I’ve been using the Bdellium Pointed Foundation Brush #949 ($15.40, Amazon) for a few months now, and it’s one of those tools I don’t know how I ever did without.
First, a quick word about the brand. Bdellium brushes are all treated with “antibacterial technology” to make them resistant to the bacteria and fungi that can grow in makeup brushes. They also use a lot of sustainable materials, and their brushes are cruelty free – they do offer natural fiber brushes as well as synthetic, but they are made from pony and goat hair which can be naturally trimmed without any discomfort to the animal. Bdellium makes several lines of brushes, with Maestro being the most expensive, and all the lines have all the same brushes, just made slightly differently. So, for example, if you want this one, but want to spend a bit less, check it out in their Studio line. Or if you want the most sustainable possible version, look at the Bambu line.
This is a round, domed brush that’s good for getting into tight corners. It’s called a foundation brush, but it’s also recommended for contouring and highlighting. With foundation, it allows you to blend foundation in areas such as under the eye or around the nose flawlessly. Whether it’s big enough to apply foundation to the whole face is a matter of personal preference: if you like a big foundation brush, this might not suit you, but it does do a very nice job applying foundation.
I mainly use it for highlighting and contouring (I use my fingers to apply foundation). You can stroke or roll a powder or liquid highlighter wherever you like, or you can stroke on contouring and then gently buff the edges with this same brush to get a contour that’s definitely noticeable to you, but not to anyone who didn’t see you before you put it on.
I believe this is a synthetic brush. The website doesn’t say either way, but when I bought it at Imats, the salesperson told me the Maestro line includes both natural and synthetic fiber brushes. Since this one looks synthetic, I assume it is. But you’d be hard pressed to tell from performance – it’s just excellent.
General quality notes: I have had absolutely no shedding on this, after using it for several months and washing it quite a few times. Everything about the brush seems very well-crafted, and the weight and length of the handle works wonderfully for me (though this is partly a personal taste issue). This brush is sort of magical to me – it’s like it enables me to do whatever I can imagine. I love finding a tool like this!