Artis Brush Next Generation Elite Smoke Collection Review

I FINALLY BOUGHT THEM! I have been wanting to buy the Artis Brushes for so long and I decided there was no better time.

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Now, I definitely don’t think that these are a necessity, but as I liked using these cheaper versions, I knew there were at least a few of their counterparts I wanted to try.

That said, I do think that these are better. They work better and are better quality. It’s purely up to you to decide whether they are worth it.

If you want to know more about the individual brushes and see close up photos then continue reading my review.

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So, every one knows that these brushes are pricey. The good old Australian dollar conversion makes them extra expensive. With this in mind, I spent a while researching and whittling down the ones I wanted, to the ones I knew (and hoped) would use daily. I didn’t want these as a supplement to my small collection of bdellium and Real Techniques. I wanted to completely replace them.

While I love the aesthetics of these, the denseness of the bristles is what attracted me the most. My everyday brushes for foundation are the bdellium 957 and the Real Techniques Expert Face brush. I’ve had both for a few years and the bdellium is losing shape, while the Real Techniques completely came apart.

Other than my bronzer and foundation, I use mostly creams, so these brushes are ideal. I choose the Elite Smoke because one of the main complaints of the Mirror Collection is that they stain easily and it doesn’t wash off. I finally settled on the 5 Brush Set and the Oval 7. I also figured that the choices were quite similar to the cheaper versions I’d already tried, so I could compare.

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5 Brush Set

The 5 Brush set contains an Oval 6, Oval 4, Oval 3, Linear 1 and Circle 1. It retails for $170.00 USD and about $230.00 AUD. Each brush is crafted with  Cosmefibre. The bristles, as well as the ergonomic design are what set these brushes apart. I’m not sure which post of theirs states this, but on their own Instagram, Artis has confirmed that the Next Gen brush handles are alloy and not plastic as they previously were.

Oval 6 – Foundation, Blush, Contour

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I had to watch quite a few videos to understand the true size of this. They say it can be used for foundation but it’s a little small for quick application of foundation all over the face. I personally use it for blending out blush. The way the bristles are packed in so tightly, means it picks up a lot more product than you’ve expect. It’s also quite hard to see how much product you’ve picked up as well so I like to test it on the back of my hand first. Even if you’re caught out with applying too much the brush blends the product out easily and seamlessly.

I had bought the similar sized dupe of the Oval 4, but if you’ve read my other post, then you’ll know it broke. It broke with little pressure and not that long after buying it so yes, I am more than happy to pay the extra money for this version.

Oval 4 – Eye makeup, Concealer

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This pairs perfectly with cream eyeshadow. It a little big for my mobile lid, so I use it for a broader sweep of one colour. It feels a little firmer than the Oval 6 but the bristles themselves are smooth and soft.

Comparing to the Artis dupes, it’s slightly bigger without such a rounded brush head. The bristles are definitely similar but the dupe is denser and also stiffer. I stopped using the dupe for eyeshadow creams because I didn’t like the feel of it on my eyelid. I much prefer the Artis and I also think it blends it out nicer.

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Oval 3 – Eye makeup, Concealer

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This size is perfect for both my eyelid crease and my eyelid. When my eyes are open, I only have a tiny space left and I love using this to place a hint of highlighter there. I can also use it for blending colours into my crease and it works great, with little effort. I think if you’re wanting detailed layering, it might not be perfect for you, but I tend to use maybe 2 colours there if I’m lucky.

Linear 1 – Eye liner, Brows

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I’ve watched reviews saying you can’t achieve a sharp line with these and granted it won’t be a fine tipped perfect point, but seriously I find this easier to use than a normal brow or eyeliner brush. In fact, I prefer this now. If used at the right angle, it deposits the right amount of colour that tapers off into a nice clean point, on both my eyebrows and eyelids.

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This brush head on the Artis is much thinner and smaller than the dupe and it applies colour in a smoother, thinner and sharper line. I definitely prefer the Artis.

Circle 1 – Lip colour, Eye shadow, Spot Concealer

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This is the perfect brush for applying a diffused application of any lip colour. The shape of it also means you can carve out the shape of your lips. This is one I might consider buying another only because I like using it for highlighter on the inner corners of my eyes, but once it’s used for lip colour, the pigment bleeds down through the bristles. Out of all the brushes this is the hardest to clean.

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The dupe has a rounded head and achieved the same soft application of lip colour as the Artis. They both have the issue of colour bleeding down into the bristles so I only prefer the Artis based on the quality and aesthetics. The Circle 1R also has a rounded brush head so I’d prefer to buy that if I felt the need to have another.

Oval 7

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I much prefer using this brush for foundation over the bdellium or other kabuki brushes I’ve used, even for mineral foundation. It’s so soft and so densely packed that any pigment stays on top of the bristles and it buffs out so nicely on my skin. It works even better for cream and liquid foundation. There are no streaks and it’s so quick. It’s also a great size. I can still reach all the places around my nose and eyes but it’s big enough to cover my cheeks and rather large forehead in no time!

Final Verdict

Pure and simple, I love these. I love the way they look, I love using them, I love how they apply product. They’re easier to clean and in turn to keep clean. I can either rub them over a micro fibre cloth or a makeup wipe and they come clean very easily. The only one that requires a bit of work is the Circle 1. I personally wouldn’t buy the cleaning system they sell, because it’s expensive and a little unnecessary.

I don’t love how expensive they are, but to me they are worth it. A big caveat with that sentiment though is that I think the Next Gen brushes are worth it. I would actually be annoyed if I paid the same amount for the old, plastic version. While I was in America, I had a look at those and while the brush head was comparable, the handles felt flimsier and cheaper.

Overall I’m very happy I splurged. It’s minimized my brush collection. I had no issues with changing how I hold the brushes or apply product. The way they’re designed actually means your hand isn’t in front of your face, rather to the side and this makes it easier to see what you’re doing.

So while I’m happy to have spent the money, I know they are an absolute luxury. I don’t see the need to buy the 10 brush set, as there are brushes at least 4 I wouldn’t use at all. I truly believe that you can achieve the same results with cheaper brushes.

Purely on morals and preference, I wouldn’t buy any other duplicates or recreations purely because I know all the others are made from plastic and those companies have also used the hype generated by Artis. I also think if you are considering buying them, simply because you want to, then go for it! As makeup tools, they’re excellent. Just keep in mind that the original versions are plastic and won’t feel or look as nice as the Next Gen.

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