Home Brushes New brushes : Web discoveries – Part 3

New brushes : Web discoveries – Part 3

by Sonia G.

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 πŸ˜‰



Houkudou Stand-white foundation brush (5,250Β yen), goat

Made ofΒ  “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,Β 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 sinceΒ 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 5mmΒ 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

IΒ bought this brush hopingΒ it would be a dupe ofΒ 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 haveΒ similar softness butΒ B214’s Β quality is higher. The Koyudo is bigger, flatter at the surfaceΒ 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 butΒ 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 Β  (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.Β  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 Β plaisir” is french for “with pleasure”.



Kihitsu Powder & Blush PACE002WΒ  (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.Β  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 theΒ 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 πŸ˜€



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’tΒ 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 πŸ˜‰

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Opal 12 March, 2013 - 8:27 pm

Chomotto brushes are actually made by Hakuhodo (in case you don’t know).

Buggsiebee 12 March, 2013 - 8:47 pm

@ Opal…Hakuhodo is a bit secretive about who they produce for so I’m certain Sonia wold respect their privacy & not purposely blab it out unless absolutely neccessary. I find it amazing to discover just how productive Hakuhodo is though.

Sweet Make Up Temptations 12 March, 2013 - 9:57 pm

that’s correct, Hakuhodo like to be discrete about their clients, it’s what I understood in my past communications with them, but I don’t know why..

Bea 12 March, 2013 - 10:18 pm

There’s an article or a video interview about how Hakuhodo’s president went to MAC which was still a Canadian company at the time to show them his makeup brushes and that’s how it started. I can’t find it anymore. πŸ™

Sweet Make Up Temptations 12 March, 2013 - 10:24 pm

I just found that one : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwv0FWnQ8lM&playnext=1&list=PL9C6CB32ABD5A330D&feature=results_video
or maybe someone has already linked it here before.. sorry if I repeat πŸ™‚

Bea 12 March, 2013 - 11:10 pm

No it’s this one. πŸ™‚ There is text and a video as well. Video is in Japanese but it has subtitles.

Sweet Make Up Temptations 13 March, 2013 - 8:08 am

Thank you Bea, it’s very pleasant to start the day watching this video πŸ™‚
Amazing talent !

in the subtitle : “toilet sets” looool

Sweet Make Up Temptations 12 March, 2013 - 9:58 pm

thank you Opal πŸ™‚

Bea 12 March, 2013 - 8:32 pm

I’m glad you had a smooth transaction with Tommy, Sonia. πŸ™‚ I agree with you on the Houkodou, it is the most awesome brush. I love it to pieces lol.

Sweet Make Up Temptations 12 March, 2013 - 9:53 pm

yes absolutely 100% awesome πŸ™‚ I wonder if the Lovely brush is similar πŸ˜›

Bea 12 March, 2013 - 8:36 pm

Hmmm I know I have the Chomotto powder and a cheek brush. One is made out of goat and the other is squirrel I believe. I also have one of their weasel hair eyeshadow brushes. I’ll go hunt them down and take pics to send to you. πŸ™‚

Sweet Make Up Temptations 12 March, 2013 - 9:53 pm

yes please πŸ™‚ thank you !!!

Buggsiebee 12 March, 2013 - 8:55 pm

YAY!!! I only need the Kihitsu FW1 N4G πŸ˜€
This set of brushes in the Kihitsu store also wants to come and live at my house :-

The handles look the same as the gorgeous Houkodou foundation brush.
I’d better not spend tooo much on holiday & then maybe I can spoil myself when i get back.
Hmmm….I have a horrible birthday in March too so I’m sure that’s a good reason for a fat splurge?!!

Sweet Make Up Temptations 12 March, 2013 - 10:03 pm

yes Buggsiebee, don’t spend too much πŸ˜‰ I am sure there are some new things coming up soon.
Gorgeous set but I have other ideas in mind at this moment: diversity and division πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

Bonnie 13 March, 2013 - 2:04 am

Oooh, I’m very curious about these “other ideas”!

And fabulous post as always. The Houkodou is firmly in my list of brushes to acquire! As for Chomotto… I used to think they were a special division of Hakuhodo… don’t ask me why! I think I misread a Chinese blog and it stuck in my mind that they were a special set ooops

Sweet Make Up Temptations 13 March, 2013 - 8:20 am

working on it πŸ˜‰
thank you Bonnie !
I have enough Chomotto for now πŸ™‚ but if I get some more info I’ll let you know..

Buggsiebee 13 March, 2013 - 7:13 am

Don’t keep us in suspense!!!
PLEASE elaborate on ” diversity and division ”!!!
Come on Sonia…..spill the beans πŸ™‚
Enquiring minds WANT to know!!

Sweet Make Up Temptations 3 April, 2013 - 12:13 pm

Hi Buggsiebee !
hope you are having a great holiday !
I still owe you to elaborate on diversity and division but basically it’s : instead of getting sets or many brushes from one company, try to get a few from very different companies (if possible when they are not widely known).
I found a new brand, I have been exchanging emails and I am ready to order… will keep you updated as soon as possible but if they are as good as they look : it’s very promising πŸ™‚
so talk soon πŸ˜‰

cc 13 March, 2013 - 4:40 am

@Buggsiebee, where will you be heading to? Somewhere much warmer I hope! πŸ˜‰

@Sonia, Kihitsu FW1 N4G looks divine!

