Home Brushes Favorite brushes in 2013

Favorite brushes in 2013

by Sonia G.

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 :


But these are my top favorites, approx 140 :


I have split them into categories and whenever possible you will see a white and a dark option in each one, this is just to allow more flexibility with personal preferences. I will only briefly comment each category, due to the huge amount of them it makes it impossible for me to cover every single aspect. I am only showing you my HG or top favorites, I have other brushes that I also love but if I feature all of them I would still be writing this post in 2014 !

If you have any questions about these brushes, if you are looking for a dupe, a more affordable option or a more easily accessible brand, don’t hesitate to comment, I’ll do my best to help and to guide you in your research.  As you know I have an unbridled passion for makeup brushes, I am not here to show off, nor are my friends and followers, we just want to introduce you to a whole new world of wonders. Not only because they are beautiful to look at but they will make a difference, make you feel good and look good.

Why so many different options (materials, shape, density) for the same function ?

  • We all have different needs and preferences. Please keep in mind that these are my personal favorites and although I can give your some recommendations, your own preferences may differ. It’s not because one of these brushes is HG for me that it will necessarily be the same for you  but I do hope that my comments and discoveries will help you in your research.
    I love white goat brushes, they look beautiful and they are also meant to be used with cream or liquid products since they usually don’t contain dye. The downside is that they require more frequent washes. If you don’t have the time or if you don’t care for white goat brushes that much, you may want to stick to darker ones.
  • Goat (or coarser) hair brushes will pick more product and deliver a heavier coverage  -in theory-. Some squirrel brushes are just as good and sometimes we are not looking for a heavy coverage but for a more natural and soft application.
  • Goat hair brushes will deliver a more polished effect and a more easy blending  process but if you have delicate and very dry skin you may want to prefer softer options.
  • If you are new to brushes, you may prefer brushes that allow a more diffused application, this may be an important criteria when you are just starting to build a collection. Also important to get great but versatile options to avoid huge budget allocations.

I don’t usually function in “rules”, it’s known that goat hair is better for oily skin and squirrel for dry skin, or that you can get a heavier coverage with goat hair than with squirrel brushes. Yes, it’s often the case but nowadays goat hair can be really soft and squirrel hair can be incredibly efficient, I don’t feel the absolute need to base my selection on these rules. Whatever the brush I will show you here, it is certified soft and efficient. I have very dry skin and they are all pleasant to use, some more than others of course.

The categories below are : eyeliner, eyebrows, concealer, smudge, precision, laydown, small, medium or large crease, base, blending, outer V, lip brush, blush, contour, highlight, bronzer, powder and foundation. You don’t need to own one of each category, it’s obviously directly linked to your own needs and your budget.

Eyeshadow brushes


It’s probably the most difficult brush to find, I spent years looking for the perfect one for me.


Hakuhodo K007 : For gel liners or liquid liners. I like to draw a very thin line just at the outer corner of my eyes (2/3), not very easy to do it but I can precisely place the product.
Hakuhodo G5515 : For powder lining, I also use it with powder-to-gel liners (when you have to dampen the product with water to use it as a liner), the result will not be as defined but it makes my lashes look fuller without looking like an obvious application of liner.
Hakuhodo G5531 : I use this thicker brush with softer products, like the Suqqu cream/liner pans in the recent quads or also with powder-to-gel liners (Laura Mercier, Becca).
Hakuhodo K005 : I love this brush with any gel liner, I have a great control on the application, I manage a thin(ish) line (~1mm) and it’s much easier to use than the K007.
Hakuhodo S148 : same as above but I find the K005 easier to use since the hair are shorter. I use it also to line the bottom lash line with lighter color texture (to open up the eyes), it’s more forgiving.

If I had to keep only one : the Hakuhodo K005,  it has become my daily brush.

Eyebrow brushes

I don’t need much precision or much work on my eyebrows, on a daily basis I use the Hokuto, then for more precision I’ll pick the Z-6 or B264. I have been using the cheapest options until a few months ago and I was happy with that, I recently decided to upgrade to better brushes, they do make a difference but it’s not that important at the beginning when you are trying to build your brush collection.


If I had to keep only one : the Hokuto. Suqqu have a similar one but I don’t own it, I was happy to find this one on the Rakuten website at half-price.


It’s mandatory to use very soft brushes around the eyes, I am lucky I don’t have much to conceal but my skin is extremely thin, delicate and dry, if I don’t blend well -but softly- the result would be cakey and unflattering.


The Hakuhodo J122R is fantastic with the application and blending of concealer around the eyes,  if you use thicker products you can put pressure without hurting your eyes. It’s made of goat and synthetic fibers.

The Hakuhodo G537s  is only available in the Hakuhodo Japanese website, I love the sword shape (kolinsky).

The big Hakuhodo J4005 is the perfect brush to conceal large zones, for example in between your eyes and your nose. I also use it for highlight and place the contour, not blending it, but placing it. It’s a synthetic brush.

If I had to keep only one : the Hakuhodo J122R (or J125R)


One of the most important brushes in my collection, I am always in the hunt for little precision/smudge brushes like these.


The Suqqu S (squirrel) seems to be discontinued but I am trying to find a dupe for it, I have one similar pending in an order at the moment, if and when I get it I will let you know if that could be a dupe.
The Koyudo C011 (goat)  is a wonderful pencil brush, much softer than any other goat pencil brushes, long but firm enough, perfect balance and a must-have.
The Tanseido (goat)  is a brush that will be cloned in my collection, I need a few of these. I use it nearly every single day either for precise application of eyeshadow or for the application of pencil eyeliner (from the pencil onto the brush and then from the brush onto the lashline).
The Rae Morris 12 (squirrel-ish I believe)  is doing the same role as the Tanseido, but I hate magnets in brushes.

If I had to keep only one two : The Tanseido and the Suqqu S


This is a very important category for me, I need precision so I will try as many brushes as I can, since they have little hair and require less work they aren’t as expensive as others.

I can use all of them to line or smudge the lashline or create more detailed work. Goat, kolinsky (Shu Uemura) or weasel (Hakuhodo S) are also appropriate for cream/liquids. The Billy B is not as soft as the others but it delivers somehow the perfect width and finish (=coverage) on the lower lashline to pair with a dramatic smokey eye


If I had to keep only one a few: The Tanseido, the Koyudo C011 and the Suqqu S


I found my “dupe” for the Mac 239, a softer version, with this Tanseido YWQ9, another one that I will duplicate in my collection. Not exactly the same size and thickness but to me it delivers equals results with the benefit that it feels softer on the lids and it will allow a more detailed application.
When I saw the YCQ 12s for the first time I wasn’t convinced, it’s very thin and so insanely soft, you can barely feel it on your skin and I was wondering how it could deliver enough intensity, but when I tried it I just could not believe what was happening. It was actually delivering similar intensity as a Mac 239  with the most unbridled softness you could ever dream of. My next mission is to find all the sisters of the YCQ 12s, all shapes and sizes if there are any !

The two Hakuhodo here are great options too, more easily accessible.


If I had to keep only one two : the two Tanseidos, YCQ12s and YWQ9.

Small crease

This is a category that will depend on your eyelids, I prefer small crease brushes than larger ones. The more precisely you can place the color the more you can play with the lifting effects. The Nars and the Billy B are not exactly the softest options on earth but they are so incredibly efficient that I could not live without them, they are soft enough for my eyelids though. The Rae Morris shown here is the medium one but since it’s very pointy it will fit smaller eyelids. Although the RM is supposed to be squirrel hair (I think), the Hakuhodo J5529 feels definitely softer.


If I had to keep only one : the Nars 12 (forgot to put the name on the pic, so it’s the one without the name…) 

Medium crease


My HG crease is the TF 13, this is all I can wish for in a medium crease brush, perfectly shaped, perfect density, perfect firmness, feels fantastic and blends like no other (goat hair).

The Hakuhodo S122 is the most stunning angled brush I ever saw, after all this time the shape is still the same, it did shed a few hairs but the hair are still tightly and firmly packed together, this gives the brush a lot of power and control and of course it’s really very soft (canadian squirrel).

The Hakuhodo S142 is a fantastic pointy medium crease brush, I use it for a contouring effect in the crease, for more precision I will use a smaller one. It’s not as dense and firm as the TF 13 but it’s a fantastic affordable option (goat hair).

Then you have the other crease brushes, the G5523 (squirrel) is a softer and the more tapered version of the J5523. The BP033 (squirrel) is not exactly as soft and precise than the G5523 but has better blending capabilities. The J5523 is probably the most versatile option, crease application and blending capabilities, very soft, fluffy, great quality.

If I had to keep only one: The Tom Ford 13

Large crease

These are more blending brushes than crease brushes to me, they are all incredibly well shaped and efficient. If you want the softest version you need to go for the G5522, but the two goat brushes are and feel absolutely divine.


If I had to keep only one : The Hakuhodo J5522

Base application

It’s also a very important brush to me, it has to feel very soft, pick enough product and deliver and even application.  These brushes are just the most magnificient base application brushes I came across. They are all extremely soft and efficient, they all apply an even coverage, more or less heavy depending on the type of hair. Whatever brush you go for, you will not be disappointed.


If I had to keep only one : …Not possible, I just can’t choose. Probably the one that has the biggest place in my heart is the Chikuhodo 12-6, because of  it’s reasonable price and the shape, flexibility of the head.


Blending is the most important part of my makeup routine, I own very pigmented products and I have a very heavy hand, I *NEED* to blend whatever the look, it’s just something I cannot skip. When I want the softest blending I will reach for the Suqqu L but the Fine Kalla is even better to me due to it’s shape, it’s more full and flatter near the surface therefore it makes the blending easier. The other brushes are all incredible blending brushes, the Koyudo here is very dense and could eventually overly blend your application but  it’s actually what I want. The Hakuhodo 214 will also do the trick but it’s not as soft as the Koyudo, the other Hakuhodo J214 is excellent and even softer.


If I had to keep only one three : the Tanseido YWQ12 and the Koyudo BP023 and the Hakuhodo J5523.

Outer V

I prefer a precise brush but not too pointy, if it’s too pointy it may be too flexible and if it’s too firm it may deliver a too harsh application.

If you have very delicate eyelids there is nothing worst than placing a scratchy brush against the skin in the corner of your eyes, it’s essential for me to use extremely soft brushes in that area. For a precise cut-crease application I will use the TF 12, absolutely amazing the control you have with this brush, I wish I had two of these but the price of the TF brushes is so high, I am in a mission to find a dupe so if by any chance you know of a similar length/width brush that is very soft on the skin, I would love to receive your recommendations !


If I had to keep only one FOUR: The Suqqu S, Koyudo C011, Tom Ford 12 and Fine Kalla KK-004, but they are all absolutely amazing.

Lip brushes

The only way I can pull off a dark lipstick like Mac Ruby Woo, Absolute Power, Pink Parrot or many of the Tom Fords, is if I apply them as a stain with a lipbrush. Although I love the Shu Uemura, I don’t find it very easy to use, the angled point can be tricky to draw a precise application so I prefer the Lunasol or the Hakuhodo.

They are all incredibly pleasant to use, the Hakuhodo is weasel, the other two are Kolinsky but I don’t feel the difference…


If I had to keep only one : the Lunasol. It’s very heavy and it’s more for the handle that I love it so much, compared to the Hakuhodo both work pretty much the same.

To summarize my top HG brushes for eyes/lips/concealer 

My recommendations for beginners

If you are starting to look for more higher-end brushes for a reasonable price, I would recommend you these :


  • Lips:  just a normal inexpensive brush would do the trick. This Koyudo is just an example (it was part of a set), I think it’s better to choose a square, firm but soft, but it’s a question of personal preference. If it’s too firm it might hurt your lips.
  • Eyeliner : the Hakuhodo K005 is the easiest brush I own.
  • Eyebrows : just a simple angled eyebrow brush would do the trick, not necessary to pick the softest brush. This B264 is a fantastic option (mine came with their 2012 Christmas set)
  • Concealer : just make sure it’s soft ! The Hakuhodo G540 is a medium size, easy to use. The J125R is amazing for blending concealer and can be a versatile brush, also for cream eyeshadow.
  • Precision/smudge : the Koyudo C011 is probably the softest pencil, great price too. The Tanseido YWQ7 is excellent for precision application.
  • Outer V : I think the most versatile brush can be the KK-004, extremely soft too and worth every penny (got mine in the Rakuten website).
  • Laydown : Hakuhodo J242G, great for powder and cream. If you already have the Mac 239 you may not need this one.
  • Base : Tanseido YWQ 10, perfect size for base application, it’s a bit smaller than other similar options for base application so it will fit more eye shapes and sizes. Can also be used to blend.
  • Crease : It will totally depend on you, I like to have a small, a medium and a large. The J5522 is fantastic for blending or even for small contouring.

Except for the Kyureido that is squirrel, all the others are appropriate for cream or powder.

Face brushes


Darker cheek brushes


I have extremely delicate skin, using a blush brush is only possible if it’s very soft. The Suqqu Cheek, the 2 Tanseido and the Koyudo are the softest options on this planet. The Koyudo is denser and works with so many type of blushes, more or less pigmented. The 2 Tanseido are not that dense but they are absolutely divine with very pigmented products. The Chikuhodo Z-4 is also a very unique brush, denser than the Suqqu or the Fine Kalla.

The RMK is a gem too, I cannot leave it behind because it’s a wonderful and very efficient option and probably the least expensive one.

If I had to keep only one, well, let’s be difficult : the head of the Koyudo, with the shape of the Z-4 and the handle of the Fine Kalla 😛

White cheek brushes

Below are some options for white blush brushes, if you are like me and love white hair brushes, there are so many fantastic and soft options today !

The Hakuhodo is the most versatile because it will work also for a more diffused application (for bronzer for example), the Tom Ford is extremely soft and dense, of course a HG (but Hakuhodo has cheaper dupe), and the Koyudo BP016 is the most perfectly well balanced cheek brush ever, it has all the qualities I am looking for in a blush brush : softness, perfect size, perfect density, perfect shape.


If I had to keep only one : the Koyudo BP016.


Rounded brushes

This is a special category for me since I am crazy for tiny cheek brushes.  Contour brushes tend to often fall in this category so I simply cannot resist them.

The Billy B is a fantastic little versatile brush (contour, blush, blending), soft enough, but not the softest brush, don’t expect squirrel quality, it’s not, feels like goat blended with soft synthetic fibers but I may be wrong.

It depends what products I will use to contour, if it’s a powder contour and very pigmented I will use a less dense brush like the Billy B, for normal products the Hakuhodo Kokutan or the J5521 are wonders and also very versatile.

The Koyudo BP023 and Chikuhodo Z-3 are extremely dense, I don’t use them very often for contour but I do for blending.


Angled brushes

For detailed contouring I’ll use smaller brushes, like the small Tanseido, soft like angel hair, you can barely feel it on your skin.

The Tanseido SS14 has probably the cutest shape ever, insanely soft and fluffy, one of the biggest surprises of 2012 ! You can see it in action here.

If I want great blending capabilities and brushes that will pick a lot of product, I will grab the chikuhodo G-9 or the Koyudo, the Koyudo is much thicker than the Chikuhodo.

The Rae Morris is a funny brush, I am not crazy about the quality, certainly not worth its price, but it’s efficient.


If I had to keep only one : I can’t only pick one but I will definitely be happy if I had the Rae Morris design with the wood of the Hakuhodo Kokutan, the hair of the Hakuhodo J5521…


Again a rather difficult category, it will just depend on the type of product I am using. If it’s very sparkly or creamy I would go for the Hakuhodo J4002. Some new highlight products have textures  in between cream and powder (Givenchy croisiere, Dior Nude), these brushes are perfect with them.

For very pigmented highlighters, I love the two tiny Tanseidos, the squirrel AQ14 and the goat YWH12.

The little Maple Kinoko is very dense, just like the J5521, rounded but still pointed for some precision and medium to heavy coverage.

The Hakuhodo S116 (blue squirrel) is amazingly soft, if you love small flat tapered brushes you will be amazed with this little one, delivers a sheer application and you can use it sideways for more precision.

The big Hakuhodo G5537 is more like a fan, not dense at all but I apply just a very subtle wash.

It will be a question of what coverage I want and what precision I will go for.


I tend to use highlight products like Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight or similar textures, for that I can use pretty much any highlighter brush. I often go for the Tanseido  YWH 12 just because it’s wonderful on the skin and  using it feels very artistic.

The Hakuhodo G5518 is a masterpiece, although it’s incredibly soft, since it’s very dense if you don’t have a light hand you may struggle with it, it’s more for expert users I’ll say, I use it only for highlight.
In comparison the Chikuhodo Z-2 is more tapered and less dense, it will very softly apply any product without altering your foundation at all.



I initially got the Chikuhodo Z-9 to complete my Z-series collection, I really didn’t think I would use it as much as I do today but I have developed some kind of addiction to it. It feels amazingly soft on the skin, it’s huge, actually it feels like a soft lion paw caressing my face…
The result will be sheer and as you can imagine, it’s for an all-over application, the surface it covers is really huge.

The Koyudo H005 will deliver a more heavy coverage but has excellent application and blending capabilities, similar to the Z-1 but this one is a mix of goat and squirrel.

The Tom Ford is gigantic and very soft too, not as soft as the Koyudo white mushroom but extremely soft and pleasant to use. The coverage will be in between the Koyudo H005 and the Z-9.


If I had to choose only one : I would die !

For a more directional or heavy application of bronzer or a diffused application of nudish blush, I am loving these ones below :


I love to apply nude blushes, just to even out my cheeks and give some dimension, the application doesn’t need to be very precise. Just be aware that the Koyudo is goat, it’s not coarse at all, but it’s not soft like other baby goat brushes would be, the shape and the efficiency is out of this world though.

The Chikuhodo G-9 is goat and squirrel, I have been looking for a similar shape brush for a long time, glad I found it ! I am loving how it’s fluffy and tapered, quite dense and the application is easy and can be built up.

The Chikuhodo Z-8 is my precious baby, creepy. Since it was the first one I bought from the Z-Series I am very attached to it. Great for blush (maybe too big for some of you) and great for bronzer or powder.

The Chikuhodo Z-1 is another masterpiece, this one is much more useful than the Suqqu powder brush and it’s cheaper, expensive but worth every penny.

If I had to choose only one (well… two) :  the Chikuhodo Z-1 and Z-8.


I don’t often powder my face, I have very dry skin and I just don’t need to. If I powder it will be a “glowy” powdering mode, with Rouge Bunny Rouge Sweet to touch or a similar type of product that, instead of setting my foundation, it will set it but still deliver a glowy finish.

Today with Guerlain Meteorites I use the big RMK powder, it’s so dense and full, a really amazing brush for the price. It’s a blend of goat and squirrel hair.

The Tanseido EQ28 is Hosomitsu goat hair, extremely fine -and expensive- but sooo soft !

The Chikuhodo MK-2 is a masterpiece, extremely soft too (grey squirrel), the design gives so much personality to this brush , I just wish I could find a brush made with a handle similar to the MK-2 with hair like the Tanseido EQ28 ! that is my dream !

The Hakuhodo K002 is blue squirrel, extremely soft too but not as dense as the MK-2.


If I had to choose only one : Chikuhodo MK-2 and Tanseido EQ28’s baby…

Some favorite Kabukis

If like me you have the kabuki fever, these are my favorites :


Kabukis are not an essential part of your brush collection, it is for me but it’s also pure therapy 🙂

Most of them here are insanely expensive, but they are also absolute wonders. I think they are irresistible  in their little home…



I just recently bought the Real Techiques Face expert, it’s very easy to use, soft and very cheap, probably the best value for money you could ever find.

The Rae Morris 23 is a very pleasant brush, very delicate with my dry skin. I just have a problem with it, when Rae created the sets, she did not send the same brush in all sets, the one in her website is a 23 completely different. I have both, this 23 and the other 23, the other 23 sheds like crazy and the quality is terrible. Look here for a comparison of both.

The Koyudo BP013 is a brush I love to use with thicker cream foundations or powder foundations but the coverage I will be targeting is sheer to medium, it’s very big so not really the best to achieve precise work but it’s just the perfect one for me.

The Rae Morris Radiance is the best blending brush ever. They have just released a new version of this one and it’s on its way to me now.  I will keep you updated with the comparison.


These are other very loved options, all for foundation application. Unfortunately I mostly use liquid foundation, at this moment I cannot wear powder foundation so I am not able to give you a proper feedback on that topic.  The more gentle option is probably the Hakuhodo J544 , it blends without any exfoliation whatsoever. The Koyudo Fu-pa05 are also a great option for my sometimes flaky skin.


If I had to pick only one : my favorites are the Radiance, Hakuhodo J544 and Koyudo fu-pas, I need all of them, each one for different type of application so I won’t pick just one.

Cream brushes

Since I also got questions on what brushes I was using for cream shadow application and blending, these are the ones I use :


If the product has a thick consistency, the Shu 10 is the one I prefer. If the product is more similar to a mousse consistency, I like the flat crease brushes from Hakuhodo for blending and the simple laydown Mac 239 for applying. Probably that the most versatile is the angled duo-fibre ones (J122R, J125R),  must-haves.  I don’t use synthetic brushes on the eyes, but just because I prefer these Hakuhodo, I find them much more gentle with my eyelids.

I have actually ordered some of the new Makeup For ever brushes for using with powder or cream products, I should be getting them beginning of next week. I will let you know how they compare to these Hakuhodo.

If I had to pick just one : hmmmm, not only one but three : the two Shu and the J125R (or J122R)

Cream contour

I use a lot of cream contour, mostly Hourglass and Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate, I like them to be fluffy and blend very well.  These are my favorites brushes for that :


The Shu 18 has a Koyudo and a Chikuhodo dupe. The Hakuhodo J4005 is to place the contour on specific places but then I will blend with a round brush.

If I had to keep one, I would keep the Koyudo.

Cream blush

For more liquid textures like Daniel Sandler or Kett, I like to use the Hakuhodo J544. For thicker textures the Tom Ford or the Hakuhodo J5543 are fantastic.

The Tanseido is a recent discovery, it’s meant to be a foundation brush but I love it with cream blush, really amazing flawless application and just the perfect size for my cheeks.


If I had to choose only one : Although I love all of them, I feel very attached to the Hakuhodo J544.

To summarize, my HG face brushes


Face brush recommendations for beginners


  • Powder/bronzer : Hakuhodo J531, incredibly soft and fluffy, a similar brush to the Tom Ford bronzer. J110 will also be an option, since it’s fluffy enough.
  • Blush : The S110 is smaller than the J110, the J110 is much softer than the S110 but the S110 will deliver a more precise and polished application.
  • Blush/contour : The Hakuhodo J4003, beautiful versatile option.
  • Contour/highlight : The Hakuhodo G511, very soft and very easy to use. The J5521 is also an excellent versatile brush.
  • Foundation : Real Techniques Expert face and Hakuhodo J544, obviously the RT will delivery a heavier coverage. The J544 is incredibly versatile (foundation, cream blush, cream contour, highlighter…)
  • Highlighter : The Hakuhodo J5521 or the J116, both absolute wonders.

If you are looking for affordable synthetic and multipurpose brushes, I totally recommend you the Real Techniques Core Set, you will get a lot from this little set and I love to use it with cream products.


Travel set

I also got many questions on what brushes I take with me on a trip, obviously versatile brushes. I know I take too many brushes, this is an example :


But it depends if the trip is just for a few days or weeks, my selection will be totally different. It also depends what brush roll I take with me, if it’s long, I don’t need to limit myself to shorter brushes.

I would also like to share a few travel brush holders I use, I don’t have that many but at least I can show you a few that I really love.

This Piccasso has been sent to me as gift with purchase. I could not find it on their website at all, if you are interested I can maybe ask them where to get it.

The great thing about it is that it’s long, therefore you don’t need to restrain your choices to shorter brushes. I can fit all the brushes above in this same pouch :


It’s a fantastic idea these separators, it prevents the brushes from rubbing against each other. Unfortunately I have to insert several brushes in the same compartment and would have preferred to have each one in its own little home…


I got this Illamasqua belt when I was with my friend Dena in London, it’s not leather but I love it, you can fit A LOT  of brushes there ! Two rows have separators for each brush and two rows have larger compartments. When I take it with me I can hang it in somewhere while I am doing my makeup.


I can also fit all the brushes you see above (and many more) :


This is the soft  Hakuhodo case, it could fit all the brushes but the kabukis and other thicker ones will have to travel somewhere else.
I don’t really like the beads hanging in the cords, they are very heavy and when I am at the hotel getting ready they tend to slide down, fall and make a terrible noise when they hit something.


This is a set more appropriate for a weekend, it doesn’t hold many brushes. It’s from Hakuhodo too, it’s not the one being sold separately (the side pockets are different), this is the one from their Christmas 2012 set but it’s the same dimensions.



Another option is the Sigma holders but they take a lot of place in my luggage, this is the smaller version :


You can fit brushes as long as the Hakuhodo J544 in this little Sigma holder :


Koyudo have small pouches for their foundation brushes, too small for any eyeshadow brush but nice for other very short ones.



If you want some other “non-beauty” options, I often get myself a few school pencil rolls or pouches, this is really fun and handy :




This one is handy but not as cute, I like the idea of the two separate compartments :





Daily beauty bag

To complete this huge brush post, I can show you what I have in my daily beauty bag, although I don’t really have much, I never do touch-ups ! I often throw these little two from Suqqu that came with palettes and keep them always with me in case of emergency.

If I think I will really need more, I will just pick any blush brush that works with most blushes like the RMK S cheek brush.

For the eyes, I will pick a little versatile one like this Chikuhodo M-5, a Hakuhodo 210 for blending and the Koyudo BP033 for the crease.



I hope you have survived the post and that you are not suffering from brush indigestion 😀

I have tried to address as many questions as possible in here, if you are not familiar with these brands and need some help, don’t hesitate to ask !

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Carlyn 22 February, 2013 - 7:07 pm

Amazing post. I will have to re-read many times to absorb all the info. Thank you so much. I love that I have a few of these brushes as well and I agree with you on the ones I have. Some of these are going on my wish list.

