The Artis Makeup Brush

My latest brush acquisition is this Elite Mirror 5 Brush Set from Artis Brush.

Over the years, I have seen these brushes pop up online every so often. I have been been generally intrigued by it. I first saw this modern makeup brush from MAC. However, upon seeing the design sensibility of Artis,  I wanted to have one.

Nat passed on to me this Elite Mirror 5 Brush Set during my recent trip to New York. He had this in stock but he never used it. This set comes with:

Elite Mirror Oval 6
The Elite Mirror Oval 6 ($55)


Elite Mirror Oval 4
The Elite Mirror Oval 4 ($45)


Elite Mirror Oval 3
The Elite Mirror Oval 3 ($40)


Elite Mirror Circle 1
The Elite Mirror Circle 1 ($35)


Elite Mirror Linear 1
The Elite Mirror Linear 1 ($35)

This set retails for $165 with a $210 value.

Nat and I have discussed the ergonomic design of this brush in detail. Using this for the first time will take some getting used to. We have come to the conclusion that it is easier to use this brush on oneself than using it on somebody else.

The brush heads of Artis are designed to be like the pad of your fingertips. Therefore the movement in makeup application is the same as that when you are using your fingers.

The bristles on the brush are very compact but very soft. It’s the same sensation as running your fingers through a very fine piece of Persian carpet. I used this on Suzi Abrera when I did her makeup for the show (MARS) we work on, she found them to be very soft. The bristles glide smoothly. She said it was like a cross between a brush and a sponge.

The fibres are called Cosmefibre. Synthetically produced to be more superior than that of natural animal bristles. These fibres do not absorb any product. This means more product is delivered unto the skin, less residue on the brush.

I have used this with cream, liquid and powdered products. It’s very versatile. I have used these for foundation, cream and powder blush, concealer, powder and cream eyeshadow, eyeliner, gel and powdered eyebrow products and lipstick. It does the job, with a little bit of practice.

I clean my Artis brush heads the same way I clean my traditional brushes. Although Artis has it’s own cleaning system. I find it too extravagant and wasteful (click here to see their full range of cleaning products.). I still prefer to clean my brushes on the palm of my hands or on a brush cleaning pad with an anti-bacterial washing agent.

Over time, as a makeup artist, you will find your own rhythm, your own style, your own process. The tools you use will adapt to this. As an artist, you can use any brush to suit your needs at any given time. As with any other brush, there is no one specific way that you have to use them. What works for you might not necessarily work for other, and that is totally fine!

To see tips on how to individually use the brushes featured in this blog, here are a few videos from the Artis Brush Youtube page:

The Oval 6:

The Oval 4:

The Oval 3:

The Circle 1:

The Linear 1:

Artis Brushes are made by Japanese manufacturing company Taiki. The brushes however are produced in China. The brain behind the redesigned brushes from Artis is former MAC executive Mathew Waitesmith.


Emergency Brush Kit

My old emergency brush kit

If you are an aspiring makeup artist, I suggest that you build an emergency brush kit. Trust me, you’ll need it.

It always happens on a hectic week; in between shows, private clients, Mars taping and TVC shoots. When I am pressed for time, I do a simple cleansing routine on my brushes after work that evening. After cleaning them with a brush cleaner, I put them on a rack to dry; ready to be used the next day.

I get to work and start setting up. As soon as I open my light box, my brush belt is not there. I realize that my brushes are still at home; on the rack beside the kitchen counter.

I panic. Going back home to get them is not an option. Manila traffic is not my best friend. I stop for a minute to think of what to do. It dawns on me. I have a “purse” full of brushes in my back pack. I start to relax.

In my entire professional career, this has happened to me twice. From then on, I have always been mindful of my brushes.


I never intended to build an emergency brush kit. It just sort of happened.

Early in my career (circa 2009), I had a fascination with double-ended brushes from Laura Mercier. I collected them when she’d release them as limited edition travel sized brushes during Christmas season. It’s practically everything that you’d need to complete a look.

The brushes you can see above are a combination of two brushes released a year apart.  One was sold as a traveling brush set and came with a brush purse. The other one was sold as part of a smoky eye set. Because of this, I practically have brushes for foundation, powder, blush, eye shadow (cream and powder), eyeliner, brows, concealer, and lips.

To this day, I tend to save brushes from used blush sets from Benefit, mainly just for posterity. The brushes remind me of kabuki brushes from Japan.  That small fan brush came with a tester set for some mineral powder from Laura Mercier. I have two C157 brushes from Crown Brush that were a gift from my best friend Nat.

All of these were in a small brush purse that I kept in my back pack. Let me say that these brushes were not really  “kept”, they were constantly being used in conjunction with my full-sized brushes. It even came a point that I used these mini brushes more often than the full-sized ones. I relegated these brushes to “emergency brush set” status after I left my brushes at home for the second time.



A week ago, I decided to revamp my emergency brush kit. The brush purse has finally out-outlived it’s use.

Revamped emergency brush kit


I now house the brushes in a small container intended for tools. This keeps the bristles from bending out of shape or the brushes from snapping in half.

I’ve added a few brushes that I don’t use on a regular basis. Like the lip brushes from the OCC Lip Tar kit and an old Makeup Forever Lip kit, The Touch Up Brush from Bobbi Brown, The Mac 183 Flat Top Kabuki Brush (currently discontinued) and an Ita Kabuki Brush. I’ve also added some testers (primers and foundations), eyelash glue and a triangular sponge to the mix because “you’ll never know”.

