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As my brush collection now occupies three drawers, I thought it was time to get off my ass and review my lone Tom Ford Brush; the 13 Eyeshadow Blend Brush.

Tom Ford 13 Eyeshadow Blend Brush

The Tom Ford 13 Blend is a narrow, rounded crease brush made entirely of goat hair. Densely packed, it offers fantastic resistance (nevar floppy) and the size slash shape make it ideal for both depositing crease colour and blending it out. I’d go as far as saying that the 13 Blend is my densest crease brush and not for the heavy handed but with a light hand, you can create some awesome placements.

Tom Ford 13 Eyeshadow Blend Brush

Due to the density, this is not a one man show; I frequently go back with a sparser brush to diffuse the edges as the TF 13 moves eyeshadow so well that a smokey eye transforms into a massive black haze rather quickly. Admittedly, a well blended haze but just a wider placement than I intended.

Let’s tackle the price debate right away. The TF 13 brush retails at USD55, so a small fortune to say the least. You may have also heard the rumours that Tom Ford brushes are manufactured by Hakuhodo, so why pay triple the price for the Tom Ford equivalent? It’s the same Bourjois versus Chanel blush song and dance, despite being made in the same factory, they are not identical. I’m not suggesting that the Tom Ford 13 is better than my Hakuhodo’s but the assumption that one factory only creates perfect substitutes is a bit absurd; the machinery that makes my chocolate also processes peanuts but I don’t want peanuts, I want chocolate? I don’t even like peanuts.

So how does it compare to Hakuhodo and co?

Tom Ford 13 Eyeshadow Blend Brush

Tom Ford 13 Eyeshadow Blend Brush

The Tom Ford 13 hairs are a bit longer than the typical crease brush but the gentle taper paired with the resistance means it’s not fluffing all over your lid. Top down it looks very similar to the Hakuhodo J5523 and J142 butttt…

Tom Ford 13 Eyeshadow Blend Brush

The TF 13 ferrule is perfectly round, creating a circular footprint that’s a similar size to the oval footprint of J5523. Compared to the J142, the TF 13 has a smaller surface area of contact and appears denser, if you look closely. So no, I didn’t have a Hakuhodo dupe or even a close alternative (well they’re all crease brushes but y’know).

Since every makeup addict and their dog owns the MAC 217, here is a size/shape/quality comparison.

Tom Ford 13 Eyeshadow Blend Brush

I swear I look after that 217 as if it were a delicate flower- just LOOK at it. Ahem, so the TF13 has longer fibres and is rounded as opposed to flat. It is also more tapered, resulting in better precision. Quality wise, it’s chalk and cheese- TF 13 washes well, never sheds and never frays (my camera picks up a few flyaway hairs that not even my eyes can detect).

So it’s the brush from heaven? Not exactly, I have one complaint: The TF 13 isn’t superrr soft. Perhaps I’m spoilt by SUQQU brushes or perhaps the density throws me off but regardless, it simply doesn’t feel as soft on the skin as my Hakuhodo crease brushes. Not scratchy in the slightest but if you’re accustomed to SUQQU-bunny-softness, you’ll know what I mean.

Overall, Tom Ford Eyeshadow Blend 13 is ideal for those who like a dense crease brush, those who like to experiment with eyeshadow shapes and enthusiasts with some cash to blow. Give it a miss if you prefer a super soft crease or you have a notoriously heavy hand. Personally, I tend to reach for the Hakuhodo J5523 over the Tom Ford 13, unless I’m going for a more graphic placement.

Do you own any Tom Ford brushes? What is your verdict?


Complete list of products mentioned

Blend Brush
Blend Brush
* Denotes products sent for consideration. Iā€™m always honest with my reviews :)

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  1. Hi Karima,
    I have this brush too and I personally like it to blend my crease area. I agree with you that this brush sometimes picks up too much color but overall I think this brush performs very well.

  2. Hey Karima, I also love this brush! I actually ditched my Hakuhodo crease brushes in favor of this one, since it is more dense and precise. Application of dark colors was a little patchy with the Hakuhodo’s, but with this brush I can use a very light hand and achieve lovely even color! I just have to remember to use a light hand when I’m picking up the shadow!

  3. What a fabulous review and comparison!! I have this Tom Ford one, along with the MAC and Haku J5523 and I really use them all interchangeably. There is something very balanced about the TF brush and the quality of the hairs used in the TF is very nice, but I don’t necessarily see it superior to 217. I often use the 217 as a general placement and laydown brush, too which I don’t seem to do as much with the TF. But all lovely! šŸ™‚

    1. Belly šŸ˜€ I agree, the TF is very balanced and quite durable, which I like. I also agree that the 217/J5523 are better for general laydown- I frequently use them with MAC Blackground Paint pot, works well because they have a flatish head. I can’t really do the same with the TF13. Insightful as always, thank you šŸ™‚ xx

  4. Oooh I am so glad i’ve discovered your blog! I was googling Suqqu eyebrow pens (after finally giving in to the temptation. Thank you Lisa Eldridge), and your post on them helped me to find where to buy online (Selfridges website quoting 25 pounds postage, on top of the 20 pounds for the pen!!). I adore Suqqu, and when last in the UK, treated myself to a Suqqu blush brush (friends i was travelling with were horrified that i was willing to pay 80 pounds for it! But it has been the best make up purchase for me yet!) Anyway, love the blog (what i’ve browsed so far), very helpful and informative, and also great that you are writing from an Australian perspective (namely, knowing where to buy online, when great brands are either not sold here, or are crazy expensive!!). Clare.

