I have just received the 2016 Sakura Collection from Beautylish and would love to share some comparison pictures and thoughts before its launch on the 31st of August, actually it’s tomorrow already! I have to hurry up so if I miss anything, if you have any questions about the set, the functionality or need further comparisons, please leave a comment below and I will do my best to reply and help.
Beautylish had released a first set last year in July, this is their second, also hand crafted in Japan by Chikuhodo and also part of their Sakura Collection but with a different design and material.
This set is Red, Red with a bright capital R, both the ferrules and handles.
They were drying near the sink when my bf spotted them and he said they looked expensive and beautiful 🙂 he noticed the sakura petals were applied in layers and was very interested to know how this Japanese maki-e design had been printed on the handles. We asked Nils from Beautylish and said he will be happy to share more details with us about maki-e in the future and he’ll prepare for that.
The price of the set is 245$, I am not sure how the VAT works depending on where you live but the shipping is free and they ship worldwide. You can have early access here.
I have been secretly ordering on Beautylish for the past months and each time it was a great experience, best thing is that I don’t have to pay VAT when I receive the parcels since its already adjusted at the moment of the order and believe me, when you live in Switzerland this is extremely important.
|In cm||Bristles length||Ferrule width||Total length||Material|
|Powder brush||5||2.2||18||Saikoho goat|
|Highlighter brush||3.3||1.5||17||Saikoho goat|
|Foundation brush||2.5||2||15.5||Saikoho goat|
|Crease/blending brush||1.8||0.5||15||Sokoho goat|
|Brow brush||0.5||0.5||13.8||Water badger|
Saikoho is the best grade of goat bristles you can find in the market. You could upgrade from Saikoho to Saibikoho but the latter is much more expensive, not even always better in terms of functionality and so rare that it is not used on OEM brushes, just sometimes you’ll see a few sets or a few brushes from Koyudo.
Sokoho bristles can be more or less good depending on the batch and other factors. On the market you can find scratchy sokoho and very soft sokoho, both called sokoho but with such a difference in quality. The benefit of sokoho is that it’s cheaper than saikoho and since the bristles are a bit thicker, it allows sokoho to be able to blend with more efficiency.
If you can’t see and feel the brushes in person it’s difficult to know for sure if their softness matches your expectations.
The pouch is such a great improvement compared to all the Holiday sets I have recently seen from Chikuhodo, this one is more functional, the quality feels great and is the perfect size, not too big, not too small, not too short.
There is a zipped side for liners or anything you wish to carry with your brushes and behind it you could store a small microfiber cloth.
Both sides have hidden compartments behind them, I will store there my little towel to clean the brushes, it always gets contaminated in my makeup bag so this compartment will keep it clean and always handy!
The pouch is padded for some additional protection, the fabric on the outside feels and looks nice, I don’t see any flaws so this time the pouch adds a nice value to the set.
Sakura 2015 versus Sakura 2016
Beautylish wanted something very rich in color to recall this gorgeous Sakura season. The handles are covered with light pink and silver Sakura flowers along a brown tree branch.
I thought the red would be very similar to the Hakuhodo S100 series but the closest shade of red I have in my collection are the Takeda red handles:
It’s a shame that both sets of the Sakura collection don’t have the same handle, for those who have both it would make just one big set but on the other hand it’s nice to have something special each year.
Chikuhodo have also a few brushes with Maki-e for example the MK-2 here:
The powder brush
Featured from left to right:
- Kokutan Powder Brush JMG
- Beautylish x Chikuhodo 2016
- Chikuhodo MK-2
- Chikuhodo Noel Collection LE Neige set
- Chikuhodo Takumi T-1
The Sakura 2016 powder brush is dense enough (there is no floppiness at all) and very soft. I use it for bronzer and powder, the application is light to medium coverage.
In comparison to the Sakura 2016:
- The Hakuhodo is denser but it’s also bundled with synthetic bristles, therefore it’s not only a saikoho but a mix, they tend to add synthetic bristles for more durability and density, and eventually helps to keep the price a bit lower compared to a same density brush with only natural bristles.
- The Chikuhodo Noel collection is less soft but it’s supposed to be sokoho, still, it is very good sokoho. For most customers that difference won’t matter as it doesn’t change its results.
- The Takumi T-1 is saikoho but feels very slightly less soft, however, most people won’t feel a difference at all and I think it’s the same hair, just the batch happens to be slightly better for the Sakura this time.
- The Chikuhodo MK-2 is blue squirrel but I just wanted to mention it since it’s quite close in size. If you love Chikuhodo and maki-e designs you probably own it and it gives you an idea of the Sakura’s size.
The highlighter brush
Featured from left to right:
- Rae Morris Deluxe Kabuki 1
- Chikuhodo x Beautylish Sakura 2016
- Chikuhodo Kiwami highlighter
- Hakuhodo S J103
- Chikuhodo Takumi T-5
The Sakura 2016 highlighter is a flat tapered brush, spreads out towards the middle to end in a pointy surface. Its shape allows the application of blush, contour, highlighter, powder, I love its potential!
