Home Brushes Hermes – Brushes and blushes

Hermes – Brushes and blushes

by Sonia G.

I am quite familiar with Hermes and their pieces. I started visiting their boutique because my friends asked me to check out things for them that were available at the time only where I live. I admit that I was extremely uncomfortable to enter the boutique at the beginning, but then, as time went on, I realized that the people working there were friendly and very passionate about the brand. Obviously, when you talk to passionate people, it becomes much more fun and interesting, I actually have a good time with them.

Today I love to visit the boutique and admire their exquisitely crafted things and the best is to chat with them. Imagine my excitement when I heard they were releasing brushes!!! I thought they were going to be insanely expensive and I was wondering where they were made. I am pretty sure that everyone with a keen interest in high end make-up brushes, is already aware that Hermes released brushes upon this second chapter of their Beauty story.

I don’t think their brushes are expensive, considering it’s HERMES we are talking about. Some brushes in my collection are around 1000$ a piece (please note that I am a crazy devoted collector). The Hermes brush is “only” 100$ -which is still a lot for a brush- but we have to check what we get for our money, I’ll compare it to other similar brushes. We have to keep in mind that the majority of customers who will buy the Hermes brush may not be familiar with the brushes that are handmade in Japan (called “Fude”).

It’s very likely that all Fude lovers will be aware of these Hermes brushes, but not many Hermes lovers will be aware of “Fude”.

About production costs and manufacturing

I am adding some information regarding the manufacturing process in case you are interested, if not, please jump to the “Hermes Blush Brush” section below.

If you are a brush lover and if you have been for quite a while, you have certainly noticed that many brands that were initially manufacturing their brushes in Japan switched -partially or entirely- to produce in France or China for example, most also switched to synthetic. There are many reasons for that. During my very first visits to the manufactures in Japan, I understood that the high production cost was often the primary reason for Companies to leave Japan. When working with Japanese artisans, there are several things to keep in mind:

  • scale of production: if the required production quantity is going to be very high, it may not even be feasible to make it by hand and it may not be possible to obtain certain materials and produce them ethically on a large scale.
  • design or specific technical limitations when working with handmade techniques (glues, dyes, paints, metals, tools): there are way more limitations than we imagine and the production costs can raise exponentially. Many customers won’t understand those high costs for “just” make-up brushes and therefore, many brands won’t even consider manufacturing a product that is so expensive to produce in the first place.
  • availability or higher costs of base components (ferrules, handles, wood): manufacturing on a smaller scale is a good thing but the components are more expensive to obtain (cost per component). Sometimes even too expensive to even consider. At the beginning of my blog I had so many questions for the manufacturers, I was asking myself “why didn’t they chose that instead of this”, well, today I realize that we cannot always have access to what we want, because at such small scale, it’s not even an option.


As I am regularly browsing brushes and brands, specs and prices, I noticed that prices went down for those who opted out of Japan or towards synthetic fibers instead of natural. The prices often went up for those who stayed in Japan, even more for those who kept working with natural bristles. Depending on the route taken, there can be a huge difference in production costs. Sometimes we pay for the brand name rather than for the quality of the components or the craftsmanship behind the brushes.

Synthetic bristles are often machine-made and therefore more consistent; there are less steps in the process, less work -hence less costs- for the Company that sells them, It can be an easier process and using synthetic bristles definitely helps to reduce the manufacturing steps where master skills are key, reduce time spent on each brush, there are less costs and less customer services requests or complaints.

A natural brush has reasons to be more expensive than a synthetic brush, but we have to look at the whole picture, where it was made, how, the components, the scale, the brand.

The Hermes Blush Brush

It’s an angled brush with the following specs:

Total brush length: 170mm
Bristles length: 30mm at the longest point
Ferrule: brass, 22mm x 11.70 mm
Handle: lacquered wood
Bristles: goat
Manufacturing: France
Price: 100$

This brush is Made in France, it costs $100 and it is available not only at the Hermes boutiques, but also at some of the usual beauty resellers, for example Selfridges, Harrods, Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, etc. In Switzerland these brushes can also be purchased at Globus, online or in store.

This means that if you have points or vouchers with those retailers carrying the Hermes beauty items, you may have opportunities to occasionally purchase them at an inferior price, versus what you would pay at the Hermes Boutique.

