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2015’s Cutest Brush: Smoky Poppy Blush Brush by The Body Shop Review & Pictures

13 Feb

This was one of those ohmygodscuteiwants impulse buys. No regrets. It is limited edition so I figured, what the hell, why not. Now or never. Or marked up triple in price on ebay. The Body’s Shop’s 2015 limited edition set of smell goods is in a scent called Smoky Poppy. It’s diabolical how their marketing team took advantage of this pretty theme and created a brush, despite the fact that there is no “Smoky Poppy” makeup. A smoky poppy themed eye palette would have been interesting.
It caught my eye first because it’s a glorious crimson with a starkly contrasting black core. Upon closer inspection, i realized it vaguely resembled a flower. Upon tactile inspection, i realized it was oh-so-very soft. Game over. It came home with me. This review of my impromptu purchase is the result of my thing to justify why i bought it provide information for people.

Pic Spam Time

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Package says “blusher brush” though the website says “blush brush”

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Size Comparison

Description and Performance
The Poppy Smoke Blusher brush is essentially a Kabuki brush with the bristles arranged in clusters of low domes  to look like a stylized poppy bloom with petals. The base is about one inch in diameter so it can sit up on its own like a big kid. The actual brush is 1.5 inches across in diameter just out of its little plastic sleeve. The hairs can be fanned out to a width of 2 inches, though the color intensity from both applications is approximately the same. The brush head is unusually long, a little more than 1.5 inches so it’s too floppy (in my opinion) to work with liquids. You’d just be asking for streaks to fix. You *could* bufff them out, but that’s more work than it’s worth.

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Bloom poppy, bloom!

The well packed bristles are made of high-quality synthetic fibers and each hair has a tapered tip. The bristles look and feel plastick-y from the side but the top is velvety soft with a silky feel. The black hairs in the core are stiffer than the outer red hairs that make up the petals. The core bristles have have a firm flexibility reminds me of sable and keeps the whole brush head from bending. The red ones are more floppy to allow for easier blending/buffing but they spring back into shape without much fuss so there’s no annoying splays and strays after washing.

When deep-cleaned in the early-to-mid-evening, this brush will be fully dry and fluffy by morning so it can be used every day – if you don’t live in a disgustingly humid environment. It is important to note that for the first two/three washings or so, there brush will “bleed” slightly. I know that it wasn’t my blush color coming out because I had been testing out a lilac-magenta blush. but the water that i squeezed out looked like diluted blood. Oh sorry, was that too much information?

Like all of the other brushes in The Body Shop’s collection of powder-product dusters, this blusher brush is wonderfully soft and plush. Touching any of The Body Shop’s kabuki-like brushes makes me want to go:


It may only have the image of the poppy flower, but you might develop an opiate-level addiction to gently stroking against your skin.

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Top view

Side note, I am rather pleased that the the dye of the hairs goes all throughout the length of the hair (black bristles are black all the way down, same with red). They didn’t get lazy and just do an over-spray of black over the core. The hairs pick up color very well but the overall brush isn’t super dense like a mineral foundation brush so clown cheeks aren’t a threat. One tap into a NARS pan is all I need to get a nice diffusion of color on one cheek. With more powdery stuff like Benefit blushes, i need to do one whole swirl around the box. This brush is also compatible with cream blushes IF you do the following:

  1. slide the plastic sleeve halfway down the brush head
  2. tap the brush into the product
  3. dot/distribute the product on your cheeks
  4. then take off the sleeve
  5. blend.

This ensures that you place the color exactly where you want it before you start working it into the skin. The same method detailed about also allows this brush to be used with semi-sheer liquid highlighters/luminators like BECCA’s Shimmering Skin Perfecter or ELF’s liquid highlighter.
I can also use this brush with contour if i first wipe the remaining blush off with an alcohol wipe; it is small enough to get under the cheekbones and the side of my nose if i squeeze-flatten the brush to make it narrower. The overall brush is smaller than i would like for bronzer so i don’t use it for that.
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The brush distributes color evenly but I am of the opinion that it isn’t ideal for all-over setting/finishing powder. For one, it’s smaller than i like for that job. Two, the bristles don’t have enough flex to apply powders in a sheer veil. This brush + MUFE HD Microfinish powder is a recipe for ghost face. If so desired, you could use this with powder foundation to get a light to medium coverage but my skin is too horrible for that application mode. I’ve already mentioned that the bristles are too long to blend  liquids so you have been warned. I didn’t even bother trying this with cream foundations because once again, too long bristles = too much flop.

All Thoughts in One Place
Pros:

  1. cute + pretty = fun to see sitting on the vanity
  2. relatively fast drying time
  3. synthetic; easy to clean and forgiving of rougher washings
  4. soft and fluffy
  5. re-conforms to original shape easily
  6. fully functional as a blusher brush

Cons

  1. not a multitask-er. pretty much a blusher/highlighter brush only
  2. streaky with liquids/cream foundations
  3. too heavy coverage with all over powders
  4. needs to be treated right to maintain bristle integrity: it requires a sleeve/guard for travel, could be as simple as tissue paper wrapped in a tube; dried upside down, somehow (you should be doing this for ALL brushes but it’s generally harder with kabuki brushes)
  5. bleeds with first couple washings (is this bad enough to be a con?)

I consider this a worthy Valentine’s present for any makeup aficionado who isn’t overly fond of fresh flowers. A rose is red. So is this poppy brush. Unlike a rose though, this flower is functional and will last a great deal longer than a couple weeks. What else can i say? It’s adorable. If you feel bad about using it because its “too pretty,” and worried about it losing its beautiful form, don’t. This brush was destined for so much more than just a glorified vanity-topper.

Oh! Sephora had something like this a while back.

Cost and Where to Get
The Smoky Poppy Blusher Brush is available for $18 at the following locations:
The Body Shop’s Website
The Body Shop Shop Locations

Extra/Edit**
I felt that i should correct myself. The poppy shaped brush is new to me. However, Koyudo, a Japanese brush company, has been making flower shaped brushes.since at least 2011 in their F001 Powder and Blush Brush series. These brushes are made of Saikoho (aka: top-quality baby goat chest hair) rather than synthetic fibers so they are lots more expensive. They’re just as adorable though and come in a variety of colors. If i read correctly, these are actually patented. Lamsamyick also has flower brushes in more colors but I am unsure of the materials/ease-of attainability.

Image source: CDJapan

There are also potted cacti brushes to my great amusement. They look so smooth like synthetics but they are actaully goat o-0

Cactus Brush pic from CDJapan

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Posted by on February 13, 2015 in Brush Reviews, On the Fence

 

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