The right foundation formula can make or break your overall makeup look, but the tool with which you apply your foundation (and all your other cosmetics for that matter) can be just as important. If you’ve ever tried to apply a great foundation with a terrible brush, you know what I’m talking about. But when the two marry in such a way that results in a flawless complexion, there’s nothing better. That’s been my experience with the Artis Fini Brush, which is not only versatile, but also oozes luxury in a way that most other brushes never will. Here, I spoke to brand founder and professional makeup artist Matthew Waitesmith about the brush design, how to use it and how to keep it clean.
Let’s start with the design. “I’ve always thought makeup tools should look just as beautiful as everything else in your makeup collection, and conventional brushes were always just boring: a white piece of wood with dead animal hair glued to the end of it,” says Waitesmith. “Artis brushes are kind of like works of art, and when you’re surrounded by beautiful objects, it gives you inspiration to do something beautiful for your self-portrait.”
Yes, the metallized handle kind of looks like the fin of a tropical fish, but Waitesmith says the brush is actually named for the French word “fini,” which means “to finish something.” The brush also has a mirror finish, which he likes because it reflects the environment the brush is in. “If you are in a room that you’ve paid a lot of attention to decorating, your brush will reflect that.”
Each Fini brush contains more than 200,000 proprietary, man-made fibers called CosmeFibres that have a tapered tip and are densely packed in a way that allows for even makeup distribution on the skin. It doesn’t shed or result in a bunch of wasted, built-up product that sits there and clogs your pores each time to do your makeup. “The fiber bundle is shaped like an iron with a little bit of a point at one end, but it’s kind of a rounded ellipse at the other,” Waitesmith explains. (There are also grips on each side of the handle so it won’t slip out of your hand). “You can get into the little nooks and crannies of the face, but you can also apply foundation on your entire face with just a few swipes.” The brush is so soft and gentle, I have even rubbed it across my toddler’s face—without makeup on it of course—and she giggles and asks for more.
The brush is multipurpose in that it works with foundation, blush, contour, highlight, setting powder—you name it. Waitesmith says you can even use it to apply eyeshadow if you’re just going for a quick flush of color on the lid. “I’ve learned that some people want one thing that does everything,” he adds. “This design allows for that to happen, no matter how you hold the brush or move it on your skin. It’s going to put your product on better than any conventional makeup brush is going to.”
How to Use It:
It’s great for applying foundation, whether it’s a cream, powder or liquid, or any other formula. The iron-shaped tip on one end makes it possible to blend concealer out nicely under the inner corner of the eyes as well. It will also contour under the cheekbones if you angle it a certain way, or highlight above the cheekbones. You can even use it to apply makeup to medium-size areas of your body, like your shoulders and décolleté, etc.
There’s a Fini Brush made for skin-care application, too. “That one has pure-white fibers that are meant to go with formulas that are virtually invisible when you use them,” Waitesmith says.
How to Clean It:
Waitesmith has learned over the years that most people don’t take good care of their brushes or clean them regularly. Therefore, he created a cleaning system that makes caring for your brushes easier. “My cleaning system comprises a pad that has a special microfiber woven cloth,” he says. “I engineered it so that every square inch has 1 million loops in the microfibers. Then you combine that with a cleanser formula, and we have different ones. We have wipes, which are a quick way to clean the brush if you’re switching between different products like skin care and makeup, or foundation and blush. We also have a foam, which helps break up and remove makeup from the fibers. You put a little foam on the microfiber pad and then dip the brush into it. Then wipe the brush, and within a minute or two, it’s ready to go.”
Both of these options avoid the use of soap and water, so the brushes also dry faster. “When a brush is soaked in water, that water takes time to evaporate—sometimes a full day,” says Waitesmith. But, you don’t have to use Artis’s cleansers if you already have a brush cleanser you like. “Using something else won’t damage the fibers. You can also use soap and water if you’ve waited a long time between cleanings and need a deeper clean.”
Price/Where to Buy: