Buff Your Way to a Flawless Finish With Urban Decay’s Good Karma Optical Blurring Brush

Published in: Face, Makeup Tools, Product Reviews, Urban Decay

urban decay optical blurring brush

Urban Decay’s new foundation brush promises to blur the lines. Borrowing a page out of Hollywood’s Golden Age powder-puff playbook, where actors and actresses were often blurred in their closeups, the Good Karma Optical Blurring Brush ($24) buffs away lines to create seamless, smooth skin.


It reminds me of my own experiences with a different kind of optical blurring…

When my BFF Jen and I were younger and looking for love in all the wrong places (Club X and 1015 Folsom come to mind), the following conversation would go down at least once or twice every night we went out on the town…

ME: I think I see a potentially cute boy.

JEN: Where?!

urban decay optical blurring brushME: Standing over there at the bar, in the striped button-down shirt and dark pants.

JEN: (…) Every guy in here is wearing that outfit.

ME: No, really! I think he’s looking this way. Over your shoulder, six ‘o clock.

JEN: Oh, no baby. Did you forget your glasses again? We have to get you some contacts, like soon. That boy is kinda scary. Trust me on this.

Haha! Nothing like poor eyesight to mess up your game. ๐Ÿ™‚

Luckily, the Good Karma Optical Blurring Brush is designed to improve it.

I met it through Urban Decay’s new fall collection, and it quickly became one of those little lifesavers that I never thought I needed before, but now can’t function without.

The soft, dense brush head feels almost as good as favorite husky tabby’s fur. Mrrow!

UD says they designed the brush to be used with their new line of Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup, but there’s nothing stopping us from using it with foundations or tinted moisturizers from other brands.

I can’t hang with streaky foundation, and the Optical Blurring Brush’s densely-packed, soft synthetic bristles and rounded tip definitely take care of streaks. Lately I’ve been using it apply Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer by NARS, and seriously, I think the application looks flawless.

I’ve also heard that synthetic bristles, being less porous than natural fibers, are less conducive to the growth of bacteria, potentially leading to fewer breakouts.

urban decay optical blurring brush

urban decay optical blurring brush

Ah, but every rose has its thorn, and for me, this one’s is drying time. It takes FOREVER to dry after I wash it. No kidding, we’re talkin’ two whole days!


It definitely takes longer to fully dry than similar brushes I’ve tried, like what’s been my go-to foundation brush for a while, Hourglass Foundation Blush/Brush No. 2 ($58), which I can wash before bed and fall asleep knowing it’ll be dry by morning.

Like a thick head of hair, the Optical Blurring Brush’s dense, thick brush head is in this case a blessing and a curse.

PRICE: $24
AVAILABILITY: Coming soon to Sephora, Ulta and select Macy’s stores and online at urbandecay.com

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 33 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Nina says:

    I cant remember which brush it is but I have a similar looking brush from the Sephora Platinum collection. I do like using brushes shaped like these for foundation, and ive always thought the Good Karma brushes by UD are soooo soft – so I might check this baby out!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Nina!

      Me too. I used to use flat foundation brushes but they’re soooo streaky! The round shape definitely works better for me.

      Anywho, do you have tomorrow off? What are your plans for the 4th?

      • Nina says:

        We’re taking a trip to Austin, leaving tomorrow and staying til Sunday.

        Just a chill trip – nothing really planned other than going to Barton Springs and meeting the Hubs’ older brother for brunch on Saturday.

        • Karen says:

          That sounds like fun. I’ve never been to Austin, but I’ve heard it’s a super cool town, especially for foodie types. I hope you plan to hit up a few good restaurants!

          • Nina says:

            A couple of favorite restaurants and a lot of food carts — their food cart community is more organized than here in Houston. ๐Ÿ™‚

            Its a pretty chill place, it can get boisterous at times since its a college town (UT Austin), but theres a lot to do and a lot to see! Thats our fave place to go to for a quick, we want to do nothing get away!

            Actually the B&B we are staying at has an awesome pool as well – I foresee several f afternoons poolside with a book! ๐Ÿ™‚

          • Karen says:

            ZOMG take pictures!!! I need to live vicariously through your meals, LOL!

            What book are you reading now? I just finished The Fault In Our Stars and it was so good.

    • Liz says:

      Hi Nina,

      I know the brush you are talking about. I almost bought it online. Did you have it?

      • Nina says:

        I have it! Its the Sephora Pro #55 brush and its really nice. There was a similar brush in the Platinum line but I think they dc’d that line. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Liz says:

    When I think of blending brushes, I think mineral powder foundation. I wonder how this would work with powder foundation. I’m also a little wary of this because I really hate the good karma brush that came with the Naked 1 palette.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Liz,

      I haven’t tried this with powder foundation but I have tried it with regular old powder as a blush brush, and I like it a lot.

