I recently received the new Yano Face brushes from Beautylish, they were gifted to me. These brushes are joining their catalog as permanent and they are already available as a set as well as individually on their website.
These brushes have been designed by Beautylish and handcrafted in Japan by Kumano’s artisans. I know how much Beautylish loves craftsmanship and Kumano so I am not surprised that they want to offer these series in their own catalog.
These are called the YANO series, I can share why! The easiest way to go to Kumano is to take a train from Hiroshima to Yano (10-15 mn) then a short taxi ride and you are in Kumano. Now, you will never forget how to go to Kumano! I miss Kumano so much…. I have my next trip planned for September, hopefully it will be ok to travel again by then.
So, let’s talk about these beauties. I have been using these brushes for a few days, if you see some sparkles/powder on the brushes featured it’s normal.
The YANO Face set
These 5 brushes form a great team, complementing each other in functionality and you can go from a lightweight to a more directional and intense application. These 5 face brushes are meant to be used only with powders since two of the brushes are bundled with grey squirrel bristles and 3 of them with a mix of squirrel and goat.
The handles are made out of maple wood and lacquered with a shiny black paint, they remind me of the coating on a shiny black piano. The bottom of the handles is slanted, the slanted end is beautiful, it could make them more delicate to store upwards. They actually did fall several times already by accident but they are all fine. I don’t usually drop my brushes, I just have an annoying cable reorganization ongoing this week and it’s tricky to move around my desk 🙂
The price of the entire set is 475$, if you are already a lover of Fude (Japanese handmade brushes) familiar with Kumano brushes, this price will not come as a surprise due to the materials used and the craftsmanship behind them. Compared to similar options it is reasonable, specially since we know that the cost is increasing constantly.
The brushes in the set:
- Yano Series Brush 01
- Yano Series Brush 02
- Yano Series Brush 03
- Yano Series Brush 04
- Yano Series Brush 05
YANO 01 Powder
- Total Brush Length: 183 mm
- Bristle Length: 53 mm
- Hair type: gray squirrel
- Price: 175$
The Brush 01 is the mightiest of this Yano face set. When washed, this brush splayed out generously but kept a nice full body. I am pleasantly surprised as it doesn’t feel floppy, it has enough thickness and strength for a reliable and buildable application of powder or bronzer.
This Yano 01 reminded me of these brushes from my collection:
I don’t have an exact dupe -which is surprising because it didn’t look that unique at first sight.
The most similar that I own in terms of shape and application is the Chikuhodo Z-9. The Z-9 feels more directional and tightly packed at the base -mostly due to the curved ferrule but it is also a tiny more dense.
The Yano 01 feels more airy in comparison but there is something really really nice about this brush, the soft uniform strength on the surface of the brush while applying product! It lays down the product super evenly, molds and follows the structure of the face more easily than the Z-9.
The Chikuhodo Z-9 is one of my very favorite brushes ever, since the first day I got it many years ago. I love the flat surface it has, it covers a large real estate, applies quickly and for a soft brush, it has great strength. The Yano 01 covers a bit more real estate in comparison and it may feel easier/faster to use for a whole face application.
Since there is more airiness in the base of the Yano brush, the bristles move more easily, diffusing more evenly as they go.
This Yano is a very serious competitor for the Z-9, both brushes are made in Kumano, the logo and the aesthetics are different here but they are very close in price so I am wondering how I could help you out here… Let’s go with some facts:
1) the Yano brush is 6g lighter vs the Z-9. The Yano seems better balanced to me so it feels more comfortable in my hands.
2) the Yano feels a bit softer -this is also due to the different bundling (wider ferrule), the quality of the bristles is the same.
3) I love flat surface brushes, the Z-9 is a bit flatter at the top surface and I do love that, that’s why if I had to chose one, it would be my Z-9. However, I have to admit that I will be using the Yano 01 as often, if not more often, than the Z-9.
