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.
One of my colleagues bought a few brushes for me directly at their shop in Japan. I kept the business card of the shop, although I don’t understand much :
These brushes are very difficult to get if you don’t have direct access to Japan shops, there are a few online shops that do import them, I am probably going to order some more at Kohlindo (based in Europe). Malin from Kohlindo has been very helpful with my friend Dena and I even think that if you are interested in some brushes that are not available on their site, you can contact them and Malin may be able to get them for you. If you have any questions for Kohlindo, maybe you could write them on the comments below and Malin might get in touch with you.
The Chikuhodo brushes are very expensive, but I am willing to pay for that quality.
Where I am not willing for pay a high price is for example for Claudio Riaz, this is just to mention a brand that I really don’t understand their pricing at all. But I will come back on the Claudio Riaz topic in a few weeks, as I may have some info for you.
Z-1 Powder Brush 15,750 yen
Hair length : 5cm
Base of the ferrule : 2.5cm
Width of the hair at the widest point : 4cm
Competed against the Suqqu Powder and the Trish. The Z-1 is much denser, the impression of “less-densely-packed hair” of the other Suqqu or Trish may give you the feeling that the others are softer on the skin but although the density on the Z-1 is so high, the softness of the hair feels similar’ish’ to me. Also the hair quality of the Z series seem somehow thicker and more resilient than the Suqqu, but maybe it’s just a misleading impression because the Z Series are so much denser…
I prefer the Z-1, the reason why I love it so much it’s because although it’s a big brush and covers a lot of surface, it will allow much more control on the application but still apply the product (bronzer, blush, powder) without streaky lines.
I use the Z-1 with many different powder products. Guerlain Meteorites, TF bronzer, the Suqqu finishing powder , Chanel Lumières d’artifices, RBR highlighting powder Sweet to touch, Mac Msf’s, etc… this is just to mention a few products that I tend to use with this amazing brush. My favorite usage with this brush is to finish the blending once you have applied blush/contour/highlight, just to blend seamlessly all the products together.
Z-2 highlights brush 6,825 yen
Hair length : 4cm
Base of the ferrule : 1.5cm
Width of the hair at the widest point : 2.5cm
The Hakuhodo S103 is a goat Sokoho brush so you cannot expect the same softness of the hair of course, it is on the picture so that you can see a bit more the size difference of the two side by side.
The Hakuhodo G5521 is a blend of Goat and Squirrel, of course it doesn’t feel as soft as the full squirrel Z-2.
The Hakuhodo J5521 is only goat, fantastic goat hair quality, packs a lot of color on the bristles but again not as soft as the Z-2 which is totally normal.
The Trish is miles away from the Z-2 in terms of hair quality.
Z-2 wins again because of it’s quality, it’s also softer and much pointier than any other here. But I have to say I cannot live without the J5521, I am just a bit sad it’s not slightly pointier like the Z-2.
It’s an amazing brush for powder highlight and contouring and even blush (RMK for example). The layers of the bristles are so beautifully arranged and regular that it packs the color and deposits evenly without fall-outs. I use either just the pointiest part of the bristles for a more precise application or I also use it slightly sideways.
Z-4 Cheek / Highlight Brush 6,300 yen
Hair length : 3.8cm
Base of the ferrule : 1.8cm
Width of the hair at the widest point : 3.3cm
The RMK Cheek S is not as soft because the hair is a blend of goat and squirrel, but sizewise it is a bit similar to the Z-4.
You are probably wondering if it’s as soft as the raved Suqqu Cheek. I am very tempted to say yes here. It may not seem like it, since it’s denser and firmer but you will really have difficulties asserting that the Suqqu is softer, if it is, it is very very slightly softer and anyway to me it does not justify to get the Suqqu if you have the Z-4.
Due to the higher density and the perfectly arranged layers of this brush, the Z-4 picks more product than the other similar ones, and the result is always perfect (precise, even, non-streaky) and that, whatever the blush, pigmented or not.
The Z-4 wins again.
This is how it compares to the Z-8 :
Here is to have an idea of all the cheek brushes and their size :
Z-5 Eye Shadow Brush 3,990 yen
Hair length : 1.8cm
Base of the ferrule : 1.3cm
Width of the hair at the widest point (sideways): 1cm
Perfect for an application of a base color but, since half-way through the brush, the hair density suddenly reduces and and the head gets much pointier, this brush allows me to apply also the crease color and blend… and it actually blends extremely well ! This Z-5 is very soft but very firm and dense, slightly softer than the Hakuhodo S 121G.
The Z-5 doesn’t have as much flexibility as the Suqqu L, again it’s difficult to say which one of these two is softer because the density is different and can be misleading, I believe the Suqqu is softer but it’s just slightly noticeable but actually the Z-5 is way better for me for packing on the color and blending.
Z-8 Cheek Brush 9,450 yen
Hair length : 4.3cm
Base of the ferrule : 2cm
Width of the hair at the widest point : 3.5cm
I am not going to say much about this brush, just imagine the best quality, best density, best everything. I am already saying here how much I love it. It hasn’t changed.
The most similar brush that I have is the Addiction Cheek, but the Z-8 is even softer and more densely packed.
I love the Z-8 not only for the amazing quality, but also because if I had to pick only one from the face Z-Series, this would be the most multipurpose (bronzer, blush, powder).
Again the bristles and layers are so densely packed and beautifully arranged that it makes this brush a stunning blender.
Z-10 Eye Shadow Brush 3,150 yen
Hair length : 1.3cm
Base of the ferrule : 0.7cm
Amazing pencil brush, the pointiest and softest I have ever seen.
I wanted to compare the Z-10 to the Rae Morris 8 because the size is a bit close. You are probably wondering why I have two Rae Morris 8, one is from the first set I received and the other is from the second (that was supposed to replace the first terrible one). One RM brush is ok but the other RM is so unevenly layered that it’s scary.
