I am just back to work after my maternity leave, being back as a mum feels strange, a bit like being in somebody else’s body, I don’t know if it’s only me or if all mums experience the same sensation but it takes some time to adapt, I am still on my happy cloud…
When I was pregnant I was wondering if after having my baby I would still care at all about brushes or make-up or even this blog, but I do, I care, I need a bit of everything to keep me happy and balanced. I was away for a few weeks because I was sick (who wasn’t…) I have piled up 3 colds in a row but finally I start to feel better!
I am mentioning my baby Alice because CDJapan sent me this Koyudo brush set as a gift for my newborn baby. It’s a replica of 3 of Koyudo Fu-pas. I thought it was actually really funny that from ALL the choices that CDJapan had, they picked up the set that is the trickiest to use for me, it made me smile and then I thought that I should probably post some pics and a quick review, or at least share my experience with this set.
I don’t usually like short handles, I have big hands and I feel less of a clumsy giant when the brushes have sturdy bigger handles, on top of that, today I don’t usually go for this kind of brushes, I would rather use less dense brushes, so… in spite of not being something I would pick for myself I wanted to play with these minis and report my experiences here.
These are mini brushes but they are not that “mini” at all, you get similar quality as bigger options and imho you get even more functionality.
The set comes with a little zipped pouch and 3 of Koyudo’s best sellers but in a “mini” version, approx 10.5 cm full length. The 3 minis are of excellent quality, often buying mini versions compromise on efficiency, these don’t. The mini handles are almost same length as the original, just the mini Fu-Pa02 handle is 2mm shorter.
The minis versus the originals:
The big Fu-Pas are twice the size of the small ones.
This mini set costs 107 USD.
The orginial Fu-Pa1 is approx 50 USD, the Fu-Pa2 32 USD, the Fu-Pa3 40 USD. The total price of the 3 original brushes is approx 122 USD.
So, several first impressions comments:
- You get more than twice the bristles for just 13 USD more so if what you want is cover surface faster, then better pick the big ones
- I prefer wooden handles so for me the minis are aesthetically more appealing
- There is a pouch included in the mini set, yes this adds value to the set but even though it’s fantastic to have “book alike” pouches, these thick pouches are not very practical for a hand bag.
- These minis are definitely more travel friendly
The bristles are soft Sokoho goat that don’t feel pokey but it’s goat, so expect strong powerful densely packed bristles!
The mini has a surface of 2,5 cm diameter, the big one has a surface of 3,5 cm. I prefer the small one because it fits most of my blush pans nicely and the bundling is more airy compared to the big one which is even more tightly packed.
I use it with blush only when the blush is hard to pick or sheer, I have some old Suqqu blushes or some Ipsa that love stronger brushes, for that purpose this little brush is just perfect.
I also use it to finish and polish or smooth the edges of blush, contour, etc.
This brush is only meant to be used with powder, but I would love this shape, firmness and density for cream foundation buffing, unfortunately this one has dye so you should not use it with creams or liquids.
The reason why I happily end up with this mini Fu-Pa01 in my daily make-up bag is because when I get ready in the morning, I often get delayed by my baby and I don’t manage to finish the lasts steps of my make-up application. I also try new products on a daily basis -in a hurry- which can lead to mistakes or may require fixing. Having this little brush with me at all times helps me in these situations, if I get to work and I see that something needs smoothing or blending I will just quickly finish the work before sitting at my desk.
If you love the Shu Uemura but want a bigger and denser version, the mini Fu-Pa02 is the one for you. This mini Fu-Pa02 is very dense but less of a mass compared to the original Fu-Pa02, it has more movement in the bristles so it follows better the face features. This one is made with Hakutotsuho goat, meant to be used with cream/liquid foundations, I have no issues with its softness at all, it’s not saikoho but if you want efficiency you have to go with harder bristles.
The best way to use these brushes is for buffing in your foundation, I would definitely first distribute the foundation with the fingertips or a flat paddle brush, then blend with these goat brushes. The buffing technique can be adjusted based on what coverage you need, stippling for higher coverage, round motions or paddle for less coverage, in most cases those techniques apply to the amount of coverage you want.
Just keep in mind that 100% goat brushes have their pros and cons when applying liquid foundations, these often are stronger for buffing and may deliver a more flawless finish that you may not even need to powder as it absorbs oils and excess product but they also may absorb more product that synthetic brushes and you may need more foundation to cover your entire face…
This is a mini brush that also ended up in my make-up bag, together with the Natasha Denona Face Glow.
It’s PBT (polybutylene terephthalate), these synthetic bristles can handle powder or liquid products, they are very soft, don’t poke at all and are extremely dense.
I wanted to really see how it would perform with all types of foundations (powder, liquid & cream) since I read it’s meant to be used with all types of foundations.
For my tests, I always used a similar synthetic brush on one side of my face and this Fu-Pa3 on the other to be able to compare the results.
My skin is extremely dry (with visible dry patches), I have a lot of fine lines and visible pores, most of the foundations don’t look good on me anyway, no matter the price, the brush or the technique, I have challenged many make-up artists and at the end they had to agree with me. I don’t even know why I care reviewing foundation brushes or foundation products because there will be only just a couple of people like me out there.
When I used a lightweight liquid foundation (like Natasha Denona Face Glow), the application looked flawless and was correctly distributed (but to be honest that foundation is so good with my skin that I could apply it with a potato and it will still look good).
When I started using thicker foundations (La Mer Soft Fluid) the Fu-Pa3 gave me more coverage than my usual synthetic foundation brush (I used Mac 170) but I also noticed that the Fu-Pa3 was not buffing deep enough so I could see the foundation sitting in my fine lines and my pores.
With a cream foundation (Gerda Spillmann), I cannot buff and go deep enough so again I see the foundation that has build up in my pores.
Thick and cream foundations don’t look amazing on me anyway and I really need an efficient buffer that doesn’t exfoliate my skin (not easy to find), this brush is so soft and so evenly packed that it does a nice job in general (better than I expected) but on me it lacks buffing efficiency.
With mineral powder foundations I am very picky, I only use airy goat brushes because I know that’s what allows me to gradually build up and efficiently buff as I apply (for example I use something like this or like this). I tried this Fu-pa3 and the result was better and more even than expected but for me not good enough, again I feel that a stronger buffer is necessary. However, I know people who loves it so it really depends on what you use and what your skin needs, I apologize I cannot give you a more balanced opinion, a sample of one person is just simply not enough, I wish I could try it on others but everyone is sick around me and my husband refuses to help me 😀
Since the bristles are so tight and densely packed I thought it wouldn’t pick mineral foundation evenly but if you swirl it and then tap of the excess it does pick an even enough amount of powder on all the bristles, where it gets tricky is really when I buff because these bristles don’t have enough strength or “unevenness” to reach into my pores and buff. I would love to try this brush on other skin types because I know the result could be different.
It’s not the type of pouch that I carry in my handbag, it’s too big and bulky and I cannot fit half of what I carry with me in it. However, you can perfectly fit these brushes and the foundation plus a lipstick or pencils or mini blush.. it really depends on what you tend to carry with you.
As we go deeper into the week, I throw more items in my make-up bag each day and I end up with a huge make-up bag on Friday! Not because I need those items but you know, just in case of…
- I love the wooden handles
- These minis are more functional than the bigger options for me
- Portable brushes but behave like full size brushes
- I wish they were less dense
- If you use only two of the three the price is not as interesting
For that price you can consider the excellent Fu-Pa14 or the Fuwafuwa which are must-haves.
The link to this set here
The Fu-pa 14 here (81 USD)
The Fuwafuwa here (107 USD)