Of all the brushes in my collection, the ones from Sonia G get the most use. So, whenever she has a new launch, I know there will be something within the collection that I’m going to love and will help elevate my makeup skills. I have two main Fude posts which include some of the Pro and Sky Series here and the Keyaki set here, for those interested in my previous Sonia G reviews.
I skipped getting the Mini Base brush from the Fusion series because it’s the same as the one included in the Keyaki set, just with a different handle. The Mini Base became the number one product I had for blending cream blushes and I wanted a bigger version so badly that I purchased similar shaped ones from other brands. However, they were not the same as my Mini Base. The combination of the sokoho goat, PBT and PTT synthetic bristles in Sonia G Fusion brushes is just utter perfection between the softness and blend. Synthetic bristle brushes are known to be soft, but the quality of the type of synthetic material is not the same across the board. ELF brushes about eight years ago used to come in the essential basic line with white handles and bristles that poked, a somewhat better middle range with silver handles, and their pro line with black handles and much softer bristles even though the entire line was synthetic. There is a fantastic detailed article that explains the differences among synthetic fibers, here, and the distinction between them sheds light on why the combination Sonia G wanted in her Fusion brushes is a step above other synthetic and natural mix brushes other brands have created.
The Fusion Series
Other than the Mini Base, which I already reviewed, I have three of the four remaining brushes in the line. I chose not to buy the Soft Concealer brush because my dark under eye circles require maximum coverage, which fits the task of the Jumbo Concealer. The Soft Concealer is intended for the gradual building of creams and liquids for those who don’t want as much product on the skin. Thankfully the Fusion Series brushes are available individually, so I didn’t have to buy a brush I didn’t need.
- Full Length: 151mm / 5.95 in
- Hair Length: 16mm / 0.63 in
- Hair Width: 8.5-14.5mm / 0.33- 0.57 in
I use the Jumbo Concealer to quickly spread on eye primer, as well as concealing under my eyes. My previous favorite brush for this task was the Rare Beauty Concealer Brush, which is still a good brush and great for getting into the corners of my eye. The Rare Beauty brush is slightly less densely packed and therefore softer and more flexible. My only gripe with it is that I don’t wash my concealer brushes daily, so after about three uses, the Rare Beauty brush contains so much product that it’s not as pleasant to use or as efficient unless I wash it every few days. With the Jumbo Concealer, most of the product comes out of the bristles quickly when wiped on a microfiber towel. In fact, all of the Fusion series brushes are wiped clean with little effort, unlike my other brushes when it comes to removing liquids and creams regardless if it’s natural hair or synthetic. I can use it to easily and evenly apply eyeshadow primer, wipe my brush, and then use it again for concealer. It successfully gives me maximum coverage, as intended.
- Full Length: 167mm / 6.58 in
- Hair Length: 27mm / 1.06 in
- Hair Width: 18mm / 0.71 in
The Classic Base is the larger version of the Mini Base and the brush of my dreams! I can use it for foundation and cream blush, though building up a subtle cream blush like the Armani Neo Nude Color Melting Balm is my preference. Technically, if I turn the brush on its side, I could still use it with sculpting products, but I realistically just use it with blush. Even with foundation, I can only blend it smoothly on top of the skin, but not really press it in because there are plenty of bristles but they aren’t packed tightly enough to use hard pressure. Hard pressure causes too much splay of the bristles. However, because of the amazingly soft feel on the skin and the way it moves across the surface, I’m content to use this brush for a sole purpose. I don’t need this one to be versatile. Also, the surface area is quite large, so I would recommend the mini base over this one for cream blush for anyone with small cheeks.
- Full Length: 167mm / 6.58 in
- Hair Length: 27mm / 1.06 in
- Hair Width: 18-28mm / 0.71 – 1.1 in
The Jumbo Base is the last brush of the Fusion series I purchased. When I was initially interested, I thought it would be flat, like a gigantic version of the Jumbo Concealer, so when I realized it had a slanted edge, I skipped it at launch day and on the first restock. However, I kept seeing reviews about how that slant helped it hug all the curves of the face, and I recalled how many of Sonia’s brushes I theoretically doubted would suit me, but actually trying them out opened my eyes and they became some of my absolute favorite brushes. So, I ordered it the next time it was available.