Description of the brush on the Hermes’ website:

“With its lacquered wooden handle and brushed metal ferrule, the blush brush is an exceptional object with a contemporary design. Its goat hair fibers are hand-assembled by an expert French brush-maker. The blush brush enhances a daily ritual, inviting gentle application to the skin. “

The wooden handle is coated with three layered colors: white, then pink, then black. Hermes confirmed to me that the ferrule was made out of brass metal. Which is better (more expensive) than aluminium in the brush world.

They have some videos on their website that show how to use the brush. The way I use it is that I pick up the product with the shorter side of the brush, place it near the temples and move towards the center of the face. Then depending on the blush I do a type of “V” application like they do on the video.

This brush has an angled shape, it’s shorter on one side and longer on the other, the longest bristle length is 3cm. Technically you can use its sides or the surface at the top for a blush application, or for anything else. After using it for several days in a row, these are my thoughts:

PROS
– Great head size – the size is versatile and can be appropriate to be used with blushes or bronzers, not too small, not too big.
– Generous splaying of the bristles – good for picking up sheer and pigmented products as it’s not too directional with the placement.
– Good brush length – the handle has a good comfortable length.

CONS
– Bristle Softness – the bristles are quite rough, uneven and undisciplined which is a sign of a not so great bristle quality.
– Application results – compared to other similar brushes, it took more effort to achieve an application that was even and consistent.

It costs 100$, the price tag is neither a pro or a con, but if it was a different brand, this brush would be too expensive for what it is. I am happy with the handle but I was hoping to see better goat bristles on this blush brush, even if they had to increase the price, it would better fit the brand image.

Maybe they did not think it was a necessity to elevate the quality of the bristles and that most customers will find this quality to be absolutely normal. Part of me actually thinks it’s unfair to compare Hermes brushes to the quality of the brushes from Kumano because Hermes are not a Fude (brush) manufacture.

I have a few brushes that were made in France and I don’t remember ever noticing great natural bristles on those particular brushes, maybe the bristle quality of this brush is the best quality available to brush manufacturers in France. Anyway, the brush applies blush and it has a beautiful distinctive handle, but there is room for improvement with regards to the bristles and the results it delivers. When it comes to the application, the bristles are more important than the product that is applied, this is my humble opinion based on my experience.

I went to their boutique and the brushes that was displayed there looked a bit better than mine with regards to the bristle quality but still quite the same quality. It’s important to note that all natural brushes are going to be different, some batches will feel softer than others, some brushes will have a more even and disciplined bundling.

Is it worth getting this brush?

If you are a hardcore Hermes fan, you will want to get it, and you should, because it’s fun to own their very first blush brush.
If you are a hardcore brush collector, you need it in your collection….because it’s fun to own their very first face brush.
If you are a brush lover who invests in the best quality bristles, you may want to pass on it.
If you need very soft brushes, this is probably not for you, try it first if you can. I have a comparison table with several brushes and hopefully it will give you a better idea of the softness of its bristles.

So, I think that for the Hermes customer or for someone who doesn’t really have a collection of brushes, this quality of bristles might be normal. However, for the Fude (brush) lover who knows Kumano or Japanese brushes, this is not going to be the same bristle quality or application experience.

Is this Hermes blush brush a good match for their products?

Hermes blushes have a matte finish, there is a bit of kick-off when applying them with this Hermes brush but that doesn’t bother me. The brush matches the blushes’ level of pigmentation, in the sense that it can build up color if the blushes are on the sheer side, and it can handle the application of a darker blush without being too heavy on the first swipe.

Would a softer or a brush with different bristles deliver a better result?

This Hermes Blush Brush can apply your blush, it’s fine, but I have noticed quite a big difference in the results that this brush provides versus a brush with a higher bristle quality. When using the Hermes brush, I couldn’t exactly predict where the intensity of the application would build up the most, I used the same technique and product but cheek 1 doesn’t effortlessly match cheek 2.
This brush doesn’t give me the control I want in order to build the color evenly and exactly where I wish to. I tried several techniques, removing the excess product before applying or leaving it, I tried working on a different prepped canvas (more or less oily) the outcome was similar. It’s like each bristle is doing its thing individually and not working together. Too undisciplined and unpredictable. When the brushes are very dense, this issues is not as noticeable but here it shows as it’s quite airy.

It was tricky to evenly build up the blushes with this brush, I noticed some patchiness and when I tried to fix it with this same brush, it would move or lift my foundation (I have very dry and sensitive skin). So, in my humble opinion and based on my tests, a brush with a medium density and a softer bristle quality will deliver a better result paired with the Hermes blushes.

