Koyudo is preparing a very unique set of brushes, it’s not ready for sale yet, should be near the summer, but I am happy to show you what it’s going to look like so that you can be prepared if you are interested.
If you don’t know them yet, Koyudo is a brush manufacturer based in Kumano (Japan), their manufacture looks like this and the easiest way to purchase their brushes is via CDJapan. Placing orders with CDJapan has become a monthly must-do in my planning. At this moment I am placing a bi-monthly order. I work a lot -not afraid to say it- so a brush reward does cheer me up a bit (a lot).
Also, if you are new to Koyudo brushes and to ordering them, keep in mind the wait will be long unless they have them in stock. If you read the CDJapan page I linked before, they say “They nervously make and test every single brush without distraction. ” This is no joke. When I was at that exact place where they took these pics, I could feel their concentration and noticed a surgical precision in every hair placement, it was really intense. Their funny shapes, colors and designs hadn’t prepared me for such a dedicated, professional and assiduous place of work.
These new Koyudo brushes are more targeted for the brush lover/collector and for private use because they are delicate, extremely soft and should not endure regular washing or harsh sanitizing.
The set is made of 3 face brushes, 3 eye shadow brushes, 1 brow brush, 1 lip brush, a brush roll and comes in a paulownia wooden box. I copied this from Wikipedia for your info, it’s regarding this wood :
It is popular in its native China for roadside planting and as an ornamental tree. Paulownia needs a lot of light and does not like high water tables. Paulownia grown on plantations generally has widely spaced growth rings, meaning it’s soft and of little value, wood with close growth rings is harder and of higher value, it is important in China, Korea, and Japan for making the soundboards of stringed musical instruments such as the guqin, guzheng,pipa, koto, and kayagum.
The material used for the most part of the brushes is red squirrel hair, hence the name. This material is similar in maintenance to the grey squirrel hair but softer, finer.
First of all, please if you can, disregard the mistake I made in the naming of the sets : GES : is the grey squirrel set they released some time ago, RES is the red squirrel set that will be released. I should have called them “GSS” and “RSS” but I was blinded by my Spanish roots and placed an “e” instead of the “s” in the pics… I don’t want to delay this post any longer so later I will update the pics with the correct initials… Right now I can’t do that… Anyway … let’s go to the point
I have been using them for a few weeks now in order to be able to share my thoughts after the “honey moon” period is over. Over now? not sure. Still so much in love. The only problem is that I need to share the love with the others as well, so they don’t get the action they deserve but not because I don’t love them!
I have a scary busy schedule and a huge lot of action with my brushes on a daily basis, several times per day I am considering installing a detection device to inform me when my bf arrives near my room to avoid the “caught in the act” embarrassing moment when he sees me applying invisible make-up or reapplying my make-up for the x time of the day… when he gives me “the again look” this is what I randomly tell him (true story):
- … it’s for science!
- … reeeeally confused about this one, there is something wrong, need to check it out again!
- … I am sooooo worth it!
- … can I do you too?
- … it’s not what you think!
- … one day you’ll thank me!
- … it’s either this or chocolate!
- … they made me do it!
yes sometimes I lie… don’t forget to have fun while taking care of yourself! Whatever the others may think! What makes you happy will (should!) make them happy!
I apply my make-up in the morning as smoothly but quickly as I can, then in the evening I play and test some brushes or products, otherwise there is just not enough days in a week to experiment! I wake up at 6am, apply my make-up at 6h30 sharp, but I am not fully awake, I can’t see very well because of the light in the room (that will change soon), therefore at 6h30 you need to approach me with care and moderated volume otherwise I bite, and with soft and effortless brushes. In the afternoon or evening I feel better, my skin is less sensitive and I can use less soft brushes and play more – for testing purposes.
This is the kind of set that I use in the morning, gently and no need to be that attentive to what I am doing because there is little chance of over-applying. They don’t have a strong buffing power at all, but I don’t really need to correct or buff the amount of product that I placed, it’s very easy to build up the application gradually.