I only use mild shampoo to wash them and from time to time some conditioner, with these delicate brushes, I do not want to use any other products. Keep in mind that when you wash them, due to their high density, they will take longer to dry, so remove the excess water with a towel and lay them flat to dry.
I store them in brush cups and I use them nearly on a daily basis, using these brushes daily is the best way to keep them in good condition.
I hope this helps and gives you a better idea of their size and quality. To me they are all HG, all worth the price, unfortunately very high.
I have to say that my favorite brands today are these Chikuhodo Z Series and the Hakuhodo J Series. It’s going to be difficult to find better brushes out there, if you have any suggestions, please let me know 🙂
I am drooling so much I am actually speechless! I want the Z-1 and the Z-4 to add to my collection. I actually can’t believe how much cheaper the Z-4 us than the Suqqu cheek brush. Thank you so much for another great review.
By the way, I always see Lisa Eldridge using the Suqqu cheek brush for cream products, particularly the Tom Form Shade and Illuminate. I personally wouldn’t use grey squirrel with anything but powders, would you?
I am still trying to find the best brush for the Tom Ford S&I – the Hakuhodo 533 is similar to the TF brush that is recommended for the product, but its slightly too small.
Thanks again, Sonia.
😀 you are welcome Dena !
She uses the Suqqu cheek for cream ?? I wouldn’t, it’s not meant for and I don’t see how you can blend effectively because it’s very soft and not dense at all. Do you have the link to that video ? because not only squirrel should not be used with cream or liquid products but the maintenance would be too aggressive for the hair.
Hakuhodo told me : “Squirrel hair is sensitive so it may be damaged if it’s washed very often.”
She is such a great makeup artist but I am a bit sad for the brush 🙂
For the TF, I use the Shu Uemura 18 goat (or two others that are exactly similar). I also use the J528, and I have ordered the tiny stippling from J Series J4002 (we’ll see but it’s mostly for cream blushes…) but I strongly recommend you the new J4005 with the Shade and Illuminate 😉 I apply with this, and then if necessary, I blend with a more fluffy one.
Hi Sonia . please write a review for Z 11 eyeshadow blending brush and compaire to goss 03 .
and between Z2 and Goss 02 which you recommend for contour and highlight brush?
thank you ☘️
It’s terrible, isn’t it; it really upsets me to see that beautiful brush used with a cream product. I would also never use my grey squirrel haired brushes with creams or liquids. I guess she must just have to replace the brushes very often.
I believe she has used the Suqqu brush every time she has used the TF S&I (except for the very first time she used the product. Here is an example; the Kate Winslet look: http://www.lisaeldridge.com/video/23568/kate-winslet-glamourous-red-carpet-make-up/?tag=23578
I have used the TF with my Shu 18 foundation brush; I actually really prefer the TF brush that is made to go with the product, and as it is so unique (ie no Hakuhodo dupe!), I may end up buying it. I have used the Hakuhodo G533, but it is a little small. I am really only looking for a brush for the contour shade; I have no shortage of brushes for the highlight side, and I sometimes use my fingers for the highlight, anyway.
Thanks for the suggestions for the other brushes; I am about to check them out!
By the way, I ended up getting the TF S&I in Intensity 2; I think it is a much better contour colour, even though I’m so fair; I can just tone it down with my foundation brush, which gives it a more airbrushed finish anyway. I was also thinking of putting it into my kit, but I think it’s too beautiful a product to share with anyone else!
I try to use the Tanseido WC14 in the same way as Lisa uses the SUQQU cheek brush for the TF S&I. That way I try to build it up in a subtle way like a powder product.
BTW Dena, how do you like the S&I in intensity 2? I was – negatively – surprised by the contour shade of no. 1. It is very warm brown almost orangey, not what I expected for a contour product. It rather resembles a cream BRONZER. So I wonder if I should have taken intensity 2 in stead. I know Wayne said he preferred intensity 2 for contour, when he first reviewed the product, but most bloggers and MUAs use no 1, so I thought that would be a safe choice.
I forgot to add! There is also the Chikuhodo Z-9, which is a slightly smaller powder brush; oval-shaped as opposed to the round Z-1.
Hi again! I forgot I have the J528. I was thinking of getting that concealer brush (the J4005) for this purpose; you have convinced me to get it now! I LOVE my G538 concealer brush, so much so that I have just ordered another one, and I have also ordered the G540. I think these are the best concealer brushes ever. Thanks for the tip!
Thanks for the link Dena, I did watch it again, funny because I remember the look and I was recreating this look over and over again for the summer (a new post is coming maybe today or tomorrow on the summer products I have been using ) but I did not recall the Suqqu used with the cream, I have to say that it hurts me seeing it used like this but she does whatever she wants right ? 😉
The J4005 is a brush I have been wishing for, for a long time !!! so happy they released it ! I really think you will love it ! I prefer it to the TF. I agree, Hakuhodo concealer brushes are fantastic, I have the M and the L but the J4005 is even better for me. In my opinion, the J4005 is a must-have for all the professional makeup kits.
I need the Z-9 for my collection 🙂
Hi Dena , just to say I got my J4005 last week and the difference it makes is amazing – the concealer goes on smooth as silk , leaving a really faultless finish , and really quickly too 🙂 wish I’d known about these brushes years ago ! best wishes Helen
The three Japanese characters on the business card 熊野笔 means ‘Brushes from Kumano’. Kumano is the town where all the best brushes in Japan are made in, be it for calligraphy, makeup, and paintings. This is a shop located in Ginza, carries products for 30 companies from Kumano and it is said that there are easily 1500 brushes available in the store at any time! Luckily you sent a guy in to get the brushes. If you had sent a girl, she might still be in that store! :p
Thanks for another drooling post. I cannot wait to get my hands on them but you bet I am so gonna get them definitely!
