I recently purchased the new Tarte Amazonian Clay foundation in a duo set that also included their new Airbrush Finish foundation brush, and as soon as I opened the package and saw the brush, I knew is was the same as another brush I own, the IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe powder brush. After comparing them side-by-side, I can see that there are a few very subtle differences, but they're basically the exact same brush, only with different handles.
- Both brushes feel identical. The bristles on each are very soft and fluffy but fairly dense. Less dense than a MAC 182; more dense than a MAC 187.
- Both handles measure 3cm in diameter.
- Domed shape of bristles is the same on both brushes and brush head is 5cm across on both.
- Tarte Brush has a lighter wooden handle with a gold ferrule; IT brush is heavier with a rubberized plastic handle and a silver ferrule.
- The Tarte brush is slightly longer than the IT Cosmetics brush, but only by a few millimeters; both are approximately 14cm / 5.5" long.
- The bristles at the base of the Tarte brush seem slightly wrinkled or crimped.
- Tarte brush costs $32, IT Cosmetics brush costs $48.
These brushes feel identical to me and they both seem to apply product the same way. I actually don't like applying foundation with these because the recommended circular buffing motion makes my foundation look uneven, but using a stippling/tapping motion instead irritates my skin too much, despite giving a nicer finish. It's also really difficult to wash all the foundation out of these brushes and it tends to stain the bristles. They're good for applying or dusting off excess powder, though, and they feel super plush and nice on my face.
If I had to choose one over the other, I'd have to go with the Tarte Airbrush Finish brush at $32. The bristles are the same on both, but the black rubberized handle on the IT Cosmetics brush is a magnet for fingerprints and dust and is difficult to keep clean. I do prefer the black and silver color of the IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe brush even if it is harder to keep clean, but looks aren't worth the $16 price difference between the two.