Review: Ecotools Retractable Kabuki Brush

By Voxy  

Short and sweet: If you are looking for a kabuki brush, buy this one now.

Oh. Huh. Maybe I should have saved that bit for the end. The problem is that I don’t have much to say about this brush because it is pretty much perfect, and you know the saying: If you can’t say anything not-nice, don’t say anything at all.

Whaddya mean, that’s not how it goes?

This is a great kabuki for a couple of reasons: 1) price, b) quality, and iii) retractability. Ecotools are available online and at some retailers, although selection will vary; my Target doesn’t have this brush, for example, but my ULTA did. Secret tip: Ecotools brushes are packaged in firm plastic sleeves with ziptop closures, which you can actually open in-store and feel the brush head. After some costly disappointments some years ago, I no longer buy any brushes I can’t at least grope ahead of time.

The brush head is smooth and exceptionally soft, the bristles are densely packed but not stiff, and the retracting mechanism seems pretty reliable, at least once you realize it’s a simple plunger mechanism and you stop trying to twist it. (See? I just saved you 10 minutes in your morning routine!)

Seriously, if you’re in the market for a kabuki for the application of mineral foundation, blush, or finishing powder, you can’t go wrong with this one, and it’s travel-friendly to boot. You will want to be sure to dry it upside down and fully extended after washing — which you would do anyway, right? — since you want to be really sure that water doesn’t sit at the base of the bristles and loosen the glue in there.


Ecotools Retractable Kabuki Brush: $10.99 at ULTA (I used my 20% off coupon and so I got it for about $8.79; you may also be able to pick it up for less via a drugstore sale or BOGO)

Provenance: Purchased.

Price/Value Ratio (drugstore: poor/fair/good/excellent): Excellent.

Purchase again? Yes, absolutely.

(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Let us know in the comments!)

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  1. avatar Wormold
    Posted April 15, 2010 at 10:28 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I’ve had this brush since about January– and I LOVE it. So much better than the travel Bare Minerals brush I had before. Love. Love. Love. I’m going to get a second one to keep at my office.


  2. avatar marigolds
    Posted April 7, 2010 at 9:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

    MY GOD, vox, did you check out the other links on that tutorial’s webpage? Look at her makeup storage (warning: you will drool!)


    • avatar Voxy
      Posted April 7, 2010 at 9:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I have seen that. Temptalia’s is worse! I mean, I’m all for the acquisition of items, but there comes a point for me at which things suddenly become too much. That would be too much for me. I like to use everything I have.

      The storage system is nice, though, and if I didn’t have an investment in doing most of my makeup in the bathroom (in other words, if I had suitable light elsewhere), I might look for such a system.


  3. avatar marigolds
    Posted April 7, 2010 at 8:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I like Everyday Minerals, ILC. (I discovered it when I was wading through the ENTIRE girly skincare and makeup thread.) Lots of shades, good coverage (I think you can choose whether you want natural, sheer, or intensive formulations) and no itchy breakouty bismuth powder like BM. Lots of the people on makeupalley swear by it (and those are some makeup-loving women over there.)


    • avatar Voxy
      Posted April 7, 2010 at 9:53 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Yes… now if only more of them were over 18, it would be a more fun place to hang out! Filtering the reviews by age does help a lot when you’re looking at products.


  4. avatar Indianalitchick
    Posted April 7, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I’ve been using the L’Oreal mineral foundation, but it seems to “creamy” in texture. Since I have oily skin I use the mattifyer powder on top, but it’s white and makes me look more ghostly than I already am! I’ve heard that Bare Minerals makes some people break out, and I already have that to deal with–any suggestions for another brand?


    • avatar Voxy
      Posted April 7, 2010 at 9:51 pm | Permalink | Reply

      The L’Oreal is one of the more moisturizing brands (which for me is great, since I have dry skin, but I could easily see how it would be a little too rich for oily skin).

      In addition to the Everyday Minerals that marigolds mentions below, you might try Pür Minerals. Both of them regularly get good reviews. In either case, if you can pick up a sample anywhere (I think both lines offer them), it would be good to try before you buy.

      In the drugstore line, I also remember really liking the Neutrogena powder mineral makeup, but this was the one that (at the time) came with a scratchy brush that was attached to the product so that the powder came out right through the brush. I don’t remember how creamy it was, though.


  5. avatar Indianalitchick
    Posted April 7, 2010 at 11:22 am | Permalink | Reply

    I bought this a couple of weeks ago to replace the too scratchy brush that came with some mineral makeup, and I love it!


    • avatar Voxy
      Posted April 7, 2010 at 11:50 am | Permalink | Reply

      Yay! I’m glad it’s not just me. ;) I love this brush.

      Their other kabukis are not as good — the little tiny ones that come in the multi-piece sets, I mean. The hairs are much more loosely packed and they’re kind of frustrating to use. But this one is great!


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