Beautylish is launching a new Limited Edition set in collaboration with Chikuhodo, it’s called the Sakura Makie Travel Set. It features 3 essential brushes, a powder, a cheek and an eye shadow brush. It will be available as of the 30th of July at 10am PST on Beautylish’s website. I have it with me already and can share a few pics and some thoughts before the launch!
I am already familiar with some similar brushes, but these Beautylish x Chikuhodo Sakura showcase a new design. Usually, retractable make-up brushes are not what I reach for the most, I really love full size brushes even while travelling. However, I have to admit that these pretty little Sakura Makie brushes will be the perfect tools if you don’t want a dedicated make-up bag or pouch and just want to travel light and just throw them in your handbag without fear of consequences.
I need to share that I came across a few videos lately that surprised me, and not in a good way. I was recently watching a couple of videos about what people carry in their handbags -because I need to replace my tote(s) with smaller more lightweight handbag(s) that still carry a huge lot. In those videos, I could repeatedly see people throwing their make-up brushes “naked and dirty” directly on top of all their other items inside their handbags… I just want to say that a make-up brush should not be thrown like this into a handbag, this is not safe for the skin and it’s not pretty for anything else inside the bag, a make-up brush is a magnet to dirt and bacteria. So if you need to carry light, and safe, these Sakura Makie are both a clever AND a gorgeous solution.
They come in a cardboard packaging printed with pink and silver sakura flowers and a red/raspberry/irisdescent sun in the background. The box comes with an insert so they won’t move in transport. This will be a very nice display if you have some available space in your drawer and can keep them inside when you don’t use them.
In the box you’ll also see a Chikuhodo note and a make-up brush guide applicable to all type of brushes (not only for this set).
It also comes with the Kumanofude seal of authenticity.
Retractable brushes tend to wiggle a bit when using them, they don’t feel as sturdy and stable compared to full size ones, this is normal across all retractable brushes, it’s just the way they are. I don’t have that many so I cannot speak for all of the retractable brushes in the planet, but my Hakuhodo and other brands have the same characteristics.
The great thing about these Sakura portable brushes is that they really are beautiful to carry around, on top of that, the mix of hair has been selected so that they remain versatile, durable and functional.
These are travel brushes, they weight more or less the same as full size brushes. I saw some reviews about other similar retractable brushes from Chikuhodo mentioning that “they feel cheap because they are lightweight” so I’ll like to address this weight topic. The head needs to retract hence the hollow handle, however they still weight the same as regular full size brushes. They could pick heavier metals but it wouldn’t make sense as these are meant to be easy to travel with.
The mechanism is quite simple: you remove the cap, put it on the other side of the brush and push the lever with the cap until the brush is out.
I have several similar retractable brushes like these, the brush itself does not have a print, therefore, if you open all the brushes and mix them around, you will not know which brush goes with which cap, that’s ok because they are all the same combination of hair as far as I know. One of them is not as great in terms of shape and softness but it was the one I bought inside a JR Station in Hiroshima, it doesn’t even have “Chikuhodo” printed on the brush, maybe it’s not even a Chikuhodo… I got it because I really enjoy these retractable brushes and wanted to have a couple.
When I buy a powder, and the product comes with a retractable brush, the quality of the included brush is usually mediocre, the bundling is not even, the bristles are not soft enough, they often shed a lot and the application is a mess. You will definitely see a difference in quality if you compare those brushes to these portable Makie.
The Powder Brush
The Powder Brush is a combination of grey squirrel and sokoho goat hair. It feels like the Chikuhodo G-02 (if you are familiar with this brush already). Similar feeling on the skin, on my very sensitive skin it does not poke at all. I actually truly love the G series with mixed hair and have multiples of some of them.
Adding goat to this mix makes the brush more durable, it also makes it slightly cheaper for sure, but I have talked a lot to Chikuhodo and their main reason for mixing the bristles is to make the brushes more functional and durable and also to keep a consistent quality across batches by balancing and adapting the mix accordingly.
The total length (retracted): 10.5 cm
The total length (open): 17.3 cm
Hair length: 4 cm
Ferrule width: 1.8 cm
The ferrule is round, the head is flat at the top and slightly domed in the edges. When using it you can feel the goat bristles doing their job and giving the brush some additional power. I used it with powder, blush and bronzer, it applied everything perfectly well, diffused and blended evenly. It’s dense but the bristles have movement and airiness, it won’t apply an opaque circle of color but automatically picks and applies the right amount seamlessly with no effort required to blend.