Buggsiebee 13 March, 2013 - 7:10 am

Hey cc πŸ™‚
I’m going home to visit my family in South Africa.
They live on the coast so I’m hoping for some warm relaxed days on the beach πŸ˜‰

cc 14 March, 2013 - 4:15 am

@Buggsiebee, ooohhhh how nice!! Have a safe and wonderful trip. πŸ™‚

Nikoleta 12 March, 2013 - 10:46 pm

the hokoudo seems so puffy and soft. everytime you put a picture of the Z-5 I tell myself I need absolutely this brush. I dreamt of a site that sells all the japanese brushes πŸ™‚ Tommy is a good solution in this case πŸ™‚

Mimi 12 March, 2013 - 11:03 pm

Hi Sonia, Thanks for your reply about Tanseido. It’s good to know about Tommy. Now, I wonder where to buy the Suquu S & M. They look like just my thing! Could Tommy get them for me? Which is softer, the Suquu or Shu’s kolinsky eye brush? Thanks!

Sweet Make Up Temptations 13 March, 2013 - 7:46 am

I got the Suqq S a few years ago, I thought it was the M because I had been told the S was discontinued.
When I was over in London I took my Suqqu S and compared it to the M, that’s only when I knew I actually had the S !
The S is no longer available that’s why I try to find a dupe for it because it’s an excellent brush. the Suqqu are softer than the Shu.
Are you in the US ? (I don’t remember..)
I will go to the UK in June where it’s available,I could get the M for you when I am over there.

Mimi 13 March, 2013 - 5:38 pm

Oooooo Sonia, that would be exciting but how could I pay you back? If I sent you an American check, are you able to utilize it in Switzerland?

Sweet Make Up Temptations 13 March, 2013 - 5:46 pm

I have no idea πŸ™‚
otherwise there is paypal if you use it…

Mimi 13 March, 2013 - 5:56 pm

Even if they could process the check, they’d probably charge an exorbitant fee and take forever to do it. Maybe I should call Selfridges? I wonder if it’s expensive to have them ship it? Ooooo thank you for your most generous offer, you are a doll! Let me do some checking around. Perhaps there would be something here in the US that I could send you in exchange?

Kirsten 13 March, 2013 - 1:01 am

Hi Sonia,

I know this is not a Japanese brush. But have you tried IT Cosmetics Jumbo Heavenly Luxe Brush. It is the softest synthetic brush I have ever tried.


Sweet Make Up Temptations 13 March, 2013 - 8:10 am

I haven’t yet πŸ˜‰
thank you for the link !!

Neo 13 March, 2013 - 1:15 am

Ok, how long can I keep this up??? I’m off in exactly 2 weeks, but still since you’ve posted, I’ve managed to contact Tommy and place an order with her for the Houkodou foundation brush :D. I mean, you did say HG, Sonia!!!!!! Am I crazy or what? I do feel pretty confident saying that this is going to be my last brush order though πŸ˜‰

Bonnie 13 March, 2013 - 5:58 am

You are just enterprising πŸ˜› and taking advantages of opportunities as they arise. I’m sure you can still get brushes shipped to your new home!

Sweet Make Up Temptations 13 March, 2013 - 8:10 am

yes yes I did say HG !!! it’s so good !!!

cc 14 March, 2013 - 4:18 am

Read this link: http://japantourist.jp/view/fude-no-sato-kobo#!prettyPhoto

If we can really make it to Japan, we must remember to call ahead and make a reservation for the workshops.. Apparently we can try making a brush ourselves!! πŸ˜› πŸ˜›

Sweet Make Up Temptations 14 March, 2013 - 9:59 pm

oh absolutely πŸ˜€
a workshop in brushes, perfect for us !

Jillian 25 August, 2013 - 9:28 pm

@cc- thanks for sharing! My fiancΓ© and I are hoping to go to Japan next year and making a brush there would be amazing!

Neo 13 March, 2013 - 2:14 am

And I did want to say that Tommy is fantastic: super responsive and super fast, making this last order even possible! Thank you for recommending her πŸ™‚

Neo 21 March, 2013 - 3:30 pm

My Houkudou is out for delivery! Yaaay Tommy!!!!!!! πŸ˜€

djkaty 13 March, 2013 - 5:13 am

Great comparison, I would love to try some of these. It’s ture a girl cannot have too many brushes…

Gladys L. 13 March, 2013 - 12:54 pm

I think Chomotto is well known for being made by Hakuhodo, an open information about the collaboration. Forums say that it is a cheaper version of Hakuhodo regular lines of similar shape, even with better quality targeting younger girls. I can write down few online comparisons people rave about.

I just wonder about the manufacturer of the crazily raved blending brush of Tom Ford. I shop at Chikuhodo for Suqqu, likewise.

