Yet another year is gone, enriched with so many new encounters and friendships, with still the same passion about Japan and, of course, their magnificent brushes.
It feels like I only started this blog yesterday, it’s still so fresh in my memory, Feb 2012, I remember my very first steps, it was so thrilling! I don’t exactly remember what got me into Japanese brushes though, I recall loop-watching Bea’s video on Youtube, I know it was one of the things that got me into this wonderful world of Japanese traditions. Well, you don’t always remember exactly what got you there, we start searching for one thing on Youtube and we end asking ourselves: “How the heck did I get here?”
It’s nearly 3 years now, to be very honest and open with you, I wasn’t expecting to still be here today but you made it possible. I am over the moon today and before I start rambling about 2014, I want you to know and to remember how much I care about you, every single post is written with you in mind, I imagine you reading on the go or chilling with a coffee or a tea nearby, or even patting your brushes for the craziest of you 😀 Your friendship is the heart of this blog and your interest and caring personalities the engine of the forum, so here’s me, cyberly and respectfully bowing at you and thanking you for every comment, every moment we shared together, for your love and for not judging…
For fun or nostalgia, I will now share some of my beauty-related memorable events of 2014, this is not the post about my fav brushes of 2014 -that one will come soon 🙂 Please feel free and very welcome to comment and add any beauty/brush related events that have impacted you, changed you, inspired you, surprised you, anything you want!
My 2014 was thrilling, intense, fun but also filled with many bumpy and chaotic moments but I am still here, strong(er), passionate and dying to get back to regular posting! As soon as I have my brush/office-room ready and installed, I’ll be back to normal life again! In a warm cosy room *literally cries with joy*
I am still “camping” in the living room if I may say, my desk in a corner, piles of letters on one side, piles of brushes on the other. Then my vanity table on the other corner, with boxes, bags, piles and piles of elementary beauty mess, not far away my boyfriend saying “Hey, you should do something about your vanity, it’s bending”.
Omg… he is right.
The only reason I laugh about it it’s because it’s a nervous reaction, I officially lost total control of my organization and it scares me. However, in my 4 months of camping I learned how to:
- achieve my daily beauty routine almost in the dark.
- apply my eyeliner while keeping my eyes on the dog-cat cat-dog chase.
- remain relatively calm when the cat violates the restraining order to stay away, very far away from my brushes.
By the way, I wasn’t planning on having a cat, but in 2014, Shadow joined the family and I admit, he is the most important, good and happy event of 2014.
Now let’s get to the point of this post, talk Beauty & Brushes’ highlights of 2014! Well, there’s a bit of everything, hopefully it will be useful and fun to recall some of the events that have brought excitement to 2014 🙂
The praised Paula Dorf crease brush came back!
I was waiting for it, it finally got re-released. Together with its little sister: the smoky lid. It may not seem that extraordinary to some of you but I was seriously wishing for it to come back.
There were some political issues with her name or brand brought to our attention by Bellyhead when I posted my review, Bellyhead shared this link, then I found this, if you want more information you can follow the links, I tried to get info but I never got replies or explanations of any sorts from Paula Dorf’s customer services.
So it’s up to you to see how much you want that brush, I personally find it excellent, we are not here talking about handmade beautiful brushes but just great efficient tools.
That crease brush, her angled blush brush and the smoky lid are part of my 2014 favs! They are not the softest brushes on earth but they are effortless and having to do fewer strokes is also an important fact to consider 🙂
Rae Morris magnetized me!
Rae Morris released her new revamped brush collection, still with magnets but this time located at the bottom of the brushes. I was against magnets in brushes but I still tried them just because of the N°23 that I love so very much and one triggered another and I ended with the whole collection, although part of it was gifted to me, I got backups of the 23, the 3 Ultimate Cheekbone and a few others that I use very often.
Today I admit I love her brushes a huge lot and I got used to the magnets! So.. never say never… 🙂
Wayne released new sets of brushes, absolutely divine. It was a very easy review because they are so effortless and so pleasant to use!
Just like Rae, they have impacted me quite a lot, I use them every day and I couldn’t recommend them enough! His eye brush set is the most well balanced eye set ever and so so worth it!
