To recap an earlier blog post, I’ve been blown away by the Up & Up Complexion Brush. I’ve been using it consistently with my foundations since I purchased it and I have to say I like it even more than my Sigma F82 Round Kabuki and Real Techniques Expert Face Brush. I love the round shape (Real Techniques is oblong in comparison) and it’s very soft, dense and inexpensive. The Up & Up Blush Brush that I bought afterwards is also very nice, provided you’re able to find one of the fuller, less flimsy brushes.
The Up & Up Complexion Brush Set ($11.99), however, was a total disappointment. I bought mine at Target and, sadly, it went back the same day. I don’t make a habit of returning makeup products. Most of time when I buy an item that I end up disliking, I just suck it up and find a way to make it work, pass it on to family/friends or sell it on my blog sale. I hate the hassle of going to the store and getting a refund but I was so unimpressed with this brush set that I had to get my money back.
I’ve had it in my mind for awhile now to get an angled blush brush. The one I had my eyes on was the Walmart-exclusive Essential Tools Hi-Def Angled Blush Brush made by Paris Presents, the same people behind EcoTools. I remember hearing about it years ago and it’s supposed to be extremely full, dense and soft but I don’t know if they even make this brush anymore. The Walmart that I frequent doesn’t even carry the Essential Tools brush line and this brush is always out of stock online.
Unsure whether or not the Essential Tools brush would ever be restocked, I started looking for other options, specifically in the Up & Up brush line since I’d been so impressed by the Complexion Brush. It just so happens that an angled blush brush is included in their Complexion Brush Set, so I scooped it up while shopping one day.
The Complexion Brush Set comes with four brushes (angled blush brush, foundation brush, concealer brush and setting brush) as well as a makeup case. First of all, the case is a total throwaway, not literally but don’t bother getting this set if that’s the main reason you want it. It looks and feels cheaply made and the brushes barely fit inside of it. The material reminds me of the fabric used to make laundry bags, a type of swishy, slightly stiff nylon material.
The Angled Blush Brush, which was my primary reason for getting the set, was a total bust. It’s not nearly as dense as the Up & Up Blush Brush and running my fingers through the bristles it feels so thin and sparse. Looking straight down at the brush you can see how flat it is. I’m not the contouring type but I don’t think this brush would be good for that purpose either since it’s so flimsy. The only good thing I can say about the brush is it is soft but it’s still not as soft as the Blush Brush.
The Setting Brush was also another letdown. It’s soft and fluffy but if you’ve ever used the Real Techniques Setting Brush, there’s simply no comparison. I wish I still had it so I could compare it with the Up & Up Setting Brush side by side but, going by memory and photos, the Real Techniques Brush is smaller and denser. The Up & Up version is larger, sparser and floppier.
The less said about the Up & Up Foundation Brush and Concealer Brush, the better. The bristles on these two brushes compared to all of the Up & Up brushes I’ve tried so far are very different. Both brushes are stiff, plasticky and scratchy on the skin.
e.l.f. makes a few brushes in their cheaper $1 line with stiff, yellow bristles and these two Up & Up brushes remind me of those in quality and feel.
To sum up, this whole brush set was a total fail for me. The two brushes that were soft (angled blush brush, setting brush) were thin on bristles and floppy. The other two brushes (foundation brush, concealer brush) were stiff and rough on the skin. And the quality of the makeup case is poor.
The Up & Up Complexion Brush Set is a total skip for me and I don’t recommend it.