Rephr 2021 Holiday Collection
Three new brushes and some very innovative storage options are on offer with this year's holiday set.
Rephr has released the 2021 Holiday Collection featuring three new brushes and a wide selection of acrylic makeup and brush storage containers. This year there are two new face brushes and an eyeshadow brush. Also on offer is a selection of acrylic organisers for brushes, makeup and palettes.
I've listed the prices of the brushes at their full retail price in USD below but I will note that Rephr runs multiple sales throughout the year with many brushes making their way into their concept store. I think that the regular full retail price of these three brushes is 15 to 20% too high because comparable brushes from other brands are sold at a lower price. The big caveat here is that Rephr do offer deep discounts such as when these brushes launched, they offered the trio at 40% off with complementary storage boxes and for Black Friday 2021, Rephr is running a 50% off storewide sale. The beauty of Rephr is that as a Kumano, Japanese-made fude brand, they can't be beaten on pricing by any of their competitors. What I'm saying here is, pick these up when they're on sale.
I was kindly sent the whole 2021 Holiday Collection by Rephr to review.
Brush 30 (RRP $99 USD) is the fluffiest large face brush in the Rephr line. With a completely rounded ferrule and 50mm long hairs, this brush is very airy. The saikoho hairs on this also make the brush extremely soft. The brush fluffs out and blooms considerably after washing. There's almost no resistance in this brush because there's basically no density in it. The best description of it's shape is that if you're light with your application, the shape of the brush head is akin to a classic A-line wedding dress but if you press down, you can splay the brush to get a ballerina's tutu out of it. The Rephr 30 is easily the airiest brush in my entire brush collection.
L to R: Chichodo Round Powder Brush, Rephr 30, Koyudo Kakishibuzome 02, Shou Shou Lang Green Dill 01, Real Techniques Blush Brush, Koyomo Pearl Pink Face Brush, Surratt Face Brush.
The Rephr 30 is my favourite out of all of the large brushes on offer from the company. I am generally pretty heavy handed so I prefer a light patting or quick swiping motion with my powder application.
L to R: (Front and side views) Rephr 30, Rephr 11, Rephr 25, Rephr 22
Compared to all of the other large powder brushes in the Rephr line, Brush 30 is the only one with a completely rounded ferrule. The discontinued Brush 11 which was replaced by the very similar but fractionally denser Brush 25 both feature oval ferrules. Looking at the brushes on their sides, you can see how they both are bundled with a taper to encourage a tapping motion, rather than a swirling application. Brush 25 was released as part of the 2020 Holiday Collection which I reviewed here. Most people would probably only want to purchase one brush between Brush 25 or Brush 30. If you prefer a heavier powder application, have oily skin, like a denser brush or use patting or dabbing motion to apply product, choose Brush 25. If you're a swirler or a buffer and you like a more diffused or light powder application, choose Brush 30.
Brush 31 (RRP $99 USD) is a angled duo-fibre foundation brush. This means that the brush is bundled with a combination of undyed goat hairs and synthetic fibres. Synthetic fibres don't absorb liquid or creams so it helps to reduce product wastage. The brush is angled with the highest point of the bristles reaching 26mm long and the synthetic fibres extending 4mm above the goat hair.
L to R: Real Techniques Stippling Brush, MAC 187, Rephr P11B, Rephr 31, Hakuhodo G5555, Hakuhodo G5552, IT Cosmetics Face It Brush, Rephr 17, Chikuhodo T-3
Brush 31 is designed to be used as a stippling brush to dab on product so you get better coverage. This works with all foundations from the runny to the thick. I typically like to use a runny foundation but I build it up to a medium coverage. On bad skin days, I mix in a bit of the very thick Estee Lauder Double Wear (in the tube, not the bottle) to achieve higher coverage but it creates a thicker consistency. Brush 31 works with both the very thin and runny Estee Lauder Double Wear Nude Fresh to the medium consistency Fenty Pro Filt'r Hydrating Longwear Foundation or the Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Wear Foundation all the way up to the thick Estee Lauder Double Wear.
Natural fibre brushes naturally absorb a lot of product but if you don't like using your fingers to apply foundation or if you think that sponges suck up too much, then Brush 31 is a good option to consider.
I'm glad to see Rephr revisit the foundation brush issue. In between launching on Kickstarter and moving to their own webstore, Rephr released a prototype in the P11B which didn't make it to market. The problem with duo-fibre brushes which feature a combination of synthetic bristles and goat hair, is that brushes which are not densely packed will leave you with streaky application.