I took a picture of the big Kiwami powder brush and the Surratt Holiday Exclusive, the Surratt is quite similar with regards to the surface it covers but the Yano has a bit more strength picking up and blending. The Kiwami powder is a much larger brush and it does feel much airier in comparison.
The Yano 01 vs the Chikuhodo MK-II and the Z-9: the Chikuhodos are more directional with the application, more decisive, to me they really are completely different brushes. You can achieve a similar application, but they are different brushes nonetheless.
The Yano’s surface at the very top is less flat compared to the Z-9 but it’s not as tapered as the MK-II. I love to see the brushes with a sideways view as it shows how the brushes tapper at the point, the Yano is, I believe, right in between the two.
I have a few more brushes in this category that I would love to show you. The Wayne Goss Holiday 2015 doesn’t have the same thickness and fullness, it’s more a dusting / veil type of application but of course you can use it with bronzer or anything else as long as product is not too hardly pressed.
The Hakuhodo K002 is the one I reach for the least because if I want a smaller face powder brush, I would rather pick something else, for example the Chikuhodo R-P6 which has a tiny bit more thickness, more grip and moves with more discipline.
In terms of cost per use, the Z-9 is the brush that wins for me because even though it’s big, its firmness offers enough control, I don’t need to force on the brush to pick or blend the products. The Yano 01 is surprisingly efficient, harmonious in the placement and blending, based on a blind test that I did, I can say that I sincerely will use both equally.
Just keep in mind that these brushes are not meant to be used with excessive pressure on the product pans or on the face, if you see that the brush doesn’t pick enough product, pick a denser brush, or a brush with a mix of goat bristles for example. If you put a lot of pressure on these bristles, they will end up breaking or shedding and they would not last as long. Which takes me to the next brush, the Yano 02.
Yano Brush 01 – gray squirrel – 53mm bristles length – 175$
Chikuhodo Kiwami Powder Brush – gray squirrel – 60mm bristles length – (not in production)
Chikuhodo Z-9 – gray squirrel – 52mm bristles length – 178$
Chikuhodo MK-II – gray squirrel – 52mm bristles length – 178$
Wayne Goss Holiday – Blue squirrel – 50mm bristles length – 115$
Surratt Exclusive Holiday Brush – Gray Squirrel – 58mm bristles length 218£ / 300$
Hakuhodo K002 – Blue Squirrel – 50mm bristles length 115$
Chikuhodo R-P6 – Gray Squirrel – 52cm bristles length – 13000 JPY / 125$
Brush 02 Angled Powder
- Total Brush Length: 182.5 mm
- Bristle Length: 50 mm
- Hair type: gray squirrel and saikoho goat
- Price: 120$
This is the brush I would grab if I need to be more decisive and precise with my bronzer application (versus the previous Yano 01).
Since I have quite a big face and I love what a soft quick sculpting can do for me, this angled brush is quite versatile, I can also apply my blush and contour. The mix of materials give it more firmness and strength so it’s a great companion to the previous Yano 01.
It reminds me of the following brushes:
It’s a dupe for the Chikuhodo/Beautylish Powder 2015 brush. In case you did not know, these rounded/angled brushes are not shaped with a mold but usually by hand, if you look at the sides and the rounded shape of the angle, this requires a skilled intervention from an artisan. Which also means every single one of these brushes is going to be somehow unique.
We can gauge the precision of the placement by using the sides or the top of the brush. For a bronzer application I use the sides of the brush. For the blush and contour application, I pick the product up with the short side of the brush, diffuse and blend with the longer side.
The artisans often say that a brush with only squirrel bristles may lack functionality if used directly on a very oily or moisturized skin, here, the blend of goat bristles will help as the goat bristles in the mix will absorb the excess oils and keep the brush more effective during use. Sometimes a blend like this is preferred to add strength and increase the functionality of the brush.
I personally always have a microfiber cloth and if excess oils are on the brush, I gently wipe the brush on the cloth and it’s all good.
