Home Brushes Foundation brush guidelines

Foundation brush guidelines

by Sonia G.

When you are looking for the best of the best it takes time and money to find the perfect brush just for you. This post is a roundup of what I consider to be the best or most interesting foundation brushes available to us, I will show you a few pictures, share my own experience with them and also some guidelines in order to help you find the perfect foundation brush just for you.

Foundation application is probably the most complex step of a makeup application, probably the most feared too ! If we go for it, better get it right, we cannot just simply copy someone else’s make up routine, we have to find our very own and as we go along feel what’s right or wrong and fine tune the process. You won’t necessarily need brushes for that, not all the foundations are meant to be applied with them like the Armani Fusion for example. But that’s another story. Don’t please don’t do this at home, you don’t need a hundred brushes to do your foundation, it is just a passion of mine to collect beautiful makeup brushes.

Some foundation brushes are more efficient than others but at the end it will be a matter of following your own preferences and taste. I will show you some of mine which include :

  • Stippling brushes
  • Mineral foundation brushes
  • Flat, semi-flat, round brushes


My life does not depend on foundation application but I do love it, I think there is an intriguing and experimental process behind achieving a great application of foundation, it can be fun and it can sometimes be depressing ! My curiosity and my delicate dry skin motivated me to research for the best foundation brushes and the best way to apply it. You’ll see that it got a bit out of control (again), but I hope that at least my lack of control will benefit you, help you compare the options and guide you in your own research.

There aren’t that many foundation lovers around me, when I ask them why they hate foundation they say: “I don’t want to feel it” or “I don’t want to see it” or “foundation brushes are too rough”.

I am not saying that it’s necessary to go through this step, absolutely not, but if the reason why you don’t apply it is just because of those reasons be aware that today you can apply foundation and still look natural and fresh and for the tools, don’t worry, there is probably the right one just for you.


I don’t often use mineral foundation and I don’t often go for more than medium coverage. My needs are those of a woman in her 40’s with extreme dry and sensitive skin who aims for a fresh glowy complexion. Depending on the days I can barely stand to apply make up at all so I need the most efficient tools : the best results possible, in the fewer strokes !

I have tried to pick different types of foundation brushes to guide you in your selection, each one with its own qualities and characteristics, they can really differ in shape, material and it will be up to you to find the one that fits your personal requirements. I don’t have an answer for every situation, if I did, I would not be working in IT !!! Believe me, I wouldn’t.

They can be made of natural bristles, a mix of synthetic and natural hair or only synthetic bristles, so many options are available today and many of them are very good. Do not consider my opinions as expert advice, I will simply share what I think about them and why I love them… or not.

If you are starting

First you want to identify what your profile is (oily, dry, sensitive skin), then what coverage and finish you desire. If you already found a foundation product that is matching what your skin needs, now you can start looking for the right tools. You may think that brushes are very expensive and that the investment may not be worth it, I don’t know about you but I wasted a lot of money on foundation products that didn’t work for me just because I didn’t have the appropriate tools to apply them. I am not saying that brushes will solve all your problems but they definitely will make your life easier, the application more pleasant and they may even save you money in the end.

Targeting a brush adapted to your profile

Many brush companies will not recommend you goat brushes if your skin is dry and sensitive, they will direct you towards synthetic or stippling brushes. They are right but I still found many full goat brushes that are soft enough for me to use on my very dry skin and I have absolute no problem at all. Basically if your skin is sensitive, it shouldn’t be moving around when applying foundation with your brush, it should not feel “molested”, on the other hand using a too soft brush will require many more strokes to blend and you may want to avoid that too since it may also irritate your skin at the end. The right balance would be a brush that is soft enough but still has efficient blending power. I have got some here.

Below, a synthetic brush vs a goat brush, if you want my honest opinion, this synthetic fun brush looks great and has thickness to it, which should be a good thing. It’s not a terrible brush but these two are a world apart.

  • This synthetic brush MUFE 108 has interesting fibers, at first they look nice, feel nice, but after you used it once, you don’t want to use it again without washing it before. Reminds me of a dirty kitchen cloth (sorry), absorbing quite a lot of product and getting some sorf of film around the bristles that you don’t necessarily like against your skin. I also find it does move my skin around too much (the bristles have a grip), in normal conditions it’s acceptable but I am prone to migranes and even if I don’t put too much pressure on it, despite the fact the bristles are very soft and don’t poke it still is unpleasant on my sensitive skin.
  • The goat brush here is the new Chikuhodo GSN-05, at first it does not look attractive, it’s not white hair, looks a bit yellow-coppery, not the most attractive aspect for some but don’t be afraid of that, this brush is amazing in all aspects, what I want to point out is that this goat brush despite it has darker goat hair, it’is much more pleasant to use than the synthetic for me, more efficient, does not suck product in the bristles and does not feel like a dirty cloth on my face at all, even if I don’t wash it every day, still the same blending power. It does not molest my skin, I don’t need to put a lot of pressure to blend and it doesn’t poke.


Bottom line : Natural or synthetic it will depend on the brush, again it’s a matter of preference and also skin tolerance, some cannot use natural hair at all and some cannot use synthetic.

Targeting liquid or powder foundation 

If you have very dry skin you are less likely to use powder foundation and less likely to go for heavy coverage, in most situtations it will end patchy and not comfortable. Even with the right tools it’s difficult to go against these laws. When I apply a heavy coat of mineral powder foundation on my very dry skin, despite the quality of the powder foundation and the perfect brush, after just a little time my skin starts to beg for help, my wrinkles are maximized and dry patches appear all over, it ages me dramatically. Nice brushes will help but just to a certain point.  Choosing the right skincare and foundation product for your skin profile is even more important, then you can try some foundations at the counters see how they evolve on your skin throughout the day until you find the perfect one for you.

Targeting the coverage you desire

The foundation product you’ll use will really help deliver the coverage and finish you are looking for. In terms of brushes, the denser and flatter the brush, the more coverage it delivers. The fluffier and rounder the brush, the more flexibility you’ll get allowing you to start from sheer and to build up to medium. See it in action with EnKoreMakeup.

Example of round vs flat :


Targeting the finish 

The foundation product will help you a great lot if you want either a glowy or a matte finish. Then, if you are looking for an airbrushed finish, either you pick a brush that can achieve it directly in one step or you’ll need a two-step application, the first to apply, the second to blend/buff. There is no shame in using two different brushes and I will give you some examples where it’s even better : save you product, reduce the washing frequency of the blending  brush. There are many techniques and many ways to get the finish you want, if you watch youtube videos on foundation application you’ll get many ideas.

I always go for a “natural, glowy, airbrushed application” and I takes me 3 minutes more or less. Sometimes I powder when I really need to or when my pores are playing tricks, but it’s rare that I do. If you target the comfort of your skin with the right skincare you’ll have better chances of wearing a wider range of foundation products or finishes but you are still limited with your skin condition.

For a foundation brush to deliver an airbrushed finish it needs to be fluffy, not overly dense, not too flexible, if it’s very soft and too flat it will not fit that purpose. To achieve the best airbrushed finish there isn’t simply a better brush than the Rae Morris Radiance, of course you can get airbrushed finish with others but this one will do it faster =  less strokes. The Radiance looks perfectly flat but it isn’t, the controlled flexibility and placement of the hair does the job perfectly well, you don’t need to put too much pressure on it and that’s the great thing for me.

If you own this brush, my recommendation is to place the foundation roughly with a flat foundation brush before, then use this one only for finishing, it will keep it cleaner -well, less dirty- for longer, you won’t need to wash it as often and it will last you longer. It is insanely expensive so you better take great care of it.


Targeting the best material for you 

I have tried most of the brushes and most of the materials, I know which one is my favorite but every month I may discover new brushes and my preferences may change.

My preferences also change depending on the product I use, one brush will be great for one foundation but could be dreadful for another. The thicker the consistency of the product (the resistance to blend) the thicker the bristles have to be and the more blending power you’ll have to put in your application. If you can find thicker and reasonably firm goat bristles that are very soft then they are very likely to be great for foundation. When I say thick, I mean thick like a Koyudo BP013 and not thin and soft like a Tom Ford blush brush for example.

Your preferences will be based on many different aspects, some materials do not trap as much foundation inside their bristles so better for the wallet, others will make you feel like a diva during application, others will make you feel like a Michael Angelo. Honestly I have two personalities when it comes to foundation application : the rational and the utopian, they cross eventually during the same application routine. I am not totally crazy, I just love to relax and enjoy a make up application, when I have time I play it like Tim Burton when I don’t, I go Fast and Furious 😉

Since I have very delicate skin, most of the brushes I will show you are appropriate for dry and sensitive skin since they are very soft.


General rules, more or less true

  • Flat synthetic brushes : deliver sheer coverage, (may) trap less product, (may be) gentle with delicate and dry skin, tend to leave a streaky application that often needs to be perfected with a finishing brush.
  • Small brushes : for a whole face application it takes time, effort but will be able to work more in a dimensional way, allowing you to precisely apply different shades of foundation depending on where you want to enhance the highlight or the contour.
  • Rounded goat brushes : strong blending power, apply foundation faster, do not often need an additional finishing step.
  • Stippling brushes : extremely gentle with the skin and deliver a flawless and glowy finish. .

How I started with foundation

A few years ago, I first started applying foundation with the Sigma F80 for liquid and the Bare Escentuals for powder. I have used them for years before I even started using anything else, I was quite happy with them until I got older and the Sigma was not delivering the finish I wanted which had to be more flattering and lightweight. The Bare Escentuals was great and I have even went through several pots of mineral foundation but one day I just couldn’t use this brush anymore, it had become too rough and nasty and the ferrule broke.

From the Sigma F80 I went to the Louise Young LY34, it was a fail, it wasn’t delivering the airbrushed application I was looking for. I then switched to the Real Techniques stippling brush that I found better for my needs, the coverage was spot on, the application is quite easy but even though the bristles aren’t rough, they weren’t soft enough for a daily application. That’s why I kept on searching for options.


