The TAKUMI collection was just released last month, while I was waiting to receive my parcel I already knew these were great brushes, the SMuT friend community started sharing pics and raving about them on the forum already a few days ago… a reading that triggered a second order for the remaining 3 that I also wanted but didn’t dare to order before. I just have 5 of them today, 3 more are on their way to me. Since you may be excited to see how they look like I thought I could start sharing my thoughts on the ones that I already got.
The collection is made of 11 brushes that you can purchase individually. The white ones are all bundled with Saikoho goat hair.
Saikoho hair comes from the neck of the goat and is the highest quality, there is a topic here on the forum about goat hair. Some of us know that there is a way to go even softer, with “Saibikoho” but unless you want to pay each brush 300$ you better stick to Saikoho which is already insanely good. To compare the softness of Saikoho to other brushes, for example let’s take the J Series from Hakuhodo. Some of the J Series are made with Saikoho (usually the round brushes). Some other J Series are Ototsuho (which are better with liquids). Some white Hakuhodo’s are Sokoho with a little Saikoho mixed in to give them more softness and still don’t compromise on efficiency. The choice of material goes with the purpose of the brush -most of the time-. If you are going to be using the brush perpendicular to your skin, the softer the better, hence the round brushes will often be softer. If the brushes are flat, you’ll use the swipe motion, so it doesn’t matter that much, swiping doesn’t require very soft bristles since you won’t feel the tip of the hair in a perpendicular motion, hence less chances it will poke you. Brushes for liquids require a higher efficiency and stronger blending hence they will be thicker and more enduring.
What you need to remember is that Saibikoho is the softest but it’s too rare and soft does not always pair with efficient. If you are a collector and have a budget, you have to try one Saibikoho though… but otherwise, just go with the next quality which is the excellent Saikoho.
Sokoho comes from the same place as Saikoho but the latter is slightly superior in quality (selection). There are many names for every type of bristles but this is just to point out that these Takumi are very soft brushes, softer than Mac, softer than many options out there.
The Takumi collection is designed by Mr Tesshyu Takemori, here besides me:
Mr Tesshyu Takemori is one of the Presidents and also the Chairman of Chikuhodo and I confess I was very impressed to be at the manufacture talking to him, actually I was totally messed up. I could not talk properly, I couldn’t even write, I had to write the word “brush” (signing his guest book in his office) and I didn’t manage to and made a mistake, can you even believe it ? duh !!!! My boyfriend was looking at me and smiling, telling me that they were really nice and that I shouldn’t be nervous but it wasn’t even funny, my soul was begging for control, I may look calm in the picture, believe me, I just wasn’t in control of anything 🙂 Mr Tesshyu Takemori is also behind the Kiwami design, my favorite brushes ever.
It’s a family business, every one gets to work there. I don’t even know why I was so nervous because they were so kind with us, so humble, so funny and welcoming… I wanted to hug them really bad but I thought they would throw me out if I did 😀
My dream was to take a picture with the 3 Chikuhodo generations and it happened! but I will share that in the post that I will dedicate to my visit.
So… the brushes… let’s come back to them.
Did you see those handles ? They are matte black, there is the Chikuhodo logo written in red, followed by “by Tesshyu Takemori” and then the number of the brush, nothing written at the back. The eyeshadow brushes are quite lightweight but the two face ones are heavier. It feels like the ferrule is metal and is the heaviest part of the brush, the handles could be wood but I am not certain, when you press them against your skin the ferrule feels cold so you know that is metal. I personally like sturdy brushes and I am really happy with the face brushes, I wouldn’t mind that the eyeshadow ones were heavier, but that is a personal preference. They are super gorgeous, elegant, they look very Japanese with the white/black/red combination and at the same time they feel solid which is fantastic.
I tried a picture on a black background, maybe it’s better to see the shapes:
|In cm:||Total length||Hair length||Base of ferrule||Surface||Price (approx)|
Those of you who love round blush brushes, you need this in your life. Why ?
…It’s a gorgeous brush, costs approx 45$-55$ depending on where you buy it, but it’s worth it. Why ?
…It’s like having a partner who can cook, be sexy, be kind, be clever, be creative and on top of that, be funny. It ticks all the boxes. Well, maybe the “be clean” box not that much because it’s white, it will always look dirty as soon as it starts doing something 😀
You can use it with blush, bronzer, powder, whatever you want. You can even use it with mineral foundation (swirl and tap). Those of you in the hunt for the perfect brush for Guerlain Meteorites, don’t look away, it’s here, it will handle your balls like no other. Sorry… So yeah, a T-4 full of potential.