The brushes from the set:
The flat brushes sideways to compare the shape and surface versus the round brushes (2nd and 6th brushes from the left are round) :
In the past, Koyudo released a grey squirrel set that looks very similar to this one, it’s still available here and I reviewed it here. Hopefully you can see the color difference in the hair, the darker ones are the grey squirrel brushes, this is a picture of the squirrel eye brushes from both sets:
The handles are almost identical, except for the logo and the bottom of the handle which is a bit more tapered now.
I enjoy the balance of the brushes, they have a nice length that will suit most of us. I don’t know about you but red and black is a gorgeous combination… I was told in Japan by another brush company that red is the most successful color because of how chic it looks. These are glossy and seem to age very well
The flat powder brush
|Total Length||16,8 cm|
|Hair Length||5 cm|
|Base of Ferrule||2,8 cm|
It’s huge, so incredibly soft and it is dense and fluffy.
I use it with powder and bronzer, for a sheer to medium application but it covers a large area on your face. Compared to the Koyudo GES (grey squirrel set), this RES brush is wider and denser. The big Kiwami has similar softness but it’s not as dense and directional, not that the RES is that directional anyway but you get more firmness in the hair.
The Chikuhodo Z-9 has a flatter and firmer surface (more buffing power). The TF is from a different category, more buffing power and picks up more product but it is here to show that it has similar size and shape.
The Kiwami has similar hair color but I don’t think it’s similar hair (this is a point I will try to clarify when I am in Japan later this year).
And on the face… covers the cheek and more!
The round powder brush
|Total Length||16,5 cm|
|Hair Length||4,7 cm|
|Base of Ferrule||1,8 cm|
This is just… again so insanely beautiful. The bristles are shorter than the similar from the GES, I can feel that there is more hair in the RES, the density is higher too but since the bristles are so fine you can’t feel much difference in the fullness, but it is fuller. The RES flexes and moves following you skin to the pixel and delivering a more even and soft application. I think I am going to break them all at some point because I can’t stop playing with them They shed a few hairs but that is because I just can’t stop…
I use this brush for bronzer or powder, any powder, healthy/meteorites/highlighter or set the foundation when I use Suqqu setting powder. These RES brushes are better paired with soft products like Becca Pressed Shimmer powders, Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow or similar soft textures because the product will be easier to pick up but I also have no issues using harder textures like the Tom Ford Terra bronzer or the Mac Mineralize Skinfinish, not the same amount of product is picked up but enough is picked anyway, sometimes even way too much. There is usually no need to force it on the powder, it really does pick up enough with one swipe. The “issue” is that sometimes you may want to force the soft bristles into the harder textures and that is not good for the bristles, and the buffing/polishing power is not present like it is in goat brushes. When you want to achieve a natural application when you don’t need strong buffing that brush is just wonderful.
Some comparisons with similar round brushes, the Kashoen is goat though, not sure why I put it in this pic, maybe because of the handle and the shape of the head The Chikuhodo G-9 is bigger, the head of this G-9 is totally crazy amazing but the handle is a bit meh, I think the head and handle do not belong together… This head deserves a much greater handle! Anyway, just saying.
Took another pic compared to the Kiwami just in case you own the Kiwami and are wondering if you should get the RSS. If you own the Kiwami you still need the RSS, not only because it’s softer but because you will love it that much.
Happy me… it has enough firmness to place and gently buff bronzer or powder and that shape is just so ideal for me. It’s probably my fav of the set.
The cheek brush
|Total Length||16,5 cm|
|Hair Length||3,7 cm|
|Base of Ferrule||2 cm|
I love it because it’s not flat and thin, still has some surface at the top to work with. I prefer round blush brushes with a flat (domed) surface rather than flat and tapered shapes. I don’t really like the swipe-type of application, much more comfortable with buffing in round motions and building up the color that way versus dragging the product along the cheeks.
Here is how it compares to other similar brushes:
And sideways where you can more precisely see that the surface is actually nicely domed:
On the cheek (although as I said I will use it perpendicularly or at an angled and not flat):
I find these to be wider and have more surface than the GES which are more tapered, this set is much more appropriate to the way I apply products, if you prefer tapered shapes, the GES is better.