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

well, Tom Ford is Hakuhodo too (I did not want to mention but it has already been mentionned previously)…

midnitedesire 13 March, 2013 - 1:05 pm

thanks for your great post, i definitely will be looking to buy the Houkudou Stand-white foundation brush ones but the set of 3 brushes , its sold out πŸ™
hoping to get lucky and catch them restocking πŸ˜‰

Melissa 13 March, 2013 - 9:30 pm

I’m so happy to hear that you are as thrilled as I am abt the Houkudou gem! I was so scared that it would be scratchy. I’ve been using it almost every day since I got it so I think I should get a back up πŸ™‚

Thank you sooo much for your awesome detailed reviews, as always!!!

Sweet Make Up Temptations 14 March, 2013 - 9:56 pm

it’s absolutely a brush to own in a collection, I am using it every single day !

Melissa 14 March, 2013 - 3:35 pm

how is the softness of the Houkudou compared to THE Koyudo Mushroom brush? is it as soft and densed? Think I’m the only one who doesnt own the Mushroom just yet πŸ™‚

Sweet Make Up Temptations 14 March, 2013 - 10:13 pm

the white mushroom has even more finer hair, both are soft but the koyudo is even softer, not at all the same brush because you won’t use the koyudo for liquid foundation, it’s dense but it’s a powder brush.
They sure are in the same category for me, very soft and well achieved brushes, different purpose but same quality family.
It’s personal, it’s not because I desperately love these two brushes that everybody needs them and will love them too, but they have a huge place in my heart…
I just cannot imagine my makeup routine without them today πŸ™‚

Bonnie 15 March, 2013 - 2:59 pm

Melissa! Time for you to get the White Mushroom πŸ™‚ I just picked up mine with the latest CDJ promotion. The White Mushroom has been reduced to 10000 yen, and you get to pick up an extra 1000 points as well towards your next order πŸ˜›

I couldn’t resist… I would have broken my March no-buy for it… if I hadn’t already :S

Sweet Make Up Temptations 15 March, 2013 - 3:26 pm

RUN Melissa πŸ˜‰

Neo 21 March, 2013 - 3:29 pm

Yay Bonnie!!!! You are getting your Mushroom, and what a great price!!! I can’t wait for you to get it and hear how you like it and what you will be using it with πŸ˜€

Kirsten 16 March, 2013 - 4:23 am

Sonia!! I just got my Koyudo Fu-pa02 and I love it. But I feel it is only right that I get the Houkodou also πŸ˜‰

I also put in an order with Tommy on Tues. for 2 Chikuhodo’s and will be ordering some more Koyudo’s. I can’t wait to try the Chikuhodo.


Sweet Make Up Temptations 16 March, 2013 - 5:05 pm

Hi Kirsten, yes absolutely, the Houkodou is very different even though they look similar… πŸ™‚

Gladys L. 19 March, 2013 - 3:25 pm

For foundation application with goat brushes like Fu-pa or Houkodou, is it necessary to clean the brush before use (to avoid hair sticking together) for the non-irritating feel on skin and better blending result?

Sweet Make Up Temptations 19 March, 2013 - 9:44 pm

yes it’s better but for me it’s enough to do it just before with the BB cleanser (then I spray some alcohol) if I have no time and if it’s really dirty. I found out that if I place the product with a flat brush and then use the bigger foundation brushes to blend they do last longer between washes…

Kirsten 25 March, 2013 - 6:58 am

Hi Sonia, do you have any brushes from this line? Or have heard about this line? I am interested in getting this brush.


It’s looks lovely πŸ™‚

Sweet Make Up Temptations 25 March, 2013 - 9:59 pm

I haven’t tried them yet, I wish my budget was not so restrained at the moment, I would go crazy with new discoveries πŸ˜€

Bonnie 25 March, 2013 - 9:43 pm

Hi Sonia, I didn’t know where to put this, but I thought some of the ladies who were wanting to order from Rakuten, forwarded through Tenso, might want to know that Tenso is doing a 1000yen shipping promo. So shipping fees up to 5000 yen will only be 5000. For a “normal” brush order, that is more than plenty!

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

Thank you Bonnie, I will try to put it on the news tomorrow πŸ™‚

Bonnie 26 March, 2013 - 10:15 am

Ooops, up to 1000 yen I mean! It ends on the 28th March πŸ™‚

veronicamac 3 April, 2013 - 1:56 am

I just discovered your blog and boy is my mind blown. I have been in search for a fabulous foundation brush that is smaller than the RM radiance for the times I travel and I am just about to order from Tommy the Houkodou. Super thanks!

