Koyudo Fu-pa brushes
Before I start to introduce you to some of the new Fu-Pa brushes from Koyudo, let me tell you how important it is not only to use the right brushes, but to use appropriate skincare and foundation products for your skin, sounds obvious but sometimes we just tend to forget it or to loose focus on that.
I am totally and utterly devoted to my Laura Mercier Repair creme and my Astalift Jelly but recently I wanted to try to reduce the depth of my wrinkles using a skincare that specially targets wrinkles so I have temporarily switched to a different skincare routine replacing just the Astalift Jelly with the Murad Intensive Wrinkle reducer. Did it help with the wrinkles ? Absolutely, I can say that they became less deep but it slowly caused a butterfly effect on my skin : my skin reached a point were it wasn’t able to keep enough moisture throughout the day to tolerate foundation or even to feel comfortable enough on its own. I didn’t understand what was going on at first, I even thought this was caused by the usage of these Koyudo goat brushes so I needed to find the origin of my problem before I posted. The Murad was actually draining my skin from the vital moisture it needed, don’t ask me why because I wouldn’t be able to tell you but if I stop using it, my skin reverts back to normal again. I am a bit sad to be honest because I was loving the result on the wrinkles, I have used it for 2 months, morning and evening and I would have carried on if it wasn’t causing me to dry out completely.
I finally discovered that my problem could be solved by simply reintroducing the Astalift Jelly and stopping the Murad, it wasn’t the brushes and it wasn’t the abrasive cold weather. I feel relieved because I thought I had to abandon these lovely brushes, bottom line : you may use the best brushes in the whole world but if you don’t use the skincare that is right for you, those brushes will not deliver.
Foundation is the most important part of my makeup routine therefore it has to be perfect and 100% adapted to my skin and since it’s very dry and dehydrated, I cannot wear a heavy coverage, it would just accentuate my wrinkles and feel uncomfortable, I am aiming for a light to medium coverage with a dewy finish. All these Koyudo brushes feel good on my skin, they don’t irritate my skin at all, they can deliver from sheer to heavy coverage if desired. It is known that white goat brushes are better for oily skin and synthetic or duo-fiber better for dryer skin but I haven’t experienced issues with any of them since I stopped using the Murad.
The Koyudo Fu-pa02 has been introduced to me in July 2012 by a sweet follower and now friend Nikoleta. I was very surprised to see that this was the kind of brush I was looking for so there was no doubt that I had to try it.
When I received it, my jaw dropped, not only the quality was perfect, but it was soft, densely packed and so different from any other foundation brush I had seen before.
Historically, the first white-goat one was the Fu-pa02, then Koyudo released a Christmas 2012 set with 2 new versions of the Fu-pa brush : the 07 and the 10. Later in November 2012 Koyudo released a full collection of Fu-Pas. Today I own a little army of Fu-Pas :
Do you need as many Fu-Pas ? Certainly not. I am just brainless when it comes to makeup brushes, don’t try to do that at home !
You will find many options in these collection : different sizes, full goat, dual-sided, duo-fiber or even angled, you may feel lost in your choice and it may not be easy, I hope the pictures will help. There can be more than one good brush for you and honestly the difference in the finish is not that striking to me, the duo-fiber will deliver a more dewy finish and the white-goat ones a more matte finish but it also depends on the products you are using. I will share my thoughts on them hoping that if you are interesting in trying them, I can direct you towards the best one for you.
The original Fu-Pa02 and the Fu-Pa07
When you own the Shu Uemura 18 goat and you wish it was just 3x bigger, then you can get the Fu-Pa02. Soft but extremely dense, the handle is much thicker and shorter than the Shu Uemura. It delivers the same result as the Shu but just in a larger scale.
The Fu-Pa07 is also very dense but has a flatter surface and longer sides which allows you to cover even more surface with more flexibility at the tip of the bristles which delivers a more flawless and airbrushed result. It’s a total hit, works with any liquid or cream foundation I tried. You can use it in a combination of movements, strokes or buffing as you are working the product into the skin, I don’t need to put a lot of pressure and this may also be the reason why it doesn’t cause exfoliation on my skin. I can reach the sides of the nose as well even thought it’s quite big.
Together with the angled version of it, (the Fu-Pa12), they are probably delivering the most similar result to the Rae Morris Radiance. They are also more portable and they seem more solid to me than the Radiance.
