Think of the softest thing imaginable: freshly washed towels (after the use of fabric softener); cashmere sweaters; those fuzzy socks that your mom always gets you for Christmas/Hannukah/every birthday since you were five. Well, all the above are certainly soft, but not quite as soft as the Best of Beauty–winning Surratt Beauty Artistique Face Brush.
The Artistique Face Brush is not just luxurious in feel and look (it has a sleek, incredibly lightweight black handle that gradually fades to a gorgeous iridescent purple at the very bottom); it also features a luxury-level price point. At $230, it's a major investment, and not one that's feasible for everyone. But if you're someone who values high-quality brushes or you're a professional makeup artist who needs teddy bear-soft tools to use on your clients and you can afford it, this brush is definitely worth the splurge. And here's why.
First off, each Artistique Face Brush is made by hand, the bristles gathered and tied by a skilled artisan before being attached to the handle. And then there's how they're gathered. The domed shape of this brush and the fact the bristles are gathered tightly at the base and fan out loosely at the top mean it deposits the thinnest, sheerest layer of powder of imaginable. This is great for applying translucent powder (loose or pressed) because it sets and mattifies your makeup in the most delicate and natural-looking of ways — no area is too matte or too chalky or too cakey. And finally, as I said before, this brush may just be the softest thing that's going to touch your face, possibly ever.
While I like using this brush primarily for translucent powder (my go-to is the Nars Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder), it really works for any powder product, including bronzer, blush, and highlighter. While I've never used it for highlighter, I have used it to apply both blush and bronzer. Again, the brush picks up and lays down a super fine layer of powder, then blends it to a streak-free, diffused finish as you sweep the bristles across your skin. For bronzer, this is awesome because it makes it nearly impossible for you to go overboard. And if you do want more pigment, all you need to do is add another layer or two of bronzer. As for blush, it really depends on your face shape. The larger surface area of the brush head may be too big for some people's cheeks, and it won't give you as precise an application as you may want.
Now to keep this brush as cuddly soft as when you bought it, you need to treat it like you just dropped a couple hundred dollars on it. You should care for it as you would a cashmere sweater or a silk shirt (TBH, they all have a similar price tag). And while you don't need to bring it to a special cleaners or anything, you do need to make sure to regularly wash it with a very gentle shampoo and keep the water from dripping down into the ferrule (which is the piece that clamps around the bristles). Do this every month or so and this brush is well worth the investment — and the gorgeous finish it will give to your makeup for years to come.