EcoTools Bamboo Brush: Bang for Buck Heavy Weight Champ of the World

Discussion in 'Shaving Brushes' started by Loric, Dec 18, 2011.

    I have a review of a brush that is a bit off of the of the radar for most wet shavers. In fact if I'm going to use a radar comparison, this thing is the stealth bomber. The Eco Tools Bamboo Bronzer Brush is... really... well... its an um... its a make up brush. But dont worry I have not gone completely sideways, it happens to also be an amazing shaving brush. The best part of it all is that it that it boasts a massive $7 price tag (Wallmart)!

    $Ecotools.jpg

    The unorthodox knot measures 29mm and has a loft of 41mm. The ultra short loft gives this a face feel much closer to a typical 22~24mm brush. I have included some photos next to a 22mm TGN Super Sivertip set at 45mm and a Rooney Heritage XXL for size comparison. The short short squat little thing is impossibly soft. Make up brushes are made as not to offend the delicate skin of the fairer sex, so for us stubbly faced bruits it might as well be made of angle feathers. It's at least as soft as any traditional shaving brush. While the package does not say what kind of hair is used in the brush, it does say its all natural, so I'm guessing its some kind of treated horse hair, that is unless angle feathers still count as natural :w00t: Another possiblity is that the hairs are some kind of treated bamboo. That would only be speculation, but I have heard of bamboo brushes before. In this case I think the "bamboo" in the name refers only to the handle. Whatever they are, the hairs themselves are very very fine, and densely packed. I'd say the brush is as dense as most any high end shaving brush out there, but its hard to pin it down exactly as the hairs are finer than any other shaving brush I have used. Also the loft is unusually short, again making it hard to pin down. However in terns of density and luxurious feel this brush keeps up with brushes that literally cost 15 or 20 times as much. Backbone is good, dispite the fine hairs not being that stiff. The short loft and flat knot shape boost the strength of the hair just right.

    $Eco Lineup.jpg $Eco Top.jpg

    The brush loads hard soaps very very fast. While it does not have the skritch to bite into soaps like most soap killers, this brush features a short flat knot that keeps most of the hairs in constant contact with the soap as you load. Like any dense brush, this one takes extra product to load. However you dont have to put extra time or struggle into that loading with this brush. It just eats soap off of a puck.

    Out of the package the brush did not hold much water, but as it has broken in water retention has increased dramatically. However even after the break in, the short loft does not hold as much water as a typical shaving brushes. This combined with the density, fine hairs, and soap killer loading prowess tends to produce very slick jell like lather. This is thicker than most B&B'ers here tend to like, but I actually really like my lather a bit under hydrated for extra glide. So although its would be a fault for some it happens to work very well for me.

    $Eco Lather.jpg $Eco Full.jpg

    There is some trouble in paradise though. Really something has to give in a $7 not shaving brush, that accidentally happens to be an amazing shaving brush. First of all a knot this big and squat just screams to be a face lather brush. However the short loft really hampers it here in that it cant possibly hold all the lather it will whip up. Granted you can get a good four passes out of it if you lather conservatively. However there is a point where the brush is full and all the lather has no place to go on your face. I'm not scared of washing some lather down the drain after a shave if I dont use it, but it is kind of irksome to have good lather fall into the sink before you have a chance to use it.

    Secondly the bamboo handle is a bit long IMO. Its not awful, but in a brush where luxury, lather, face feel, hair quality all earn 10/10's a handle that is a 4/10 feels a bit out of place. Fortunately you can address both of the brushes shortcomings if you bowl lather. The handle works much better for this kind of lathering, and you dont loose lather into the sink before you can use it. Using this way makes the brush feel a little bit conflicted, but again nothing that cant be lived with.

    At first I worried this brush might not hold up building lather. It's very low cost and was built to apply powder gently to a woman's face. Loading soap and building lather would seem to be well over this amount of stress. Dispite this the brush has not shed one hair. Zero, nothing. So for now its bulletproof. More time using this brush will be the only way to tell though.

    All and all the EcoTools Bamboo Bronzer Brush makes for a fantastic shaving brush, especially for $7. There are a couple quirks to live with, but really for the price nothing comes close to this brush.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2011
  1. Perhaps it is the rare and elusive frog hair. I hear it is very fine.


    Thanks for sharing this.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2011
  2. I hear rumor they can only harvest this grade of hair from the inside of frog ears.

    Your very welcome and your guess is as good as mine!
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2011
  3. Thanks for writing this up. Always cool to see innovative ways to include stuff into the shaving routine. Maybe I'll pick one of these up sometime.
     
  4. Thanks, I had been thinking of trying this myself.

    But new members are going to be very confused when we start recommending that they buy a makeup brush and some Kiss My Face....
     
  5. It is very funny that this is posted...I was just looking at my wife's over sized makeup brush this morning and wondering....:laugh:
     
  6. Great review and very interesting read! Thanks!

    :lol:
     
  7. This is true, but look at it this way. I was the lunatic who tired it first, at least now you all can point at me and say you were just doing what I suggested.

    Thats kind of how I found this thing. My girlfriend rarely dallys in the make up aisle, but one day she spent half an hour there and I had to find a way to occupy myself. I started pawing the make up brushs. Nothing felt good at all.... very small, not densly packed, and some were shockingly rough to the touch. However this one jumped demanded an experiment.

    I admit I felt a bit weird going over and looking at make up products....and I can tell you rough looking salt of the earth mid westerners you find at Wallmart game me some funny looks. And by funny I mean looks that scream "kill this wierdo with fire". However no harm came of it, and in the end it was worth the mild social embarrassment.
     
  8. ...and when you're not around she looks at your shave brushes the same way...
     
  9. Goat hair is often used in makeup brushes.
     
  10. I've often wondered if a Makeup brush would work.
     
  11. Handle too big? Try the Kabuki Man Travel Shave brush!

    $KabukiBrush.jpg
     
  12. So if I give one of these to SWMBO I can take the Wee Scot back?
     
  13. Nice. I too just this morning was eyeing my wife's makeup brush. But hers isn't very dense.
     
  14. This might be worth a try just for kicks
     
  15. Interesting. I'm curious to how long it will hold up the the rougher treatment as you alluded to.
     
  16. I'm sold...
     
  17. The more I read it the more disturbing it is...
     
  18. As an update I was at the store last night picking one of these up as a stocking stuffer for another wet shaver in the family. I was still at a Wallmart, but one in a nicer part of town and the price was $10 there. So it could have gone up, or it could be a demographic thing???

    Last night, I actually looked at some Kabuki brushes much like that one, and they felt like an over correction. I like a small handle, but this style was to small for my big hands. I'm generally a small handle guy, but this time the longer handle works best for me. Thanks for the suggestion though!

    After looking over a couple make up brush sections, density is really really hit and miss. Bronzer brushes seem to be the most dense, and Kabuiki's seem to be a step down from them, and then everything else is just to floppy to be of any use. Basically if your going to go look, make sure you put your hands on all the brushes to feel what they are like. You cant tell what will be good or not just by looking.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2011

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