The original Fu-pa02 and the dark pink Fu-Pa02
I wanted a backup of the Fu-pa02 and since I saw the same brush in pink I ordered it on the CDJapan website. It’s just exactly the same brush, the only difference is that obviously it’s pink and you can store it vertically on a flat surface.
All the handles are made of hinoki cypress and have all the same length : 7.7cm. The white goat hair is all the same quality whatever the brush. The total length of the brush varies depending on the shape of the hair.
You will find several type of brushes :
- Full goat hair (baby goat chest hair) either black or white
- Dual sided brushes : one side is only goat hair and the other side a blend of goat and PBT, either black or pink
- A blend of full goat hair and PBT, either black or pink
I haven’t ordered black ones since I am only interested in using them with liquid or cream products. On the CDJapan website the dual-sided with the black hair are also meant to be used with liquid foundation but the ones with only black goat hair are only meant for powder and shading purposes. I still may get one in the future Unfortunately I haven’t tried these brushes with powder products. I will update this post in a few days with some information about that. I thought that since they were already on the CDJapan website you may want to get some pictures and start the discussion, I am getting a lot of questions about them and I believe that most of you would use them for foundation.
I think they are totally worth their price and that the quality is absolutely stunning, the only disappointment is that they get dirty… but that’s the case for any foundation brush so we will have to deal with it and wash them regularly. The white goat brushes dry very quickly but the goat/PBT material takes slightly longer to dry. If you use liquid/cream products with the PBT ones you may not need to wait for them to be completely dry anyway.
The flat versions (fu-pa07, fu-pa08) vs the angled ones (fu-pa12, fu-pa13)
There is a flat Fu-Pa07 and a smaller version of it, the Fu-Pa08. As you can imagine the smaller version will deliver more precision so you will also be able to use it for highlighting or contour and if you apply foundation also to your eyelids it will fit without covering your entire eye/brow. The smaller can be more multi-purpose but for foundation I prefer the bigger version, the Fu-Pa07 feels softer and less firm and I prefer the more airbrushed effect it delivers, it’s also more pleasant to use due to the flexibility of the bristles.
The angled versions are in fact “just angled”, they don’t have the strange shape showing on the design picture, they are simply shorter on one side and longer at the other side and I find them even better than the flat ones for liquid foundation, specially the smaller one is even more multipurpose and they are even more pleasant to use due to the additional flexibility of the longer bristles. If you compare only the two smaller ones, the angled one will cover a wider surface on the skin and will be easier and faster to work with.
- The fu-pa07-p measures 10.5cm in total, the hair length is 2.7cm, it covers approx 2x4cm at the surface.
- The fu-pa012-p measures 10.7cm in total, the hair length is 2cm (shorter side) and 3cm (longer side), it covers approx 2x4cm at the surface.
- The fu-pa08-p measures 10.2cm in total, the hair length is 2.4cm, it covers approx 1.8x3cm at the surface.
- The fu-pa07-p measures 10.6cm in total, the hair length is 2cm (shorter side) and 3cm (longer side), it covers approx 3.5x2cm at the surface.
Sideways, the appearance of the angled brushes is similar to the flat ones but they will just cover more surface with more flexibility.
The dual-sided brushes (fu-pa05, fu-pa06)
They are meant to be used with anything :
“Multi-use brushes for both liquid, powder and blush. The goat chest hair side will allow liquid foundation to gently spread out on your skin. As for powder foundation and blush, use the goat chest hair side for a full coverage look, and the PBT side for a natural glow. “
Usually I skip dual-sided brushes, they tend to loose efficiency and I never found them better than a full whatever-material brush. I don’t know why but I trust Koyudo, if they think that creating dual-sided brushes could be a good idea is because they must know how to do it. It was a brilliant and efficient idea by the way.
Due to the recent problem I had with my skin (my skin was flaking as soon as I was touching it with any foundation product), I couldn’t even use foundation, well, I could IF and ONLY if I applied it with the dual-sided brushes. The application is so soft that it doesn’t mess with your damaged skin, it just glides softly on the skin. I was applying my foundation with the goat-PBT side and then using very gently both sides for blending.
These dual sided brushes are actually insanely helpful for me, I use a lot of cream/liquid blush or contour and they do the most amazing job softly diffusing the color. You can apply and blend at the same time.
I strongly believe that people with skin problems (dry-delicate) could use them to get a flawless and pleasant foundation application, I am actually in love with them and I prefer them to the full goat ones but it’s also because my skin is still recovering from flaking-hell.