Rephr already have a foundation brush in Brush 17 (which I reviewed as part of the wider Rephr Face Brushes blog post) but I think it's just too small to be doing a full face with. In that review, I said if the company wanted to improve their foundation brush range, then they should enlarge Brush 17 "by at least 50% and round the edges because a rounded edge on a kabuki brush gives a more polished, flawless base. Otherwise I'd take the P11B, shorten the synthetic fibres a bit and angle the bristles to create a foundation brush designed for slap-dash base application." I'll take my applause now please. I'm joking. The Rephr 31 is a dead on dupe for the Hakuhodo G5556.
Here's what the brush looks like after two uses. I wipe off excess product on a microfibre towel after each use and typically wash my foundation brush after 5 applications. This picture also gives you a better look at the density of the brush which is dense but not as much as the popular synthetic kabukis on the market.
Brush 32 (RRP $28 USD) is an angled eyeshadow brush reaching 13mm long on the high end and 8mm on the lower end. This type of brush is very useful for people with rounded bulging eyes or Asians who don't have a prominent brow bone to use as an anchor point. The angled brush will blend that tricky area that Asians have between the top of the eyeball and the edge of the orbital bone. Take the longer end at the top of the eyeball below the brow and blend out shadow.
L to R: Rephr 12, Chikuhodo T-8, Koyudo Yoshiki 03, Shou Shou Lang Green Dill LL06, Rephr 32, Hakuhodo B125, Rae Morris 6.5
Typically, Caucasians have prominent brow bones with their eyes set deep so they can use their brow bone to navigate the space between their oritbal socket. If you don't have a lot of lid space and your eyes are recessed into your skull, then you might have a harder time using this as an eyeshadow brush if you've got the long end pointed at the top. I'd suggest using the brush upside down. Tip the brush so that the longer end of the brush is at the bottom and the shorter hairs are at the top and blend in windshield wiper motions.
If Brush 32 still doesn't instinctively make you want to use it as an eyeshadow blender, you can use this as an undereye concealer brush or a face spot concealer to stamp on product.
Modular Vanity System
Now, I know that I primarily review fude on this blog and I'm excited about the new additions but this year's stand out product is the modular vanity system. Rephr has released five separate components which have magnets on each side of the acrylic containers to allow everyone to create their own customised vanity. Everyone has different preferences or may be limited by space constraints so I think this is genius. It is hands down the most innovative storage system I've seen on the market.
The clever design means you can buy the components that will suit your personal needs. The squares are 9cm (3.5") high and Components B, C and E with a slope reaches are 5cm (2") high on that end. The width of each component measures 8.5cm (3.35").
Component A is made up of two plain squares which can be separated or connected. Component B features a split square and a lipstick holder. Component C is a sloped palette holder. Component D is similar to C but all the heights are the same across. If you own large palettes, you can connect two of the same palette module together to house your eyeshadows or face palettes. Component E is a catch all storage container for miscellaneous items or for those who prefer to store brushes horizontally.
L to R: Component A, Component B, Component C, Component E
The only criticism I have for this vanity kit is that the space in the front row of the lipstick holder in Component B is fractionally smaller than the middle and back rows. Anyone who owns a Pat McGrath lipstick knows how bulky the packaging is due to the golden lip closure. A Pat McGrath lipstick bullet will comfortably slot into the middle and back rows of Component B but will not fit into the first row. The famously heavy and clunky Pat McGrath eyeshadow palettes also fit into Component C but just. You can stand a Mothership palette vertically with no issues or horizontally if you buy two of Component E and magnetise them together as I have.
I already have an extensive clear acrylic storage system which was acquired at some expense many years ago but I have since integrated the Rephr ones into my makeup area. The rest of it sits on top of an IKEA chest of drawers in my room. My mum was really impressed when she saw these and suggested I purchase a set for my sister-in-law (who has a lot of makeup and for whom I have difficulty shopping for) so that's what she's getting for Christmas this year. I also picked up a few cubes and the eye brush set for my best friend who I am slowly transforming into a fude convert. I like the Rephr Modular Vanity System so much that I've purchased additional containers. If the company ever puts out the cube in Compenent B with the dual split as a single or double cube without the lipstick section, I will buy them in a heart beat.