2 posts tagged "Mason Pearson"
Beauty Nostalgia is a new, weekly column on Beauty Counter in which we ask influencers, tastemakers, and some of our favorite industry experts to wax poetic on the sticks, salves, and sprays that helped shape who they are today.
The Pro: Oribe, founder of Oribe Salons and Hair Care
The Product: Part I
“Very early in my career, I remember discovering the Mason Pearson Medium Size Junior Brush. I was just starting out in hairdressing and it was a big investment, probably 60 or 80 bucks. When you’re 22 in New York City, you’d much rather go to the disco than spend that much on a brush. But I’ve always believed that the better the quality of my tools, the better the hair looks. For the last 35 years, this has been my signature brush. What I love about it is that it’s the perfect size to get at the roots and give a smooth finish, and it’s great for blowing the hair out straight, too. I prefer the pink color, and the baby blue is especially hard to find. I usually have this brush in my mouth, or pocket, at all times. Over the years, I’ve asked Mason Pearson, would you please make a brush for me? But they’re an old company and they weren’t interested. I’m not sure where I found the brush first—it must have been on a set or from a model. And at one point, I even put my logo on it—a sticker with a cartoon sketch of me with a comb in my hand—and I gave a lot of those away to clients. If I liked them, I would just let them keep the brush.”
The Mason Pearson mixed-bristle brush just may be one of the most name-checked products in beauty history. Beloved by stylists and real women alike, it’s pretty much the gold standard against which all other hairbrushes are compared. But as special as the classic MP is, its design is easy to mimic—or rather, easy to try to mimic. And a great many brands have tried over the years. The latest contender to step into the ring is bargain queen Sonia Kashuk, a woman whose name has become synonymous with quality for less thanks to her Target line. After a thorough test drive, here’s how they stack up:
The Physical Form: Both brushes qualify as true lightweights, though Kashuk is slightly more slender. Pearson’s handle sticks to a classic form, while Kashuk goes the ergonomic route, molding to your hand’s natural grip—a feature that’s pretty sweet, particularly during long and laborious styling sessions, but would be better suited to a handle as long as Pearson’s. The bristles, a multi-sized blend of natural boar and heat-resistant varieties, look and feel nearly identical on both brushes.
The Peak Performance: We’ve always appreciated Pearson’s ability to massage the scalp while styling, thanks to its ideal bristle mix, and we’re happy to report that Kashuk’s performs in the same way as the original. The slightly longer handle on the Pearson does make it easier to maneuver, however, and we can attest to its lasting ability; we’ve owned ours for nearly a decade, and after daily use during that period it’s experienced minimal bristle loss.
The Bottom Line: We can’t report on Kashuk’s longevity after only a few weeks of use, but with a price tag this low, perhaps it’s a beauty risk worth taking before you invest in the classic Pearson.