Here is the Koyudo BP010 that I wanted to compare to other very similar but more expensive options and I know you are very curious about them, just like I was!
These pictures will shed some light about the shapes, the material is mainly goat hair although I will show some other options, the softness and density within the goat hair brushes slightly differs.
First of all, a few precisions : I enjoy goat hair brushes as much as other more pricey materials. Each material has its pros and cons. Goat brushes tend to be fast and furious, if your skin can tolerate them there is a chance you will reach for them regularly, they will last you longer, endure more regular washes, work more efficiently with some stubborn products. You will see me splurging on goat brushes as much as I will on others, they are cheaper but also interesting, softness can be an issue though and they have to be soft enough. I have very sensitive skin, some days I won’t even be able to use any goat brushes at all, I have a little collection of “last resort” brushes so I can apply makeup even when I won’t stand wind on my face!
During the normal days, which is thankfully nearly every day, I can use these brushes without any problem at all, they don’t poke or hurt or irritate. I understand the pain of having very delicate skin so if you have only the possibility to get one candle or tapered shaped brush, then better pick a squirrel brush that can fit the same purpose more comfortably.
About the Shape
My shape preference goes towards the Chikuhodo Special G-9, for a few reasons: the different pointed shape and the larger surface at the tip of the brush, it’s a bit like the adverts about the men razors that follow the shape of your face/chin covering every angle. Simple brush, professional and fun.
On myself I use it for bronzer or for powders but not for heavy coverage, more to even out the skin in combination with a sheer liquid foundation application. My dry skin doesn’t allow me a medium or heavy coverage solely with powder so when I want a more matte finish I use a very sheer liquid application first, then a very sheer powder foundation application, this pairing will deliver a matte yet lightweight result and my skin won’t generate any dry patches. If I try to achieve the same level of coverage only with powder, then I will see patches just after a few hours specially in winter. This Chikuhodo brush has been discontinued but they have a similar one here with a different handle but the dimensions of the head are similar.
The Mac 138 and the Koyudo BP010 are similar in shape but the Koyudo is slightly softer. This Mac is not bad at all, one of my favorite Mac face brushes, behind the 116 and the 165. Shame the 116 is not slightly softer, the shape is fabulous.
The Hakuhodo S103 is more tapered, firm and directional. It’s a beautiful brush, I wish it was a mix of goat/squirrel just to make it stand out more amongst the others.
The Wayne Goss Holiday LE brush is more splayed out than the Koyudo or the Hakuhodo, you see two of them because one is my mum’s. The story is that she was here visiting and I showed her videos of Wayne on how to apply makeup and she was blown away “I can learn how to apply makeup on the internet ? I want to learn “internet”!!!” 😀 She watched Wayne, she couldn’t understand a word but she loved that men can work and can love makeup, she is very open minded as long as she can have fun, she is on!!
My mum doesn’t apply much makeup but she looks very young for her age anyway, she uses lipstick, eye pencil, 1 eyeshadow eventually and on the face just one product that can act as 3 products in one => blush, powder, bronzer. She cannot use brushes that are too directional or that deliver a heavy coverage or that cannot pick enough product or unevenly, it has to be 100% fool-proof and painless.
I thought this WG Holiday brush was just what she needed, the “3 in 1” product application matches with that brush. I ordered one for her because she just has no clue how to order things and I wanted to check it before she got it 🙂 Then I read some of you had an issue with the washing so I wanted to wash it and check it. I did not experience any issues at all, neither shedding, nor bleeding, the shape as you see is totally fine and the softness is normal for a goat brush, it’s softer than many others here. Both brushes are. Wayne sent me the second one you see here for me, he is always making sure I have enough brushes LOOOL It’s never enough!
I took a macro picture to have a closer look at the hair of the WG brushes with the Hakuhodo and the Koyudo.
About the Softness
It took me a while to decide which brush was the softest, I wanted to do the blind test but then the density would be misleading. The Chikuhodo feels more pleasant but the difference is not that striking. If you can use goat brushes on a regular basis, that should not block you in getting one towards another. What should matter is the purpose, the density, firmness or price.
I took the picture and placed the brushes from the softest on the left to the less soft on the right. I changed my mind a few times because sometimes I could not feel any clear difference. The Koyudo is between the Mac and the others.
