As far as i know there shouldn't be any difference in as far as the way it looks using the Color Mode (brush) versus layer blending mode Color (layer).
The advantage of using a separate layer is it's easy to change.
Tools do not have dynamic Blend modes, Fill or Opacity adjustment settings as the Layers do. You can set opacity on a tool,but once you make that stroke, it stays at that setting. You can always change the blend mode,opacity or fill on a layer. That's just one difference I know about.
Here's a great reference on Blending modes.
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I frequently use blend modes for tools. Using the Clone tool set to Darken on a layer also set to darken, is a nice way to remove over sharpening halos for instance. It definitely makes a difference. Just try it and you'll see.
Thanks Dennis. The few times I use a brush is for painting,but now I learned something new.
There is no differnce if you meant
brush in color mode painting on a normal layer
layer in color mode on top of another layer you are painting onto with a brush in color mode
In order for there to be a color change from the blend mode, you need color on top and normal underneath (unless the top layer is not 100 opacity)