Brush Wars: Nars Ita vs Zoeva 109 Luxe Face Paint

The Nars Ita brush has been the talk of the town for quite a lot of time. The ones that have it,love it. The ones that don’t, lust after it. And the ones that created it…are now filthy rich.

The uniqueness of the Ita lies on its shape. The structure of this artisan brush is so fine, and the concept behind it is extraordinary. There was no other like it. Of course, it wasn’t long before companies tried to copy the design of the beautiful Ita, only to fail as miserably as most of the girls trying to get the “Kim Kardashian Look”.

The first company that decided to play mime with Nars was Everyday Minerals with the Ihatake brush. Costing only a fraction of the price ($15,99), the Ihatake lured many makeup enthusiasts in, only to slam the door on their faces later. Why you ask? *clears throat and grabs the megaphone*


That fact alone should have been enough for them (the gurus) not to even mumble the words “dupe”, but nooo. I will give 3 points to the Ihatake brush, though.
Point 1: Good for you for the affordable price.
Point 2: Good for you for being made of bamboo and synthetic bristles, so no bunnies, guinea pigs,goats, ponies and other assorted poor animals weren’t hurt.
Point 3: Good for you for being suitable for both powder and cream products. Moving on…

Many claimed that the little brush that comes with the Benefit Box Powders is a dupe for the Ita. But I won’t even begin explaining how important the ergonomic design of a normal size brush is, if you can’t figure it out on your own. The point is, that since the arrival of the Ita, many similarly shaped brushes have spawn, but has any of them come close…?

Since I bought the Zoeva Makeup Artist Belt, that came with the lovely 109 Luxe Face Paint Brush, I have been wondering, could this be a dupe for the Ita?


Nars has created the Ita with their signature rubberised finish on the handle, which fells extremely luxurious(but gets really dirty really easily)and has given it a quite different rectangular shaped handle, that makes application and blending a piece of cake.The 109 has a standard makeup brush design, with a sturdy binding between the powder black handle (such an elegant touch) and the silver ferrule of the brush. Their design is not that similar, but I thought maybe they would perform the same. Well, yes and no…

To begin with, the Ita is made of black natural bristles, and the 109 of  white natural-synthetic. Meaning the 109 feels like and acts like a natural bristle brush. As you can see, the bristles on the 109 are shorter than on the Ita, with a cleaner cut on the front part.

And you can also see, that they are more densely packed. That results to a more restricted movement when it comes to blending. The Ita offers a seemless, effortless blending experience,which you might have to work a little bit harder for with the 109. BUT the upside of the smaller and denser design of the 109 is the precision. I use the 109 mostly on my clients, and more specifically on my smaller-face clients. The Ita is wonderful for carving out the face, but it can come off as too much if you are not careful with it.

Another thing I should mention is, that I would dare apply cream products with the 109. I get scared cleaning the Ita, let alone getting it close to something creamy or “wet”.

So, the big question? Is it a dupe??? Nah, not really.
Does is perform similarly? Yeah, pretty much.
Is it worth buying? Yes. It’s a wonderful brush for contouring and highlighting.
Would you buy this over the Ita? I would choose Ita over any brush out there…

The Ita retails for $55 and can be purchased online, in stores and Sephora (don’t quote me on that one)
The Zoeva 109 retails for 12.80 EUR/$16 and can be purchased from their website and now available for worldwide free shipping on

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