In the following pictures you will notice that except for 2 brushes I had already similar options in my collection so I didn’t need the full set really. When I saw that CDJapan released it and I wasn’t sure if I had to splurge. I was tempted of course but with my Japan trip arriving and the problems with our dog, my car, etc I was going to skip it. Lucky me, CDJapan appreciates that I contributed in a way to their international renown so they sometimes give me a discount or a free sample. I didn’t get this set for free, but I got a big discount, how could I say no ??
It’s a huge amount of money for a make up brush set, even though it’s an ultimate one, you still have to be very motivated and really love brushes to get it. The great news is that they give their customers the possibility to get the brushes individually.
I picked it up at the PO this morning, opened the parcel while my BF was driving, I was patting them during 40mn until I finally arrived at work, he kept giving the look “More brushes???” and I kept giving him my innocent happy look back. Every time he asked me “When will you have enough brushes?” He always got the same reply in return “How could I know…?! ” but today he finally understood that this day is far, far away…
In order to be able to take the pictures with their after-wash shape, I washed them during my break at work, then let them dry in a corner… Today my close colleagues know what my secret passion is, they kept on asking me why I was going to Japan so at the end I confessed. However, they do not suspect the magnitude of my obsession so pssschhhhhht!!!!…
This set contains 8 brushes, they come with a pouch and in a wooden box. If you hop to this link, you will see the description of the contents and the details of the brushes, material, price and size. They are all made with grey squirrel hair except for the lip brush (Siberian weasel), and the eyebrow (water badger). I will show you what I received in the set but just remember they mention the pouch can change.
Sizes in cm :
|Brushes||Full length||Hair length||Base of ferrule||Ferrule (sideways)||Widest point||Widest point (sideways)|
I won’t go into much details, these are basically just first impressions since I just got them but I think you may currently be a little bit excited by this release and some pics may already help you decide if that could be something you may desire. You may need to wait to get them, they are hand made and they have a small production site.
Another gorgeous Koyudo temptation that I wasn’t sure I wanted to order at first, I read it wasn’t only grey squirrel but a blend with some soft goat hair, however, this brush doesn’t feel like goat hair at all. I don’t often use powder foundation so I wasn’t sure this was an useful brush for me but at the end I still decided to get it…
It costs around 60$ and AGAIN, it’s totally worth every penny ! Such a lovely surprise !! The quality is absolutely outstanding, I am in awe and so will you…
It is as soft as the Chikuhodo Z-series (I can’t feel much difference to be honest), it’s densely packed, absolutely no flaws, it’s flat(ish) -very slightly rounded as you can see in the pic- and covers a wide surface at the top, approx 4cm of diameter. The handle is short, black and the ferrule golden, the black part has little green sparkles inside, I can’t stop contemplating and patting this work of art…
I thought it would be very similar to the Chikuhodo Z-1, it is in terms of softness and hair quality but it’s more dense and short, the goat hair must be so little quantity that it just feels like there isn’t at all. The application of powder foundation with this brush is out of this world, it does the work so softly and evenly, so far I think there is no other better powder foundation application than with this Fu-Pa14, efficiency and enjoyment guaranteed !
When I apply powder foundation, I don’t apply a heavy coverage, the finish I like is sheer to medium. I have tried this brush with the Mac Mineralize Skinfinish, it picks the product really well, one swirl is enough, you have to tap off the excess just a bit, you apply and then reapply if you want more coverage. I will try it also with mineral loose powders, for now I didn’t had the chance yet but it does a better job at covering than the Z-1, because it’s flatter and denser so the process will be faster too.
I also tried it with bronzer (TF Terra), I tap off the excess on the back of my hand and I apply in the forehead, cheeks, I cannot see any lines around the application and it doesn’t look muddy but I apply it softly anyway.
This is probably one of the biggest brush temptations I could show you before my trip to Japan, I hope I will be able to find unique little brushes to bring with me !
Today my review will be brief and I am not going to talk for hours because the pictures speak for themselves, I just simply think that if you love beautiful make up brushes, you need this one.
This Koyudo Pink fan has been sitting in my shopping cart for ages, it was one of the first Koyudo brushes that captured my attention but for some silly reason I was always removing it from my cart before I placed my orders. This time I decided to order it together with the Fu-Pa14. This fan costs 4500 JPY, it is worth every penny, made with baby goat chest hair, yes it’s soft, not as soft as the Koyudo White Mushroom, but it comes very close to the Tom Ford brushes.
I can’t even believe that I was so excited to wake up this morning so that I could use it ! We need enthousiasm in our lives right ? Funny to believe that this brush helps me to get out of bed in the morning
That’s how crazy I am …
After a marathon schedule at work, finally good news : a two-day break with sunny weather ahead and a brand new discovery to share !
You may remember my recent post about Serge Lutens, when I was researching for Serge Lutens style looks I found this article about Evgeny, it was the first time I read about him but if he has Serge Lutens as an icon, he can only be good, right ? Right.