The goat/PBT brushes (fu-pa09, fu-pa10)
The first Fu-pa10 to come with the 2012 Christmas set was a great surprise. I was looking for a brush to apply cream contour or cream blush but I didn’t like to use a flat foundation brush, I wanted something fluffier and that would easily glide on the skin but a bit thicker to help with the blending, this Fu-Pa10 was a godsend.
One of the brushes I thought I would not like is the big Fu-Pa09 but I was wrong. Since it’s thick even when the bristles are covered with foundation then don’t fully stick together and you still have thickness to blend your application even in a circular motion, this reduces the streaky-effect that this kind of brushes tend to deliver. So, no streaky lines with the big one, I wouldn’t use the small one for foundation but it’s fantastic for application of a base or for contour or blush (cream since I haven’t tried powder yet).
When I use the fu-pa 10 for the application of base foundation products since the application is more dewy and not immediately absorbed into my skin, when I apply my foundation with a full goat brush afterwards it’s much easier to work, both products are sealed together and then flawlessly blended.
There is another option with longer bristles if you like this kind of pink duo-fiber brushes, the PR010 is much more flexible and feels extremely soft, it’s the same hair but less densely packed.
I took me a while to understand this brush… but suddenly it clicked.
It looks really funny, it’s very short, 9.5cm total length, it’s like a cyber-finger
It doesn’t blend like a fluffy brush, it’s different, I was trying to find a way to explain that to you but all that I can think of is a small finger with blending capabilities.
When you blend your concealer with a flat brush, the risk is that it “moves” the product around without really pressing it into the skin, with this brush it blends the product “where you put it” and you can add gentle pressure with a lot of control. It’s angled and when it’s damped with product the bristles come closer together, I thought it was a disadvantage at first but when they actually allow more precision. They don’t come completely together, there is still some surface so you can use it flat or you can also bend it holding it at an angle, it makes it thin and you can reach the smaller corners of the eyes, the nose, etc.
A picture with the Hakuhodo J125R to compare the size :
The three duo-fiber brushes together for size reference :
The Fu-Pa02 is just the huge version of the Shu 18, Chikuhodo G-10 or Koyudo BP014. The Tom Ford 02 is the one I was using for cream contour but since I have these Fu-pas, I prefer reserving the Tom Ford for powder contour and use the Koyudo goat/PBT for cream products.
Then when it comes to very very thick cream foundations, I prefer to use a brush like the Koyudo BP013, as I said in the past thick products would only work on my skin with sparser bundled brushes with thicker hair, it’s just a shame it’s so huge but I love it and I hope that one day there is a slightly smaller version of it.
In comparison to these brushes, the white goat hair of the Fu-Pas is same softness as the Koyudo BP014, very slightly less soft than the Chikuhodo G-10 or the Shu 18 but you can’t really tell.
The Tom Ford 02 hair is softer and finer than the Fu-pas.
The Koyudo BP013 has thicker hair than the Fu-pas.
The Hakuhodo J110 is also more fine, more close to the Tom Ford than the Fu-pas.
There are many duo-fiber options in the market today, Hakuhodo makes very great ones too and they are also gentle with your skin, as I said before, there is more than one great foundation brush but as you see, most of them are made in Japan
I put this picture here for size reference :
More pictures for size reference of the smaller fu-pas :
The Fu-pa02 is the size in between the BP014 and the BP013 but if the Fu-pa02 had longer bristles and less density it would even be better
I was hoping to be able to show you the thickness of the hair with this close-up picture, looks like the Radiance had a road accident, it’s just natural ageing
The Radiance has thicker hair than the Fu-pa but not as thick as the BP013.
I haven’t covered everything but since I am getting a lot of questions I thought maybe it would be a good idea to start with a post and then if you have specific questions we can address them here in the comments so that everyone could see and read them, your comments are always extremely helpful and I am sure everyone is appreciating them a lot ! So, if you have any questions, please kindly write them down on the comments and I will take time to reply accordingly.
The brushes are now available on the CDJapan website but it may take a while to get them since they are handmade.
CDJapan have offered me 3 of the brushes I ordered as a kind gift for my continuous and crazy brush orders and obsession and also because apparently thanks to this blog I am bringing them some business. Well, what can I say, they do deserve it and I am not the only person to love them. I just wish they could send us the brushes faster but to be honest, I prefer quality so if making them faster compromises quality, I prefer to wait.