Oval makeup brushes have been trending for a while now, with Artis at the center of the movement. While they’re by far the most popular brand of oval brushes, they’re also the priciest. A 10 piece set of Artis brushes will set you back $350, but is it worth the money? I was recently given the opportunity to try a lower cost, Artis dupe created by the brand, Docolor. After a few weeks of testing, the results are in.
Docolor 10 Piece Oval Brush Set
The Docolor 10 piece oval brush set is available on Amazon for $24.99 (what?!). You have the option of 5 different handle colors: black, pink, gold, silver and “golden new” which is basically rose gold. I picked that one.
It took 2 weeks for my Docolor Oval Brush set to be delivered. It was packaged tightly and the brushes arrived in good shape.
The Docolor brushes are a lot lighter than I expected. The neck is plastic and it looks like they might scratch easily, especially if I use them in my professional kit which receives a lot of wear and tear. The brush hair is extremely soft and the bristles have good density. A few brushes had some longer hairs sticking out that I need to trim. 2 of the brushes were a little frayed on the edge, but nothing too noticeable. My set came with a holder that was easy to assemble, and it makes the brushes look beautiful standing upright. They would look great displayed on a vanity or makeup table.
On the back of the box, there is suggested usage for each brush. The brushes aren’t numbered so once they are out of the packaging, you have to guess which is which based on the size. Personally, I never look at the suggested uses for brushes. You can use any brush however you want; it’s all about what works for you.
Company Suggested Use: Lip Color, Eye Shadow, Brows, Concealer
My Suggested Use: I don’t think this brush is small or dense enough to work for lip color. When I use it on my own lips, the bristles separate and I’m not able to get a crisp line. It’s also too wide for brows. I like this brush for detailed crease work or smudging color along the lower and upper lash line for a diffused smokey look. You can also use it to spot conceal small blemishes, or to apply detailed nose contour.
Company Suggested Use: Lip Color, Eye Shadow, Concealer
My Suggested Use: Again, I wouldn’t use this for lips because of the difficulty you would face in getting a sharp line. The shape of this brush is a little odd to me; it’s round and flat. You could possibly use it for eyeshadow, maybe nose contour. The only thing I can see myself using this brush for would be to buff in lip scrub on a client.
Company Suggested Use: Eye Shadow, Brows, Eye Liner
My Suggested Use: I would use this brush for smudging eyeliner or eyeshadow on the upper lash line for a diffused look. It would also be good for applying concealer to the outside of a bold lip, in order to clean it up. I see myself using this brush to apply mascara on set for a natural looking lash (similar to how you would with a small fan brush). In my opinion, it’s too wide for brows.
Company Suggested Use: Eye Shadow, Brow, Eye Liner, Concealer
My Suggested Use: I’m not a huge fan of this shape and size. I would maybe use it to apply/buff in under eye concealer. Even then, I have other brushes in my kit that would work better for this. This is also way too large for brows.
Company Suggested Use: Eye Shadow, Brow, Eye Liner, Cheek Blush, Cheek Contour, Concealer
My Suggested Use: I don’t see myself using this for anything on the face. It would actually be great in a hair kit to tame flyaways though! Just apply hairspray or wax to the bristles and then brush onto the flyaways, smoothing them down. For makeup, you could possibly use this brush to apply nose contour or under-eye concealer. It’s too narrow for cheek contour, way too large for brow work, and using it to apply blush would be disastrous.
Company Suggested Use: Lip Color, Eye Shadow, Concealer
My Suggested Use: This is one of my favorite brushes in the set. It’s very dense brush, so it would be great for achieving a super pigmented eyeshadow look. I like this brush for concealer or buffing out liquid highlight. You could also use it for precise cheek contour. The size and shape make it pretty universal.
Company Suggested Use: Lip Color, Eye Shadow Color, Cheek Contour, Concealer, Foundation, Setting Powder
My Suggested Use: I like this brush for concealer. It’s also good for those who don’t wear a lot of foundation and just want to buff in a tinted moisturizer or BB Cream. I’ve also used this for applying moisturizer or a skincare mask on clients.
I prefer a more airy, light brush for setting powder.. but for those who “bake,” or like a lot of powder, this would be a good brush for that. There is no way this could be used for lip color.
Company Suggested Use: Lip Color, Eye Shadow, Cheek Blush, Cheek Contour, Concealer, Foundation, Bronzing or Effects Powder, Setting Powder
My Suggested Use: It’s hilarious to me that lip color and eyeshadow are on the list of suggested uses for this brush. Just no.
This is a good foundation brush. I could also be used for cream blush or liquid bronzer. I would use this for forehead and chin/neck contouring. Personally, I wouldn’t use it to apply anything powdered (blush, bronzer etc) because the hair is so dense, the color would apply much too pigmented on the skin.
