Hype Hound: Is The Artis Brush Worth The Splurge? | Clozette

The beauty world is full of things I never knew I needed and one of those are makeup applicators. It was only a few years ago when I started exploring brushes and sponge blenders. Before that, I just relied on my fingers or the generic puffs that come with the products to do the job of blending my foundation and blushes. So you can say that my discovery of intricate beauty tools is life-changing.

Each year, various new models of applicators promise a better way to achieve that elusive smooth and natural finish. But there are some that were more revered than others like the Artis Brush Fluenta Oval 7, which is available at Net-A-Porter.com. This innovative brush is created by Matthew Waitesmith, a makeup artist and photographer. He noticed that the typical brushes are actually built for makeup artists to use on clients, making it challenging for the average gal to apply makeup flawlessly. However, the Artis Brush, which features a unique angled handle and an oval head is specifically designed for self-application. At USD70, is it worth the splurge? Keep reading to find out.

Packaging and texture

Unlike your usual brushes, the Artis Brush Fluenta Oval 7 is especially packed and secured in a sturdy box. It certainly feels very fancy and reminded me of the wand packagings from Harry Potter. However, I think this would be an issue when you travel as it will take up a big space in your luggage. The alternative would be to pack just the brush, but would you really risk breaking an expensive beauty tool? 

As you can see, the bristles are densely packed

Moving on to the texture, I can confidently say that this Artis Brush's bristles are the softest fibres I have ever encountered in a brush. It feels so luxurious and pampering on the skin. None of the hairs sticks out and everything is evenly placed.

Application (Liquid formulas)

Left - After one stroke of blending; Right - Thoroughly blended

When it comes to liquid formulas, the advantage of using an Artis Brush is that it doesn't absorb too much product. Compared to other brushes where the foundation gets soaked up by the bristles, this one has the ability to hold makeup in place. With the first strokes, it felt like the Artis Brush was just smearing the product on my skin. But after a while, it begins to work its magic and it was as if the foundation melted into my skin. Talk about a seamless application! However, it doesn't work as well for concealers as it disperses the formula onto other parts of the face, making it hard to cover a spot. In my experience, dabbing a sponge is still the best way to blend concealers. 

Application (Powder products)

Left - Pigmented application by Artis Brush; Right - Barely-there application by generic brush

For powder products, there's also a significant difference between using the Artis Brush and a generic brush. Again, the Artis Brush doesn't absorb much product and as a result, the application is more pigmented with just one stroke. This is especially helpful if you're like me who, with the intention of wanting to have more vibrant cheeks, ends up putting too much.

Is it worth the splurge?

And now to the big question: is it worth splurge? If you're someone who is skilled at applying makeup with your usual set of brushes, then you can just stick to what you have. But for those who have a hard time working with an ordinary foundation brush like me, this beauty tool is very helpful as it guarantees a natural finish. I never have to worry about having those unsightly brush strokes because the oval head ensures a thorough and even blending. The angled handle design is also very innovative; it gives you more control over the direction of the brush. So personally, I'd say yes it's worth the splurge! And compared to makeup sponges that you have to replace every three to four months, this one can stay with you for years. 

Read more of our skincare and makeup reviews here.



Anyone who’s been to Japan will tell you that commodity prices in the country are expensive — and that includes cosmetics. That’s the reason why — surprise, surprise! — some Japanese beauty brands are cheaper to buy in neighbouring metropolitan areas like Hong Kong and Taiwan or, in some cases, even in your hometown. However, it doesn’t mean that you should skip the beauty shopping if you’re in Japan. There are numerous beauty brands that are definitely a better bargain when you buy it there. Here are some cheap Japanese beauty brands that you should check out.


Even though CANMAKE is considered a drugstore makeup for teens, its quality is comparable to high-end brands’ and is often cited as a good dupe for expensive favourites. Be sure to bring home the Cream Cheek Tint, which is loved for its natural, dewy and long-lasting finish. Its price is definitely cheaper in Japan for just around JPY300 (~USD2.66) a pop. In Tokyo, you can find CANMAKE products at drugstores like Matsumoto Kiyoshi.


Aside from being one of the most popular cheap Japanese beauty brands, Hakuhodo is hailed as one of the best makeup brush brands in the beauty world as they boast an array of handcrafted, high-quality tools. Each brush uses mostly natural hair tips instead of the usual laser-cut strands that make it overall softer and bouncy on the skin. For beginners, the J-Series, which features goat and horse hair combined with synthetic fibres, is perfect due to its resilience and great colour blending. You can head to their flagship shop in Kyoto or at their Minami Aoyama shop in Tokyo so you can buy directly from the producers.