Sweet Make Up Temptations 22 February, 2013 - 7:57 pm

Thank you Carlyn ! 🙂

Bea 22 February, 2013 - 7:15 pm

Sonia you leave me speechless. I can’t imagine all the work you put into this post! It will take me a few days to pore over all this info. Love your pics, thank you! 🙂 🙂 🙂

Sweet Make Up Temptations 22 February, 2013 - 7:58 pm

you’re welcome Bea, hope it’s helpful and not too boring….

erinalter 22 February, 2013 - 8:04 pm

wow! i have bookmarked this post. like the others before me, i will have to review this multiple times to really see which ones are for me. but i am really appreciative of the fact that you gave summaries for people (like me) who are looking to start adding high quality brushes to their collections!

Sweet Make Up Temptations 22 February, 2013 - 8:15 pm

Thank you 🙂 if you have any question let me know … glad it helps you.

emaskina 22 February, 2013 - 8:12 pm

Your post is so helpful! Thank you!
Would you please compare for me J110 vs J210 for blush if I prefer more precise application. Thanks.

Sweet Make Up Temptations 22 February, 2013 - 8:44 pm

thanks Emaskina!
The J210 is much denser compared to the J110, I wouldn’t worry about the precision since the J210 is smaller but very flat at the surface so it will cover nearly as much surface as the J110 at the end. It will deliver a heavy coverage vs the J110 will deliver a medium application. I only use the J210 with very hard to pick blushes, some have extremely hard textures and this is the only kind of brush that will work with them. I also use it to buff and polish my final application. I have just tried it with foundation last week but it absorbs too much product.

Stacy 22 February, 2013 - 8:30 pm

This is fantastic! I see some of my favorites and some wonderful new options! … I am going to have to read it a few more times!

212kiki 22 February, 2013 - 8:51 pm

Boom…. thats me falling over 😛
Great post and lot of work in it 🙂 I dont use eyebrushe but when i look a all these beauties i want them all only to look at.
I def want the Tanseido AQ 14 now 🙂
I have the koyudo red squirrel and H008 since last week and i really love them. I’m using the H008 for my mineral foundation and for that its perfect.
The kabuki home is so nice to look at.
The nici brush bags are cute, very girly 😀 my mum made me a brush role and a little travel makeup bag with the same textile.

Sweet Make Up Temptations 23 February, 2013 - 8:47 am

😀 😀 😀
oh that’s really kind of her to make a brush roll and bag for you ! how amazing and sweet !
At least Tanseido’s are not LE !

Buggsiebee 22 February, 2013 - 8:54 pm

Haha…I got to the end of the eye brushes & your faves and I thought it was ‘ the END’.
That would have been more than enough for a FANTASTIC post…..BUT…..we are talking Sonia Brush Queen here 😀
Ok, so I need to take in the rest first, but I just wanted to say swear swear swear GREAT mother brush post!! OMG! The dream of every brush fan! Simply brilliant 😀

Sweet Make Up Temptations 23 February, 2013 - 8:47 am

Thanks Buggsiebee 🙂 <3

laurence 22 February, 2013 - 9:04 pm

I have no words!!! Ok this is my new bible!!!! I now have a ton of brushes to try!!!!!!!!!!!! thank you very very very mush for the section on cream eyeshadow brushes!!! I’m speechless!!!! what a ton of work!!!!! THANK YOU !!!!!! I I I don’t know what to say!!! I’ll need days to digest all the infos!!!! waouhhhhhhhh!

Sweet Make Up Temptations 23 February, 2013 - 8:52 am

I am so glad you enjoy it ! 😀
yep, HG means Holy grail, a quest to find the best of the best 🙂

laurence 24 February, 2013 - 7:07 pm

ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh thank you!!

laurence 22 February, 2013 - 9:05 pm

ps: what does HG mean? I guess something like “favorite” but…..

Buggsiebee 22 February, 2013 - 9:26 pm

HG = Holy Grail 🙂

cafemecrema 22 February, 2013 - 9:50 pm

Simply Incredible. Thank you for such an amazing post. I will for sure reference back to it many, many times in the future.

I received my Hakuhodo brushes yesterday. I am in love! K007 was amazing for eyeliner. I have never been able to get such a precise line before. It took me longer but it was my first time. S125(smaller than S122) is so soft and made crease application very easy and perfect. J5523 and Kokutan WM are wonderful. I know I am going to get a ton of use out of them all.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to write your blog. I’m not sure how I would’ve figure it all out without it.

Best regards,

Nikoleta 22 February, 2013 - 10:28 pm

amazing post, Sonia, I’ll reread it for sure. I understand why it took so much time : it is a book not a post. If I’m lucky enough I’ll get all my orders this weak (koyudo and chikuhodo) but now I have new lemmings 🙂 : S121G and S122 to start with but also Z-5, oulala !

Neo 22 February, 2013 - 10:35 pm

Wow!!! Just wow!!!!!! I’m just speechless… Sonia, I don’t know whether to thank you or curse you (LOL), but one thing’s for sure: I totally admire you!!!! I can’t even begin to think how much work must have gone into this post, and then there are all the brushes we DON’T see here 😉

The pity of of all? I’m not going to have access to any of these beauties, and will have to live vicariously through you and all the ladies here, and be content with what I already have (I did, however, manage to place a small order and get the 3 Kalla eye/eyebrow brushes, and a couple of Tanseido – I discovered a hidden talent for Japanese, and an unconditional love for Google translate 😉 ).

Which is also the reason I’ve been MIA these past few weeks, and will most probably continue to be for the next few ones: I have been busy busy getting my life and stuff in order, as I am moving away from the US (and an international move is just no joke, so much stuff to take care of!). I am very excited about it, as I am moving back to a region of the world I love (South East Asia) and get to do the job I love too. Sadly, I don’t think it bodes well for my make up and make up brushes love: I’m going to a very hot and humid climate (my skin will love it though :D), to a country where make up is not used (and probably not sold either), and culturally it’s just not really done :(. I’ve been joking that I shall launch a new trend there, and become the queen of sheer make up application 😀
Of one thing I am sure: thanks to you, I think that it is safe to say that I shall have the most extensive and incredible brush collection of the country :)!!!!

I would actually be VERY interested in the Picasso pouch, but would need to get it within the next 3 weeks or so. Do you think that would be possible in any way? Actually, I would need like 3 or 4 of them, lol. I would be super grateful if you could get this info from Picasso please 🙂

I’m debating with myself whether or not I still have time for a small Tanseido order…. And I’ve been lemming the Serge Lutens eye palette: worth it in your opinion or not???

Thank you again, Sonia, for everything <<>>

Sweet Make Up Temptations 23 February, 2013 - 9:09 am

omg Neo ! So happy to hear from you but what are you doing to me ??? you are leaving ???
I need to know more 🙁 sad face… will you be back ?

I am going to contact them about the brush thing and will keep you updated asap.
It takes a week for me to : order in Tanseido, have them forwarded to Tenso and ship them to my door… 3 weeks is more than enough.
Hmmm the Serge Lutens worth it ? It is good but worth it’s price ? I don’t think so… let me check today if I find dupes (or better) and I will confirm to you !
sad sad face 🙁

Sweet Make Up Temptations 23 February, 2013 - 8:35 pm

Still not decided about the S Lutens “worth it or not”… I have been playing around with this palette today, I have been contemplating the possibly of recommending the Chantecaille Olivia+the Hourglass Neo Classic instead but…
there is something about the SL texture… that makes it superior in the blending and the finish, I just need one more day 🙂
The only downside is that there are only 4 little shadows, narrow (which is not very handy) and 3 are very dark, so I am not sure yet 🙂

Neo 23 February, 2013 - 11:52 pm

Thank you so much for taking the time to test out the SL Sonia, and for contacting Picasso about the brush pouch for me, I soooo appreciate it!!!! I can’t wait to hear your final verdict! I know that in the end I will also need to just go to Barneys myself and try the SL out and see how they look on me, but I don’t want to go and fall in love with the colors, spend all this money, but then keep on thinking they weren’t really worth it – and I totally trust your judgement and experience on this. Oh, andiknow exactly what you mean about thin strips of color: hello EB Soft Smoke! I LOVE that palette, but would really have preferred a different packaging: I mainly use my Suqqu L (and now its Kalla dupe which I think I love even more, how is that possible??), and when dipping into the middle taupe, always drag into the lightest strip, so annoying 🙁

Ok, you’ve convinced me, I need another (and last!) Tanseido order before I leave 😀 (that was an easy enable, lol!). So, in my first order I got the YGQ17 and the YWQ7. For this last order, I’m thinking YCQ12 and YWQ12 – or rather CQ12 and WQ12, as if I’m not mistaken, these are the short handled version of the same brush? I’m very tempted by the EQ28 (especially after discovering the goodness of the Koyudo White Mushroom! – BTW, Koyudo totally came through for me that last time, and shipped all my brushes exactly one week after I had placed my order, just like they promised 🙂 ), but I don’t think I can justify the price to myself, especially as no matter what, I keep coming back to my beloved Chik MK2 which in the end established herself as my HG powder brush…

I’m forever looking for a fluffy brush for application of setting powder for the under eye area, and for some reason now would love for it to be a Tanseido. Would you have any recommendations, by any chance?

As for my move, I sadly don’t think I’ll be back here – I don’t want to say never, because life is such that you never know :), but chances are I won’t :(. I’m kind of sad, because I’ve loved living here the past few years, and it was nice having a “normal” life for a while (if there is any such thing as “normal” and as normal as NYC can be, lol). But I’ve always known it was only for a few years, and I’ve kind of been ready to move on again for a little while now. I work in the international development field, and the real work is in the field, in developing countries. So as sad as I am to leave, I’m also very excited about my next destination, and the job that comes with it (I’ve loved NY, but the work I did here not so much) 🙂

And I will still be around :): I may not comment as much, as I won’t be able to “participate” as much, but I will have opportunities to catch up as I will be able to fly to Bangkok every once in a while (Suqqu counter, here I come! I will have to plan my trips carefully, according to seasonal releases, lol). I’m already dreaming of being able to visit all those counters in person: RMK, Suqqu, and who knows what else :D!!!

Sweet Make Up Temptations 24 February, 2013 - 8:05 am

Hi Neo,
The Serge Lutens is not a palette “you will fall in love with the colors”, they are dupeable, some even with more beautiful colors in my opinion, except for the whitish, the Hourglass Neo Classic palette has two light shades that gravitate in the same gorgeous area but that don’t have the complexity of the white SL, the white shade in the Edward Bess is more obvious (more white), the SL is more subtle (beige), when you apply it, it will never cake, whatever the quantity you apply, it disappears into your skin leaving just luminosity behind.
The other 3, actually don’t apply like powder, they apply literally like a “shadow”, absolutely no fall-out whatsoever, it’s like you are not working with powder but with laser technology. (I am not helping there.. am I? 🙂 )
The cons are :
– the 3 dark colors are very dark, I would rather prefer some other luminous color in there
– the pans are even narrower than Soft Smoke ! you will struggle, that is not clever at all ! Instead of lines, they should have put square pans !
– the price is awful, it’s not worth robbing a bank, if you have that money though, it’s a palette you should consider for the unique texture.
The pros :
– the texture
– the longevity (it will last all day and beyond)

I am glad you love the Fine Kalla, I do too ! it’s amazing, I have to continue exploring Rakuten 😀

Yes they are both the same brush, one 13cm and one 18cm.
For under eye area one of the two here http://sweetmakeuptemptations.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/contour2.jpg or this one AQ14 http://sweetmakeuptemptations.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/all.jpg

I am lucky that you can do whatever your dream is but gosh we will miss you 🙁

Neo 25 February, 2013 - 5:17 am

Thank you so much for the detailed review Sonia, I really really appreciate it! Hmmm, I’m not so sure anymore: on the one hand, the unique texture is so tempting and appealing, and I do like dark colors, so from that point of view, it does seem that the SL is a must for me :). But on the other hand, I worry that I won’t get much use for it in the near future, because of thedark colors and the fact that I’ll probably be the only one wearing make up around town, and that would just be such a waste… I will try to make it to Barneys sometime after work this week, and see how they look applied on me and decide – if I really like the palette, I’ll get it, knowing that the texture and quality is just exceptional. If I’m not convinced, I’ll just leave it (and get the GA #12 instead, like this I won’t have gone there for nothing, lol). Thank you so much again Sonia, as always, for your helpful feedback and research 🙂

Thank you also for the brush advice! I placed my order, a small one, but a good one I think ;). I went for the CQ12S, the WQ10, and the AQ14 (I figured it could also serve for contouring, if I ever decided to start contouring). I also got a mascara wand type brush, I needed a replacement for my current one that is a bit tired, and I like the red handles :). I actually got all of them with short and red handles 😀

And thank you for your kind words: I’m going to miss all you ladies too :(. But I will pop by every so often, never fear! And even if I don’t have much to contribute cosmetics wise, there are always emails and pics, and I will be happy to share my new adventures with you 🙂

Bea 25 February, 2013 - 12:05 pm

@Neo: A new adventure! That’s so exciting! 🙂 Maybe you can share your love of makeup and brushes and start a new trend where you’re going 😉 🙂

Sweet Make Up Temptations 25 February, 2013 - 7:51 pm

you are welcome Neo ! these GA are gorgeous… I think I might splurge…
You will love Tanseido !
Still no news from Piccasso… I will try to contact them again 🙂
OK.. so I won’t fear… 🙁

Neo 9 March, 2013 - 6:30 am

Hi Sonia! Just wanted to report back that I did receive my “last” Tanseido order (took less than a week from placing my order to having the brushes in my hand, go Tenso!!!!), and I am thrilled with every single brush!! The AQ14 is perfect for light application of loose powder in the under eye area (to set my concealer), thank you for a fantastic recommendation yet again!

I love the WQ 12 for blending, so soft and does a great job at blurring edges and softening a too strong eyeshadow application – exactly what I was looking for. The CQ 12S is not as soft as I expected it, but wow, what a performer! Instant HG, exactly as you said (unsurprisingly, really, lol)!

I’m also really happy with my choice of short red handles – that red is very nice, and adds a beautiful pop of color is the sea of black brushes of mine 🙂

I’m now ready to place my last Hakuhodo order (I think), and after that, to leave happily and content with my collection (which won’t change much over the next few years). Thank you thank you thank you Sonia for all your wonderful advice, recommendations and reviews, without which I wouldn’t even be halfway there <>

Sweet Make Up Temptations 9 March, 2013 - 10:41 am

I am so happy you love them ! 😀
I placed another Tanseido order (a little one) this Thursday, and the day after I received an email from them thanking me… they have spotted the blog apparently.
It’s a shame they don’t offer international delivery but I am happy they told me that if one day I go to Hiroshima I have to tell them, you bet I will 😀
I have a meeting with my manager this week, I am going to ask him (again) to send me to Asia, gosh many colleagues are going there, why shouldn’t I?? !! 😛
by the way today I received my parcel from Tommy, wanna have a look ? HUGE brush haul
they are still wet : http://sweetmakeuptemptations.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/brushes.jpg (the top ones are from another Koyudo set)
and I finally got my hands on these :
I’ll have a busy weekend 😀

you are very welcome Neo, I am so happy you are pleased with your purchases !
will you have an address where you go ? I mean, is it possible to send you anything ?

Neo 9 March, 2013 - 6:32 am

Ooops, sorry, me again :D! I forgot to ask: any news from Picasso on their little pouch by any chance? I could so use a couple of those!!!

Thank you Sonia 🙂

Sweet Make Up Temptations 9 March, 2013 - 10:42 am

They never replied to my emails 🙁
I have tried to call them this morning (but it’s Saturday…), no answer.
I will call them on Monday !

Neo 10 March, 2013 - 6:32 am

OMG Sonia, what a cool Haul!!!!!!!! Yes, with big caps H :D!!!!! I can’t wait to read everything about all those brushes – or maybe I can, because I sure don’t have time to order them and get them before I go, lol. Still, I want to know! They look fantastic, and I do wonder if that pink one could possibly be a dupe for the Suqqu S 😉

And lol at Tanseido getting in touch with you: I bet you are fast becoming their favorite customer!!! And you’ve sure brought them quite a bit of business, and I’m sure they would love to welcome you in Hiroshima – and I would love to meet you there and tag along, lol ;). I have to say that I really love their brushes too, they are really outstanding. Thank you so much again for discovering them for us.

Oh, and I also wanted to thank you for the Dickblick brush cleanser recommendation (can’t remember where I read it though, so sorry if this is not the right thread): I passed by their store today and picked one small and 2 medium pots up (guess I have enough for a few years now!), and used it tonight on my goat and sable brushes, and OMG! Magic! Love how fast and efficient it is, and how easy it is to rinse out, very cool. For my squirrel brushes I have been happily using the Hakuhodo cleanser which is also outstanding, but when I don’t have access to it anymore and finish what I have, I will follow your suggestion of baby shampoo (the yellow Johnson & Johnson is pretty much a universal thing that I have seen everywhere in the world, so it should be easy).

I really have no idea if I can get stuff sent to me – I mean, I probably can, I just don’t know if it will arrive, as I’m not sure about the local post office’s reliability. I don’t know why I’m always squeamish about saying where I’m going (I guess it’s the public board thing), but it’s actually really not a secret, lol. In 3 weeks, and for the next few years, I will be in Myanmar 🙂

Thank you so much for following-up with Picasso for me, that’s so super sweet!!!!! I am really really grateful, and hope that your efforts won’t be in vain! Tell them that I’m happy to buy 2 or 3 from them, I just need them to ship them immediately and express, lol (departure from here is in 2.5 weeks, eeeeeeeeeek)

And you got the GA #11 and #12!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Have you played with them? Do you like them? I’m still madly in love with #11 (although I forced myself to wear others this week, first week I wore #11 every single day, lol). I really hope you will like it and enjoy it as much as I do :). I did go back for #12, bought it, didn’t even open it and took it back the next day – buyer’s remorse, I feel like I have so many purples and plums already (it’s just always so easy for me to go for those colors, like you I have olive green colors and they just work with them!), and that I should stop collecting every single shade of plum or purple out there. But now that I see your pictures, I wonder if I didn’t make a mistake in taking it back :(. Let me know what you think of #12 please, and if I should run back to get it before I leave 😉

Sweet Make Up Temptations 10 March, 2013 - 10:30 pm

Hi Neo,
First of all, thank you for sharing your destination, omg… I know what you are talking about now.. I will be thinking of you and wishing you all the best.
I am doing my best to share the haul posts asap, but it will be great if you are available to receive post where you’ll live .. we never know 😉
I have prepared the post but I need to use them tomorrow and see how they perform to give you more feedback on them. It’s not a Suqqu S dupe, as you can see here, but we are getting closer 🙂
I will definitely go to Japan this year, it’s just a matter of when, if anyone wants to come with me, even better !! If you can make it, it will be fantastic !!
CC told me she might come and I took her seriously 😀 so now she has to 😛
Thanks also for the feedback on the cleanser, helpful to hear how it’s working.

I will try to call Piccasso tomorrow, we’ll see 🙂

Well, I first got only the Armani 11 because they are super expensive here but then she told me “next time you’ll have a voucher” (after 4 years buying there I have finally a voucher… ) I told her : “next time could be today???”
😀 I saw that 12 and loved every single color, really did. Tomorrow I will use it and I will report to you back !
This weekend has been so busy, the renovation works started at home and today we had to move the fish pond (we have a little fish pond outside that is right in the middle of our stairs-extension), it’s now further away in the garden…
But 30 fish still have to move pond tomorrow… 😛 after moving only 4 we could feel their stress… gosh, we’ll have to find a softer way.

I’ll keep in touch tomorrow about the Armani and the Piccasso !

Mimi 11 March, 2013 - 4:20 pm

Hi Sonia, I looked on Rakuten to try to purchase Fine Kalla KK-004 but I don’t see it there? Is it sold elsewhere and I am mixed up? Thanks!

Sweet Make Up Temptations 11 March, 2013 - 6:11 pm
Sweet Make Up Temptations 11 March, 2013 - 10:46 pm

just a very quick update.. need to run 🙂
not sure about it yet (the Armani 12), it’s really lovely but could be easy dupeable in my opinion… will try again tomorrow !
also the lasting power, wish it was longer ! but I love how easy to wear it is !
will keep you informed ! also need to try again piccasso 🙁

Neo 12 March, 2013 - 5:14 am

Thank you Sonia, for taking the time to give me a heads up, I really appreciate it, and remain at the edge of my seat, waiting for the final verdict, lol! Will #12 join #11 on my shelf???? 😀

Thank you also so so much for keeping at Picasso, I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciate it!

Tonight I decided to do some depotting, and destroyed 3 of my favorite palettes :(. 2 are replaceable and I have already ordered one, and will be picking up the other later this week. The third is Enchanted (which is NOT depottable, as the eyeshadows aren’t contained in pans, but just compressed powder laid on a plastic kind of net – just thought I’d share, in case someone else had such brilliant ideas as I did…), and guess that one is now gone forever :(. So sad :(. I think I’m done depotting for a long long time…

And on these words of wisdom (lol), I’m off to bed! 🙂

Sweet Make Up Temptations 12 March, 2013 - 9:39 am

I think this morning I had the weirdest experience with customer services…
When I finally got through to Piccasso, I talked to a nice lady (that spoke little english), I told them I was trying to get some information via email but that they never replied so I asked for a confirmation of their email address. She was trying to give me the email and somebody must have told her half-way that she was not allowed to do so! Then she stopped and she just told me she wasn’t allowed to give me their email address.
She said she will try to search though their emails and reply to me. I have sincerely no hope because she didn’t even ask for my name…

I hope other customers had a better experience than I had..

So for Armani, the 12 is nice (dupeable but really easy to wear for everyday, makes my eyes look fresh and awake), the 11 is absolutely gorgeous, the only problem I have with these Armani palettes is the Russel Howard’s 10:03 effect 😀

so sorry to hear about the depotting 🙁
you can still repress them, no ?

cc 12 March, 2013 - 7:09 am

Oh, I missed the message! 😀 😀 😀 I am arranging my work schedule to hopefully be able to go to Tokyo when you are ready too! I am getting my company’s trade shows schedule.. and marked all those that will be held in Japan.. Let’s see if I can get to go! 😀

Sweet Make Up Temptations 12 March, 2013 - 10:04 pm

fantastic, gosh I just can’t wait !!!

Neo 13 March, 2013 - 1:54 am

Oh wow, so weird, your experience with the Piccasso CS! Why wouldn’t they want people to have their email address??? It just doesn’t make sense? I’m so sorry you had to go through such an awkward experience though, but thank you so so much for trying, I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciate it :)!

And thank you so much for the good laugh with the Russel Howard 10:03 effect link – that’s hilarious 😀 😀 :D!!!!

I also find that the GA fades a bit faster than my some of my other eyeshadows, but I still manage to get a full day wear (but certainly can’t do dinner on top of that!) with my Lorac primer underneath – I have to say that I’m very impressed with the 2 things I’ve tried from Lorac so far: the eyeshadow primer, and the new click pen concealer which is also excellent.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to your final verdict on the GA#12, but I see that I’ll probably have to go check it out again in the very near future 😉

Sadly Enchanted is unsalvageable :(. As I said, the shadows aren’t pressed into metal pans, but just delicately laid on a flat plastic net thingie, and so I have nowhere to press them back into. I did make a few phone calls today to try and find one last quad, maybe hidden somewhere, but I guess it wasn’t meant to be <>. I’ll have to get over it… To console myself, I wore Suqqu EX-12 today, and it helped a little bit… 😉

Sweet Make Up Temptations 13 March, 2013 - 8:18 am

Don’t worry I’ll try to get you these sets.
It’s really weird because they do have one address on their website that doesn’t work, then I managed to find another one somewhere on their site or on some comments but apparently nobody at the other end 🙁
I wonder how they are going to search for my emails : they didn’t ask my name and they didn’t ask to what email I sent it…
It’s a shame for the armani because they are really gorgeous, specially the #11 ! but the Chanel Prelude lasts longer.
If the 12 lasted a bit longer it would be a huge hit. The shades are quite sheer so that doesn’t help the lasting power.

For the TF, why don’t you put them inside little sample plastic pots ? even if it’s broken, you can still pick the product in the pot and use it. I did that with some and it worked perfectly fine 🙂

Bonnie 13 March, 2013 - 2:08 am

That Russell Howard effect was hilarious!

Neo 16 March, 2013 - 2:43 am

I’m so sorry for the late reply: today was my last day at work here, and the last couple of days have just been beyond crazy!!!

Thank you so much for not giving up on Picasso for me Sonia, but I don’t want you to have to go through too much hassle: they just seem so weird???? And not particularly easy or pleasant either – it’s not like they seem to be getting out of their way to be of service!

From what I hear from you, it seems #12 should maybe not be my priority in terms of last beauty purchases pre-departure…. I still love #11, and will never regret that one (One of my instant favorites, I’m telling you!), but maybe there is a reason I had buyer’s remorse (doesn’t happen too often to me) and took #12 back?

And thank you so much for the tip on how to recuperate Enchanted: I did keep it in a little bowl (funnily, the shadows themselves are not even destroyed or mangled, but I have nowhere to put them, and no way to transport them: if I didn’t move I would just keep them on the little plate they are on right now, but it’s obviously not an option in the current circumstances). I will look around tomorrow to see if I can find something appropriate! I’m thinking maybe one of those multiple days plastic pill pots or something (they are rectangular). I will come back and tell you how and what worked out, but thank you for the great idea :)!!!! Maybe I should go see what Muji has??

Sweet Make Up Temptations 17 March, 2013 - 4:41 pm

they haven’t replied yet… I wonder why 😀
I will keep trying ! but if I find something else I will let you know.
First thing you have to do when you reach your destination is tell me if I can send you things over there !!
ok so the 11 = Chanel Prelude (guess which one is which…)
the 12 = Chanel Vanités !!!
I have just taken pics today and will share during the week but I can already include these two so that you can see 🙂

I love Muji things, I spend some time in Selfridges and I always leave with my suitcase full of Muji 😛

Bonnie 24 February, 2013 - 10:55 am

We will all miss you and please remember that my offer is open if you ever want to drop a brush in with my orders 🙂

Neo 25 February, 2013 - 5:19 am

Thank you so much Bonnie!!!! And I just may take you up on your offer, and just come by to collect my brushes in person ;). Oh, and let me know if you really really want the SL palette – I can still find the 10mn to make that one happen 😀

Bonnie 25 February, 2013 - 1:03 pm

I’m thinking the Armani #11 now haha :S ARGH!