Then I found the Shu Uemura 18, it was great but just too small. It was taking me ages to apply my foundation. Kept on searching for other options and I found the Tom Ford 02, it was insanely soft but using it everyday was not the best option, I had to wash it so often that I decided I would only use it for contour cream or cream blush, but it’s good for both foundation and cream blush. Then I found the Chikuhodo and Koyudo that are similar to the Shu, but they are the same size so I was facing the same issue with the speed of application. Then came the Koyudo Fu-pa02 ! Imagine when you are looking for a bigger option and you get this Koyudo you just squeek with emotion.

Today, my very top favorite application of liquid foundation is done with either a combination of two brushes, a flat one to place the foundation and a buffing one to give it an airbrushed finish, or to use one that does both the placement and finishing like the Chikuhodo GSN 05 :


Liquid foundation

There are many that I really love to use and experiment with :


  • Koyudo Fu-Pa02 : is soft, firm, very large, extremely pleasant to use and efficient with so many foundations. The best thing to do (again) is to place and roughly spread your foundation with a flat brush (concealer or foundation) and then use this to blend, you will save money and washes.
  • Tom Ford 02 : soft and very pleasant to use but a shame to use on a daily basis. More appropriate for more liquid foundations than thicker ones. Similiar in size than the Chikuhodo GSN-05 but the GSN will work better with a wider range of foundation textures, from very liquid to quite thick.
  • Tanseido YGQ 17 : it’s a bit too floppy to use with foundation, avoid thicker ones. Better for more liquidy foundations or tinted moisturizers. Very soft, the bristles are a bit thicker than their usual white goat blush brushes but I’d rather preferred if it was denser. A good brush for liquid or cream blush though.
  • Chikuhodo GSN 05 : it’s a work horse, doesn’t poke, works with all the foundations I tried.
  • Artisan and Artist LQ-11 : same as the GSN 05, but I don’t know if this one is still available.
  • Shu Uemura 18 : nice little brush, as I said before quite small for the full face.
  • Koyudo BP014 : same as the Chikuhodo and Shu but if I had to keep one it would be the BP014, it is more pleasant on the skin.
  • Chikuhodo G-10 : same as the Koyudo and the Shu.
  • Takeda (flat) : I bought these two Takeda in Japan, in the TAU boutique in Ginza, there is no specific name, no number on the brushes and I could not find them on their website, if you know what they are and can let us know I would appreciate… Anyway, they are not that amazing but they are different and I was in my research mode. I really didn’t like this flat one at first, I am not blown away by the quality of the hair and the bundle of the head – but – some time ago I was playing with it, used my cream foundation and then I dip this brush into Mac MSF medium plus and applied on top, it was absolutely freaking perfect. When I pair this brush with both liquid and mineral application it is particularly beautiful. Patting the recently stained hair from blending the liquid foundation on Mac Msf powder and finishing the buffing like that did a great job ! Maybe it is supposed to be used wet with powder ? I am afraid I don’t know yet but I will try to spray some water and dip it on MSF for science 🙂
  • Taketa (round) : I bought it in the Tau boutique, don’t remember the price and actually it looks terrible and doesn’t feel great. I don’t understand the shape of the head, it doesn’t feel nice, too firm and not that pleasant. I still have to find a way to use it but so far I have not been very lucky with it.

I am showing you just 4 of them on their side because they are the most uncommon :



The little Houkodou and the Koyudo Fu-pas

I love these brushes, the hair is very soft but still firm and with just enough flexibility to allow a nice flawless blending. You notice the Fu-pa05p has a synthetic side for a more smooth application of foundation, it combines a very soft application and a nice blending power with the goat side. I love to use them just like the Radiance as finishing brushes, specially the three on the left but I can also use them from A to Z. The only problem is that they get more dirty more quickly and that depending on the product you better avoid wasting too much of it.

I don’t experience irritated zones or flaky application but if I don’t use the appropriate foundation and skincare product it may happen, in those circumstances no matter what brush I use the finish will be flaky anyway. If you have oily or combination skin these are really nice brushes to use, on my “just moisturized” greasy skin they take away the excess shine but still leave some glow to the skin.


I took a picture of all the brushes, from left to right from the softest hair to the less soft. You have visual info of what type of softness to expect if you own any of these brushes :


Stippling foundation brushes

The stippling brushes are a great invention. No abbrassion and often you don’t need a finishing brush afterwards. They are really beautiful when they are white synthetic on white goat and now that they are made with red handles they are even more gorgeous… 



In this picture you can see where the goat bristles end. The lenght between the end of the goat bristles and the end of the synthetic bristles will serve as shield or “bumper” and will prevent you from putting too much pressure against your skin therefore being less abbrassive. The bigger that stippling lenght, the more gentle the application. The shorter that length the stronger the blending but that is less recommended for delicate and dry skin. 


Depending on the stippling brush I use them for different purposes, the S4001, J4001 I love them specially with cream bronzers, *healthy* finishing powders or creams. They will not easily blend a hard textured foundation but they will deliver a lovely healthy finish with a more sheer application.

The G5556 and S5557 are more appropriate for foundations, the S5557 has a strong blending power, personally I don’t use them in stippling motions but I gently swirl them without putting too much pressure, we often tend to press the brushes too hard against the skin but it’s often not necessary.

The J544 has more firmness and is more densely packed than the J4001, I love it because I can use it for the application of foundation when my skin is really sensitive, it’s more precise than the J4001, soft and with more blending power than these bigger 4001 sisters. Also good for cream blush, you will not hurt yourself with this. I love it more than the Mac 131 because the goat bristles are denser and has more blending power. Although they are both very soft, I prefer how the Hakuhodo white brushes feel on the skin. This one is a crazy brush with a high potential.

The J4002 is denser than the Mac 188sh you see here. The J4002 is a bit more firm than the J4001 and since it’s also smaller you’ll get more precision, I love it for foundation when my skin is not feeling good, it feels extremely gentle and I actually use with with more liquidy and easy to blend foundations, like the Chantecaille Future skin.

I add a pic with the Mac ones in order for you to see the difference:


Thicker bristles in foundation brushes

It’s totally fine and extremely efficient, they just need to be soft enough, these two are. They are the best tools for the application of thicker foundations with a natural finish, also for mineral powder foundations, or cream bronzers (healthy overall application, not precise).



The Kihitsu is the best option for a replacement of the Bare Escentuals, the Koyudo BP013 is perfect for my Mac Mineralize cream foundation.


For powder bronzers I would reach more for these :


For the Chanel Bronzer Universel or the Givenchy Croisière this one :


What about flat brushes ?

I am not going to lie to you, I don’t like the finish, if I press too much I don’t like the streaky lines they leave behind and if I want to avoid that impression and press more gently, I feel like the product remains in the surface and I don’t like it either. I use them but I then buff with something else like the Radiance, the Fu-pa07, or the Houkodou for example.

I even got the amazing Kashoen but I have the same issue. I love the way the brush looks and the bristles feel nice but I still want to buff afterwards. It’s ok to leave it like that if you just give it a little bit of work but it will depend on the product and also the situation. If you work on models it’s nice to use flat brushes, probably if you approach them with the giant Radiance they would think their face will be brushed away in one stroke and they will freak out 😀 The flat brushes will certainly also last longer than a soft goat brush, that’s why I think it’s good to have the two-step application : place with a flat, blend with a goat 🙂




There are other options of natural/synthetic brushes like the Hakuhodo G520 (weasel-synthetic) and the Evgeny (sable). Both are very soft and both are good for foundation but they will also require a bit of work…

The Hakuhodo G520 I still need to buff afterwards, even though you cannot see huge obvious streaky lines I still like to finish with another one. I feel like a glamorous artist when I use it, you are holding something expensive and you feel it a bit, not sure I would pay again what I paid for it but the quality is outstanding and I already found a great use for this one. The placement and blending of cream/mousse blushes and cream contour “Comanche style”, is really fantastic, you place and blend, I love the precision it allows, precision means dimension to me, and if feels really nice on the skin, pleasant and artistic.

The Evgeny foundation is tiny so not much for the whole face for me, but I have another and an even better purpose for this, I have very hard to pick cream blushes like the Chicca ones (you are even supposed to use a sponge or the fingers), but this brush allows me to pick up the product nicely and apply it, it’s flatish at the surface, the picking of hard blushes is easier. It also feels really nice on the skin, no poking, no wasting product either.





Size comparison with the Shu 18 :

foundation (1)


Mineral foundation 

Most of the brushes you can buy in the shops are too rough, not dense enough or they will shed like crazy. It is really worth investing in something soft, efficient and if possible beautiful !