Sweet Make Up Temptations 3 April, 2013 - 10:54 am

you’ll love it πŸ™‚ thanks Veronica !

raglo 3 May, 2013 - 7:01 pm

Really, really adore your blog! It’s almost like my bible on the quest of putting together my dream brush set (a small one, but no more or less than I need!). I was wondering, do you know anything about the origin of Laura Mercier brushes? Like if they’re made by Hakuhodo etc? And how do you like LM brushes in general? Thank you =)

Sweet Make Up Temptations 4 May, 2013 - 2:45 pm

Hi Raglo,
thank you πŸ˜‰
No I don’t I am afraid, I have tried to find this info for you but so far no success. Actually my very first high end brushes were by Laura Mercier, it was 1 set with portable brushes. I don’t know if these travel sets are made the same way as the full size brushes. Mac for example will do the full size by hand and the little collection sets I heard were made by machines. On the LM website, it says they are handcrafted so I can’t compare to the ones I own at all since I didn’t find any reference.
What I can tell you about the LM travel ones I own today is that they are made in China (China engraved in the ferrule), they aren’t the softest ones (today I will use softer ones for sure) but the shape is perfect, if I wasn’t totally crazy about brushes, I could very easily live with only these LM (and the Mac 239)…
The ones I own look a lot like the full size ones but the names are rubbed off because I have used them a lot. I can take a picture if you like. They are softer than the Mac ones, a bit like the Nars in terms of softness, but as I said, I haven’t tried the full size ones. I checked them at the counter but they are so dirty there that you cannot really tell how soft they are and the shape is often altered too, that doesn’t help at all. I wanted the stippling one but I prefer the J series from Hakuhodo so I didn’t buy it. I think I prefer the Trish McEvoy over the Laura Mercier anyway but again it depends which brushes…
My personal preference goes to Japanese brands but I am not saying that the Trish or LM are bad πŸ™‚

raglo 7 May, 2013 - 1:39 am

Thank you so much for answering!

My first high end brush will be a double ended Laura Mercier eye colour and pony brush. A friend in America helped track one down for me =). Can’t wait for him to send it to me.

My strategy is to build a travel size collection of excellent brushes, because I think that if you’re able to create your beautiful makeup using just those, there’s no reason you can’t do the same everyday at home. I’m very practical and with my current makeup routine, I’ve survived having just one, awful, nameless eyeshadow brush for something like 10 years, so having essentially two at my disposal with the LM is already a treat (for now). The next on my list is going to be the Shiseido Perfect Foundation Brush. It’s not officially travel size, but it might as well be, it’s so neat and small. I’ve seen that brush in your pictures but haven’t really read your opinion on it. I know a lot of magazines have given it awards. I’ve asked various sales consultants and makeup artists who own the brush what it’s made of, and each time gotten a different answer- one claimed it was synthetic, one said it was a mix of synthetic and natural and the third one was convinced it was natural hair (which kind she didn’t know). I’d love to hear your thoughts on that brush. Again, another treat for me, because I’ve managed all this time applying foundation with fingers. The following two brushes have ended up on my wish list thanks to you – the RMK powder brush and Chikuhodo Z 4 (and I don’t even use blush, yet), for lips/concealer the Hakuhodo H2345 (although, nearly 50 dollars for a lip brush sounds a bit harsh). And that’s it, that’s all I want, and actually more than I need =) (says the girl who only has 3 brushes right now!).

I’m a designer so I’m super particular about what product design I like, and brushes, though functional first and foremost, are still a piece of product design. For me, the brush with the most beautiful proportion is the Suqqu face powder brush. I love the fullness of the actual brush and the gradual slimming of the handle. Also, ideally all of mine would have dark hair, black ferrules and handles that became slimmer at the end (so MAC is out, the Z series should be out too, but it’s grown on me, and the Suqqu eye brushes are out too). I don’t know, for me, if I’ve set my heart on investing into something truly high quality, that I’m going to be using for years and years, for the price, I should love the item head to toe, no ifs, buts or maybes. But in reality, that narrows down my options quite a bit. Which is why I love your blog so much! Just when I thought NOBODY makes a powder brush like I want (that would be a slight step down from the Suqqu one, which will probably be the last brush I ever get as a pure indulgence), I find the RMK one and it’s the perfect shape and size for my “project travel” =D. And now I find THREE (I know absolutely nothing about them, the website is entirely in Japanese, but they look quite similar to the RMK) and Fine Kalla (but that’s for later, much, much later), and I think, wow, if you keep sharing your knowledge, finds and collections like you have, I won’t have to settle at all and will end up with my dream brushes one day =).

God that was long! Sorry, passion is infectious =p.

Sweet Make Up Temptations 7 May, 2013 - 9:37 pm

Hi Raglo,
I will take some time tomorrow to reply to you more in detail.
Happy to read that “passion” is infectious πŸ˜€

Sweet Make Up Temptations 8 May, 2013 - 8:18 pm

Hi again Raglo,
About the Shiseido, it is synthetic, I really don’t feel like it contains any natural hair in there.
It can look like a blend of sable hair from far away but when you look closer it’s not the same texture than sable or kolinsky at all. At the very tip of the hair it feels more “textured” than many synthetic fibers, but this is not natural hair. It’s a foundation brush, synthetic hair (when of good quality) can be sometimes better than natural so this shouldn’t block you with the decision.
It is even smaller than the Hakuhodo travel sets, so even though it’s not a travel brush, it has a travel size, which matches your needs πŸ™‚
So.. yes it’s a good brush for foundation since you can buff efficiently but the reason why I only use it for concealer or cream blush is because it’s just too small for me, it takes me ages to achieve the application and I don’t have the patience. Also I prefer a less dense brush, something with a more “airbrushed” finish, but that’s a personal preference. I used the Sigma one for ages before I started using any other foundation brush and it was fine, but in a way I felt like my skin was not breathing as well as when I apply the foundation with a fluffier/less dense one. I don’t know if you see what I mean πŸ™ When I use a nice dense brush like this Shiseido (or any other similar dense brush), then I feel the need to use a Rae Morris Radiance to give it a more natural airbrushed finish, I often need to apply with either a flat one or a denser one and then give it a nice finish with a more fluffy one.
The RMK face brushes are great (but not loving the eye brushes so far…), the Chikuhodo Z-series are insane, and a good lip brush will make you look and feel good … today it feels weird to apply lipstick from the bullet but that change started only when I started using good lip brushes.