Neo 24 February, 2013 - 2:33 am

I almost forgot: when ordering the Tanseido, I know the first color is black in the drop down menu, but which is the red? Is it the third and last one? Thank you 🙂

cc 24 February, 2013 - 7:25 am

Hi Neo,

For your reference:

1. 黑 – Black
2. 赤 – Red
3. 青 – Blue

Neo 24 February, 2013 - 7:34 am

Thank you CC :)!

Sweet Make Up Temptations 24 February, 2013 - 8:40 am

oh I saw your comment after I posted mine 😀

Sweet Make Up Temptations 24 February, 2013 - 8:39 am

go to google translate :
type red on the left, and translate to japanese : 赤
blue : 青
black : 黒


Neo 25 February, 2013 - 5:20 am

I did try theGoogle translate, but it gave me other characters????? Well, I’m pretty confident that I ordered all red handled brushes this time, but I guess I’ll only know for sure when I get them, lol.

Thank you 🙂

Sweet Make Up Temptations 25 February, 2013 - 7:52 pm

really ? strange, I do that all the time and it always fitted well with the signs…

Jodi 23 February, 2013 - 12:43 am

Amazing post- thoroughly enjoyed it. You are Mazing and have such vast knowledge and impeccable taste in brushes- love reading your thoughts and preferences and always learn so much from you! Agree on the darn RM magnets, can’t wait to hear about the new Radiance too xx Jodi

Sweet Make Up Temptations 23 February, 2013 - 9:22 am

Hi Jodi ! thank you so much ! I am so happy to hear from you again !
I was watching some of your videos with my BF, he finds your husband so funny ! he couldn’t stop laughing, he was trying to stay calm and not show me that he was enjoying it but he was just having so much fun !!! I think you have highly contributed to the way he sees beauty now 😀

Mimi 23 February, 2013 - 4:15 am

Amazing post Sonia! Awhile back, I made a joke about you donating your collection to a museum someday but now, I’m not joking. The work and knowledge you have put into this hobby is truly amazing! It mustn’t be kept under wraps or just for the ladies who follow you. The news must be spread!

Sweet Make Up Temptations 23 February, 2013 - 9:24 am

😀 thanks Mimi !
I have a huge collection but there are still so many to discover, I won’t be able to get them all but if I could …. 😉

Panglu 23 February, 2013 - 5:15 am

So i read this once in my house, once in my car, and once at my workplace. Thank you for a super spectacular post. I just recently ordered the shu 12 so I cant wait to see what its all about.

Since spring/summer is coming near, do you have any retractable brushes in your brush collection? I’m looking for a retractable blush/powder brush to have with me at all times to touch my face with my compact powder. Your suggestion would be greatly appreciated.

Btw, YOU ARE SO LOVED BY YOUR READERS SONIA, DID YOU KNOW THAT?!!! We just all want to be your friend and have a girl sleep over and talk about brushes and makeup. *not trying to sound creepy or anything, lol*

Sweet Make Up Temptations 23 February, 2013 - 9:31 am

Hi Panglu,
I am on for the girl sleep over !!! 😀
that is so incredibly sweet of you ! the love is mutual ! glad to have found such a lovely community of friends here !
About the retractable brushes, I don’t have any of them but I am very tempted to try some of the Hakuhodo for example.
Since many of my brushes have short handles I don’t really feel the necessity to get retractable ones but I would love to try some for sure. If I do I’ll let you know !
I’ll rather use a cute Kabuki for powder touch-ups 🙂

Bonnie 24 February, 2013 - 11:12 am

I feel like singing, “We love our makeup, we love our brushes but most of all we love each other”!

But yes, we all love Sonia and each other here… in a totally non-creepy way of course. The creepy love is for when we start stroking and combing our brushes and whispering to them just before we sleep … preciousssssssss, my preeeeecioussss.

Amy 23 February, 2013 - 6:22 am

I just can’t thank you enough for your detailed work. This is exactly what I have been waiting for you to blog on. And you echoed, articulated my love/curiosity on makeup brushes… Muah! And I was so happy to find out that some of your favourite brushes, I own too & are my fav.

I believe you already have some Armani brushes… Recently, I caved in to my curiosity and bought the foundation brushes and eye brushes. I thot their sizes suited travelling well and they performed superbly well too. They fitted my Shu travel makeup pouch well

Sweet Make Up Temptations 23 February, 2013 - 9:36 am

you are so sweet Amy 🙂
I am glad we share the same favs !
I don’t own any of the Armani, when I was in London last year, I went to the counter and the person there just couldn’t help me at all… the ones at the counter appeared too old and rough for my skin and it was either Armani brushes or RMK makeup… I chose RMK. I’ll have to find a counter where they will be able to help me and show me the ones in their “new” state, maybe that will tempt me more.
Husbands don’t need to know… it’s our little secret 😉 😀

Bruce 23 February, 2013 - 7:21 am

This post must have taken a tremendous amount of effort, decision making and fun hopefully 🙂

I would like to ask you about the Real Techniques Expert Face brush, a lot of people said it absorbs quite a bit of product, but is it still worth it? And does it cause exfoliation when buffing foundation in?

Another question on the Hakuhodo Kokutan Eyeshadow Brush L, I don’t contour much, but it looks like a good blush brush, but is it too dense? It looks like it gives good precision, but it looks like it might pack on too much pigment.

Last question, sorry! The J110 looks similar to the Yachiyo brushes from Hakuhodo, could you possibly compare them and describe their uses and your preference?

Thank you so much 🙂

Sweet Make Up Temptations 23 February, 2013 - 3:10 pm

For me yes, lots of fun, for my BF not that much ! 😀
I don’t think it absorbs that much product, I use Ellis Faas and it’s perfectly fine.
It doesn’t absorb more product than for example the Shu 18 and it doesn’t exfoliate more than the same Shu 18, just to mention one. You could use a duo-fiber that is built with the fibers longer than the goat hair if you want less exfoliation effect and a more gentle application for example but the RT is totally worth the money, better than the Sigma F80, a more flawless blending I would say.
The Kokutan L is very densely packed indeed and it will pack a high amount of product, if you are looking for a precise brush (both for blush or contour), that packs less pigment my best recommendation is the Fine Kalla KK-002.
The J110 vs the Yachiyo : The Yachiyo is less soft, more firm and more directional, it will be great with less pigmented products, better blending capabilities too. I love to use the Yachiyo with products that need a lot of help like Chanel Joues contraste or more nudish blushes. I want to get the medium one for contouring actually (I have the small and the large, I use the small for contouring but I think the medium would be perfect for me. I just wish they were a tiny bit more pointier but they are nicely packed and fluffy.
The J110 delivers a more diffused application, therefore the versatility, it’s softer (better for more delicate skin) and although it picks a lot of product, not as much as the Yachiyo. The Yachiyo is not mentioned in my HG but I do love it a lot.
Hope this helps 🙂

Bonnie 23 February, 2013 - 9:20 am

That was simply amazing. It’s definitely a page for the Beauty Bible! I think I added over 10 brushes to my already humongous to-buy list once I’m off my brush ban. My Tanseido list is growing haha!

As for the new Radiance, I really, really like it… but I’m so used to do the softness of the Koyudo fu-pas that it sort of feels a little scratchy. Not unbearably so, not in any way, and it’s still a beautiful brush aesthetically.

Sweet Make Up Temptations 23 February, 2013 - 10:08 am

Thanks Bonnie !
I hope the Radiance is the same hair as the old one, or not worse anyway…
which ones are going in your buying list ??

Bonnie 23 February, 2013 - 10:58 am

Tanseido YWQ7 YWQ9 YWQ10 YWQ12 YCQ12 YCQ17~

Something like that….you really weren’t joking when you said that most/all of your Tanseido purchases have made HG status! I need to pick up the C011 and the Kyureido KK-004 too 🙂 And the Koyudo BP016… and some other ones. AND would you believe it, I still haven’t picked up the White Mushroom 🙁

Instead, I’m contemplating buying a lamp that looks like this:


It might be a toss-up between lamp (which just looks pretty but I don’t really need) or white mushroom…

Neo 23 February, 2013 - 11:59 pm

Ooooh, that lamp looks so cool Bonnie!!!! And get that White Mushroom already, it’s amazing :D! Mine will be dedicated for use with finishing powder or with my upcoming TF bronzer in Terra 🙂

And wow, your Tanseido list is even longer than mine, I now have to go check those others out again…. LOL

Bonnie 24 February, 2013 - 11:02 am

You still haven’t got the Terra yet!!? I will definitely pick up the White Mushroom in my next order >< I've decided that I can't resist anymore especially since the Red Squirrel is such love and thanks to everyone here for extolling its praises! Baby steps at a time or my bank account will hate me (especially since the Suqqu order and all these other purchases have derailed my home savings account hahaha).

I'm accumulating eye brushes, although honestly, I'm perfectly happy with the Shu 10, 12 and TF 13 (or is it 12? the blend one)…. actually, I'm loving all the Shu brushes I got because they feel just beautiful. I'm really tempted to chop off the ends of the handles though because I keep poking myself in the eye 🙁 would you believe it, my ophthalmologist said I'm a -14.0 and a -12.0 arghhhh.

Bonnie 24 February, 2013 - 11:08 am

Oh, yes and that lamp!!! It does look so cool, doesn’t it? But I can’t decide whether it’s a complete impulse buy or not. I just saw how it was shaped like a book and fell in love…

Bea 24 February, 2013 - 12:32 pm

Want the lamp too! 🙂

Kay 23 February, 2013 - 9:29 am

Sonia, an epic post, so comprehensive and well done! I’m always amazed at the degree of detail you include — you really know a lot about brushes! I’ve put in another order to CDJapan and will be reviewing your Hakuhodo recommendations for another order there. Thank you for being our brush guru!

Sweet Make Up Temptations 23 February, 2013 - 10:10 am

nonono, I really don’t know that much 🙁
I would love to be able to use them on other people, my skin has limitations, for example I cannot test properly with powder foundations, mineral foundations, etc etc shame 🙁

Queenesq 23 February, 2013 - 6:55 pm

OMG – when I opened this post my mouth flew open! I officially admitted to my makeup brush addiction in 2013. I have ezcema and take heart medication so my oily/combination skin is uber sensitive. My MAC brushes are just okay so I’m upgrading to more quality brushes – particularly for my eye area. I’m investing in some Japanese brushes as a gift to myself for my July birthday. So excited (and overwhelmed in a good way). Thank you for the fantastic suggestions and ideas. Fantastic blog!

Sweet Make Up Temptations 23 February, 2013 - 10:13 pm

You are welcome 🙂
You will feel a clear difference and so much more comfort.
I had to switch because of health problems too, couldn’t use “normal” brushes anymore due to migraines, today even with the strongest migraine I can apply my makeup 🙂 I hope they will help you too with your very sensitive skin !

Nikoleta 23 February, 2013 - 7:34 pm

just a suggestion for a travel brush roll, I’ve bought it some times ago and it is still in a very good condition. it can store the essentials, it’s very soft, the outside is leather, the inside is not leather therefore very quick to clean, I like that you can slap the top and one side on the brushes so they won’t fall and there is a little pocket for some small eye brushes for exemple http://www.screenface.co.uk/tools/brush-rolls-holders/screenface-leather-brush-roll.htm
The hakuhodo one in leather is very good as you can put a good amount of brushes but not travel friendly as there is nothing on the sides to stop brushes from falling.
I don’t have the sigma one but it seems a very good cheap brush roll.

Elizabeth 23 February, 2013 - 9:42 pm

Wow wow WOW! this was an incredible read and your photos are amazing. This will be so helpful for my next hakuhodo order (I’m really enjoying every brush I have bought from the brand) and I’m kind of lemming a little macaron kabuki…. Just to stare at 🙂

Ellen 23 February, 2013 - 10:18 pm

WOW Bravo!
Thank you for once again writing great post!

This might be a bad news for my wallet 😛

Anyhoo to the brush question!
Can I get away with using J4002 to apply cream blusher,or is it way too small?

How do you use J544 to apply blush /foundation? The thought of using a flat cheek brush for liquid product blows my mind :p

Lastly, do you use chikuhodo z-10 much these days?


xx Ellen

cc 24 February, 2013 - 4:13 am

Love the post, love the brushes, love the brush bags, love the pouches, love the author!! LOVE!!:) You are truly different in this beauty blogosphere world and I love each and every postings you made and I would read them over and over again. THANK YOU.

I am glad I have 1-2 brushes from every category you posted so my wallet should be able to survive this brush-tsunami wave. 😀 Well, maybe I will just grab a couple of them more.. 😛

Ina 24 February, 2013 - 8:02 am

Good God, if been reading your blog for a while now- but this brush posts is amazing!!!
I already know that this will be my go-to post when I’m buying my next brushes. (Your whole blog is like “brush-pedia” to me…)
Thank you so much for the work and effort you put into all of this. And I really admire the kind and extensive way you answer to all the comments.

I’ve also have a question about the Hakuhodo J5521. Your picture looks so such different from the one they have on their US-Site.
There it looks much more tapered. Here it look excatly like the brush I’ve been looking for (contour, not too big, not too dense, white-goat hair)

Maybe you have an idea why the photos differ?

Thank you so much!

Sweet Make Up Temptations 24 February, 2013 - 8:56 am

Hi Ina, thanks a lot. brush-pedia 🙂 never thought of that ! could create that actually, I was thinking of doing an inventory page of all my brushes with specifications but that would take a while 😀
I was surprised that mine is so fluffy and densely packed, which is great ! absolutely loving that ! makes it even more versatile, for contour or anything else !
I have a picture compared to my other G5521 :
I don’t know if the others J5521 are as fluffy as mine, if somebody owns it, please could you tell us ?
when it arrived it was very pointy but after washes it just bloomed 😀

Melissa 24 February, 2013 - 11:51 am

Aaaaaaargggghh…………I’ve been waiting for u to post these gigantic, awesome posts!!! You nailed it again sweetie…….! what a tremendous, extensive job you’ve done here!!!!
I have saved these 2 posts for my me-time today 🙂 So, here I am, sitting comfortably in my pijamas, sipping on my hot coco, enjoying myself reading your posts!

Now, I have to amend my eye shadow brushes wish list AGAIN 🙁 Will def try some Tanseido eye shadow brushes this time! I love the J series, but still think they’re kind of scratchy to my lids. So I hope that the Tanseidos will be softer.

Do you think Tanseido blending brushes are softer than the J series you own so far?

Thank you soooooo much again for all the detailed reviews and your precious time Sonia!

212kiki 24 February, 2013 - 1:21 pm

I’m wondering if the YCQ 12 could be a YCQ 10s

The YCQ12 looks completely different on the website.

Sylvia 24 February, 2013 - 3:18 pm

Bravisima, cara, bravisima.
Now it’s confession time- I ordered the Hokuto brush after pondering the decision almost 15 seconds.
How many others did the same?

Sweet Make Up Temptations 24 February, 2013 - 7:55 pm

😀 😀 😀

Margaret 24 February, 2013 - 10:33 pm

I`m afraid only 2 things about this blog:your posts are too good Sonia and 1000 people will come(even more),and than you will be not available to answer to my questions =)()()(
And the second,please don`t stop writing.I`m in love with your posts!!!If I were a beauty oskar I will fly to you,you deserv it
what can I say?just memememememe

Sweet Make Up Temptations 25 February, 2013 - 7:46 pm

Margaret, first of all, I will always find the time to answer your questions, if one day I don’t, it’s because I forgot so you’ll have to remind me 😛 but I’ll always find the time !
second, I couldn’t be happier, I showed your comment to my boyfriend and told him “See you have to be patient and let me spend more time with my friends here” 😀 😀 😀
a huge hug and a huge kiss for you !

Alysse 25 February, 2013 - 2:08 am

Thanks for always taking the time to detail brushes and make me feel like I’m examining them in person. Your blog is really one of my favorites when it comes to brushes. I really appreciated the photo comparison you did between the Chikuhodo Z-3 and the Hakuhodo brush of the same brush head. I’m waiting for the brush to come back in stock and have contacted Malin.

I’m semi-jealous you love your G5518, I bought mine a while ago and the experience just hasn’t been the same. My brush sheds and it seems to be my only Hakuhodo brush to do that. Every time I use it there are usually 2-3 hairs poking out slightly that immediately come off when you tug on them. Thankfully I’ve had a lot of other brushes from them so I know their quality is exceptional. I just got a dud I guess 🙁

Bea 25 February, 2013 - 8:10 pm

@Alysse: The first G5518 I got did the same so I took pics of it showing all the hair that was coming out and emailed to HKD. They asked me to return the brush and they promptly replaced it. The one I have now is perfect. I’ve always found their to be CS excellent so if you got the brush recently, you might want to see about getting it replaced. 🙂

212kiki 26 February, 2013 - 8:05 am

I ordered the g5518 and hope there will be all right with it 😉
At the first “touches” my g5519 and b509 shed but after the first wash it has stopped.

Bambi 26 February, 2013 - 1:58 pm

Hello I’m bambi.
Thank for your sharing. It’ amazing post!

Can I ask you that

1. Powder :How is the differtent between Tanseido EQ28 and Hakuhodo J531 ? and what do you prefer ?
2. Cheek :How is the differtent between Koyodo BP016 and Hakuhodo J110 ? and what do you prefer ?
3. What is your favorite highlight brush for heavy coverage ? but still very very soft. How about S116 ?

Thank you soo much for your review. It’s really helpful! And so sorry I’m not good at English.

Sweet Make Up Temptations 26 February, 2013 - 7:45 pm

Hi Bambi !
thanks ! these are very good questions, I totally understand why you are asking…
1) The EQ28 is slightly softer, but not much difference. It’s thinner, flatter, you would apply your powder with the sides of the head. The J531 is double the size, much thicker, you would apply the product with the surface more than with the sides although both techniques would work. The J531 is just more versatile since you could use it also for an even application of bronzer. The EQ28 will deliver a more soft and precise application.
The handles are approx the same length, Hakuhodo is just 1cm longer. I could not say which one I prefer because it would confuse you, I have several options like the J531, less like the EQ28, so to me the EQ28 is much more precious and unique.
2) the BP016 is my favorite, because it has the perfect size, density and shape for applying blush, it’s absolutely divine, but it doesn’t offer the versatility of the J110, the J110 is more fluffy and therefore better for different applications (powder, bronzer, blush). The softness of both is equal I would say but the BP016 is firmer and the application would be more directional. I am waiting for the BP018 that I suspect to be the same shape as the BP016 but with squirrel hair.
3) The S116 delivers sheer coverage, if you want a soft brush and heavy coverage you should go for the Hakuhodo Kokutan Eyeshadow L, it’s my favorite for medium to heavy coverage with highlighter.
I hope this helps you 🙂

Bambi 28 February, 2013 - 3:39 pm

Yes ,It’s very helpful ! Thank you for your recommendation.
And I have a question. Between the EQ28 and MK-2 , Which one will more softer ? and you prefer ?

I just ordered Koyudo Red Squirrel Cheek Brush. I hope it will be top of my fav. But now, I really worried about the tax haha

Carlyn 26 February, 2013 - 7:27 pm

Hi Sonia,
I’ve read this post a few times already and each time I appreciate more your attention to detail and the time and effort it took to write such a quality piece. I have a question for you, I bought the Koyudo BP016 based on your review and Buggsiebee’s recommendation and I have to agree, it is a lovely brush and i’m so glad I got it; now my question is what is the Hakuhodo dupe for the Tom Ford 06? Is it the J5543? I have a Studio Gear blush brush that I bought many years ago and I just think its the perfect shape for a blush brush for the way I prefer to apply blush, more of a stippling motion than sweeping or patting. The Studio Gear applies cream blush beautifully, but since I started using RetinA, my skin is so sensitive, it hurts to stipple with that brush. The Tom Ford 06 and the J5543 look like they may be the closest in shape to the Studio Gear, are they similar in size as well? Thanks again.

Sweet Make Up Temptations 27 February, 2013 - 5:34 pm

Hi Carlyn,
The dupe for the TF06 is the J5543, it’s exactly the same, just very very very slightly less thick but you can’t really tell, they are so similar that if you get the J5543 you don’t need the TF (anyway they are both made by Hakuhodo..)


Both have a flat surface that allow stippling application, I don’t know the Studio Gear brush but I know that you will not hurt your skin with these two brushes 🙂

Dawn 27 February, 2013 - 6:36 pm

My face thanks you for this post, but my wallet does not. Quick question about the eyeshadow brushes…in your opinion, what is the difference between a laydown brush and a base application brush? Do they serve the same purpose? How do they differ in terms of placement? Thanks so much!

Sweet Make Up Temptations 27 February, 2013 - 9:30 pm

Hi Dawn !
the laydown is more for precise application on the mobile lid, either all or part of it, better to aim for smaller brushes that can pack a lot of pigment. The base brush is more for application of either a base neutral color that will allow an easier blending of all the other colors you’ll apply on top, or for all over if you want just one shade on the whole eye area… no need for a brush that will apply a lot of pigment, sometimes we are looking for a more natural finish, but it should apply the color evenly.
Often the mobile lid is more delicate so I tend to go for really softer brushes for this area, some brushes are appropriate for both laydown and base. I hope this helps and answers your question 🙂

cc618 28 February, 2013 - 4:55 am

Hi Sonia,

I think the Tanseido brush listed under ‘Laydown’ is actually YCQ12S and not YCQ12… or have I confused myself after looking for too many times?

It’s really confusing and I had a hard time remembering the codes but I think YCQ12S is the one with 2cm hair length.

Sweet Make Up Temptations 28 February, 2013 - 5:41 am

Thank you so much CC, you are right CC, I should really pay more attention when I prepare the pictures 🙁
I will try to keep my posts smaller so that they are more manageable too, I have reread it so many times and I did not spot it !!
d@amn !

cc618 28 February, 2013 - 7:27 am

It is alright.. I will be your assistant to reread it many many times over! 😀

Sweet Make Up Temptations 28 February, 2013 - 7:29 am

You are amazing ! thank you so much !!! I could use some help 😛 <3

jo 28 February, 2013 - 12:41 pm

Hi Sonia,

I came across you via Lisa Eldridges love of the now famous Suqqu Cheek Brush! Googling other reviews lead me to your amazing blog, thank you so much for the time and effort you put into your reviews. They are so helpful and informative and I agree with everyone here, it is an encyclopedia of brushes! 🙂 It’s such a great resource, especially for people like me (in Ireland) that can’t see these amazing brushes in person – and can’t afford to buy blindly!.
I was planning to improve my brush collection bit by bit but now of course I have a list as long as my arm! So I guess I’m trying to get the basics down, and the more multipurpose the better. Having read and re-read a lot of your posts I’m pretty decided on the Chikuhodo Z series and have already been chatting to Malin who was so nice.
I just have a few quick questions, it would be great for you opinion:
I’m going for the Suqqu cheek brush and a Chikuhodo face brush, but I’m wondering if you have to go for only one, whats the better option between the Z1, Z9 and the MK, the most versatile.
I’m also torn between the Z2 and G9, I feel like the Z2 might be more practical for me but the G9 is just a thing of beauty!, but I don’t know if they are even comparable, maybe they are too different to pick just one?
My other question is the classic ‘million dollar question’ – what is a good dupe for the Suqqu eyeshadow S? I know your working on it and I trust you when you say this that you will find the answer! 🙂 Is the Z10 worth the investment or should I wait a while until you find an alternative. It does seem a similar size but I notice you have not included in this post.
Sorry for such a long message and I hope I’m not repeating someone elses questions, thanks for the time you take replying.

Jo x

Sweet Make Up Temptations 28 February, 2013 - 8:36 pm

Hi Jo, thank you so much for your kind comment ! so sweet of you !!
First of all, you can’t be wrong with the Z series, whatever the brush. Great choice to combine the Suqqu cheek with a Chikuhodo face brush.
Gosh, the Z-1, Z-9 or MK, you couldn’t put it more difficult for me. I think the one you would enjoy the most, and this might the case of everyone here, is the Z-1, you will get “more” for your money.
You shouldn’t have made me look at the G-9 😛 is the G-9 the big powder brush ? http://www.kohlindo.se/butik/fude-serier/g-serien/puderborste-g-9 so tempting !!!
yes they are completely different brushes… cannot compare, both are grey squirrel but apart from that…
Still working on “The Dupe” and I will find it !
the Z-10 is not a dupe, since it’s so pointy and flexible I don’t get much use of it, I prefer to have more surface at the point to work with and pack more product.
I am waiting for one possible candidate at the moment, cross fingers…
will keep you updated !!

Jo 28 February, 2013 - 9:13 pm

oh thanks for getting back to me so quick! I’m delighted you said the Z1 because I had actually decided on that and then I kept changing my mind so it’s great to get a second opinion! And thats great to know about the Z10 also, I think I’ll leave it and just stick with the larger Suqqu one for now.
The other one the I actually made a mistake I meant the GS9, the large tapered one, but now of course I’m getting distracted by the G series too 🙂 !

Sweet Make Up Temptations 28 February, 2013 - 9:47 pm

Glad it helped then 🙂
Oh I see, the GS-9, yes this one is the same idea but much much more fluffy, I use it with bronzer and powder and sometimes even with nude blush. I love to “roll” the brush on my skin, not the softest since it has both goat and squirrel but there is something about this brush and the technique that makes it a special brush for me, I don’t know if I love it more because it’s unique or because it’s efficient, probably a bit of both 🙂

Bea 28 February, 2013 - 10:32 pm Reply
Mimi 1 March, 2013 - 7:03 am

These look counterfeit to me. Wouldn’t touch ’em.

Bea 1 March, 2013 - 11:49 am

Agreed counterfeit lol. I was just surprised it would be online lol

Sylvia 1 March, 2013 - 9:28 am

Mimi, could you share what rings the alarm bell for you on that product? I think it’s important to learn to spot fakes!