In my hunt for the best mineral foundation brushes, this is what I believe to be some of the most impressive candidates in my collection :



  • Koyudo BP013 (goat) : I use it for Pressed mineral powder, it has enough density and firmness to pick up harder pressed powders (like the Mac MSF) and apply flawlessly, no harsh lines, no muddyness, the blending is totally perfect and it does that without harassing my skin at all. I also use if with cream foundation in compacts (Mac mineralized cream) mostly in winter. It’s also a fantastic finishing brush. For softer pressed powders (like Serge Lutens for example) it will work but it’s better to use a less powerful brush otherwise it may pick too much product that is unnecessary.
  • Kihitsu (goat) : Same usage as the Koyudo above but it has more flexibility so excellent with loose powders but a bit less good with cream foundations. The Koyudo feels softer on the skin but both are soft enough for me. To work efficienctly with loose powders better if the brush is not too floppy and not too soft either.
  • Koyudo Fu-pa14 (squirrel/goat): it’s a very dense brush but very soft and with medium flexibility, that’s for example a great brush for Serge Lutens powder foundation which is pressed but volatile and easy to buff. With any mineral foundation application you have to tap the excess off and preferably follow Bare Escentuals ritual that I love : pat, swirl and tap in a container to avoid wasting product.
  • Chikuhodo Temari (goat) : this brush is a workhorse, it can do anything related to powder and it exceeds my expectations. It’s goat hair so it’s not as soft as the Fu-pa14 but gosh it’s good. I took it to Spain this summer and I was using this with all the SL products : foundation, then bronzer, then blush. Ok, blush was not applied in a precise mode but I wanted the blush to be more like a halo on top of the cheekbones and the temples for a summery easy look. It was too hot, we were always relaxing at home in the little swimming pool and if we had to go out it was not really a planned thing, the makeup routine was restricted to this brush with the SL, some mascara and lipliner/gloss, then sometimes I added eyeliner and eyeshadow for going out at night. It’s good for loose or for pressed powders. The BP013 is softer but this Temari is a really good mineral foundation brush and more easy to carry than the long handle one.
  • Koyudo White Mushroom (goat) : it’s extremely soft, the blending power is not as strong but if you want to apply a healthy/sheer coverage with some powder or bronzer that’s a nice one for that. I use it when I want just a healthy looking skin or sometimes I actually like to apply a very sheer layer of liquid foundation with another brush and then with this one apply a sheer layer of mineral foundation (like the SL, soft pressed), still looks natural but it’s a bit more efficient against the pores than using only liquid foundation.
  • Hakuhodo Kokutan Kinoko (goat) : it has more density than the Chikuhodo Temari, it’s softer too but it has a strong blending power and the application will deliver more coverage, usually the thicker the brush the heavier the coverage. It’s rounded but you can still use it easily in a stippling mode because the surface at the top is flat enough for that. I already mentioned that in the past but I’ll say it again: it has a high level of density but the way the bristles bend and adapt to your skin during the application will make you go “slow motion mode”. The Fu-pa14 and the white mushroom too but this Kokutan has just more massaging power and it makes me chill 😀
  • Koyudo H005 (squirrel/goat) : more flexibility than the Temari, it’s not just “a kabuki”, it’s a hell of a kabuki. It’s fantastic for so many things, you won’t get heavy coverage but you will get a lovely and flawless application of anything powder. It’s flexible enough to not leave a harsh application and it’s just strong enough to blend.
  • Hakuhodo Maple Kinoto (goat) : it’s very dense and firm, more coverage, more buffing power, soft bristles but it will deliver a more precise application since it’s not very flexible.
  • Koyudo Fu-pa01 (goat) : extremely dense, heavy coverage, you can use it in a stippling mode because it doesn’t poke but if you have delicate skin I would recommend you a squirrel brush. I use it mostly to buff the blush harsh lines when I couldn’t stop myself from applying too much and if you want to buff the pores away that’s a great option too.
  • Koyudo Deka-fu-pa (goat) same as above just a giant version of it.


In the next picture, I place some of them ranked by density/flexibility from left to right (the most flexible on the left), it will give you an idea of how they compare to each other:


Here they are ranked by softness of the hair, the softest on the left :


If you are looking for very soft “hair mass” type stippling brushes, the Koyudo H008 and H011 are to die for, it’s difficult to get any better than that but keep in mind the bristles are short and very dense.

I still haven’t found a way to use the Hakuhodo G543 but you see it in the pic for reference.

When I don’t want to bother with a lot of mineral foundation, I apply concealer where I need it (spots, marks, eyes, nose) then I use simply the Chikuhodo Z-1 or the Chikuhodo G-9 for a sheer layer of mineral foundation, as long as they are dense enough to pick up the product and firm enough to softly blend it, it will work. This type of application will be very lightweight but sometimes less is more as they say and when I know I will be standing out in the bright sunlight I prefer to avoid looking like I have any foundation on at all.


The finished application will depend on the density, the firmness, the technique, the product and the material. I don’t have a precise formula but roughtly :

  • goat will pick up more product
  • a higher density will deliver a heavier application
  • stippling technique will also help deliver a more heavy coverage

Sometimes the “softer” way to go is not the better way to go, it’s up to your preferences and the results you need.

There are also loose bronzers but the application is similar to loose powder foundation, these are the ones I like to use with the Guerlain loose :


Synthetic brushes

When it comes to brushes, I have a bit of everything, I use synthetic brushes too but I prefer natural brushes. The Rae Morris 23 here is one that I love like crazy but that I also hate like hell because it’s not made anymore !! I cannot believe that, seriously, we had a great brush here (still room for handle improvement though..) but honestly I think the most sensitive people would adore something like this.

The synthetic ones that I use the most are the Real Techniques, their stippling brush is now a bit too harsh for me but I quite enjoy the Face expert, although it moves my skin a bit too much and the feeling of synthetic bristles is not the most pleasant thing for me… but it’s a great affordable brush.

The Shiseido is a bit too flat and too dense for me and although it’s really soft it also moves my skin too much (obviously it’s something I don’t like…) during application and stippling a flat mass of hair onto my face is not what I love the most, if you are looking for this kind of brush and want something that doesn’t poke then that’s perfect. As I said, it’s often totally linked to your own preferences and something that doesn’t work for me, it will certainly work for others.


In the waiting room..

These are the items that I am still trying to use. The Chanel brush here is really very soft and will not poke at all if you use it in a stippling motion, but I don’t use this technique and I don’t like to use it another way and it takes just forever to dry. Maybe one day I will use it for something, I keep on the research.

The Koyudo Fu-pa03 is too flat for me, it’s bigger than the Sigma F80 and denser. So far I haven’t played with it a lot, the feeling of a mass of synthetic hair on my skin is not my favorite thing, but it’s really very soft and if you use it in a stippling mode with powder you’ll certainly be happy with the results. It’s just something I don’t like to do with my skin condition at this moment. If you have any experience with it, please share !

The BeautyBlender… this is not a brush, what is it doing here ? hmmmm … I have been fighting with this one in order to use it and have it deliver good results. Yes I managed, it took me a while but I got it. What I found is that it doesn’t work well with all foundations and I have to be patient to use it. To be honest with you I feel a bit dumb when I am stippling with this and it makes me do silly faces 😀 not sure why, also I have to be free of migranes because stippling is definitely the technique to use but not a technique I can afford on a daily basis. I love brushes too much also so that’s a bit of a challenge to make me use something else for foundation ! Still under investigation.


I found a brush with similar bristles than the Chanel in a drugstore in Japan and for much cheaper, it’s much smaller but it’s the same fibers. From Felicela and I saw them in Sasa.




Unfortunatelly, I could not write about every case and situation, not only I have a problem finding free time but also because my skin is playing tricks to me at this moment, I spent some time without my usual moisturizer and it’s not liking it now, playing with too many foundations at this moment would be a dangerous hazard 😀 But now we have the forum, don’t hesitate to ask for advice also over there, many of us use exceptional brushes and I am sure you can get proper advice. By the way, this week I will share 3 little posts with you before I leave on holiday (yes… holiday again!!! but that is an accident).  Those posts are about Kashoen, the Yojiya brushes and some new Koyudo ones 🙂 I am also preparing a post on “brush cleaning” but I am still performing some research and awaiting for some info.

I hope this was helpful and it gave you an idea of what kind of foundation brushes are out there ! (A lot !)

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terry 20 August, 2013 - 7:37 pm

Hi Sonia thank you for the most comprehensive post on foundation brushes ever! Like you I started off with the Sigma F80, but have since moved on due to the cakey finish that it can sometimes give if I'm not careful.

On a sidenote, I've posted a comment on another post asking about your opinion on a foundation but it seems like you didn't reply so I thought I'd post it here since it's more appropriate anyway?;P

"Sonia this is probably the wrong place to post this, but have you tried brushes this shape before? http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z10.3.w1017-1219484377.30.PxFm0M&id=18432804271&

They’re all the rage in China now… It has an affectionate nickname: “the broom”. The shape looks innovative doesn’t it? It's more slanted on one side. Especially with the patent thingy, haha. Also, the ebony handle is just to die for, sumptious just like the Hakuhodo Kokutans.

I recently got myself one, and found it fabulous for cream foundations… It’s wonderfully soft, and also does not suck up foundation AT ALL. It can drag foundation into a thin layer with swipes, and heavier coverage with dabs. I can’t live without it now and am therefore wondering if you’ve tried anything like it!!"

Also, I cannot wait for Wayne's line of brushes to come out!! I couldn't see too clearly in his video but it seems like the white foundation brush is a bit like the Shiseido? Or maybe a stippling? Ahhhh the excitement!=D

Sweet make up temptations 20 August, 2013 - 7:51 pm

Hi Terry !

I think I missed your other comment then, sorry 🙁 I saw a similar really tempting one in Koyudo’s office…   I wanted to take it but I couldnt come back with more brushes ! it was already a disaster. Not sure it would be the same but it was a bit similar and interesting.

How much did you pay for the broom and what is the material ? are they hand made ? thank you for the info!

Wayne’s white brush is a stippling I believe, I’ll let you know as soon as I get them but I think he will probably soon give you more details himself.

terry 4 September, 2013 - 5:59 pm

Hi Sonia! I am so sorry for the late reply, school has just started and life has been really hectic and just getting in the way lately. I am horrified to read what Gladys had to say about the brand which made the brush I posted about above! I had no idea that they were copying Chikuhodo brushes. Obviously I need to brush up on my research. While I definitely cannot afford Chikuhodo (not in the market for them as you had explained so aptly;)) I try to stick to brands which at least have some kind of business ethos, if that makes sense. For example, I’d rather pay to buy Real Techniques (the Expert Face Brush is still on my to-try list!) than a similarly-priced brand that knocks off designs by other brands. That being said, sometimes it does get difficult trying to distinguish which is THE original. Anyway, sorry for the rambling… I just felt like I had to explain myself a bit.>< I hope you're doing well!!

Gladys Lam 14 September, 2013 - 4:16 pm

Your patience and courage for brush brand spectrum development is truly appreciated!

I was afraid about my reply frightening sb. when I was writing it, but I go on as I want to contribute in any sort of brush purchase info, even if less explored.

And more importantly, maybe the brand has evolved! Who knows. I always think language barrier explains all. For example, I am blind when I am viewing any German website, I don’t have any EU language education out of English.

