I was interested in trying some new Japanese brushes so I have placed an order with Tommy. All went perfectly well, she gathered all the different brushes for me and it was a very smooth transaction, I didn’t go through all the pain trying to order myself and have the items forwarded and then shipped to me. If you don’t want to bother with forwarding companies this is actually an easier solution when you don’t speak Japanese or when the companies don’t ship internationally.
These brushes are from Kihitsu, Houkodou and Chomotto Beaute.
Although I haven’t tried them for a long time I will share my first thoughts, hoping this helps you decide if you should be getting them in the future. I don’t think they are LE but I do recommend you to have a closer look specially at the Houkodou before you have to wait months to get one
My reason fails me when it comes to makeup brushes, I have this unrestrained curiosity to discover more and more and I don’t think I will ever have enough of them. The worst part is that it’s not going to end soon and due to the newest acquisitions that keep on coming my favorites may change on a regular basis.
When I finally calm down and my wallet gets some peace and quiet you then send me new links and trigger my inner beast again ! I don’t know if I have to thank you or blame you, probably both, but I do enjoy it, a lot.
I am creating this post due to high demand, I received a few emails recently about brushes and thought that it was time for a new post on that topic, it will certainly help me address these questions a little bit more in detail.
Your questions were related to my favorite brushes: whatever the price, whatever the brand. After a few days, weeks actually, of deliberation I came to the conclusion that it would not be easy to answer and the result would involve a lot of them, more than 140 actually, 140 is not the total amount of brushes I have, it’s just the number of brushes that made it into my very top favorites. I did my best to narrow it down to just a very few by category but still, too many.
These are most of my HG brushes :
When you are looking for face brushes you can easily get lost with all the choices available in the market today, even more when you are just starting to build a little collection. The most common questions I receive are about the “cheapest+most versatile+most efficient” face brushes, with that in mind, I tried to create this post for you, either to help you in your research or to point you in the right direction.
My first advice is : buy fewer brushes, but greater brushes. If you have a monthly budget, start with the minimum and then buy them gradually. If you start with great brushes, believe me you will avoid wasting your money on brushes that you’ll not use anyway.
The most important and complex brush to choose is the foundation brush. It will depend on so many factors, if you have dry skin, if you use thicker products, powder products, if you want heavier coverage, all that will directly affect your choice. Foundation or base makeup is only flattering when the application is nicely done, it’s supposed to boost your confidence, if you feel that your foundation is patchy, not well blended and too obvious it might just do the total opposite.
My profile :
- I am not a makeup artist, my recommendations are based on my own experience
- I have very delicate and dry skin therefore I don’t often use powder foundations but more liquid or cream
- I prefer sheer to medium coverage so I will never fully cover all my pigmentation irregularities
- I prefer a more natural looking coverage and with my dry skin I would not be able to bear heavy ones anyway.
Below you will see an example of what I consider to be some of the most essential and affordable face brushes :
I often receive emails regarding Hakuhodo brushes and questions like “What first affordable Hakuhodo brushes can I purchase if I am just starting?” or “What would be the perfect and cheapest Hakuhodo eyeshadow starter kit?“, this little post is for you if you have the same type of questions. There is a lot to choose from and I understand those who tell me they end by getting a headache, specially if you are just starting I know it can really be overwhelming !
Here I have gathered what I think to be a nice set of eyeshadow brushes if you are just starting with Hakuhodo brushes, these will achieve great results at an affordable price :
I found a nice and clear picture that describes the eye area, if you need more information on where is the crease, the socket, etc and what kind of shadow to apply, please click here and have a look.
I thought it could be a fun idea to start the year with some pictures of the most exceptional brushes I have come across during 2012. I have tried to narrow down the list to the minimum but there are still so many of them !
I wanted to pick the most exceptional and unique, the ones that have surprised me the most, not exactly the most necessary. I will make sure I share at least one link where you can find them in order to get more details on the brushes. They are not in preference order, just brand by brand. You will see the picture of the brush(es) and below the picture a small comment on each.