212kiki 1 March, 2013 - 10:10 am

I think the whole Site only sell fakes 😀 you only have to look at all the other items. I found this page some weeks ago when I searched for some mobile cases 😉

Sylvia 4 March, 2013 - 5:33 am

Thanks for sharing- someone not expert could fall for that offer.
Buyer beware!

Kirsten 1 March, 2013 - 12:42 pm

Hi Sonia,

I love your blog so much. Your blog was mentioned on jodik76 and took one look and now I am addicted to finding soft quality brushes.

My skin is hyper-sensitive skin, more so on my face especially my eye area. It results in redness and welts forming with the slightest aggravation. I have bought brush that feel soft but once used proves otherwise.

I have two questions:

– Do you have any recommendations for finishing brushes ( I am looking into the Hokuhodo Kokutan LAG right now)

– Which is a good foundation brush to used with a tinted moisturizer (e.g. Bobbi Brown Extra Tinted Moisturizing Balm)

Your blog is a wealth of knowledge. Thank you for making brushes my new favorite obsession.

Sweet Make Up Temptations 1 March, 2013 - 1:22 pm

Hi Kirsten,
happy you found me 😛 and welcome on board !
I do have the Kokutan Lag, it’s goat, a great goat hair but still not that soft compared to other similar brushes, for example if you want goat hair and same kind of shape/size, I’d rather recommend you the J531 for finishing, it’s a softer option with also great blending capabilities.
If you want to try a squirrel brush for finishing (with enough flat surface so you can softly blend or buff), the Chikuhodo Z-1 is the one for that.
I believe this tinted balm is quite liquid right ?
If you have extreme delicate skin my best advice would be either the J544 or the Rae Morris 23 but on their site it’s not showing the same version as the one I have 🙁 which I think it’s really bad that they first launched such a great brush and upgraded it to an awful version of it… anyway…
You should look for brushes that have synthetic fibers longer than the natural bristles, it makes the friction on the skin much more gentle. The Hakuhodo G5556 is also an option but for me it would even be better if the synthetic fibers were slightly longer, as it is now it’s just a bit too heavy on the skin and there are more chances that it would aggravate your redness.
I hope this helps you, if you do get them, please let me know if they are fine for your skin !

Kirsten 1 March, 2013 - 8:57 pm

Thanks for these options.

The Chikuhodo will be hard to get since I live in Canada, so the J531 sounds like the better option for me now.

The tinted balm is like a really thick cream (turn it upside down and it won’t budge). I was also looking at the Koyudo BP013 because it looked like the softer more fluffy option. But who am I kidding I just want it cause it looks like a cloud 😉

I have a order in with CPJapan for the Fu-pa02 and FPr001 now I am wondering if those are the choices I should have made.

I bought J242G and J220G eye shadow brushes for the holidays and I really like them. But I can’t seem to find a soft enough blending brush. Can you recommended one as well in either goat or squirrel with somewhat the same softness. Because honestly I would love to buy all the choices you have above 🙂

Sweet Make Up Temptations 2 March, 2013 - 10:55 pm

Hi Kirsten,
You can still try to contact Malin at Kohlindo.se, she will help you to get Chikuhodo if one day you really can’t help it anymore 🙂
The J5523 or J5522 are very soft like the J242G or J220G, same for the J214, depends just what shape you prefer, these 3 are fantastic and great value for money and easy to get which is also nice !

Kirsten 5 March, 2013 - 9:28 am

Hi Sonia,

I am really tempted to get the Chikuhodo. They are currently sold out on the website, but I’ll order the Hakuhodo’s for now and look into the other brushes later on this month 🙂

Thanks again!

bambi 2 March, 2013 - 7:57 am

Yes ,It’s very helpful ! Thank you for your recommendation.
And I have a question. Between the EQ28 and MK-2 , Which one will more softer ? and you prefer ?

I just ordered Koyudo Red Squirrel Cheek Brush. I hope it will be top of my fav. But now, I really worried about the tax haha

Thank you

Sweet Make Up Temptations 2 March, 2013 - 11:03 pm

softer : the MK-2, I prefer the MK-2, it’s more precious (handle, hair).
argh, I hate taxes ! here we are always paying so much !!! is it expensive where you live ?

Bambi 3 March, 2013 - 2:12 pm

I’m live in Thailand. So about taxes, it’s depend on revenue staff who checks stuffs from oversea.

If I’m lucky,It’s no taxes. If not,It’s about 30-40% of the cost. so bad..

Sweet Make Up Temptations 3 March, 2013 - 10:15 pm

WOW ! that’s a lot ! such a shame ! limits a lot what we can order 🙁

Sylvia 4 March, 2013 - 5:38 am

Bambi, yes, ordering from abroad is a matter of luck about the taxes here in Spain, too.
My Red Squirrel arrived last month and I promise you it is even worth the possible taxes!

Bambi 4 March, 2013 - 8:51 am

hahaha ,I hope so. 🙂

Malin, Kohlindo 7 March, 2013 - 11:55 am

Hi Sonia 🙂

have you seen or tried these brushes?

Sweet Make Up Temptations 7 March, 2013 - 7:48 pm

hi Malin,
I actually found them in Rakuten : http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/oukastore/item/10008893/
I was very tempted by the biggest one of the series (not the one linked here) but did not order it… yet… 🙂

Mimi 8 March, 2013 - 12:20 am

I don’t think this brush, as it is pine squirrel, is going to be very soft.

212kiki 7 March, 2013 - 10:25 pm

buggsiebee has the face brush on her pics here evtl. you can ask her about them 😉
and i know Melissa has the face brush too….

Victoria 8 March, 2013 - 12:50 am

Have you tried Hakuhodo Itabake brushes? How do they compare to RM Radiance?

Sweet Make Up Temptations 8 March, 2013 - 4:01 pm

yes I have : http://sweetmakeuptemptations.com/2012/03/22/rae-morris-brush-n-27-radiance-review/
I thought they would provide the same result, but they are thinner and the surface is more straight (flat). Due to the Rae morris “irregular” surface, it makes it a better flawless blender brush, more diffused too so less strokes are required = less exfoliation.

Malin, Kohlindo 8 March, 2013 - 1:40 pm

Thank you! 😀 I havent seen them in any blog so I was so curious 😀

Buggsiebee 8 March, 2013 - 11:48 pm

Hi Malin!
Sorry that I didn’t catch your question.
I’m on holiday for THREE weeks ( YAY!!!) as of mid March and I’m working myself to death to get everything organised before I leave:(
The face brush is the stand out brush of this Tesshyu collection.
Beautiful & worth the investment:)
Happy weekend!
P.S. where are the Passion Brushes??

Vivian 8 March, 2013 - 11:10 pm

Hello! Great blog!

Wondering how do you clean your brushes, what do you use? And how often? Ive got several Hakuhodo brushes and I’m paranoid about ruining them by over washing or using too harsh soap. I just use SLS-free hand soap.

And I’m curious…what is the difference between the S series and J series of the Hakuhodo brushes? Just the handles? They seem to have the same functions/names.

Sorry if you already answered this somewhere!


Sweet Make Up Temptations 9 March, 2013 - 9:24 pm

Hi Vivian, I know I have put the info somewhere, I’ll give you the link tomorrow.
There are more details about their series in this site : http://en.hakuho-do.co.jp/user_data/shopping_kesho_series.php
I don’t know if that helps you to understand the difference between their series, please let me know.
thanks 🙂

212kiki 9 March, 2013 - 2:10 am

have a question about the Kokutan e/s L.
I received it and wondering if its normal that when you poke against your lids if i feels “scratchy”. I contacted haku about that and they said its normal with dense and shorter blue squirrel brushes that they’re not that soft against skin like longer flexible brushes. Its not that scratchy on cheeks when i use it sideways but when i use it with the top….

Sweet Make Up Temptations 9 March, 2013 - 10:23 am

Hi !
I have just double checked mine since I did not feel mine was scratchy at all. Of course they are not as soft as longer brishes would be, they are firmer but still soft and pleasant to use.
I confirm mine is soft even on the eyes, not as soft as a Chikuhodo Z series (Z-5, Z-3), but very soft. I have just also sent an email to Karima from http://www.shamelessfripperies.com/ I know she has one, I’ll let you know.
I don’t agree with Hakuhodo, it should not be scratchy even at 90° on the eyes… 🙂

212kiki 9 March, 2013 - 10:39 am

yah ok thanks 🙂 the g5518 i ordered with it is nothing like this and its a short dense squirrel brush too. I think i know what you mean with this not as soft but i think its a bit too much

Sweet Make Up Temptations 9 March, 2013 - 10:44 am

I really think you should ask them for a replacement, I don’t think it’s normal 🙁

212kiki 9 March, 2013 - 11:50 am

The top is not scratchy at all but sometimes … i can’t describe it ?!
I bundled now an other blue squirrel brush dense like the kokutan and yes when i poke my lids it feels a evtl. like the kokutan.
I’m worried that when they offer me an replacement that it would be the same and I i’m over reacting a bit 😀

Bea 9 March, 2013 - 1:15 pm

I have the Kokutan L and yes if I hit the brush on my eye straight on and hard enough it does feel scratchy but I think that’s to be expected? I mean I did it straight on after all and I had to do it with more force than I would normally use when using it on my eyes. I have to do it really deliberately though and I tried several times before I felt it. I think it might also be due to the way the hairs are shaped? The G5518’s hairs are shaped in more of a ‘slope’ than the Kokutan L which is more flat at the top. Maybe that’s why it makes a difference in why you can feel it more easily in the Kokutan L and not in the G5518. I have both brushes by the way and I have just compared the way they feel on my eyes and they seem just a tad different. I also have the flat top hilighter brush (Kokutan brush C I think it’s called) and since it’s totally flat on top and the hairs are shorter in length, it has less ‘give’ when it goes against my skin. It feels very different from the other two of course. I wonder if it’s because of the way you hold the brush? I’ve never felt the little prickle until now when I was really aiming to place the brush against my eye in ways that would make me feel it. Just my 2cents worth. 🙂

Sweet Make Up Temptations 9 March, 2013 - 9:40 pm

You are absolutely right Bea, thank you so much for your detailed opinion 🙂
I have this problem with a few brushes (specially goat or mixed squirrel/goat), but I really have to force them into the skin like I would never do in a normal usage, this Kokutan L I have does not feel scratchy, that’s why it’s better to have several opinions. Sometimes brushes can slightly differ and when they are not in line with the quality we expect, I think it’s better to exchange them or at least to try…
It is not soft like grey squirrel though, that’s for sure but at least the one I got it’s nice and very pleasant to use.
Kiki, if it feels like a Mac goat, I think you should try to exchange it, by the way, did you wash it several times already ?

212kiki 9 March, 2013 - 2:00 pm

haha yes its not the normal way to test an brush. And yes i think its the shape what makes the difference.
Sometimes when i wipe it back and forth on my cheeks i feel there is some prickle like my MAC goat brush…. i think i’m too sensitive after all the super soft fluffy brushes and there is all ok with the brush 😀
After all i like how dense the brush is and its the prefect size 😉

Gladys L. 9 March, 2013 - 2:45 pm

Hey! I switched post!

I want to try the La Prairie line filler products (primer). It feels so silicone like, nothing watery or greasy.

Are you comfortable with silicone primer? We have not much choice, many product, like MAC eye cream also has it.

Is fu-pa10-p also good for this kind of silicone primer?

Sweet Make Up Temptations 9 March, 2013 - 9:16 pm

Hi 🙂
I haven’t tried that product but I have tried products with silicone and it was fine on my skin, no reactions (if that’s what you mean). But it’s very personal, it’s something you should verify and test before buying it in case you react.
At this moment I can’t tell you for sure, but I will check if I have a silicone primer and will try this brush with it.

Gladys L. 10 March, 2013 - 1:28 pm

It’s very kind of you! But think twice if I am not sure soft synthetic fiber can stand such texture.

As for the subject of silicone. People say really bad thing about such element, but luxury brands still use them, or brings out terms ilke micro-sized silicone/ new silicone formula, hard to say if silicone is still that unsafe nowadays

212kiki 9 March, 2013 - 9:55 pm

@ sonia
it doesnt feel like goat when i touch it with my fingers but on my cheeks sometimes it prickles when i wipe it “back” 😉 No i only washed it once 😉 should i wash it more ?
My super short dense grey squirrel H008 koyudo doesn’t feel like that on my skin so only because of that i was worried about it 😉

Sweet Make Up Temptations 10 March, 2013 - 9:10 pm

Some got softer after more washes, maybe it will…
The Koyudo H008 is grey squirrel, it is much much softer indeed.

Malin, Kohlindo 11 March, 2013 - 2:51 pm

Buggsiebee: I saw your answer, thank you 😀 😀 😀
I have been woundering about the for a while now. Its so great you have tried them 🙂 and that you like them!
Vacation!!! You lucky woman 😀 I hope you are having a great time 😀
The Passion brushes will come soooon. Very soon I hope now. But I have only ordered one set…yes I know it sounds crazy but it seems like you can put your name on the brushes and I want to be sure of that before I order more. It would be so lovely to give the service of you having your name on these beautiful brushes 😀

Have a great vacation 🙂 I hope the sun will shine on you every day 🙂
In Sweden we have minus 6 degrees Celsius today……I need a vacation!! 😉

Mimi 11 March, 2013 - 5:24 pm

Hej Malin, guess I can’t complain. Here in Seattle it is 37 F so that would be 2.7C. Oooo now the sun is starting to come out!!!!

Buggsiebee 11 March, 2013 - 6:18 pm

Thanks Malin:)
I’m not on holiday yet unfortunately. I’m still just working towards it. 8 days to go!!!
The weather in Germany also turned miserable again today. We’ve been having 11- 17° and then today = snow!! Boo 🙁
Would it help you if we order in advance? One set of brushes for all of us won’t be enough;)
I know that I would like the blush brush, the eyeshadow brush & the brow brush …alll with no name engraved on them.

Malin, Kohlindo 11 March, 2013 - 8:19 pm

Mimi, Buggsiebee: In the afternoon I worked from our balcony in the sun. It felt almost like summer 🙂 But then I went outside…

LOL no one set for all would be hard. Yes it would be great if I could have the orders in advance. Im going to make a new order very soon again to Chikuhodo. So if there are anything you would like to have from their shop they have online just let me know. We dont have all their brushes in our shop because there are so many. But Im happy to get them for you 🙂

Buggsiebee 11 March, 2013 - 8:53 pm

@ Malin …I’ll look at their shop in the next few days & let you know. The Passion brushes I listed will be part of my order is that OK?

Malin, Kohlindo 12 March, 2013 - 8:11 am

Buggsiebee: Of course its ok 🙂 I will keep the list of the Passion brushes that you would like to have. Then you just let me know which more brushes you would like to have and I will order them for you.
p.s Im still very jealous of you and your vacation 😉 Today it was minus 10 degrees!!

Buggsiebee 12 March, 2013 - 10:04 am

OMG Sonia 😀 The Russel Howard’s 10:03 effect gave me such a laugh!!
Do you find that Armani fades faster than other brands?

That Picasso customer service sounds like it needs a lot of improvement. How very strange?

Sweet Make Up Temptations 12 March, 2013 - 10:25 am

I love Russel, his shows sometimes make me histerical 😀
the old Armani quads were terrible, these palettes are much better, but they still do fade a bit faster than what I use to wear (Burberry, RBR, Chantecaille, TF, Nars, Suqqu, Shu…), I will change primer to see how it improves (I use Too faced lemon). The darker shades are not bad, when I line the lashes, it stays more hours but the medium and lighter shades do fade much faster. I don’t do touch ups at work so as per midday it’s like I have no eyemakeup on.
It’s really sad because I love the 11 so much (I will compare it to Chanel Prelude soon). Even the #12 the shades are exactly what I love to wear for work…

Buggsiebee 12 March, 2013 - 10:21 am

@ Neo!
I sooooooooo feel with you on the de-potting disaster.
You must feel devastated!!
I ruined almost all my matte RBR shadows while depotting & was so traumatised that I didn’t even try rescue all this bits & re-press them. I won’t replace them either until RBR finally gets its act together and offers ALL the shadows as refills so that we can put them in the otherwise USELESS keepers.
I wish you a wonderful adventure in Myanmar – which I had to google! Ignorant me!
The touristy pics of the country look very inviting, but it certainly appears that you will be experiencing a 100% lifestye change to your current life in New York.

Neo 13 March, 2013 - 2:13 am

Thank you Buggsiebee! I’m really really sad, to tell you the truth, but at the same time, there is just nothing I can do: it’s gone, it’s gone :(. I’m just so annoyed with Tom Ford and his stupid packaging too: why aren’t his shadows pressed into metal pans, like every other ones??? And I feel you on the RBR – I too, don’t understand why they don’t make all their shadows available as refills, it just doesn’t make sense.

And indeed, my life is going to be very different from what I have been experiencing here for the past 5 years. But I’m not too worried about that, as I have lived most of my life in developing countries, and in many ways, it’s also a very comfortable, and simpler life. Here I feel like all I do is run run run, and never have time for much. Lately I’ve been wondering if it’s the place or age, that does that – guess I’ll find out soon, lol. And I definitely look forward to not having to experience winter anymore: never ending summer is just going to be wonderful :D!!!!

Bonnie 13 March, 2013 - 5:56 am

I agree with the RBR refills as well! I just started putting the ones I have that are refill size in a palette… and then I look at all the other ones I have that are full-sized and I get really irritated because it’s not tidy at all!

Which palettes did you lose?

Endless summer sounds lovely… it feels like a summer day today here but I’m stuck inside studying… and reading this, of course 🙂

Neo 16 March, 2013 - 3:30 am

What also bothers me about my 4 RBR shadows that I have as singles instead of refills, is that I pretty much never ever reach for them :(. I just don’t have the time or inclination to start opening the identical little pots to see which is which, when it’s just so easy to reach for one of my palettes (filled by me or mass produced) and have everything there in 1 sec.

Bonnie, I managed to destroy Enchanted (as we know), Silvery Topaz (also TF), and the EB Over the Moon Prismette. 3 of my favorite and most worn palettes, and an expensive mess up :(. But I already got Silvery Topaz and the EB back, so I’m feeling much better now 😀

And the Serge Lutens is just waiting to join them, LOL – yep, I tried it, and and there will be no getting that one out of my mind now, so I may as well give in 😉

Bonnie 16 March, 2013 - 1:32 pm

Oh Neo, Neo, Neo… haha, I feel like I’m looking for a cat 😛

But nooo, I totally get what you mean. If I try something on, and I like it, I will very, very, very likely end up going back to buy it in the end :S

As for when pots all look identical, I like that it looks so neat and tidy but yeah, definitely agree. So much work opening those lids 🙁 That’s why I never use my Armani ETK because it’s a screw top lid with a stopper argh! Also, because the only one I have is Lust Red… but that’s beside the point haha

So glad you got your palettes back, but still… so sad that they broke!

Buggsiebee 13 March, 2013 - 7:06 am

We were pretty much snowed in yesterday so a never ending summer sounds like a dream come true! Lucky you!
While I do appreciate the beauty of changing seasons, the never ending winter in northern europe can get a bit depressing – especially as we often have grotty weather in Summer too.
People smile more when the sun is shining!!
I hope you’ve stocked up on sun cream 😉

Neo 16 March, 2013 - 2:48 am

I agree: sunshine makes such a big difference in how one feels! And yes, I’ve totally stocked up on sunscreen, lol. I got 4 different kinds, all Asian brands, funnily – I’ve been trying a whole bunch of them in the past few weeks, and most broke me out :(. I had a last visit at my Derm’s (going through all Drs), and he offered me a whole box of the Neutrogena’s ultra sheer sunscreen, SPF 85, LOL!!! I only bought SPF 50, and find 85 a bit extreme, but I may yet be grateful for it 😉

Bonnie 17 March, 2013 - 4:17 am

When I was in north China for a year, totally different of course, the sun was not my friend. Or blue sky. I was always so happy when I woke up and saw blue sky! I came back Vitamin D deficient 🙁 At least you won’t have that problem!

Neo 21 March, 2013 - 3:43 pm

LOL Bonnie, indeed: vitamin D deficiency won’t be a risk I’ll be taking!!! Although I may well be right now, with this never ending winter we are having here 🙁

cc618 17 March, 2013 - 8:06 am


I am using Kielh’s Ultra Light Daily UV Defence in SPF50. It’s easy on the skin and despite the humid and ‘almost-meltingly’ warm weather lately it’s not greasy. Doesn’t break me out either. Hope this helps! 🙂

Neo 21 March, 2013 - 4:00 pm

Thank you so much CC! I’ll definitely give it a try – although I have to say that in continuing with my experiments, I’ve been blown away by the Algenist SPF50: super light, non oily, and actually acts as the most amazing primer ever!!!!! And my skin seems to love it! I think I’ve found a winner 😀

Where are you in SEA?

Buggsiebee 13 March, 2013 - 9:13 am

There’s a TF Enchanted on Ebay:-
If you REALLY still want it I could help with the bidding & speedy shipping??

Neo 16 March, 2013 - 3:17 am

Thank you so much for the kind offer Buggsiebee! I am very tempted, but I’m going to try Sonia’s solution first, and attempt recuperating mine first – fingers crossed that I can find some suitable containers tomorrow!

Also, I’ve made a big big mistake: after my Derm’s appointment yesterday, I stopped by Barneys (one block away, remember, my Derm is located in the triangle of doom – BG, Barneys and Bloomies, lol) and finally made my way to the Serge Lutens counter…. And I need this eyeshadow palette!!!! I totally get what Sonia meant when she talked about the luminosity and unique blendability of the the shadows: the texture is just incredible! And talk about lasting power: I swatched them first on the back of my hand, then came home, cooked, fed the cat, cleaned up, etc, washed my hands at least 15 times, and the swatches were still there! And that plummy brown is just scrumptious, perfect for my olive green eyes ;). The MUA was super nice, and took the time to show me how to play with them, and how I could apply them very lightly and work appropriately. Just lovely. The only reason it didn’t come home with me immediately, is that SL is coming out with a new eyeshadow palette that they expect any day now, and I really want to see that one first, before making my choice – at that price point, I don’t want to regret it! The new palette is to be grey based, apparently, but I couldn’t find anything online about it, so I will have to wait and see. I’m almost positively sure that I will come home with the original palette anyway, but I prefer to wait and see (unless they haven’t received the new one by the time I leave, in which case I’ll just get the first one anyway) 🙂

The only problem, is that when the MUA did my eyes, she actually didn’t only do that, but she also re-did my whole face. I kind of freaked out when she started applying their powder foundation (I’m really not a fan of mineral foundation, just always looks powdery and cakey, often flat, on me, and brings out every single flaw on my face), but I kept telling myself that it was ok, that I was going home afterwards anyway, lol. Then I looked in the mirror, and OMG!!!!!! BEAUTIFUL! Light, flawless and dewy finish, my skin just looked incredible, with a natural (looking, lol) lit from within quality to it. Has anyone used or tried the Serge Lutens foundation and could please give me some feedback on it? How does it wear? It seems that it could be a bit drying here in the winter, but it could be great for the hot and humid weather I’m going to be living in: is this assumption correct? I just can’t stop thinking about it, and am trying to decide wether I will just come home with the eyeshadows, or eyeshadows and foundation… Just shoot me, please!!!!!! LOL

Buggsiebee 16 March, 2013 - 8:38 am

Haha Neo!! I remember your ‘triangle of doom’ VERY well . I spent most of my time in NY there 😉
Phew!! My wallet is most grateful to hear that SL new palette will be greys because those I can NOT pull off! I LOVE the current eyeshadow palette & I know that you were looking for input as to whether to purchase ot not but I just didn’t feel that I could give a thumbs up for such a crazy expensive quad. I also have a number of the SL lippies, the lip liner & the foundation in two shades ( purchasing online! ). I’m not huge on mineral foundation because of my dry cheeks, but this has got to be THE most finely milled powder foundation EVER! As I’m off to work just now, I decided to pull it & use it this morning. I am very happy with the result. I think in a warm/humid climate it would work even better!! Generally when I use a powder foundation I like to sprtitz my face after complete makeup with some kind of spray to set and take away any kind of powdery look. Currently I’m using the Tatcha luminous dewy skin mist to do the job & I have to say that this stuff is amazeballs for perking up old tired looking skin but in the climate you will be living in I assume you will be trying to keep matte rather than adding more glow to the skin.
If you find a good match in the powder foundation I would grab it!!

Mimi 16 March, 2013 - 3:43 pm

I too love Tatcha products. Neo will appreciate the washing powder in the climate of Myanmar, I would think, and perhaps the Brightening Serum would be the only moisturizer she will need as it is slightly moisturizing which I like, instead of just sinking into your skin and disappearing. Oh, and the blotting papers. Do you use any other Tatcha products?

Neo 16 March, 2013 - 3:55 pm

Oooooh, you are killing me Buggsiebee!!!! In a good way though ;)! I think I’ll have to go get the foundation then – especially as I do have a perfect match in O60… Did you get the compact too or only the refills? I kind of want to skip the compact, but if you tell me it does make a difference in how it protects and keeps the foundation, I may just spring for it anyway ;)… And dare I ask which brush you use with the foundation (and if you say the Radiance brush, I may just have a heart attack, lol)? The MUA used the Shisheido foundation brush (which I have), but I bet you have something better (and probably inaccessible to me at this point, but for future reference… LOL) 😉

About the grey palette, the MUA did say that of course, it wouldn’t be just grey-grey, but softer, and universally flattering just like his first palette (of course!)… If it does come in in time before my departure, I will take pictures of swatches and send them to you via Sonia 🙂

And I love the lippie she put on me too – she actually mixed 2, a beige nude and a very very dark vampy red, but the 2 together just looked fresh and bright. But I have to draw the line somewhere at this point, and sadly, this is where. Maybe at a later point, if I come back to NY or have someone come visit, I may get them, but for now I only consider the foundation and know I will get the eyeshadow palette. I understand why you wouldn’t want to recommend the eyeshadows: the price point is totally ridiculous!!!! But still, they are so beautiful…. Do you find that you use them often? That plum is the grandmother of all plums, in my opinion, and just that shade makes the palette worth it for me – but I realize that’s very personal, and coming from a green eyed plum lover, LOL

But thank you so much for your super kind feedback and great enable – I see the foundation in my very near future 😀 😀 😀

Mimi 16 March, 2013 - 4:18 pm

I’m a green eyed plum lover too. What is your favorite plum?

