I am trying to catch up with all the reviews I owe you, there are so many of them in the queue that I didn’t even know where to start! I decided to continue with the brush reviews just because I am too sick to do makeup reviews for now, so here comes another one on brushes -you are probably a bit tired of this topic by now- but let’s hope I can still capture your interest despite the deja vu…
Recently I bought a few Hakuhodo brushes, directly at the manufacture in Kumano, or at the Mitzukoshi mall in Ginza or even at the Minami-Aoyama shop. Some were bought when I returned from my trip because I knew I could get them via their USA website anyway. At some point my brush-budget was kind of getting short so I had to postpone a few 🙂 When controlling ourselves is not an option, prioritization and time are our best friends!
When I was visiting their manufactures I asked them if I could work there (in exchange of some brushes) but they just laughed … I don’t think they took me seriously! 😀 I was only joking.. Sure it takes years and practice to get to such a level of craftsmanship, what was I thinking ?!
I did some filtering and kept only the most exceptional for this post. Just please keep in mind that I am a brush lover so I buy brushes based on how fast my heart beats for them, my reason comes just second in line.
These are the ones that I love the most or that are the most unique or less likely to have reviews on the web :
I still have my eye on some others but I will write to Santa in due time and hopefully get them for Christmas…
The foundation brushes : S 4001 and S 5557
These two are brushes that already exist in the G or J series but this time with the vermilion and gold handle, they are so prestigious compared to the brushes you can get over here in the beauty counters. When friends or relatives come visit and see these they totally fall in love. There is such a huge gap between what you can get here for this price tag and what you can get in Japan that it’s just common sense to target Japanese brands, well, providing you know where to find them and how to order them.
I won’t go into detail on these two because they are mentioned here already so please have a look at this post if you want to know more about how I use them.
Brief summary, the S 5557 (101usd) will be a workhorse in terms of blending and buffing, the S 4001 (86usd) is the opposite, not much blending and buffing power but its strength is more in the softness and the lightweight aerial diffusion of the color. They are the total opposite from each other.
The S 5557 is dense and the synthetic bristles are not much longer than the goat bristles, that doesn’t leave a lot of flexibility to the head. Despite that, it doesn’t feel abbrasive on my skin, the application of foundation is fast and absolutely perfect. This will blend the hell out of any thick or rebel foundation you can imagine.
I didn’t need them because I already had similar brushes that could achieve the same result but it’s just the handles that made me want them really badly. The handles are a bit fragile so I keep them for home use only. You definitely need to take good care of them and avoid accidents but I really love heavy sturdy brushes, sturdy brushes aren’t usually very beautiful to look at but these totally made me drool in the boutique… For those of you who prefer shorter or just even lighter handles, more resilient and also, thankfully, cheaper, their twins are the G 5557 (69usd) and the J 4001 (54usd).
The blush brush : G5519BkSL
This is an expensive brush… but in terms of price for value, it does fit. I am not shocked.
This brush has the softest hair and a lot of it, it’s as soft as the Koyudo red squirrel LE. If your search targets a special brush and you don’t mind spending 132usd, then yes go for it. Now, in terms of results, you can get similar results with cheaper options or more efficient results for a cheaper price, for me what really seduces me is the perfection of the hair and the layering and density. If you squeeze it in your makeup bag, the shape of the head will be altered (until you wash it) so make sure it doesn’t get squeezed too much while travelling and store it with care.
Similar shape, similar softness… for those of you who missed on the Koyudo LE, this one is interesting :
Compared to the S110 you can see these are two completely different brushes but it gives you an idea of the shape and size. If you want something for a medium/heavy application, the goat brush S110 will apply and blend like a horse. The S110 has super nice goat hair that I use with less pigmented or very powdery blushes (like Chanel JC for example).
The G 5519 is made of blue squirrel hair and will deliver a very light application even with the most pigmented blushes. Even with this brush I have to control my heavy hand, I will always have a problem but this is maybe because I can’t stop stroking my face with it, for sure at some point it will just overload product, d’oh!
It’s similar in size but the shape is thinner on the G5519. I love very soft brushes but I can’t live without a few great goat brushes, we all need soft but also more strong, resilient and powerful brushes in our collection. Not thousands but at least 1 goat brush should be considered.
My favorite shape for blush brushes is clearly not the one above (flat and tapered), I prefer round brushes like the ones below. There are so many shapes and so many techniques to apply blush. My favorite shape is the round one and my favorite technique is to build the application in swirl motions but in spiral mode, starting from the center of the application and “spiraling” out. The intensity will be concentrated in the middle and that’s just how I like it.
The powder brush : J 104
If the question is “Do I need this if I have already a similar brush?“, the answer will be no, you don’t “need” it. If you apply Meteorites or pressed glowing powder for finishing your application, this is an excellent brush to have, it will give you the best finish for this type of product, it will allow you to gradually build the finishing powder application and then buff the volatile particles away.
It is appropriate for any product that needs gradual application on the whole face, with stronger buffing power than a squirrel brush but much softer than a typical goat brush, like the Shu 18R for example. I apply finishing powder or bronzer with it.
