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The Gloss Report: Blusher brushes

December 26th 2013

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The Gloss team test out the best blusher brushes for a smooth and sophisticated sweep

Stila #1 Blush Brush

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Price: £18.00

Buy online: stila.co.uk

Feedback: “Always afraid of having ‘streaky-cheekies’ I’m really quite particular when it comes to make-up brushes, and with a very mixed bag of reviews I was quite eager to try the Stila #1 blusher brush. Made of natural black goat hairs that are cut on a gradation, this Stila Brush is (in theory) designed to pick up colour easily and blend accordingly onto your cheeks. I, in fact, found the bristles a little scratchy and as a result tended to pick up a bit too much colour which I then had to tap off - result - quite a high wastage count and a pinky stained carpet, not ideal. I also found the brush size a little too narrow which is great for more precise application of colour or perhaps highlighting, but wasn’t great for a wider blending of colour and the evasion of blocky blusher.

“However, I did think that the long slim handle allowed for smooth application and on doing a little experimentation I found that this brush actually works a lot better if you sweep colour onto your cheeks rather than buff as this will result in the heavier splodges of pink that we all try to avoid. I have also been assured that the bristles will weaken with usage and time, and after a month or so they form into the perfect softness. All well and good but to be honest, I’m a little impatient and expect immediate results when it comes to my make-up tools and I’m not totally convinced the result will be worth the wait, or the cost - but that’s just me!”

Reviewer: KR

Score: 6/10

Real Techniques Blush Brush 1407

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Price: £9.99

Buy online: www.boots.com

Feedback: “Flawless make-up application comes from the brushes you use. I don’t believe you have to own every brush out there (one for eyeshadow will do me just fine) but a blusher brush is a must - and they really vary. I tested the Real Techniques brush by Sam Chapman; one half of Pixiwoo, the powerful blogging and make-up artist duo.

“While this brush is visually attractive and incredibly soft, I have to say that if you want killer cheekbones this is probably not the brush for you. The bristles are so bouncy and silky that despite it gliding on my cheeks and feeling extremely soft, it didn’t create a strong enough impact. In fact I had to apply my blusher FOUR times to even make it noticeable. Despite the lack of punch it is good value; at £9.99 the brush is extremely well made and a similar product from a premium make-up brand would set you back three times as much. The best bit, though, is that after use it didn’t leave me with any unwanted black hairs hanging from my face. For that reason alone I will most definitely use it again but not necessarily in the way it’s intended for. The big bouncy bristled brush would be better put to use for blending powder or bronzer.”

Reviewer: LW

Score: 6/10

Bobbi Brown Blush Brush

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Price: £35

Buy online: www.bobbibrown.co.uk

Feedback: “SO SOFT. So strokey. Really long. Like a wand. Anything that distributes my favourite beauty product of all time is already magic in my eyes, but Bobbi has pulled it out of the bag with this natural bristled blusher brush. The domed shape ensures that colour ‘pops’ in exactly the right place and the brush picks up just the right amount of pigment - no clown cheeks or rouged jowls in sight. It’s easy to build colour and sweep powder towards the temples if desired, and has just the right amount of ‘fluffiness’- not so delicate that it’s inefficient and not so stubby that it makes blusher appear unnatural. In short, this hero brush makes light work of flushed, outdoorsy cheeks. I’ll knock a point off for impracticality however - I couldn’t fit it into any cosmetics case I own. Time for a dedicated make-up brush roll, clearly.”

Reviewer: AH

Score: 9/10

Chanel Les Beiges Retractable Kabuki Brush

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Price: £33

Buy online: www.selfridges.com

Feedback: “Chanel, more often than not, gets it right for me – I have a couple of brushes tucked away in my make-up stash already and I absolutely can’t fault them. So I was super excited to try the new Les Beiges Retractable Kabuki Brush. It’s the perfect size for travelling around with me in my handbag and I love that it won’t get ruined as it has its gorgeously chic Chanel packaging to keep it protected. The brush itself has the finest bristles and is unbelievably soft; however, due to the compact size it is a very dense brush and I felt that I had to be careful with the amount of product I was using as it resulted in quite heavy application. It is perfect however for buffing product into the skin so that is well blended – I would probably use it more for my Chanel Les Beiges powder as opposed to my blusher!”