If the Classic Base is a dream, the Jumbo Base is heaven. It literally feels like a massage when I use it. I hadn’t been so excited for a foundation product since the Tati Blendiful, and prior to that, I hadn’t been that excited since the Tarte Buffer Airbrush Finish brush.
While it feels like heaven on the skin, I’m not quite as impressed with the results. If I use a heavy cream-like primer or moisturizer, I have a harder time spreading the foundation with this brush as the bristles drag on the skin too much and makes the foundation sit on my skin. So, I have to apply a lot more pressure to really press it in. I feel the strain on my hand because the brush is a bit heavy to hold, especially as the density of the slanted tip is less firm than I hoped so I need the extra pressure to make up for it in pressing the product and smoothing it out. Extra blending time is required to get the foundation off the bristles and onto my face. I realized foundation was staying in the brush when I had to use 3 times more product than usual, which resulted in a caked look. I still use twice the product with the Jumbo Base than my Blendiful, if it’s a thicker foundation like the Nars Soft Matte or Beautyblender Bounce foundation. I can get it down to 1.5 with a more liquid foundation such as the Estée Lauder Futurist Hydra Rescue. When I use a lightweight primer such as the Tatcha Liquid Silk Canvas with those same foundations I mentioned above, the blend is a lot quicker, I don’t have to use as much pressure, and because I have an easier time spreading the product across my face without the foundation getting stuck in the bristles. I don’t have to use as much product either. So, the combination of the primer and foundation majorly affects the capabilities of this brush.
I’ve used this brush for several months and have a better understanding of which products I should skip using this brush with, but even on the best of days my foundation looks fine but not flawless. It hasn’t surpassed the Tati Blendiful. I thought the Jumbo Base shape was completely unique to my collection, but I realized I have a very similar brush from the (discontinued) limited edition Sonia Kashuk Starstruck line. The multipurpose angled brush has synthetic bristles, but it feels like a natural hair brush. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I actually prefer how my foundation looks when I use the Sonia Kashuk brush over the Sonia G one. The bristles are a little taller, with a wider splay, and even though the Jumbo Base is softer, the Sonia Kashuk brush is soft enough for my liking. I get a much better blend with the Sonia Kashuk brush regardless of the primer and/or foundation in a quicker amount of time. I can’t stress enough how amazing the Jumbo Base feels on the skin, but that doesn’t mean anything if I’m dissatisfied with the performance. I want to love this brush, but it doesn’t fit my needs. I’m keeping it for now, but I will likely sell it sometime in the future.
I am obsessed with the Fusion line, as it still contains two of my favorite brushes for cream products. The bristle combination is fantastic, but it doesn’t guarantee I’ll like all of them if the shapes don’t work for me. So, I hope more fusion-bristle brushes will be made, but not everything will be for me. Also, these brushes can be used with powder products too, but I prefer the performance of my 100% natural hair brushes over the Fusion series bristles when it comes to using powders.
The Lotus Series
I had to get creative in order to have the brushes I wanted from this series. It was stated repeatedly by Sonia herself that the Lotus series would only be available as a full set. I couldn’t afford that expensive of a purchase, so I sold the brushes I didn’t think I would get as much use from in order to help pay for the brushes I was keeping. However, I can’t say I was shocked by the switch from the initial, “It’s not possible to sell this individually,” statement on Sonia’s blog on July 11th to the, “I’ll have to see if we can,” on August 20th on her Instagram.
Then it was confirmed on November 23rd, 2021. Sometimes it annoys me when a brand says something is limited edition, especially if it’s only available in a set, and then there’s a restock or it’s sold individually either from them or at another retailer. In this case, I don’t mind because I think it should have been available as singles from the beginning since three of the six brushes have existing counterparts: the Cheek to the Cheek Pro, the Builder to the Builder Three, and the Worker to the Worker Two. Plus, I’m undecided if I made the right decision to sell the Detail brush, so having them available individually would give me a second chance. I did not take the Base, Detail, and Worker brushes out of their sleeves when I sold them, so I couldn’t make as informed of a decision. I could only estimate that the Base appeared too thick for my preference. It has the same fibers as the Fusion series, so I really hope it’s possible for a slightly smaller and less thick version to be made that’s geared more for sculpting and less for foundation. The Detail looked too loosely packed, too small in width, and appeared thinner than the Keyaki Classic Face, which is a brush I hardly use. As for the Worker, I prefer the Builders over the Workers and decluttered mine. It didn’t make sense to keep this one when I was likely not going to use it over the builder anyway.