Fits in the typical Guerlain Meteorites case, picks a great amount of powder but since some of my meteorite balls are quite dry, that’s a very good thing. It will be a bit more aggressive than squirrel hair on the meteorites but just as soft as squirrel on my face. It has shed a few hairs and I need to keep an eye on it, just to make sure I am not being too harsh with it… or maybe some had to shed away… not sure. So far no more shedding and it has A LOT of hair but I’ll still pay attention and check how the situation evolves.
You see that for the softest powders it picks a lot so tap away the excess or you may find the application it too heavy. The little stains don’t stay on the bristles once applied by the way, but it won’t remain completely white either.
The crease brushes : S 141, S 146
If you are looking for little brushes or precise brushes these may be of interest. The quality is absolutely stunning and since I am always in the hunt for little brushes with bigger handles this fits my profile 100%.
The S 141 is pointy and remains pointy after washes so you’ll always keep the precision, since it’s kolinsky hair, you can use it with liquid or cream shadows too. I love to use it with soft cream shadows like the Shiseido shimmering creams to create a more precise “painted” look, you can draw a cut crease for example and use it just like you would paint a canvas. I have problems using it with the MUFE aqua creams but I don’t care because I don’t use these anyway, they look horrible on my lids. After I use it with creams I just wipe it with paper tissue and it gets clean enough for me to use it directly with the next color. It’s also great with concealer because of it’s precision if you have to cover little marks. Using this brush with powder it’s ok but I prefer fluffier options for that. It’s extremely soft and firm, doesn’t poke at all.
It is not available on the USA website but only on the Japanese one, the only way to get it is via a forwarding company or in Japan.
The S 146 is the small version of the S 142, I love cute little crease brushes that allow me to precisely place a medium intensity color in the crease but without a sharp edge to the application.
Both the S 146 and the S 142 are amazing in all aspects, I deeply love this couple. If you are looking for a normal size crease brush, the S 142 has very soft hair but it’s still extremely efficient, nice density so that it picks and blends without complaints, together with the Tom Ford 13 they my top favorite crease brushes.
The S 146 is softer and more pointy than the J146 but not as firm : the J146 delivers a heavier application than the S146 and can blend the application more efficiently, that’s simply the main difference in terms of results.
The big detail brushes : G 5539, G 5540
These are mutants. Not really eyeshadow brushes, not really face brushes… something that can either act as a salvation or as a pain in the b. They are very similar in size, but one is pointy and the other flat, they aren’t very dense at all and they have a lot of flexibility, what they do good is apply highlighter or sculpting powder when an eyeshadow brush is just too small and when a blush brush gets too big for your face features.
They are nice to have but not necessarily must-haves. I use and enjoy them because I don’t see myself using normal size eyeshadow brushes for these tasks (smaller eyeshadow brushes often deliver too much precision and a heavier application).
I have “defined cheekbones” (and they told me it’s a good thing…), but I still like to contour, I use the G5540 for sculpting the cheeks (no harsh lines and no muddy finish but not the most straightforward application) and the G5539 for highlighting exactly where I need it. They are “small enough” to fit in the browbone but I don’t really use them for that. They don’t poke at all and the quality of the hair is just as good as the J series.
I hope this picture gives you a better idea of their size, the hair length of the G5539 is 2.9cm and the G5540 is 2.8cm. I cannot find them on the USA website but don’t hesitate to contact Hakuhodo if you are interested (check out my previous post, at the end they say how to contact them).
The White goat fan and the flat kid cut at an angle*
I have always been attracted to fan brushes, my first fan was the Louise Young a long time ago but I wasn’t convinced that they could be a must-have in a brush collection. I was looking for a thicker one, softer and more fluffy, my expectations were fully met when I got the Koyudo H013, but when I saw the very similar Hakuhodo I could not resist and got my Koyudo a buddy.
Early this year I had a fun email conversation with the beautiful Karima, she was investigating around a fan brush for contour application, our conversation reminded me that I had an unfinished business with fan brushes… Fan brushes is probably something you look for when you already have the basic brushes and want something a bit different, you don’t necessarily need one (yes you do), it’s just a very nice to have brush that you will definitely use at some point during your makeup routine.
Depending on the fan brush, you can apply blush, contour, highlight, then finish and blend the whole application. I have a long face that has enough room to handle all those applications with just the big white Hakuhodo fan here, but that may not be the case for you.
The mini fan is like “sculpting for dummies” 😀 You apply the powder on the shorter side and “flick” the little brush with your index. It’s very flexible, doesn’t have much blending power but you won’t really need much since it doesn’t apply the contour heavily. There is another one (the round version of it) that was out of stock when I was over so Melissa is going to hunt it for me 🙂
Needless to say that this size of brush is really travel and smurf friendly.
White goat fan vs the Koyudo H013 :
Comparison of the white goat fan versus the mini angled flat fan :
I was trying to take a comparison pic and ended up with this … as you see, not much difference between the two fans and if you have one you clearly don’t need the other, the Koyudo is slightly softer but the difference is not that obvious. The Koyudo is also a bit thicker but they are both extremely good, dense and adorable.
That’s it for today.. I am here if you have questions, I hope you enjoyed and wish you a fantastic weekend!
*If you wonder where this title (The White goat fan and the flat kid cut at an angle*) comes from, that’s my bf’s sense of humour, he stole my computer to retype my title… (and if he reads this I am dead because he thinks I will remove it 😀 )