The most lovable brush !
Koyudo designed the most creative and tempting brushes I have seen this year, I am nearly scared when they release new brushes because I know there is a big chance than an order will follow. This macaron has been released in 3 colors, there is also an orange and a purple, it’s adorable, incredibly soft, tiny, very densely packed and firm, not the most necessary brush I admit but I have to say that this one is one of the most beautiful brushes to look at.
I use it to apply powder or blush, the surface covers approx 4cm and it’s only 5cm tall.
If you know RMK brushes, you probably also know Lunasol brushes, they are manufactured by the same company : Chikuhodo, just like Suqqu.
The Lunasol handles are quite similar to the RMK ones, but they are a bit heavier and slightly longer.
I got my Lunasol brushes in a swap but they were brand new, actually it’s difficult to get them if you are not living in an Asian country, we have a Kanebo counter in Switzerland and even though Lunasol is a brand from Kanebo, we don’t have access to Lunasol.
These are the Cheek N and Powder N brushes :
This Hakuhodo set has just been released, they have called it the “Winter Set 2013″, the particularity of this set is that it does not only contains brushes but also an eyebrow palette.
I only got it yesterday so I won’t be able to give you a very detailed review on it but since it’s LE, I think I should show you some pics as soon as possible in order for you to get your hands on it if you were looking for a set like this.
This set includes 1 eyebrow palette, 5 short handle brushes in a copper-rose-gold color and 1 enamel brush pouch in the same color. I got mine via Hakuhodo Japan that’s why I had the possibility to have my brushes engraved with my name, it’s an option that Hakuhodo Japan offers you (I believe free of charge, I did not see a mention of the price anywhere). Keep in mind that Hakuhodo Japan only ships to Japan – as far as I know - but this set has now also become available in Hakuhodo USA.
Here are the contents of the set :
It also comes with a small brochure with the descriptions but mine is in Japanese, unfortunately I don’t speak or read Japanese, shame because I would really love to understand what is written underneath each eyeshadow…
When I first saw these beauties they were not available on the Hakuhodo website yet so I have ordered them by email. Hakuhodo told me they will be available on their Hakuhodo online shop sometime this week, perfect timing then !
I love kabukis, I love white hair – only on brushes though…, I love wood handles and I love Hakuhodo’s customer service, I just could not resist ! Enough reasons here for me to get the whole family :
I saw the Hakuhodo G543 a long time ago and I was incredibly tempted but I wanted to read more reviews before I order it, unfortunately there aren’t many reviews of it so I had to take the risk…
I also wanted to compare this Hakuhodo G543 with the Koyudo H011 that looks very similar, both are short-hair kabukis meant for powder and liquid foundation.
Sometimes, like today, I feel frustrated because I cannot find the right technique, the one that will really tell you if these brushes are really good and why… These two brushes are totally outside my comfort zone, I am trying to review them for you today, but let’s say that today is just the beginning of a series of testing and experimenting with a follow up review later on.
The Hakuhodo G543 costs 94 Usd, is made of Sokoho goat hair.
The Koyudo H011 costs 65 Usd and is made of goat hair.
Today I have to show you some extraordinary kabukis, since the day I received the Koyudo White “mushroom” my interest for kabukis has become so much stronger, I can barely control myself when I see how beautiful they look on the websites, they are so tempting !
I don’t know if ”mushroom” is a Koyudo interpretation of “kabuki” or if they call their kabukis mushrooms on purpose, doesn’t really matter, what matters is what you get, however they want to call them
This is what I call the 3 titans, the Hakuhodo Kokutan Saikoho Kinoko brush – large, the Koyudo H005 and the Koyudo White Mushroom :
I love the three of them so much that it’s a mental fight in the morning ! The three are so different and so efficient that it’s really amazing to be able to use them all.