Today is a bad day (really sensitive), the Mac feels like needles if I stipple it on my cheekbones, so it’s not a day where I will enjoy goat brushes anyway 🙂
Please keep in mind that these brushes are not meant to be used in stippling motions, only “stippling” brushes should be rated while stippling with them 🙂 Stippling just helps a bit defining the softness of the bristles but with a normal usage, they don’t hurt, they just aren’t as soft as squirrel or blends with squirrel hair.
The two here are softer versions of 100% goat hair brushes, the Z-2 is grey squirrel, the G5521 is a mix of squirrel and goat, unfortunately they are smaller -can be good if you just want precision. The Z-2’s shape is perfection, very evenly bundled, it’s dense and extremely soft.
About the Precision
Whatever the brush, ideally your selection should not be based on the price but on what you will be able to achieve with it, basically: does it answer your needs? A brush that is great but doesn’t answer my needs won’t be as precious as the one that does, even if it’s expensive and gorgeous. If you want precision, don’t take the Chikuhodo G-9 here, if you want a sheer all over application, don’t take the Hakuhodo S103 since it’s the most directional of the bunch, instead if you want precision do take it.
On the left, the less dense and less directional, on the right the brush with the most firmness.
About the Price Tag
It depends how easy your access to them is. Hakuhodo USA have their website available to all of us : hakuhodousa.com. Koyudo have easy international delivery with CDJapan (link here). Chikuhodo Japan do not deliver internationally, well they do but you will have to contact them directly and the process is very expensive. Chikuhodo have Kohlindo.se who sell their brushes to any country around the world but you will pay a higher price (it’s normal, they have fees too) and Now-eproject.com (even more fees). Mac is super expensive in Switzerland but it’s cheaper in the USA. Wayne Goss has a seller in the USA (Beautylish.com) and one in the UK (Love-Makeup.co.uk).
The price of the Chikuhodo here is the price you would pay in Japan, it has been converted to JPY.
- Chikuhodo Special G-9 : bronzer, sheer application of foundation powder or finishing powder
- Wayne Goss Holiday : bronzer, blush, healthy powder or finishing powder
- Koyudo BP010 : sculpting bronzer (specially with powders that aren’t much pigmented, at this moment using it a lot with Bobby Brown Antigua)
- Mac 138 : I don’t use it at the moment, I keep it for comparisons with others when I receive questions.
- Hakuhodo S 103 : sculpting bronzer, blush, setting with powder or finishing powder.
The firmer ones will deliver more blending power, the less dense will be more fool-proof.
The Wayne Goss shape and density is the most versatile of them since you can use it for all those applications, but with the others you don’t always have that versatility, it depends on the brush. Some of you have easy access to Mac and at the USA original price, here in Switzerland this brush is approx 80$ (and you can’t even find it, the price of 80$ is based on the price of a Mac 134 that is also 53$, that correspond of the scale difference between the USA prices and the Swiss ones).
I will show you now some other candle shaped brushes, the J103 is the white version of the S103, if you still want goat hair but softer goat than the others, definitely pick the J103, the only issue is the white bristles don’t stay white for a long time -duh 🙂 It is not as full and splayed out as the WG Holiday brush. The J103 softness is better than the Koyudo but it’s 84$… which is nearly double the Koyudo…
I hope this was helpful to you, if you have questions, don’t hesitate 🙂
UPDATE 11th of February 2014
Since I just received the Rae Morris #22 here is a pic …
Sioia- I’ve been waiting for this post with much excitement! My day is ALWAYS made when I see a new post pop up in my emai! I am anxiously awaiting for 2 of my 5 brushes to arrive before Cool Japan Now ships order and the BP010 is one of them! I really wish Chikuhodo would bring back the Special G-9 :(. I will have to settle and get the G-16 at some point. The few reasons I ordered the Koyudo is more readily available/accessibility, the price, and the few Koyudo I do own at the moment have not been a disappointment! thanks for making my day….. 🙂
oops spelling mistake *Sonia* sorry, too excited 🙂
hahaha I will survive Michouielle 😀 😀 😀 keep calm and enjoy 😀 <3
waw lool ok I am so touched 🙂
I believe Koyudo is the best quality vs price and their creativity is such fun! I prefer when they blend goat and squirrel, Fu-pa 14 is a work of art!
warm hugs from snowy Switzerland!
I’ve been saying I need the Z-2 since forever. Still have not broken down and got it. :X
haha Bea soon or later you will buy all Z series brushes 😛
You also got the MK2 earlier right ??