Neo 16 March, 2013 - 4:02 pm

LOL Mimi, you are quite the enabler too!!!!

Mimi 16 March, 2013 - 4:10 pm

I know! 🙂 I’m a sick woman, but I’m having fun so……….on and on I go!

Nikoleta 16 March, 2013 - 9:34 pm

bugsie, do you have the votre sienne lipstick ? I think it is the most stunning and unique colour in the line. Never managed to find something similar. Despite the insane price, I’ll definitely would repurchase it. That said, I prefer invest in his perfumes (Rose de nuit is a favorite, so bad it’s still exclusive to Palais royal, Sarrasins is a beautyful narcotic jasmine more misterious than A la nuit).
In the make up line, it seems the base is really something to try.

Neo 21 March, 2013 - 4:05 pm

Mimi, one of my favorite plums is the bottom left pan of the Suqqu 06 Ginboudou quad – but then I’m very partial to that particular quad altogether, lol! I also like the plum in Mizuaoi a lot, and TF Enchanted as a whole (which I’m happy to report I was able to save in the end, yaayyyyyy!). But I expect that my upcoming Serge Lutens will be the winner once I have it :D!

Bonnie 16 March, 2013 - 1:37 pm

Buggsiebee, such an enabler! Neo, you know you should never ask us for our opinions on beautiful products. There’s bound to be someone who just makes it sound irresistible!

I bet that you will come back with both palettes and the foundation 😛 I am just waiting to hear it haha! Unless, of course, the new palette is tragically difficult to pull off on your skintone, like Narcissist…. but I highly doubt it!

I really hope that one day I will be able to experience that “triangle of doom” in person, instead of living vicariously through you!

Neo 16 March, 2013 - 4:00 pm

Oh yeah, Buggsiebee is definitely a fantastic enabler – I already feel like I own the foundation, lol! But you see, what she gave me is exactly what I needed: the unbiased opinion of a make lover and user of the product, and the confirmation that it would probably work very well in the type of climate I will be living in! And for that I’m super grateful (my bank account less so, lol) 🙂

Now the big question is: do I return the La Mer bottle I had bought to take with me as a back up, or keep it anyway???

And I will NOT come back with both palettes, lol (but I may come back with 2 colors of foundation: my perfect match and the darker shade, for when I’m tanned, as I foresee that I will darken, no matter what…). Evil evil evil for even just suggesting it 😀 😀 😀

I think we should plan a NY trip together: I will be so happy to come back, and it would be so much fun!!!!

Bonnie 17 March, 2013 - 4:25 am

Ooooh, I should stop spending so much now and start saving for New York then….or we could all meet up somewhere like Kumano, Japan and make our own brushes. It will be like a school excursion! But one where we get to choose the location!

Yes, I’m so glad everyone here provides objective advice, it really is helpful and everyone is so knowledgeable!

As for the LM, I feel you should keep it! Just because they’re two different formulas, one being powder and the other liquid, so I think your “one foundation in the house” rule can be exempted here. If it was two liquids competing for HG…maybe you could return it but I think it’s definitely okay to accept one HG foundation per formula. What if your skin changes due to lifestyle changes in Burma and you find you can’t wear one or the other? Just my opinion, as I find that my skin will change with the climate and different formulas work better at different times 😛

Looking forward to what makeup products rob your savings 😛

Sweet Make Up Temptations 17 March, 2013 - 4:45 pm

oooooh that is THE triangle you were talking about some time ago ???!!!!!
silly me 😀
a new SL palette ?? nooooooooo 😛
I will try the foundation when I am in London !
This week I have been trying to force my boss to send me ASAP 😀 😀

Neo 21 March, 2013 - 4:09 pm

Yes, THE triangle, lol! I wish we could have gone there together!!!

I will be vey curious to hear your thoughts about the Serge Lutens foundation. Sadly, nonessential yet of the new eyeshadow palette – I really hope I get to see it before I leave, but every day that passes, chances of that happening get smaller. Oh well, maybe it’s for the best: I really love that original palette, that plum is just to die for, and I don’t think I could continue living without it 😀

Mimi 13 March, 2013 - 4:53 pm

Neo, I find your move to be facinating. My mother has travelled there. It used to be Burma, I believe. Are you going for your work? What is it that you do, if you don’t mind my asking? Your life sounds very interesting.

Neo 16 March, 2013 - 3:20 am

Mimi, indeed, Myanmar used to be called Burma! And I have no problem sharing what I do with you, but I’m not too comfortable writing about it on the Internet. I’d be happy to email you all about it, if you are ok with Sonia sharing your email address with me? I’m just not sure my life is that interesting, lol 😀

Meredith 16 March, 2013 - 6:08 am

I would love to hear about your life and your move to Myanmar. Sonia, would you please give Neo my email address? Thanks!

Neo 16 March, 2013 - 4:01 pm

Hi Meredith! I will be happy to share 🙂

Mimi 16 March, 2013 - 4:13 pm

Wonderful! I’ll be ready to hear although I know you are most busy right now so whenever you are ready. I looked on websites for BG, Barneys, Nordstrom, Saks, Neiman’s and american Ebay, but no TF Enchanted to be seen at the time. Let me know if you want me to check again.

Sweet Make Up Temptations 17 March, 2013 - 4:49 pm

sent 🙂

Mimi 17 March, 2013 - 5:50 pm

Thank you so much Sonia! Kisses to you!

CC 17 March, 2013 - 5:26 am

Hi Neo! *waves*

Welcome to my part of the world (SE Asia)!! If you have any questions about this region.. climate, food, cosmetics, skincare, etc.. Feel free to ask. I’ll try my best to help. 🙂

Mimi 17 March, 2013 - 5:11 pm

Hi Neo! So, you are in SE Asia! I am in Washington state on the west coast of USA. I do have something to alert you to that you may be interested in. Guerlain has a special blush out this spring that is only in Asia. It is called Sakura Blush G. Beautiful colors! You may want to take a look at it. It is LE so won’t be around forever.

Neo 21 March, 2013 - 4:12 pm

Thank you so much CC!!!! It’s so nice to know I already have a friend in the region 🙂

I can’t wait to get there – one week to go now, the movers are packing as I type, it’s getting more concrete by the minute, lol. I’ve lived in SEA before, which is also why I’m so happy to go back: many things are different, and my life will for sure not be the same, but I just love that region. How long have you lived there?

Neo 21 March, 2013 - 4:14 pm

Mimi, you are killing me!!!! That Guerlain blush is absolutely gorgeous!!!!! I guess we now know what I’ll be checking out at the duty free during my Seoul lay over : D

Mimi 21 March, 2013 - 5:41 pm

Glad you like it Neo. Definitely grab one for yourself when you can! There will be all kinds of goodies you can let us know about once you are living in SEA.

cc618 22 March, 2013 - 1:29 am

@Neo, maybe Sonia can pass you my email add (or pass me your email add)? If you need to know anything you can just write me. 🙂

Sweet Make Up Temptations 22 March, 2013 - 6:10 am

I sent her your email 🙂

Gladys L. 12 March, 2013 - 12:22 pm

Yay!!! My brother returned home from Osaka.

It turns out that Tanseido omits form information for hotel name and foreign visitor’s accommodation period in the address label, even after my email urging for address label revise. But my parcel reaches the hotel safely. But both information is often requested by hotel and delivery service company in Japan.

Sweet Make Up Temptations 12 March, 2013 - 9:47 pm

So will you be getting some brushes soon ? 🙂

Gladys L. 13 March, 2013 - 12:48 pm

Yes, I am taking pictures for my brushes in a way like a crazy parent making new born baby album.

It’s so unlucky for me that the UK Suqqu MA saying that the Suqqu e/s #1-6 is still available in UK but sold out in Japan…I dream of the Suqqu e/s #6 so much, when the UK Suqqu only ship by DHL and charge a crazy shipment fee (a one class cost for parcels less than 5kg). I would rather reward my UK friend a nice buffet dinner than ship the e/s by Royal Mail.

The Tanseido brush handles are so thick! I planned to fill them in my Hakuhodo brush bag but have to turn to somewhere else. I blue handles are so pretty! Red is my favorite color but not a matt red. Um…why don’t Tanseido sell brush bags…

I am looking at the leaflets they ship with the brushes, a map showing locations of ALL ESTABLISHED BRUSH BRANDS in Hiroshima and another with specialties in various field of Hiroshima that tourists can buy. So handy! Did you got them? I think that would make a great post, even for tourist guide books.

The Hakuhodo catalog is my treasure. i am looking at the M series of pastel colors. I wasn’t able to get my G517 for application (not blending) of foundation, sadly, I am thinking about similar one by Koyudo. It’s interesting that all flat foundation brushes with the look of MAC 290 are priced the same among the major brands. Have you looked at the March brush sets of Japanese brands?

Tanseido’s UV label reminded me that UV is used in santinizing of baby toys or household items, do you think a UV light device is a good idea for brushes and makeup? I think Tanseido was very nice as they inserted brush usage description with the photo indicating area of application on the face! I think Koyudo should follows as their fu-pa has crazy shapes and each side serve for a different application steps. Such info is now removed.

The embarrassing fact is that, Japanese yen costs so much less, I have to consider if I would look at the temporary Koyudo booth but order at CDJapan. I have just received my answer from CDJapan, they amended their weight estimation error instantly upon request, excellent service!

I have clarified my misunderstanding over the Koyudo March set. The case with decorative patterns is sold with Fu-pa01, a goat brush. But the case either silver/ gold is sold with Fu-pa14, a goat and squirrel brush for blush application. Let’s wait for sharing online.

Sweet Make Up Temptations 13 March, 2013 - 1:09 pm

Hi Gladys,
I see what you mean, it’s really exciting 🙂
Shame Suqqu is not more easily accessible !
Tanseido longer handles are thinner, the shorter handles I think they are thicker (need to check again at home…)
sad they don’t make sets for their brushes…
I have received some leaflets and keep them usually, but I did not get the one with the established brush brands in Hiroshima ! that is really helpful, I should do a post on that topic, I hope to go there later this year and I will do a “shopping guide” 😀
I haven’t look at many March sets yet but I have placed an order for the Koyudo fu-pa14 already ! do you have any links ? do not hesitate to share 🙂

Carlyn 13 March, 2013 - 4:05 pm

CAn you share the link to the Fu-pa14? I think I’ve asked before, but for some reason my latest comments have not shown up. Weird.

Gladys L. 13 March, 2013 - 4:22 pm

Maybe I can take some pic to find out if that leaflet reaches you or not, then I will take time to see if such info is released on the governmental tourism website, if not, I will figure how to extract the info to note down here. Actually, around 10 only. Butvthe map shows some tourist spots also.

I will also try and check again if the brush bag of Hakuhodo can hold those tanseido brushes.

You acted so fast to get hold of a Fu-pa again (I hoped u would!), I look forward to your comment!

Actually Tanseido is offering a 15% off brush set for the graduation/ graduate worker purpose. Youˊve looked at the Koyudoˊ White Valentineˊs Day set already 🙂
Chikuhodo and Hakuhodo also launch such sets.

I was interested in beauty so clean for santinizing, but it turns out to be something similar to 70-75% alcohol. I just spent some time reading UV santinizing. News raisedcyears ago stress the dangercin household usage, I plan to look around in department store for updates, especially those rod ones for being used on furnitures or books. Carcinogenic warnings are important.

Gladys L. 14 March, 2013 - 3:26 pm

I found it! You may have read it as this is like some kind of official website!


Gladys L. 14 March, 2013 - 3:29 pm

For brands, the 2nd pdf file disclose all brands available in the area:

Sweet Make Up Temptations 14 March, 2013 - 10:04 pm

thank you SO MUCH Gladys !

Gladys L. 18 March, 2013 - 7:11 am Reply
cc 18 March, 2013 - 7:35 am

@Gladys L.,

Thanks for the map! Chikuhodo is at #29 and Tanseido at #30. Glad they are near. 😀

Sweet Make Up Temptations 18 March, 2013 - 9:57 pm

it’s great, I have google chrome, when I click on a number, it opens a page, I translate it and I see the company 🙂
this is going to be fun !
thanks again !
I will put together all this info in a page.

Gladys L. 19 March, 2013 - 6:12 am

@cc: You are welcome! I think Kumano is an absolute amazing place for brush lovers, and it seems that March and Sept are big months for tourists.

@Sonia: I am trying to look for some kind of brush association’s member listing and trade fairs/ exhibitions. That saves my money in some sense. Forgive me for more replies.

Hope that people can give comments on brands not discussed but listed in the “shopping links” page.

Where would you go for your future Japan trip? Kumano, Ginza or Tokyo?

What’s your next brand target after Tanseido? Takeda? I am interested in the Shu U. #12 look-alike brushes.

Sweet Make Up Temptations 19 March, 2013 - 8:55 am

My answer is simple : I want to go to Kumano, Ginza and Tokyo, so I’ll try the 3 but till that date I may change my mind.
Yes Takeda and Kashoen are in my sight… but to be honest at this moment I want a few Koyudo and Tanseido that are in my wishlist. Unfortunately CDjapan give me samples sometimes but they unfortunatelly can’t match my long wishlist (which I understand), so I have to save for the Koyudo and the Tanseido, then I try Takeda and more 🙂

Sweet Make Up Temptations 14 March, 2013 - 10:03 pm

this is the map I received ! couldn’t understand a thing but I will put it in the page “shopping links” and I’ll see if someone can translate it for me..

Gladys L. 14 March, 2013 - 3:34 pm

I wonder if there are more brands available in the area, as some brands mentioned by other lovely readers are unmentioned. Please be aware that some brands listed are writing pen/ painting pen companies.

Gladys L. 15 March, 2013 - 12:10 pm

Maybe one day someone will combine force and plot all deserving MAKEUP brush brands using the google map, either in Ginza, Tokyo or Hiroshima.

That official map is “resourceful” as it shows some travel route suggestion, it also mentions something about tourist workshop for brushes.

I am still far from knowing enough Japanese brush brands sold on Taobao.com or Rakuten.com. I haven’t been here long enough to find out all mentioned brands, e.g. Takeda.

After being obsessed with brush, I think I may force my brother to gift his son/ daughter a baby hair brush in the future : )

Buggsiebee 17 March, 2013 - 1:00 pm

@Neo, I agree with you the SL plum brown shade . Even if you purchased the quad for this shade only it would be a good investment because it is soooo pigmented that a little goes a looooong way & it will last you for ever! I love the delicate luminocity of his shadows & the fact that although being pigmented to the hilt, they blend like a dream.
I purchased only one compact for the powder foundation which means that one shade lives in a compact & one doesn’t. If you tend to touch up your makeup during the day then the mirror in the compact is useful & if you want to travel a lot with the foundation then I would say that it is perhaps not well enough protected without the compact, however you could just as easily pop it into a z-palette. Unless the aesthetics mean a HUGE amount to you then I’d say that one could quite easily skip the expensive compact & rather use the money to upgrade your flight ticket to first class 😀
The SL collection REALLY doesn’t come cheap!!
If the new palette arrives before your departure then swatches would be TERRIFIC!

Neo 21 March, 2013 - 4:40 pm

Thank you so much for getting back to me Buggsiebee, and sorry for the late reply – my last few days have been spent cleaning and packing furiously (I’ve been living on 4 hours of sleep, that’s just not enough!), but today the movers are here, and it’s now their turn to work, and my time to just sit and let it happen 😉

I did go back last Saturday and got the foundation, just to have some time to play with it ;), and I think that in my case the compact may be worth the investment. It’s not so much that I feel I want the luxurious feeling or anything (I don’t find it that incredibly amazing, lol), and i actually never touch up during the day (except for lipstick), but opening and closing the plastic thingie that the recharge is in really gets on my nerves, lol. I also think that it will be safer for travel, and could definitely be worth the investment (because really, at that ridiculous price point it’s an investment, lol if this becomes my primary foundation (or one of them…). Also, turns out O60 is just a tad dark for me right now, and I was thinking of going to get another match, but on second thoughts it actually may be a good thing, as I will probably never get as white again there as I am now, at the end of a NY winter. So I may just keep it and spend a couple of afternoons in the sun upon arrival to match my new foundation 😀

Keeping my fingers crossed for the new palette to come in before I go, I’d really like to at least see it! And swatch it of course.

zoeselig 17 March, 2013 - 2:56 pm

What an incredible post, your hard work is noticed and appreciated! I also love the fact that you respond to peoples comments!

Sweet Make Up Temptations 17 March, 2013 - 4:57 pm

Thanks Zoeseling, I try 🙂 it’s a pleasure to share and I also learn a lot from your comments !

Buggsiebee 17 March, 2013 - 4:57 pm

@Nikoleta 😉
The only SL darker lippie shades I have are Couvre Feu & Roman Rouge with Roman Rouge being my favourite of the two. I was put off Votre Sienne by reading that it’s an orange red brick shade. That’s a lippie color which generally doesn’t do much for my complexion. How would you describe it?
Perhaps I should try it after all? My next SL lippie was going to be MIse à Mort.

I used to be a huge Niche Purfume junkie & did try quite a few SL fragrances. At the time I was going through a gourmande phase so I liked Chergui, Rahät loukoum, Rousse, Ambre Sultan, Un Bois Vanille. Today I find them way too sweet. I am still into comfort fragrances though & the By Killian perfumes which I purchased at around the same time are still favourites even though they are also rather heavy & sweet. I enjoy Back to Black & Liasons Dangereuses but both VERY lighlty applied.
I’ve read many good reviews on the SL Rose de Nuit & would love to have a sniff but although one can now buy the SL Palais Royal exclusive fragrances online they don’t offer sample vials of all their range.

Sweet Make Up Temptations 17 March, 2013 - 5:27 pm

gosh Mise à Mort ? that’s a name that sells…
a lippie with that name can only be lethal… 😀
I have Votre Sienne, tried to swatch it quickly for you.
From left to right :
Mac Sail la vie / Mac Absolute power / Armani 401 / Votre Sienne
it’s a very “adult-vamp” looking lippie, on me it looks a bit too serious, very “wicked witch” 😀
I add some sheer gloss so that it makes it more wearable for me !
there isn’t much orange although it is orange/redbrick/raspberry at the same time… I don’t know how to explain, looks red brick/brown on the swatches but the more you sheer it out, the more red/raspberry it reveals… tough one 😛

Buggsiebee 17 March, 2013 - 7:30 pm

Hey Sonia:)
thanks for the swatches:)
I have Absolute Power and the Armani 401 so your comparison alternatives are perfect.
I actually think I would like the Votre Sienne – red brick/ brown / orange/ raspberry/ red = complex shade. No wonder Nikoleta hasn’t ever found a dupe for it.
If you want to do the wicked witch thing then Mise à Mort is probably the way to go 😉
Who thinks up these names?

Sweet Make Up Temptations 17 March, 2013 - 7:38 pm

I know you had them because you told me to buy the Mac Absolute Power 🙂
it is a complex shade, difficult to wear for me because it makes me really look threatening but if I wear a pink-white sparkly gloss it’s more fun.
I don’t know who thinks them up but it’s more classy than Nars 😛

Mimi 17 March, 2013 - 5:54 pm

Holy Cow! I checked out the Serge Luten makeup line and am horrified at the prices! What makes their lipstick worth spending $75 dollars! Also, I can’t tell the difference between the two blush colors, can someone describe them to me, please. One maybe is brown and the other peach???? Is the lipstick really creamy? I am interested in the purple-ish color Maure. Does anyone have it and can you describe it to me? Thanks!

Sweet Make Up Temptations 17 March, 2013 - 7:35 pm

it sure is not worth that price tag ! even if the color is quite unique.
what I did is I bought only the refill, which is much cheaper here. You only need the tinyest micro dab, it’s very pigmented.
I haven’t tried the other items, except for the eyeshadow palette and this lipstick so I can’t say 🙁

Bea 20 March, 2013 - 10:07 am

What makes their lipstick worth $75 is the name and that’s all lol. 🙂

Nikoleta 17 March, 2013 - 7:20 pm

on me votre sienne is redder raspberry colour, not orange at all. I don’t find the lippies worth the price tag though, but this colour is just stunning, very unique, evrybody is looking at my lips when I wear it and complimenting me 🙂
I’ve found a decant from rose de nuit I have sold some times ago and am mad at myself for that because I found this perfume so “me” now, i’ll have to repurchase and it is, of course, more expensive now. It is in the vein of knowing Lauder, but subtler.
I had almost every single perfume from SL but finally have sold them except Fleurs d’oranger, Douce amère, Bois de violette. I regret it now as perfumes now are so common and expensive with all that reformulations. I’ve took some samples from luckyscent the other day : profumum roma (rosae mundi), Francis Kurkdjian (Lumière noire) I’m curious

Sweet Make Up Temptations 17 March, 2013 - 7:33 pm

In the tube the color is absolutely meh, when applied it’s more luminous and flattering. Just like you Nikoleta, I don’t find it that orange at all… 🙂
gosh these perfumes… I will try to sniff them soon just to have an idea what you are talking about !

Buggsiebee 17 March, 2013 - 8:04 pm

I don’t have the biggest pouty mouth so I really should stick to soft glossy shades which make the mouth look fuller. Besides that, dark / strong lippie shades are known to be aging so I REALLY should avoid them, but they are just so much more fun than than sensible nude/ rose 🙂
I really hate selling stuff or throwing it away. Tastes are changing all the time and what I don’t use or love today I might love tomorrow. Try not to be too hard on yourself about selling your SL perfume collection though. Perfumes need to be used because they just don’t get any better with age so even if you had kept them, they might have lost their original fragrance by now anyway.
PLEASE DON’T get me started on fragrances again 😉

Nikoleta 18 March, 2013 - 2:21 pm

😉 I’ve learned the other day there will be new Ifra laws therefore new reformulations, so I decided to restock my favorites perfumes and in my research I’ve found new names. God, the old devil is back, I’m afraid 🙂 joining my brush obsessions. For now I’m just sampling though as I have planned to get some Koyudo brushes in april.

Sweet Make Up Temptations 18 March, 2013 - 9:55 pm

Please let me know what you discover, I have a few Koyudo in my wishlist but I keep changing my mind all the time and switching, I just can’t decide 🙂

Bea 20 March, 2013 - 10:16 am

Nikoleta you sound like my friend in my nail polish group on FB. She loves perfumes, even hosts splits. She sends me some samples when she mails my pretties to me. 🙂 She asks me what kind of scents I like and then sends me several of those tiny spritz bottles based on what I tell her. She has quite the impressive collection. I am floored by the cost of some of those perfumes haha! I must say perfume splitting is a pretty clever way of being able to afford scents that cost several hundred dollars a bottle. 🙂

Nikoleta 20 March, 2013 - 1:14 pm

I usually don’t do splitting as I love having my pretty bottles with their pretty boxes. Also, I prefer keeping my perfumes in their boxes turned upside down so air doesn’t alter the perfume. I have some 15 years old and more ones that are still in excellent condition even the head notes that normally alter quicker. The only one that seems to have lost some notes is Bois violette Lutens as it is in a bell jar, more difficult to store.

Bea 20 March, 2013 - 1:35 pm

I’ve seen pics of her perfume collection which she stores in a glass display cabinet. There are some really beautiful bottles in there! I think I’m more interested in the pretty bottles than the scents lol. I really don’t know much about perfume and I think it’s better it stayed that way since brushes and nail polish are an expensive enough hobby, but I’m glad she indulges me with samples! 🙂

Buggsiebee 17 March, 2013 - 5:28 pm

@Neo…sorry, I forgot to tell you the brush I used to apply the SL powder foundation.
It was NOT the radiance 😉 I do like to use the radiance as a finishing brush once I have applied my foundation though.
I used my big love – the Koyudo H008 and then pressed it into my skin a bit more using the beautiful Houkodou. I think you have both of these?

Neo 21 March, 2013 - 5:21 pm

Thank you so so much Buggsiebee!!!!!i don’t have the Houkudou (yet!) but Tommy is getting it for me (it’s actually out for delivery, so I should have it later today, yaayyyy!!!!!). Scratch that, just got informed that it’s been delivered, yay!

I also don’t have the Koyudo H008 (one of those I passed, not knowing what I would use it for), and my heart sank when I read you. But I decided to take a chance, and contacted both CDJapan and Koyudo, explaining the situation, on the off chance that they may be able to help make it happen. CDJapan didn’t have it in stock, and didn’t foresee getting it in time for me – but we will remain in touch and explore shipping to Myanmar options :D. Koyudo though blew me away and really came through for me!!!! I wrote to them as soon as I read your post, on Sunday afternoon my time. With the time difference, I had received their Paypal invoice by Sunday evening, and it had shipped by the time I got up on Monday morning! And I just got notice that it’s been delivered just now!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m so excited!!!!!!!! I wish I could just go pick up my 2 new beauties right now, but the movers are here and packing, so I’m kind of stuck and it will have to wait for tonight (I guess I will survive :D).

I really want to say though how impressed and appreciative I am of Koyudo: they made me get my brush in 3 days from Japan, talk about fast and responsive!!!!! Just mind boggling! And Tommy was just as efficient, considering she first had to order the brush herself and receive it! I am so grateful for the exceptional service I have received from both Koyudo and Tommy, and I will bless them again and again as I use and enjoy those 2 brushes (I expect everyday, one or the other or both!) in the coming months!

And thank YOU Buggsiebee for mentioning them on time too :)!!!

The Radiance will have to wait, and I will have to be happy with the finish I get just using my 2 new beauties (which I’m sure will be perfect 🙂 ).

Thank you so much again for all your feedback and help :)!

Bea 21 March, 2013 - 6:00 pm

Neo I’m so glad Tommy came thru for you in a big way! I’ve always had good experiences with her but I did recommend her here and I am happy (and relieved) that everyone who has used her services seems pleased. I hope you keep us up to date with your adventures in Myanmar! 🙂

Neo 22 March, 2013 - 4:02 am

Bea, no worries at all about Tommy! Not only did she come through big time, but she is an absolute pleasure to work with, super responsive and nice 🙂

And I will totally keep you updated ;)!