I would release some brands to be avoided in the future, when I have time to do a decent research but not soon. I wish to help in such a way that people can appreciate every penny they spend on the brush they own. : )

Gladys L. 21 August, 2013 - 8:40 am

I figure the brand Energy is agressively making their own designs of brush or brush wand (that foundation brush shape was highly praised by a famous brush diva blogger in China, she owns dozens of f. brushes, including the Chikuhodo genuine and Koyudo dupes), does Energy still own the dupes of Chikuhodo (I saw from this article:http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_681b42190101bhws.html)?

To my understanding, Energy brushes are extremely affordable, many girls love them. 

Sweet make up temptations 21 August, 2013 - 9:47 pm

Hi Gladys, here are my thoughts :
1) I don’t like to buy copied items because it’s just not me, I work for a luxury group so I am quite loyal to a brand and its quality (although I try to buy it as cheap as possible in the sales lol)
2) There is a market for everyone, for the same item the customers will not be same for copied items or for the original, I am not being offensive here, not at all, just saying that a student may not afford a more expensive brush but will still use something nice copied from a great one, Chikuhodo should not be worried about loosing this market since they would not have it anyway. I don’t want to sound offensive because it’s not my intention, just saying that they wouldn’t anyway loose a market that they cannot have anyway, does it has sense at all ? 🙂 I believe the copied items are good and that you can achieve extremely good results with them too, no wonder they love them.
3) I am not sure about the cruelty-free/work conditions behind, could be totally fine I am not saying they aren’t, but I think we are still far away from Kumano traditions…
4) When I talked to Yutaro Takemori (Chikuhodo’s son), he mentioned the copied brushes, he talked about this topic with his father. These wise men think that if you are copied is because you are good at something and it means that in a way you have succeeded 🙂 it’s a nice philosophy and they said it in a very humble way, that’s what really pleased me the most.

Gladys L. 22 August, 2013 - 7:29 am

I assure you that your words are nothing offensive
(^_^) as I don’t buy any copied brushes, no matter how cheap is that (around 20 USD for a squirrel mushroom brush). Actually I hope the significant majority of people can share your thinking above.

It was just that your post will definitely be translated and shared online again (I stopped myself notifying you every online copying of your materials). So I could not leave here in the comment section my may-be-outdated judgement of a brand (its product strategy has recently be changed, and one of its brush “production director” has left), as it may upset some future post readers.

You can probably trust me on staying away from unfair/ illegal trade. Every time I see a Chinese brush brand available on Taobao being mentioned here, I would do a little bit of research (no serious one as I by 100% didn’t and won’t buy it) on whether it is a brand of genuine and self-owned designs.

Yesterday when I finally saw sb. talking about this brand, I tried but I am not satisfied with my original writing of a new thread in the SMT forum about my understanding of the brand and the consumer landscape. I finally have the inspiration to get the right tone and topic, so as to not being offensive but helpful and alert readers, it should be me asking for your kindness to accept my coming writing instead.

By the way, a bigger myth in my head is that, what is the relationship between Koyudo and Cosmedo? Both of them had launched an almost the same Echizen Lacquer collection in Spring/ Summer.

Sweet make up temptations 22 August, 2013 - 5:44 pm

Hi Gladys,
you can see whatever you feel like in the forum, we know we are all respectful to each other and the brands, any of them.
I don’t know what is their relationship to be honest, close but I don’t know what it is precisely. I am not sure I understood all the Koyudo told me 😀 but I will be back in April next year probably… 😉

Bonnie 10 September, 2013 - 2:00 pm

I still wonder about Koyudo and Cosmedo too!

I wonder though, with functional objects like brushes, when you do draw the line between it being a “fake” or simply because the design works so well that it is copied for simply that reason. For example, there’s only so many ways that you can make a smudge brush etc

Lili 9 April, 2018 - 7:29 pm

Hi. What brush dø you recommend for liquid/cream contour application. For example Tom Ford shade and illuminate or Chanel bro ze tant de Chanel

Sonia G. 10 May, 2018 - 1:54 pm

Hi Lili,
I would apply both differently.
The TF contour I would place it gently on the skin with any flat brush and blend with the foundation brush I have used before so that it really blends in the best way possible with the foundation.
The Chanel I apply it all over or on larger areas so I use a stippling brush (airy), for example the old Rae Morris 23 is so ideal but it’s discontinued.
The issue is that if you use a brush that is too dense you may disturb your foundation underneath.
I use my BASE ONE as well for the Chanel, I actually use it to blend both that TF and the Chanel but I wanted to give you some other hints, maybe you have access to a Mac counter? you should have a look and see if they have something like the Mac 187 but a bit firmer and denser, actually the Real Techniques stippling brush would be nice: https://realtechniques.com/stippling-brush/p/1408 although sometimes I find it a bit tough on the skin but it’s worth giving it a try.

212kiki 20 August, 2013 - 8:06 pm

WOW what a post again :O

I had a flat one and yes not my tool too but i should try your routine with a flat brush first and than a brush like the fupas. Because I have a expensive foundation right now and i noticed how much product i'm wasting…

So now i need a flat foundation brush and ohh man the haku g520 looks good but yes its a bit to expensive since i will only use it to apply the foundation and blend with another 😀 But i love red/light brown brush hairs 😀 is i only me which finds the white/black hairs from flat brushes ugly ?

Sweet make up temptations 20 August, 2013 - 8:32 pm

Thank you ! I love the color of the hair too 🙂

Do you have a flat foundation brush with black hair ? I am lemming the TF with white hair but not sure I should… one day maybe !

212kiki 20 August, 2013 - 9:13 pm

No I don't have any flat foundation brush anymore. I only had the old benefit one 😀 this was in the beginning of my beauty phase when I was really into benefit 😀

i like the Tom ford brushes too but psst don't let me look at them otherwise my credit card will burn 😀 no not really at moment because I have all I want from TF, but who knows 🙂 btw the girl on the counter in Berlin said the cheek brush is pony chest hair is that right ? I would say its goat…

But I need the haku g520 now sad it's so expensive 🙂

Sweet make up temptations 21 August, 2013 - 8:56 pm

Hmm the TF are goat, unless I missed something ?! we never know ! I’ll ask as well 🙂 I really don’t think they could be pony hair. 

If I ever find a similar foundation brush like the G520 with similar hair I’ll tell you ! 


Helguchka 20 August, 2013 - 8:31 pm

Hola Sonia!

It is so good to read ur post, and see the details u give about each brush, the bristles, and how they feel on the skin. Thank u so much for another great review important for brush lovers like us :)Also  I would like to ask u what do u think of Artisan&Artist brushes.

P.s – I cant get my way around the bb , for some reason i find it, not useless, but i just think that with such amazing tools out there for me to use why spoiling the fun of applying foundation with a sponge? 

Warm hugs from Moscow.

Madina 20 August, 2013 - 9:20 pm

Sonia, I've been longing for this post for quite a while now. First of, thanks a million for such a monumental job – I'll be reading and re-reading, making notes, and having lots of fun.:-). And I can't wait to hear your thoughts on Kashoen and Yojiya, they're just so beautiful and there's virtually nothing about them on the Internet.

Sweet make up temptations 21 August, 2013 - 8:58 pm

Thank you Madina, they will be posted definitely tomorrow, I am working on it now 🙂 


Madina 24 August, 2013 - 11:09 am

Sonia, why is Koyudo BP013 not in the comparative pictures of density/flexibility and softness? I’m facing a tough choice of a mineral brush for my pressed minral powder. So far I’m vacillateing between Koyudo BP013, Koyudo Fu-pa14 and Koyudo Fu-pa01. If anything, I hate heavy coverage and opt for more sheer, natural one. Your opinion will be instrumental in my choice.

Sweet make up temptations 26 August, 2013 - 12:48 pm

definitely not the Fu-pa01, it’s a matter of preference, both the fu-pa14 or the Bp013 are appropriate. the bp013 is more fluffy and will deliver a more sheer natural coverage, with the fu-pa14 you can build up a bit more. Fu-pa14 is denser and softer but I use the bp013 much more often !

Madina 27 August, 2013 - 11:38 am

Oh, it’s getting even more challenging now. I think I might need them both eventually.:) Thank you!

marianne owens 21 August, 2013 - 3:41 am

Fantastic summary and much appreciated!

Sweet make up temptations 21 August, 2013 - 9:12 pm

Thank you Marianne ! 🙂

Ann C. 21 August, 2013 - 4:22 am


Thanks for this post! I love this!

I love foundation products and like you, I used to use Sigma F80. The Sigma Synthetic kabukis are their only brushes I like. But now I have startes using sable hair brush from Trish Mcevoy. I like the finish they give me. I spray the brush first with water then dip the brush to the product and apply criss cross on my skin. This technique gives me an air brushed glowy finish. Still, I want to try more natural hair brushes like the goat in applying foundation. 

Sweet make up temptations 21 August, 2013 - 9:15 pm

Thank you Ann ! nice ! is the sable Trish soft ?

Gladys L. 21 August, 2013 - 6:52 am

Thank you so much! Mission accomplished (it's a long and exhausting ride for you), your work will help so many ladies out there and encourage people to do better analysis for cosmetics reviews.

I always think people can take it easy and be more specific to their personal style. A brush for 90% of customers in the so-called customer research doesn't mean a must for all.

Sweet make up temptations 21 August, 2013 - 9:16 pm

That’s right 🙂
yes it was long… phewwww

Melissa 21 August, 2013 - 8:45 am

Girl, after all you've done to revamp yr blog and adding the forum, u deserve another vacation 🙂 ENJOY!!

Thank u so much for the extensive and informative post!! I def will take this knowledge to Japan next month!

I have the A&A kolinsky brush and I'm in love withe the finish it gives me. Few strokes and I'm done. No need for blending afterwards. I'd say medium coverage and not streaky at all! I'm using the Ellis Faas skin veil atm. This makes me lemming for more kolinsky foundation brushes 🙂

Aaaarrrggghhh…..I cant wait to see yr Kashoen posts!!! HURRRRYYY 🙂

Sweet make up temptations 21 August, 2013 - 9:48 pm

Thank you Melissa ! I need a vacation, I have been working 14 hours a day since 7 days 🙁 even the weekend, sometimes I hate my job, can you feel it ??? 😀
Kashoen tomorrow 🙂

Bonnie 21 August, 2013 - 8:50 am

Oooooh, was this funky new text box format here before? 