Wow koyudo is so much cheaper than the others … ok the chikuhdo is also not far away.
ohh the J103 looks nice too i wish Haku would make nicer ferrules for some brushes … I mean how they connect the handle and ferrule the black handle is not that bad.
I have some dreams about nice combos…
My G5519 with a Z series handle
My J210 with a passion series handle !!!
Hi Sonia, brushes that come to a sharp point confuse me for some reason. If they are chubby and with a point, they aren’t precise unless I am super careful and use a very light hand. So what is the purpose of the sharp point? And if I use it vertically, the sharp point gets smushed and in the way unless again I use a very light hand.
Maybe the problem is that I don’t have a variety of techniques. I tend to have a fairly heavy hand and prefer vertical application — so prefer a round top brush and for precision, a slim round top brush.
I think I could use the Koyudo BP010 as the tip is not too pointy, but the Haku 103 I did not use so gave that one away. I then purchased the Z2 which is better as it is smaller, but somehow again, the candle shape throws me off a bit and I don’t use it much. 🙁
I totally see what you mean. If the very sharp point is on an eyebrush and the eyebrush is not dense enough, I don’t see the point (hahaha) because you won’t be able to do much with it, doesn’t pick color evenly 🙂
Now, for the face brushes, for example the bigger pointy ones reach the sides of the nose, the corners more easily than a flat brush, I do not experience problems when applying bronzer for example, the application is even because the surface is bundled evenly. For the smaller cheek brushes, you are supposed to use them at an angle but just like you I prefer round blush brushes, not even flat ones, or pointy ones, but round AND flat like the Chikuhodo GSN-04. The little pointy ones are more ideal for highlighter or to set the foundation with powder because you will have to push more precisely in parts where the skin gets more oily like the sides of the nose, near the eyes without mattifying the cream blush you may have nearby (just to give you an example why precision is sometimes necessary even in a setting brush), that precision is more difficult to achieve with a flat brush.
The technique makes a difference, try to play with it at an angle and roll it 🙂 maybe you find something that will help you better.
Maybe you will see that with time it’s not layering products that gives the best result but placing them strategically in smaller zones. Flat brushes are my favorites, just like you, and also very angled ones (like the Paula Dorf cheek).
I don’t believe in “one brush does it all regardless of the shape” but it’s not necessary to have every shape of brush, but instead just the ones that suit you better in terms of technique, preference and purpose, that’s why it’s so difficult for me to recommend brushes to brush lovers because something that is great for somebody may be terrible for someone else…
Oooh, I see, thank you for the explanation! 🙂
I have combination skin but will eventually get oily all over during the course of a day because it is humid here so I use powder to set foundation on my entire face and blot the T zone as needed. No finesse, here! As for highlighters, I find using a blush brush lightly is fine…maybe just lazy to get the Z2 out just for that. I don’t do much contour either. My round face has developed odd angles as skin has gotten less elastic with age, yuck, so contours below the cheekbone look weird. But I occasionally contour along the jawline to hide droopy jowls and an angle brush works well for that purpose.
Thanks for your suggestions! I’ll have to play with the Z2 a bit more.
BTW, I purchased a second black Koyudo Fupa 14 — love, love, love that brush! It’s the first brush that applies mineral foundation well on me. What a difference a brush makes!
Thanks Sonia for the review. Koyudo BP010 will be in my Koyudo wish list. Sigh… You just made my Koyudo wait a bit harder. I’m on 2nd week of 4-6 week wait for the order to arrive. Sigh again 🙂 I’m kinda blush freak so it would be oh so awesome if you can find time in the future to do a blush brush review. Your opinions about brushes are spot on. My little eye shadow brush army are raised based on your in-depth review and I couldn’t be any more happier with them. By the way, I ordered the Koyudo C001 per your recommendation. Can’t wait. Thanks again Sonia and have a good week.
Thanks for the review, always love the comparison photos. I love the shape of these round, tapered brushes. The Haku S103 is one of my favorite Haku brushes even though it isn’t that soft. I’m really wanting the Z-2, but since I don’t have a round and flat blush brush, I’d rather wait for the Chikuhodo R-C2 to be restocked and get that instead.
Carlyn, the R-C2 is a must have, so go for that one 🙂
Yes, the more I read your review and looked at your pictures, I decided it is a must have. Tommy is working on getting it for me as well as Tanseiso YSC17 and YWC17 which have the same shape I think. I don’t have any round blush brushes so I think those three might work out well. Looking forward to receiving them. I’ll keep you posted.