I don’t have something exactly similar except for the other Beautylish brush which is a dupe. The next most similar would be the Hakuhodo G5542, it’s also a mix of goat/squirrel and the size is quite close, it applies a bit more heavily while the Yano 02’s application is slightly more diffused in comparison.
The Chikuhodo T-2 is completely different, it as a much flatter and larger surface so it’s great for an even big buff or a quick application when you don’t need to play with precision.
The Kanebo Powder brush reminded me of this Yano 02 in terms of craftsmanship, it’s only a mix of goat bristles of different grades so it’s not the same softness but the rounded contours of its shape are very reminiscent of the Yano 02. Sometimes I don’t love a brush just because it’s nice and functional, but because of its beautiful shape 🙂
For reference, in terms of softness, I would say that the closest that I have is the RMK Face Powder which is a mix of squirrel/goat, the Yano is a bit softer though.
Yano Brush 02 – gray squirrel and saikoho goat – 50 mm bristle length – 120$
Kanebo Powder Brush (TeshyuCollection) – goat – bristle length 52mm – 8800 JPY
Chikuhodo Takemi T-2 – Saikoho Goat 40mm bristle length – 85$
RMK Face Powder – Gray squirrel/goat – 50mm bristle length – 45£
Hakuhodo G5542 – Blue squirrel / goat 43mm bristle length – 114$
Chikuhodo / Beautylish Sakura set – gray squirrel/goat- 50mm bristle length – N/A
Brush 03 Highlight $75
- Total Brush Length: 165 mm
- Bristle Length: 35 mm
- Hair type: gray squirrel
- Price: 75$
The very similar brushes (in shape) that I own are often less dense or thinner (this will be more visible on the sideways view). This Yano 03 is fuller than the Hakuhodo S111, the Wayne Goss Air-Brush or the Koyudo BP025, the application with the Yano 03 is more diffused, it doesn’t quite feel as silky as those 3 brushes but it does make the brush more multipurpose. I applied powder under the eye area, around the nose, applied contour, blush, highlight all with this brush. The grip on the products is good enough to work with sheer products so it turned out to be a very versatile little brush.
The Chikuhodo/Beautylish Cheek from 2015 is the dupe for this Yano 03, same softness and very close dimensions, maybe 1mm bristle length difference but it will cover the same functionality, same diffused application, same strength on the products and similar blending power.
The other thinner brushes (Hakuhodo S111, WG, Koyudo BP025) are quite tightly packed so they can pick a generous amount of product but the application is going to be more defined around the perimeter of the placement. They also may not have the same degree of blending power but they do feel as soft as silk.
I took a picture of my two Suqqu Cheek brushes next to the Yano 03, isn’t it fun to see how different these two Suqqu cheek brushes are? One is from many many years ago and the other from 2 years ago. They are supposed to be the same brush but it’s amazing how they differ, this is the particularity of hand made brushes, materials, techniques, time and usage can really make them look quite different.
I have a Takeda that reminds me of the Yano 03 but it’s much smaller, in case you have any of these, you can see that the Beautylish is actually much fuller in comparison.
I am not sure of the name and price of my Takeda, on the Takeda website, the WF15 doesn’t have the same bristle length as the one I own, it could be a special edition or a brush not currently mentioned on their website (I bought several brushes at their manufacture directly in Kumano). Mine has a ferrule of 15mm, so it should be the WF15xxx but in that case mine should be 37mm bristle length but it’s not, my Takeda is only 30mm hair length.
The Tauhaus P03 is a little brush that appealed to me, it’s so little and so fluffy, I loved it so much that I bought it twice 😀 one year apart, without remembering that I had already bought it… (but it was released with a different handle so I did not recognize that handle…).
The Tauhaus has horse bristles in the mix and since I use it around the eye area, it does poke… it’s efficient, but if you have sensitive eyes, you’ll feel it.