Reviewer: SM

Score: 8/10

Japonesque 150 Degree Contour Blush Brush

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Buy online: www.johnlewis.com

Price: £25

Feedback: “As far as blusher brushes go, this is a game changer. The angled arch of the handle allowed for an added dimension of precision and its unique ergonomic design fit in extremely comfortably with the way that I apply my make-up.

“With super soft, durable bristles and a medium-sized rounded tip, it was ideal for applying bronzer, blush or powder highlighter to contour or sculpt and gave great control to deliver just the right amount of product to all the right places. An inspired beauty tool innovation with an intelligent concept, it’s just the New Year’s upgrade my tool kit was in need of.”

Reviewer: AM

Score: 10/10

Eco Tools Tapered Blush Brush

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Price: £7.99

Buy online: www.feelunique.com

Feedback: "Being incredibly fond of blusher I've stuck by my trusty Paul and Joe blusher brush for years (fret not, I wash it regularly) as finding a tool that evenly distributes powder blush is no mean feat. That said, I've recently discovered that Eco Tools Tapered Blush Brush goes one step further. Made with taklon bristles this brush is so incredibly soft that I actually enjoy applying my blush not just because it gives colour to my sallow cheeks but it feels so gosh darn good to apply. Even the bamboo handle feels like an upgrade on my usual pretty but plastic blusher brush handle. An all-round eco triumph."

Reviewer: KB

Score: 10/10

YSL Polishing Brush 2013

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Price: £39

Buy online: www.yslbeauty.co.uk

Feedback: “This brush, it has to be said, is very pretty. As tools go, it makes my make-up bag look far more glam than it is with its long glossy handle and white-tipped black bristles. However, for the steep price I’d expect style with substance and I’m not sure it delivered quite as well as I’d hoped. YSL call this a multi-purpose brush for polishing and blending; however, I found the lampshade-shaped brush with its round, flat end was just too much for my face in terms of applying blusher. One sweep of my powder blusher, and due to the circumference of the bristles I had one very pink cheek - ALL OVER. Clown face does not cover it. It’s just too broad for any kind of cheekbone precision and definitely better used to dust face powder or bronzer all over the face - size would be an added bonus here and make light work of it. It can also be used for cream formulations and while I found this a bit easier to control with my cream blusher, I’d much rather use my fingers for quickness. The mixture of fine synthetic and natural fibres were pleasantly soft to the touch so there was no scratching, but I did have a few stray black hairs hanging around afterwards. I’ll definitely use it again for foundation, bronzer or finishing powder but I wouldn’t repurchase - there are better value options out there.”

Reviewer: JJ

Score: 5/10

Clinique Blush Brush

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Price: £18

Buy online: www.clinique.co.uk

Feedback: “I much prefer a smaller brush for applying blusher as I’m yet to perfect the art of swishing it on in just one sweep. This Clinique brush is not only superbly soft but also has a lovely tapered shape and size which were just the right match for adding a hint of colour to my cheekbones. I did find I had to reapply a couple of times as the fine bristles didn’t pick up a huge amount of product; but that said, I was being cautious so it may just have been that it needed to be swirled in the powder a little more to start with - I’d rather build it up than keep dusting off excess. I also used it for a powder highlighter to add a bit of brightness near my temples and it worked well thanks to its smaller size. The only problem is it does lose hairs easily - I had about four on my face after just one use. Not the best look, but at least my blusher looked good…”

Reviewer: JJ

Score: 7/10

Japonesque Pro Blush Brush

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Price: £28

Buy online: www.johnlewis.com

Feedback: “So there I was thinking ‘A blusher brush is just a blusher brush right?’ Wrong! This one is, in my opinion, blusher brush perfection. Created by Japonesque who have become a cult name in beauty tools for their precision crafted products, this brush is created using the softest natural fibres (so soft it’s tough not to just sit and stroke it!), which on contact with skin splay out, so you don’t get an annoying initial splodge that you have to then blend in. Not too big and not too small, it is also the perfect size for contouring under cheeks (the brush fits snugly into the contour of your cheek), for rosying the apples of cheeks and highlighting the tops of cheekbones. I definitely feel I am in control of my blusher/ bronzer/ highlighter thanks to this tool and that my face looks better now I’m using it! A new essential piece of kit in my make-up bag.”

Reviewer: ST

Score: 10/10



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