If you are a designer you should enjoy and design brushes πŸ˜€ all of us have very personal preferences, it would be great to be able to design the handles of the brushes we love and give them to production πŸ™‚ Just like you I prefer handles that have a slimmer end but sometimes when the weight is too much near the ferrule it doesn’t feel balanced, so it really depends on the model. Since many prefer shorter handles you cannot compensate by drawing very long handles to make them balanced. I will be visiting Hakuhodo manufacture in Kumano, I feel like I will be drooling all the way…
I will keep you updated on all my findings, I will not be able to purchase everything I will love but I guess I will not resist to a few !

thanks for sharing your feelings with us πŸ˜› most of us here are crazy about brushes and some of my friends are totally contagious !!!

Raglo 21 June, 2013 - 5:55 pm

Ooh! Been crazy busy and for some reason didn’t get an update about your reply on my e-mail and then… Then I figured you were busy and oh well! But I’m so happy to read your response now =).

I’ve since received my LM and bought the Shiseido foundation brush! A friend makeup artist of mine works for Shiseido and she let me try it one day because a mixture of foundation I was applying with my fingers was looking aaawful (I’m very, very, very… Very pale, therefor on a quest to to find the perfect white tone adjuster. And I’m on acne medication so my otherwise very oily skin is now dry and weird, so.. Argh! Basically I have to mix 3 different foundations – Diorskin Forever (for higher coverage), YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat (because my skin is now dry) and something white (for the paleness), right now Face Atelier Zero Minus, but it’s terrible. Sadly Illamasqua isn’t much better… )! So I asked her to please let me try and apply it with a brush, any brush (I though she’d just give me some paddle brush), but she handed me that one and I thought, perfect, I mean it was on my list and everything. I was really impressed! The same foundation when applied with fingers settled in fine lines and made my face look like an African desert, with the brush it looked light, lovely and even.

I probably need much more coverage than you due to scarring and pigmentation, so the density, for me personally, is a good thing. The size… Hmm… After almost a month of using it, I do feel it takes a while. But. It takes so much less than when I used my fingers. Literally, it used to take me 20 minutes to blend and build, and it made me think of the entire makeup application process as some tedious task I’d rather trade in for 30 minutes of more sleep. The two main changes now are 1) I get such great, even and radiant coverage with SO much less product and 2) I think it takes me half the time it used to to apply foundation and I ENJOY every minute of it! It feels so nice and seeing how my imperfections get discreetly masked and my good areas of skin get a subtle enhancement, is just utter joy. And yes I’ve since come to the conclusion it is fully synthetic. The LM eye color/pony is good too. Not crazy soft, at all, but very practical. It doesn’t pick up more product than it can carry, so there’s no annoying chunks of eyeshadows crumbling everywhere when applied to the lid, and it takes very little physical effort to apply and blend shadows! Which makes me feel awful when I think about how hard I used to pull on my skin with my fingers when trying to smudge/blend/smoke out eyeshadow =(.

I am now very confused about which blush and powder brush to get! Help! I still want one to be Chikuhodo and the other to be RMK, but now I can’t decide which of which to get and… Ugh. I thought I was so sure about the Z4 for blush and the RMK big face powder one. Another one I like is the G-8. I like that it’s white and gold and small. And I like it’s proportion, which I cannot say about the G-1 (I can’t help but think it looks like a microphone). I considered perhaps getting the G-8 for powder and an RMK cheek brush instead. But the G isn’t all grey squirrel and perhaps it’s vain, but I would really like one of the two to be 100% squirrel, not a mix. Perhaps the combination of two in fact makes for a better, sturdier brush, but I sadly can’t afford to have an x amount of brushes for the same purpose, and since I can’t really look at them in person anywhere, it would just be really nice to have one of each.

Do you have all of them? The Z-4, G-1, G-8 and RMK face and powder brushes? If you do, I would really appreciate it if you could take a picture of them next to each other. I’m a very visual person, it would really help me decide. Also, I’d love your practical advice about the pros and cons too. I should mention that I don’t really use blush but will in the future (right now I feel like my face has plenty of its own redness, no need to add to it) and when I do, I’ll want a very light, subtle and gentle color (think Chanel Rose Ecrin), however, I LOVE powder! The bigger, fluffier the brush the better, so I can just powder myself to no end =D. So, your thoughts? Z4+RMK face, RMK blush+G8 or G1+RMK face (I’m not considering a Z series powder brush because it’s just too expensive and as I mentioned, for powder, the bigger the better for me, and I’ve seen some comparisons and the RMK for face just looks like something I’d like more than the Z1 or Z9).

