The new red Dior blush brush is a limited edition item that was just released as part of Dior Bird Of Paradise Summer 2013 Collection. The brush accompanies the two 'Nude Tan Paradise' Blush & Bronzer Duo by Dior (also from the summer collection), although each one comes with its own mini kabuki brush. I haven't tested the revamped Dior brushes (was never impressed with the previous incarnation with the silver-colored handles), so I figured this was a good opportunity. Also, it's RED!
Let's start with the most obvious fact: this is not really a blush brush. The red Dior brush is big, wide and very very fluffy. It covers a large surface and is not directional . When applying blush one should aim for more precision, so the color doesn't get where it shouldn't, and you also want the ability to blend without diluting too much or moving the product too far. The red Dior blush is far too floppy to provide that.
What is it good for? Powder (both loose and pressed) and light all-over bronzing.
Dior Summer Brush is the size of a large powder brush (see comparison to the wonderful Louise Young LY07 Super Powder Brush). It's loosely packed, though, so you get a light and airy application. This works well when you want to impart a sheer veil of color to large areas of the face. I tried it with the new Dior Paradise duos (review and photos tomorrow) and got a very pretty light tan glow. It also works with any other bronzer.
The brush is made in France. It looks very pretty, not just because of the red head but the handle is also elegant and textured. The hair is natural- probably goat. It's reasonably soft but not exquisitely so-- if you press the tip against the skin it can feel prickly, but there's no scratchiness if you brush it lightly and use it in swiping motions.
Dior Summer Brush is actually quite comparable to the other red brush, Shu Uemura 18R. While the Dior one is obviously larger, they function in a very similar way and also feel the same against the skin. Since the Shu brush has a somewhat more directional shape it's better for blending, but that's the only important difference. I'd say you don't need both.
Bottom Line: Only if you you don't have other and better powder/bronzer brushes in your collection.
Dior Summer Blush Brush ($55) is available at the counters.