    1. Welcome, Clare šŸ™‚
      Ichibankao is a better option for smaller SUQQU purchases, if you get a fair few pieces then Selfridges ends up being cheaper (remember, VAT 20% is deducted upon checkout). How awesome is the SUQQU Blush Brush! I think I might get another, I love it that much. So glad you’ve found the blog helpful, I love to hear that from a fellow Aussie. xx

  5. Thanks for this! And big sigh of relief too; now that I know there are softer Hakus, I won’t need to trouble myself with a brush that suffers the horrible number 13 flaw. In yo face, TF$!

    1. My pleasure šŸ™‚ Don’t get me wrong, the TF13 is awesome and has its place but if softness is your concern, then the Haku’s are definitely softer. xx

  6. Hello Karima, loved the review as always =)! I was searching for a search box in ur blog and nowhere to be found, maybe im just too sleepy, and a “chikuhodo” tag as well since ur comparing them , so that i can easily get to the post where u review the gsn brush but i couldnt find it as well. am i too sleepy to find them?

    1. Hey there,
      Are you on the mobile site? I haven’t done the Chikuhodo GSN or Z series reviews yet, which is why you can’t find them šŸ˜‰
      Generally I link reviews where I mention a product, the search bar is on the right hand side of the home page (on computer, I’m working on adding that functionality to mobile).

  7. Found it Karima thank u so much i was in fact not on computer!
    Cant wait to read ur reviews to the GSN series =) i mean, all brushes from chikuhodo are amazing tools to work with šŸ˜‰
    Best Regards

  8. Hmmm……I don’t really NEED to eat dinner for a month, right? My need to own this brush far outstrips my nutritional intake, right? All my fellow beauty fanatics agree? šŸ˜›

    1. I’d agree but I fail at logic when it comes to makeup šŸ˜› exhibit A, the ridiculous selfridges haul I just completed.
      2 minute noodles, shall we? šŸ˜‰

  9. Beautiful review, Karima! This sounds like the perfect blending brush for me. The handle looks gorgeous too. Softness is not my top priority when it comes to brushes, as long as they are not scratchy. Any idea how much it costs in Australia?

    1. It’s very functional, I feel as though it wouldn’t work quite as well if it were as soft as suqqu and such. If I’m honest, I don’t recall how much it is in Australia as I purchased it from the US. I’d guess about $70?

  10. Hi Karima,

    First let me say how much I love your blog. You are gorgeous, informative and very funny.I recently got back into makeup in a big way, having had a nearly 4 year break. The birth of my daughter put a temporary stop to any kind of frippery, like sleeping, reading blogs or indeed applying makeup. Just no time! Now however I am back in the saddle so to speak and have been on a bit of a spree. I bought, amongst other things, a couple of cream blushers and have been applying with my fingers, but really need a brush, I think. This is where you come in. As someone with a brush collection that occupies three! drawers I feel sure you can point me in the right direction. I have already bought the Suqqu cheek brush on your recommendation and am eagerly awaiting its delivery. I am planning to use it for bronzing and high pigment powder blush. I am quite pale, you see, so need to bewarebof clown face.
    So now I need your recommendation for a brush to apply and blend out cream products. Thanks and sorry about the looooong comment. Love from the UK

    1. Hey Esther!
      Welcome back to the dark side šŸ˜‰ But I love babies, that is legit reason to halt frippery-ing. As for brushes for cream blush, I really like the Hakuhodo J214R which is a very small stippling brush. The review is here:

      And you can see me using it for cream blush here (fast forward to 3:30)

      It’s not the quickest or easiest brush for cream blush application (since it’s pretty small) but I really like the outcome. If you’d like something fast for everyday, any stippling/duo fibre brush should work well.
      Now go cuddle your daughter šŸ˜‰ xxkarima

  11. Hi Karima, I find your blog a delight to read and always look forward to your witty and informative posts. I’ve recently started investing in good brushes, and I am stunned by what a difference they make (particularly the Suqqu cheek brush! I mean, wow!) And after reading this, I am definitely going to invest in the Hakuhodo J5223…I already have the MAC 217 but feel it’s time for an upgrade. I was just wondering if you could make recommend something to contour the nose? I’ve tried doing this with the 217 but find it deposits too much product (ok perhaps I haven’t got the best technique) and the smaller brushes I own are too precise. I would really appreciate it! Many thanks.

    1. Hey Evie! Thanks for your kind words, that makes blogging really worthwhile šŸ™‚ Isn’t the SUQQU Brush incredible? I think it’s my favourite brush! I don’t contour the nose often but when I do, I use an angled eyeshadow brush (The Makeup Store Angled Eyeshadow brush, to be precise, not sure if you have this brand where you are). The shape looks like this:
      That is what I’ve found works best and I’m sure lots of companies make similar brushes šŸ™‚
      Hope this helps, xxkarima

  12. Hey Karima! I was looking around online for the Tom Ford blending brush and it looks like they changed it? The new blending brush looks way more tapered than the 13. I’m so sad! Have you looked into it?