A couple of weeks ago I spotted some new additions to Target’s Up & Up house brand of makeup brushes and their new Complexion Brush ($6.99) immediately caught my eye.
For the past couple of months I’ve been experimenting with mineral powder foundations and the Sigma F82 Round Kabuki has been my go-to brush. It’s a super dense but soft brush that allows me to build coverage quickly and evenly and doesn’t absorb a lot of product into the bristles.
What initially caught my attention with the Up & Up Complexion brush is its shape which looks a lot like the Sigma F82. Of course the colors of the bristles and handles are different but the general construction and shapes look very similar.
Both the Up & Up Complexion Brush and Sigma F82 are synthetic, round-top kabuki brushes. The handles possess a similar thickness but the length of the Complexion Brush is slightly longer (total length from brush tip to handle end is approximately 6.5 inches).
As for the brush heads, the bristles of both brushes are extremely soft and the hairs are similar in lengths but the Sigma F82 is much denser. There are simply way more bristles packed way more tightly into the F82 so it feels a lot stiffer. In comparison, the Complexion Brush, while still really full, simply isn’t as dense so there’s a bit more give and movement with the bristles. The difference in densities means that the F82 picks up and deposits more product than the slightly looser and fluffier Complexion Brush.
As a disclaimer, I have extremely dry skin that’s prone to flakiness so I probably don’t use kabuki brushes the way most people do. The majority of people are probably used to buffing their foundations into their skin using circular motions but if I did that I’d wind up with a lot of flaky skin and foundation gathered around my dry patches. To me buffing = (micro)exfoliation = flaky skin. I avoid buffing or any motion that will stretch, pull or aggravate my skin at all costs. The less I need to handle my skin, the better.
Rather than buffing, I stipple and press my foundation into my skin with a kabuki brush. and I find myself preferring the coverage and finish I get from the Complexion Brush over that of the F82.
Because the F82 is so dense, it builds coverage very easily and very quickly. That’s great for people who like the fullest of coverage but for me the results using an F82 can oftentimes look a bit heavy, cakey and obvious if I’m not careful. I prefer slightly less coverage (i.e. medium to full) and a more natural finish and I feel that the Complexion Brush gives me the coverage I want but with a softer finish. For me it’s easier to build coverage with the Complexion Brush (I could easily build to full coverage with it if I wanted to) than it is to take coverage away from the F82. The Sigma brush packs on too much product for my taste.
ETA: I’ve been using the Complexion Brush with my Physicians Formula Organic Wear BB Cream and L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Glow foundation recently and it’s great with liquid and cream foundations as well. The brush doesn’t absorb a lot of foundation and blends easily without streaking.
I honestly don’t have anything bad to say about the Up & Up brush. It’s soft, fluffy and dense but not too dense. It’s easy to clean; I haven’t experienced any loss of brush hairs or bleeding from the black dyed bristles. Best of all, it’s cheap. $6.99 for the Target brush versus $24 for the Sigma? For me it’s a no-brainer. I’ll take the Target brush every time. In fact, I’ve recently purged all of my Sigma face brushes and replaced them with Up & Up brushes.
I love the Complexion Brush so much I bought a backup. Why, you ask? Well, I’ve found that brush quality tends to decline over time. I mean, I loved the e.l.f. Studio and Real Techniques brushes when they were first launched years ago but when I went to buy replacements recently I noticed that the newer brushes weren’t as dense and evenly cut as they used to be. I figure if I love the Complexion Brush I better get a second one now in case they replace it with a lower quality brush in the future. Just playing it safe.
A few days after I purchased the Complexion Brush, emilynoel83 put up a video raving about it. I found myself watching and nodding my head in agreement with everything she had to say about the Complexion Brush and she piqued my interest for the concealer brushes and other Up & Up brushes. I ended up going back to Target the next day and buying the concealer duo and ordering the blush brush and complexion set online. Reviews for those coming soon.