The density is medium, it’s less dense than the Hakuhodo J210, less dense than the Kashoen, very slightly denser than the BP016 (can’t really tell) but the Koyudo does not have the same shape, it has the same softness.
The closest brush in functionality is the GSN-04 from Chikuhodo. This is a brush that I could not live without, you don’t have the issue with the white bristles here, well, for some it’s an issue for others they just prefer them white, specially because of how they look. The GSN-04 is just slightly firmer and directional.
The two on the left, Suqqu and Chikuhodo Z-4 are for size reference.
I was hoping that this brush was a bit less dense and maybe not as flat at the surface, irregularities can sometimes be a plus and not make them as flat and massive on the skin. It’s very soft though so if you want to stipple your foundation it will feel super soft. But continue reading please…
… I have tried it with liquid foundation but the foundation sinks into the bristles. If you want to apply it with your fingertips or a flat brush before and then only finish with this, then the finish will be absolutely flawless and you won’t end with too much foundation down the head of the brush. I’d rather just use it for finishing anyway.
I don’t use powder foundation, sometimes just a bit to set or add more coverage to a previous coat of sheer liquid foundation, but at this moment my skin is so dry that I need to stay away from powder, whatever the powder. But it does a great job of covering the pores if you need to. The size is also very appropriate, not too small not too large.
I will be using it with cream blush, specially when the blush is like a stain and difficult to pick, this will work nicely and blend nicely, with a less “hair mass” feeling than the Hakuhodo J528 that I find a bit too dense, that J528 moves the product around where the T-3 does the same job but without forgetting to leave and blend some as it goes… I hope you get what I mean. The Hakuhodo is a bit too dense and stiff to follow my face features, that doesn’t mean you can’t do other type of work with it, we are not all equal in the brush world, we all have our criteria and I prefer less dense brushes or with a less flat surface when they are.
I took a pic with some others for size reference. I am loving the Rae Morris for mineral foundation, perfect length and density for a natural coverage, does follow my face features, beautiful results always.
I also think it’s a good idea to use the T-3 for contour and highlight when you want to proceed with cream products, then blend them all together once they are placed on the skin.
Conclusion: The T-3 offers a bit more flexibility than the Hakuhodo J528 but remains a super dense brush.
Here I am in Heaven territory. This is just a wonderful little precious thing that came with a VIP ticket to the top place in my 2014 top favs. I was looking for a brush like this since… I don’t remember… We all have a brush shape somewhere that makes our eyes sparkle with desire. Here is mine.
I have always been after big eyeshadow brushes, well, I love big brushes in general, maybe because I am quite big myself, who knows. It’s not a brush that you necessarily need for achieving your look but that you may want to reach for every single day just for love sake.
I use it for base eyeshadow application, for blending, for highlighter, for contour, for setting the little zones around the T zone, for dusting away, and I will even use it for blush because sometimes blush pans come in a micro size or other times I want to use eyeshadows as a blush. I can’t do the same with the Chikuhodo GSN-07 because that one is not as thick and fluffy. The Paula Dorf is an excellent blender but a quite pokey one, it will be ok as long as I don’t need to put pressure on it.
The others here are for size reference but you will see in this next pic that sideways it’s even as thick as the Hakuhodo J116. Stunning.
It’s dense but not overly dense that it will make your application painful and difficult to control. Similar softness as the Hakuhodo J116 (that I love, such a beautiful brush). The Takumi and J116 are the softest here.
This is a brush many of you should get asap. I have received many questions about finding a Mac 217 dupe but smaller, for smaller eyes, for better precision but with blending capabilities. It’s here so you can go ahead with this one.
It does placement and blending and in a super controlled way, for my hooded lids it’s spot on, I do the crease/outer v “Rae Morris” way, I found the tutorial that inspired me and you can have a look here if you are interested.
I can do what I want where I want, no more need to correct, over-blend, etc. I just used it three times so far since they are new but each time the result was totally perfect. Since it’s smaller, you can also use it as lid brush, transition, crease, etc. You can do the whole look with it. The top of the brush is fluffy enough so that you can use the surface for placement. The one brush you can throw in your bag for a trip.