Thank you 🙂
😀 I would spend my holiday in that shop !!
He actually was really happy to go because he got some beautiful painting brushes for his father (he is an artist) 😀
I too am drooling! Now I know my ideal vacation spot: Kumano, Japan!!
and you are not going there without me 😉
I wouldn’t think of it!
Thanks again for another excellent post, sonia. As I’m not ready to pursue these hard-to-get brushes, may I ask you about Hakuhudo 121G? How do you find this brush? Does it do a decent job packing on colors on the lids? Do you use it often? How do you use it and for what kinds of eyeshadow textures, brands, etc.?
The Hakuhodo 121G is fantastic, actually, do you know the Edward Bess “eyeshadow” ? He claims that with his eyeshadow you can do everything and you don’t need any other one ? Well, I do not agree with him. Although it’s a great blender, I don’t use it often unlike the 121G, with the 121G you can “almost” do everything, you can lay down base color, then work the crease, turn it sideways and roughly smoke the bottom and the top lashline, blend the application, etc… I still need the G5520 for defining the eyes but I could live with only these two eyeshadow brushes if I had to.
So, yes, the 121G is a great brush for powder textures, I did not encounter any problem with the shadows I have (Mac, Burberry, etc..) , the usage you get of this brush can really be versatile for such a big brush. Well worth the price.
Thank you so much as usual!
What a great review! 🙂 and I really like reading about brushes from other companies.
I LOVE you word Gollum 😀 Did you know that Chikuhodo’ “ho”chinese caracter means ‘Treasure’ and “do” chinese caracter means ‘temple’ , ‘house’ and ‘shop’.
So, the Chikuhodo means “Bumboo treasure shop. In the begining the handles were made of bamboo.
Our company name Kohlindo comes from the chinese caracter of Yumie and Malin and the end -do means ‘temple’ , ‘house’ and ‘shop’. You can see the chinese caracter on the black box that we send the brushes in.
Its right, if you would like to order some brushes that we dont have in our shop I will try my best to get it for you.
Here is a link of brushes for liquid makeup: http://chikuhodo.com/product/kate_liquid.html
Take care 🙂
Thank you Malin !
yeah you should look at me when I am holding the Z-8, it’s like Gollum with his precious ring 😛
with the drooling and all… freaky 🙂 🙂 – just kidding – 😉
I saw the link… stop tempting me 😉
We keep in touch !
Well, than you look just like me! 😉 I think thats why I love the feeling every time I package a brush and send it to someone. I know that brush will make someone very very happy! 😀
It’s funny everyone says drugs are an awful habit to pick up, but I think far more deadly (atleast to one’s bank account) are luxurious makeup brushes.
I started with Hakuhodo and now…hangs head in shame. Gosh, I thought I could resist the desire for these brushes but then I saw the Z 10…curse me it’s exactly what I’ve been looking for that the Hakuhodo G5526 didn’t give me.
Aargh…off to find a company that will ship it to me. Lovely review and thanks for the great comparison shots!
😀 I know ! But think, it could be worst, we could collect things that are less useful, like stamps or similar things, at least we have a use of our addiction 😛
I am not criticizing here, just kidding 😉
I hope you will be happy with the Z-10 ! keep me informed !
I’m in love with the Z-1 and Z-8 but they are so expensive with all duties and taxes I just can’t justify getting them right now. Will they go on my wishlist for chrismas ? 🙂
How does the Z-10 compare to the Suqqu S and the Suqqu M?
The point is the main difference, it’s the pointiest brush I have. I don’t have them with me right now. If I remember correctly, the Z-10 is very dense at the base then suddenly half-way through it gets really very thin, which gives flexibility but still delivers some precision.
I do love all the Z-Series and guess what… I just ordered the Z-3 and the MK-2 (plus two other from the other Chikuhodo series). Instead of the Z-9 I got the MK-2, which seems a bit similar in shape and of course even more beautiful.
I am a weak weak person 😛
We are all terrible influences on each other! I am ordering the Z-8, and then I am going to pace myself, as I have just placed yet another Hakuhodo order! Next on my list are the Z-9 and Z-4. I am curious about the Z-3 – let me know what you think! I am sure you won’t be disappointed with the MK-2; it looks so pretty!
Yes we are I am afraid !
I am in the process of doing a review on a similar Koyudo (than the Z-3) so it will be really useful to have both. I will keep you informed 🙂
when did your colleague pick these up for you. i am thinking of going to japan soon and hope this shop is still running.
Hi Louise, just 2 weeks ago so don’t worry about the shop, it will be running 🙂
have fun !!!
How are you Sonia , I hope your neck and back are responding well to the exercise : do you have saunas ? They really help with those kinds of muscle/joint stiffness and pain .
I received my Bioderma TH water , and it’s so good I don’t think I will need the Bobbi Brown remover ( except perhaps for waterproof mascara ). Thanks for yet another great recommendation Sonia ; it’s great to have an inexpensive product that works so amazingly well .
Despite receiving my Hok. order , I’ve bee e-mailing Malin , who is so nice , and helpful , about some Ch. brushes ; QUELLE hORREURE ! the Z4 is out of stock ! Also , my Fupa Pink 2 foundation brush is out of stock from CDJapan , so I feel thwarted . So …..on to lip liner pencils , Sonia . Pixiwoo have said on their site that the Serge Lutens lip pencil is HG , no question ; better than anything else out there . Do you agree ? I’ve tried the S.L. web-site but it’s not letting me order it , could you recommend another web-site please ? hx
I will install a sauna at home next year, in the meantime I try to do whatever I can 🙂
I am glad you love the Bioderma, and I am sad they are sold out of Chikuhodo and Koyudo Fu-pa, sometimes it’s hard to wait !!