Sometimes I receive questions from you that I cannot answer, so I send emails to companies to get the info. Recently I have even contacted Selfridges UK to see if their international shipping rate could be adjusted and reduced for small parcels… one can dream right ? They haven’t replied, but maybe they will ? who knows… I’ll keep you informed either way.
Tanseido just replied to the questions I had sent them, I will copy here the 3 little questions and their answers. I hope it’s clear, if you have any other questions, please feel free to ask me, they are very willing to help and I highly appreciate their availability and effort.
I may travel to Japan soon, I am planning the dates and the trip at the moment, if you have any advice, recommendations, suggestions, I’ll be pleased to hear them, I have tried to take note of the skincare you mentioned in some comments but I won’t mind at all if you centralize your recommendations here, trip or beauty related, it will be easier to access them when I am there.
My very first trip to Japan, hopefully not the last !
Have a lovely weekend !
With the idea of finding a dupe for the Rae Morris Radiance, I ordered this Facial brush (link shared by Mimi). It looked very interesting in the picture and the price was reasonable.
I quote the description :
Classic, traditional brush used by Japanese geishas, maikos and oirans for centuries to apply and create their stunning, porcelain-like facials.
Use the soft, dense hairs to apply, pack, smooth and wipe away excess paste or powder. The unique shape let’s you create and blend broad contours with ease and precision.
They got the width absolutely right, the wood is lovely too.
I don’t find the hair that soft at all, it’s goat hair, dense but has a “straw-like” feeling to it, I never owned a goat brush that felt like this, it feels more enduring, I don’t even want to try to apply foundation with it because my skin will not love that at all. But, as mentioned in the description, this brush is meant for geisha make up application, which is more liquid, rough, you will not go for a flawless airbrushed finish but for a thick-ish white base application.
You can have a look at these two videos, this brush may be featured in the first one :
This is not a soft foundation brush but something more appropriate for Geisha makeup tutorials, who knows, maybe one day I can experiment that tutorial on a friend..
I hope I will be able to briefly show you these big little brushes without sounding too irrational. In a few words : are they essential ? no. Are they lovable ? Absolutely 100%.
I felt like Alice in Wonderland unwrapping these beauties. They are huge, long and you will feel insanely small in proportion ! Specially when you spend a lot of time using tiny Koyudo or Kihitsu brushes and then you jump to these !
- The YSS 17 is a grey squirrel highlight brush, 6300 yen.
- The YWC 14 is a goat eyeshadow brush, 2940 yen.
- The YSC 17 is a grey squirrel cheek brush, 6300 yen.
I was already very much in love with the Rae Morris Radiance brush that was released previously, I believe beginning of 2012 and I actually reviewed it in March 2012.
I used the old one automatically on a daily basis, either to apply the foundation or just to blend the whole application afterwards. Since I was washing it very often I got two of them, I was afraid they would not last very long with that intense usage. After one year they are still in one piece and even though they don’t look that solid they still perform like on the very first day.
Today I will show you the new Radiance that is now being released and that is replacing that first version of it. You may not need such a huge foundation/blending/finishing brush, for me it’s simply HG, I don’t think there is another brush that makes the liquid or cream base makeup application look so airbrushed. I don’t use it with powder but it’s also meant for that.
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
Before you read this post, maybe it’s better you have a look at this one, it will tell you more about the origin and their creator. Here you will find more info about them, I could not find the english page but at least you can browse and see how many of them will be released…
I understood they will be launched gradually during this year depending on the countries, I got mine in Sephora France, although they don’t have all the range at least I could get a few and see if that would leave me wanting for more…
They are made from synthetic fibers and can be used with cream or powder products. Although one cannot have a final opinion in one day (I got them yesterday…), I will share my very first impressions.
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 :
If you have been reading the recent comments, you may know that yesterday I received a few new brushes, 6 bought on the Tanseido website and 3 on the Rakuten website. In the afternoon I managed to also buy a funny brush but you’ll know more if you get to the end of the post…
My research at the moment is specially targeting :
- Mac 239 dupes
- Small (tiny) and very soft laydown brushes
- Suqqu dupes
- Big eyeshadow brushes OR small cheek brushes
- Foundation brushes
With that in mind, I ordered the following brushes :
I have to say that my (and our) determination is transforming our research for exceptional brushes into a fun an scarily easy process…
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 !
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 was recently able to place an order with Tanseido, on their Japanese website then send it to a shipping company in Japan and have it forwarded to me. The parcel arrived today very early this morning , my eyes were just barely open that I could already hear the postman happily whistling behind my door … The order was placed on the 21st of December, arrived at the shipping/forwarding company on the 27th and here at home on the 4th of January.
Since I did not know what to order I have just selected what I thought interesting for me and also for a little review, a few eyeshadow brushes and a few face brushes. Even though the details of the brushes are written on the website I really did not know what to expect, everything is written in Japanese and you have to be trained -or very motivated- to be able to place an order. You can translate the site while you browse with Google Chrome browser, that’s what I use and it works just fine, not everything is translated but you can manage.