Some words about the softness
Compared to other brushes that are truly soft and dreamy this is how I would categorise these:
Top of softness are the two Koyudos on the left, then the Tanseidos. Then very very close to these are the Suqqu cheek and the Koyudo LE which is nearly as soft as the Suqqu cheek.
The next group is the one with the Yojiya, Hakuhodo G5519, Chikuhodo Z series and Kyureido, they all feel quite similar in terms of softness. I put the the brushes on the right in the less soft category BUT believe me they are extremely soft, they don’t even deserve to be in a separate group.
Some words about the control
Then in terms of control/firmness the groups will differ, because some are firmer and more directional. The ones on the left are the more densely packed and directional.
The group in the middle are the ones that deliver medium control and medium density and the ones on the right are the ones with the less density and less control, they will deliver a sheerer coverage and work nicely with highly pigmented products.
The large eye shadow brush
|Total Length||14,4 cm|
|Hair Length||1,8 cm|
|Base of Ferrule||1,2 cm|
It’s nice thick and fluffy, super soft, picks a lot of product for a soft brush, I am very impressed. I use it for base application or to contour the nose.
It has a domed surface that is dense enough to use for blending, it’s amazing, absolutely divine and gets only better with time. Softer than the others here but it has firmness until the surface, that’s why it’s a very soft but nice blender.
Fits the eye area perfectly for me, the layers of the head start near the base so you can use it flat or at any angle you want:
The medium eye shadow brush
|Total Length||14 cm|
|Hair Length||1,5 cm|
|Base of Ferrule||0,8 cm|
This is for the crease, the mobile lid (a bit big for the mobile lid but still ok), it’s super soft, has enough firmness to apply and blend, unless you are using very hard eyeshadows. I use it with Mac, Inglot, Chantecaille, Addiction and Shu Uemura mostly. Again it has a nice fluffy and dense surface which makes it even more versatile, fits in my crease perfectly well at 90° and you can use the surface across your crease horizontally or vertically.
If you like paddle type brushes, I own quite a few simply because I can manage the whole eye look with just one of them if I have to. If you ask me to take one, and only one brush on a trip, I will take one with this shape:
You see how dense it is and that the surface is actually usable. Terrific brush.
The layers start at the middle of the brush head, so again it’s a versatile option to use either for blending or placing.
The small eye shadow brush
|Total Length||14 cm|
|Hair Length||1,5 cm|
|Base of Ferrule||0,5 cm|
I thought this would be like the GES brush but no, it’s more splayed out, super soft and to use with a crease application.
I used it with black shadow, brown, or lighter colors and have no issues placing and diffusing the color, it’s not a goat brush so don’t expect the same power but it’s better than I had imagined. Quite small so it will be perfect for smaller eyes.
The eye brow brush
|Total Length||13,3 cm|
|Hair Length||0,5 cm|
|Base of Ferrule||0,5 cm|
It’s the same brush as the other GES set, just the handle is different, the material is water badger too. Sorry I did not take more pics for that one, it’s a typical brow brush, a nice brow brush since you have the control you need and enough thickness and flexibility in the bristles to make the application effortless.
Same as the other GES set, just the handle changes :
The lip brush
It’s their usual lip brush shape, with similar thickness and quality than the other Koyudo lip brushes. Weasel hair.
This gold one is the one on the Canadian Squirrel set :
But both have the same shape and quality:
And this is the one from the GES :
The brush roll is often included when you buy a set with Koyudo, but the roll can change from set to set. This one is quite thick and protects the brushes very well, you can store at least 10 brushes, with a large pocket on the side for a wider brush (fantastic). The exterior is some sort of velvety material:
No magnets inside the roll, you close it with the cord (not leather):
The full set inside the brush roll:
On the right pocket you can place either a fan or the Rae Morris Radiance
As soon as these brushes will be available, I will inform you. I know some of you would like to purchase it this costs around 450 usd (to be confirmed once it’s officially released) and they may also sell the brushes separately :)