Brilliant post as usual and oh-so-informative! I'm glad that I have a few from every category, definitely because of your recommendations. I think there are a few I'd like to look into, especially those Hakuhodo stippling brushes. Yuuuuummmm. 

The Radiance has been one of my favourite brushes purchases. It's just an amazing brush and it's just so unique amongst all those other brushes. I mean, it's like the Itabakes etc, but… as you said, this one is so much more efficient! I love using one to blend out foundation, and another to blend out clown cheeks…. 

Sweet make up temptations 21 August, 2013 - 9:49 pm

No it wasn’t grrrrrr repairing something in one side, breaking something in the other !!!
glad you like it !! thank you !

shusheshe 21 August, 2013 - 10:29 am

I recently purchased the Koyudo fu-pa and am loving it.   Before purchasing that my foundation brush of choice (when I'm not defaulting to fingers when I'm in a super hurry) is Shishedo's Perfect Foundation Brush, though I found it a bit too small for the face.

I also have a beautyblender (the default method I've seen on tutorials is the bounce method) but I don't use it a lot because I find it a pain to wash and you have to wash it after every use.

Nikoleta 21 August, 2013 - 1:34 pm

Hi, Sonia

I was on holiday for some time and back home I'm glad to read your blog again. I like the new layout very much and hourray! a forum!

I need to wash my beloved brushes that have suffered a lot during my trip 🙁 I 've taken the hakuhodo stippling one and the koyudo but finally was too lasy to make up and oh dear! I've terribly suffered the hot weather. As a result I'm looking ill on all my photos 🙂

Star Girl 21 August, 2013 - 5:00 pm

Sonia, the effort and quality you put into this site is amazing. Your colleagues must love your professionalism. Another amazing post. So many of these brushes are so damned sexy! But, I'm totally faithful to the one brush that rules them all, the Shiseido Perfect Foundation Brush. What is it that makes it perfect: very short, dense, soft, angled, and tightly packed bristles that deposit foundation so smoothly and effectively into every curve and crevice; synthetic bristles that I can wash daily and that bounce back, resiliently,  day after day; a short handle that doesn't poke my mirror; cheap as chips; and elegant and compact. The correct way to use is to concentrate on an area at a time, and softly dab, dab, dab, and maybe blend (if you need to) and move on to the next area. I don't consider this a buffing or stippling action – my ultra sensitive skin couldn't cope with that pressure. With this brush, I only need a small pea-sized amount of medium coverage foundation and that covers my entire face (including my many imperfections). I considered the Hakuhodo G543, but it's too hard to wash every day and it wouldn't last the distance – I use it instead to strategically apply pressed powder where needed. Anyhoo, did I mention that I'm lovin your work sick! 😉

erin 21 August, 2013 - 5:49 pm

i have a question that i am hoping you might be able to assist with: i am intrigued by the Koyudo H005 brush, and when i looked at their website, it looks as though the H005, and H007 (and a couple of others too) are the same brush just with a different handle.

Do you know if that is true?

The H005 is cute and pink, but somehow i am loving the wooden handle of the H007. 


Ana Marta 22 August, 2013 - 12:36 am

WOW just WOW. I am in awe. Your knowledge of brushes is something otherworldly.

Thank you so much for this post, I love Shu’s 18 Goat, but was looking for something bigger to make the application quicker. Thank to you I can find it 🙂

Sweet make up temptations 22 August, 2013 - 5:38 pm

Thank you Ana 🙂 then you will be happy with it for sure !

Jeanette 22 August, 2013 - 9:32 am

Sonia, do you have any experience with Giorgio Armani’s blender brush for foundation application? It is quite raved about as a small, non-streaky, flat foundation brush.

Sweet make up temptations 22 August, 2013 - 5:45 pm

No I don’t, never tried it. The other day I touched their brushes at the counter and that convinced me enough to stay away, even though they were quite new, they were still not soft enough.

Jeanette 22 August, 2013 - 6:42 pm

I trust your opinion, so I will save the money on this one.

I really like small face brushes, so it looks very tempting as a controllable cream shading brush. But I will look for other options in stead then.

Thanks again – I really appreciate how deeply you investigate and share your knowledge!

Stacy 22 August, 2013 - 12:04 pm

Fantastic informative post! This post along with so many of your others will be a resource for me and many time and time again! Your hard work, dedication and knowledge are so appreciated!

Sweet make up temptations 22 August, 2013 - 5:46 pm

Thank you Stacy ! hugs !!

asiandollmilano 22 August, 2013 - 3:09 pm

Hi Sonia, I was just reading this post (even if I don’t need to, I do not want to be lured to buy another foundation brush) out of curiosity and I came upon the bit where you mentioned the TF foundation brush 02, and you mentioned that it is a shame to use as an everyday brush…I would like to know what you mean.

When I wrote I do not want to be lured to buy another foundation brush it is cos I only have the TF 02 and I know it sheds like mad (like, every time i use it I am pretty sure it would shed 1 or 2) but I just wonder, is it because with DAILY use and wash (every 2-3 days? Can’t stand seeing it dirty) it gets ‘ruined’ fast?

Shall I be looking for a (cheaper) brush for everyday use?

Jeanette 22 August, 2013 - 5:22 pm

Hi asiandollmilano,

just a little comment on this from me. Brushes are tools in my opinion to serve a purpose. If they are too fragile to use, what’s the point of buying them?

And Hakuhodo writes as a note to their brushes that their brushes are most well kept by daily use opposed to just occasionally.

asiandollmilano 22 August, 2013 - 5:47 pm

Hi Jeanette,

Exactly my point! I bought only 1 foundation brush from TF and I use it exclusively whenever I wear makeup, for whatever use: if its clean, I might either use it for blush application, or either use it for foundation.

I am not in any way looking at a TF brush as fragile (or I wouldn’t use it often cos its “expensive”, a brush is a brush, there are more expensive brushes out there), I actually use it all the time because I love it and I have the pleasure of using it but the point of my query is that the post above made me aware that wow, I use it a lot then I will have to dispose of it (hopefully not after a year!).

*sad face, or maybe, wallet too* (hehe)

thanks for the comment.

Sweet make up temptations 22 August, 2013 - 5:36 pm

Hi Asiandollmilano,

It depends on the brush, each brush has its life span, regardless of the fact it’s an expensive one or not. Just like a car or a toothbrush, if you use it everyday it will get used faster than if you use it only a few times per week. Even if you wash your toothbrush after usage carefully, it will still need replacement after a while (that “while” depends on many factors). If you use the brush just for blush it will definitely last longer because the process that “uses” the brush is more the washing than using it dry. That’s why I don’t want to wash it often and that’s I recommend a cheaper alternative if you plan on washing it everyday, you will still need to replace it but it will cost you less.

Some other brushes, despite the fact they also have a life span, they will get better with time because of the wood (like a guitar or some other items), it will adapt to your skin and keep its shape. It really varies on the brush.
I am sorry, maybe I made you a bit sad ?
The washing has to be gentle, while the bristles are wet they are more fragile, but we can’t still avoid replacement of a daily used item, that’s for sure. I hope this has sense 🙂

Bea 22 August, 2013 - 4:08 pm

Ahhhhhhhh! Another mind boggling post Sonia lol. Have to re-read again and again to catch everything. 🙂

Sweet make up temptations 22 August, 2013 - 5:46 pm

lol ! thank you Bea !

michelle 22 August, 2013 - 8:56 pm

Sonia-thak you so much for this wonderful in depth article! WOW WOW WOW…and now I am even more confused! If and when you have time I would really value your opinion on to what 2 Fu-pa’s to start with for foundation both for a heavier type and then a more liquid type (i have sensitive, dry skin) and also what 2 brushes to get from Hakuhodo first foundation wise? I really would respect your opinion/advice or anyone elses for that matter. 🙂 I’m always re-working/ prioritizing my brush lists!

Sweet make up temptations 26 August, 2013 - 12:42 pm

for a heavier type, do you mean thick creams or heavy coverage ? for thicker the fu-pa 02, for more liquid the smaller versions of the fu-pas (angled one is my fav). I would get a stippling one from Hakuhodo but Wayne will also launch a stippling so you may want to wait and see what it is…

Michelle 28 August, 2013 - 9:28 pm

yes, heavier as in thickness of foundation. i made notes in my excel file for the FU-Pas. I want all of them!!!!!! thanks Sonia 🙂

Amy 24 August, 2013 - 4:03 am

Love your collection of foundation brushes. I am still trying to lay my hands on a Rae Morris Radiance brush…. Though I prefer the flat/dome brushes for foundation (e.g. Fu Pa 2, Shu 18, Shiseido Perfect) I have found good alternative flat brushes, the Armani Designer brush (it ranks 1st or 2nd spot in my list of top foundation brushes), Becca 34, Armani Blender brush (the Evgeny one looks like it). Yes, in my opinion, you do need to add that Armani Designer brush and your set will be perfect. It’s brush head is made of sable and synthetic. It’s small (err, not that efficient due size constraint). But because the bristle tips are arranged very sloped/graduating from short to long over more than half the length of the bristle (hope this makes sense), its like holding a flat top vertically. Hence the effect is dewy. I tend to pat my foundation on the flat side onto my face, using the spreading motion where applicable. The stiffness, elasticity are just right for me – love it a lot.

Bonnie 25 August, 2013 - 5:48 pm

Hey Amy, if you need help getting your hands on a Radiance due to shipping restrictions or for whatever reason, do let me know 🙂 I live in Australia and it’s absolutely no hassle for me to forward one to you if you want it. Just ask Sonia for my email, or PM me on the forums 🙂

Sweet make up temptations 26 August, 2013 - 12:45 pm

thanks for the report Amy 🙂 I’ll see if I can play with it in Scotland 😛

Amalia 24 August, 2013 - 6:05 am

I really must have the Mufe paintbrush! Just cause I have no one like it 🙂

Sweet make up temptations 26 August, 2013 - 12:46 pm

it’s very unique for sure, not the most efficient but extremely unique 😛

Jeanette 27 August, 2013 - 11:20 am

Hi Sonia,

I am torn between buying the TF cream foundation, the Houkodou foundation or the FuPa 13.
I am just wondering which one I would value and use most.