I bought my Serge Lutens palette at Harvey Nichols in London, but directly in the shop. I don’t know where you can buy it online for UK delivery, I think Barneys do that but for the USA. I never tried their lipliners or lipsticks, so I could not say. But if you get one, please let me know what you think of them. I hope you can find them.
Oh Sonia , thank you , the lip pencil IS on the Harvey Nichols web-site , but I’ve also seen the Fard A Levres lip crayon in Compliment Beige , which does actually seem to have “Helen” written on it :)))))) I’m afraid , like you , I’m a very weak person when I see precious Gollum products like this ! I’ll certainly let you know what I think of them when the package arrives ……must go and beat myself with twigs or something to atone for such profligate consumerism :)))
😀 😀 Please keep me informed !
Thank you, Sonia, for this very in depth review!
I am going to Japan this week and may have a chance to see Suqqu and Chikuhodo brushes so am excited. I am hesitant to purchase more brushes as I have so many excellent Hakuhodo brushes that perform well and I don’t like redundancy but these look tempting!
Have you seen Lisa Eldridge’s latest tutorial – the colourful smoky eyes one? It’s outstanding, as usual, but she does use the both the Suqqu cheek brush and the Suqqu eyeshadow M brush with cream products!
Hi Dena, I got back from Japan a few weeks ago but didn’t see your comment until now 🙁 Thanks for your suggestion. I check out ALL of Lisa Eldridge’s tutorials — she is really good and I learn so much. I purchased the Suqqu cheek brush in Japan and just got the M brush from Selfridges. But I would really be afraid to use these expensive brushes for cream products. I want them to last a long time and they are too precious to wash after every use.
I’ve reserved my Hakuhodo J series, duo fibre and weasel brushes for creams. Sonia’s recommendation of the Hakuhodo J125R is the best! I got that one, too, in Japan and it performs so much better than my J125 for cream eyeshadows. Impressive!
BTW, for those of you planning to go to Japan — please note that the department stores in Fukuoka, Hiroshima and Osaka have very small Hakuhodo counters and do not carry the full range of products. I was so disappointed! You might want to check with Hakuhodo before you go if you intend to shop for brushes but I think only the flagship store in Tokyo and likely the home base in Hiroshima (not in downtown) may carry brushes that are not on the website.
Look at my dream brush set 😉
Finally Z-series seem almost cheap 🙂
HI! I was wondering if the Z1 brush smells funky at all to you. I just got mine and it smells soooo bad after I washed it. I got the Z2 and Z3 at the same time but they smell perfectly fine so I just wanted to double check with someone who has the Z1. Thanks!
I confirm mine does not smell at all.. sorry I missed your comment somehow 🙁 so sorry !!!
glad that Malin just posted otherwise I would have definitely missed it !!!
Please check out Malin’s comment below 🙂
thanks so much for your response. I love reading your blog because you offer reviews of brushes and other makeup products that are not quite mainstream and you somehow manage to talk about all the pertinent points that I look out for when buying products. Your pictures are amazing as well with great lighting and resolution, plus you always show lots of orientations, making it almost as good as going shopping myself.
The Z1 that I have still smells when wet now but when dry, it almost smells the same as it did when I first got it. It’s been washed almost 10 times now though so… I fear that the glue has loosened, because it now drips brown water when I dry it and the bristles are falling out (like 2 or 3 strands every time I wash it but since it really shouldn’t shed anymore, this is making me pretty paranoid). The shape is also rounder than the pictures of your Z1, though whether this is due to individual brush differences or overwashing, I do not know.
Nevermind. I’ll get a new Z1 when I decide to place another Chikuhodo order. There are quite a few other brushes, including the Z4, that I have my eyes on. I do think that the Z1 is an amazing brush, worthy of a re-order because it’s so dense but soft so I can apply setting powder lightly with it and buff it in nicely without disturbing my blush and other makeup. I got the Kiwami set recently (yes, my guilty secret) and while the brushes are lovely and I’ll have no need for the Z9 because there are two brushes that are pretty similar to the Z9 (flatter than the Z1), the Z1 remains unique. So fingers crossed that this time I get a better Z1…
Have a great new year and I look forward to reading more of your posts! <3
Hi, Tori, is the kiwami set worth the price tag ? Where did you get it ? Now e-project had it several months ago but now they have just the big powder brush. I’m very curious about these brushes, they were meant to be limited edition for the chikuhodo anniversary but are still on the japanese site and are even sold individually now.
Congrats on your two new Chikuhodo brushes:)
The Z4 & Z8 are big favourites of mine. I use the Z8 interchangeably with the H004 ( which I think you recommended? ) for bronzer. Great brushes!
Where have you seen the Kiwami brushes sold individually? ? That would really interest me. The Kiwami has been sold out on the Chikuhodo shop for ages now & I think it is only available on ebay.
you can see my thoughts on the set in my response to Sonia. Whether the set is worth the pricetag depends on the individual really.
I got the set on Chikuhodo’s website. Even though it’s sold out currently, you can ask them to inform you if/when they get more stock in. It was sold out when I first wanted to purchase the set but within two weeks of me listing my interest, I got an email telling me that it was in stock again. I don’t think that the brushes are sold individually though. They have a powder brush from the prestige line that is very similar to the big powder brush from the kiwami set but the prestige brush’s handle is actually longer. I wouldn’t buy the brushes on ebay since they’re marked up so high.
Hi again Tori,
Thank you ! so sweet of you ! I deeply appreciate your comments and your feedback, there is always room for improvement but if my reviews and pics help that’s what counts the most !