Sweet Make Up Temptations 21 March, 2013 - 9:33 pm

Absolutely amazing that they could ship that fast ! glad you got them, well… did you now ? 😉

Neo 22 March, 2013 - 4:12 am

Yessssss!!!!!!!!!! They are gorgeous!!!!!!!!!! And drying at the moment :D. I have good hopes that the Houkodou will be dry by tomorrow morning, but not sure about the H008 – that one is DENSE! And amazingly soft! I don’t even know how it’s possible for a brush that dense to be that soft – I totally understand Buggsiebee’s obsession with it, it’s just amazing! But to be honest, if it weren’t for the SL foundation, I’m not sure what I would be using it with, lol. I’m sooooo glad I have an excuse with the SL though, LOL. Which brings me to my next question Buggsiebee: how do you use it with the SL foundation? Do you use a stippling motion, or just a regular swipe/buffing? The questions never end, sorry 😀

And the Houkodou is just lovely, and also so soft! I thought the FuPa 07 was as soft as they got for a goat foundation brush, but the Houkodou takes it to another level. And I can’t wait to see it at work, yay!!!!

Bonnie 22 March, 2013 - 5:47 am

I picked up the Houkodou as well last night! Will be forwarding it with my Hakuhodo brushes 😛

Neo 22 March, 2013 - 4:57 am

Sorry to pester you with yet more questions Buggsiebee, but I still have the SL foundation compact on my mind… You said the refill would fit in a Z palette. Do you think that 2 refills would fit together in the small Z palette? And are the refills magnetized or do you need to stick one on them? While I really want a better solution than keeping them in the plastic they come in, I’m just not enamored enough with the SL case to easily justify the ridiculous price point (I prefer to fly first, lol) 😉

buggsiebee 24 March, 2013 - 7:29 am

Hi Neo,
I’m on holiday in South Africa at the moment and have neither my SL foundation nor a small Z-palette with me so I really can’t help you 🙁
I think that the foundations might require the deeper Z-palette though & I think that they only sell that one in large?

Mimi 24 March, 2013 - 3:56 pm

Pardon me to butt in but I am wondering, is it safe to go to South Africa? Do you need to know where to go and where to avoid going in order to be safe? Do you stay in a resort that is safe? Thank you!

buggsiebee 24 March, 2013 - 7:35 pm

Hi Mimi, my family live here so I would visit them whether safe or not 😉
You can have a perfect holiday in South Africa, if you are just aware of safety.
Don’t walk around in the dark at night, don’t wear lots of flashy jewellery & watch your bag / wallet / phone!! Lock your car doors when driving & just generally be aware.
There is a lot of poverty here & a huge unemployment rate so there is plenty of theft.
During the day when the doors to my parents home are open the iron gates in front of the doors are still locked to prevent unwanted entry. When inside you basically live behind bars.
It is the most beautiful country though ! I have been jogging alone on the beach below my parents home every day since I arrived – 8 km of white sand in one direction, and feel completely safe! Glorious!!
I do LOVE this country!!

Mimi 24 March, 2013 - 10:21 pm

I love the beach, it is my favorite place to be. Where you are sounds glorious!

Bea 24 March, 2013 - 10:54 pm

Ohhh Buggsie that sounds glorious! I am so sick of winter, blergh… 🙁

Sweet Make Up Temptations 25 March, 2013 - 9:56 pm

I am ALSO sick of winter, today it was horrible, sick weather for spring : humidity, freezing cold, snow, sleet, fog… what else 🙁

Gladys L. 19 March, 2013 - 6:22 am

What qualities are people looking for regarding bronzer brush?

Do people use bronzer for the whole face and skip finishing powder or use it for contouring?

I figure recommendations are all those denser and bigger brushes.

Sweet Make Up Temptations 19 March, 2013 - 9:03 am

That depends on your facial features, what you want to enhance or conceal…
For me it depends on the season, in winter I either apply bronzer very subtle to set my foundation (TF Terra) or in precise areas to give some dimension, in summer it will be an all-over glow with a less matte bronzer.
That’s really a personal preference, some brushes will be able to deliver any application of bronzer (more precise, more all-over), some others are specially made for a quick all-over application.
The qualities will depend on what you want to do with your bronzer and what kind of bronzer you use (matte, glowy, etc).
First you choose what application you want, then you choose the product, then you choose the brush that goes with it…

Malin, Kohlindo 19 March, 2013 - 9:56 am

I would LOVE! to see pictures from your travel….I mean in the brush shops 😉

Sweet Make Up Temptations 19 March, 2013 - 11:22 am

of course I will share 🙂

Sylvia 19 March, 2013 - 9:57 am

Thanks for the heads up about the situation with the Ifra regs, Nikoleta.
Here’s a link that has a rundown on the repercussions of it.

cc618 20 March, 2013 - 5:37 am

Hi Sonia,

Which brush do you think is the closest thing to TF eye brush 13?
Could J5522 be the dupe?

Sweet Make Up Temptations 20 March, 2013 - 5:57 am

Hi CC !
no it’s not, the surface of the J5522 is much bigger, covers maybe twice the surface once you put enough pressure to apply and blend eyeshadow.
I really think the most similar in the Hakuhodo range is the J146
not the same hair length or brush length but the result I think it’s the closest you can get 🙂

cc618 20 March, 2013 - 7:07 am

Thanks. Guess I will have to get a TF brush 13 then.

Btw, if you have any words from Piccasso about that nice brush bag, please let me know. Would like to get one too. 🙂

Sweet Make Up Temptations 20 March, 2013 - 7:39 am

If you can, just do it, it will not get better than this 13 !
No words from them yet, I have resent emails but nothing, I think it the worst experience I have ever had with a customer service 🙁
I am looking for similar brush holders so if I find any nice one I’ll keep you informed !

212kiki 20 March, 2013 - 7:48 am

@CC I would ignore a brand with a customer service like that 😀
It’s something when they don’t answer because whatever … but they WANT to ignore us evtl. they have tons of really bad feedback.
Ok kashoen ignored us too but the site is under construction so evtl. there is no customer service yet…

My black list for brands is not long but one or two are blacklisted till now and there must be an incredible good item when I buy something from them…

cc618 20 March, 2013 - 8:21 am

@212kiki Yeah I know the CS sucks big time but maybe because they are Korean and don’t really understand English well?? I love that it has got all that compartments. Well, I better start looking for other alternatives! 🙂

212kiki 20 March, 2013 - 8:44 am

Yeah sure it could be the english thing but how Sonia described her phone call with them It seems they ignore all ?!
Yesterday I got a very nice and fast CS mail from a brand that I thought they would never response to me. I think CS is a big word in USA like in no other country.

Bonnie 20 March, 2013 - 8:05 am

I love the TF 13, and armed with that and the Shu 10, I think I’m probably ready to do anything… except I always want more lol. But seriously, beautiful brush – you won’t regret it!

cc618 20 March, 2013 - 8:24 am

@Bonnie It does look great and I want to get one.. now, where to get one online??

Did you mention that you are from Australia? I was there (Queensland) for about 3 years. Love the place!! 🙂

Bonnie 20 March, 2013 - 9:04 am

Yup, I’m from Australia (Sydney)! I’m so glad you loved Queensland, I haven’t been there in years (since I was in primary school when I went to the theme parks with my family haha). If you’re ever in Australia again, in Sydney, please let me know!

Where do you live? We have TF here but it’s really expensive so I got my #13 from a UK seller on eBay…I think. It was either that, or I forwarded it with the rest of my TF stuff from Neiman Marcus. It feels like such a perfect brush, in fact, all of the TFs do. But the #13 is particularly efficient and irreplaceable for me.

cc618 20 March, 2013 - 9:23 am

I’m from Malaysia where it is summer all year long! No Tom Ford here.. yet.. The nearest is in Singapore and the price is easily 30% higher (as compared to the US retail price).. as if it is not already an expensive brush to begin with. Thanks for the tip. I need to hunt one down from ebay soon. 🙂

Melissa 20 March, 2013 - 8:02 pm

@CC or anybody else who wants the TF brush, a colleague will be in UK for Easter. If u want u can order it at House of Fraser and have it delivered to my colleagues addy in UK. When she returns I can mail them to u 🙂

Let me know asap. Sonia has my email 🙂

cc618 21 March, 2013 - 3:13 am

@Melissa, thanks for the offer, you are so so sweet!! My friend will most likely be going to the US in June so I will have her get me one then. Thanks again!! <3

Sylvia 23 March, 2013 - 10:25 am

I see the Tom Ford 13 is unique and there isn’t a Hakuhodo brush similar. How about in other Japanese brands?

Gladys L. 25 March, 2013 - 4:59 am

Bush brand news alert!

I have just read the trip sharing of a girl that provides brush forward service like Tommy do. She has finished visiting some big brands (I guess she knows Japanese) and is still staying in Kumano. Yes! She beat us down by completing what we want to do! But she seems to have paid visit to only the more raved brands.

Maybe she is a VIP kind of customer to the brands (can’t clarify, I am still waiting for her reply, of which I start considering to be unlikely) so she can visit many brand owners in the trip. I would sort through the non-seller-profit-oriented raving and share some news here. Because in my opinion, her recommendation shows her very good and keen learning of brush company taught sayings, thus being terribly insufficient of makeup artist insights or personal experience, I always enjoy to buy from her but take her advice 50/50 at most.

First of all, most brands all convey that cost of Canadian squirrel and gray squirrel have been raised. Price rise of brushes in 2013 is to be done!!!! (OMG……) I am sad as Hakuhodo has already introduced a price rise in 2012 for its whole ranges of products. I would certainly buy those Fine Kalla earlier than planned.

Most importantly, Taobao sellers (Asian Ebay-alike) would quickly follow suit as one seller starts to sell Takeda, I think Takeda will soon encounter major out-of-stock situation, as there are mainly 15 people ONLY (WTH……) in the market. But the major problem of Takeda would be, they claimed that they are coming to the close end of running short in their current brush hair stock. Actually, I am quite confident in assuming that Takeda was the brush provider for Shu Uemura a few years ago as the black brush they are selling looks exactly Shu Uemura like. Then Takeda confirms this is true (for a few years before Shu discontinue the deal to cut cost).

I may share more news if you guys are still interested, I just think I need to see which post I should expand this topic on. Sorry for another long reply again.

@Sonia and other kind readers who are going to Japan, especially Kumano:
I think if any of you can speak Japanese, it would be mutual beneficial to us all that the brush seller knows what kind of brush we are eager for them to put into production. I always want to be an experienced user and give some constructive comments to the companies so that I can have my dream brushes from them sooner. Please show them your brush reviews to let them know our love.

Gladys L. 25 March, 2013 - 6:47 am

Data correction:

Sorry! It should be Tanseido making brushes for Shu Uemura in the early days, instead of Takeda.

Sweet Make Up Temptations 25 March, 2013 - 9:57 pm

Thank you Gladys, so much precious info !! I need to process all that tomorrow ! 😀
waw, great news !

Gladys L. 30 May, 2013 - 3:29 am

The girl I keep looking at her weibo is Manちゃん:


please note:
Please think twice before asking her question at her weibo.
Above all, she is a Taobao seller (parallel goods trader). She may not intend to provide detailed comments out of customer service, she is a busy and very famous seller.

Gladys L. 25 March, 2013 - 7:07 am

Data correction 2:

Takeda has only 15 people in the “brush making division”, not “market”.

Sweet Make Up Temptations 25 March, 2013 - 10:00 pm

thank you 🙂 very helpful to know !

Sylvia 25 March, 2013 - 12:01 pm

Gosh, Gladys, you’ve certainly packed a lot of information there.
Thanks so much for the up-dates on possible price raising.

Gladys L. 25 March, 2013 - 3:06 pm

@Sonia: I can’t help to give lengthy replies. I usually questions. Please forgive me as always advice me off the manner if I do (in you sweet sweet words of course, haha)

The girl replied! I feel relieved.

She attended the March pen festival in Kumano so she can pay visits to brands with good coorporation (we don’t need to be VIP). Kumano also launches another one in Sept each year, free shuttle bus service is provided, and companies welcome visitors to the factories (Koyudo doesn’t stay on Sun, well…). Brands’ owners are present for chatting.

Chikuhodo gives good news (price change is to be announced in April):

Z series: new eye brushes : )
SV series: discontinued
GS series: more brushes

My next target would most certainly be Tanseido and Takeda
I would like to ask if anyone know Takeda has increased its price in March 2013 yet? Did anyone bought its brushes? Are their recommended models real gems?

Bonnie 25 March, 2013 - 9:41 pm

I just ordered the Takeda #11 and #8, but I think some of the other ladies have some already!

Wow, I’m looking forward to the new Chikuhodo!

Sweet Make Up Temptations 25 March, 2013 - 9:53 pm

so am I ! gosh new Chikuhodo Z series.. I am ON 😀

Mimi 26 March, 2013 - 2:07 am

Oh goodie!!! More Chikuhodo!!!!! And eye brushes are exactly what I need (well, not really but……you know how it is!)

Sweet Make Up Temptations 25 March, 2013 - 10:11 pm

😀 your info is very valuable and I thank you for your time !
I can’t wait to be there, so excited !
I am glad she replied !
New Chikuhodo Z eyebrushes ? ouch !!! 😀

I need to concentrate on Takeda now… but I was so surprised with Tanseido that it’s difficult to look away 🙁

Gladys L. 26 March, 2013 - 12:19 pm

I definitely love to read your further Tanseido reviews! I love eye brushes too much.

Hope your trip date can go along with the local practice in Kumano.

We will see if other readers here share reviews. ; )

Those news are conveyed by Chikuhodo owner in conversations. The actual time of launching is still unknown.

Gladys L. 26 March, 2013 - 12:17 pm

Thx, Sylvia

the insufficient brush hair supply in Takeda thing really freaks me out. In my city, people are given worse serve/ product due to the China raw material cost rising issue. I hope all true brush lovers here don’t suffer the same like I do.

Bea 26 March, 2013 - 12:44 pm

Thanks for all the info Glayds! I’ve been wanting to purchase some Z series brushes. I think I’ll wait to see what kind of new ones Chikuhodo releases. The price increase is not good news though. I was fortunate that I got all my Hakuhodo brushes before they raised theirs but I have yet to explore more on the other brands.

Gladys L. 28 March, 2013 - 5:33 am

It should be me saying thanks to your brush sharing youtube video! (I watched it before coming to this blog) I think I can find one Takeda brush (goat) in the video, isn’t it?

I envy you! I start to collect Japanese brush in the middle of 2012! Not to mention I have once longed for a Yachiyo brush in the past after reading Rae Morris’ book.

I love to read the post “My friends’ …purchase” for you all’s brand introduction. If my brother is forced by his girlfriend for a 3rd Japan trip, I will get the Hokodou F. brush.

Bea 28 March, 2013 - 2:46 pm

Yes Gladys it’s the Takeda RS FS 20. Sonia put up pics of it in the My friends’ brushes section. I love that brush. I have their catalog and there are a couple of others I wanted including a red sable foundation brush. But since discovering Sonia’s blog my plans have been derailed and now my wishlist has expanded tremendously and I can’t decide which ones I must have first lol! 🙂

Jeanette 26 March, 2013 - 8:11 pm

Hi Sonia,

your knowledge in depth and across products is incredible and unique!

I have been looking at the Tanseido website today (and have figured out what all the letters stand for!).

I have been looking for a smudge brush like the Q7 that you recommend, so I was very thrilled to see that you had found one of HG material! I have the Paula Dorf one, but it hurts on the eyelids, so I cannot use it.
Your Tanseido is the YWQ7, i.e. long handle and white goat. There is also a new version with the shorter handle, also with goat hair but dyed brown/teak: WQ7T. Wouldn’t you prefer a shorter handle, the long one looks very long? But what is the advantage/disadvantage of having the hairs dyed? I simply don’t get it.

I also plan to order the YWQ9 and also the AQ14 for powder as a small and flat powder brush (like Sue Devitt’s). I have the SUQQU cheek brush, but use it for too many purposes, so I’d like to stock up on some quality brushes 🙂

Another brush I’d like is for bronzer. I’d like to use it sometimes to add some warmth and dimension, and in the summertime to get a warm glow, as I try to stay out of the sun, so I remain quite pale. I usually prefer smaller face brushes to have most control, but I haven’t used bronzer before, so I’m a little lost regarding what to look for. From your comment above, I guess I will need two different brushes for the two different applications. What are the smallest effective bronzer brush(es) that you would recommend? They don’t have to be from Tanseido.

I plan to order a TF bronzer. As I am fair, B10 in Chanel foundation, with medium golden blonde hair, I think the gold dust would suit me best, but I don’t want to have glitter on my face. (I tried an EL one with glow, and the sparkles were quite visible). I have read that the TF Terra can also be used by fair women, but I don’t know if it is too cold brown. As I know you know the TF bronzers what do you think?

Regarding crease brushes, I wondered how your recommended brushes work differently from the crease brushes MAC 217 and Paula Dorf Crease Brush that create a blended application, and the PD smoke lid and SUQQU M brushes that create a very defined crease? I am of course interested in finding out if I can do better with other brushes 😉

Mimi 26 March, 2013 - 8:47 pm

If I may weigh in here, I have the TF Terra and I don’t think it would be too cold really on anybody. The other one of his would be too golden-y yellow for me, like so many I’ve purchased. The only reason I dared to send away for the Terra was because I got Chanel’s Notorius, which is really grey but somehow works but you have to be careful with it. If I put too much on, it makes me look smudgy or sooty. It is extremely sheer so you have to try hard to put on too much, unless you have brushes that are not a very good quality. I have mostly blue squirrel brushes as I love soft brushes and tend to be a bit heavy handed with my makeup. I find these soft brushes do not pick up a lot of product at once so there is a better chance that I won’t overdo my makeup. I think even a very pale person would love the Terra, IMO. Anybody else out there care to give Jeanette some advice on this?

Stacy 27 March, 2013 - 1:54 am

I agree Mimi, Tom Ford Terra and Chanel Notorious work wonderfully on medium to pale complexions. They are both favorites of mine! They are both fool proof for contouring and as an all over bronzer you can’t go wrong with the TF Terra. I also love Chantecaille St Barrhs bronzer! Hope our opinions help 🙂

Bonnie 27 March, 2013 - 11:23 am

Ohh Mimi and Stacy, may I ask what brushes you use for Notorious? I’m using the TF cheek, which I think works very well for me but I’m looking into other options as it’s the only brush I own that really picks up enough product…

Mimi 27 March, 2013 - 3:38 pm

The TF cheek is exactly the same brush I use with Chanel’s Notorious! I’d say it works quite well. For shading the sides of my nose and sculpting cheek bones, I use a Hakuhodo made from Kolinsky hair. Can’t remember the number but it’s about 1/2″ think and pointed. Sonia will know the one.

Mimi 28 March, 2013 - 2:32 am

That’s the one! I knew you’d know. Sorry I said Kolinsky, I knew it started with a “K”. It’s my terrible memory! Menopause!

Sweet Make Up Temptations 28 March, 2013 - 8:44 am

🙂 there arent’ any kolinsky available for export so I just guessed right 🙂

Stacy 27 March, 2013 - 8:17 pm

Hey Bonnie! I am using a few: the Fu Pa from the Christmas Set (the synthetic one, help me Sonia…), also the Tom Ford shade and illuminate and I took the brush from the Chanel Horizen blush/bronzer thing and use that as well (it’s thin and flat and wide). I am surprised at how much I like that Notorious!

Sweet Make Up Temptations 27 March, 2013 - 10:59 am

Hi Jeanette,
thanks 🙂
the advantage of dyed hair… hmmmmm don’t worry I have to admit that I don’t get it either. It’s a question that I will send to Tanseido.
In my opinion dyed hair could help with giving a better aspect to irregular or less beautiful natural hair, it also could help to maintain a brush with a cleaner appearance if it’s darker you won’t feel the need to wash it as often.
Then with dye comes chemicals, why would you want to use a brush with chemicals… I’d rather not if I have the choice.

I prefer long handles if I have the choice but for someone that is shortsighted it may be better shorter handles if you need to get closer to the mirror or if you want to travel with them, also better short handles.
My top favorite brush for bronzer is probably the Chikuhodo Z-9, then the TF, the Chikuhodo is more appropriate for more natural application and the TF for natural to heavy coverage but I have a lot of fantastic brushes for bronzer so it’s like picking just 2 from a bunch of excellent options.. the softest and the one I reach for the most is the Z-9 and actually with the TF terra. The TF Gold Dust has a bronzy gold shine that I think is more appropriate for a summer glow because it has micro sparkles and they do show on my face, looks better when I apply it on top of a little tanned skin.
The TF should be suitable for most of us with fair to medium skin, very neutral, not muddy, no sparkles, that’s why I reach for it the most, very easy to apply and not overdo it. I haven’t tried it on different skin tones (warm, cool…) but I see it working universally, well, if I had to recommend one-fits-all that would be the one but it’s just based on a “feeling” more than on a proper test.
For crease brushes, the ones I reach for the most are the TF 13 and the Nars 12, the Nars 12 for precise crease work (darker colors), the TF 13 for any crease application from sheer to heavy and with extraordinary blending capabilities, the Suqqu M is more for either sheer color on the crease or for outer V or very defined crease, it does apply a lot of product precisely. I don’t use the Mac 217 unless it’s for blending or for a sheer application, the Paula Dorf is a bit too rough for my skin today. For a blended application the Hakuhodo J5522 is probably one I would reach for, or the Nars 13, not the softest but softer than the PD and highly efficient.
thanks for the link for the TF 13 review, I love Kate’s review, she is just amazing and delivers excellent reviews so incredibly useful !

Gladys L. 28 March, 2013 - 5:27 am

I am interested in the Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Collection’s bronzing powder after Dustyohunter’s review.

But I am a less than average color identifying person, the problem intensifies when I want to choose a bronzer shade, I can’t tell if it is naturally brown as a bronzer or it is too yellow-toned or red-toned. What a shame.

Jeanette 27 March, 2013 - 9:58 am

I just came across the most amazing blog post on a comparison for the TF13, Suqqu M, Paula Dorf Sheer Crease, and Trish McE with swatches of their different applications for comparison: http://drivelaboutfrivol.blogspot.dk/2013/03/ford-hello-tom-ford-13-eye-shadow-blend.html

I thought it could also be of interest for you brush geeks 😉

Gladys L. 28 March, 2013 - 5:24 am

I have always wanted to buy a Paula Dorf Sheer Crease, but can’t find any online company to ship it internationally.

The blogger always write many in-depth post, I like this article the most recently for her blog.

Sweet Make Up Temptations 28 March, 2013 - 8:58 am

I used to buy from Dermstore : http://www.dermstore.com/list_Paula+Dorf_500270.htm
they ship internationally 🙂

Gladys L. 28 March, 2013 - 12:46 pm

You are the best! (^_^)

Is there any beginner discount or family code to enjoy discounts on dermstore?

Sweet Make Up Temptations 28 March, 2013 - 12:51 pm

I just found that one : rmn15
15% discount 🙂
maybe that one for free shipping… DSANNCS

Gladys L. 28 March, 2013 - 1:52 pm

Genius! I have only found the 10% discount code

Haha, I will create 2 accounts and refer myself to get the $10 discount code also. I wonder if 2 discount codes can be used at the same time (doubt it).

Gladys L. 31 March, 2013 - 10:48 am

Oh… Dermstore doesn’t ship to Hong Kong (I figured it out just before having my shopping list ready today).

(TAT) So sorry for your time spent on sending me the referral discount (you are extremely helpful as always)

Gladys L. 28 March, 2013 - 2:25 pm

Oh, my evil plan doesn’t work, the “refer a friend” thing applies to customers who have made a purchase only…

Never mind, I will still have my PD brush shipped.

Jeanette 28 March, 2013 - 1:16 pm Reply
Sweet Make Up Temptations 28 March, 2013 - 3:53 pm

thanks Jeanette !

Jeanette 27 March, 2013 - 2:25 pm

Thank you so much for your responses and suggestions! One more thing though, is anybody aware of an online store that sells Tom Ford and ships internationally? The US based companies don’t, Harvey Nichols doesn’t, Harrod’s hardly has any product. So the only option I can find is Selfridges with the 57 GBP delivery fee!!!

Sweet Make Up Temptations 27 March, 2013 - 11:42 pm

No I don’t I am afraid, I won’t be in the UK until June but do let me know if I can help you then.
There are some forwarding companies that have reasonable prices if you are interested, probably cheaper than the Selfridges shipping price tag…

Gladys L. 28 March, 2013 - 5:22 am

Having waited so long for a brand doesn’t mean I have to pay that much to have it delivered to me in 2 days.

Its “funny” that the shipment refers to 5kg parcel. The only thing I would certainly buy that much in a single purchase would be RICE only.

Sweet Make Up Temptations 28 March, 2013 - 8:57 am

lol I know ! insane 🙁
I’ll write to Selfridges… we never know 😛

Malin, Kohlindo 31 March, 2013 - 1:04 pm

Hi everyone 🙂
I have some good news and some bad news about our Kohlindo shop.
First the good news: many brushes will soon be in stock again. We thank you of our heart that for your patience. I know we have the kindest customers in the world.
There will be some surprices in the shop 😀 I think a Lady Buggsiebee will be happy 😉
About our new shop – we are working on it full time now. There will be an Englush version. I hope this will help many….Swedish is a difficult language! But maybe you know some Swedish by now 😉

Bad news: we had to adjust our prices….I know, we are not happy about it either.

Take care everyone 🙂 and Happy Easter.

Sweet Make Up Temptations 3 April, 2013 - 10:47 am

Thank you for letting us know Malin.
I can’t wait to see the new brushes 🙂

Malin, Kohlindo 3 April, 2013 - 12:16 pm

The first order of brushes has arrived!!!!!! 😀
Buggsiebee: I have a surprise for you and everybody. Look here: http://qusavi.com/keshofude/hataman/

I have some more surprises, I come back as soon as I have taken pictures 🙂

Bea 3 April, 2013 - 4:20 pm

Good lord I have been lemming those divine brushes forevah!!! Uhm how much do I need to save up for them Malin lol. 😛

Malin, Kohlindo 3 April, 2013 - 7:04 pm

Hi Bea 😀
I havent got the price yet, they are so new for us 🙂
I come back with the price when I know.