Many of the popular brands have travel brush sets for sale all year round but it’s only displayed prominently around Christmas season. There are some brands that include mini brushes in an eye/ lip palette. You do not have to buy everything in one go. It’s best to check what you have then look around and see what you need.

This is a great idea not only for makeup artists but for ladies out there. Especially those type of women who doesn’t like to splurge on a full-sized brush but appreciates the quality of a well made product. Usually the price of a travel brush set equals to that of a single full-sized brush or even two full-sized brushes; depending on your chosen brand. So choose and spend wisely.


If you are primarily working in a city like Metro Manila, where traffic is horrendous, back tracking home to get your brushes is not a good idea. TIME is of the essence so it’s always best to be prepared. It pays to have an emergency brush kit in your bag.




SAKURA Art Brushes

If you are an avid lover of gel eyeliners or water activated eyeliners who is currently looking for a brush to use, here is a suggestion:

Sakura Art Brushes.

Available at National Book Store.

Costs between P198 to Php226, depending on brush size.

Top: 3/0 Sakura Brush 555 | Middle: 2 Sakura Brush 855 | Bottom: 3 Sakura Brush 555

Of the three brushes shown on the photo on top, the number 2 Sakura Brush (the one in the middle), is what I have been using the longest.

Like, since college.

I initially bought it for an art project but never used until I started being a pageant queen in the local pageant circuit.

I have been using this brush for a little over 10 years now and I have learned to gain control of this brush. I can thin out or thicken or a line depending on the pressure I exert on the bristles.

For the regular woman, I suggest using the number 3/0 or the number 0 Sakura Brush 555. It’s roughly the same size as most eyeliner brushes out in the market today.


The brush heads

The reason why I have varying brush sizes is because there might be times that I would need to create specific details for a certain eyeliner look.

I also use these brushes to create a cut crease or any eye shadow detail as needed. Since this is made out of nylon, I can use whatever type of eye shadow formula. May it be powder based, cream based, water based or even silicone based. These brushes can work with it.


I know you’re still wrapping your head around the fact that I use art brushes for make up. Let me say that I am one of many makeup artists out there who use art brushes for work.

Again, if you are looking for an eyeliner brush to use, try checking out Sakura brushes. It is durable, versatile, easy to maintain and most of all, inexpensive.






Coastal Scents: Elite 24 Piece Brush Set and 22 Piece Brush Set

Starting out in the world of Makeup Artistry is expensive. Especially when brushes are involved. I know you want to have the top of the line, popular, and branded brushes to grace your makeup kit, but it’s more practical to invest on a brush set when you are starting out.

Here’s why.

  • A brush set practically solves your problems. You’d have all the necessary tools needed to complete a face.
  • A brush set is a “saner” purchase that buying individual brushes. It saves you money.
  • Eventually, you’ll loose a brush. It will happen. When it does, it won’t weight heavily on your heart.

Over time, once you earn more and decide to “level up”, these brushes become your back up brushes and you can use them as you deem fit. Like maybe for body makeup application or for special effects.


If you are planning to study makeup artistry or currently a budding makeup artist in need of tools, here’s a suggestion.

Coastal Scents is a brand that sells bath and beauty products. It was my best friend Nat, a New York based makeup artist, who introduced me to this brand. They sell a variety of makeup products, makeup tools and other personal care items at very affordable prices. The only catch is, the company is based in the United States. The good news is they ship world-wide and shipping is free anywhere in the continental US for orders above $50. For more shipping info click here.

I purchased an Elite Brush Set from their website and had it shipped to a friend’s home in Chicago who was bound to come home.

The Elite Brush Set
It is a collection of 24 professional cosmetic brushes. As you can see, this set has everything you need. The synthetic brushes are mounted on a bamboo handle which are held together with a black ferrule.  The beige (black optional) foldable brush case is included in the purchase. These type of brushes are best to use with cream or liquid products.

This retails for $99.95 (Php4,500) on their website. Price indicated excludes shipment costs, custom duties and taxes for international buyers. I know it seems quite expensive BUT (for the sake of comparison) one MAC brush can cost, at most, $53 (Php 2350). To read more about this brush set click here to be brought to their website.

I also purchased a 22 piece brush set from Coastal Scents.

22 Piece Brush Set. But I lost one brush…
This brush set is a mix of synthetic and natural bristled brushes with an all black ferrule and handle. Again the foldable brush case comes with the purchase. It costs $59.95 (Php2600). Again, price indicated excludes shipment costs, custom duties and taxes for international buyers.  To be brought to the product listing on their website, click here.

Out of the two brush sets, this would be the most useful because you can use these brushes for cream/liquid products and powder products.


Here’s the good part. Coastal Scents  always goes on sale. ALWAYS. I bought these two products when they were on sale at 50% off. At that time, I was regularly checking out their website ( and Instagram page (Coastal Scents IG) for sale updates. I suggest you do so as well.

Once again if you are searching for tools that are affordable, dependable, and not tested on animals Coastal Scents is for you. Remember, at the end of the day it doesn’t matter how expensive or cheap your brushes are, it’s about how you use them.


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