The Tauhaus is the kind of brush that you find in little Fude shops in Hiroshima, I can browse for hours! In those shops we usually cannot open the plastics and the samples are not always displayed, it’s difficult to see the shape and we can’t touch the bristles… so I sometimes I end up buying several of the same brush (not during the same visit!).
Maybe this helps to see the size and the fullness of the brush, which works with both sheer and pigmented products.
Koyudo BP025 gray squirrel bristle length 30mm – 5070 JPY
Tauhaus P03 gray squirrel / horse – bristle length 27mm 3740 JPY
Hakuhodo S111 Blue squirrel 35mm bristle length – 132$
Wayne Goss Airbrush Blue Squirrel 37.5 mm bristle length – 35$
ChikuhodoXBeautylish Sakura Cheek Gray Squirrel 36mm hair length – N/A
Suqqu S gray squirrel 35mm bristle length 15000JPY
Takeda (WF12CSQU?) canada squirrel hair length 30mm 12000JPY WF15CSQU 37mm 18000JPY
Brush 04 Contour
- Total Brush Length: 150 mm
- Bristle Length: 20 mm
- Hair type: gray squirrel and saikoho goat
- Price: 40$
This is not the kind of brush that I absolutely need in my daily routine, however, I do find that it is much more relevant in functionality -to me- than the Chikuhodo Z-3 or the Koyudo BP022.
The Chikuhodo Z-3 is smaller and denser/more directional in comparison. I could not really apply my cheek contour with the Z-3 but I can with the Yano 04.
After testing, I calculated that two swipes with the Surratt Grisaille contour is what I need to achieve a perfect application of contour, the placement is just noticeable enough without being too bold.
This Yano 02 feels super soft even though it has some goat bristles as well, those help with the blending. It’s also small enough for the nose contour, the Yano 02 is 20mm diameter at the surface, the Koyudo BP022 is 25mm and the Chikuhodo Z-3 is 15mm.
I am pleasantly surprised by this Yano 04, some products (Denona or other TF that I own) are pressed really hard and require a brush that has a lot of power and density to pick them up, this brush is the perfect tool to use with them!
I would use this brush for targeted powder touch-ups but my skin is extremely dry so my touch up is a moisturizing water spray 😀
The closest in softness is actually the Chikuhodo Z-3. We can feel that there are goat bristles in the Yano but it feels incredibly soft and not pokey. The closest in size is the Hakuhodo J528 but its surface has a much bigger diameter (20mm for the Yano vs 27mm for the Hakuhodo).
Chikuhodo Z-3 – gray squirrel – 15mm bristle length – 42$
Chikuhodo G-11 Contour – sokoho goat – 25mm bristle length – 5000 JPY
Koyudo KRG004 Lohas – 22mm bristle length – 3200 JPY
KOyudo BP022 – gray squirrel – 20mm bristle length – 9450 JPY
Takeda WF20RFS – fine goat – 30mm bristle length – 6700 JPY
Chikuhodo Takemi T-3 – Saikoho goat – 20mm bristle length – 65$
Hakuhodo J528 – Saikoho goat – 17mm bristle length – 47 $
Brush 05 Small Powder
- Total Brush Length: 165 mm
- Bristle Length: 35 mm
- Hair type: gray squirrel and saikoho goat
- Price: 65$
The Yano 05 is a candle shape brush, it has a nice full body and a good grip on the products.
It looks quite similar to the Hakuhodo G5521 but it’s just a bit longer and more airy, it makes the Yano more forgiving with the placement and more versatile- specially when working with blushes that require a more diffused application.
The Surratt Highlight and the Chikuhodo Z-2 are similar in size and in material, however, the Surratt has more working surface on the top layers of the brush (I see the layers start higher in the brush) which is absolutely excellent, it helps a lot with the application – both picking the product and blending it. The Yano 03 is the size in between team Surratt/Chikuhodo and team Hakuhodo/Wayne Goss.
The Yano 05 is another very versatile brush in this set, it can work with precision (powder, highlight, contour) but it can also handle an application on a larger area more easily as it is quite airy at the tip (vs the smaller brushes in this picture).