They are soooooo cute and beautiful!!!! 🙂

Sylvia 4 April, 2013 - 8:15 am

Oh, dear. Just when I thought I could hold off on brush buying until CHristmas…

Bonnie 4 April, 2013 - 11:54 am

It doesn’t work, I tell you! March and April were meant to be no-buy months for me :S I have failed many times over sigh…

Mimi 4 April, 2013 - 3:57 pm

Bonnie, I am so relieved to hear that I am not alone in my weakness. I too make pledges to stop spending but collapse soon afterwards, sometimes it’s only 24 hours before I break down and purchase something. Wow, what resolve!!! What a backbone!!! My husband would be so proud (sarcasm!) Maybe this is why, in the world, it tends to be men who have the money! We women are the gatherers, we must gather! Whatever catches out eye, we gather in case it may come in handy someday. Then we feel proud when that day comes and a family member needs that very item that we purchased long ago. Then we know we’re good wives and mothers! How’s that for rationalization?

Bea 4 April, 2013 - 4:13 pm

I wholeheartedly buy that rationalization Mimi. 😛 😛

Bonnie 5 April, 2013 - 10:32 am

Same! 24 hours :S It’s usually because something like discount vouchers or LE (I get sucked in terribly by that!!!) comes up, such as Zuneta’s 20% off broke my Feb no-buy, Suqqu Spring 2013 for March, the CDJ discounted white mushroom also for March… it just never stops. I justify it by saying that I’m saving more by buying it now – since I know I’ll eventually get it down the track…..

That’s how we save money, right!?

Mimi 5 April, 2013 - 3:15 pm

Well you certainly can’t be expected to resist the discounted White Mushroom, and it would be suicidal to ignore an LE so really, those don’t count. Brand new Suquu, no way and with the discounts, it would be foolish to ignore those because, like you say, it saves money in the long run so…….. bye bye no buy. We do try girls, but somehow fate intervenes with our plans for no spending. It’s not our fault, after all.

Bonnie 5 April, 2013 - 3:39 pm


Bye bye no buy 😛

Bea 5 April, 2013 - 3:53 pm

I never say ‘no buy’. I say ‘low buy’. Then it’s not so bad. At least that’s how I get away with it. 😛

Sweet Make Up Temptations 5 April, 2013 - 8:40 am

Instead of no-buy things, I buy often only if I have a voucher or some kind of reduction, to feel less guilty 🙂
But today I could not do no-buys, unless I have no choice, I have already had 6 months no-buy, at the end the consequences were even worst 😛

cc 5 April, 2013 - 9:29 am

According to my paypal history record, I have been on no-buy for 3 months… I did have a rather big Tanseido order at the end of January (2013) but payment was made in December so that doesn’t count 😛 😛 Anyway, long story short, I just wrote to Tommy and there will definitely be a paypal transaction next week!! 😛

Mimi 4 April, 2013 - 3:50 pm

Oh, no Sylvia no, not on this site. Hold off until Christmas? Not even a remote possibility! If you are like the rest of us here, you will have many purchases well before Christmas rolls around again. There are just too many beauties to have and to hold. We MUST collect, we can’t help ourselves. It’s a happy addiction.

Stacy 4 April, 2013 - 4:08 pm

Ahhhh so good to know I’m not alone in this world ;). I second all of that Mimi!!

Mimi 4 April, 2013 - 4:55 pm

We’re all in good company here!

Bea 4 April, 2013 - 4:10 pm

Sylvia is deluding herself lol! 😛

Mimi 5 April, 2013 - 3:16 pm

We do try to be good but there are forces greater than us at work in the universe.

Vivi 12 May, 2013 - 7:09 am

This is a very recommended blog post on makeup brushes. I bookmarked it too 😀 Thank you.

Sweet Make Up Temptations 12 May, 2013 - 4:59 pm

thank Vivi 🙂

estrella 12 June, 2013 - 3:22 pm

Hi Sonia! I finally gave in. I was thinking of taking the plunge after I pass my midterms but oh well… 🙂 I feel like I was just delaying the inevitable. Since I am feeling a bit sentimental about replacing the brushes I got from my sister, I decided to get some brushes that I feel are different from the ones I received and the ones I bought way back.

I got red Tanseidos! I wasn’t a big fan of the blue one although when I looked at it again, they are actually cute. 🙂 Anyway, I got EQ28, YWH14 and YGQ17– all based on your recommendations. I just got the YWH14 instead of YWH12 since I wanted a slightly bigger one for the highlights. 🙂

I was torn between getting Hakuhodo J-series and Tanseido but there was something about those floral floor pillows in their factory that really wanted me to buy Tanseido first. 🙂 I will try not to focus too much on the set and just enjoy the strengths of each maker (as long as they are red, hahahaha.. half-kidding).

Sweet Make Up Temptations 12 June, 2013 - 5:23 pm

Hi Estrella !
Glad you took the plunge ! you deserve it for the hard work you are doing !
Tanseido will be very touched ! specially if they know that it’s seeing the pics I took during the visit that made you do it 🙂 that is very sweet of you to say that ! and red is the best, I think my room is slowly turning into red domination with all these red little brushes 😛

– For those of you who wonder how Estrella could already have seen the Tanseido pics, it’s because I met Estrella in Tokyo and I was able to show her some pics already 🙂 –
I think it’s impossible not to love all of them after seeing how simple and hard working they are !

Anette 12 June, 2013 - 4:12 pm

I want to splurge on a hakuhodo blush brush, but I don’t know which one to get? I have large cheekbones, but otherwise small features. I work with HQ blushes and finely milled powders, and I want it to work equally well for pigmented to non pigmented products. And is it possible to recommend a brush that can work well with bronzer too? And what do you cleanse your brushes with? I have until now worked with mac and sigma brushes, but I crave something softer and more Holy Grail 🙂

And I must say I absolutely adore your blog! You’re so committed and so full of knowledge, there are too few bloggers out there who go deep into the brush jungle. It’s wonderfull to read something so thorough.

Amy 13 June, 2013 - 4:06 am

Just want to share my new experience with a China brand – Makeupshow brushes. Chanced upon a shop that carries this brand in Shanghai (while shopping for new glasses). Gosh, they do carry some awesome brushes. Naming a few brushes I’d purchased, the limited addition Orchid Ceramic Nianxiang L02, the cherry wood handle H01 from High Series, from black series 12E01 & 10E01. L02 is a huge cheek brush made of grey squirrel – the bristles are arranged in graduation, it’s more of a super full filbert shape. It’s handle lacquered white with some flower design with its end chipped at an angle with bright red marking (imagine the handles in Hakuhodo’s S series – but this one’s chipped end is rounded off for easier maintanance). It’s ferrule is in gold with the brand imprinted on – a feature I’d rather not exist). I did not love it much at the shop, I bought it because its bristles felt very soft yet has a strong snap. However, I am madly in love with it now – it’s beauty grows on me, and will be heading back to Shanghai to buy more from this series before I return to Singapore. While the workmanship is of very very high quality – I still prefer the Japanese lacquerwork. H01, this has been discussed much by bloggers and youtubers, just want to add that it did not feel as soft as my Lunasol cheek brush but it has more snap – a characteristics that I prefer. 12E01 is another brush that floored me, sable (may be Kolinsky, due to its length and colour – but the sales assistants could not explain further – language barrier). I love Shu’s 11 and 12 so dearly. This one, is as soft as Shu 11, but its body is more like Shu 15 (I can’t compare with Shu 15 at the moment cos I did not bring it along to China with me). But I love big eye brushes cos they are so efficient for my daily use. 10E01, made of sable, is one with unique shape – it’s a huge dome shaped, stubby brush for smoking the eyeshadows – feels comfortable on my lids. They recently launched a C series – which I intend to buy the powder brush. Products from the brand is worth keeping. I wanna more of these…

Bonnie 13 June, 2013 - 5:41 am

Thanks for introducing this! I just took a look at some of their brushes online. The ceramic handles look so clean and crisp – I want! And they’re so cheeeap 🙂 It says the L02 is pure gray squirrel hair, how can it be so cheap!?

I might go order some brushes online just to see how they are…. :S

Bea 13 June, 2013 - 1:31 pm

Bonnie which site are you looking at?

Bonnie 13 June, 2013 - 2:10 pm

Just on their online shop on Taobao: http://brushworld.taobao.com/

It’s the Chinese version of Rakuten/eBay.

Bea 13 June, 2013 - 2:30 pm

Oh I didn’t think of taobao. I ordered from there once but they ding you with fees galore lol. Wonder if my friend in HK can order for me. I like the metallic red ferrules to match my Cosmedo brushes? :X

Bonnie 13 June, 2013 - 2:53 pm

The red ferrules are very very pretty!! I wonder how the overall quality of the brushes are. I read some reviews and they’re so-so. But I guess since they’re so cheap, it won’t hurt my wallet too much to try hmmm.

I think your friend could probably order them. I’m still debating how I can order them, maybe through my cousin. Or I’ll wait until I go back to HK/China later this year haha.

Amy 13 June, 2013 - 2:29 pm

For High Series only, you can checkout 7bella.com. But the shop I went to has a online store http://shop36119080.taobao.com/?spm= This has more complete range of Makeupshow products. That said, I will travel 100 km to Shanghai to buy more brushes – irritating my husband to the bone :p

Bea 13 June, 2013 - 3:35 pm

Baahhahhaaa Amy! I want to try the eyeshadow brushes you recommended plus my mom needs a powder brush for her compact foundation. She is heavy handed when applying so I need one that is not to dense.

Amy 13 June, 2013 - 3:01 pm

Yeah, I fell in love with the ceramic series after I returned from Shanghai, grrrhhhh, now that I have make another trip there… And, I wanna that C04 powder brush much, it’s a bigger version of L02 – more suitable for powder. Lovely gray squirrel hair too – in fact, it has the best gray squirrel of the lot. Did not buy first because I did not like the longer handle and did not fancy it’s black n white handle. That said – the sales service was excellent, the resident brush artisan was in the store to re-examine and fix all my brush heads before I left. Ghee, I did not know brush heads could be fixed… I was asking them why some of my expensive brushes (a couple of becca brushes, my burberry pencil brush, my large t leclerc eyebrush) did not feel as soft as the samples on display. And they told me that’s because some of the hairs were arranged inverted, and the remedy is to pick these odd hairs from the brush heads! Nonetheless, I was strongly advised NOT to self-help as I am no expert. In short, I left a very happy customer

Bea 13 June, 2013 - 1:00 pm

Oooooh thank you! I came across this brand several years ago and always intended to try them out. Now might be the right time lol. 🙂 🙂

Silvita 13 June, 2013 - 6:00 pm

My goodness, this post is UNBELIEVABLE! I came across it and your blog on a web search for Hakuhodo and have been doing some research, you are so thorough and organized in your photos and descriptions. I have been helped enormously by your blog in my hunt for new quality brushes. I have some Bobbi Brown ones from years ago that are just falling apart and so scratchy. I dipped my toe in the Tom Ford brush world and I like it a lot! I heard that Hakuhodo makes the Tom Ford brushes, don’t know if that’s true. I bought the blush and bronzer brushes and they are heavenly, worth every penny.
I adore your cake glass over the Kabuki brushes, so darned cute! Kudos on a beautiful blog and brush collection! Will follow your blog from now on!!

Meredith 14 June, 2013 - 6:02 pm

Silvita, if you like soft brushes, go for blue squirrel hair. I have lots of them and love them and yes, Hakuhodo brushes are wonderful.

Tashonda Daniels 3 July, 2013 - 4:00 pm

Thank you so much, everything I want to say has been said. I am traveling to Tokyo in four weeks and I was overwhelmed trying to figure out what brushes to pick up while I am there. You made my search so much easier. I am a new Freelance Makeup Artist and looking to try better quality brushes. This site is my new favorite. Thanks again for all your hard work.

Sweet Make Up Temptations 8 July, 2013 - 8:55 am

great ! have fun and let us know what you got 😉

Sylvia 6 July, 2013 - 6:35 am

Have a wonderful trip, Tashonda! Please let us know what brushes you end up trying and buying!

Chrystal Osher 9 July, 2013 - 10:20 pm

I adore your brush collection , I could play with them for days . I am looking for the perfect bronzer brush . What would you recomend .

Sweet Make Up Temptations 10 July, 2013 - 8:40 pm

Thank you Chrystal, I don’t have “a” perfect bronzer brush but a few depending on what kind of bronzer I use that particular day, please wait for an upcoming post where I will explain why I choose one brush over the other, it may help because it’s very difficult for me to tell you what is the perfect brush without knowing what type of bronzer application and what product you love, the perfect one for me may not be the perfect one for you 🙂 I hope that post will help, my hg brushes are changing all the time so it’s better to understand the reasons why I select the brushes instead of telling you which one is the perfect one at this moment 🙂

Ann 10 July, 2013 - 3:11 pm

This post is giving me the insatiable desire to drain my bank account!!!

Sweet Make Up Temptations 10 July, 2013 - 8:45 pm

thanks 🙂 glad it’s contagious 😀

Jeanette 15 July, 2013 - 10:28 am

Just read on a different blog that Chikuhodo actually manufacturers the SUQQU brushes. I thought that was interesting information.

Sweet Make Up Temptations 15 July, 2013 - 10:45 am

Hi Jeanette,
yes they do : http://www.chikuhodo.com/en/oem.html
the post about the Chikuhodo visit will come up soon 🙂
I hope it will be helpful to those of you who are interested in this brand.

Naomi 16 July, 2013 - 6:02 pm

Hi Sonia,
I am beginner to makeup and I wanted to buy some Hakuhodu brushes. These are the the brushes I have been thinking about J110, J4003 or Yachiyo (pointed, large) . I only want to buy one of these for blush. I have large cheeks and I use blushes that are medium to high pigmentation. I do not plan to contour my cheeks with the any of the brushes. For foundation, I wanted to buy the Real Techniques Expert Face brush or the Sigma F80, which one provides better coverage (or is denser)? Also I do not know if you have ever used Estee Lauder’s Double Wear Foundation, if you have which one do you think would do a better job of applying it? Thank you for taking the time out to reply!

Sweet Make Up Temptations 17 July, 2013 - 7:19 am

Hi Naomi,
In that case I would recommend you the J110, you’ll get more out of this one. Probably the most versatile and fool proof but if you will have only one, maybe it will be better to get it with darker hair, it will endure better the daily usage, but the black version of the J110 is more dense, works wonders but if you have very pigmented blushes it may be a bit too dense. I am maybe just bringing confusion to you 🙂 sorry !
For foundation, I have been using the Sigma for years before finding anything else, the Sigma is denser for sure but dense does not necessarily mean more flawless coverage. In the past I was using the Sigma with Nars foundation, if I do the same technique right now it would look too fake compared to what I prefer to wear today and the finish I am aiming for.
I am working on a post at the moment that will directly answer your questions, or so I am trying, “how to select your make up brush (foundation, etc)”, since I get many questions like yours by email I decided to detail it on a post.
I would tell you today if I could but I need to test the EL with the RT and my brushes are hiding from danger (builders), I will be able to unpack them again either tonight or tomorrow and continue my post.
I think it would be great if you could wait for the post because I will feature many foundation brushes (and also blush brushes) and these 2 foundation ones are included.

Liza 17 July, 2013 - 3:24 pm

Thank you so much for this wonderful post! I’ve just become interested in goat brushes and wanted to ask for your advice. I had recently started using mineral makeup and realized I didnt have the appropriate brush. The mineral makeup I use is both compact and loose. Of the J series, or Hakuhodo which brush(es) would you recommend best for a med- full coverage(not interested in light coverage)? Something that does a spectacular job giving flawless application. There are just soo many brushes to choose from the brand and would really appreciate your advice!
Thank you!

Sweet Make Up Temptations 17 July, 2013 - 5:10 pm

Hi Liza,
what brand do you use ? I am just asking because I was using the bare minerals for more than a year with their brush (that I had to glue many times since it got detached). The BM brush was too rough but wasn’t bad, the idea of a similar (but better) brush would be great for you. In my humble opinion mineral make up should be applied with a goat brush, not too soft (but not rough!!) with slightly thicker bristles but even if you want heavy coverage, it shouldn’t be too dense to allow nice airbrushed blending.
At this moment I don’t have access to my brushes but sorry to repeat myself again 🙂 I will cover this topic very soon in a post.
I never go for full coverage (and I am not a makeup artist) but I will share my preferences and the best mineral brushes I came across till today. I am sure that in that post, other readers will share their preferences and that’s going to be useful for all of us 🙂

Liza 17 July, 2013 - 5:25 pm

Thank you! I use PUR minerals 4 in 1 pressed powder foundation and love it! But realized that I also need to invest in a good brush to help with the application. Theirs was a little spikey for me :/ Totally agree with you on using goat brushes, but wanted your opinion on which out of the J series were best to get that airbrushed look? There are just waaay too many to choose from Hakuhodo and I am a little lost as the brushes have small differences.

Jeanette 9 August, 2013 - 12:33 pm

Hi Sonia,

congrats on the migration of your blog!

You don’t know how helpful your posts are – I am working out a wish list of brushes, and I compare all of your reviews of single brushes to your post about your HG brushes to see how you compare them to other brushes in the same category – and when your site was inaccessible last night I lacked my premium research resource! It really is so helpful, also with all the pictures!

On the date of the posts I can see that some of your Tanseido brushes are acquired after your HG brushes-post. So I have a comparison question for you:

I’d like two brushes for contour, one for powder contour and one for cream. I am considering Hakuhodo Kokutan Eyeshadow L, Hakuhodo J5521, Tanseido YSC14 and Tanseido WC14.
Which would you chose and why? Different suggestions are of course also very welcome 🙂

Sweet make up temptations 9 August, 2013 - 4:12 pm

Thank you Jeanette !
I am glad you enjoy the little blog 🙂
I’ll get back to you tonight from home.

Sweet make up temptations 9 August, 2013 - 9:10 pm

what products do you use to contour ? (pigmented or not)
are you expert or beginner ? do you need precision or not much ? are you using contour often or once in a while ?

Jeanette 9 August, 2013 - 9:20 pm

I am about to order the TF shade & illuminate (together with the no 12 and 13 brushes :-)) and Kevyn Aucoin’s sculpting powder. So far I have used the RBR eyeshadow chestnut napped apalis a few times.
So I don’t consider myself an expert by any means, but I do know where to place it. I plan to use it daily in the future. So precision will propably be good though I will have to practise to do it …

Jeanette 10 August, 2013 - 12:46 pm

Update – If I like the TF S&I I will most likely mostly be using cream contour, as I prefer using cream products.

Sweet make up temptations 11 August, 2013 - 10:10 am

I still own you a reply on countour. Since you told me you prefer the TF shade and illuminate, I can tell you my favorite technique to apply it , it’s to use a concealer brush to draw a line then blend with a flat goat foundation brush (like the GSN5 or the Shu 18 or a stippling brush, just anything similar, as long as you place it right, and the blending is not made with either a too soft brush or too firm it will be wonderful).
For powder, I love to use the Tanseido YWH12 or the AQ14, they are more precise still fluffy enough to not leave a heavy muddy line. The more you go with denser brushes the more difficult it is to control. I got a new one from Hakuhodo in Japan and I dont see it on the website… I’ll have to ask them if they will make it available 🙁

Jeanette 11 August, 2013 - 12:59 pm

Thank you Sonia!

I have the Shu, so I will try that one.

As Tanseido will close for holiday from today, I put my order through yesterday.

I have this total brush wishlist that I prioritized – gosh is that difficult… Not difficult to chose items to put on the list, but to chose which ones to leave out and wait for later. Phew! And it is unbelievable how many that are actually NECESSARY!

So I ordered and already know that there are other brushes I would like to have. But I will focus on looking forward to the ones I will receive shortly.

I have mainly ordered eyebrushes:
WQ7, YWQ9, SQ10s, WQ12, KF10s (completely flat eyeliner brush like the new Hakuhodo S180 which is synthetic). I will try this in stead of the Haku K005 which has a thicker brush line. This is to be able to push eyeliner into the lashline. I already have the most phenomenal eyeliner brush in the world, the SUQQU eyeliner C. The only pointed brush (that I know of) with enough control for drawing on eyeliner.
And then I ordered the WC14 as I thought it could be used for cream contour.

I ordered short handles for all brushes where that option was available, so they easily fit in my cosmetic bag in my handbag. (I really wish that Tanseido would make a little soft case for the short handle brushes to easily put in your handbag without taking up space like this Hakuhodo one: http://www.hakuhodousa.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=247. Please read Tanseido!)

I am already dreaming about the YGQ for cream blush and cream bronzer (Chantecaille’s) and think I should have ordered it right away. I don’t own a good paddle brush, the ones I have streak.

I have one more question for you – or others in the forum – regarding the AQ14 I thought that maybe the Kokutan L would be more versatile, so I should take that in stead. I would love to try a red squirrel brush though, but I want to have a use for it. How do you use the two?

Now I am working on a Hakuhodo list and a little on a Koyudo one. I don’t have any brushes from either brand, so I try to find the most essential first. The J5523 is on it so far together with the BP036. Other suggestions are welcome 🙂

BTW the BP036 on your picture is not as pointed as the one on their website. Does it change after wash, or is it not the same brush? On the website it looks like a needle like the z-10.

Thanks again – and sorry for even more questions!

Sweet make up temptations 11 August, 2013 - 2:54 pm

it takes time and patience to build a collection, it’s normal with the choice we have today that you are struggling.
I use the Kokutan which is denser for less pigmented products and the AQ14 for contouring or for more pigmented products plus to set the foundation with powder when I need precision, the AQ14 delivers a more sheer application and is more fool-proof. Despite these being eyeshadow brushes they are excellent for blush, so I use them also for blush. Both are extremely unique brushes, very pleasant to use, today I use more the Tanseido but maybe tomorrow I’ll use more the Kokutan, my preferences evolve. The Tanseido is softer too so it depends what you want, I would love the Tanseido with Kokutan handle…
Other suggestion would be not to miss the Koyudo C011.
They put some sea weed glue around the bristles to protect them during transport or after they have been made, once they are washed they spread out (it’s the same with most brushes, the problem is that here they took the pics with the products in a “ready to ship” mode instead in a “ready to use” mode… but dont worry, it spreads out since I own it I am sure about that.

Jeanette 12 August, 2013 - 9:52 am

Thank you again!

Yes, it does take time. The research at this point for me is very time consuming, but also great fun 🙂

I will add the C011 to my Koyudo basket. I will await your foundation post before I order from Koyudo in case I need something else.

I have added the J122R and 125R, as you have written so highly about them. I was looking for a similar slightly bigger one for cream blush and found the G5552-4. Do you know that one? It could maybe also be used for contour as an alternative when the Shu needs washing.

I just got a shipping confirmation from Tanseido. Crossing fingers for having written the Tenso address right! Can’t wait 🙂

Jeanette 14 August, 2013 - 2:16 pm

Hi Sonia,

I have now made a wishlist for Hakuhodo brushes from your “CANNOT live without”-reviews.

Could you tell me if some of these are more must haves than others? Or if I missed some? (I don’t use big face brushes).

This is my list:

G5552-4 (for cream blush)

Sweet make up temptations 14 August, 2013 - 9:02 pm

In my humble opinion the J5523, J142, J125R but it really depends on yourself, what you want to do, they are all great (there is no quality problems there so that shouldn’t be a decision point), it will just depend on what you wish to have.

Jeanette 15 August, 2013 - 12:48 am

Thank you Sonia.

JayC 29 August, 2013 - 4:02 pm

Beautiful post! I just love makeup brushes lol. I’m only starting to delve into the high end brush world and boy is there a lot of information! I just so happened to be looking up Hakuhodo Brushes this morning. I will definitely be bookmarking this page for further study 🙂

Mireia 31 August, 2013 - 6:28 pm

I’ve been trying to get the suqqu s for smudging (or one as soft as i have very sensitive skin around the eyes) but haven’t found a dupe for it. Have you found yet?
Thank you!!

Sweet make up temptations 1 September, 2013 - 12:12 pm

Hello Mireia,
Still hunting for a dupe for it, the closest I found are the Koyudo C011 or the Tom ford here http://sweetmakeuptemptations.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/precision1.jpg
they are extremely soft, the C011 will be amazing if you don’t own the Suqqu, it’s goat but it feels like squirrel hair.

Alison 11 November, 2013 - 4:41 pm

Very selective scientist/proficient/planner here! I’ve been going through a tonne of reviews searching for what I hope will be my one Holy Grail brush for cheek products. I’m thinking the BP016, the Chikuhodo Z-4, the Tanseido YAQ17 or the Fine Kalla KK-002, for different reasons… I’m completely torn between the four! I LOVE the handle of the Fine Kalla, its so gorgeous, but you said you love the head of the BP016, and I’m obsessed with quality and functionality. Which do you think I should get? 😀

Sweet make up temptations 12 November, 2013 - 8:53 pm

argh Alison, you mention 4 really good ones!! I’ll say to go for the Z-4 for the multipurpose benefit but honestly any of these 4 would drive you crazy 😉

Alison 15 November, 2013 - 10:57 am

You’re the best! 😀 Thank you so much!

