Mizuho is starting to release new Series under the brand “SHAQUDA”, more details to come soon. Today I wanted to share my first impressions on some of the brushes that are already available in Japan, this selection is part of the ones ready for sale at Isetan and Mitsukoshi malls in Tokyo. Mizuho will inform me “if and how” they will be available internationally, the official release of all the collection is planned for around the second week of November 2015.
My friends spotted these brushes some weeks ago and during their Japan trip I asked them to grab a few for me. I have no patience, that’s a fact. I got these:
804 SOOTHING FACE BRUSH
823 BLENDING EYE BRUSH
824 SMOKY EYE BRUSH
My heart skipped a beat when I saw the handles, then it skipped a few more when I saw the shape of the heads. The handles are made of walnut wood, which is strong and durable, chocolate brown with darker streaks, some of these brushes are very long and thin and I was wondering if they would be solid enough, I tried to bend them, the thinner handles bend a little but I don’t want to push it to the limits 😀 These handles have been treated with botanical oil to both highlight the grain and act as a protective coat, however it doesn’t make them waterproof, leaving make-up on the handle may cause stains and solvents can cause damage.
These three brushes are nearly the exact same length, not just the handle, the entire brush, from the bottom to the top, so the shorter the head, the longer the handle. It looks the same for all brushes in the press pictures, that would be approx 18 cm in total length.
If you love long handles you will be thrilled (I am), they are lightweight but I find them easy to handle and pleasant to hold, they have no visible ferrule, this traditional design makes them irresistible and they are definitely gorgeous to look at. They have a similar style as the Rae Morris’ kabukis which many of us love.
The Shaquda brushes will be of many different materials, squirrel, goat, pony, weasel, synthetic, water badger, also mixes, I have my eyes on several of them, specially the foundation ones. You can google them and look at the pictures on Instagram, this will give you an idea of what’s coming.
They come in paper boxes with a leaflet with the caring instructions in Japanese and English.
804 SOOTHING FACE BRUSH
It’s 18 cm long in total, the bristles are 3.5 cm, the base of the ferrule is 1.5cm diameter. Costs 12000 JPY.
With several Mizuho collections I often felt that they put the accent on efficiency, prioritizing great application results before great softness. With this collection they are targeting not only great results, but also a freaking gorgeous and appealing design. In terms of softness I can only speak about the ones I have here.
The macro lens captures everything, I had cleaned the brush with a cloth but you still see some powder residue in the bristles.
The number is written at the back of the handle:
The details on the back of the packaging:
This Soothing face brush is very soft, 100% squirrel bristles, it’s more close to Surratt softness than Suqqu’s. The bristles have more thickness to them, more grip and more power compared to Suqqu type, they feel soft but are stronger and this is much better in terms of results and blending capabilities.
The Kumano SS2-2 is the closest in terms of shape but the Surratt is the closest in terms of softness. The Shaquda is not as soft as the Surratt but it’s nearly as soft, you can barely tell the difference. The Surratt is denser than the Shaquda, when you would rate the Surratt a 9 (out of 10) for density, the Shaquda would be an 8, the Kumano FSS a 7, the Chikuhodo R-C2 a 7.5, the Chikuhodo GSN04 a 7 and the Wayne Goss a 9.5.
Bottom line, totally my type of brush, kind of ball shaped, functional, efficient AND on top of that, with a killer design! I think this may become their best selling.
823 BLENDING EYE BRUSH
It’s 18cm long, bristles are 1.7cm, base of ferrule 0.6cm, costs 5000 JPY.
I love the precision, the firmness of the head, it is pointy but the sides are super nicely and evenly bundled, dense to pick a lot of product and powerful to blend it. It’s quite firm so don’t expect Suqqu softness, but it’s great to have something that has been bundled to this level of proficiency and still remains soft to use. My eyes are very sensitive at the moment so depending on the way I blend, I will feel 1 bristle that is rough or pokey but that doesn’t stop me loving it and wanting 20 of them!!!
The Paula Dorf feels less firm on the lids, the Shaquda is very directional and the dense point of the Shaquda is what makes it so efficient and unique. A bit like the Kumano SS4-4, but softer.
Depending on what Paula Dorf batch you have, it can be softer of not than the Shaquda but I am sure that if you give the Paula Dorf the same shape and density as the Shaquda, that the Shaquda will win in terms of softness. Giving a brush such a dense and firm point is going to be misleading to judge its softness in comparison to less dense brushes.
So, it’s not super mega soft squirrel bristles here but soft enough and truly efficient. It’s great for placing, blending, it’s even precise enough to work on the outer V or place color just in a portion of the lid, it concentrates the application where you put it. The hair quality is similar to the Rae Morris bristles, soft enough and brilliant in terms of results.
824 SMOKY EYE BRUSH
It has 1cm long bristles, 18cm total length. Costs 4000 JPY.
For the purpose of this post I have used it every single day during the last week, it’s very precisely and densely bundled, nearly feels like a sponge tip applicator, the bristles do not have an individual movement but instead they move together, this makes the application precise, bold and the blending even and easy to control. The Shaquda brushes look like they have been designed for people who know what they are doing and where…
This pencil is not the softest brush, don’t expect squirrel softness. Compared to goat, sometimes goat is softer sometimes not. For pony bristles, probably one of the softest pony bristles you can find. It doesn’t poke unless I stipple it repeatedly onto the lashline, if I just swipe or smudge it won’t hurt. I was scared this would be too rough to use but surprisingly I can use it, I wanted to get it even though I am not a fan of pony bristles because the shape looks very interesting. If you want a defined crease application this is fantastic, I use it for the outer V and on the lashline, top and bottom.
I am still evaluating it, I just wanted to share some pics and first impressions at this stage but I would like to use it more, see how it agrees with my delicate lids and if it causes fall out, actually I thought this would be the type of pencil brush that would cause fall out but it wasn’t the case so far, however, I haven’t had the chance to use it with many different products and textures. I like it, I am curious and I really want to see how this brush is going to find its place in my daily routine, still a bit concerned about the softness and I don’t really like the feel of pony hair but since I am loving the shape I want to give it a serious try.
The Shaquda is much more precise than the Chikuhodo Z-10 since the point of the Shaquda is much firmer, more tapered but with thicker sides which makes it more multipurpose and a workhorse.
The Suqqu (100% squirrel) is softer but doesn’t offer the same sharp application.
The Chikuhodo T-8 (saikoho goat) is really much softer, but not as precise and bold with the application.
The Hakuhodo B533 (100% horse) feels a bit more rough and is not as firm at the point.
The Wayne Goss 20 (squirrel/goat) is a bit softer but not as sharp and bold.
I will definitely get more of these brushes, as I mentioned before, I really love softness but it’s not my top priority, I am more after efficient brushes as long as they are very pleasant to use. The look of these is going to appeal to many and with reason, totally worth it!
Some links if you wish to stay connected with them:
Mizuho info page about Shaquda release