In case you are interested by a forwarding company, I tried Tenso and it worked perfectly well, the shipping from Tanseido to Tenso was free (when you order for more than 10500 JPY) and then the Tenso shipping with the handling fees were 1990 JPY (approx 22$).
You can have your name engraved on the brushes but good luck with that if you don’t speak Japanese
Nearly all of their brushes are available in 3 colors : black a red or a blue handle and sometimes you might be able to get different materials for the hair, they have a wide interesting range of brushes.
These are the brushes I ordered :
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.
I have decided to go outside of my “Japanese comfort zone” and try a few different brands that are rarely reviewed on beauty blogs. Every time I’ll find a new brand and try it I will share it with you. I won’t have that many brushes but it might already give us an idea about the brand.
This first part, and my first attempt to conquer a new world of magnificent brushes, was made with the Rakuten website. This site is in several languages, you can of course order in English, then I received my emails in a mixed Japanese/English text but it is not a real problem since you can translate them with your email client or with Google translator. The order was placed on December the 20th and arrived here in Switzerland on the 28th, not bad at all ! Rakuten have access to several brands, like Fine Kalla, Tauhaus, Miyao, etc… I don’t always know what brand they are exactly, since it’s written “Fine Kalla” on the handle I believe this is the brand name but honestly I am a bit confused.
These are the brushes I ordered, I have selected two grey squirrel brushes and two goat kabukis :
I had no idea what to expect as I had never heard or read about them, I knew it was a risk but I had to try, it also helps to be able to better compare with other brands like Hakuhodo, Chikuhodo or Koyudo.
You know how much I love makeup brushes, now, this is what happens when “cute” meets “efficient” :
And this is what happens when “Alien” meets “My Little Pony” and have children in Heaven :
The result is absolutely divine. Well, you don’t always “need” this kind of brushes, but I am pretty sure there is a big chance you just want to get them anyway
Today, I am sharing with you a special review, my thoughts on Billy Brasfield (Billy B) and of course also his brushes.
If I had to choose only one makeup artist in the whole world that I wish I could meet in person it’s Billy and I didn’t even know he existed before Wayne sent me an email some weeks ago. Wayne knows how obsessed I am with great brushes, not that we need anymore brushes at all but we just love brushes, like anyone else loves cars, jewelry or art, we love brushes. Wayne told me how much he loved Billy’s brushes, that even though they weren’t the softest they were extremely efficient.
As I said, I wish I could meet Billy, I have been watching many Youtube videos of him or about him. He is the most generous and amazing makeup artist, a great personality, a great talent, a great heart.
Billy has his own Youtube chanel and Wayne just recently reviewed his brush range for us. To better understand why Billy designed his own range and what materials he uses -or why-, please watch this video. Basically, as long as the brushes do the job, he doesn’t care what material they are.
I love Billy, I love his vision and I am so glad he succeeded, it looks like he didn’t have the easiest teenage years and today when you watch his videos and when you listen to him, you feel how genuine and how touching he is. I am hypnotized by his ideas and creativity, he is Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Sharon Stone’s makeup artist (just to mention a few), he can go from the most natural enhancing makeup look to the most extraordinary drag makeup, both achieved perfectly well and with his own brushes. That’s also what I love about him, he shows his technique and shares his ideas, when you watch a video you actually see how he works and how he uses his brushes, for example here, unlike Claudio Riaz. Claudio also makes videos (too short in my opinion) were he tries to explain how to use his brushes BUT the makeup is already done, you don’t see how he works from the beginning and I have to say that it doesn’t help me, but maybe it’s me, for example here or here, can you actually see what he is doing ? I prefer videos like Billy’s, where you learn so much more. My favorite quote from Billy is “let the eye tell you what it needs” (same for the brows, same for the face…). That’s exactly what I try to do with my little knowledge, of course I am very very far from being able to correctly achieve that but it’s like a game, I have so much fun and that’s also what makeup is about.
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 :
I bought my first eyeshadow “brush” 15 years ago, it was a sponge type applicator from Body Shop, really huge, it was excellent for applying a base color all over the lid, actually it was the only thing I was doing at the time, one shadow and that was all. After some time, when this “brush” got really old and when I wanted to repurchase it, it wasn’t sold anymore. Since I could not find it anymore, I kept on using the sponge type applicators that were delivered with the palettes.
My first real eyeshadow brush purchase was the Mac 239 and my interest for brushes only started there. Today my Mac 239 meets the Shu Uemura 10 natural, two extremely good eyeshadow brushes that deserve all our attention.
When you look at the Shu Uemura brushes, the first thing that comes to your mind is : “different” and then, “expensive” !!!
We already know that when we talk brush language, different doesn’t necessarily mean efficient (I am thinking of Claudio Riaz brushes suddenly…), as well as expensive doesn’t necessarily mean efficient either (Claudio strikes again here… )
I am very happy to have a few Shu Uemura brushes and I will try to give you my honest opinion on the ones I own.
Here they are :
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 :