I found a nice, affordable, travel-friendly powder brush in Marionnaud.
Marionnaud is earning quite a name for itself because this beauty tools brand matches affordability with quality. In particular, their Premium line, which can be distinguished from the regular line by the rubberized brush handles, has earned the approval of quite a number of Filipino beauty bloggers.
Much as I’d like to get something from their Premium line, I still find them quite expensive. Perhaps when I’m earning more. So I got this retractable powder brush from their regular line for around P200 ($4.78). The hairs are made of synthetic fibers, while the handle and cap are made of hard plastic. The brush is quite dense. It is soft and non-scratchy, but not so soft as to render it unusable. It does not bleed or shed and has no odor. The brush fully retracts into the ferrule, yet it retains its shape. Unlike some brushes, it doesn’t get significantly scratchier the more it is used. It is, of course, at its softest after washing, but the difference is small. It’s smaller than a regular powder brush and a kabuki brush, but I have no problem applying powder with it. It dries very quickly; when I squeeze excess moisture with a towel after washing, the brush is about 80% dry.
The only problem I have with it is that when the whole brush accidentally falls into the water I am washing it in, moisture gets into the space between the ferrule and the handle and takes a few days to dry completely. This may cause the ferrule to rust faster. Well, I just have to be more careful to keep the brush upright when I wash it.
I recommend this to casual makeup users like myself. It performs well, is affordable but of good quality, and would fit into any but the teeny-tiniest vanity kit.