What are your thoughts? Today I have some flat ones and the Shu #18.

Raglo 27 August, 2013 - 2:48 pm

Ahh, your encyclopedic posts are my absolute favourites! I always get so excited when knowledge is combined with quality and luxury :).

Speaking of foundation brushes… And the Radiance… I’ve recently developed a need for a blending/finishing brush like it. I still don’t think I want/need the actual Radiance (but never say never), and was wondering if I could use something like the Koyudo pink fan brush or the Hakuhodo goat fan brush – http://www.hakuhodousa.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1_19&products_id=158&zenid=cad3d4109595f826b4805ce351e6a44d

… in a similar manner (obviously, it’s not a direct dupe or anything, but I thought the DNA of the brushes was compatible enough)?

Sweet make up temptations 27 August, 2013 - 2:52 pm

Hi Olga, thank you my dear 🙂
although these fans are absolutely amazing, they would not replace the Radiance, not firm enough for that.
Same idea for sure, would work with powder blending, but not with liquid foundation, not at the same degree so they would not compare to the powerful blending of the Radiance.

Raglo 27 August, 2013 - 3:45 pm

Couldn’t you just lie to me and say, yes, yes they’re exactly the same :D?? Oh okay, more for me to think about. I’m going to be getting some new foundation goodies from London in about a week, I’ll have to see if with my new recipes I still need a brush to blend/blur edges with… I thought the black and white Hakuhodo is so pretty (to me) and could potentially be very multipurpose, as well as very portable.

Sweet make up temptations 27 August, 2013 - 9:47 pm

oh it is pretty, I love my two little big fans !!! and I do recommend them to you definitely ! I also bought the little pouch for them and it’s sooo cute and clever ! I need to post something about them soon !

Raglo 27 August, 2013 - 9:51 pm

Yes do, please! Perhaps a post on fan brushes in general? These types and the really thin ones with a handle (for dusting off excess powder? I don’t even know…), what you use them for, what they could be used for… And slip in a size comparison, length/width, with the Radiance 😀

I just stumbled upon your pic of new Hakuhodo brushes on the forum! Naughty you, you have that black and white fan brush ;)! I thought, ha, it’ll be a dupe for the Radiance, I’ll get it and Sonia won’t have bought it yet and then everything I buy won’t be me being a little copycat :p

Sweet make up temptations 27 August, 2013 - 10:15 pm

Oh you just saw the pic ! 😀 the review is already planned 🙂
fans are just great for anything !!
I love kabukis and fans ! I try to get the ones that I find the most beautiful.
I don’t own all type of brushes yet though, still a lot to discover !!! 😀

Jeanette 29 August, 2013 - 8:27 am

This foundation brush with goat and PBT hair looks interesting too: https://www.artbrush-hiroshima.com/brushes/detail.php?id=474#.Uh7nwZKeOSo
(You can chose the site in English, but it doesn’t show all the brushes).

Does anyone know the brand? Amazon seems to sell them (at a MUCH higher price though).

Their portable brushes look very useful too.

Sweet make up temptations 29 August, 2013 - 11:18 am

It sounds interesting, some models handles look like Koyudos 🙂 I haven’t try them yet !

Elena 13 September, 2013 - 3:00 am


could you please let me know the price for Hakuhodo brushes S4001, S5557
kioyudo Bpo13.

thank yuo.

Sweet make up temptations 14 September, 2013 - 8:41 pm Reply
Mandy 21 September, 2013 - 3:18 am

Hi Sonia
Awesome post as always! I tried to contact Malin for the Chikuhodo GSN 05 but she is on maternity leave. Can you pls let me know the cost of this brush as opposed to the TF cream foundation brush so I can make a decision, thanks so much!


Sweet make up temptations 22 September, 2013 - 9:44 am

Hi Mandy, you can contact Peter instead : peter@kohlindo.se
I don’t know the price of it with Kohlindo, on the Chikuhodo site is approx 40usd. Peter will be able to tell you, Malin told me they just received the series 🙂

B 23 September, 2013 - 11:30 pm

Hi, I have a question about ordering hakuhodo from the US to europe. Do you need to pay extra taxes at the customs ? I thought u would know since u order hakuhodo regularly.

Thanks 🙂

Sweet make up temptations 24 September, 2013 - 3:24 pm

It depends on the destination, I will send you a private email 🙂

B 24 September, 2013 - 9:02 pm

Oops I just noticed i wrote my e-mail wrong. Also if u had to pick between the shu eumura 18,chikuhodo G 10 and chikuhodo GS 10 which one is the best in your opinion ?

Sweet make up temptations 24 September, 2013 - 10:42 pm

this would be my order 🙂
1) chikuhodo gs 10 https://www.kohlindo.se/sv/shop/liquidborste-gs-10/
2) the Koyudo BP 014 http://www.koyudo.co.jp/docs/product/facebrush/bp014.html
3) the shu uemura 18
4) chikuhodo g 10

B 25 September, 2013 - 8:13 pm

Oke 🙂 Thanks btw because of your blog, I have became brush obsessed now :). At first I thought u couldnt get high quality japanese brushes if u lived in Europe. People always say that mid range brushes like MAC and Chanel are soft, but I always found them to be scratchy..Maybe it was just me :). But now I know better. Thanks again

Sweet make up temptations 25 September, 2013 - 11:03 pm

welcome 🙂
another obsessed joining the group, don’t worry, you will feel good here 😛
it wasn’t just you, once you try better brushes you can then realize it.

Cute_bunny 30 September, 2013 - 3:44 am

Hi Sonya
Thanks for a great post. You truly are a brush goddess:D
I’m only starting to build my collection and your reviews were very helpful. Most of my brushes i picked thanks to you and so far i love them all.
I’m choosing my first foundation brush now and fu-pa10 is probably my fav
Could you pretty please compare fu-pa10 to Shu 18 sizewise?
That would help me a lot to make a choice

Sweet make up temptations 30 September, 2013 - 11:00 pm

Hi Cute Bunny 🙂
the fu-10 is much narrow at the top (covers approx half the size of the Shu 18), the fu-pa10 is a bit longer but same width. The Fu-pa10 comes to a tapered flatter point where the Shu is more sprayed out. Do you mean the synthetic Fu-pa is that correct ? not sure you have seen these pics http://sweetmakeuptemptations.com/2013/01/16/koyudo-fu-pa-brushes/ may help a bit.
I use the Fu-pa10 more often for contour or smaller applications because of it’s tiny size at the top, takes me a long time to apply for foundation.

Cute_bunny 1 October, 2013 - 2:01 am

Thank you Sonya:)
That sounds like exactly what i wanted – a foundation brush which is small and precise. I have seen those pics and duo fiber fu-pas look so yummy i can’t resist:D but i couldn’t quite understand how big they are.
My sis has a little collection of foundation brushes and shu 18 is the smallest one and i don’t want anything bigger than that so i can easily use it around the nose etc.
Thanks for your help and thanks for introducing me to Koyudo. They should pay you monthly with brushes considering how many new customers you converted:D

Sweet make up temptations 2 October, 2013 - 6:43 pm

I hope you will love it, I would actually even advise you to take the duo-fiber instead if it’s for the application of foundation on a daily basis, it’s the 06p here http://sweetmakeuptemptations.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/all_flat_front.jpg the application and finish is a bit easier.
Just saying but if you are seduced by the all synthetic why not, for me it’s just a bit too narrow at the top to work fast enough for me 🙂

Hanne H 5 October, 2013 - 1:46 pm

Hi, Sonia 🙂 What a great post! I absolutely love your blog, always great photos and very accurate and elaborate descriptions. It has helped me a lot in finding great brushes, I am starting to get hooked..

I am on the hunt for a nice brush to use for loose mineral foundation everyday, maybe you could help me in my decision.

Today I use the Sigma F80 or F88 (the angled one), I think it provides a good medium coverage, that can be built up to high coverage. I like the size and it works okay, but I would really like a little more luxury in my everyday, and something a bit softer.

I also use the Shiseido Perfect Foundation brush, which is perfect for going over small areas that need a bit more coverage – this one I am very happy with for this purpose, it is also great for traveling 🙂

So what I need is a brush to replace my Sigma brush, that gives me medium coverage (I’ll still use the Shiseido for more coverage in certain areas) and is not too big (maybe 3-4 cm in diameter). I was looking at the Kyodo H008, but maybe it provides to much coverage. Perhaps the Hakuhodo Maple Kinoko White Mushroom is better? For loose mineral foundation I actually prefer the bristles not to be too flexible, so the powder starts flying everywhere. The technique I use, is kind of a combo of tapping and swirling the powder into my skin.

I also think I am going to get the white mushroom, it is just so beautiful, and I think it would be a good multitasking brush. For sheer coverage mineral foundation, or just as a finishing brush for light blending all over the face, and bronzer as well.

I know you don’t use mineral foundation that often, but I would love to have your opinion! Maybe one of the other brushes you mentioned earlier would suit my needs better?

Oh, and can I ask you one more thing? Could you do a post on all your kabukis? I think they are so beautiful, and I would love to see a comparison, and a picture of them all together. (I know it takes a lot to write these great posts, so I understand very well if you don’t have the time!)

Other than that, have a great day and weekend 🙂 Thank you again for your wonderful blog!