So sad to hear about the Z1 🙁 bad batches happen, also for my Suqqu cheek apparently… it’s like a good wine I suppose, sometimes a bad one comes even amongst the best.
ooooh dear the Kiwami set, don’t worry you are not the only one 😉 I don’t own it but I know who does 😀
Are you happy with the other brushes from this set ?
thanks again and wishing you too a fantastic new year ! <3
I’m still figuring out the best way to use the Kiwami brushes. It’s like making a new friend but I can tell you that I’m liking the set, especially the powder and cheek brushes, more every day. The big powder brush is amazing as a finishing brush and it’s amazing to even look at because the hairs are so long but they’re shaped perfectly and it looks like a bigger version of the Z1 (my Z1) but with more flexibility. I’m still comparing differences between the Z1 and the smaller powder brush but I think that the Z1 is better for a quick and heavier application. The cheek brushes are made of Canadian squirrel but they are truly extraordinary because they have a snap to them that I’ve only ever seen on Kolinsky and ditto for the eye brushes, though the cheek brushes will only get better as they get softer. They are currently a little too stiff to blend out colour nicely so I use the Suqqu to blend. It works out nicely because I think that the Suqqu is a little too soft for my liking. It splays out too much and needs to be a little denser so it makes a good combination with the Kiwami. I like the eye brushes as they are, not as good lay-down brushes (I still use the Shu 10 or the Hakuhodo S125 or Suqqu M for that purpose) but the smalleyeshadow brush is great for precise application and smoking out lines while the medium eyeshadow brush is almost like what I’d expect from a Suqqu M made of Kolinsky. The large is good for contouring and applying loose powder or a light base colour. The eyebrow brush is absolutely lovely too. It’s stiffer than the Z series eyebrow brush, which is really buttery against the skin, but it somehow gets the application of brow powder just right.
All in all, I’m really happy with this set. It’s not a complete set though, and it needs a brush for cream foundation, eye brushes that can handle cream products as well, a paddle-shaped eye brush and a liner brush in order to handle most basic makeup application needs. But I guess that the good people at Chikuhodo probably figured that if you’ve bought this set, chances are that you’re a brush junkie who already has a roomful of brushes and really, this set is about the culmination of expertise and experience, not about designing a set of brushes with every type of brush you’d ever need, so at the end of the day, I’m glad I got it and it’ll only get better and softer as I use it. 🙂
I’ll definitely be getting more brushes from both Chikuhodo and other brush manufacturers though. Especially since you always put out reviews on so many lovely brushes. 😉
thank you so much for this great information ! fantastic to read what the lucky owners of this wonderful set think about it !
looking forward to sharing more with you !
IUPI! I’ve finally got Z-4 and Z-8. It was my christmas present from myself! I’ve got them on now-eproject and had to deal with a very sweet person : Yumiko, normally they don’t ship till 6th of january but she was very nice to send them even though they were on holiday. They have been sent directly from the manifacturer in Japan and I regret to have forgotten to engrave my name on brushes, it costs 2 dollars 🙁 And the best is that I didn’t pay taxes ! Their customer service reminds me of hakuhodo, so all in all, it was a very good surprise for the end of the year ! Brushes are indeed so silky soft and perfectly shaped, I prefer the Z-8, it seems more multi-purpose.
fantastic Nikoleta ! I understand why you love the Z-8 and now you see why I love it so much 🙂 enjoy your new wonderful brushes !
I have compared the artist blush brush 18-2 to Z-4 and they are quite similar but to be honest I prefer the 18-2, it is as soft but rounder and somehow denser. Compared to the rmk blush brush both 18-2 and Z4 are softer, silkier. the rmk would pick more pigment I think and as I have not so sensitive skin, it is the perfect balance between softness and density so both 18-2 and rmk could be a cheaper alternative to the Z-4 but I don’t regret to have bought it. It is always a pleasure to have a nice brush and the purchase was a very pleasent experience.
Tori, if you have bought the Z-1 by Kohlindo please let me know. The brush should NOT smell!
As I said, if you bought the brush at Kohlindo please send me an e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you a new one for free.
Take care everyone and I wish you all a Happy new year 🙂
Thank you Malin !
Wishing you a happy New Year too ! and lots of success ! you deserve the best !
Thank you Sonia,
I love your blog and you teach me lots of new things. I have been watching You tube videos of Billy and Wayne. Thank you so much for sharing 🙂
Take care and I hope you will have a great New years evening 🙂
my mom bought the Z1 at the Hiroshima Antenna shop in Ginza when she visited Tokyo last month. You have demonstrated your willingness to provide amazing customer service though and I will visit your shop if I decide to get a new Z1. Have a great year ahead of you!
Hi Tori 🙂
Thank you for letting me know. I want the brushes we send to our customers to be perfect.
You are so welcome to our shop and if you have any questions just send me an e-mail.
I wish you a Happy New Year 🙂
Hi Sonia, thanks for doing an in-depth review on these brushes. My first question is about the Z1 brush. When I apply powder with my own powder brush, it always ends up looking very cake on my face. Does the Z1 brush alleviate this problem? (I’m looking for a ‘soft, blended’ look with the powder application). I am just a bit worried because the Z1 brush is more dense which means it has the potential to pack on more product?
The other question I had is about the Z10 brush. Is that brush anything like the Suqqu eyeshadow S brush? The Z10 looks like it would be very good for underneath the eye and for in the socket, which is what the Suqqu brush is well known for as well.
Thanks for addressing these questions!
Can I ask you a few questions : what kind of brush do you use at the moment (shape-density-type of hair)? what product ?
The Z-1 does not deliver a cakey finish on my skin at all but yes it’s densely packed, not as directional and firm/dense like the Hakuhodo Saikoho kabukis though.
The Z-1 is a bit like the Koyudo H005, dense yet soft, picks a lot of product but not too much for bronzer application (well it also depends on the products you are using). The H005 has goat as well so the finish will be slightly more dewy and blendable than a full squirrel brush. I have both and I can’t really tell the difference to say the truth. Here you can see a picture of the ones I am talking about, the Hakuhodo Saikoho, the Koyudo H005 and the Koyudo White mushroom, if you are looking for a sheer to medium coverage, very soft goat and not as directional as the Z-1 maybe you should look towards the Koyudo White Mushroom (the third on that picture).
