This brush is soft, sturdy, and quite well-made, and I love how it has a longer handle since I have long fingers. It dries surprisingly quickly when washed. I cringed at the $28 price at first compared to other eco brands such as Ecotools, but Alima's definitely works better. I had to start using *less* foundation since it picks up and distributes so well with so little!
EDIT: Alima's CS just confirmed that their brushes ARE made in China, so dropping my rating to 3 and changing my rebuy to "no." Ecotools and EDM brushes are also made in China, so while Alima's quality is slightly better it's not enough to pay $10-$15 more per brush.
I have the original #25 brush and as much as I tried to convince myself I liked it, I finally had to change my original review from 2008. While the bristles are silky soft and the price can't be beat, the bristles are too densely packed for me. Every single time I have used the #25 brush to apply mineral foundation, I ended up with caked on foundation that I had to reblend with a sponge. The densely packed bristles pack on too much foundation. Believe me I've tried everything to make it work and it just doesn't. I much prefer my Eco retractable kabuki brush for mineral foundation.
I have the old style (bought in 2007) and it's still working great. I use it for everything!
-MAC studio fix
-MAC studio tech
I am very diligent about cleaning this with a mild shampoo about once a week, and it's STILL going strong and not loosing any bristles. It's super super soft to the touch and works great.
I like this brush a lot, it's soft and I find it does a good job for mineral foundation application. I like the long handle too.
The way I apply it is by literally sprinkling a tiny little bit of the mineral foundation onto a large pan (an old huge bronzer compact that I've emptied out and cleaned). I dip/swirl the brush to pick up all the powder and then apply, I repeat that a few times to get the right coverage little by little. This has worked well for me, though may be a bit time comsuming for some, but I'd rather do that as I find tapping off the excess gets messy.
I'm really happy with this brush. I'm using it with Alima's Satin Matte Foundation, and sometimes also apply Bronzer with it. With this, I get a very natural finish, nothing settles into my rather large pores, and I do not get any of the flaking mentioned by another.
How I use it:
-apply serum and moisturizer
-optionally apply primer
-touch a nickel-sized part of the brush to the mineral foundation
-tap and swirl the brush in a small bowl or cup to spread product and remove excess
-lightly brush onto face
-pick up remaining product in bowl
-brush onto face
:: repeat as needed for desired coverage
I do not rub or buff my skin with the brush. Doing that irritates my skin regardless of brush or sponge type, and I find the finish is nowhere near as good with that approach and my skin.
If anything changes when I start also using Alima's primer, I'll update, but I anticipate it will only improve the finish and longevity of the mu.
This brush is so great I'm thinking of getting a second!
I use Alima satin matte foundation exclusively. For me, this brush is a wonderful thing, but you have to take that statement in context. I've been limping along with the terrible BE flawless application and kabuki brushes for years--they hurt my face, they shed relentlessly and copiously, they provide uneven coverage (at least in my inexpert hands). Awful brushes, but I just never got around to getting better ones.
The Alima #25 feels incredibly soft on my sensitive, rosacean skin. It is well-made and feels like a high-quality brush. It also does not shed 20+ hairs per use as did both my BE brushes. (These two items are wonderful things to me and enough to get me over to the computer to review. Like an underground prisoner coming up into the light for the first time, I'm so impressed with the sunlight and the grass that I'm not ready to notice that the campground may not have a bathroom or covered parking.)
Lastly, I get excellent coverage with this brush. Another reviewer commented that the Alima foundations need to be lightly brushed on as opposed to buffed in, and after using this brush I believe that is the case. The brush doesn't have the strength to drive the makeup into the skin, but it does provide smooth, even coverage that, on me, is not flaky or "there." With this brush the Alima mmu melts into my skin beautifully. I should mention that I do wear a relatively shiny and moisturizing sunscreen underneath it so that may be why I don't experience the flakies that some others have found with this brush.
It seems to wash well too; I'm extremely careful with my brushes so that may be why I haven't experienced the bristles pulling out of shape after washing.
In short, I love this brush and don't feel the need to continue looking. I'm still not sure if I came here this morning to love on my new Alima brush or hate on my old BE brushes, but I am so happy to be out in the sunlight with my #25. Well worth the money, IMO.
I liked this brush a lot for the first few months I used it -- it's soft and doesn't leave any bristles on your face like other synthetic (and natural) brushes do. But it lost its shape after a few months -- the bristles in the middle started sinking (or the bristles near the edges started coming up relative to the middle bristles?) and I had to toss it. I'm trying out MAC's Buffer brush (182) which is also very soft, but unfortunately does leave some bristles behind on my face. Hopefully it will keep its shape longer!
This brush has forced to me to apologize to my poor face for subjecting it to BE's kabuki brush all these years. I didn't realize how crappy that brush was until I started using this one. The bristles are densely packed but still flexible, and incredibly soft. I'm talking kittens and bunnies and clouds and baby's bottoms. Coverage is heavier than with BE’s kabuki, so I have to watch the amount of product I pick up. For days I want to go lighter on my foundation, I use my Ecotools powder brush. The bristles bled a bit the first couple of washes, but given that they're black, I wasn't surprised. I also lost a few bristles during the first couple of washes, but haven't had any problems since. Dry time is about 24 hours. As much as I like this brush, I'm not sure I would repurchase if I lost it. (I don't think it's going to wear out anytime soon!) I'd prefer a brush that allows for more buildable coverage.
Overall, this is a great brush for mineral foundations or setting powder. It's a medium/large brush with a medium-length handle. It's a good shape and incredibly soft, and offers fairly even application. I would prefer it be a bit more dense, however, as I feel that the slight "give" that the synthetic fibers give cause some inconsistency in application once in awhile, but that's just my opinion. I oscillate between this and my kabuki, and have had success with each of them.
One lippie off for not being as dense as I'd like, but 4 lippies for overall quality, good size, and the fact that it is reasonably priced and comes from a great company.
I love this brush! I really agree with a lot of the other positive reviews. It is SOOOO soft and not irritating at all and makes applying mineral makeup or powder mistakes proof. It's very high quality and I haven't experienced any shedding even with obsessive use for the past year. It's my favorite makeup brush of all time. HG.