Because of the slightly domed shape, the brush has more versatility, specially in terms of size. The surface that touches the skin can be adapted depending on the angle and the pressure and that’s the reason why I had already two like this in my collection! It’s a versatile brush and I can do a lot with it.
The most similar in terms of shape and feeling is the Chikuhodo GSN 04. These are some similar shapes:
The Cheek Brush
The Cheek Brush is grey squirrel and horse hair. Horse hair tends to be less soft than sokoho goat, but has amazing capabilities and I heard it is used a lot by make-up artists in Japan.
In terms of softness I don’t feel a lot of difference between the Sakura cheek and the Sakura powder brush, however, this cheek is a much smaller, shorter brush and it’s denser and more directional. That’s the trick with this brush, it picks quite a lot of product.
If you use products like the wonderful IPSA blushes (small pans and sheer to med pigmentation) then this brush is fantastic because it can really make them show up beautifully. If you browse blushes in Japan you’ll see that they are often quite sheer and this brush will pair well with many many products. But if you are going for a very pigmented blush, then it’s better to go with a light hand, or to use the bigger Sakura powder brush instead.
I used it with a sheer blush and it was perfect, targeted the intensity just where needed and blended the edges easily. I used this brush with a darker more pigmented blush, had to remove quite a lot from the brush and blended a lot as the application was really heavy.
Remember that you do not need a lot of pressure with this brush to get the job done. Some automatically press or stipple the brushes really hard against the skin and this technique may deliver an unpleasant experience, this can be avoided simply by being more gentle with the application and light with the hand.
In this cheek brush you can both feel the squirrel bristles and the horse ones, but it’s again quite similar to the feeling of the Chikuhodo G-02. Although the G-02 is a mix of squirrel with sokoho goat, even an expert will have to think twice if he had to guess which one is which.
The total length (retracted): 7.3 cm
The total length (open): 12.7 cm
Hair length:3 cm
Ferrule width: 1.6cm
It is the similar to the MK-12 by Chikuhodo so if you missed this gorgeous Sakura design, you can still get the Chikuhodo brush 🙂
The Chikuhodo R-C2 is a softer version in terms of feeling and application but it is quite bigger.
Wayne Goss 13 is bigger but in terms of application they offer a similar intensity.
The Shadow brush
The Shadow Brush is grey squirrel and fitch. The brush has a soft base but some bristles are thicker and stiffer. You may think this is a bad thing but it makes the brush more controllable with the placement and even more versatile compared to a brush with 100% squirrel bristles. Since it’s the only eye shadow brush in the set, these added capabilities are a big plus for most of us.
I tried it with several finishes and it worked with all of them, it has great power to pick up product evenly, I could even pick up stubborn shimmers and place them precisely and smoothly on the lid, I instantly got the same intensity and result on both eyes, which is not always that straightforward!
I did my entire eye make-up only with this brush for 3 days in a row and I could do every task. I placed the outer v, the inner highlight, I did a gradation with 3 colors on the mobile lid and “painted” the crease. Because it’s flat, you have to change your technique a bit to work on the crease but it worked well. I also gave definition to my bottom lashline -holding the brush horizontaly- then I softened the edges holding it vertically and blended.
The only thing that is more tricky to do is when you want to apply a pigmented shadow in a sheer way in the crease for example, you can do it, takes more work but a crease type of brush would do that better obviously. But again, not an issue to do a complex look with just that one eyeshadow brush.
The total length (retracted): 10cm
The total length (open): 13.8cm
Ferrule width: 0.8*0.4 cm
I don’t have any exact similar brush but this pic may give you an idea of its shape, it is firmer than the Chikuhodo G-4, and thinner than the T-7.
These brushes stand out from all the portable brushes out there, they are beautiful to look at and really useful to have. I saw a similar Chikuhodo set with a lip brush instead of the shadow brush but I definitely prefer an eyeshadow brush because I’ll get more use out of it.
The set is Limited Edition, it costs $155 and includes free shipping worldwide. It will be available as of the 30th of July on Beautylish, 10 am PST. Here is the direct link on Beautylish!
Disclaimer: This set was received as a gift by Beautylish.