I enjoyed using the Chikuhodo Z-4, it’s nicely dense and matches well with the Hermes blush formula. I prefer to use either squirrel brushes or very soft goat brushes, but yes, to answer this question, any of the Kumano pictured brushes (Surratt Sculpting, Chikuhodo G-2 or Hakuhodo brushes will deliver a better result.

Softness of the bristles

The softness of this Hermes blush brush is going to be interpreted differently, based on your own experience with brushes and what is currently in your collection. I will share some examples and this should give you a better idea of how the softness ranks.

Please keep in mind that some of the brushes I am showing you here are discontinued. Other brushes pictured here had a goat grade change since I got them, this is why I am sharing the year I purchased mine. I still thought it would be useful to show you these older versions because if you have them in your collection, if you love them or if they didn’t work for you, this comparison can be useful as a reference.

From left to right, the softest on the left to the less soft on the far right. I picked some angled brushes and some brushes that can help as a reference for softness.

Left to right: Softest bristles to less soft
Brush from left to rightPrice USDSoftness degree
(10 being the softest)
year of purchase
Surratt Artistique Sculpting (squirrel/goat)120102015
Chikuhodo G-02 (squirrel/goat)4592013
Hakuhodo G5542 (squirrel/goat)11492016
Hakuhodo J531 (goat)907.52012
Hakuhodo J4003 (goat)427.52012
Kashoen WA Blush Brush (goat)24072014
Chikuhodo Takumi T-2 (goat)856.52014
Hakuhodo S 106 (goat)1386.52014
Hakuhodo S110 (goat)10062011
Mizuho MB102 (goat)4062015
Koyudo BP026 (goat)3062012
Mac 168SH (goat)2862011
RMK Face Colour Brush (goat)455.52014
Hakuhodo G504 (squirrel/horse)10552011
Chanel Powder/Contour (goat)904.52011
Hermes (goat)10242021
Charlotte Tilbury Blusher (goat)4032013
Rouge Bunny Rouge 012 (goat)5632012

Further details on each brush with front and sideways pictures

I have split the brushes mentioned above in two rows, here are the first 8:

Surratt Artistique Sculpting $120 – This brush is bundled with squirrel bristles AND goat, however, the goat bristles in this brush are barely noticeable, this brush feels like a 100% squirrel brush, it could be because mine is from its very first batches but it is very very soft. Comparing it to the Hermes blush brush will not be fair or logical. This Surratt is mentioned here for size and price reference because if you can spend $120 dollars on a brush, this one is a league of its own and my first recommendation of all of the brushes mentioned here.

Hakuhodo G5542 $114 Squirrel/goat – A fantastic brush, it’s a soft mix of bristles but just like with the Surratt, it’s not the same material therefore it’s not fair to compare! It is bigger than the Hermes so it would be difficult to use this Hakuhodo brush for a blush application but I know some of you own it and you can see here how the size compares.

Chikuhodo G-02 Approx $45 Gray squirrel / Sokoho – Very good brush for a good price, I would be surprised if it can keep this price in the future but worth the $45. The Chikuhodo doesn’t splay as much as the Hermes, so it will not cover as much surface as the Hermes during application, however, the application results more even and you have a bit more control on where you want the placement and intensity, which I am lacking with the Hermes.

Hakuhodo J531 $90 Goat – I believe that these “J” series have been renamed to “B”. The goat bristles may have changed. I don’t think Hakuhodo have the same quality of bristles for their white goat brushes as they had in the past so you may not be getting the same softness as before. My brush is from their very first batch and it is likely to be softer than the brush that is currently available on their website.

Hakuhodo J4003 $42 Goat – Close in size to the Hermes but smaller, more precision and control on the placement, softer. This is the type of softness that I was wishing for the Hermes brush.

Kashoen WA Blush Brush Approx $240 – This brush is bundled only with goat bristles, they are excellent quality yet they feel quite thick and substantial. This is also the type of quality that I was envisioning for Hermes because these goat bristles are effective bristles without being undisciplined or coarse. The Kashoen is generously bundled, with a nice density to the body, good airiness and movement yet the bristles remain very disciplined, wash after wash. Only issue I have with Kashoen brushes is the price and I kept having issues with the glue so maybe my brushes were from a batch before their glue changed.

