This is actually the second generation of JD Beauty Group's styling device-cum-smartphone case, which has been widened to accommodate both the iPhone 6 and Galaxy S4. Unfortunately, a compromise had to be made with these larger devices, so the strip of reflective plastic that was found on the iPhone 5/S version has been abandoned. Thankfully, the shift has enabled the price to come down a little, and the Selfie Brush can now be picked up for as little as $14.99 online.
Set the hardware down on a table and you'll see a rigid silicone paddle brush that falls down to a fancy handle with a hole in the middle for attaching a strap. Looking at the top end, you'll see a wide slot that's around 2.65-inches wide, where you'll slot in your smartphone. There are also access holes cut into both sides of the body for access to your device's volume and display / power buttons.
Unfortunately, there is one build-quality issue that is readily apparent from our photographs. The bright pink outer coating is, unfortunately, susceptible to dye-run, which meant that when we dropped the brush into a cheap black tote bag, it came out with a significantly tarnished look. Otherwise, however, we had no problems with the otherwise solid hardware.
In use: as a brush
Each one of the 144 bristles (our review unit is missing one) is tipped with a soft pink dome, and using it to de-tangle my hair is easy and relaxing. In fact, an unstated feature of the Selfie Brush is that it's almost as good as a stress relieving device as it is to rectify hair-based disasters. Unfortunately, it's better designed for long hair, and what you gain in "broad brush" straightening you lose in the sort of pin point accuracy you normally find in a comb. Another unstated feature is that the solid construction would enable the brush to pull double duty as a spanking device for an impromptu BDSM party. We assume.
In use: as a smartphone case
The first thing that you'll instantly notice when sliding your iPhone into the Selfie Brush is that the bristles instantly obscure the primary camera. It's a high price to pay for this combination of style and self portraiture, and each prospective buyer will have to weigh this compromise up for themselves. That said, since it's called the Selfie Brush, it does force you to insert yourself into every image you take: which, you have to agree, is kinda the point. Oh, one other issue is that there is a warning on the underside of the case informing you that you should remove your smartphone before brushing wet hair. Which does undermine the point of using it somewhat.
If you use a purse or bag to transport your smartphone from place to place, then you'll not have any issue with using this as a case. If you, like me, normally keep your smartphone in your pocket, then you will notice a small drop in portability and, without wanting to resort to hyperbole, it can feel a tad uncomfortable.
Performance and battery life
The Selfie Brush is a solid object, which means that it has an infinite battery life, vulnerable only to time's endless march.
There are no other products like this on the market, in fact, I'm not sure about anything any more. Will you be my friend? I'm in here on my own and it's starting to get dark.
To be a little personal for a moment, I do find the excessive gendering of the Selfie Brush to be something of a concern. After all, in the same way that the technology industry should be looking to eradicate booth babes, it should also stop assuming that women like devices that are pink. As for if you should make a splash and buy a Selfie Brush, it all comes down to personal preference. After all, if you struggle with your hair and also own a smartphone, this seems like a slam dunk. Still, for $14.99, it's not as if you'll break the bank trying one out.
Photography by Nicole Lee.