Regarding the Z-10, please have a look at the picture I took for you here, the Z-10 is dense, soft and pointy, BUT, the point is very soft so the blending will not be as good as with the Suqqu S which is denser at the point. Some brushes in the picture are only for size reference (Suqqu M and my poor old Mac 219 🙂 )
Just a few words on the other brushes on the picture :
If you are looking for more precision (firmer at the tip) then the Rae is an option but with Rae is a bit like a lottery, I had two of these 9 and they were slightly different (one more pointy, the other denser).
If you are looking for a dupe for the Suqqu S, the Z-10 is not a dupe for it, the closest would be the Burberry in my opinion (although the Burberry has a weird pointy shape that doesn’t look very “regular”)
If you are looking for a smaller version of the Suqqu S, very soft, yet firmer at the top than the Z-10, the Koyudo C011 is fantastic.
I do use the Z-10 but often if I want to blend with the same brush (and still have some precision) I find myself reaching a lot for the other options.. the point of the Z-10 is too soft and if you press the tip against your skin, then you loose the precision.
I am going to order this one to see if it’s the dupe for the Suqqu S (since it’s not sold anymore).
I hope this helps… 🙂
Hi Sonia, you’re simply a godsend to new makeup brush addicts like me! lol
To be honest I don’t really know the details of brush I have – bought it long time ago (it says Lancome 1 on the brush; looked it up on the internet but came up with nothing). I don’t really know what you mean by directional but it does definitely flare out more (doesnt taper to a point). In terms of application, do you typically sweep it all over the face with powder or do you press the powder on your face with the brush? or both? Or does that depend on the brush/product you’re using? Are both methods just a matter of preference or is it supposed to produce a different kind of end result? The Koyudo White mushroom definitely sounds like what I may be looking for. I just wish I could try it first before forking out that kind of money! Ultimately I just want a very thin veil of powder over my face – a natural finish. Are you able to post a picture of your makeup using Z1 vs the white mushroom? Or would the difference not be that noticeable?
I just bought the Z10 – is there something that it IS good for? =) I’m also waiting for the artist 10-1, hoping that it would be something like the Suqqu S. Precision is definitely what I’m looking for. I tried looking up the Burberry but I see that it is exclusive to Nordstrom (and they don’t seem to have it either). Is there anywhere else I can pick up the product? (I live in Canada).
It would be fantastic if you could do a comparison with the new product you’re going to purchase. I looked at the picture and it looks EXACTLY like the Suqqu S! p.s. I have the Suqqu M but it’s a little big for my small asian eyes.
yes that’s what I mean, opposite of “flare”, I sweep it all over the face or roll-it or buff, but that depends on the brush, it’s more a combination of movements depending on the product or on the brush 🙂
If the product is very pigmented, I tap off the excess and use it in strokes most of the time. If it’s powder, I just gently press it against the skin precisely where I want to set my makeup, I have very dry skin so I only set where I need to so pressing would be the best way for me.
To be honest I have no rules, I experiment as I go, after a while you don’t even think of what you are doing, but that’s also because I have very good brushes and they do the work for me, that doesn’t mean I don’t do mistakes 😛
You don’t need both brushes (the Z-1 and the white mushroom), you will get more use of the Z-1, it’s more multipurpose so if you want ONE brush, I would recommend getting that one.
The difference would not be that noticeable if I do a picture with one finish and with the other, you probably won’t see any difference at all.
OF course the Z-10 is good for the outer V and for lining (smoking) the lash line, so don’t worry you will use it.
I will let you know when I receive the brushes from Rakuten and since I believe it’s a brush many of you are looking for, I think it’s a necessity to check it out !
Will be back with more info on it as soon as I get it 🙂
Oohh the Kyureido! Buggsiebee already has it right? I’m also wondering what the hair is like, if it’s good for precision work for the crease. I was going to get the C011 direct from Koyudo, along with the Red Squirrel but since they hadn’t replied me… and I became impatient, I ordered from CDJ without the C011… next time!
Hi Bonnie 🙂
I don’t think that the Kyureido will be able to dupe for the Suqqu S.
The diameter of the ferrule opening is pretty identical to the Suqqu M so we’re talking a bigger brush than the S. The Kyureido comes to more of a point than the Suqqu M so it is definitely more directional but not nearly as directional or pointed as the Chiku Z10.
The hair of the Kyureido is also not as densely packed as the Suqqu.
I do find them equally soft & comfortable to use on the sensitive eye area.
I also just cancelled my Koyudo order btw. After waiting for 2 months with no feedback I cancelled the entire order of 13 brushes. I find their communication inacceptable & will not order from them again.
It’s totally understandable ! I am very disappointed 🙁
I hope you are doing great !
I’m doing fantastic actually 😀
New York was WAY better than I remembered. I was last there about 14 years ago & the city has improved immensely since then.
We were super lucky with the mild temperatures & I was just amazed at how open, friendly & helpful the average New Yorker was. I loved every minute of my short holiday!
Loved Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman & Saks.
Was super disappointed in Bloomindales & Sephora.
You know that my boyfriend is in the NYC zone right now, I asked him to go to Nordstrom and Sephora for me. I want the two new Burberry blushes so bad !!!
Hydrangea Pink (10) and Coral Pink (09) did you see them ???
Here a post on them.
🙁 That’s sad to hear that they still haven’t responded to you yet. I know around the time the new fu-pas were out, when they had a problem with Paypal, the delay was quite a while. However, after that, it was fairly prompt. Their customer service really is inconsistent!
