In my blog post a few days ago about the Target Up & Up Complexion Brush I mentioned the importance of stocking up when you find a brush you love because you never know when it’s going to change. Just saying I’ve been burned by e.l.f. and Real Techniques before. I fall in love with a certain brush and then when I go back to buy a replacement months or years later I find that the quality of the brush (e.g. the density, shape, softness, etc.) has changed for the worse. I don’t know if it’s because they’ve switched manufacturers, are trying to cut costs by cutting corners or quality control is slipping. All I know is if I love a brush now then I need to stock up now.
Case in point: the Target Up & Up Blush Brush ($5.99). It’s definitely changed and not for the better.
Up until a couple of weeks ago the Target Up & Up brushes weren’t even a blip on my radar. It wasn’t until I stumbled upon the Complexion Brush and totally fell in love with it that I decided I needed to investigate the rest of the Up & Up brush line more carefully.
I vaguely recalled emilynoel83 mentioning the Blush Brush in one of videos from last year so I looked that up and the brush she showed looked a lot different from the Blush Brush I’d seen in my local Target or even the stock photo online. The one she showed looked rounder and denser compared with the pointier, sparser version I’d spotted at the store and online.
I prefer a denser blush brush so I had to go to a few different Target stores before I found one that resembled the brush emilynoel83 showed. It seems as if the denser, fluffier, rounded Blush Brush is older stock that’s being phased out and they’re replacing it with the less dense, flimsier, slightly pointed version. Just to confirm, I placed an order with target.com for the Blush Brush and indeed I received the floppier version.
Even at a quick glance the differences are obvious. The older Blush Brush has a slightly longer handle but just barely by a couple of millimeters. The bristles are the most noticeable change though.
The old Blush Brush (on the left) has a more rounded shape and whiter bristles at the base. The newer Blush Brush (on the right) is a bit more tapered with grayer bristles at the base, almost as if the black dyed tips have bled into the white. And when you actually look and feel the brush heads you can easily tell that the older brush is much fuller and denser than the new version which is a lot flatter and flimsier in comparison.
If you want to try the Up & Up Blush Brush my advice is to go into a physical Target store and hunt around until you find one of the older versions because it really is a great brush if you can find it.
The Up & Up Blush Brush replaces my old go-to blush brush of choice: the e.l.f. Studio Blush Brush. Speaking of brushes that have changed for the worse, the e.l.f. Studio Blush Brush is another one that’s declined in quality over time. The first one I ever bought was thick and full but the second one I bought a couple of years later is flatter and floppier.
Anyway, the Up & Up Blush Brush, while a small brush, is a bit larger compared with the e.l.f. Studio Blush Brush and more rounded.
Of the two brushes the Up & Up Blush Brush feels a lot softer. It’s extremely soft and I love it. The e.l.f. brush is pretty soft too but next to the Up & Up brush the individual bristles of the e.l.f. brush feel stiffer, coarser and more plastic-y.
The e.l.f. Studio Blush Brush is much denser and the bristles are more tightly packed. It doesn’t have as much give and movement as the Up & Up brush which feels fluffier and looser in comparison.
ETA: I’ve been trying the Blush Blush with different powder blushes and I’m not liking it as much as I did initially. In the beginning I was mainly using it with my BECCA powder blushes (the blushes I use almost everyday) which are very pigmented with a soft, more loosely packed texture. The Up & Up Blush Brush worked okay with those blushes; however, when I tried using the same brush with less pigmented or more firmly packed powder blushes, it wasn’t as effective.
In general, I’ve noticed that the Up & Up Blush Brush doesn’t apply product as well as my e.l.f. Studio Blush Brush. In fact, I’d say it’s rather wasteful. When I dip the Up & Up brush into the pan I can see it picking up a lot of powder on its bristles but when I apply the product onto my cheeks all I get is a very light wash of color. I definitely have to build the pigmentation up more than I have to with the e.l.f. brush. The Up & Up Blush Brush is softer but perhaps too soft to get the job done. I think it would probably be better for dusting on setting powder for under eye concealer, you know, when you’d only want an ultra light layer of product applied. Or perhaps for applying an insanely pigmented blush, the kind you’d usually use a stippling brush to apply.