Gucci released a beauty collection, a thousand different items have been thrown at us all simultaneously, gosh it was overwhelming! There were no swatches, no reviews and yet I felt the urge of getting some asap! 😀
I started with the compact Tuscan Storm, that one is simply a must have but some of them are way too sparkly/shimmery for me, like the Serpentine Envy or the Pink quad. The terrible thing about this collection is that they are awfully expensive, in Switzerland one quad is 100$. I asked them and they told me it’s because all items are purchased in Euros then get converted into the currencies of the selling countries, still, that does not feel right to me. I am still waiting for the Geneva boutique to carry their whole line so that I can swatch everything and check the products in person but the prices are way too high. I prefer to spend my money on other brands where I feel my wallet is not being “raped”, sorry about the language but I am sure there is another way, it is not worth 100$.
Still not tempted by the brushes, I will check them in person but I think here you will be paying exclusively for the name of the handle, but I make it my mission to verify that and let you know asap.
Troy Surratt released a brush collection, very nice to say the least, expensive but really nice! Since the announcement it kept us panting while waiting for it but it’s now here! 😀
Some of you are already enjoying it, I have only 2 brushes but I sure do love them!
Sonia Rykiel has been discontinued
In 2014 I discovered Sonia Rykiel’s cheek products. I had two eye compacts but it’s when I tried the face products that I realized the potential, I was going all crazy about the brand when I have been informed that she was stopping her license with Albion in 2014 and therefore she is discontinuing her line (not sure if the whole line or just the make-up). HUGE disappointment, seriously, I used her face products for a few months and I cannot find anything better for mature/rish skin, I am really sad.
Albion are also behind Anna Sui or Elegance but with Rykiel, the results of her make-up on my skin were way above any expectations.
Kumano Fude Select Shop launched a brush collection
In 2014 I went to Japan for the second time, I still have to share my adventures and they were absolutely unbelievable so I’ll get to those posts in a few weeks, one by one I will introduce you to the people I met.
During my trip I discovered the new launch of the Kumano Fude Select Shop brushes, Kumano stands for the town where the manufacture is located, Fude stands for “brush” in Japanese, Select Shop is the name of their shop… I am loving those brushes so much! Not all of them because you know my delicate skin cannot handle every brush that is made, but for the ones that I can use, they are fantastic!
Koyudo launched extreme sets
Koyudo have been releasing very extreme sets for a while, in 2014 I got a few… If you are a collector, with Koyudo you will definitely find happiness.
During my 2013 Koyudo visit I hadn’t met the President, in 2014 I did, he is and feels very VIP, he looks very serious, is a very classy man with a very good taste for art or anything else that requires skills and engineering. I was very impressed, my boyfriend was too, he enjoyed every minute of it!
Richard -my bf- was happy to come with me to Kumano but he was fearing that he will be a bit bored having to spend a few days there but omg, he was sooo thrilled!!! I was watching him and I never saw him so honestly happy to be there and appreciative and of course then I felt proud that I was able to introduce him to those wonderful persons.
Richard and I were admiring their wonderful brushes and techniques, the President is an artisan too, a very talented one, one of the rare few ones who can technically achieve a replica of the oldest known brush of Japan, the Tenpyohitsu. I already shared the history and a picture on my Instagram feed 🙂
This was one of the most extreme gifts I have ever received… this calligraphy brush is huge and an absolute masterpiece!
It was also the year I finally splurged on the Kiwami, what a wonderful set of brushes!! It just convinced me that canadian squirrel bristles are the best of all. It is such an honour to have this set, made by Mr Teshyu Takemori, President and Chairman of Chikuhodo.
Unfortunately that set is now sold out and they won’t be making any more for now.
He released plenty more brushes during 2014 that were amazing, the Takumi and the two Noel sets! I love them so so much! I am sure that if you got them, you’ll love them too 🙂
How cool it was to see our friend Cat with Hakuhodo exhibitor during IMATS and she even had the opportunity to be in front of a camera, I think she is born to do that and that she should be a star on Youtube! Talking about great surprises, that made my year!!! 😀 Thank you Cat!! <3
Other 2014 Random Observations
It’s getting easier to purchase beauty products internationally, Nordstrom, Selfridges, Harrods just to mention a few, lowered their shipping fees and made it easier, well, it’s still expensive due to the custom taxes for most of them but at least it’s possible.
