06-12-2015, 10:02 AM
#1
  • kwsher
  • Senior Member
  • Austin, TX - USA
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I have not seen much online re: the Epsilon brushes and wanted to share my thoughts as I just received one today from Gifts and Care [great ordering experience and please see my other thread for more detail]. The brown horsehair is 35% mane and 65% tail which contributes to its substantial backbone.

Not having an other horsehair brushes to compare it to, I was somewhat nervous regarding the odor based on other posts however out of the box this brush had a mild scent. Far less than other boar brushes I have purchased and frankly not nearly as offensive either. The build quality appears top notch and the Chubby style handle very well executed.

I washed the brush (3) times with some eucalyptus Pet shampoo and although dissipated, it will take more work to fully eliminate the barn scent.

On to the use: soaked during shower in warm water and loaded directly my La Pere Lucien for today's shave. As you would expect from a 26mm knot it is a bit of a lather hog but I don't mind. It has tremendous backbone, which I assume will relax as it breaks in but the exfoliation was nice. Generated enough lather for 3x passes as well as touch ups after and retained heat fairly well during the shave.

The only version in stock at time of order was the brown, bulb and I actually wanted the white but this is a solid brush. I would rank it slightly higher than boar in performance and overall for $40 money well spent.

I have heard stories of horse hair knots tangling but do not see signs after the first shave and certainly will keep this in the rotation being please with the performance and what I have seen thus far.

Let me know if you have any other questions and happy to answer as best I can!

Brush:

Knot- 26mm
Loft- 50mm
Handle- 45mm
Overall Height- 95mm

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 06-12-2015, 11:02 AM
#2
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I don't have any questions, but I do have the exact same brush and in my opinion, it's a stand out, through and through. It's a rare breed and I believe, a first of it's kind. As far as horse hair tangling, I have two horse hair brushes and I have never had a problem. I highly doubt the Epsilon would ever tangle, given it's knot dimensions and density. I agree with you 100%: at around $40 it's a steal and that brush should be closer to $100, given it's quality. I would not even consider parting with this brush. Funny thing: I used it this morning. It's definitely a work horse!

Peace!

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 06-12-2015, 11:08 AM
#3
  • kwsher
  • Senior Member
  • Austin, TX - USA
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(06-12-2015, 11:02 AM)Nusquam Humanitus Wrote: I don't have any questions, but I do have the exact same brush and in my opinion, it's a stand out, through and through. It's a rare breed and I believe, a first of it's kind. As far as horse hair tangling, I have two horse hair brushes and I have never had a problem. I highly doubt the Epsilon would ever tangle, given it's knot dimensions and density. I agree with you 100%: at around $40 it's a steal and that brush should be closer to $100, given it's quality. I would not even consider parting with this brush. Funny thing: I used it this morning. It's definitely a work horse!

Peace!

That's great news. Being my first horsehair I wasn't sure what to expect but a very pleasant surprise out of the box and glad to hear from another user. As you use(d) yours did the tips soften a bit? The bloom after the first shave is minimal but assume that it will loosen up with time. I prefer a bit of backbone nonetheless but was curious based on your experience.

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 06-12-2015, 01:07 PM
#4
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(06-12-2015, 11:08 AM)kwsher Wrote:
(06-12-2015, 11:02 AM)Nusquam Humanitus Wrote: I don't have any questions, but I do have the exact same brush and in my opinion, it's a stand out, through and through. It's a rare breed and I believe, a first of it's kind. As far as horse hair tangling, I have two horse hair brushes and I have never had a problem. I highly doubt the Epsilon would ever tangle, given it's knot dimensions and density. I agree with you 100%: at around $40 it's a steal and that brush should be closer to $100, given it's quality. I would not even consider parting with this brush. Funny thing: I used it this morning. It's definitely a work horse!

Peace!

That's great news. Being my first horsehair I wasn't sure what to expect but a very pleasant surprise out of the box and glad to hear from another user. As you use(d) yours did the tips soften a bit? The bloom after the first shave is minimal but assume that it will loosen up with time. I prefer a bit of backbone nonetheless but was curious based on your experience.

At this point in time, I am faithfully rotating between about 15 brushes, so I have only used the E beast about 4-5 times. I don't expect the tips to change very much and I believe this is a universal truth regarding horse hair brushes, as opposed to boar bristle. Also, given the density and knot width (26mm), if there is any softening of the tips, it will take an abnormally long time. I feel the tips were very soft, right out of the gate. On the down side, I did notice it takes a long time to dry and it's very difficult to clean out after a shave. These are minimal realities that are part of the deal. The brush has serious backbone and density. It's an exfoliation machine. Continuing...... I would also not expect much of a bloom, given it's knot dimensions. The knot diameter at 26 mm is too wide and the loft too short for a true bloom in my opinion. Basically, I expect it to pretty much stay as is for it's lifespan. A nuclear blast might help it bloom and soften.

For what it's worth: Brown horse hair is usually considered much softer than the white. Brown horse hair on this brush is actually a blessing, given it's nature. If you are interested in an excellent, "normal" white-haired horse brush, the Vie-Long, Olive handled, Bullgoose custom lofted brush is very sweet. These are the only 2 horses I own and they are pretty much all I need. Both are outstanding!

Peace!

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 06-12-2015, 02:00 PM
#5
  • kwsher
  • Senior Member
  • Austin, TX - USA
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E-Beast Biggrin

Gratias Tibi Ago! Test lathered a handful of times just now and really is a nice brush. I forgot to mention: it is in fact a very densely packed brush and it has not lost a SINGLE hair during any of my cleaning, lathering or test lathering. Pretty amazing based on experience.