Hmm I didn’t think the Kyureido would be a dupe for the Suqqu S either. I saw the photos you sent Sonia btw, thank you! I think the C011 is something closer to what I”m looking for… I will just wait until those brushes are up on CDJ before making another order.
The head of the Koyudo C011 is smaller and much firmer than the Chiku Z10.
It is also amazingly soft & gentle to the eye despite it being so densely packed.
I have it in the pink handle which is quite short.The total brush length of the pink C011 is 1,8 cm shorter than the Chikuhodo Z10. I don’t find it to be a problem, but if you prefer longer brushes, you may not like this.
I’m not sure whether the C011 with the black handle is perhaps longer?
Total length of the black handle one is 12.8 cm, 2mm longer than the Z-10 🙂
I am really sad about Koyudo not responding 🙁
I sent an email asking what is going on…
I sent an email to Koyudo, if I get news I let you know. Sad 🙁
I don’t know if this will help but I’ve received several responses from Cool Japan Now’s Mana and the latest email came yesterday. I’m working on an order with several brushes that are not yet on their website and she’s been very helpful and patient. The email address that I get emails from is email@example.com .
They’ve just added a new range of brushes from their standard series so I think that they are working hard to eventually get all of Koyudo’s brushes registered on their website. According to Mana, the Fupas should be all up in two weeks. They were supposed to be up by this week but apparently Koyudo is late with their provision of brush data.
As a sidenote, the red squirrel cheek brush and white mushroom are ranked 2nd and 7th respectively as of the writing of this response. Go Sonia! LOL… 🙂
2nd sidenote: Since this is a post about Chikuhodo brushes, did you know that Chikuhodo has come out with a new series of brushes? This time round, they all have pretty bright pink, sparkly handles. There are six brushes in this line up: http://www.chikuhodo.com/product/ps.html
Be still my heart… 😉
6 *heart attacks* later…. WAWWWWW beau-ti-ful 😮 this is made for me 😛
still just recovering….
thank you for the update Tori !!! O:oP°°°°°°
You’re welcome. But I’m not sure that you should be thanking me… 😉
We all know the risks and we accept them… passion all the way 😉
thanks for the info on the black C011. I think I will get that one too. I like the little pink one, but it keeps on getting lost between the bigger brushes 🙁
I recieved a reply from Koyudo within hours of cancelling saying that the order would be have been ready to go today. I asked them why they couldn’t have just updated me when I last contacted them on the 28.12.
All it would’ve taken would have been a one liner saying that they were still working on it. That would’ve been sufficient for me. I am aware that they have plenty to do on the production side & am happy to wait for quality brushes, but I want to be kept updated. Communication is everything.
If they reply to me today I will pay for the order.
Hi Bonnie, you should know that CDJ sells the C011p (smaller version of C011) here:
Thanks Gloria! That wasn’t up last time I checked… argh, I should have waited. I don’t think I should put in an order again so soon…
Found the regular C011 link at CoolJ.
Hope this helps.
Wow, you girls are on the ball here!!
Thanks for all the links & info.
Hi Buggsiebee, np! I say let’s share the wealth, lol.
On another note (Bonnie), according to CoolJ, if you have a pending order right now (which you probably do because it’s going to take awhile before they ship that red squirrel brush), they can’t combine it with your new order if you place one after. However, if you cancel your current order with them (just email them and inform them of the situation), they will refund you and then you can place a new order with the addition so you don’t have to pay shipping twice.
Great service at CoolJ and Now-eproject. Very impressed!
just one additional comment. How about Kokutan Eye Shadow Brush T? Do you have that in your stash? It looks pretty similar as well..
it’s bigger but it’s excellent for the outer V, one of my favs for that but it’s more similar to the Suqqu M than the Suqqu S
Hi Tori, Sonia and everyone 🙂
I will get the Passion serie hopefully next month 🙂
It seems like you also can put your name on the brush. Beautiful!!!!
thank you 🙂
I will probably have an order next month, but not sure yet I am deciding amongst a few… 🙂
Sonia, you are so welcome 😀
I have a question for you. I have the Hakuhodo G5518 and I adore it, so wonderfully soft! I use it for highlighting. Now I am thinking about getting the Chikuhodo Z-2 and using it for contouring. How do these two brushes compare? Is the Chiku larger than the Haku? Thank you ahead of time for your answer!
Thanks a lot for all the great information on the amazing Chikuhodo brushes!
I own 6 SUQQU brushes for years, and I’m trying to get the beautiful Kiwami set, but I cannot see it in stock on the website and I don’t even know if they ship internationally! even though I read all the comments I couldn’t find the information I needed. Please let me know if you can help with getting it! 🙂
Sara, now e-project sells it http://www.now-eproject.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=3_12&products_id=60
their customer service is great, very helpful and professional, they ship by EMS directly from chikuhodo and it takes less than a week normally. Or you can try asking Malin from kohlindo if they can get it for you, it can take a little bit longer though but their service is very good too.
Sorry for the trouble, but thank you for the information. Best wishes.
this is Malin at Kohlindo. If you send me an e-mail I will do everything I can to get it for you. My e-mail is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a nice day 🙂
Please note that I’ve contacted you since the day you sent this comment!! But I haven’t gotten any reply 🙁 I just sent again.
Im so so sorry. I have sent you an e-mail now. I hope you got it.
I will be happy to help you 🙂
It’s OK, don’t worry about it! I got your email and replied back. Thanks a lot!
Which of the z-series brushes do you use the most? I am in love with my SUQQU cheek, so I’d like something from the same manufacturer :angelic-innocent:
The lion-paw (Z9) is the one I use the most, then Z8 and Z5. In the same category if you like Suqqu or this kind of quality/softness, then the Suqqu M is a daily candidate.
