You guys know I’m all about makeup brushes and something I’ve stated often enough bears repeating: your makeup will only look as good as the tools used to apply it with. And while frequently us consumers get suckered into paying top dollar for something we assume will be good — then turns out to be a dud — is happily NOT the case here. Being a makeup master, you can bet that François Nars turned the same attention used in creating his colour cosmetics to crafting his brushes, then he went and dialled everything up a few notches with the release of this Au Poil Brush Roll.
Side note: pronounced phonetically as “O pwall”, this is a bit of a play on words; ‘poil’ is French for hair which obviously references the brush bristles, but the term ‘Au Poil’ is also French slang for everything being ‘spot-on’. Well played, M. Nars.
Apart from being the creative force behind the makeup collection, Charlotte Gainsbourg also had a hand in determining what form these brushes would take as well as which type would make the cut. Pared down to a carefully curated group of 5, they’re pretty much all you need to pull off her iconic carefree beauty look — cachet, not included.
Previously reviewed from this collection:
Charlotte Gainsbourg, credit: NARS
Au Poil Brush Roll, limited edition (CAN $220.00) | Housed in the same khaki green outer packaging as the rest of the collection, the set comes with its own delicate faux-leather brush roll and 5 makeup brushes: 2 for the face & 3 for eyes. The roll has several unique features, from the name of the collection stamped on the outside, to magnets on the corners (under the lining) so that the entire kit stays snugly shut, as well as two ties for added security as well as the overall look.
The brushes are all made with synthetic bristles∗, and all have gold-toned ferules as opposed to the brand’s usual silver. Each handle is unique as well, making them easy to tell apart at a glance and while they don’t add anything to the performance of each brush, it’s the aesthetics that gets me — I am obsessed with details like that. Size-wise, the handles are all regular size (not travel versions) and beautifully weighted to fit comfortably in the hand for application. Apart from their designation, I find that each brush can also perform both double — and sometimes even triple — duty as well, making them a worthwhile investment. The best part, however, is in the feel of the actual bristles themselves: soft, but firm enough to pick up product with east and displaying an excellent flexibility which helps them to move along the skin like silk.
∗Thanks to a sharp reader who advised me that the bristles are in fact synthetic
- Face Brush – can be used for contouring, blush, bronzer (not a broad sweep, however)
- Face Highlighting Brush – can be used for highlighting, spot-setting, blending out ‘seams’ of other face powders
- Eye Blending Brush – excellent crease brush, good for diffusing colour out, great for pinpoint highlighter application
- Concealer Brush – can also be used to apply cream eyeshadow, create a cut crease or for use along the brow arch
- Eyeshadow Brush – (seems more like a pencil brush to me) and perfect for precision work at outer corner or for smudging liner
I must admit, NARS gives good brush and I’m so happy to welcome the Au Poil Brush Roll to my ever expanding NARS brush family (find others previously reviewed here). I also must commend Charlotte Gainsbourg for her keen eye in selecting these brushes to be part of this set: each & every single one has been getting much love from me and with proper care & maintenance, I intend to keep these around for a long, long time. BONUS: the decorative handles also make these the prettiest brushes in my arsenal. Like I said, I am completely unable to resist stunning details like this.
Available May at all NARS retailers
Media sample kindly provided, all opinions are my own