UPDATE NO. 2: YES, IT’S SOLD OUT AGAIN. FOLLOWUP STORY HERE.
UPDATE NO. 1: AS OF MARCH 1, THIS BRUSH IS BACK IN STOCK AT THE NARS COSMETICS WEBSITE. BE FORWARNED: THE PRICE HAS BEEN INCREASED TO $55. THE ARTICLE BELOW ORIGINALLY APPEARED IN JANUARY 2014.
The Ita (ee-ta) is always in a vicious circle of being available and backordered, and even if you are actually able to place an order with some retailers, oftentimes you are placed on a waitlist. (I waited many months for mine!)
Why is this contouring brush so hot? Aside from its actual application attributes (more on that later), let’s just say it’s one sexy piece of art. And most of the photos don’t even show the cool side view, with the split handle and unique threading.
What’s more, Nars has REMOVED IT FROM THEIR WEBSITE! This cannot be good, right?
As you might expect, this is causing panic in some circles.
One, our sources tell us that Nars is actually revamping its entire brush line, which be available in March. (Although one other source says April). And, yes, the Ita will be there, although it will likely be modified. Our sources tell us that the matte black rubberized handle could change. (Also, please keep in mind that this is not the first time the Ita has changed. They used to have a #28 Ita before the most recent #21 Ita that’s gone missing. This is why you always stock up on items that you love … )
And now, for secret No. 2:
The Nars Ita brush is completely overrated, unless you have extremely sensitive skin. And we insist this is true even though the Nars Ita gets nearly five stars from everyone, wherever it used to be sold. Art attributes aside — and we’re not completely discounting those — you can find many, many capable dupes for this brush.
Let Us Explain
The thing that makes the Ita unique is that the goat hair is on the longer side for a brush of this style and so it splays a bit more when applied to the face. This results in a less precise, or more muted, contouring line. In turn, this requires less blending. So, it’s more goof-proof.
You can find many other brushes that rival the Ita, although you are not likely to find one so soft. For women with sensitive skin, who don’t do well with stiffer brush hair, this may be the ultimate choice for contouring. Aside from maybe a fan brush, which is an excellent choice, BTW.
But if you have normal skin, you can find many other options, most of which are more affordable.
- The free brush you get with Benefit’s $28 Box O’ Powder product! For contouring, we recommend either Hoola or Dallas. These brushes aren’t super high quality. They are free, afterall. But they are solid for freebie contouring brushes.
- Everyday Minerals Itahake. $15.99. Many reviewers actually prefer this to the Nars Ita. Alas: It’s also out of stock!
- Napoleon Perdis ’15b’ Angled Contour Sable Brush. $22. Backordered. (C’mon now?!) Medium precision. Soft.
- M-A-C 163 Flat Top Contour Brush. $35. Stiffer and precise.
- Japanese brush maker Hakuhodo has a whole range of this style of flat contouring brushes, which we would categorize as a splurge!
- Let us know if you know any other great dupes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Still Want the Nars Ita?
If you still insist on getting next-gen Ita brush when it comes out, we advise checking for it repeatedly on the Nars, Nordstrom or Neiman Marcus sites. Like every single day, starting in March. If you don’t get the first round of inventory, chances are good, you’ll be waiting for it again …
But we worry that after all that waiting, you’ll just find yourself siding with these Nordstrom reviewers:
“Not really loving this brush, I bought it after watching the amazing Jaclyn Hill video on you tube and I was so sure I was gonna love it since every single thing she recommends I also end up loving it…however, this one I was not so impressed …”
Or this one:
“For the price I expected a little more. It’s good for contouring but it’s not as dense as other lesser priced brushes. Overall it’s okay but if had to do it again I would skip it!”