For the other Japanese brands, some online boutiques are helping a lot, like CDJapan.co.jp, in 2014 they started selling IPSA, Suqqu, RMK, etc… and thanks to the social networks and my smutty friends, Toshiya san, @fudejapan on Instagram, has been discovered, today, hard to get brushes are not that hard to get anymore! This is just huge news, thank you to all of you who were part of this for that wonderful discovery! We all appreciate Toshiya’s dedication to our passion 🙂
Make-up hits and misses
I still made too many make-up purchases in 2014, although much less than in 2013!!! A lot was wasted but I found great hits too. IPSA, Rykiel, Shu, Cle de Peau, Tom Ford, Suqqu, Givenchy (Croisière), Burberry, etc but for sure, there are 3 brands that I just can’t skip every time they will release a new item, those are Tom Ford, Suqqu and Burberry!!! My 3 top fav brands of 2014!!!
Sticking to the Tom Ford Neroli Portofino, the other bottles are just for decoration, this Neroli is now running in my DNA.
I wasn’t happy to splurge on a very very high end Shampoo and I always went for medium range ones, in 2014 I tried the very insanely expensive Philip B.
Did it made a difference? yes. I keep it for very special occasions, maybe use it one or twice a month but it does make a difference for sure, I am not happy to spend that much money in something that I wash away but when I use it, I don’t need make-up to feel good… 😀
As you could see, I did not had much time to write, my health issues (again), some unfortunate events and the building of the office/brush room took me all the free time I had 🙁
My smuty friends came to the rescue and kept it alive, posting and sharing their collections and experiences with brushes, that’s simply amazing and I want to thank them so much for that!! Tesla, Jeanette and Sarah <3 thank you for your precious time!!
2014 Dreams, Wishes and Resolutions
Due to my health issues in 2014, my plans to follow a beauty certification had to be postponed, hopefully in 2015 if health and time permits!
Yes, achieved!! Loved it, will go back in 2015!! I had a dream to meet the artisans again and I am so happy it could happen, specially meeting Koyudo’s President and Mr Teshyu Takemori!! Very magical moments.
Not the best weather but that didn’t matter at all!
Rae Morris books
I love Rae’s books, I had made the wish to meet her and have her books signed, unfortunately I couldn’t meet her but I did get my books signed! As soon as I told Jim (Rae’s husband) I had this dream, a few weeks later it came true! She is an inspiration, my very first amazing looks were inspired by her Youtube videos and getting to know her in 2014, even if it was only virtually, was a wonderful experience.
Not finished I am afraid, when you are doing things that you haven’t done before, you learn a lot but it takes much longer to complete.
We had to do everything by ourselves, destroying first and rebuilding after, we have finally mounted the plaster boards on the structure and the isolation (all that took so much time), today we are going to cover the edges of each plaster board and hide the visible screws, then we can install the floor that I bought this week and finally we will be able to do the paint. Phewww!!
The green is the colour of the plaster boards, it’s not the final colour of the room! I changed my mind a few times but I found exactly what I wanted to do with it, Houzz.com is amazing for that, you get so much inspiration from others! If you are curious, you can still go to my Pinterest page where you can have glimpses of what it will have inside 🙂
The 2015 resolutions are:
- Finish the brush-room!
- Eat healthy…
- Write more… I have a hundred posts pending for you 🙂
- Fill the Brush Temple Database with my zillion new brushes…
- Dream, create and think out of the box!
- Meet you!
New functionalities on the blog
In 2014 I have been preparing something for you, a beauty/brush directory to help finding our loved brushes, either online or locally in Japan, also addresses for the museum, manufactures, etc, it will all be centralized there, with maps and notes that you can also browse on your mobile 🙂
I am adding more Notes and my own comments but you can already visit it and browse it! I hope that helps you! It took me a while to do it and configure it and I will add more shops in the future, but let’s see how it goes.
What’s coming in 2015
I know many things are coming in 2015, I have been to the source and I have seen things but I can’t talk, I just know that 2015 is going to be amazing 😉 so hold on tight, it’s going to be fun!!!
I wish you all the very best for this New Year, happiness, health, love, peace, prosperity, creativity, success, a job that you enjoy, also to have enough money to eat healthy and also to spend on your hobby or passion, whatever it is 🙂 and since free time is a luxury, I wish you as much free time as you could possibly have!
Once more, thank you for being here with me and spending yours with me, I truly appreciate it and dearly love you!!