Rant & Rave: Blush Brushes

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Blush Brushes

I don’t like when they’re too soft that they don’t pick up product well–I don’t want super dense either, but I tend to prefer moderate to dense and then using pressure to control how much (or little) gets picked up. I think it’s because I also find that when it’s so soft that it gets hard to pick up product… it is also more time-consuming to diffuse/blend out because the bristles aren’t efficient enough for my liking.

— Christine

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Which blush brushes do you love? I’m so fair that for darker blushes, I have to use the super soft ones and carefully dip in, but for others, I need a denser brush…like the Clinique ones but I do dearly love how they blend out!

I don’t think there’s one perfect universal blush brush. I have several different types of brushes that work with different types of blushes. For example, I have one very soft brush that isn’t good at picking up powder from my NARS Orgasm blush, but it’s works very well for my Clinique Cupid blush. So I think it’s just a matter of matching the right brush to the right blush.

Rant:
* Finding the perfect one. There are many blush brushes out there and finding the perfect one seems very hard sometimes. It doesn’t need to be too small to work with, but not too big since my face and cheeks are rather small. It has to have either a tapered dome or a slanted/angle cut that perfectly matches my face size and structure. It has to be stiff and dense enough to pick up and deposit color, but soft enough to be able to build color rather than apply a full pigmentation from the first swipe. It should make blending easy and diffusing an option (if I make a mistake).
* Duo fiber blush brushes. Don’t understand them, never worked for me.
* Discontinued brushes. The is my absolute favorite,

Rave:
* Versatility. In the end, a good blush brush can be used for applying any powder. Lately, I’m actually using a brush a day, to set my face with powder, than to either contour, bronze or apply blush. I find that using a clean brush each day (not reusing my face powder multiple times) actually reduced slightly any breakouts I rarely had.

Side note, the Sephora Collection Classic Must Have Angled Blush Brush #50 is on sale now for $9 in the US (not considering that it’s sale time). If you like this kind of brushes, grab one and run, I’m afraid it will be discontinued. 😆
I bought one 4-5 years ago when I was living in Europe and it’s still going strong. Perfect shape, never shed (and I do wash mine quite often), the metal part didn’t rusted, the handle didn’t peeled. I just hope it’s not one of those things were US vs. Europe products differ, or they changed the brush in the latest years.

My cheek area is quite sensitive: if the bristles poke me, my cheek will start turning red and flakey. Chikuhodo, Wayne goss, and Sonia g are my go-to with some discontinued brushes from IT and Sonia Kashuk.

I found the perfect brush for cream blush using the RMS Beauty one. Really easy to work the color with, and very light.

For powder blush, it’s not that easy… My Real Techniques big fluffy blush brush is working well with Charlotte Tilbury’s.

I like a dense and just kinda soft brush also. If it’s too soft it just collapses. If it’s not dense it picks up no product. Right now I’m using nars wet/ dry brush. It works ok. I did have to super glue it back together after I dropped it.

Depending on the blush color and its particular formula is what determines which of my blush brushes I go in with. For very pigmented shades or baked geleé formulas, I always use a stippling brush because it can both be used to pick up just enough of UD Quiver to not make me look like a clown, yet it can also easily grab enough of a baked geleé to make the work easier.
For my more usual go-to shades, just something fluffy, but neither too soft, nor scratchy or rough is what does the job.

I’m very fair skinned, so I usually prefer a fluffy brush such as the Real Techniques Blush Brush (the one with the bright pink handle). It’s dense enough to pick up product, but fluffy enough to let me sheer out darker and brighter shades. I apply the blush with the tip, and blend and buff with the sides. RANT: This type of blush brush seems really hard to find. I was so thankful when the RT one came out, as my previous (and ancient) Sonia Kashuk brush had started shedding.

For lighter blushes, I prefer an soft, dense angled brush. I feel it’s easier to apply color with them than flatter-style brushes. I prefer them to be dense, without too much give. I usually use the OG MAC 168 or the e.l.f. Angled Blush Brush. I hated the Wet n Wild angled blush brush, because it had too much give.

For cream blushes or hybrids (like ColourPop SS Cheeks), I prefer a duo-chrome stippling brush that is springy but doesn’t have too much give. I adore the e.l.f. Small Stippling Brush and use that.

I have so many blush brushes it’s not even funny… most of them are very soft because I prefer a very diffused wash of colour and I like to layer and blend different shades and products. I struggled with the Charlotte Tilbury Glowgasm palette (honestly, I haven’t liked ANYTHING from that brand) because it was so stiff and dry but once I got my Wayne Goss brushes in hand, it was easier to use. Give me a nice soft blendable powder any day, please!

I used three different cheek brushes this morning, two for blush (1 to apply, 1 to buff) and another for highlighter – I am not a one and done kind of girl! 😉

The perfect conversation for my question. I just got the Nars Exposed Cheek palette with the baked gelee formula. I see folks talking about stipling brushes, but any suggestions in particular since I don’t know what a stipling brush is. I use the Tom Ford blush brush on the regular for powder blush and have some Sephora Pro brushes for cream, etc. I just bought the Sephora Pro 64 which was supposed to be for the baked gelee formula per the employee who recommended it. But, for me, not so much. I’m having a difficult time blending them out nicely. They swatch beautifully, but applying with the brush, not so much. Any recommendations would really be appreciated.

Tarababyz, I know you read here. This is an excellent question and one that you can answer. it’s past time you upload some brush advice — your collection is so extensive. Why don’t you do some instruction videos? Brushes for blush. Brushes for highlighter. Etc., etc., etc. I know it would be very much appreciated.
(Liz, I hope she comes through! She’s soooo good at explaining brushes. Pleeeze, Tara!)

I’m also not sure what people mean by “stippling brush,” but I stipple when I apply my cream blushes, and the brush I use is an IT Cosmetics (for Ulta) brush that I think is actually meant for foundation (102?). I need the density for what I do, and I don’t use it at all in a typical “brushing” way (no sweeping across my skin), and it works well for me. I would take my suggestion with a grain of salt and look for some second opinions, though, since the IT brushes aren’t exactly cheap, and I’m prone to ignoring “intended uses.”

After a lot of trial and effort, I have three “go to” b’rushes that I use for blush. The first is Benefit’s Hoola Bronzing & Contouring Brush. This brush is perfect for when I just need to apply a wash of color on my cheeks. The second is the MUFE’s 150 Precision Blush Brush for more sculpted blush looks. The third is the angle blush brush that came in the Koyudo 5-pc “vivid” (the black goat hair one). This one is just a great versatile blush brush.

I have two blush brushes (that I actually use as blush brushes), both IT Cosmetics. One is a duo-fiber that I use for powders, the other is denser, and I use it for cream/stick blushes like ColourPop (or Bite Beauty Multistick, Fenty Matchstix, etc…)

The brush intended for the creams HAS to be more dense in order to do what I need it to do, but I stick to the gossamer duo-fiber for powders because my proclivity for layering colors means I have to apply as little as possible with each layer, carefully building as I go, to avoid looking like a clown.

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