Former MAC executive reinvents the makeup brush


While researching ideas for a new beauty line, Matthew Waitesmith, a former senior vice president at MAC Cosmetics, realized that there was one category that had been ignored for centuries: the brush.

“This is what cavemen used to paint their caves,” said Waitesmith, brandishing a piece of rough wood with a tuft of fur stuck on the end. “There has been no innovation in the makeup brush category in a hundred thousand years.”

Until now. In early May, Waitesmith launched the Artis Elite Collection, 10 multipurpose brushes that look and perform differently from traditional makeup brushes.


“Brushes were historically designed for someone to use on someone else,” Waitesmith said. “Even after the mirror was invented, brushes still weren’t created for self-application.”

With Artis, Waitesmith configured the handles along the lines of a finger, making the brush easy to use on oneself. He replaced the typical goat, pony or weasel hair bristles with CosmeFibre, a patented man-made fiber with a precisely tapered end.

The bristles come shaped into ovals, lines and circles to fit any part of the face, and they work with powders, emollients and liquid makup. The straight, fine brush would work as both eyeliner and lip liner, and a large circular one can be used to apply pressed powder as well as liquid body shimmers. When washed, they dry in five minutes.

The brushes range in price from $26 to $62 and are available on


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