Chikuhodo Takumi T-2 $85 saikoho goat – A gorgeous brush, beautiful handle and soft. Too big for blush application and if you compare it to the Hermes, there is quite a size difference. I find the Hermes blush brush already quite big for blush, it’s ok but on the bigger side for me. The Takumi has a great price and I would recommend you to get it if this is the type of brushes you love. It is saikoho and these bristles might be more difficult to come by in the future.

Hakuhodo S 106 $138 goat – Same brush as the Hakuhodo J531 but different handle, just not quite as soft but I can imagine the batch was different and it explains the little difference in softness. I bought this S106 two years after the J531.

The next 10 brushes:

Hakuhodo S110 Approx $100 – Bundled with goat sokoho bristles, this color of dye is not done anymore by Hakuhodo, I bought mine in 2011 so it has 10 happy years. This discontinued brush is sokoho grade and it feels softer than the Hermes. Today, Hakuhodo still have the S110 but with white goat bristles only, the grade of the bristles is not mentioned on their pages.

Mizuho MB102 Approx $40 Sokoho goat – This brush is a bit less dense than the older Hakuhodo S110 with the black bristles, it is soft enough but not like saikoho if you are familiar with this grade. It is still a good price because I find the bundling really beautiful and even.

Koyudo BP026 $30 – I bought my brush in 2012 so it was quite a while ago, the quality of mine is amazing, I don’t know if the current ones have the same type of bristles in terms of quality. Maybe I should do a post one day comparing brushes that were available 10 years ago and that are still available today just to see how they changed! For $30 this was a great purchase. It is quite dense so for blush, unless the blush is sheer, it may be too intense for the purpose. I use it for contouring as the product I use is not heavily pigmented and works perfectly with this brush. It’s not a substitute for the Hermes in terms of application because this Koyudo is much firmer and directional.

Mac 168SH Short handle – Goat – This brush has been discontinued. I just wanted to show you the size as it’s likely that you have it either with the short or the long handle. My Mac is much softer than the Hermes and it could actually be a substitute for the Hermes, however, the Mac is denser and it is quite decisive with the application, depending on the blush pigmentation, it may not pair well.

RMK Face Colour Brush $45 Goat – This brush feels like sokoho goat bristles, it’s very directional and dense, it will not be a substitute for the Hermes with regards to the application. I use this type of dense directional brush to apply my contour, the shade I use is close to my skintone so a denser brush is going to deliver enough intensity and a good polished application.

Hakuhodo G504 $105 – blue squirrel and horse – It’s a very dense and very directional brush so it’s really not like the Hermes which splays out so much more. The G504 is softer than the Hermes, but it has squirrel bristles in the mix and mine is from a very old batch, which were quite good. That said, I am not a fan of this type of mix (squirrel/horse) so I don’t have that many brushes with it. My skin is very sensitive and the horse bristles are too aggressive, specially on eye brushes.

Chanel Powder/Contour – Goat – I think I paid $90 for this brush a long time ago but I cannot remember precisely. It has been discontinued but it was a workhorse at the time, loved it. I think this was the best quality I could find here at the counters (together with some Mac brushes), but then I found out about Kumano …

Hermes Blush Brush $100 Goat – This brush has a lot of potential because the design, shape and size are good, for some of us this brush is not soft enough, for others it will be fine. The handle is distinctively Hermes, happy that it’s not the usual black handle with the silver metal ferrule 🙂

Charlotte Tilbury Blusher $40 – This brush is now actually replaced with synthetic bristles but in the past they used goat bristles. The Hermes brush feels like it contains a better selection of bristles in terms of softness but the bristles are quite similar in color dye and bristle thickness.

Rouge Bunny Rouge 012 $56 (£38) – I cannot find this brush on their website, maybe it has been discontinued but I am not sure. Bought mine a long time ago! It is quite similar to the Charlotte Tilbury goat brush, feels like same thickness and similar bristle color.

The Travel Blush Brush

Description on the Hermes’ website:

A travel blush brush, ideal for use on the go. Its metal handle has a white lacquer and brushed gold finish. Its generous, slanted shape follows the contours of the face and applies the perfect amount of powder to the skin. Its synthetic fibers are hardwearing and easy to clean. Made in China

It’s a small little kabuki style brush, as big -or small- as a lipstick.

Total brush length: 70mm
Bristles length: 33mm at the longest point
Ferrule: 22.3 mm
Handle: the white part feels and sounds like metal
Bristles: synthetic
Manufacturing: China
Price: 50$

The closest synthetic bristles that I find in my collection are the Beautylish 420 series or the Illasmaqua brushes. They have a similar flexibility, thickness and feel to the touch.

