It’s not exactly easy to reinvent the makeup brush. MAC did so last year with its toothbrushlike MasterClass brushes — and now a relatively new makeup-brush line, Artis Fluenta, adds another twist. Fluenta’s brushes are luxurious without being too precious; so soft that they feel like you’re massaging your face with a stuffed teddy bear.
Each brush is lean and outfitted with short, densely packed synthetic hairs. The end of each handle curves under, like E.T.’s fingers — which, Artis founder Matthew Waitesmith says is designed to perform like an extension of the hand for precise and manageable control.
I found that the brushes were easiest to use when gripped like a pencil and applied to my face in long, circular strokes. But what sold me on them was their ability to transfer makeup. Instead of swooshing my usual makeup brush into a pot of bronzer several times, one swipe of an Artis Fluenta brush is all it took to carefully make up my face. As a result, the duration of my morning routine has been cut in half.
The brand offers nine brush sizes — from a super-thin brush that can mimic the effects of a kohl eyeliner to a brush with a head the size of a grape. The Oval 4, which is roughly the size of my thumb, helped me contour around the hollows of my cheeks, while Oval 6, which is slightly bigger, best served as a highlighting instrument. At the size of a pea, Circle 1 allowed me to densely pack shadow all over my lids in a few strokes. My one gripe is that some of the brushes, like Oval 8 and Oval 10, are just too big (10 is the size of a small child and barely fits into my finishing-powder jar). But — as I asked myself this morning while I put on my makeup in five minutes flat — if they work better than any brush I’ve ever used, who cares?
Artis Fluenta Brushes, $36 to $90 at Neiman Marcus.