There’s no doubt that the NARS Ita Brush is one of the most popular contouring brushes on the market. I must admit I find it intriguing. I just can’t get past the price tag. I mean, FIFTY FIVE dollars? Really?? It used to be forty! It’s not even like I contour every time I do my makeup. Let’s be real, you can build a great collection of brushes from the drugstore and online retailers and never pay more than $15 for a brush.
Problem is, that Ita brush is hard to dupe. Everyday Minerals used to have something similar, but you don’t see that anymore. The Zoeva 109 Face Paint would have been a great option. I came very close to getting that, but the overseas shipping just killed it for me. Sonia Kashuk just came out with something similar but… meh. Then there’s that expensive one from the Real Techniques Bold Metals collection. I just wasn’t going there.
Sometimes artist brushes can be a great alternative. They don’t jack up the prices anywhere near as much as makeup brushes. I went on a search for what is called a Flat Hake Brush and I came across…
This! The Utrecht 1.5″ Flat Hake Brush is on clearance for $4.39. The shipping is more than double the price of the brush itself, but it still only came out to $14.14. It has a couple of issues. The handle is way too long and the bristles are too long as well. However, the bristles are a soft natural hair (my guess is goat hair). I got a little creative and sawed down the handle and reshaped it with a small electric sander. I’m sure a regular sanding block would work just as well. I also gave the bristles a chop with a pair of hair cutting shears and then went over the top with a pair of trimmers to even them out. I then ended up with…
THIS! I love it! I especially like the tapered handle. I was not a fan of that wide handle on the Ita brush.
Cutting down the bristles definitely improved the stiffness of the brush.
I also thought the brush could use a bit of personality so I painted the handle with a combination of red paint, wood stain and semi-gloss top coat.
I then thought a dark wood stain would look cooler, so I stripped it and re-stained it. I really like how it came out and I can’t wait to try it!
Would you try a project like this? Let me know in the comments. Later Girlies!