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 …
The first thing that caught my attention was the shape of the M-4, on the Chikuhodo’s site it looks more tapered and narrow, in real life, it’s not.
If you take a look at their specifications, you’ll understand why I call them big sisters, the M-4, BL 12-6 and G-3 are incredibly close:
|Hair length||Ferrule width||Body width (sideways)||Price in JPY|
|M-4||1.80 cm||1.2 cm||0.8 cm||2940|
|BL 12-6||1.80 cm||1.2 cm||0.8 cm||2940|
|G-3||1.80 cm||1.2 cm||0.8 cm||2940|
|G-4||1.30 cm||0.8 cm||0.5 cm||2415|
|M-5||1.30 cm||0.8 cm||0.5 cm||2520|
|Z-5||1.80 cm||1.30 cm||0.9 cm||3990|
|S 121G||1.70 cm||1.20 cm||0.6 cm||4255 (53$)|
Although it’s said to be only grey squirrel, there is something about the hair that makes me want to say there’s some pony in here… It is soft, but the tip of the hair has some kind of grip, I am pretty sure there is something else blended here and if not, then it’s just simply really not as soft as the other two.
Amongst these 3 sisters, the M-4 is the one with the most flexibility in the hair, it’s slightly wider and it’s not packed as densely and firmly as the other two are.
The BL 12-6
It’s the firmer of the three, also the denser, it just feels divine, 100% grey squirrel and of the best quality.
Also 100% grey squirrel. This brush is perfection, the softer of the three, not that you can really tell a big difference with the BL 12-6.
It’s also the most precise, the most tapered and slightly thinner than the BL 12-6.
How they compare with other similar brushes
Here is a picture with all of them together for size comparison purposes, I though I would also put the Hakuhodo S121G and the Chikuhodo Z-5 in the picture since I got a few questions about them recently:
Here is the BL 12-6 compared to the Hakuhodo S 121G (blue squirrel) and the Chikuhodo Z-5 (grey squirrel) :
The Hakuhodo S 121G is thinner and the Z-5 is thicker, in terms of intensity, the S121G delivers a slightly heavier coverage :
The shape of these brushes is really interesting, even though they are big brushes, they have a tapered point that is perfectly bundled to pick up a proper amount of product and deliver an even result, all that, with the most pleasant feeling…
They won’t pick the same amount of product than a goat brush, but still, I am really impressed, I never thought we could benefit at the same time from such softness in a brush together with such an efficient application.
The Chikuhodo lettering on these series is not written like on the other series, but instead it’s written sideways.
Also something that I need to add, in the pictures, I have labelled my brushes G-3 and G-4 but they are actually the “Special G-3” and “Special G-4”, the G series are the short handle ones and the Special G series are the ones with the longer handles.
The G-3 and M-4 have these little versions of them, the G-4 and M-5, I am actually loving these little brushes, if I am in a rush and I need to quickly grab just one makeup brush, I will grab either one of these, they are small but they are big enough to be able to manage a whole look, from the base, to the lid, to the crease if necessary.
I have tried to do something different for you, swatch the same shadow (in this case the brown eyeshadow from the Chantecaille Olivia’s palette), I made three single swipes of the shadow and then three single swipes on the skin with each brush and here is the result:
As you can see, there isn’t much difference between the swatches, of course you will pack more color with a full goat brush but all the swatches are very close in intensity, the Hakuhodo J220G is goat-synthetic and it does deliver a more opaque result, but the Hakuhodo S121G blue squirrel is very close to that and the other grey squirrel brushes don’t even have a reason to be jealous…