Wowsie…..that some candle shaped babies 🙂 🙂
I still love the s103, have been neglected her for a while dus to brush OD lately. But I have fallen in love with her all over again. Yes its not that soft as all the gray squirrel babies but thats what makes it stand out among all my brushes. Works amazing with my Kevyn Aucoin sculpting powder compact or targetted powder application.
And it has a special place in my heart since its my first Japanese brush I bought, which as we all know,
leads to so many others after that. LOL
Btw I recently bought the Chik Special G9 at Sakurado. They might still have it in stock.
brush OD 😀 I saw that !!!
I always love that when a person writes about candle shaped powder brush. So many people can’t pay enough attention to this kind of brushes, or giving simple comments, like multi-tasked, which is disappointing, because less people actually multi-task with them…
A Koyudo counter staff told me to hold the candle shaped brush perpendicular to my face and push the powder for extra coverage. : )
As for the difference across the brands, I didn’t expect that S series from Hakuhodo and G from Chikuhodo differs in function so much by their size, you have taught me a lesson again!
If only the Koyudo one is slightly larger, I would have crowned it a face brush knight even it is dyed and made of goat…
Your analysis on G9 reminds me of my difficulty in using Real Technique blush brush, I think it is too soft , too big, not dense enough for powder, I don’t feel the powder adhere to my face securely…
Love your special topic again (also your previous one, foundation I think. And I can’t recall if there is a powder brush shape comparison one?)
Looking forward to see more, in addition to the new brush posts. Although I can’t write as much now, hope you know that I am still an active reader aka fans.
Gladys, I have added a pic to the post 🙂
what topic are you speaking about ? So I don’t understand this question “And I can’t recall if there is a powder brush shape comparison one?” You are speaking in general about the powder brushes ?
I would love to do more posts but I am running all the time and have little time to spend here which is very very sad!
thank you for your support! very much appreciated, motivates me to find more time 🙂
Sonia, you know that we all LOVE when you post something! And we cannot by any rights expect you to do more or anything at all. We just value the community, the sharing of experiences, fun and all your lovely reviews and enlightening of special brushes.
So just a thought regarding your time, as you mention it. I have noticed that sometimes there is a while between your posts, and all comments stop on the site, and then all of a sudden 2 or 3 posts get up within a couple of days, where a lot of people comment.
Maybe you could hold some posts back a little and upload them, when you have a gap between finishing reviews? I have noticed that Lisa Eldridge do that to avoid to long time between posts.
Just a thought 🙂
I know loool I should do that but I absolutely cannot make plans, I get hold at my work very often, working 10 to 12 hours a day, and whenever I can spend some time on the site I just go ahead and post.
I always plan to answering the comments during my lunch break, coffee break and in the evening but often I am called on emergencies or urgent projects and cannot even do that 🙁
also I start to receive a lot of private emails -which is great- and I struggle to answer everything, it makes me really sad. On the other hand, I would be stopping the posts in favor of answering the emails and for those of you who wait for the reviews to place (or not) a purchase the wait is not fun …
my bf tells me exactly the same thing as you did 🙂
I am just not great at organizing myself… thank you for your advice, I will try to be more regular 🙂
Oh, it’s just my wrong writing, I mean, I can recall that you have a detailed foundation brush post (hair type, shape), but I am not sure if you have a powder brush post. I posed a great challenge by asking you in the comment section, and you gave a series of more than detailed insightful analysis related to products to be used.
I understand that you have very little time now, seeing that you are gradually more active in facebook and instagram (both of which I don’t use very often now). You are already very involved in helping us : )
Thx a lot for that. btw, your new photo and our dear fellow readers make me very surprised at the new Rae Morris range, especially when the eye shader brushes are so similarly priced like WG’s. As for the tapered powder brush by Rae Morrie, I kind of think of the difference in squirrel hair between Tanseido and Chikuhodo, Tanseido is very soft and fine, Chikuhodo provides strong spring, it’s a matter of taste and skill~~
Looking forward to your Rae Morris brush review, haha.
I will have more time soon, I am completing a huge project at work and it’s eating my weekends as well 🙁
I started on the networks because my friends told me I should and would enjoy them! it’s fun for sure! I wish days had 48 hours!
I will mention the difference between RM and WG and Chikuhodo!
No I don’t have a specific post about powder brushes (yet), maybe I should do one ?? 🙂
Thank you for such a formative article!