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.
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.
THE FINAL WORD
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.