We all have our own preferences when it comes to brushes and techniques, we can dose the amount of product that we load on a brush and the angle or technique that we use with it, all those factors will have an influence on how each brush will work for us.
The Yano 05 does not feel as soft as the Wayne Goss 02 or the Hakuhodo S5521A so if you just need a small brush to work on delicate areas, for example around the eyes, and you have very delicate skin, better opt for these. If you want something more versatile or target a bigger area more effortlessly, then the Yano 05 is a better option. I have very sensitive skin, it’s absolutely not a problem for me, it doesn’t hurt of poke, but I do feel that it is not as soft as the 100% squirrel brushes.
I like that I can use this brush comfortably on IPSA pans and apply any pan easily without harsh edges, I applied the highlight, the blush, the powder and the bronzer from this IPSA compact using only the Yano 05 brush!
The large Chicca eyeshadow brush is like the Surratt large eyeshadow brush, I was kindly asked on Instagram to compare the Surratt large with this brush but I don’t have it unfortunately. For info, my Chicca brush is 9.5mm at the ferrule and 30mm hair length.
My Chicca brush has a damaged ferrule so don’t be surprised to see the damage all around it. Some of you just wanted to see the difference in size 🙂 So, you can not fit the Yano 05 in your crease without brushing your eyebrows and you won’t be able to set your concealer with surgical precision but, you can operate it under the eye area with the same precision as the Wayne Goss 02 Hakuhodo G5521.
The Nakamura Key is a fun little brush, who isn’t obsessed with big crease brushes?? 😀 Actually, it doesn’t have enough discipline for me to use it as a crease brush and I don’t find it extremely soft or pleasant enough to use under the eye area but I love the shape of it.
The Kiwami and the Chikuhodo are pictured here for size reference. The Kiwami is more tapered at the tip so you will get more precision when you touch the skin with the tip but when you want to blend and press the bristles then the application is quite equal to the Yano 05.
The Chikuhodo KZ-3 is much bigger but the shape is similar. The KZ-3 feels softer than the Yano, softer than the Kiwami and definitely softer than the Nakamura…
Chicca L eyeshadow brush – gray squirrel – bristle length 30mm (discontinued)
Nakamura Kei brush (06?) – Pine and PBT – 30mm bristle length – 37$
Hakuhodo S 5521A – Blue squirrel – bristle length 32mm – 117$
Hakuhodo G5521 – Blue squirrel/horse – bristle length 32mm – 65$
Wayne Goss 02 – Blue squirrel – bristle length 30mm – 35$
Chikuhodo Z-2 – gray squirrel – 37mm bristle length – 78$
Surratt Highlight – gray squirrel – 36mm bristle length – 125$
Kiwami 2017 Cheek/highlight – 40mm bristle length N/A
Chikuhodo Kazan KZ-3 – kazan squirrel – 45mm bristle length – 134$
How I would rank them by personal favorites:
- the mighty Yano 01, it’s the one I will use the most
- the Yano 03, very versatile in size and shape
- the Yano 02, versatile and a special shape
- the Yano 05, I have several brushes with a candle shape so it’s not that unique to me but this brush is more versatile than I thought due to its size
- the Yano 04, not a brush that I would necessarily reach for on a daily basis but I am really happy with it and will use it with my Denona contour -very hard on the pan- and some TF products that are a pain to work with.
I find these brushes very versatile, the cost per use is very important, even though I am a collector, the more I can envision to use a brush, the happier I am to spend my money on it 🙂
Thank you so much for reading! This post was much longer than I thought, I hope it was useful to you and that my comments help you in your decisions. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate!
Disclaimer: the prices mentioned here are just to give you a rough idea as they depend on when/where the brushes were purchased. Since the brushes are handmade, the measurements and shapes can slightly differ from brush to brush. Some of these brushes mentioned here may have been discontinued.