Battle of the Flat Top Brushes: Ecotools Bamboo Buffing Brush

Synthetic flat top (FT)  brushes are one of my favourites for a great foundation base, be it cream, liquid or powder form. As the bristles come into contact with the largest amount of skin on my face, I am only interested in synthetic fibres, which are usually softer than natural hair and less likely to irritate the skin or trigger off any allergies if they’re used too close to the nose 😛

(Click on the photos to view them in their original sizes)

Here’re the current FT brushes from various companies that I use regularly.

From left to right: Forever Female Ultimate Long Flat Top brush from Lucy Minerals (US$17), Everyday Minerals Flat Top brush (Currently US$12. I used to get this in a kit for just US$5 each a few years back. Ebay dupes are available at US$7.99 including shipping, so skip the EDM site please!), Ecotools Bamboo Buffing Brush from iHerb (US$5.75) and the short handled white Flat Top is known as the BabyTaklon Flat Top Kabuki Buffer from Mad Minerals (US$8. I actually got mine from Silk Naturals but they’ve stopped stocking it).

Click on the picture to view the original photo size

The Ecotools Bamboo Buffing Brush is my latest brush purchase and one that I was hoping would be a good enough replacement for the EDM flat top. Once upon a time, when I just discovered mineral makeup, I had about 5 of these EDM flat tops. They held up well for about 1.5 – 2.5 years with regular washing, until the hairs started falling out in clumps. At US$5 (THEN!) a brush, I have absolutely no complaints. I did purchase a dupe on Ebay, from a Hong Kong or China seller for US$7.99 which looked almost the same except for a lighter coloured wooden handle. That works well for me and it’s currently being air-dried, hence its absence from the lineup.

A synthetic flat top brush at US$5.75??? I couldn’t resist getting 1 off iHerb.

Click on the photo to view the original size

Handle lengths are really a matter of personal preference and I don’t feel they impact much on the actual application since you can always hold them closer to or away from the ferrule. The stout EDM short handled brushes are lovely but somewhat hard to store upright as my containers tend to dwarf them. The Lucy Minerals Ultimate Flat Top (UFT) has about the right length for my upright brush container. The Ecotools Bamboo Buffing Brush (BBB) is slightly longer than the UFT, which suits me just fine. The BBB handle is markedly tapered at the tip where “Ecotools” is stamped, which makes the handle slightly slimmer than the other 2.

Click on the photo to view the original size

In terms of bristle length, EDM has the longest, with the UFT and BBB at a close tie and the white FT the shortest of them all by a tad. Similar to the EDM and UFT, the BBB’s bristles have different coloured tips.

Click on the photo to view the original size

In terms of density, the 4 look about the same and I’ve not had any problems with streaking from them. As for brush head size, the white FT and the EDM brushes are slightly larger in circumference, compared to the UFT and BBB.

As all 4 brushes are manufactured with different synthetic bristles, the firmness also differs from brush to brush. I would rank them the following order (from most to least firm):

  1. EDM FT
  2. Forever Female Lucy Minerals UFT
  3. Ecotools BBB
  4. Mad Minerals White FT

Click on photo to view original size

I’ve been using my 1st Ecotools BBB for several weeks and have also placed an order for 2 more. When I reach for my handled flat top brushes in the morning, I make no distinction between the BBB, UFT and EDM. The 3 work equally well for me for my cream/liquid/powder foundations, are easy to cleanse and dry at about the same rate too. There has been no perceptible shedding for the BBB while washing, nor have bristles fallen out while it was being used. The white baby FT usually goes into the gym bag for easy storage. My 4 or 5-month old UFT, however, has started shedding in the wash.

With the cheap international airmail (US$4 – 6) shipping and at < US$6 per brush, I’d highly recommend the Ecotools Bamboo Buffing Brush from iHerb (first time users can use my code UKE525 to get US$5 off their first order!) for your makeup needs or replacements for your existing FT brushes. Airmail is up to 4 lbs, so that’s oodles and oodles of brushes you can order, in addition to health and skincare items!

~*Item reviewed purchased by me*~

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Lipgloss, Makeup galore and other yummy goodies by the score :)
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9 Responses to Battle of the Flat Top Brushes: Ecotools Bamboo Buffing Brush

  1. I’ve been hoping for over a year that Ecotools will release a flat topped brush! Thanks so much for the great review and pictures as well as a place to get it! Very helpful!

  2. Kookith says:

    I really do love Ecotools, though I didn’t enjoy all their brushes. The travel 5-pack in particular, was disappointing to me. However, I LOVE their blush brush, and it looks like this BBB is of the same texture/fibres.

  3. Thes says:

    It’s a great review. How do you compare these flat top brushes with Lumiere Minerals? I’m sad that my EDM has started to shed too.

    • I’m afraid I don’t have any Lumiere flat top brushes so what I have to comment on is really bristle quality. I have their own brown synthetic bristled kabuki, as well as several of the pink synthetic bristled brushes. The pink and black synthetic bristles are definitely inferior to their old brown ones (though the brushes are cheaper). I’d say the Ecotools BBB’s bristles are slightly better than the pink and black from Lumiere, but not as premium as Lumiere’s old brown bristles.

  4. Thanks for the great review + photos. ^^ I’m interested in getting the Ecotools BBB.

  5. Nice try but I already am a regular user of iherb and have my own code to propagate 🙂

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