Company Suggested Use: Cheek Blush, Cheek Contour, Foundation, Bronzing, Setting Powder
My Suggested Use: All of the larger brushes can be used for foundation, it just depends on your size preference. Personally, this is my favorite size for foundation work.
Company Suggested Use: Foundation, Bronzing, Effects Powder, Setting Powder
My Suggested Use: I plan on using this brush for body makeup. It’s large and is great for buffing makeup quickly onto the skin. It also can work for foundation but it’s a little big for my taste, as it gets product in the hairline.
Docolor Artis Dupe Set VS. Artis Brushes
Artis brushes come in a heavy-duty white box. It reminds me of Apple’s packaging, very chic. The Docolor brushes come in a white box as well, but it’s more flimsy and looks cheaper. Also the wording is a little strange on the Docolor packaging, it looks translated.
A 10 piece Artis brush set will set you back $350 while the Docolor 10 piece set costs $24.99 (0n sale from $69.99). Obviously, a massive price difference. It’s almost worth purchasing this kit before you splurge on the Artis brushes to see if the different shapes and sizes work for you.
As with (almost) anything, you do get what you pay for. Holding an Artis brush next to a Docolor brush, you are able to tell, just based on looking at it, which one is higher end. With that said, Docolor does do a pretty good job at emulating Artis brushes.
I purchased one Artis brush (Oval 7) for the purpose of this review. The Docolor #9 brush is the closest in size comparison. The brush hair on the Artis brush is flat, while the Docolor is more domed. The Artis hairs are slimmer with a long oval shape, and the Docolor’s shape is thicker and more round. It’s hard for me to tell a huge difference in the softness and quality of the brush hair. With my eyes closed, the Artis does feel a bit more velvety and glides smoother, but the difference is very slight.
Docolor’s brush hair are synthetic while Artis’ are said to be engineered, UV-resistant CosmeFibre.
Docolor’s#1 & #2 brushes don’t feel as soft as the larger brushes in the set. #2 and #5 feel a little scratchy
Both the Artis and Docolor brushes have plastic handles. The Artis plastic feels much more sturdy than Docolor’s. The brand name is etched into Artis’ brushes, while Docolor’s is printed on the handle. The Artis brush handle is longer which I prefer, because it gives me more control.
Both brush brands claim to have ergonomical handles designed to reduce stress on hands. They also both bend quite a bit when applying makeup. Initially this felt odd, as if they were going to snap. When Docolor brushes bend, the handles squeak and pop when you first use them. It feels a little weird, and I thought it was going to break. Now that I’ve used them all a few times, only one of the brushes still squeaks. Unfortunately, it’s the brush I like most for foundation and I can’t put it in my kit because it’d be distracting and unprofessional to have a squeaky brush in a client’s face.
While I couldn’t tell the differences in brush hair by touching them, I was able to when I used both brushes on my face. The Artis brush glides easier, and it feels super silky on my face. Docolor’s brush felt more firm and dragged a little. I think the difference in shape (flat vs. domed) makes the Artis brush feel better on your skin. As far as foundation application, the Artis gave me slightly lighter coverage than Docolor’s. Docolor’s bristles feel a more dense which would make sense as to why it gave a little fuller coverage. Both brands buffed the foundation into my skin and made it look beautiful. While application differences between the two brushes are slight, I was able to tell.
While there are some noticeable difference in the Docolor Oval Brush Set VS. Artis, I do think Docolor does make a pretty good Artis dupe. It’s not an exact match, but you can’t beat the price and they get the job done. For personal use, I would recommend the Docolor as an acceptable Artis dupe. If you’re a professional, I would splurge on Artis for the quality.
With that said, I have to be honest and say I do not understand the Artis hype. I also don’t think anyone would necessarily need an entire set of these brushes from either company. If I’m paying $350 on a brush set, I’d expect them to cover all my makeup brush needs, and they just don’t. I do highly recommend the large round brushes for foundation and cream work, as they give a beautiful finish to the skin. Still, an Artis foundation brush ranges from $55-75 depending on the size you buy. I’d rather spend my money on Hakuhodo’s.
If you’re looking into purchasing a set of oval brushes, my recommendation would be to save up for one foundation brush from Artis and then spend $25 on the Docolor Artis dupe set. You’ll have all of your bases covered plus 1 high quality brush for foundation, and you’ll save money.
2017 UPDATE: The Docolor brushes are currently not for sale on Amazon. This Yoseng Foundation Oval Brush Set looks (and probably is) identical.
Have you found an Artis dupe? Let me know in the comments!
Disclaimer: I was sent the Docolor Brush Set for review consideration. Sending me product does not guarantee a review and I accept no monetary compensation for in exchange for positive reviews. All opinions are honest and my own. I purchased the Artis brush. This post may contain affiliate links.