not robust enough - which makes me think that this may well be better as a blush brush.

Detail shot!

Not dense enough, not well-made enough and a cheap pipe dream of a MAC 187. It is functional but flimsy-feeling; the bristles are too soft and pliable with 4 falling out on the first wash. The finish it delivers isn't half bad, considering, and it's worth its £3.50 price tag, but definitely no more than that. If you're a serious stippler looking for a cheap 187, then go elsewhere, but if you're looking for a functional foundation brush on a budget, then this may work for you - but the Studio Powder Brush tramples all over it in terms of quality and finish.


  1. do you think it will be ok for cream blush I am waiting for one coming

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. @Louise I think it'll work really nicely for cream blush - it's just not perfect for foundation in my opinion :)

  4. Thanks for the review! Making a cheap 187 seems to be quite difficult :D

    I was hoping to use this brush with finishing powders or loose mineral blushes. Do you think it'll work with those?

  5. @Fairie More difficult than you'd think, apparently ;) I think it would work with both of those - but the brush head is quite small, so it's not ideal for a finishing powder unless you're powdering small areas :) I think it'd work with a mineral blush; it seems better made for a cream-based blush, but I can't see why it wouldn't work! I reckon it'd be good for MAC MSFs too :)

  6. Thanks for the review. Have you tried their new flawless foundation or tinted moisturizer? I picked up both and the tinted moisturizer is a major bust, I find the foundation to be very drying, nice packaging though.

  7. It's a shame it's not great because I really wanted a M.A.C dupe, oh well!

  8. Great review - same it didn't live up to anything really, as I do love to stipple!

    But oh well, least I know to pass on this as soft bristles for stipple just don't work.

    Fee x

  9. Darn! I purchased two of these last week which haven't arrived yet! I should have looked at some reviews before mad crazy :o stipple brush buying!

    Ahh well, I've never had any problems with elf brushes, infact I love them! So I will still keep faith in this brush until I try it out for myself. If its not that good for foundation I will use them for blush/powder.

    I generally use their Powder brush to stipple on my foundation and I find it gives me a great blended finish when used in stippling/circle motions,.
    Great review. x

  10. Thanks for the review. I've had mixed success with the ELF brushes although for the price I can't really complain! I was wondering about this one but think I'll give it a miss (not even sure what I was planning on using it but I wanted it regardless!) x

  11. good review <3 ~ I don't think ppl usually hv much positive review on ELF huh... ~~

    @ Read the story here. Please Help, Thank you.

    @ xoxo HitomiNeko xoxo

  12. @Justine Never tried either - I've always been a bit scared to, as while they might be good, they probably won't be as good (in my mind) as the ones I already have! They could be holy grail, but from what you've said, I'm guessing not ;)

    @Cherries in the Snow Some people do like it, but I just feel like it's a bit of a let-down :( It is a shame, for me.

    @Fee Too right! I'm not a huge fan of stippling, so this review was possibly more critical in light of that, but I do feel like it's not a worthy dupe, sadly :( x

  13. @VainGlorySinner oops, sorry! I don't think you'll HATE it, though, which is a positive thing! I don't mind it, and have been using it pretty regularly for cream blush, so at least it's not a total bust in my eyes :) The Powder Brush from them is totally awesome - I think that's why I was disappointed in this stipple brush - because the Powder Brush works so well for something it's not designed for, whereas this one doesn't really even do the task it's designed for well! x

    @LilyLipstick It's pretty good for cream blush, but if you've ever used the Powder Brush for foundation, you'll know how good that is, and how this one just pales in comparison ;) x

    @HitomiNeko Some of the ELF products are pretty great, though! Sadly this one just didn't live up to the others in my opinion :(

  14. It looks a bit flimsy in the picture itself. I like Sigma's version of the MAC's 287. It sheds too but is firm enough cream blushes.

    I love to use the flat top buffer by ELF for foundation. I think I bought that one seeing one your videos!

  15. A pity. Do you know other Stippling Brushes that are comparable to the MAC version. MAC seems still to expensive to me...thanks!

  16. @Silvia I don't, as a matter of fact :( I'd say out of all the stippling brushes I've tried, the Real Techniques one by Samantha Chapman has been the best - though it's not as long in the bristles, and it's more dense than the ELF and MAC ones.

  17. if you don't like it, can you send me yours? :D

  18. Just out of curiousity... the 3 MAC187 that you owned... were they special edition or did you pay the full price for them? I've heard that the SE quality is not as good as the regular one. I own a 187 SE from 3 years ago. It shed a little bit after so many washes, but I have never found a stippling brush as good as this. I'm even tempted to buy the regular 187... but that's so expensive, so I was looking for cheaper alternatives because I use my 187 on a regular basis and needed more than one. I agree with your review on the ELF stippling brush. But yeah could u please tell me if you're comparing the real technique brush with MAC 187SE or just MAC 187? It would really help me to decide. Thank you :)

    1. All were full-sized 187s, and I am comparing both the ELF brush and the Real Techniques brush with the original 187 brush. I have never found the 187 to be an impressive brush, at all though!

    2. Thank you for replying. I bought the Real Technique brush... it's gonna take a while to be shipped to my address... let's see how it works against the 187... if it turns out to be better then it means I don't have to spend on another 187. :)


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