My favorite brush of all time to apply foundation is the Tarte’s buffer brush, but this little fella will leave you $34 poorer and I am not about that splurging life! I am always searching for drugstore dupes for my high-end products, so one day I stepped into Icing by Claire’s at the mall and found a brush that looked VERY similar to my Tarte one for less than a third of the price! What? how could I pass that up right? I ended up snagging one to try it out! (Find a tip for buying the Tarte one for cheaper at the end of this post).
Below is a shot of what they look like side by side. They’re even built with the same look with the brush being a bamboo material and the gold ferrule. Upon closer inspection you can see that the Icing brush is made out of plastic and not bamboo and the ferrule is a little longer than the Tarte one as well. You can also see that the Icing one is more fluffy than the Tarte one.
Here you can see the size of each brush head and how the Icing one is much bigger. And that is crazy because the Tarte brush is already the biggest foundation brush I own.
But in this case bigger doesn’t mean better! The icing brush is much less dense than the Tarte brush and the bristles are thinner, flimsier and spaced out. In my opinion, the bristles of a foundation brush need to be sturdy enough to work the product into the skin. And this Icing brush has too much give for my taste. Plus, my liquid foundations sinks into the Icing bristles a lot, so you end up wasting some product there. I ran my fingers through the Icing brush so you can see the density a bit better. You can totally see all the way into the white part. Whit my Tarte brush I can barely separate the bristles as they’re so tightly packed.
So, even though both brushes are VERY similar in looks, they definitely don’t perform the same. So the Icing brush CANNOT be considered a dupe for the Tarte brush. HOWEVER, that doesn’t mean this is not an excellent brush! This Icing brush has quickly became one of my favorite brushes to apply powder because it is SO large and soft. Here’s a close-up of the Icing Expert Kabuki brush:
I bought mine for $8.50, but the whole site is on sale right now with all brushes at $5. If you are looking for an EXCELLENT powder brush, this is your guy right here! I could not say enough wonderful things about it. It’s soft, sturdy, doesn’t shed and it’s dirt cheap, ya’ll!
Now, if you are looking for a good foundation brush, the Tarte one is definitely my favorite because it’s so big that it really cuts down application time in half for me. Just as a comparison, here are both brushes mentioned above near my Sigma F-82, which used to be my favorite. The F-82 just looks like a baby near the Tarte one. Of course the larger size is just my preference. Some people prefer a smaller brush that gives them more control and precision. But I am just IN LOVE with my Tarte one!
I use my Tarte brush daily with all of my liquid or cream foundations, so I would highly recommend the investment. Now here goes a little secret for ya: wait for a QVC deal to snag your Tarte brush! I bought mine when they had a combo deal with the brush and foundation (which is also my favorite) for $39. The deal is active right now at the QVC’s website if you want to check it out. Just the foundation itself costs $39, so this deal is unbeatable!
I am a brush fanatic, so I would definitely recommend both of the brushes mentioned in this post. But if you’re not feeling the investment on the Tarte one, keep tuned because I am working on a post that highlights my favorite drugstore-price brushes and they are all WONDERFUL!
I hope this post helped clarify the differences between both brushes! Have you ever used either brushes before or know of a true dupe for the Tarte brush? If yes, let us know in the comments below!