Sweet make up temptations 6 October, 2013 - 11:08 am

Hi Hanne,

Thank you for putting me in the direction of what you want, the first thought I had was the Koyudo Fu-pa14, it fits to all the specifications you mentioned. It’s about the same size as the Maple medium but I find the Fu-pa14 to be more appropriate for what you are looking for, of course a kabuki form of a fu-pa14, let’s say the Maple handle with the fu-pa’s head would just be perfect but oh well.. 🙂
I think the fu-pa14 has just the right flexibility to firmly place the loose powder without making a mess of it, the Maple one is very firm and you will get much heavier and directional application.
Ok, I will try to post about Kabuki-land one day, still a few little ones that I need to acquire before I do it so it won’t be for tomorrow but I took note 😉
I hope you are having a wonderful weekend and thanks again for your support <3

Hanne H 7 October, 2013 - 5:29 pm

Thank you so much for your answer! 🙂 I re-read your post about the Fu-pa14, and I definitely think I will try it!

Alison 13 November, 2013 - 10:17 am


I just noticed – in one of these pictures, you’ve labelled a white-haired brush with a pink handle “Fu-pa 01 White Goat” – I checked the website, and the only Fu-pa 01 there is black-haired. Has there been a mistake?

Sweet make up temptations 13 November, 2013 - 10:22 am

Hi 🙂
no, there is actually one fu-pa01 white : http://www.koyudo.co.jp/docs/product/vwgift/fupagamaset02.html
but you may want to ask cdjpan if they will re-stock it… I got that one while I was in Japan.

Alison 13 November, 2013 - 10:41 am

Thank you SO much!

Alison 14 November, 2013 - 3:20 pm

Well, I messaged CDJapan, and they said that unfortunately because this brush is Limited Edition, Koyudo won’t be making any more. Too bad!

Jillian 13 November, 2013 - 5:39 pm

This is such a great post and one that I refer back to constantly whenever I’m getting a brush order together. Thanks for all you do!

Ccl 17 November, 2013 - 2:44 am

Hi Sonia,
Could you rank the following in terms of preference..and then again in terms of coverage? Fu-pa02, gsn-05, bp014, bp013, g-10 and fu-pa01 white goat. However, I can’t seem to find the gsn-05 and fu-pa01. I am looking for something gentle, sheer coverage. I have combination skin. Thank you so much!

Sweet make up temptations 18 November, 2013 - 11:11 pm

Hi Ccl, I can try :
Preference : gsn05, bp013, fupa02, fu-pa14, g-10 (but this is my preference with the products I use on a daily basis, might to apply to your products).
powder coverage heavier to light: fu-pa01, fu-pa14
foundation coverage heavier to light: fu-pa02, g-10, bp013

Ccl 21 November, 2013 - 2:41 am

Thank you! Is the gsn05 limited edn or discontinued? I don’t see it on the kohlindo site..w

Sweet make up temptations 22 November, 2013 - 11:44 pm

Hi Ccl, No it’s not limited edition but these are very new brushes and still not available at Kohlindo I am afraid.
If you don’t want to wait, there are other ways to get it but it may be a bit of a pain. You will have to get someone in Japan buy it for you or use Tommy or other websites, for example here http://www.now-eproject.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&manufacturers_id=14&products_id=131 but I have never tried them yet and a 200usd minimum for an order is a bit too much and I don’t know the reason… 🙁 For Tommy I have tried and I already ordered there : http://bringblingjp.blogspot.ch/ The easiest way is to order with Kohlindo but they aren’t available yet.. (until December)

Michelle 19 November, 2013 - 11:28 am

This is such a thorough detailed reviews on a great variety of brushes. Some of them I have come across on many blogs and videos but wondered what they were like. You have done a great service to people like me who enjoy quality brushes and have specific needs in mind. Had I read your blog earlier it would have saved my purchase of Sigma F80 few days ago… Anyway… Now I am keen to try and get some of the Koyudo brushes…. Thanks lots.

Shannon 22 November, 2013 - 1:00 pm

Hey Sonia,
This is such a lovely and detailed review. Thank you so much. I was just wondering what your thoughts were on the Feliceta foundation brush. Could you use it for liquid foundation/concealer? Does it take a long time to dry? When compared to the Real techniques expert face brush, which one is better? Sorry for all the questions.
Thank you 🙂

Sweet make up temptations 23 November, 2013 - 12:03 am

Will keep you updated soon Shannon, need to give it another test run 🙂

Yiyi 4 December, 2013 - 4:45 pm

Wow, thank you for such a comprehensive article. I just found your blog and I’m losing it! I’ve one question: where/how can I buy a Kihitsu or Chikuhodo brush? I’d really like to try the Kihitsu or the Temari. Those seem like they might be appropriate for me. Thanks!

Jeanette 4 December, 2013 - 10:01 pm

For Chikuhodo, try http://www.kohlindo.se. Write to them, if you want something that is not on the website.

Sweet make up temptations 5 December, 2013 - 12:49 pm

Hi Yiyi, I hope you are still with me then 😀
I got the Kihitsu thanks to Tommy (http://bringblingjp.blogspot.ch/) I send her the order request and she gets them for me. The link to the brush is http://www.kihitsu.jp/?cn=100081&shc=10000089
Same for the Temari, you send the link to Tommy.
or you can use Tenso services but it’s not as easy.
if you are going to use only powder foundation, it’s better the Temari, if you are going to use more liquid or cream as well, better the white version with the Kihitsu 🙂

Sweet make up temptations 5 December, 2013 - 12:50 pm

oh yes and kohlindo.se would deliver to you 🙂

Yiyi 11 December, 2013 - 1:25 am

Oh my! That was supposed to be “loving it” not “losing it!” 🙂
Thank so much! I do intend to use more powders than liquids. Mineral foundation, in fact. Liquid foundations just get too cakey on my oily skin. Plus, I prefer the barely there look…even though I want medium to full coverage. My makeup needs to do lots of things for me…I’m a needy woman! 🙂

Katrina 4 December, 2013 - 5:43 pm

The H008 sounds amazing, but is it okay to use with liquid foundation, or just powder products?

Sweet Make-Up Temptations 24 August, 2014 - 8:59 am

Hi Katrina,
The H008 is too delicate to use with liquid products and you may damage the hair, you should use white goat ones they will be better and more durable 🙂

Elizabeth 30 July, 2014 - 4:05 pm

Great post 🙂 I’m curious as to your thoughts on using the Tom Ford Cheek brush for foundation (liquid). I tend to not use this one so much for blush because it’s so dense. Thinking of giving it a go as a foundation brush.

Sweet Make-Up Temptations 24 August, 2014 - 9:04 am

Hi Elizabeth,

The TF is a brush I use sometimes for foundation because I don’t wear a lot of coverage and the application with this smaller brush is more similar to a sculpting one than to one that would cover all the face.
I always place foundation with a flat brush or the fingers then I use this kind of dense brushes just to buff it , the finish is nice and since it’s very soft goat hair it will remove the excess shine as it goes without messing and removing the product, that’s why I really like it. 🙂

Mindy Moore 1 September, 2014 - 10:14 pm

I just wanted to thank you for such a detailed and comprehensive review of foundation brushes. I have only recently started using foundation brushes. My first purchase was the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush and it was a pleasant surprise. Synthetic brushes that didn’t irritate my sensitive skin. I also loved how much better my skin looked using it. But now I would like to upgrade to a high end foundation brush. It can be overwhelming.

Your comments mean a lot because you have the same kind of skin – dry and sensitive. So you can point me in the right direction. I am thinking about the Chikahodo GSN 5 and the Hakuhodo G 5556 or 5557. The Chikahodo is the more affordable one and your review indicates that it might be an excellent choice for my needs. I would love to own a Hakuhodo brush, who wouldn’t! But at $72, I am having trouble justifying spending so much for a brush. I also was confused by the 2mm versus the 4mm, but I think you have clarified it for me. I don’t need a collection of foundation brushes, just one or two high quality ones that I can interchange with my Expert Face Brush. I don’t use a lot of foundation, never did. I am lucky to have good skin and only need to smooth out some blotchiness here and there. I don’t want to spend a lot of time applying foundation.

For now I am going to think on it a bit more. I am really torn between these two brushes.

Thanks again for a brilliant review!

Mindy Moore 1 September, 2014 - 10:32 pm

Sorry, I realized that I had one more question. There is the Chikuhodo G-10 brush. You rated that very highly, too. I looked on this Visage site which is supposed to be the sole distributor of Chikuhodo products. That brush is only $29. I know that on the site they are giving a discount until November 1st.

Do you know anything about this site? I am curious as to why the G-10 is lower in price. Which one do you think would be the best for my needs, given that I have dry, sensitive skin? From your review, it sounds as though you rate the G-10 higher than the GSN-5.

Thanks again for all the information!

Sweet Make-Up Temptations 7 September, 2014 - 8:52 pm

Hi Mindy,
today my ratings or preferences have evolved a little bit, I can confirm that the one that works best for me now is the GSN-5 and since it’s bigger, it is likely to be the one that would fit more people and that would be easier to work with.
Between the Hakuhodo, GSN and G-10 I would start with the GSN, it’s just the one that has more chances to work with everything.
Yes visage ship from Chikuhodo directly by the way so you can go ahead 🙂

Mindy Moore 8 September, 2014 - 12:10 am

Thanks so much for your response! It’s been a joy to read all of your blogs about brushes. I just read about the Koyudo brushes. I have never heard of them, most likely because I know so little about these quality Japanese brushes. Now I am trying to decide if I want to purchase one of them. I saw the BP014 which seems similar to the GSN-5 and the G-10. But I don’t want to get two of the same. Then I saw your breakdown of the fu-pa brushes. You make it less overwhelming.

Do you think that any of the fu-pas would work for me?

Thanks again for all your knowledge and expertise!

Sweet Make-Up Temptations 8 September, 2014 - 12:36 am

Thank you Mindy. The bp014 is nothing like the other two, not same brush and not same purpose. Fu-pa14 is for powder foundation or just powder but not for liquids. A good combination if you want two very different brushes is to go with the FU-pa14 and the GSN05 for example, two completely different purposes but both very useful and both must haves.
If you are going for liquid foundation, the fu-pa that best fits all, is the fu-pa13p 🙂

Mindy Moore 16 September, 2014 - 6:58 pm

I didn’t know if you were going to answer my question about the GSN 5 versus the G 10, so I decided to go ahead and buy the G 10 from the Visage website. I just got it today and was surprised at how small it is. I didn’t read the dimensions that carefully but it’s just a very tiny brush. I wonder if something is wrong here. It seems like they shipped me a mini version of it. Is the GSN 5 a lot bigger? I am just in shock right now. I didn’t expect this.

