I recently gave away and threw out old brushes in my collection that just weren't cutting it anymore. After purchasing my first Japanese-made brushes by Hakuhodo, Wayne Goss and Chikuhodo last year, I couldn't stop thinking about expanding my brush collection to include more blue squirrel and goat hair brushes. Beautylish just started carrying Rae Morris, an Australian brand founded by a famous makeup artist by the same name, that I have been eyeing for a long time but never ordered from due to the pricey international shipping. Forty-eight hours after placing my order, I had four new eyeshadow brushes to try out!
**UPDATE 3/14/15: In the end, I sent the Rae Morris brushes back to be returned. I just couldn't justify the cost of two sub-par, scratchy brushes that were a literal pain to use.**
First off, let's look at the size comparisons between Rae Morris and Chikuhodo as compared to a Mac brush. The Chikuhodo GSN series features a very long white handle and a gold ferule. I love the white and gold combination but I don't like such a long handle. The Rae Morris brushes are absolutely teeny in comparison. I like the wooden looking handles but they're not weighty at all. At the end there is a metal component which helps it stick onto the magnetic plate that Rae Morris designed so that you can stick all your brushes upright. The magnets of the brushes actually stick together so sometimes when I grab one from my brush holder (not the plate), it will pull out the other brush as well. This is quite annoying and not a feature I find very useful.
Rae Morris has excellent packaging for her brushes. Each brush comes in a plastic airtight sleeve with some information about the brand on the back. I wish Rae Morris would have stated where these brushes were manufactured more clearly. I had mistakenly assumed that these were Japanese brushes but I had to go on her website to investigate. It turns out the brushes are manufactured in China. This information is nowhere to be found on the packaging or on the Beautylish website from what I saw.
Onto the individual brush reviews and comparisons.... My favorite brush out of the four is the Chikuhodo GSN-09. This blue squirrel brush is $25 and as soft as my Wayne Goss eyeshadow brush. The shape is a cross between the Mac 239 and Mac 217 brushes. In the above picture, you can see the brush compared to the Mac 217. It has a long flat shape that makes it good for sweeping shadow all over the lids. It does not fan out so it doesn't make a great blending brush if you have more than one color on the eyes.
The Chikuhodo GSN-10 brush is a goat hair brush that I thought was similar to the Mac 217 however it is more rounded and not pinched at the ferule. This $21 brush is actually more similar in size and shape to my Wayne Goss 04 brush but obviously not as soft due to the hair. The GSN-10 is a good all over blending brush and I've used this as a last step blending brush.
I wanted the Rae Morris #12 Lash Line Smudger brush because I thought it would be nearly identical to the Mac 239 brush. As you can see, the two are very similar. The Rae Morris brush is $22 and made of blue squirrel hair. However, with both the Rae Morris brushes I purchased, the blue squirrel hairs are definitely not as soft as my Wayne Goss or Chikuhodo blue squirrel hairs. With the Rae Morris #12, the soft-factor isn't as important since I use this brush to pack product onto my eyelids.
However, with the Rae Morris #9 Detail Point Shader, the lack of softness is an issue. Here I've compared the Rae Morris #9 (right) to the Wayne Goss 04 brush. The Rae Morris brush is $25 but I'd say save that money to buy the Wayne Goss brush for $28 instead. Although both brushes are blue squirrel, the Rae Morris brush feels scratchy on the eyelids at times whereas the Wayne Goss brush is like silk. I wanted the Rae Morris #9 because it's more narrow and smaller so it would be great for placing color into my small socket area. It works but it's not great and for the price, I was expecting better quality.
Watch the video below to see the brushes in more detail!
I have to be honest and say I was disappointed in the Rae Morris brushes. The bristle quality was not what I was expecting and it's not nearly as good as other brands in the same price range. I'd say the Chikuhodo GSN-09 brush is worthy of a spot in everyone's brush collection and I'm happy to have it in mine. I hope to purchase some Hakuhodo brushes in the near future so hopefully I'll have better luck with those. What are your favorite eyeshadow brushes?