This is part two of my ongoing brush series. The first can be found here.
The misconception I mentioned in my face brush post seems to be most commonly applied to cheek brushes. Generally, the softer a brush is, the more pliable it becomes, but since blush application should be targeted, anything too pliable causes loss of control. The thing is, I'm not necessarily sacrificing softness for firmer bristles. Everything I own feels really good on the skin.
L-R: Hakuhodo 210 Blush Brush, LMdB Cheek Brush, Shu Uemura 20H
The Hakuhodo 210 is a cheek brush with a rounded head perfect for contouring. Its bristles are firm (but not bristly!) and it does a great job of maintaining its shape, which is crucial when what you need is extremely targeted application.
I have five other blush brushes, but each plays its own role in my collection. The Le Métier de Beauté Cheek Brush and Shu Uemura 20 are work horses. They are the ones I'll bring on travels if I could only have one cheek brush. They feature the standard shape (LMdB's is wider, Shu's more tapered) and work with a large variety of textures. I would repurchase both in a heartbeat if I ever lost either.
The Shu Uemura 20H is known as a contouring brush, but I don't really use it for that purpose. To me, it lacks the firmness and density to produce a proper contour. That said, if you want an all-purpose cheek brush, this is it. I like it because something about the shape makes applying blush really, really easy.
L-R: Shu Uemura 20, Yojiya Cheek Brush, Suqqu Cheek Brush
The Yojiya Cheek Brush is one of my softest cheek brushes. I use it for particularly pigmented blushes because it blends them out most effectively.
I'd say the only "dud" I have in here is the Suqqu Cheek Brush. The brush head is too small and feels too soft to be functional as a cheek brush for me, but I couldn't part from it because like its face counterpart, it is so soft. I usually use it with finishing powder to set my makeup.
The Hakuhodo 210 Blush Brush ($36) can be found at hakuhodousa.com, Le Métier de Beauté Cheek Brush ($55) at any Neiman Marcus store, nordstrom.com or zuneta.com, Shu Uemura 20 and 20H (both $50) at shuuemura-usa.com, and Suqqu Cheek Brush at ichibankao.com (though highly marked up). Yojiya products are only available in Kyoto and select airports in Japan.