Compared? Compared with what? You might ask.
With the full size versions of course! When I last wrote about the Shu Uemura limited edition Mika brush set for Christmas 2008, I mentioned that I wasn’t too enamoured with the face brush and pouch of the premium brush set and that if they would sell me the brushes sans ugly pouch I’d leap at it. Well, they didn’t – what did you think? 😛
But a lovely reader did. She bought the premium brush set (touted to me as the “full size brush set” which doesn’t seem to be sold overseas) and only wanted the face brush so offered me the rest of the brushes at a very reasonable price and off I was like a shot 😛 She was also kind enough to toss in the case because she too did not like it – haha! – to protect the brushes in transit.
So, here they are – the brushes from the Shu Uemura Mika Premium brush set and what d’ya know? I own 2 full size brushes out of 3! Let’s then do a quick comparison. For reference, the brushes available in the Shu Uemura Mika brush set is the Natural 27 Goat brush for the face, Natural 17 Pony & Squirrel brush for cheeks, Natural 10 Sable & Kolinsky brush for eyes, and Natural 6M Sable brush for lips.
Shu Uemura #17 Pony blush brush
Straight off, when I saw the #17 Pony blush brush in the Mika set, I knew something was off. The#17 brush was small, smaller than I remembered. Putting it side by side with my Shu Uemura #17 Pony blush brush (full size) I saw that there was no way the Mika brush was comparable to the full size.
The #17 Pony Squirrel brush in the set is quite a bit smaller than the one I own. I’m going to test it out a bit and see how it performs because I’ve never used such a tiny little brush for blush before. The #17 full size brush I own is quite soft so I can use it for pigmented colors. I used to use it to apply Nars Taos and that is a scary bright blush! But I find that #17 works for pigmented blushes for some reason.
Shu Uemura #10 Sable/Kolinsky eyeshadow brush
The other full size brush I own is the #10 Sable & Kolinsky brush for the eyes. This one looks to be about the same size, measuring the ferrule side by side.
However, I did find that the full sized #10 brush was slightly more dense and more tapered at the tip, compared to the #10 in the Mika brush set. The #10 in the set looks more splayed out. The #10 eyeshadow brush picks up lots of pigment and deposits them just where you want it to go. I like using it especially if I want a brighter eye look. Once you clean off the color, it also works to blend in your eyeshadow very well. In fact, the #10 eyeshadow brush in the set looks pretty much like a blending brush to me so I reckon I can get double use out of it.
The Shu Uemura Mika Premium Set is a good buy
So, is it a good buy at the end of the day, after comparing the brushes in the premium set to the full sized ones? I still say yes. Whilst I thought it was a little misleading for Shu Uemura sales people to tout it as a full size brush set when it clearly isn’t (not in the case of the #17 brush anyway) the quality isn’t shabby and you do get 4 brushes for a very good price.
The handles a short, which makes it easy to get near the mirror or to bring around when you travel and if you are like me and already own some of the brushes, it gives you variety. Sometimes I’m just too lazy to wash my brushes so if I can get a similar one at a good price, why not?
It is limited edition however and the full set retails for RM300 at Shu Uemura counters and boutiques. I’m not sure if its still available or if the holiday crowd cleaned it out but if you are looking for a portable set of brushes or a starter kit, this would be it.