I also think there was some confusion about the Koyudo brushes. I believe that you posted the BP 014 above on this blog. It looks very similar to the Shu Uemura 18 and the Tom Ford brush. That is the one I was asking about. I thought I might order it for foundation. But now I am not sure if I should get that one or the fu-pa 013. I want at least one more brush. The G10 is like a baby brush to me. So small. I am confused.

Sweet Make-Up Temptations 17 September, 2014 - 12:13 pm

Hi Mindy,
There is a pic here with all of them: http://sweetmakeuptemptations.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/foundation_.jpg

the G10 is definitely smaller than the GSN05.
In this post I wrote :

Shu Uemura 18 : nice little brush, as I said before quite small for the full face.
Koyudo BP014 : same as the Chikuhodo and Shu but if I had to keep one it would be the BP014, it is more pleasant on the skin.
Chikuhodo G-10 : same as the Koyudo and the Shu.

the Shu 18 is the same size as the Shu 18 and bp014, and they are quite small for the full face, that’s why it’s better to use the GSN05.
The smaller brushes like the shu 18, koyudo bp014 and g-10 are better for contouring and cream blush, but I know many who use it as a foundation brush since they are actually designed as foundation brushes.
They are all in the pic, you can see the difference in size : http://sweetmakeuptemptations.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/foundation_.jpg

you can go to my database here :
and it return the 3 brushes explained…
and if you click on the brush name, you have the sizes I entered and all the details.
Does this help ?

Mindy Moore 20 September, 2014 - 2:25 am

I hope that you didn’t think I was blaming you for the small size of the brush. I should have looked at the dimensions more carefully. This is all on me. If I had just waited until you responded, I would have had my answer and the right one!

Please never feel that you did not explain it enough or were clear enough. I have decided to return the G 10. I contacted Visage and I can ship it back to them in Torrance, CA. I will have to pay for shipping, but that’s the way it goes.

It serves me right for not waiting to get your advice! I do want to get the GSN 05, but I don’t want to order it from Visage. It took weeks to get the brush and they charge $10 for shipping. I checked Beautylish and they have it with free shipping. So I am going to order it from them.

Have you ever ordered from that site? I know that they are the site that sells the Wayne Goss brush collection. I am a subscriber and a huge fan of him. I read your thoughts on his brushes on another one of your blog posts. It’s great that you are friends with him. He seems to be such a special person. I did consider his 01 foundation brush, but there has been mixed reaction from what I am reading online. The consensus seems to be that it’s too small for a foundation brush, but great for other things like cheek contouring, blush.

One thing that I will say is that I have a small face. So I could probably get by with a brush that isn’t that big. As I said, all I had to do was have some patience and wait for your initial response to know which brush to get!

I am going ahead with ordering the GSN 05 and can’t wait until I get it! I don’t know at this point if I will buy either a Koyudo or Hakuhodo brush. But there’s time for that.

Again, please know that your information on this blog is invaluable, especially for those of us who are expanding our brush collections. You have broken it all down so well and I am just grateful for all that you do!

Sweet Make-Up Temptations 20 September, 2014 - 3:20 pm

No no worries, I often don’t give the exact names and it can be confusing 🙂
You mean from Beautylish ? I did, before they shipped internationally I used the help of a friend 🙂 now they should be shipping internationally and I know that if you have a problem they are easy to arrange it for you.
The GSN-05 is the brush that works the best with the most products and faces so in my humble opinion it’s a must have, I was a bit put off by the yellowish color of the hair but after using it, that type of hair is definitely spot on.
In the past (before I had any of the bigger gsn-05 look-alikes) I used the Shu 18 (same size of the g-10) but it was a pain to do all face with it, glad I could find a slightly bigger option. Then I used the g-10 and shu for contouring with cream products.

Wayne is a very nice person and a great friend indeed, I am very honoured and happy that I know him a bit better 🙂

Thank you very much for your support Mindy, I am very happily surprised that my blog is helping others out there, it’s actually want I aim for. Unfortunately it’s not always easy for me to find the time to do things properly and I suffer from that, frustration frustration…

Anyway, if you get it, I really hope it works for you and please keep me updated 🙂

Cindy 11 September, 2014 - 4:39 am

This is so overwhelming!! I’m getting so mixed up! Lol. My skin type is a little dry but not to sensitive. I wear tinted moisturizer with SPF and over that I wear mineral foundation (lightly – as I don’t like anything heavy or cakey looking) or sometimes a bronzer. Could you please tell me what brushes I should use for each, and then a finishing brush as well?
I’m from a small center and don’t have access to a lot of things so I have to order things online and I would really appreciate your recommendations as I have to get this right the first time!
This is a great review and you’ve done an excellent job, only I’m finding it’s going over my head as I don’t have any brushes and I don’t know we’re to start! Lol
Thanks so much

Sweet Make-Up Temptations 11 September, 2014 - 2:33 pm

Hi Cindy, getting it right the first time is really difficult, even if you see and purchase them in person, unless you can try them and most importantly COMPARE each one of them it is really tough.
But don’t feel so much pressure, a brush is great when it does it job and when you enjoy using it and many fit that category.
There are thousands of possibilities, so choosing the best for you from here it’s not easy for me. That’s why I try to describe them and then let you choose the ones that you think will better fit your technique.
In your case, I would pick the Chikuhodo GSN05 (foundation, tinted moisturizer), the Koyudo H005 (bronzer, powder, mineral foundation, soft finishing), the Koyudo BP013 (finishing, mineral foundation).
Start with those and then see if you need something else later and let me know how it goes 🙂

Cindy 11 September, 2014 - 3:22 pm

Thanks so much, this is a relief for me! I’ll order them today – and now I can’t wait to get them! Have a great day

Mindy Moore 5 October, 2014 - 4:43 am

I did get the Chikuhodo GSN 05 brush from Beautylish. This is a great brush and I am thrilled with it. I can’t believe how good my foundation looks when I use this brush. It was a good investment. Now I am trying to decide between the Wayne Goss 01 foundation brush or the Hakuhodo G5554 brush. I don’t have a problem with the small head size of the Wayne Goss brush, because I have a small face. But opinion on his brush is divided online. I thought that the G5554 brush would be the best size for me. Thanks to reading this blog, I now understand the difference between the 2mm and 4mm Hakuhodo G series brushes. I need the 4mm. I think the G5552 would be too small for foundation and the G5556 would be a bit too big. So now I have to make a decision. That will give me some diversity in foundation brushes and also two high quality ones.

Jessica 12 December, 2014 - 8:36 pm

Can I just say, I discovered your website over 2 weeks ago and I have been obsessed every since. You’re amazing! I literally spent the first 3 days poring over your blog as if it were my job. I have super sensitive delicate skin so when I saw that you do too, I was hooked.

Thanks to this site, the first time I bought high-end make up brushes online (a week ago) I ended up buying 6 Koyudo brushes! Before this, I had only used some pony hair brushes and synthetic brushes or whatever comes with a palette, oh and the Shiseido foundation brush (was a gift). Honestly they sucked, so I had lost all faith in brushes. Seriously, I believed I was doomed to a life of crappy/not very good make up (sponges don’t look that great on me).

Then I stumbled upon your brush temple. Am feeling conflicted; I’m ecstatic I found brush heaven but guilty that I’m gonna now spend buckets of money on things I didn’t even know I wanted but now NEED.

I got BP13, BP16, fu-pa07, H011, H005, CP011 from cdjapan. Birthday gift to myself so I went a little crazy. First impressions: the packaging was not as nice as I imagined, the brushes (except BP13, the guy’s a giant) were smaller than I imagined, but they were ADORABLE. I spent a good 20 mins admiring their cuteness. SO so soft. Even fu0-pa07 which you compared to rae’s radiance was softer than any of my other brushes. They did smell a bit like animal, which doesn’t really bother me. Great quality, like 2 pieces of fallout from all 6 post-wash. Minimal tugging on the skin, even the buffing brush is gentler on my skin than my Shiseido.

Now that I know brushes can be so good, I can’t go back.

ana 12 March, 2015 - 12:56 am

Hi Sonia, been reading your posts for days now. You are awesome. I’ve learnt so much!! My question is: Which Hakuhodo brush is the “copy” of TF02? I learnt that the Hakuhodo 5543 is the same as TF06 so I’ve been looking all over the net to find out which Hakuhodo brush is the twin brother/sister of TF02. I am using exclusively a very thick cream foundation (not liquid) and I would like to get the proper Hakuhodo brush for that. Thank you
Ana 🙂

Sweet Make-Up Temptations 24 March, 2015 - 1:56 pm

hi Ana,
yes the 5543 is the similar dupe option… but to the blush one, this is the cream one with shorter bristles.
I would preferably use a stippling brush (like the G5554) for thick cream foundation but I am also trying the new foundation brush from Mizuho that is a bit similar to the Tom Ford (well, same idea), less dense, a tiny bit more splayed out and slightly angled.
The Tom Ford is a nice brush to finish the application, just for buffing the foundation once it’s applied. The con with this thick brush head is that foundation goes into the bristles (more than a stippling one) and the regular washing with water is a bit painful for such a luxury brush. Using it just for finishing keeps it usable for longer reducing the frequency of washes.
I am preparing the review of the Mizuho right now.

anonymous 15 April, 2015 - 9:57 pm

hi thank you for all the informative posts which got me crazy into buying brushes monthly, starting few months ago 🙂 I seriously have a question on foundation goat brushes. how do you apply it? stipple/blend/pulling out? I tried all this 3 methods and all the goat hairs i bought left me streaks. is there a good way to apply with goat hairs brushes? thank you!

Cairusan 26 March, 2018 - 11:16 am

So informative and thorough…just WOW!! Thank you so so much this helped me alot!!


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