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 06-12-2015, 02:24 PM
#6
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(06-12-2015, 02:00 PM)kwsher Wrote: E-Beast  Biggrin

Gratias Tibi Ago! Test lathered a handful of times just now and really is a nice brush. I forgot to mention: it is in fact a very densely packed brush and it has not lost a SINGLE hair during any of my cleaning, lathering or test lathering. Pretty amazing based on experience.

I believe Vie-Long is a very well respected manufacturer, so I would not expect much hair loss or serious problems. Also, I just got through reading the post on brush flow-through. Density definitely does play a huge role in this. The E-Beast is a lather hog, but very manageable.

Peace!

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 06-15-2015, 08:27 AM
#7
  • kwsher
  • Senior Member
  • Austin, TX - USA
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The E-Beast is definitely a keeper and a great value. Without intention I have been mainly using with softer artisan soaps and its performance is great.

Today used with a harder soap (MWF) and it kicked it up a notch. Effective loading and great lather. For those that struggle with the Fat this would be a great tool.

Still very pleased with performance and even more so when using with harder or triple milled soaps.

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 06-15-2015, 08:36 AM
#8
  • kwsher
  • Senior Member
  • Austin, TX - USA
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 12-01-2015, 11:28 AM
#9
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This brush caught my interest. 
How do you find it 5 months down the line?

I am split between white and brown horse hair. I wonder why it was mentioned that brown is softer. 
My understanding from the vendor was that white only comes in 50% tail and 50% mane, and with the tail bring the firmer hair, it should have less backbone than the brown hair which is 65% tail.

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 12-01-2015, 11:56 AM
#10
  • kwsher
  • Senior Member
  • Austin, TX - USA
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(12-01-2015, 11:28 AM)Galhatz Wrote: This brush caught my interest. 
How do you find it 5 months down the line?

I am split between white and brown horse hair. I wonder why it was mentioned that brown is softer. 
My understanding from the vendor was that white only comes in 50% tail and 50% mane, and with the tail bring the firmer hair, it should have less backbone than the brown hair which is 65% tail.
Hi Erez, it is my understanding is that the brown being softer is the reason they increase the amount of tail hair in the brush to provide more relative backbone. Unfortunately, I don't have and never have used a white to compare but I do still enjoy the brown.

The tips have always been soft but have broken in a bit more. Although it still has a great amount of backbone, it has also maintained its density while becoming easier to splay.

Overall, I still very much like the brush and would not hesitate to recommend as a great value.

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 12-01-2015, 12:24 PM
#11
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I got the same brush except in white from Gifts and Care about three months ago and use it pretty much 100% of the time.  I really enjoy it and found it took a couple months to soften up a little while keeping the backbone.

I would definately buy another one.

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 12-01-2015, 01:04 PM
#12
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(06-15-2015, 08:36 AM)kwsher Wrote: O[Image: sgCr0Pll.jpg]

Looks like a thoroughbred to me :-). Love the handle.

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 12-01-2015, 01:24 PM
#13
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I have two vie-long horse hair brushes. One brown one Epsilon white fan shape. Brown hair is more scritchy and not as dense as Epsilon line but has decent backbone.

Epsilon white on the other hand, is a beast. My brush is 28/50 and extra dense. It has very strong backbone and very little splay. The tips are less scritchy than the brown one but due to the it's size and density, it doesn't feel as soft as it is. I hope it will be softer after couple weeks of use.

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 12-01-2015, 02:26 PM
#14
  • Balj86
  • Senior Member
  • Maryland USA
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Aside from a synthetic SB, when I owned a horse SB it created some of the creamiest lather ever.  I had the natural mane brown color as well but never tried full bleached one before.

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 12-01-2015, 03:14 PM
#15
  • kwsher
  • Senior Member
  • Austin, TX - USA
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(12-01-2015, 01:04 PM)hrfdez Wrote: Looks like a thoroughbred to me :-). Love the handle.

Thanks Hector- sure is a great value brush. I need to break it out and take the pony for a ride!

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 12-01-2015, 06:42 PM
#16
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I've got this same Epsilon brush and really like it.  Just to compare my experience.  

The tips have been incredibly soft right out of the gate, much softer than my other horse hair brush from Vie Long.  The density is beyond incredible, and the 27mm advertised diameter seems to be not giving it full credit.  Loads of backbone, almost too much, and not much splay.  

When I really press and swirl on my face, I can get some splay, and just a tiny bit of hair twisting.  But that is REALLY pressing.  But, I also think that this brush requires a different technique than boar or badger.  Light swirl exfoliates like champ, and then firm painting strokes give tons of lather with tips that feel like a kitten.  I really like it.

The fine. but very dense nature of the hair really makes dense, thick lather compared to other brushes.  It is a bit of a lather hog, but gives it up with the technique above.  

Finally, my observation was that the original odor from the hair was not as strong as most boar or badger brushes, but more unpleasant and more persistent.  YMMV of course on scent preference.  I grew up on a ranch, and this was a horse scent that I did not care for, but the outcome is well worth it.  

Cheers!

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 12-07-2015, 11:36 AM
#17
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Thanks to this thread, I placed an order for a brown horse hair epsilon. 
I already have a white el zurito, which is a wonderful brush and my boar SBAD reached a conclusion so it is time to (re)branch.

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 12-07-2015, 11:49 AM
#18
  • leonidas
  • Senior Member
  • Jerez de la Frontera
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....how is the hair density on this brush?

...........i posted on another thread regarding the Vie-Long horsehair American brush........
....................as i mentioned before, the handle is great.......but the knot was in need of a few more horsehairs...
.................disappointing.........

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 12-07-2015, 06:15 PM
#19
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I may need oneSmile So the White on these actually has more backbone?

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 12-07-2015, 06:30 PM
#20
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Ehh....just went for it. Butterscotch handle & brown hair. At $36.80 delivered, I had to take a shot.

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