How it compares to other options:
- I am showing you the highlighter brush from the Chikuhodo Kiwami because it’s very similar in shape, totally different bristles but if you love how the Kiwami is shaped then you will love the Sakura.
- The Rae Morris Deluxe Kabuki is not as soft and it’s denser and round.
- The Hakuhodo S J103 is here for size reference, if you love red and white combinations you may have it, the softness is very similar, I can’t tell the difference, both are Saikoho.
- The Chikuhodo Takumi T-5 has similar hair length but it’s much thicker, you’ll notice that in the sideways picture. In terms of softness it’s equal.
All the brushes in that picture are good options. If you want something very appropriate for a make-up artist (more resilient, durable and with more strength on the bristles) then you better get the Rae Morris. If you want something very multipurpose and Japanese styled you better go for either the Sakura or the Takumi. At this moment the Kiwami is not available but it’s one of the best brushes I have ever had. Somebody asked me recently what brushes would I pick if my house was on fire … I would pick the Kiwami set first. Let’s hope Chikuhodo will release it in the future for those of you dreaming about it.
The foundation brush
All the brushes in the next picture are very similar in terms of functionality, they are quite small for foundation but I met many make-up artists who prefer to work with smaller brushes, they usually place the foundation with a flat brush then blend with this type of brush for more detailed work, or build up the coverage just where it’s really needed. It’s exactly what I was doing until I changed my foundation.
Today I use Natasha Denona’s foundation, it’s easy like a cc cream, my skin but better type of finish, not a lot coverage but every time I wear it people I meet tell me how healthy I look even in the hospital bed! Been there a few weeks ago. I could not get out of bed so I applied it with my fingers and without a mirror and it was flawless 😀
Whatever the condition of my skin, flaky, dry or wrinkly tired, the application is super easy and the finish just like skin. I use a foundation brush just to even out and remove the excess oils but it’s the first time I don’t really need a great foundation brush in my life!
Coming back to these little foundation brushes, I personally love them paired with concealers, cream blushes and cream highlighters or contours, yep, I am into contour and still not leaving that trend in the near future 🙂 works for me!
Featured in that picture from bottom to top:
- Chikuhodo GSN 05
- Tom Ford 02
- Koyudo BP014
- Mizuho foundation brush
- Beautylish x Chikuhodo Sakura 2016
How they compare:
- In terms of softness, the Tom Ford 02 is the softest of all. It’s way too soft and dense for foundation but can be used to finish the foundation application, even out everything and remove excess oils like I mentioned before.
- The Chikuhodo GSN-05 is one of the best, thicker bristles more appropriate for foundation blending or buffing. Sideways the Sakura is thicker and denser.
- The Koyudo BP014 is super soft too but so tiny and dense that I really just use it for detailed placement and blending of cream contour.
- The Mizuho would be perfect with its angled shape and fewer density but it’s a shame it’s still quite small!
The Crease brush
Featured from top to bottom:
- Beautylish x Chikuhodo crease/blending brush
- Chikuhodo GSN 10
- Hakuhodo J142
- Kumano Fude Select Shop ss4-2
- Mac 222
- Mac 221
My favorite crease/blending brushes from this picture are the Sakura 2016 and the Kumano Fude select shop, both are nicely tapered and dense, therefore precise and firm enough to allow the best results. The Sakura is the best blender! These two are also the softest of the bunch, totally recommend them!
- The Chikuhodo GSN 10 is not dense enough in comparison and too big for placement
- The Mac 222 doesn’t offer the same precision and doesn’t finish the job as well as the Sakura or the KFSS
- The little Mac 221 is very nice and very soft but its thin ferrule and long bristles don’t offer the best control, it’s difficult to put gradual pressure on these bristles, instead of adapting to the skin, the bristles “flick”, not sure you see what I mean here… but it’s a bit like holding a pencil by the end instead of the base. The bristles are very soft but somehow they lack some flexibility.
- The Hakuhodo J142 is super soft, nicely dense, I just wished it was more tapered but it’s a fantastic brush with a very good price.
From top to bottom:
- Hakuhodo S163
- Beautylish x Chikuhodo Sakura 2016
- Hakuhodo B264
I have thick brows and they just need some little work, some filling and lifting. This Sakura brow brush is thicker at the surface, looks less disciplined but for me this is a good thing, I want a brow brush that picks a good amount of product and applies in a more thick line so the Sakura works best for my case.
The other two brushes from Hakuhodo are thin at the surface, I have to go back and forth to pick more product and it takes forever. The major difference between them is that the Sakura draws lines of 2mm, the other brushes here 1mm, the Sakura’s strokes are thicker and much longer.
The lip brush
From top to bottom:
- Beautylish x Chikuhodo lip brush
- Rae Morris 19
I hadn’t used synthetic lip brushes before I got this Rae Morris and after I got the RM I did not use natural lip brushes ever since! I was looking for another synthetic lip brush to confirm that I love synthetic lip brushes 🙂 This lip brush is good but the Rae just rocks my world! The Rae is more supple which helps me with control.
Bottom line: my top favs are the highlight and blending/crease brushes and of course the case!
Remember if you have questions you can ask and I’ll do my best to get back to you! 🙂
This set has been sent to me by Beautylish for my consideration!