      Are you specifically looking for a synthetic brush? Because the one by Hourglass is really good too. It’s pricey, but it’s soft, never loses its shape, and creates a flawless finish.

      • Liz says:

        Hi Karen,

        Actually, I don’t usually pay attention to whether a brush is made from natural or synthetic fibers. I just bought a buffing brush from ecotools, but I find it too small. I think I need to look in person before I buy another brush.

        • Karen says:

          Hi Liz,

          Gotcha. Is the handle too small or the size of the brush head too small? I could probably recommend a brush or two for ya…

          • Liz says:

            You’re a doll. I appreciate the help. The brush head is too small. It’s smaller than the Ecotools blush brush if you are familiar with that.

          • Karen says:

            Got it. You might want to consider the MAC 182 Buffer Brush. It’s got a fatty-bo-batty brush head, it’s super soft, and you get the same sort of perfectly airbrushed look. It says on the MAC site that it’s for pigments and powders, but it’s also great for foundation and tinted moisturizer. Here’s a link if you want to check it out: MAC 182 Buffer Brush.

          • Liz says:


  3. I really, REALLY want this brush! It definitely does remind me of the Hourglass brush but at half the price! I am so picking this up. Strange, because I usually am not so attracted to brushes

    • Karen says:

      Hi Becca!

      I think we need to get you addicted to brushes. ๐Ÿ™‚ Once you start you can’t stop.

      What brushes are you using now that you like?

  4. Sarah S. says:

    I think perhaps the longer drying time is going to negate the benefit taklon bristles usually provide with less bacteria growth :-/

  5. Chelsea says:

    I usually use synthetic brushes, because fur ones have a tendency to make my face itchy!

    This is beautiful, but 2 days is too long to dry! I’ll check it out once I get back stateside… It’s my birthday this month, and I need to pick up my Sephora gift. Plus, I’m very close to VIB status.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Chelsea,

      I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to be getting comments from you during your trip. It’s so fun to vicariously live through friends when they’re on vacation! What things did you see today?

      • Chelsea says:

        Well, I’d gone shopping the day before already – the annual sales are going on, so I got some good stuff. I went to Oceanopolis, a huge aquarium, and I saw sharks, penguins, seals, fish, everything! It was wonderful! Though I came back to the house all wet, it was raining like crazy.

  6. woah! 2 days to dry! Is it ok if I use a alcohol cleanser?

  7. antara says:

    i use synthetic brushes…they are softer and leave a streak free finish…
    antara recently posted … Maybelline Diamond Glow by Eyestudio- 04 Ocean Blue, Review, Swatches And Tutorial

  8. Joyce says:

    I like dense synthetic brushes for applying foundation because they buff nicely into the skin, but they take longer to dry than natural brushes and I find myself having to use more product than if I were to use my MAC 187 stippling brush, which gives me an airbrush finish, but it takes longer to apply. *sigh* I haven’t found a foundation brush that doesn’t have at least one con.
    Joyce recently posted … Review + Comparison: Royal & Langnickel Revolution Brush Set (Part 1)

  9. Catherine says:

    When will these be hitting Sephora? Any dates yet? I can’t wait to get my hands on this brush and try out their new foundations!! Anxious for your review of those!!

  10. artemis says:

    You can try blow-drying it a bit ๐Ÿ˜€ or would it damage it? :/

  11. Kim says:

    Bummer about the dry time. I sort of like the idea of blurred close ups. Can you imagine those poor actors in HD? Speaking of, did you see TB this week? Close ups of Eric and Pam could have used some blurring. What was up with all the cakey makeup? Yikes!

  12. S says:

    I am intrigued by this brush, will probably pick it up! I’ve been using a Sephora Stippling brush for tinted moisturizer and foundation, but it’s super long and hard to travel with. This seems like a better size, but boo on the long drying time. Are there any alcohol-based brush cleaners that might speed up dry time?

  13. Liz says:

    Hm, would you say this brush is better than Sigma’s flat top brush? I don’t own the sigma one, & recently was going to purchase it. But if UD is better, I’d wait & get this one.

  14. Julia says:

    This brush reminds me of the Real Techniques Buffing Brush that comes in the Core Collection–and the other three brushes in that are also amazing! It’s also synthetic, but dries quickly! Plus they’re only $17.99 at Ulta ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Sondra says:

    I just bought this brush from UD b/c Sephora’s website says it retails for $38 the same price as the foundation. I think it’s a typo. UD’s was $24. So I got it there. I can’t wait till this Friday I’m going to the UD event at my Macy’s here in Houston. There is supposed to be a makeup-artist from UD there doing the makeovers with the new products. I’m so excited for the new foundation. I have been trying tons out and so far so good. I have loved like 6 or 7 different kinds of foundation.

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