And apparently I’m incapable of writing a short comment =p!

Sweet Make Up Temptations 25 June, 2013 - 12:24 pm

Hi Raglo,
First of all, thank you for your input, it really helps people understand the changes and the evolution of the make up routine πŸ™‚
I totally know what you mean, when you suddenly can wear foundation and people don’t “see” foundation on your skin, you suddenly get addicted to brushes !!!
I am sorry it’s just a bit difficult at this moment to take any pictures, all the material is away at this moment, I hope it’s not urgent for you πŸ™
I will try to take one tonight but not sure I can make it, if I do it will be a bad pic anyway…
I did get the G-8 in Japan and I was offered the GS-T. They are both amazing brushes, I still prefer the Z-9 from Chikuhodo but each one of these is great for a specific task…
I also have the RMK and really there is not one I don’t love to use. Which I know makes the decision even tougher …
As I just said, I will have a post that may help you with the decision if you don’t mind waiting πŸ™‚

Raglo 25 June, 2013 - 7:13 pm

Ooh! Now I’m so excited about the post =)!

Nope, it’s not very urgent. Any time and knowledge you can share is very much appreciated and I’ll take it! Although, now that I’ve got the taste for it, it’s hard to fight off temptation and impatience, but I’d still rather it were a well informed investment ;).

Sylvia 27 June, 2013 - 11:33 am

Hi, Raglo.
You’re definely at the right place for information about brushes.
A colleague of mine mention MAC’s white foundation to use mixed with other foundations to get a tone suitable for her extremely fair skin. I pass on the hint in case it helps you.

Sweet Make Up Temptations 27 June, 2013 - 9:15 pm

I think Illamasqua has also a white one for mixing, when my skin is not too dry and patchy I love to use Illamasqua foundation. I always need to mix two shades to get my current color but once you have two you can actually easily play with them.
Thank you Sylvia for your idea πŸ™‚

Raglo 1 July, 2013 - 8:24 am

That’s so sweet of you =).

Oh I know about all of them. Face Atelier, Illamasqua, Yaby, Mac Face and Body… Suqqu has a pure white concealer, Keromask… FA and Illamasqua are quite similar, but the texture of the latter is much thicker so you need much less, which is a good thing because they’re both horrible foundations on me – both when my face was combination oily and now when it’s dry. They are both silicone based and lay on the skin like a sticky layer of film that never ever blends, moves around when you touch even with primer and powder, remains translucent, but settles in lines and pores – it’s quite hideous. The Mac F&B is out for me because it only mixes with F&B which is light coverage, for dry skin and is waterproof (a bit too heavy duty for me) not to mention comedogenic…

Honestly, the prettiest shade on me ever was Mac Studiofix NC15 which is too dark, but it’s the lightest thing on it’s own I’ve ever had. When I first saw myself all done up at the counter – just that foundation and powder, I wasn’t wearing any other makeup, I think I actually gasped. I’d never looked at myself from the side and seen the colour of my face match my neck, which is very pale (and doesn’t match even when I don’t wear makeup, my face is naturally a few shades darker). I thought it was sooo beautiful (on me)! I know a lot of people have an issue with Mac being too yellow, but for me it’s ideal. My body is warm toned but my face is pink, just in general and due to acne and pigmentation, so that extreme yellow does a great job of really neutralizing it. If I mixed in some white tone to that, it would probably be my perfect shade. Unfortunately, that’s the only thing about it that’s good – the colour. I don’t like the foundation itself at all. The texture, finish, wear, smell… Nothing.

I feel like Mac and other companies like it that are more makeup artist oriented, that have tons of variety, don’t really focus on wearability the way more premium brands do. They care about having a wide shade range for use in TV and film, editorial shoots etc, where the makeup is applied professionally and constantly touched up. And let’s face it, their goal is to get the shot, not for the model to feel comfortable in the clothes or makeup she’s wearing. I know so many models who do fashion weeks and then just hide away back home to recover, because their skin will be all broken out and hair will be damaged and dry from all the product that will have been used on it. Luxury brands have the opposite problem. Tons of research and care put into finish and texture of products, gorgeous packaging – outrageously limited shade range. YSL used to make my favourite foundation but they discontinued it. Now they don’t have a single one for oily or combination skin. And this is me forgiving the fact that their’s are all very pink/peachy, as are Givenchy’s and Lancome’s. Chanel’s Prolumiere used to be okay (not amazing, but right now I’d grab in in a heartbeat), then they got rid of it and replaced it with Perfection Lumiere, which doesn’t even come close. If you view it as a separate product I geuss it’s fine, depends on the individual, but if you view it as an upgraded replacement, meaning someone who used the old product would find the new one fit them just as well, it doesn’t.