I call them “the three sisters”, they are so similar they must share the same DNA:
If you like big soft brushes, these are seriously good candidates, unfortunately when you try one, there is a risk you’ll want more of them …
Maybe you already know that Hakuhodo is slowly but frequently releasing new brushes, looks like it’s a “two by two” thing now…
So I keep an eye on their “New products” tab, recently they released a J210 and a J212 :
Hi there brush lovers !!
Before you try to read this long post on brushes, please keep in mind that I am not a makeup artist, I am just passionate about beauty and makeup brushes. My little knowledge on makeup brushes comes from my own experience, from reading other blogs, from friends or also from information I receive from brush companies like Hakuhodo.
I am getting so many questions on brushes that I though I might write something that would look like an overview on the topic, I hope I am covering some of your questions here and that this is a bit helpful for you although it is far from covering all aspects and variables of makeup brushes !
Depending on where you live you may not be able to get deep information on this topic so like me you will need to rely on the internet to answer your questions, but there are so many different makeup brushes that we are easily overwhelmed by all the details. I have tried to summarize the most common specifications, I cannot cover everything mainly because I simply won’t have the knowledge but I will do my best, you are very welcome to leave any comments to share your own knowledge, your thoughts and own experience.
This is not a mystery for most of you but in case you did not know :
Makeup brushes is actually the main reason why I started this blog. I was often reading beauty blogs and the comments and suddenly I thought that having so many brushes could actually be helpful to others, the questions were often related to their size and comparison to similar ones and that’s something I thought I could provide.
I am easily tempted when it comes to brushes, I mean easily. If I can, I will. Sometimes I know I am making a huge mistake but I need to see by myself…
It’s only my opinion that I will share here, not the one of a Master in makeup brushes, but I will always give you my humble and honest opinion and experience, whatever the brand. I also want to mention that if these are my HG, they may not be HG for everyone and I haven’t tried all the brands available today – thanks God ! The prices are also often high and paying a high price for a makeup brush is not always something that everyone can or want to do, I don’t mind doing it, but it has to be worth it.
I have tried to narrow down the list to the very top favorite brushes for each usage, I clearly cannot select all of the brushes I love otherwise I will make a post a mile long, so here you will only see the ones that have seriously blown my mind.
In this first picture, I have just gathered together the very top selection of all the brushes mentioned in this post, I will very briefly cover them under each category, these few have been serious great discoveries for me, some are just insanely beautiful, others are incredibly efficient and often unique.
I have just ordered a few more brushes from the Hakuhodo J Series, at this rate I will probably manage to get my hands on all of the white ones before Christmas
The new ones are :
They will be reviewed shortly and my comments will be added in my main J Series post available here.
I the meantime I just wanted to share some pictures, this is to give you a little idea of their size and shape and maybe you are wondering how they compare to each other.
They have been washed only once since I got them yesterday and I haven’t used them yet. It’s a bit too early to give you my first impressions but at least you will see what they look like.
Here they are amongst other similar ones :
I am actually very excited to write this little post about the Chikuhodo Z Series, I discovered them not that long ago, I started with the Z-8, Z-5 and Z-10 and today, the Z-1, Z-2 and Z-4 also joined my collection, I also have the intention to get the rest of the Z-Series, some day. I know, I clearly don’t need that many eye or face brushes since I only have 2 eyes and 2 cheeks, but I am a crazy brush fan and collector and I actually do use them all.
It’s good to know that Chikuhodo is the manufacturer of Suqqu, RMK, Lunasol and many other great Japanese brands, then you understand even better where the quality and handcraft of these brands comes from.
When I tried these Chikuhodo Z Series for the first time, I was wondering how I could still give some love to my older brushes. There are only a few makeup related items that make me feel like a Gollum, not only because they are so hard to get your hands on, but these Z Series are the best quality brushes I have ever had. I am preparing a new “favorite brushes” post since my collection has dramatically changed from last year, these Chikuhodo will all figure on my favorite brushes post.
