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I was interested in trying some new Japanese brushes so I have placed an order with Tommy. All went perfectly well, she gathered all the different brushes for me and it was a very smooth transaction, I didn’t go through all the pain trying to order myself and have the items forwarded and then shipped to me. If you don’t want to bother with forwarding companies this is actually an easier solution when you don’t speak Japanese or when the companies don’t ship internationally.
These brushes are from Kihitsu, Houkodou and Chomotto Beaute.
Although I haven’t tried them for a long time I will share my first thoughts, hoping this helps you decide if you should be getting them in the future. I don’t think they are LE but I do recommend you to have a closer look specially at the Houkodou before you have to wait months to get one 😉
Houkudou Stand-white foundation brush (5,250 yen), goat
Made of “Mineyama light crude wool” as per my friend Bonnie, it may be Sokoho goat hair. It’s extremely soft, feels amazing (x1000) on the skin. When I used it, I just couldn’t stop rubbing my face with it, despite that, it didn’t irritate or cause any exfoliation at all. The application of liquid foundation was even and flawless, the process of buffing removed the overly-moisturized effect that I had on my skin (since I always apply a lot of cream!) but didn’t dry my skin out, the result was still glowy and healthy looking.
The hair is same quality as the Fu-pa02 but has a little bit more spring since it’s also longer. Compared to the Fu-pa01 it has slightly more flexibility, I think both are made with same type of hair, although the Houkodou seems to be a tad softer but it could be due to the higher flexibility and length of the bristles, can be misleading sometimes.
Applying the foundation with this brush is the most luxurious sensation, I applied some foundation on the top of my hand then placed it with this brush and buffed it, it was fast and furiously efficient. I thought it would suck in too much foundation the way I was applying it but not really, it shouldn’t be a blocking point, the final foundation stain goes down 5mm down inside the bristles but the total hair length is 3cm.
When you have very delicate and dry skin, having the possibility to use this kind of brushes is a Godsend. I believe it was Melissa who introduced me to it and I am so glad ! HG foundation brush.
Chomotto Beaute Magenta Circle Shadow , small, (2,415 yen), grey squirrel
I bought this brush hoping it would be a dupe of the Suqqu S, it’s not. It’s more a dupe of the Hakuhodo Kokutan T, same softness and size.
If you press very hard against your delicate skin you can feel some pricking from time to time but no more than with both Hakuhodo here. Although it doesn’t hurt, unless provoked on purpose, it’s not as soft as the Suqqu, the Suqqu brushes never hurt your skin whatever way you use them. The Kyureido FineKalla is softer than the Chomotto, somewhere in between the Suqqu and the Hakuhodo.
For now, the best alternative to the Suqqu’s is the Fine Kalla KK-004, but don’t worry, my quest for a Suqqu S dupe is still ongoing.
Chomotto Beaute Magenta Round Highlights (1’925 yen) Goat
The Chomotto has more flexibility than the Hakuhodo, just very slightly more. The Hakuhodo and the Chomotto have similar softness but B214’s quality is higher. The Koyudo is bigger, flatter at the surface and feels softer than the other two.
Although I use this kind of blending brushes regularly, I could have easily skipped it.
Chomotto Beaute Magenta Oblique Circle (4’200 yen), goat and polyester, powder and liquid foundation
The Chomotto is more directional and firm, normal since the bristles are shorter but the density of both Hakuhodo and Chomotto is similar in proportion.
The hair quality is also similar in both but you will have a softer application with the Hakuhodo since the synthetic bristles are longer, so less exfoliation in the process, therefore I prefer the Hakuhodo.
I haven’t tried it with powder foundation yet. For me it’s small enough for the application and blending of cream highlighter and contour . The diameter is 2cm. I also use it for concealer application and blending underneath the eyes, it’s soft enough and helpful when you need to blend thicker creams.