Shu Uemura

It’s quite easy to get your hands on Shu Uemura products but if you’re already in Japan, why not stock on some of your favourites especially when they’re sold for a cheaper price? Don’t forget to include the famous Shu Uemura beauty cleansing oil on your shopping list! There are a lot of Shu Uemura stores in Japan’s major cities but it’s said that the lowest prices are at the Duty Free shops in the airports.

DHC Skincare

While some DHC Skincare products, such as their deep cleansing oil, are available locally for competitive prices, some of their newer releases are still more budget-friendly if you buy them in Japan. For example, the latest CoQ10 collection, which is an antioxidant-packed line, is still not readily available at beauty stores and most online vendors sell it for a high price. Buy it for less in Japan at Ainz & Tulpe stores.

Paul & Joe Beaute

Despite having a French founder and an English name, Paul & Joe Beaute is actually from the Land of the Rising Sun. One of the most beloved cheap Japanese beauty brands, it’s famous for its vintage and feline aesthetics with a splash of chic Parisian vibe. Get their must-have items such as the cat-shaped Lipstick UV, which has SPF25 PA+, and their illuminating pressed powder with lavender pearls that reflect light for a brighter-looking skin. All these products have lower prices compared to importers’. Drop by at their Takashimaya Shinjuku beauty counter to shop these goodies.

Enjoy travelling? Read more travel stories at Travel360.com.



Our “I Am Her” series features the female movers and shakers of the industry to learn how femininity and power coincide beautifully and seamlessly together.

Is there a secret recipe for having it all? Some may argue that it cannot be done, while others may say it's possible only it will not happen all at the same time. If you're searching for the answer, Jen Gerodias Diaz, CEO of Snoe Beauty Inc., says that "work-life balance is the secret to happiness." And we're definitely following her tip. In her 40s, Jen stays fun, fit and fab — all while running a beauty brand and living life as a woman who takes charge. Ahead, we chat with Jen to learn more about how it's like to work in the competitive world of beauty and how she stays calm and happy.

Fill in the blank: I am an entrepreneur, a mom and ___________. 

A professional multi-tasker.

What made you decide to venture into the world of beauty?

My educational background is Bachelor of Fine Arts, Major in Fashion. Going into beauty came naturally since I love beautiful things and given my background in colour theory because of Art School. I am also fascinated with science and I'm one of those people who would wonder how things are made from scratch. That's why I enrolled myself to a cosmetic science course to learn about cosmetic product formulation.

What sets Snoe apart from other beauty brands?

Aside from priding ourselves for being locally made, Snoe carries a wider range of products than most local brands which includes skincare, haircare, makeup, fragrances, beauty supplements, and beauty tools. This is what sets us apart because our mission is to provide what every girl needs to be fine, fun and fab.

What’s your most favourite product from your line? The one you can’t live without.

There's not just one! But if I were to pick my favourite, it would be Stink Positive, an instant shower top-to-toe spray. I created it out of my own personal need because I wanted a product that would make me feel and smell fresh before, during and after working out without taking a shower.

What’s the best beauty advice you’ve been given?

Use SPF daily and don't worry, be happy!

What’s the best thing about working in the beauty industry? What’s the most challenging?

The best thing is that because I love what I do, the process of creating the products doesn't feel like work. I actually enjoy solving and overcoming challenges that come along with the job.

Who is your beauty icon and why?

Hmm... Can you believe I have none? I'd like to think of myself as unique.

You’re the definition of looking good while doing what you do. How do you stay empowered to make that happen every day?

I am pretty much chill. But I do believe that one has to always look good and be well dressed at all times. Not because I want to impress others but because I want to feel good and confident about myself. I also believe that work-life balance is the secret to happiness. It's giving equal importance and time for family, work, leisure and myself. That way, you don't feel guilty or unfulfilled or regretful about one aspect of your life.

Share your five closet essentials.

Black compression leggings, prints, colour, texture, and lately, chunky daddy sneakers.

What’s next for you and Snoe Beauty?

I recently launched my YouTube channel called Fine Fun Fab. It's about a 40-something woman's quest to live an ageless life. I'm also going to launch my blog soon. For Snoe, we will be upgrading the product lines, renovating our stores and expanding in more distribution channels.

Find other inspiring women here.