They are all grey squirrel and are meant for powder products. I am not going to repeat myself under each brush description, but, they all are HG to me and they all are worth their price tag.
After the J Series, Hakuhodo has just released two new brushes, the G5526 and the G5513. Not that I automatically order all the new released brushes … but these two seemed interesting to me.
There is a pencil/crease brush and a tiny flat one, both made with horse hair.
This has been the Year of the Brush for me, RMK, Shu Uemura, Chikuhodo, Koyudo, Hakuhodo J Series… many extraordinary new brushes entered my brush collection, see the pattern ? Japan did very good…
The first time I heard about these series is when I saw Wayne showing the ones he got at Imats, I had to watch the video several times !!! Hakuhodo made a white 214 ???? – I was ready to kill – I contacted Hakuhodo and they just told me they weren’t available online yet that it would take a while… I just had to wait until August 2012 ! I had to live 6 months of utter agony before I could get my hands on it (on them actually).
There are many reasons to my excitement, I love white natural goat brushes and I love Hakuhodo, the combination of these two factors was a threat to my wallet.
In the J Series you will find goat, horse, synthetic or other materials, I got mainly white brushes because there is no dye in them and therefore are adapted to powder, cream or liquid products. The only downside in my opinion is that they look dirty faster than darker brushes, you will feel the need to wash them more regularly. But that said, if you are a makeup artist you will need to wash them after each use anyway and these are resilient. I don’t mind washing them often, I find the process relaxing and my counter looks a bit Michelangelo style with these white brushes with color residue all over..
This is not all the J Series collection, just the ones I have today :
This is not really a post about beauty and makeup, it’s just a little post to briefly share with you my recent holiday trip to France, with my motorbike, my boyfriend and my new Hakuhodo J Series freshly arrived – of course I could not leave home for 7 days and not take these brushes with me – I am that crazy.
My boyfriend’s mum just bought a little countryside house in France near Limoges and we wanted to see what this area looked like, it was supposed to be really charming, surrounded by lakes and castles. It is indeed.
I wasn’t looking forward to covering that many kilometers on two wheels, I only usually take it to work since it’s easier to park. I actually find it exhausting and stressful to travel long distance on motorbikes. You have to be extremely careful at all times, anticipate even more than you would with a car, pay attention to any type of road otherwise you will be washed out in a blink of an eye (been there) and when you have to do that for hours, it gets very difficult for me, moreover when it rains.
We left on a Friday, it was pouring with rain, it was cold, windy… the most terrible weather we could fear for. But he still wanted to leave that day… Honestly I was scared to death.
I used to pack too much makeup in the past but I am getting better, this time I really have to pack even lighter, I don’t have the choice since we are leaving on our motorbikes. Not my favorite means of transport but next year I will do something more “me”, maybe New York or the Maldives ?
I started packing, even though I could absolutely leave home only with my moisturizer, my mascara and my lip balm, I decided to pack some more things, still too many but let’s see what I can do…, so far it sums up to :
You may already know that Hakuhodo has just released their new J series, I was really deeply wishing that their current range had more white goat brushes, imagine my surprise when I heard about these J Series !
Today I have received my first order that was placed the same day the collection has been released. I didn’t take great photos but I just wanted to quickly show you the ones I ordered and compare them to some familiar brushes, maybe this will give you a better idea of their size if you were planning to order them.
My boyfriend helped me to unwrap my parcel this morning and also helped with the labeling, it was quite cute
As always same nice packaging, the brushes come in their little Hakuhodo box :
I was finally able to get my hands on the Rouge Bunny Rouge 012 Contour brush, every time I wanted to order it, it happened to be sold out… is that because it’s really that good ?
So here it is now and since I have the other two RBR face brushes, I take this opportunity to briefly review the three Rouge Bunny Rouge face brushes together.