My goodness, I’ve let this one get out of hand again =p. The quest continues! So far I think my current foundation, Diorskin Forever is pretty nice. Medium coverage, velvety finish. It oxidizes quite a bit and becomes orange on me though… What’s annoying is that I know Dior produce this foundation in a slightly lighter, cool yellow shade, but it’s only available in Asia (Hong Kong and China, I think not even Japan, but not sure… I checked out each individual website based on region at Dior.com to find where this shade was available, because I learned of its existance on the international website but when I went to a Dior counter they said it didn’t exist, at least not in Europe or North America). I think if I had it in 011 and mixed in some Illamasqua 115 (thankfully due to its texture I wouldn’t need it as much as the runny Face Atelier, meaning it shouldn’t overpower the textural qualities of the Dior) it may just be the perfect foundation for me once I’m done with Roaccutane, and even during, with the addition of the Touche Eclat for moisture.

Sometimes I feel like I’m a scientist explorer in search of long lost treasure in this game we play called makeup :D.

Sweet Make Up Temptations 1 July, 2013 - 10:35 pm

HI Raglo, gosh, you are a true scientist ! this shows how difficult it can be to find the perfect match and the impact it can have on our little lifes. I know exactly how you feel, I was at the same point some years ago but more with skincare, that didn’t allow me to wear foundation at all. Once I found the good combination skincare/foundation it was what really made me go deep into makeup.
I know it’s not easy but the reseach is worth it, keep trying and enjoy the process, then you will be able to help others who like you suffer from the same issue πŸ™‚
We will soon have a forum here and believe me, following to the high quatity of emails I receive, I think many can benefit for these experiences. Shame you have to go through all the hassle to create the right “potion” or shade appropriate for your skin, hopefully luxury brands will hear us and do something about it. Wayne is also pushing to spread the word about widest range of shades, let’s hope for the best !

Raglo 2 July, 2013 - 8:37 am

As easy and nice as it would be to be average and be able to wear any brand and any product, I must admit this has become fun :). It didn’t used to be, I used to be so frustrated and upset because I couldn’t control my biology or the health of my skin, which is upsetting enough on its own, but makeup is supposed to be a girl’s secret weapon, a means of camouflaging her imperfections and giving a boost in self-esteem. I don’t know, I was so angry that this was happening to me and that the makeup industry was in a way kicking me when I was down…

But I’ve learned so much over the past year and a half! And I truly enjoy this knowledge! I know that for the vast majority of people, makeup will always remain a skin deep subject, where “cute” or “pretty” are about as in depth of a description of a product one can hope for. I for one really enjoy learning about the history, science, traditions and craftsmanship behind it :).

Anyway. I feel like I’m really close to finding “it” – the combination of products that works for me. Even if it’s my own potion! In a way that’s so special, talk about luxurious and limited edition – I’ll be the only person on the planet with just that foundation :D. But if not, a makeup artist, who is a very good friend of mine, and I have joked about maybe one day us meeting a venture capitalist who will fund our own makeup brand! The main focus would be on concealers, powders and foundations, of course, for oily and dry skin, for pink, yellow and neutral undertones, in a light and medium to full coverage :). Oh dreams, dreams…

But! Back to the original subject, this is a brushes post we’re commenting on after all! I have another contender for my potential rouge brush! The fine kalla kk-002 :p. I really liked it the first time I saw it on your blog but didn’t seriously consider it because you can only order it online from Japan and kohlindo.se is based in Sweden, I share a sea border with them, so it seemed closer and safer. But now I’m researching it, it seems that ordering from Rakuten is safe and fast, and the RMK from bonboncosmetics.com too – I haven’t really heard of anyone having problems, so that’s encouraging. I just had one really bad e-commerce experience where I lost thousands of EUR and am super cautious ever since. I saw you comparing the Suqqu, Z and kk-002 and you said the Suqqu was the softest, but the other two were near identical and that it is really a matter of preference. Well. The closer I am to making a decision, the more it seems I just can’t get past the shape of the handle of the Z’s. Knowing myself, if it bothers me now, it’s only going to get worse later… And the kk-002, to me personally, is just such a lovely shape!

So, if you’ve had a good experience purchasing from either of these websites, let me know! And when you do have a free moment, I would still really appreciate a picture :). My goodness, this will sound super vain, but I want my brushes to look good togetner :p. If you could take a photo with the G-8, RMK face and cheek, Z4, kk-002 and the Shiseido for comparison, I will be one happy and appreciative bunny :).

Sweet Make Up Temptations 2 July, 2013 - 8:48 am

I totally understand you πŸ™‚
I never had a bad experience with them, I am even scared how easy it becomes to place orders with them once you started ! not good for wallets !
I will take pics when I am back home, here in Spain I just took “a few” brushes, these are not amongst them this time πŸ™‚

Sylvia 2 July, 2013 - 8:52 am

Thanks for sharing your experiences, Raglo.
We sound to be of similar colouring and I was fascinated to read of your searching. I’m slightly darker I think, and have found Guerlain’s Parure Gold Rose Naturel 13 to be a very decent match. In the bottle or when swatched, it looks dark, but on my face, it works. I have lots of problems with allergies and after 6 months this hasn’t triggered a reaction (touch wood!)
I’m interested in reading about the results of your investigation!