On to the brushes I did keep!
- Full Length: 165mm / 6.5 in
- Hair Length: 30mm / 1.18 in
- Hair Width: 10-16mm / 0.4 – 0.63 in
- Bristle Type: Saikoho Goat
The Cheek Pro is among my top favorite blush brushes of all time. I needed to get this special handle version of the brush. I wanted a backup brush anyway, so I thought this would be the perfect purchase. However, beyond the fact that The Cheek has undyed goat hair and the Cheek Pro hairs are dyed, this one is less dense which is something I don’t like. The difference is very noticeable and the density is partly why I love the Cheek Pro so much. The Cheek brush was purposely made to be fluffier than the Cheek Pro, but I keep it in a brush guard because I don’t want it to be airier than it already is. It’s a well crafted brush, but it doesn’t rank in my favorites. Because I was hoping this would be the equivalent to the Cheek Pro, I couldn’t help but be disappointed. If I can eventually stop wishing for it to be something it’s not, I may grow to appreciate it more. Only time will tell.
- Full Length: 150mm / 5.9 in
- Hair Length: 10mm / 0.4 in
- Hair Width: 5-10mm / 0.2 – 0.4 in
- Bristle Type: Saikoho Goat
These two are definitely more comparable and if you like one, you will probably enjoy the other. I’m always using the Builder Three with creams and primers even though I’m not supposed to with a dyed bristle brush. It’s nice to have The Builder to use with those instead, especially since I wanted a backup brush anyway, but I can’t let go of my old habits. I keep using the Builder Three for those jobs and I somehow always reach for The Builder with intense red pigments that are such a pain to get out of the white undyed bristles.
- Full Length: 152mm / 5.3 in
- Hair Length: 12mm / 0.8 in
- Hair Width: 5mm / 0.2 in
- Bristle Type: Saikoho Goat
The Mini Booster is one of my favorite eye brushes, but I wanted something even smaller. That’s why I was drawn to the Soft Definer, but the Soft Definer is more of a pencil brush than a crease brush because of the way the tips come together to form a rounded point. This is one of those brushes that is really good, but I don’t like purely because it doesn’t fit what I hoped it would be. It isn’t a smaller version of the Mini Booster, so it doesn’t deposit the color in a soft blended way. The placement is very defined like the kind of brush that would be perfect to use in cut crease looks and adding depth to the crease, outer corner, and for lining. I don’t have as steady of a hand as I used to, so if I want to do actual lining, I prefer to use smaller brushes. I was also hoping I could use this brush on the lower lash line as a softer alternative because my other pencil brushes tend to be firm and pokey, but the way I use the brush, the shadow I’m trying to deposit on the lash line always flicks the powder off my brush and back into the air, so I get the shadows in my eyes. It’s like using a feather duster. When sweeping, the dust doesn’t just settle into the feathers, some of it gets dispersed back into the air. Perhaps this is just a hassle I have to deal with because of my eye shape, but I don’t have this issue when I use brushes like the Builder Three, Smashbox Double Ended Smudger Brush, and angled liner brushes that I can just stamp onto the lower lash line instead of sweeping across or rubbing back and forth. If I apply side to side, I need something smaller and flatter than the Soft Definer.
That’s all I’ve got for today! It was quite difficult to admit to myself that most of the brushes I reviewed today weren’t the best fits for me, since I love Sonia G brushes. However, I can’t regret having those beautiful Lotus handles and the special Fusion fiber mix. Brushes that are considered “standard” shapes are the brushes that work for the most people. So, it’s not surprising that innovative unique shapes and styles are likely to appeal to people with a certain face shape or specific preferences (which is why I’m skipping the newest Niji Pro brush). The fact that only a few of these brushes I reviewed today were useful for me doesn’t take away from the quality of the brushes. So, I very much recommend continuing to look into Sonia G’s line beyond my review.
I’m holding out hope that some day Sonia will release a collection of the standard type of handles in the red and blue, but in a deep purple version. That’s my ultimate dream handle!
Thank you for reading!