Friday, March 8, 2013

Day 66. Urban Decay Good Karma Optical Blurring Brush [review]

Hi, my name is E., and I am a brush-aholic.
This is the first brush review (of many). I own a deplorable number of make up brushes and I am always buying new ones, as I have a brush fetish or addiction.

Today I am reviewing the Urban Decay Good Karma Optical Blurring Brush. 

The Good Karma Optical Blurring Brush comes in a tube-like packaging: the bottom part is cardboard in the classic UD purple color, the top is plastic and allows to see the the brush bristles. Even thought I tend to keep my brushes all together in the same holder, I kept the pack for this brush and I actually use it to keep the brush in, as it's sturdy and portable. Putting the top back on is kind of difficult, as you don't want to bend the bristles, but I solve this problem by doing a slight twisting motion with the plastic cap: this slow little movement frees the bristles from being trapped by the downward motion of the top. 

 The brush itself has a metallic handle and synthetic duo-fibre bristles. It's cruelty-free. 

The whole brush is about 14cm/5.5 inches, while the bristles are about 2.5cm/1inch. It has a flat bottom, so the brush can stand on its own, which can be useful when you are applying make up. The handle width is about 1.5cm/0.5inch, quite large. Being metal, it is also slightly heavier than other brushes I have tried, but I think that this feature, coupled with the wider grip of the handle, helps with having a stronger hold and control of the brush. 

This brush is tightly packed with bristles and it's insanely soft on the skin. The bristles are rigid but bend easily, and flare out slightly. The brush diameter at the top of the flared bristle is about 2.5cm/1inch. 
It does not shed when washed. 

Urban Decay says 
Liquid and powder formulas apply flawlessly with our Optical Blurring Brush. The densely-packed shape distributes product incredibly easily. Skin looks smoother than with sponge application... buffed to a natural, soft-focus finish. Fine lines seem to disappear. And like all our brushes, it's pro-quality and cruelty-free. 
I tried the brush with both my Laura Mercier oil-free foundation and my N°7 Stay Perfect Foundation. I haven't gotten the chance yet to try it with a powder foundation, as for me powder formulas come out in late spring. I just used once or twice with a powder blush to diffuse the color.

This brush is phenomenal if you want to give your foundation a natural finish. I find that you really have to work the product into the skin and you may spend a few more minutes than usual to apply your foundation with this brush, but the effect is utterly perfect. The application is seamless and the skin actually looks naked, with no product on.

If you have little time in the morning to apply your make up (just like me), then I suggest you try the following. Instead of using the brush to spread your foundation on your face, try using your hands first to distribute it all over quickly and then rapidly work it in and finishing the look using the UD Good Karma Optical Brush. It's quicker than using the brush from the very beginning and has almost the same flawless, natural look.

I tried to find a couple of similar brushes in my stash for the sake of a comparison. In the picture below you can see the UD Good Karma Optical Blush (middle) near a Neve Cosmetics mini flatbuki and a Real Techniques Buffing Brush. These three brushes are very similar: synthetic bristles, metallic body, high-density, suited for both liquid and powder formula.

Compared to the flatbuki, the UD Optical brush is less densely-packed with bristles, which are on the other hand longer and softer. While the flatbuki is also smaller and requires less work with working the foundations from the beginning, but it also may leave lines of foundation on the skin.

The Real Techniques Buffing Brush is more flared, shorter and less dense bristles than the UD Optical Blurring Brush. The bristles of the Buffing Brush are also softer, in my opinion, but this is not completely good, as it has to much give on the skin. Also the RT Buffing Brush has a longer and larger handle, which make it a bit uncomfortable for me.

Neve Cosmetics mini flatbuki, UD Optical Blurring Brush,
Real Techniques Buffing Brush

Neve Cosmetics mini flatbuki, UD Optical Blurring Brush,
Real Techniques Buffing Brush

UD Optical Blurring Brush (Top), Neve Flatbuki (middle),
Real Techniques Buffing Brush (bottom)
The end game is: these brushes are very similar for applying foundation. I prefer the UD Optical Blurring Brush as a "finishing" brush after having applied my foundation with my fingers. I think it has a better final results than the other two brushes, which, in my opinion, instead work better for all over the face application of foundation. If you are willing to spend a few more moments working on it, the UD Optical Blurring does the same. The other two just don't have the same natural finish at the end of the application.  

1 comment:

  1. Usually, I don't feel the need to write comments on blogs but after reading your outstanding review and providing details of brush comparisons, I just had to say that I sincerely appreciate the amount of time you put into this review.

    I found the general details of the brushes and your personal experience with each brush very valuable.

    Thank you