If you don’t know it already, RBR make wonderful eyeshadows and blushes, expensive, but you’ll love them. Their makeup brushes are not bad at all but if you had the possibility to try Japanese brands like Hakuhodo, Koyudo, Chikuhodo, Suqqu, you’ll find that it’s quite difficult to find better elsewhere.
Face powder 001 – Goat hair
Base of the ferrule : 2,5cm, hair length : 5cm
I am not a make up artist and my opinions are only based on my personal experience with the brands I tried. I love make up brushes and after a few years into make up, I have gathered a few of them. The day I discovered that a good make up brush could make a significant difference in a make up application I was intrigued and started to build my collection.
I have taken pictures of the brushes that I love the most and that I use regularly, for each category I highlight my very favorites and tell you why I love them so much. The same brush may be pictured in different categories since I try to get the most of each one of them. I apologize it’s a bit long and mixed up…
I have extremely dry and sensitive skin, only a few moisturizers work for me and of course the ones that work are extremely expensive. On a daily basis I use the Laura Mercier Repair creme without SPF. Before discovering this moisturizer I could not wear foundation at all, even foundations for dry skin, I had dry patches and flakes within 2 hours of application.
I prefer to apply my foundation with a sheer coverage, sometimes medium coverage but either way I always aim to achieve a glowy look and I don’t usually powder afterwards.
When I wake up, even after the shower, my skin is still really sensitive, using a soft brush on my eyelids and my face made a big difference in my daily routine, the application is so relaxing and smooth, and that’s why I love soft brushes so much.
These are the make up brands that I use the most :
- Rouge Bunny Rouge
- Tom Ford
- Le Metier de Beaute
- By Terry
- Shu Uemura
I will always try to use products and techniques that don’t emphasize my wrinkles or that don’t look heavy or cakey, I am not a make up artist, my opinions are only based on my personal experience.
Foundation, buffing and stippling
In the picture below, you will see my favorite foundation brushes :
I’ll try to give you some examples with some of the foundations I love to wear :
- For mineralize cream foundation (Mac) : Real Techniques stippling brush or RM Radiance
- For liquid foundation (Tom Ford, Burberry, BB, Laura Mercier, By Terry, etc) : RM Radiance, Hakuhodo G5556 4mm, Sigma F80 or Coastal Scents Bionic. With the Radiance, no need to buff afterwards but with the others I still like to buff with the Mac 187 or any other similar stippling brush, even though it’s not really always necessary.
- For very liquid foundation (Mac or Make Up For Ever face and body) : LY 34, I noticed the bristles suck a lot of foundation but with a very liquid foundation that’s the one I would reach for, mainly for body foundation.
- For mineralize powder foundation (Bare Escentuals) : Coastal Scents Bionic for a flawless and heavier coverage and Chanel 1 for a more natural sheer to medium coverage.
My top favorite is the Rae Morris Radiance, the finish is like an airbrushed application. The price is high but worth it and I could live only with this brush.
I have previously reviewed the 26 pieces brush set and as you may know I am not satisfied with the quality. Today I will be reviewing the 27 Radiance brush and my opinion on this particular brush is going to be completely different. Unlike the brushes released in her big set, this Radiance is a gem.
When I saw how thick it was, I was in shock, how am I supposed to use this brush for foundation on the face ? But that was easy. I washed it, it shed a fair amount of hair but I considered that shedding reasonable for a new brush. I have tried it with Burberry’s foundation, I was so happy that I wanted to make sure : I removed everything and I started all over again… the result was as good as the first time !
The application was a bit clumsy at first, since the brush is so big you don’t know how or where to start… I placed the foundation on my face with a flat foundation brush, then I blended with this Radiance from the nose towards the borders of the face and buff either in circular motion or straight lines, depending on the zone. I also tried it with contour and blush, the result is flawless with all the products. Before this brush I was using the Sigma F80 and buffing with a Mac 187.
Size of the Radiance :
- Total length : 9.2 cm
- Hair length : 2.7 cm
- Thickness : 3 cm
- Width of the ferrule foot : 6.5 cm