I have only good things to say about this brush… except that the white bristles will probably upset me at some point. When I use white brushes a lot, they tend to look older sooner than darker ones. It’s normal though, but can be sad.
In the picture here I was trying other soaps, my traditional Savon de Marseille is super efficient, I recently received some brush soaps that I was playing around with but that I don’t really like to use. The state of the J5523 shows why. A few days ago I have received another brush soap from my friend Tesla, the Takeda soap and that one is really very nice, works and foams like the Marseille one, I love it. I visually and mentally need to see a soap foaming when I clean them, no foam no fun…
You can see here the side of the T-7, not as large as the Mac or Hakuhodo, but dense enough to work just like them with just more precision. It has the similar softness as the J5523.
I also was in the hunt for a brush like this for a while. A nice multipurpose pencil brush.
It is very similar to the Kumano Select Shop SS4-4 that I am really truly in love with. The Takumi is softer, smaller and offers more precision but very similar shape. I am adding here the SS4-2 because if you were going to place an order with Kumano Select Shop, you need that crease brush… just saying… in the very near future I will publish my post on how to purchase hard to get Japanese brushes, so get ready if you want to try… 🙂
The Chanel is a nice little blender but it’s rough on my eyes, it’s here for size and shape reference. I use it mostly with harder cream shadows.
The Z-10 is a bit too soft and floppy at the surface so I can’t really control what I am doing… The Suqqu M is not as pointy. Chikuhodo R-S4 is a brush that I enjoy but the Takumi is pointier and has larger sides so the multipurpose factor is more interesting with the Takumi.
I also often receive questions about brush guards. No I don’t use pro brush guards. Not even for drying them. If I want to do something about the shape while they dry, I will use kitchen paper and put tape around it, this will help with the shaping if I really am not too lazy to do it, sometimes I have to wash 80 brushes… so I clearly won’t do it for all. This will enhance the shape after the cleaning process, specially when you have round or tapered brushes that you wish more directional.
I use the towel here for the picture so that you can see the bristles but they were not dried facing up… just in case you wonder. Here they are already dry and I just wanted to take a picture. Whatever you do, remove all the excess water before you leave them to dry or the glue will suffer.
I love them, I think they are covering new shapes and that they are of true interest.
I used them all 3 times, I could do my whole face with them, no need for other brushes. I used Charlotte Tilbury Fallen Angel (new palette) and that very soft creamy texture worked super well with these brushes. I also used powder shadows and the result was also perfect. I haven’t tried them with harder creamy textures but I am sure they will work as well.
I have the feeling that the T-3 is not a brush I will use very often, we can’t properly review something after just a few uses so we’ll see how it goes.
I think these brushes have some kind of Ninja disguise capabilities… I can’t stop loosing them, on my desk, on my vanity, it’s getting on my nerves… I spend quite some time looking for them, I need to reserve a place just to store them and do not blink away when I am using them…
Serious concerns ?
I am crossing my fingers that the logo won’t go away, it’s not engraved, it’s painted and since it’s too gorgeous I don’t want it to go away, I will be using the brushes often and since they are white, I will be washing them often.. that certainly may not help. Actually, yesterday I have been talking to Dustin (@thedustinhunter) and Danielle (@deedeetn) on Instagram and Dustin told us about dying the white bristles, I will seriously do it for some of my brushes that today look a bit “uglier” and that get to work on a very regular basis. I will be careful but I will certainly do it, not on these Takumi brushes but on others. Wayne Goss are white brushes that have been dyed after all and they are extremely nice to use -and I don’t need to wash them as many times or look at them all dirty…
If you are allergic to dye this is not to consider. Do not forget that many make-up artists, when they don’t find the brushes they need in the market, the modify/cut/whatever existing brushes. Yes it will alter their original look but to me it does not feel like a sacrilege, it will be more of a sacrilege if you buy a gorgeous brush and if you don’t use it for whatever reason 🙂 Anyway, I will be doing that in the upcoming days so if you want to me to share I will…
These brushes are available on the Chikuhodo website (they don’t ship internationally and not even to a forwarding company, tried, my order was cancelled). You can either have someone get them for you in Japan or use Visageusa.com or I think Beautylish.com will also have them in the future.
I hope this helped 🙂
Disclaimer : I am still camping in the living room so the pics are dark … hopefully next month I will move in my “brushroom” with new lights and more comfort… 😀