Kihitsu Eye shadow brush PACE003W (2’625 yen), goat
It’s an hybrid between the Mac 239 and the Mac 217, it’s just small enough to place eyeshadow on the mobile lid and long enough to be able to apply color in the crease and blend, versatile, soft, but I find the one from the Koyudo set much more achieved. It’s really short, total lentgh 11.3cm, hair length 1.4cm.
It’s not as well made as the Hakuhodo J532 or the eyeshadow brush from the Koyudo set but it’s soft enough, although it’s softer than the Mac 217 I still prefer the functionality of the Mac 217 I just wish this Mac 217 was softer.
I could have skipped that one too. “Avec plaisir” is french for “with pleasure”.
Kihitsu Powder & Blush PACE002W (4’200 yen), goat
The softness of the hair of these two brushes is nearly similar, the Koyudo feels defnitely denser and fuller, the Kihitsu has more spring to it and you can see that the layers of hair are not that full/even around the brush head. Although it’s a nice brush, the Koyudo (5’000 yen) is a much better brush and absolutely HG material.
Kihitsu FW1-N4G bracket G Liquid Foundation (3’675 yen), goat, liquid and powder foundation
This is a brush I will seriously enjoy using, it’s like a travel version of the Koyudo BP013. The hair is not soft like the Koyudo BP016 blush brush shown above, it’s thicker but it’s perfect for powder foundation. It’s less dense than the Koyudo BP013 but still very nicely densely packed.
I have tried it with liquid foundation but I won’t use it for that, it’s too floppy for that usage in my opinion, for thicker creams I still prefer the density of the BP013.
For Mac Mineralize powder or mineral foundations, this is something I will very much enjoy using and probably it will make it into my HG, specially for summer when I will use more mineralize powder foundations.
The handle is really special, I love the look of it and the little gold/red cord. When you use it, afterwards you feel like you want to grab a razor and shave 😀
Quite a similar shape than the Shu Uemura 18R so if you have the Shu Uemura, imagine a similar brush but denser, with slightly softer hair and with less spring.
Kihitsu Sakura SA-03 series (3150 yen), grey squirrel
A nice and cheaper alternative than the Z-5, it’s a base eyeshadow application brush, with blending capabilities. Soft, doesn’t feel scratchy at all and picks a great amount of pigment. It’s not as soft as the Z-5 but it’s softer than the M-4. Similar flexibility than the Z-5. The M-4 is much more flexible but the bristles are also longer so it’s normal.
I could have skipped it since I have better alternatives but if you are not spoiled like I am, this is a great little brush to have.
Kihitsu Sakura Series SA-04 (2’100 yen), grey squirrel
It’s firmer than the M-5, not as soft but also very delicate on the lids, picks also a nice amount of pigment. I did not picture it here but it’s the same length as the Mac 239, 1mm narrower at the base of the ferrule.
I could also have skipped it, I prefer the Chikuhodo M-5.
Kihutsu [SA-02] Sakura series Cheek (2’940 yen), goat
This is a little gem for me, very versatile, excellent for contour since you can use it sideways for a thinner application if necessary, it’s dense and firm but doesn’t feel scratchy at all.
The spring is similar to the Hakuhodo but has better blending capabilities, it feels like goat and squirrel although it doesn’t seem to be a blend of both.
The BillyB is more flexible, the Sakura 022 softer but the shape is round and pointy and not as dense. I don’t have any other brushes like this one, it’s going to be a favorite due to it’s density and efficiency with contour application. If you don’t enjoy goat brushes you can clearly skip this one, I think I might actually include it in my HG because I have been reaching for it every single day since I got it. It’s probably not an easy brush for beginners since it’s very precise and directional and can pack a lot of product, but I do find it an essential brush to have in a brush collection when you love precise application, it is definitely for me.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate, I hope this helps you discovering some more new Japanese brands.
Thanks again for sharing all your discoveries, it allowed me to get my hands on more wonderful brushes and I won’t stop there 😉