Ccl 15 November, 2013 - 12:17 am

Hi Sonia,
May I ask what the difference is between the chikuhodo z1, z8, z9 & mk2? Which would you recommend for bronzer/powder if you could choose only one? Can you purchase these brushes from department stores in japan or are they only available from the kohlindo site? Is it straightforward ordering from them (shipping time, shipping fees, taxes, etc)? Also, what is your opinion between Suqqu vs chikuhodo vs TF? Sorry for the many questions.. Thanks so much…

Sweet make up temptations 15 November, 2013 - 10:19 am

you can see some details here http://sweetmakeuptemptations.com/2012/10/29/chikuhodo-z-1-z-9-and-mk-2-more-pictures/
and here : http://sweetmakeuptemptations.com/2012/09/30/the-chikuhodo-z-series-as-good-as-a-brush-can-get/
the pictures weren’t that good but I hope it still gives you an idea.
I love the Z-9 for bronzer but it’s a huge brush so that doesn’t fit everyone. The mk-2 is probably the most versatile. The z-1 will be more dense and directional, still great and better than the Suqqu powder brush.
I would probably choose the Z-1 or the MK-2 because you will get more out of them. I am just so much in love with the Z-9 but it might not be a priority for everyone to have the Z-9 and it’s huge surface.
Chikuhodo are in the TAU shop : https://www.tau-hiroshima.jp/shop
have a look at these links :

Kohlindo will get you have to pay for taxes but they remove taxes at the origin.
Delivery takes approx 5 to 6 days to switzerland. Please contact them to have details about that since it’s specific for your country. Address : malin@kohlindo.se

I cannot summarize the answer to that question (what is your opinion between Suqqu vs chikuhodo vs TF) in a few lines .. I would need to write a book 🙂
Suqqu cheek is a must have, about the big Suqqu powder brush, well in my opinion the Z-1 is better and cheaper.
It depends on many factors, these 3 brands are all top of the pops. It’s just a matter of personal preference. The TF are goat and denser, will apply the product more heavily, the other squirrel brushes deliver a more natural effect.
For face brushes I would go with Suqqu cheek or Chikuhodo z series, for eyes I would go with TF brushes…

Ccl 15 November, 2013 - 7:35 pm

Wow, thank you for that..those reviews were really helpful. You have a wonderful collection! While I have a soft spot for huge brushes at those price points I want the most versatile. I gather for powder or bronzer the z1 or mk2 (or mk1), what is the difference with their application? You mentioned you can use z1 for blush.. Can you do the same for the mk2? Which is more versatile? How about cheek brushes, z4, z8 and koyudo red squirrel?

Sweet make up temptations 15 November, 2013 - 8:55 pm

Hi again!
Powder or bronzer : Mk2 or Z-1 (Z-1 more coverage, MK-2 more natural)
No MK-2 would be too big for blush
More versatile => Z-1
Z-8 more versatile (blush, bronzer, powder)
z-4 more directional and smaller, better for blush
koyudo red squirrel not much versatile since it’s flat … great for blush only.
The smaller the head the more precise the application, the denser the brush the more coverage…

michelle 15 November, 2013 - 9:34 pm

Sonia- amazing how much we all learn from everyone’s comments! every time I am on here I learn more and more and thank you and to the other members for sharing the knowledge!…I have a question, has your HG brushes changed since this post and since you’ve collected more amazing brushes? Just curious as to how it might have changed as time has gone on.

Sweet make up temptations 18 November, 2013 - 11:07 pm

My HG brushes change quite often to be honest, because it depends on what my makeup products become HG, if a particular foundation or powder become HG, I will probably adapt the brushes too, if a bronzer is a current HG product I will focus on the bronzer brushes and will not use others for a while, what I mean is that a makeup product can reveal a new HG brush despite the fact it has been in my collection for a while.
At the end of 2013 I will do a 2013 HG post and will try to keep it to a minimum which I think will be tough but necessary 🙂

Ccl 17 November, 2013 - 8:41 am

If you had to pick just one between the z-1,z-8 & mk-2 which would you choose and why? Thank you so much! You’ve given me a lot to think about.

Sweet make up temptations 18 November, 2013 - 11:13 pm

z-8 because it’s more multipurpose, but it depends what you want to do, the 3 are very different. I started with the Z-8 and don’t regret it.

Jeanette 18 November, 2013 - 12:27 am

Sonia, I was wondering – since I don’t have any Chikuhodo brushes – would you recommend a Chikuhodo over the Koyudo red squirrel? I am not sure if I will get a lot of use of the red squirrel or if it has a better substitute. How do you view it?
I noticed that in your HG brush post you wrote that you liked the bristles of the red squirrel best and the form of the z-4 best. Are there situations where the red squirrel is your preferred brush?

Sweet make up temptations 18 November, 2013 - 11:19 pm

Hmmmm difficult question, the red squirrel is something that you should get if you can, so if you have the possibility do it.
This brush works with many things but I just love and prefer the shape of rounded brushes, this one is an insane brush but it’s just a personal preference. I prefer to apply blush, flat against my cheeks and not in a swipe motion, still this brush surpases the Chikuhodos.

Jeanette 21 November, 2013 - 12:25 am

Thank you for your answer! I am very surprised that you say that it surpasses the Chikuhodos, I thought they were in a league of their own. Now I think I need it 😉
Thanks 😀

Maja 21 November, 2013 - 2:57 pm

Hello Sonia.

First of all I really appreciate your in depth reviews and comparisons.

I want to treat myself with some Chikuhodo/Suqqu brushes because my skin got so sensitive that I cannot use many of my old brushes anymore and I am finishing my University so I need a motivation boost for my degree dissertation ;).
I read all your reviews, but unfortunately I cannot decide with one will be good for me. Maybe you can help me with my decision?
BECAUSE, I dont know why, but the brush shapes that i consider the must beautiful I use the least.
I have so much brush shapes in different sizes like the MAC 165, but i dont use them very often. A brush shape that working for me is something like the real techniques multi tasking brush, but this brush isn`t a pleasure to use and make up application is some sort of meditation, calming down for me. I know weird, but it is what it is 🙂
So I need your advice 🙂
On my wishlist are:
Suqqu powder or the Chikuhodo Z1, but i would use this as a bronzer brush, because i don`t powder my face.
Chikuhodo Z8, Z4 and the suqqu brush. Do you think I need the Z4 and the suqqu brush? And with one is better for blush? From your photos i would say the shape of the chikuhodo is flatter, the suqqu rounder? Has the suqqu blush brush enough resistance for a precise blush application?
And would like to have the MK 2 or the Z9… also for bronzing… Which one would be the best for bronzer Z1, Z9 oder MK 2? Which one differ most in their performance?
I know a lot of questions. But maybe you can help me a little bit.

Liebe Grüße

Maja 🙂

Sweet make up temptations 22 November, 2013 - 11:53 pm

Hi Maja,

Indeed the Chikuhodo are flatter, if I had to choose only one I think it would anyway be the Suqqu cheek because it’s more unique and the precision is still enough, you get performance and luxury in the same brush.
For me the Z-9 is better for bronzer because it’s flatter and still firm enough despite the fact it’s so large, performance for me it’s definitely the z-9 the one that is getting the most work.
I hope this helps 🙂
Liebe gruesse to you too 🙂

Katrina 26 November, 2013 - 7:38 pm

Hmmm… Do I want the Tanseido EQ28, or the Koyudo Fu-Pa14 Powder brush? I’m leaning toward the Koyudo at the moment, as it is cheaper…

Katrina 26 November, 2013 - 7:41 pm

And now I just read Love Life and Makeup’s review, and now I’m thinking…. Tanseido…. 😛

Sweet make up temptations 27 November, 2013 - 11:42 pm

hahahaha you are losing your mind 🙂 welcome to our group !!

Sweet make up temptations 27 November, 2013 - 11:41 pm

the Fu-pa14 is definitely one to pick!! 🙂

Katrina 28 November, 2013 - 9:21 am

Okay. I’ve made up my mind!! I’m getting the Fu-Pa14, yay!

Katrina 28 November, 2013 - 9:23 am

And the C011… 😉

Sweet make up temptations 30 November, 2013 - 4:09 pm

of course !!! 😀

Alison 30 November, 2013 - 10:24 pm

I’m just curious – what’s the difference between the Tanseido YWQ7 and the Hakuhodo K005?

Sweet make up temptations 3 December, 2013 - 12:28 am

the Tanseido is really soft but too floppy for gel eyeliner for example, more meant for powder application.

May 17 December, 2013 - 7:16 am

Hi Sonia, I’ve been a silent reader of your blog for a long time and have recently decided to take the plunge to up my current makeup brushes to a better one! May I know what brushes you world recommend for powder foundation, liquid foundation, eyeshadow (my eye makeup is closer to Japanese type than to Western type), powder blush (I do not need directionality as I usually do my blushes in a swirling manner). I’m a newbie to luxury brushes and not to mention, a little lazy to change brushes often but would like to get at least 2 powder foundation brushes cause I tend to use powder foundations for work. I have a short face and flat features as I’m of Asisn descent. Also, I have very sensitive skin with mild Roscea and slightly oily T-zone. Would really appreciate your help as I’m a little confused after reading you posts. INFORMATION OVERLOAD!!! 🙂

Sweet make up temptations 17 December, 2013 - 8:15 pm

Hi May… I know.. too much info, too much to chose from! 🙂
I don’t have time to go through all your questions at this precise moment because I am preparing something for next week that will actually answer many of your questions, if not all. I need every single minute I have to be able to release it for Christmas.
If you can be patient you will see that it may be very useful and be exactly what you need 🙂
Then based on that, you will see it may be much easier to contact me about something in particular. I’d say that you need the Koyudo fu-pa14 for a start then you will see what else, but in any case you should start with that one.

May 18 December, 2013 - 8:15 pm

Hi Sonia, will be sure to keep a look out for your next post. Thanks!!! 🙂

Alison 28 December, 2013 - 3:03 am

Hi! I was wondering which was softer – the Koyudo BP016 cheek brush, or the Hakuhodo J110?

Sweet make up temptations 28 December, 2013 - 7:08 pm

Alison, I find both soft but the Koyudo is softer…

Jeanette 18 January, 2014 - 11:10 pm

Sonia, which oblique brush do you prefer, the Chikuhodo G-2 or the Koyudo BP026? I’d like an oblique brush for nude blush to create dimension along the cheekbones.

Sweet make up temptations 19 January, 2014 - 11:02 pm

Hi Jeanette, what kind of softness are you looking for ? I do like the BP019 for that but I wish it was a little bit softer, I still use it a lot for exactly the purpose you have in mind. The Paula Dorf cheek or the Hakuhodo B512 would be nice options too and of course also the BP026.. , the G-2 might be too thin for that. For nude blush I prefer the BP019 or the Paula Dorf but again, I am just wondering if this will meet your needs, if you want a very soft brush these two won’t meet them.

Jeanette 20 January, 2014 - 12:33 am

Thanks Sonia! Slanted brushes are new to me, but I really like how the FuPa13 fits around the cheekbones, and I also use the small slanted brush that is included in Burberry’s Earthy blush though it lacks density (and a longer handle). So I’d like a full size efficient brush, but don’t really know what to choose. – A smaller FuPa13 in goat for cream and squirrel/goat for powder would be awesome 😉 But I’m sure there are some effective brushes for powder out there already.

BTW Koyudo’s BP019 doesn’t look slanted. The BP020 does, but it is hard to tell if it is the same one as in your review, as it hasn’t been washed and gained its true form yet. What do you think? As I am quite fond of Koyudo, I think I will try theirs.

Sweet make up temptations 20 January, 2014 - 10:43 pm

Hi Jeanette,
The BP019 is weird, it’s 3D, see some pics here : http://sweetmakeuptemptations.com/2012/12/28/a-few-koyudo-brushes/
The reason I love it, it’s because you place it like a blush brush with the round side against the bottom of the cheekbone and the straight side facing out… I can take a pic if you want, it’s not easy to explain 🙂
Then the application is fantastic because the brush does all the work! Places the most of the powder where it’s needed. The only problem is its softness, tonight my skin is super delicate because I don’t have my Laura Mercier cream right now, it has being shipped but since 4 days I use whatever sample I have here of something else, the result is that my skin is super sensitive and irritated so goat brushes it’s not even thinkable. If you have very sensitive skin you shouldn’t be using it. In my normal days I use it and love it. I would like Koyudo to do exactly the same brush with softer bristles, that would be just incredible, it is actually a very clever shape.

The BP020 looks great too, I don’t own it for now, I had it in my basket a few times but then… I had to remove some 🙂
The BP026 feels softer than the BP019 so.. there is a possibility that the BP020 is soft like the BP026, in that case it’s even better.
I am loving the Paula Dorf cheek and it’s a slanted shape, the one I received (anonymously) is very soft and totally professional (my fav from her collection), I will attach some pics for you here (they will be on the upcoming review).

I am quite tempted by the BP020 🙂

BooBooNinja 21 January, 2014 - 2:12 am

What fun it is to browse your archives!
The mischievous pixie in me wonders how the Wayne Goss brushes fit into this curated group of brushes. 😉

Julia 21 February, 2014 - 6:45 pm

Your website is so incredibly helpful!!!! I was wondering if you have any pictures of the KK-004 near the eye for a size reference? That’s been the most difficult part of brush shopping on line for me!

Ruby Woo kisses! 😉

Ginny 28 February, 2014 - 5:38 am

Hi, I have my eyes set on getting a new blush brush and am debating between J110 and J5543. I’ve seen several bloggers using J5543 so I had my eyes on it for awhile but now after reading this blog J110 seems nice too >< Can you please recommend me one of the two?? Btw, I already own G531 and J544 so I just want a good blush brush =)

Sweet make up temptations 28 February, 2014 - 5:02 pm

Hi Ginny,
The big difference between these two is that the J5543 is denser and flatter = heavier application and more directional. The J110 is more splayed out so the edges will be less defined therefore more foolproof. If I had to choose one I’ll say the J110 because it will do more things, more easily but both are great 🙂
The J5543 is the dupe for the blush brush of Tom Ford, as dense and really nearly as soft, at least my TF has exactly the same shape which strangely looks a bit different from their website …
I hope this puts you into the right direction for you 🙂

Carol 1 March, 2014 - 10:51 am

Hi Sonia..
I keep reading your blog and read that you said TF 06 cheek brush and hakuhodo j5543 is completely the same and we don’t need to have both of them..
From here in my country both brushes has the same price..which one is better to get?hehe

Sweet make up temptations 1 March, 2014 - 1:57 pm

Hi Carol,
If you had the choice with the same price, the TF is better perfected so I would choose that one for sure. Both are made by Hakuhodo anyway 😉

Sarah 12 April, 2014 - 12:51 pm

Hi Sonia,

I recently discovered your blog and it has been a great resource for me. Thank you so much for all of these wonderful posts on your brush collection. I recently started investing in better makeup brushes. I want to buy more of them but I feel a bit overwhelmed sometimes. I currently own a set of quite cheap brushes. They get the job done mostly, but I want to invest in goat and squirrel brushes.
I recently got the Wayne Goss Eye set and really love it. I also have two individual brushes from his first collection, the number 02 and number 06 and 08. I love all of them, they’re so soft!
I am still looking for some good brushes, face brushes mostly. I love Tom Ford’s makeup line and feel so tempted by his brush collection. I am mainly interested in the cream foundation brush, the cheek brush and the bronzer brush. I use a liquid foundation (Armani lasting silk uv and ellis faas foundation most of the time) so I’m not sure if the foundation one would work well with that? I also do not really use bronzer that often for my entire face, but I do like to contour. Could the bronzer brush also be used for setting powder or is it not really effective for that?
I am considering some of the Chikuhodo z-series brushes (face ones) as well. I’d love to own one for setting powder but am not sure whether to get z-8, z-1 or z-9 for that. I might invest in the z-4 as well. Or maybe I should just stick to Hakuhodo since it’s a cheaper brand.

Sweet make up temptations 13 April, 2014 - 9:07 pm

Hi Sarah,

you are welcome 🙂
Regarding the TF brushes, I don’t know about the Armani, haven’t tried that one yet. For Ellis Faas yes of course it will work, best is that you place the foundation roughly with a flat brush or your fingers then only finish with the TF, it does absorb some product that’s why it’s better to benefit from its airbrushed finish without having it suck too much of your foundation 🙂
yes the big TF bronzer can be used with setting powder, (I love to use with the Mac mineralize skinfinish powder), since this brush is quite firm and enough dense you have a lot of possibilities, for example for those of you who just want a healthy finish with some “healthy finish type of powders” (=not really foundations but just powders that even out the skintone)…
If you love make up brushes it’s good to have some Z series, I would get the Z-1 and Z-4, I don’t know what kind of brushes you use for setting powder, if you want to set your foundation very lightly it’s better the Z-9 (but it’s also very big…) it you want medium setting power, the Z-1 is better, you have more control. Thankfully Hakuhodo are more easy to get so if you have the possibility to get some Chikuhodo, do that and then come back for some Haku later on to complete your collection (with the TF brushes it’s like having Haku 😉 ) I hope this helps you 🙂

Freckle Gal 5 May, 2014 - 4:37 am

Sonia, do you feel the Hakuhodo J5521 would be suitable as a blush brush?

lorraine 14 May, 2014 - 9:58 pm

wow.. to say that I love your blog is an understatement. I just recently discovered it and have spent way too much time just READING all your posts I can’t imagine how much time you have put in to writing them. Thank you! As a lover of high end makeup brushes it has been so helpful.

I am very interested in the Piccasso travel case – looks like the perfect thing to pack my brushes in while traveling! I see that it is now on their website, but had a hard time translating the page and figuring out if they ship to the US. Do you happen to know? I would love to get my hands on this brush case!

Sweet make up temptations 14 May, 2014 - 11:25 pm

thank you Lorraine!! 🙂 so sweet!
I know it is very difficult, I placed a group order today for some girls here and then I will send it to them, shipping is expensive though… If you are interested let me know, maybe I can do another one or maybe there is a pouch that will be left without an owner 🙂 (hmmmm what travel case are you talking about ? the one in my pics?)
they said they would open the page in english but I don’t know when…

lorraine 15 May, 2014 - 1:14 am

Thanks for the reply! yes i am talking about the one in your pics! the black one with the zip around. i really like the separators, and the fact that it can fit long brushes! Please let me know if you do another group order, I would love to be included!

On another note… right now I am in the process of placing an order through CDJapan (as if I need more brushes… your lovely blog has enabled me!). One of the items in my cart is the white mushroom with free zip case. It says they have 1 stock available (someone else must have bought it today) and now it won’t let me check out – i get an error message at checkout saying it’s not available, even thought the product page still shows 1! I was going to add the white mushroom without the zip case instead, but i can’t find one on the site. Very frustrating! Now my whole order is on hold. I definitely can’t place the order until that white mushroom is available! That was the one thing I wanted most, then somehow ended up adding 7 more items to my cart…. whoops! 🙂

lorraine 15 May, 2014 - 1:38 am

I finally got the order to go through! (i think it maybe said not available because I had started the check out process, so it was ‘holding’ it?) I end up getting the last mushroom with the free pouch, now it says it’s sold out! I am SUPER excited! totally meant to be.

Now all I need is one of those super cute heart bell jars to keep it in 😉

And the Piccasso pouch 😉

Sweet make up temptations 15 May, 2014 - 8:50 am

Ok coooool! yep that one was meant for you!!! 😀
the heart bells are by Athezza but maybe you can find similar ones in the kitchen/deco shops 🙂
For the piccasso pouch I will contact you by email…

Kammer 1 June, 2014 - 2:20 pm

Seeing the pictures of the Hakuhodo brushes, I think is amazing how different they look, compared with the Hakuhodo’s web pics!!!. I know that, once that the brushes are washed and so on, the shape change a bit, but in this case I find it remarkable!!!

Yola 13 August, 2014 - 5:34 pm

Thank you for a very useful post! Totally love your collections!
I have a question for you, really need an advice about brush
So I want to buy a powder brush, but I don’t know which one is good, I want to buy Hakuhodo brush because I heard so much raves about that.
Can you help me recommend a good powder brush? Whether it’s Hakuhodo or other brand?
However, for the price, preferably below $80-$90 please 🙂
I’ve googled many times about powder brush, but I found nothing, even if it’s Hakuhodo, it’s mostly too expensive 🙁
Your reply will be much appreciated and helpful to me! Thank you before!

Sweet Make-Up Temptations 24 August, 2014 - 8:42 am

Hi Yola,
what do you want to use it for ? foundation powder or setting powder ?
If foundation, do you want heavy coverage or sheer to medium ?
Do you want something on the small side or medium ? do you prefer something with a flat surface or tapered ?
There are many possibilities even below that price but I would like to know what kind of powder brush you are looking for..
Talk to you soon! 🙂

Jennifer 3 September, 2014 - 3:14 am

I want to thank you for your posts. They help me to see what brushes might be best for me. I know you’ve wrote before that you have brushes you haven’t yet reviewed, do you have the Hakuhodo G5507 BkSL or B5507BkSL? I’m asking because I’m looking for a Mac 239 dupe too and I see it’s thicker than than the J004G ( by .5 mm, not sure how significant that is in brushes; but the same length as the j004G, according to the website). Just wanted to know if you own it already or have any information that would help. There’s a YouTube video about it, but I’d like to know your opinion too ( if you have it). If you don’t thanks for your time and I really appreciate what you do. You’ve helped to introduce me to higher quality brushes ( and given me details that help save my time and money). Thank you. 🙂

Sweet Make-Up Temptations 7 September, 2014 - 8:37 pm

Hi Jennifer,
I don’t have that one because it’s horse and my eyes are too delicate to use horse so I just can’t unfortunately…
If I had to choose a dupe for Mac 239, actually the best I have found (that actually makes me not use the Mac anymore) is the Wayne Goss 18. I totally recommend you to go for it! That Wayne Goss brush just made me stop looking for another dupe, found the perfect laydown brush for me! Hope this helps 🙂

Trista 17 September, 2014 - 4:56 am

Hi, Sonia. I would like to find some brushes that is suitable for mineral makeup. I know you use liquid/cream makeup more. But I still want to know your valuable opinion. My mineral makeup products are from a US brand called Rejuva Minerals. Most of them (foundation, blush, bronzer, finishing, concealer, eyeshadow)are in loose powder form. Only some of them (foundation & bronzer) are in pressed powder form. I am looking for medium coverage and durable and non-dye brushes. My skin type is sensitive and combination.
I have read your post and know that Hakuhodo J Series is non-dye and their hair is white goat which is non-dye and more durable (because I may wash the brushes too often), so I find that this series is quite suitable for me as a beginner. I am also very interested in versatile brushes, so I really want to try the J4003, J110, J116 , J5521, J531 for blush, contour, highlight, finishing and the J220G, J242G, J5522, J5533, J5523(or J142), J5529(or J146), J232, J214(orJ212) for eyeshadow, small contour/highlight. I also need blending to apply the product as they are loose powder. So I would like to ask you if the above brushes are suitable for me. Can they be used with loose powder??????
When I read the Hakuhodo website, I feel confused, some of them (J220G, J242G, J5523, J5522, J5533, J5529 ) have mentioned that they can be used with all types of products(liquid, cream, powder), some of them (J214, J212, J142, J146, J232, J4003, J110, J116, J5521) don’t mention. I just feel it is very difficult to find the suitable brush for me. Also powder can be pressed or loose, I don’t know if the brush is suitable for both or only pressed or loose??????
Also I want to know if Round Shape brush is more suitable for loose powder because I need to swirl, tap, buff. So if the shape is not round, it may be hard to swirl??????
BTW, I am also very interested in Koyudo fu-pa14, H005, H013, BP006, White Mushroom:))) Seem quite good for foundation & powder. But the Fan Shape of H013 is quite special, I don’t know how to use it in loose powder:((((( The most important thing I hope you can answer: Are they dye???
I am sorry that I ask too many questions. I am looking for your reply. Thanks a lot:))))))

Sweet Make-Up Temptations 20 September, 2014 - 4:33 pm

Hi Trista!
I am preparing a reply for you as there is quite a few questions in there and it will take me a little while 🙂
In the meantime, have you already seen this post ? http://sweetmakeuptemptations.com/2013/08/20/foundation-brushes-finding-the-one/

Trista 20 September, 2014 - 5:36 pm

Thank you for letting me know that you are preparing for the reply, I am really hoping for your valuable reply. It is not urgent. I know you must be very busy. Yes, I have already read the post you recommend me to read and I mainly focus on the part about mineral foundation. That make me become more interested in Koyudo fupa14, H005 and white mushroom. I think their density and softness may be suitable for me because I am looking for natural coverage.

Emma 22 September, 2014 - 7:04 pm

Hi Sonia, love your extensive reviews on brushes! You are my go-to guide for brushes!

My friend is going to Japan very soon and I’m gonna ask her to buy a few brushes for me, and I’m hoping that perhaps you can help me choose. I own a RMK Cheek brush which I love and abuse daily, but being a brush addict(I think you can totally understand), I’m very tempted to get a new blush brush. I saw you mentioning the RMK Cheek Brush above but didn’t talk much about it. I’m eyeing the Chikuhodo Z4, and I’m wondering how these 2 are different. Is Z4 an overall better/upgrade version of the RMK brush(If so, in what way?)? Or is Z4 a totally different blush brush(If so, different in what way?)? And the bottom line, since I have RMK Cheek brush, do I need Chikuhodo Z4? Or what other blush brush would you recommend me to add to my collection(I would prefer to keep my budget no higher than the Chikuhodo Z4, but I’m open to all suggestions)?

I would highly appreciate it if you can help me with this!

Dora 28 September, 2014 - 8:43 am

Hi Sonia,
Wow! I never knew this wonderful world of quality brushes existed. Thank you for opening up my horizons! I am in my 40’s and would like to purchase better brushes. Before finding your site, I ordered a few Hakuhodo eye brushes recommended by Temptalia. They are a few of the ones you also recommend, and I love them. I am now looking for a face brush to use after applying blush to blend, since I can be heavy handed and have a light complexion. The blushes I use are usually medium to heavy pigmentation. I have normal to dry skin with normal sensitivity. I live in the USA and would appreciate any suggestions to which I would have easy access, such as Hakuhodo. Thank you for your help.

Jen 31 January, 2015 - 10:39 am

I was just wondering where did you get those NICI pencil roll and cases from?
They are really adorable! 🙂

Sweet Make-Up Temptations 31 January, 2015 - 11:28 am

Hi Jen,
I got them in a shop in Geneva, but you can find them online, here is an example: http://www.amazon.co.uk/NICI-Pencil-Elephant-Monkey-Plush/dp/B004RQI7QW
I think it’s a German brand and several online shops sell them, you have to search for pencil roll case NICI 🙂


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