I like the idea of a forum and hope it becomes a reality, Sonia. πŸ˜€

Sweet Make Up Temptations 2 July, 2013 - 10:47 am

Its already created but before opening it I need to merge it with the blog that’s not so easy but it’s totally feasable, I can’t wait, I am over the moon actually ! πŸ˜€

Bonnie 3 July, 2013 - 2:18 pm

Oh my… just imagine all the mischief we’ll get up to on there!!!!

Raglo 8 July, 2013 - 8:02 am

You know there’s something extremely encouraging about getting such lovely feedback in these comments :). So much so, your suggestion to go check out Guerlain foundations inspired me to start a blog of my own. You know, so what if no one ever sees it, but maybe someone will and will find something interesting/useful for themselves. I’m doing and learning about all these things anyway, it’s no extra work for me, in fact, it’s a means of taking out my frustrations on “something” (the internet won’t mind, it doesn’t have feelings – I think!). I’ll be like the Voyager, I’ll put the information out there and maybe someone somewhere will see it :).

A word of warning, I tend to ramble like a nut! But on the other hand, there’s nothing I’d edit out either… So if you like a good read once in a while, feel free to check it out. My visit to the Guerlain counter is at the veeeeeery end, so if it’s way too much, feel free to skip ahead too :D.

In the end it’s all about learning and experiencing, either personally or through others πŸ™‚

Sweet Make Up Temptations 8 July, 2013 - 9:34 pm

Hi Olga, I agree with you, the comments are absolutely stunning, helpful, fun, there is a great participation and I very very much appreciate that ! I can see how this motivates you to invest time in your passion, finding great people to share it with is so rewarding. You will truly enjoy it. I had a look at your site and I will be very happy to read you πŸ™‚
Have fun with it and talk soon ! πŸ™‚

Sweet Make Up Temptations 9 July, 2013 - 12:50 am

thank you Sylvia πŸ™‚

Raglo 9 July, 2013 - 8:26 am

Thank you ladies πŸ™‚

Sylvia 3 July, 2013 - 8:12 am

Fantastic news, Sonia!

Elena 24 July, 2013 - 6:18 am

Hi Sonia!
While you prepare the foundation post I research some of the brushes you will include in it so that I will be prepared, what can I say your blog is just sooooo addictive!
The Houkoduo brush really cought my attention, just one quick question: the price you wrote is just the price of the brush or does it include shipping and other fees from Tommy?
I was considering taking her help to order a couple of brushes in the future but I cannot figure out how much would that cost me.
Thank you in advance πŸ™‚

Sweet Make Up Temptations 24 July, 2013 - 2:57 pm

the Houkodou is a dream.. today I have really insane brushes, so happy with them !
here is her rule :

Custom Order Rule
Purchase Price
Γ—Commitment Fee
(Γ—Currency Rate*TTB rate)
+ Exact Shipping Cost
>>Custom Order Rule<<
I want customers to feel more comfortable!
Even though I'm not listing any ad, I'm still helping!!
Just email me!!!
Mail: bringblingjp@gmail.com

so when you see the price on the website, you have to add the commission and the shipping, but you can contact her directly and ask her.
the commission is usually around 7% depending on the amount, then the shipping is via EMS, for 300g (3 brushes) it was 1500 yen for me for my last order.

Jillian 25 August, 2013 - 9:31 pm

Is there a significant price difference between using Tenso instead of Tommy?

Jeanette 26 August, 2013 - 12:05 pm

Hi Jillian,
for your information I just used Tenso to forward to Denmark and paid 1500 JPY for EMS shipping and 490 JPY in service fee, a total of 1990 JPY. (No shipping fee from Tanseido where I ordered the brushes).

I must say Tenso has been very professional and fast and sent mails immediately for every new status.
They received my parcel on Wednesday Aug 14 (where they asked me to pay the fee), then they shipped on Aug 15, and I received it Aug 19.

ISA M RICO 6 April, 2014 - 12:31 am

Que bien me a venido esta entrada estaba ordenando una compra de pinceles Chomotto,
saludos sonia

Sweet make up temptations 7 April, 2014 - 9:06 pm

Hola Isa! genial! un besote!

Ally 18 May, 2014 - 5:16 am

Hi Sonia, sorry for commenting on an ‘old’ post but I’ve been reading through your blog and the Houkodou looks like exactly what I’ve been looking for, only the link – http://eds2.heteml.jp/houkodou/cargo/goodsprev.cgi?gno=FB-03 – doesn’t seem to be working anymore. Do you think this – http://eds2.heteml.jp/houkodou/cargo/goodsprev.cgi?gno=BZ-1 – is the same brush (FB03 vs BZ1)? I can’t tell if the brush shape is different/longer?
Thank you for your amazing posts!
PS : I have updated my link, thanks !!

Sweet Make-Up Temptations 18 May, 2014 - 9:09 pm

Hi Ally, no worries πŸ™‚
yes it is the same, they changed the link, but it should be exactly the same.
it is the same as here too: http://www.cdjapan.co.jp/feature/wa_kud140417 you can see in the header of the page but they don’t have any left I guess…
you are very welcome πŸ™‚


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