Call it serendipity. I had gone to Nordstrom yesterday to take my daughter to an event and made a mental note to grab myself a new duo fiber brush as my MAC 187 has been annoying me lately with some serious bouts of shedding. And as I swung by the Chanel counter to grab some tissues, lo and behold the brush display that was in the process of being set up. New brushes? You better believe it!
In the back of my mind, I was aware that the brush revamp was about to hit our shores but I didn't realize that they had already arrived. How fortunate that the very brush that I needed was one of those already available. Chanel's version of the duo fiber face brush, the No. 7.
The No. 7 is by all means not a unique brush. It follows the design common to brushes of this kind: the MAC 187, the Laura Mercier Finishing Brush (which was the one I was supposed to buy) and a hoard of other brushes that look exactly like it. If it's made in China, what warrants the $54 price tag? Apart from the fact that it's Chanel, the associate tells me that the new brushes are not cut like other brushes. The hairs are not cut post-placement. That way they retain their softness. At least that's how I understand her explanation. All the brushes seem to have softer hairs and while it is tempting to buy the entire set in one go, I don't exactly go around plunking $500 for brushes in one transaction. I bought two, which were immediate needs and set about washing them as I got home.
First washing: no shedding and no dye transfer. The brush dried sufficiently overnight and I used it this morning to apply the Chanel Perfection Lumiere Foundation. The brush felt good against the skin, swirling around and buffing the foundation into airbrushed perfection. Total number of hairs that fell out: 3. Three very tiny hairs, all of 5 millimeters in combined length. Coming from the MAC 187 which left me picking out hairs from my face all morning the previous day, this thrills me no end and justifies the purchase completely. I hope that with successive uses, that number will be down to zero. Oh, and the effect is very nice. I went about my day completely confident about the way my foundation was blended in.
Update 3/25/12: Having had a chance to use this brush a little longer, I have no regrets about the purchase. The brush doesn't shed, or at least hasn't yet. I've successfully used it with not just foundation but also for stippling and blending in cream products like blush and a bronzing base. To say it outperforms other brushes of this type may be going a bit extreme but it does the job as well as any of them could. It is perhaps a bit overpriced but I think the quality is there and I'm looking forward to using this brush frequently for years to come.
Let it be noted that I wash practically all my brushes after every use. Brushes used on liquid and cream products absolutely after every use. No exception. So brushes need to stand up to regular use and frequent washings. So far, this one has held up.
UPDATE 4/12/12: I've been testing some other foundation brushes so I've turned to using this brush for powder product and it has done a nice job. It works the way a brush of this kind should, blending out blush, bronzer and finishing powder very well. Definitely a keeper. Also see my review for the No. 2 Angled Powder Brush posted here.