But then if you don’t like big brushes the Z9 won’t be the best purchase, for me it is spot on. And one that is not Chikuhodo but that I consider same level (except for the handle) is the Tanseido YSC 17, I use it very very often and when I don’t I miss it.
That’s a great idea for a post : brushes I use the most on daily basis -because sometimes it’s not necessarily the most unique and extraordinary 🙂
Thank you! Yes that would indeed be a great post 🙂
Especially as you have so many excellent brushes that are very recommendable each and every one. But some are probably more put to use than others, and price per use would give them a totally different value.
I think I need the Tanseido brush. I have all the SUQQU brushes except for the big powder brush, (and I only have one eyeliner and one eyebrow brush). Unfortunately I didn’t get the set with the smaller cheek brush, and it is not sold individually, I would really have liked to get that one. Maybe the Tanseido YSC17 or 14 would fill that gap. And I use the WC14 (in goat) most of all my Tanseido brushes, so I know it is a great shape, and the squirrels ones are even softer. I think I need to order both of them … 🙂
As for the Z9, the big lion paw, you use for bronzer. In your HG brushes-post you mention it together with the white mushroom and the TF 05 – how fair is that, if it should help us chosing between them? *lol* Really not an easy task ;-). And then there is the Koyudo BP016 as well. They really look so tempting. But so far I don’t have a bronzer, so I don’t need such a big brush for now. I must admit I think that I one day will order the white mushroom, even if it will just be for looking at it. It is so beautiful!
I like the shape of the Z2, I haven’t got any pointed candlelight shaped brush, and I think the J5521 isn’t pointed enough. Why is it that you prefer the J5521 (or use it more)? Is it for cream products?
Enough rambling from me for now 😉
I am thinking of buying my first Chikuhodo eye brush and looking for Z5 as i have wrinkled eyes and thinking it will be easy to pack one color all over the lid. What would you suggest, is Z5 a good brush to have or do you recommend any other brush from the brand? I have your Face Pro, Designer Pro, Worker Pro, Mini Booster and planning to get Mini cheek and face one too. Can you do an article on Must have brushes from your brand to do full makeup for beginners? I find it too overwhelming for me to choose which one to buy from your line. So that will be helpful.
Hi Sonia, would you know where you can purchase chikuhodo brushes in japan? Thanks!
Hello, are you looking for a shop/boutique in Tokyo or Hiroshima ?
Yes, Tokyo please. They don’t have one in Osaka?
I am not sure for Osaka, I just sent them an email since I had to contact them anyway for something else. If and when they reply I tell you 🙂
I know of this place in Ginza (Tokyo): http://kumanofude-selectshop.com/
then you have news here (maybe only for qusavi but could also have Chikuhodo other lines) : http://qusavi.com/ (check on the sidebar)
these pages are available and clickable at the bottom of the Chikuhodo welcome page, for 2013 they had written events on the homepage but they still have to add the 2014…
Thank you! I will await their reply too 🙂 have you ever been to the Kumano fude shop? Is it hard to find?
To my knowledge there is a shop at their manufacture, to go to Kumano the best way is to take the JR line to a nearer station then take a taxi to the manufacture.
There is one shop in Asse mall http://www.asse.co.jp/search/ but I don’t remember which floor… Asse mall is on top of Hiroshima central station.
The JR boutiques in Hiroshima station also sell some brushes… it’s funny to walk around and see huge adverts for makeup brushes 😀 it’s a bit like being in paradise !! you walk with a smile on your face …
There might be other shops.. not sure.
Haha, I agree it must be heavenly to be there.. If you were to choose 1 cheek brush & 1 face brush.. Which would it be? I was thinking z4 & z8?
Nearly… the R-C2 and the Z-9 🙂 or the Z-4 and Z-9
Haha, I thought z8 was your favorite.. I haven’t seen the r-c2..how does it compare to z4?
[…] gifted this to me after he saw me drooling over Sonia’s (Sweetmakeuptemptations) review (here) and Tarabayz’s review (here). Admittedly, this brush will not be for everyone, but if you […]
Thank you for this great review article. I am going to buy a whole set of Chikuhodo Z-series excluding Z3 (I don’t know how to use it for contouring) and probably Z7 (I don’t need one more lip brush). I am not sure about Z9 because it looks too big for my face. Any comments? Thank you.
Hi Amy, I don’t use the Z3 unless to blend eyeshadow.. it is too dense for contouring in my humble opinion…
I just got Z9 when I had all the other brushes, although this is not a necessity it became my fav brush of the Z series… I use it way more than any other from the series for bronzer.
There is something about it that just makes it perfect for-what-I-use which is powder or bronzer and it’s less dense than the Z-1, which is better for me. If you don’t require such big brushes, no need to go for it, I just love flat brushes that allow to work with the surface but it’s my own technique and preference, maybe you don’t need it specially if you have small features, you won’t require that brush 🙂 that really depends on what shape of brush and size you want.
Hello! LOVE your brush reviews! Thank you so much for all you do for us brush lovers. It is so helpful to have a place to go to when trying to decide what to purchase. So, I just picked up the Chikuhodo Z4 and Z8 from the best website (beautylish) and I will receive them tomorrow. I also have the WG 02, WG 14 and have some WG eye brushes (04, 06, 19 and eventually the 03, 05 and 18). These purchases are my first introduction to the world of high end brushes. What I am curious of is do you think the Z8 will suffice as an all over setting powder brush? I plan to use the Z4 for blush/bronzer, I use the WG 02 for highlight, and now I need a setting powder brush but I am just not ready to shell out the money for a Z1 or MK2 just yet (probably one day though!). Would love to hear your thoughts! Thank you, again!
Just wondering if you have since found better brushes than the Chikuhodo Z Series and the Hakuhodo J Series. 🙂
Hi Sonia. You mentioned that you condition these brushes. What do you use to condition them and how often do you do it after you wash them?