The surface at the top of the bristles covers approx 3cm diameter but, if you just gently tap the surface of the brush onto the blush (without rolling or swiping the brush), you will work with a 2cm diameter type of control, that’s good, it allows more versatility and we can use it for blush. I wasn’t expecting to have more control on the placement with this Travel brush versus the Blush brush and also delivers a more smooth and even application.

Now, with regards to what we can do with this brush, I tried many things and I was surprised with the results.

Blush application: all good. When the blush is very pigmented, I only touch the product once, I don’t tap excess off, just directly touch the skin (stipple) where I need the most pigmentation then blend. It doesn’t pack the product heavily, I just stipple whatever is on the brush, then blend. This precision of about 2cm diameter works for me for blush, sufficient control and I can easily build up the application where I need to. If I need more pigmentation or a heavier application, instead of touching the product once, I will do it twice and no need to tap the excess of.

Bronzer application: The best technique for me was the “3”, starting at the forehead, cheeks then jawline. I could work with a variety of formulas, more or less pigmented, I noticed it’s better to pick up just the amount needed (first application is always going to be a test one…) but once you now how much to pick up, the application is quite effortless.

Powder application: I used different finishing powders, from Suqqu (difficult to pick) to more creamy or powdery (Koh Gen Do), it was fine with both types. I wished it had more strength with the buffing but it works and the result is smooth.

For highlighter type of powders, the application with this Travel brush is going to be more tricky and it may result too strong and heavy. It really depends on the product, for example the Hourglass Ambient powders can be applied with this brush, but some better than others.

This brush can do several tasks and it’s soft since these are synthetic bristles, I prefer a brush with natural bristles and with more strength on the bristles, but I can use it and get a satisfying result.

Rose Hermes – Silky Blush Powder – The Rose Blushes

Blushes Made in France, “with a semi-matte finish, embossed with texture resembling silk twill. A fine, silky, long-lasting powder for a luminous, radiant complexion.”

Description on the Hermes’ website:

“At once ethereal and compact, its ultra-light, pigmented texture allows color intensity to be tailored as desired, softened or asserted, from the most natural to the most sophisticated finish. This long-lasting powder clings to the skin with the first touch.
Rose Hermes Silky Blush can be refilled by simply removing and replacing its powder pan. “

There are 8 shades in total. I bought 5 shades: two in compacts and three refills. Each pan contains 6g of product, they have a fragrance by the way, the pans can be removed from the compact and replaced or switched around. The refills come with a little tool to push the blush pan out. A glue residue with a “sticky-creamy” consistency remains at the bottom of the pan. It is not a big deal, however, there are more luxurious ways to do this. My preferred way would be a magnet at the base of the compact – but that would add weight to the compact and Hermes is promoting the lightness of the compact.

The blush with the compact costs 77$ and the refill only costs 48$.

These are the shades I got and their Hermes description:

19 Rose Abricot : A velvety orange pink, like a ripe apricot in a ray of sunlight.
23 Rose Blush : A fresh pink blended with coral, for a healthy glow.
45 Rose Ombré, A subtle, celestial pink in chiaroscuro, between shade and color.
49 Rose Tan. A lightly tanned and golden pink, like skin warmed by the sun.
61 Rose Feu. Purple hibiscus, fiery, intense, illuminated with a hint of carmine.

I have used these blushes in the past days and I cannot emphasize enough the fact that it’s important to use the right tools to obtain the most beautiful application, this formula, paired with the right brush, is very good.

PROS

  • Good formula: I have noticed that they have a nice blurring effect on the pores, adding a lightweight velvety finish. I think I would love a bronzer and powder with a similar effect.
  • Pigmentation: it’s possible to build up the sheer colors and it’s possible to make the darker colors apply in a soft way. The blushes have all a good consistency across them but they are also all the same finish and formula.

CONS

  • Colors: This is just a personal preference but I don’t think they are so unique. They are beautiful and easy to wear and that’s a good thing. The ones that work the best on my skintone are the Rose Feu, the Rose Blush and the Rose Abricot, if I had to keep only one, it would be Rose Blush.
  • Lasting power: I couldn’t try it on other skin types so I can’t speak for how it’s going to wear on a different type of skin and we are all different. On me, it tends to fade unevenly but I admit that I touch my face (which I shouldn’t but I can’t help it) and wearing the face mask is adding friction. This is the kind of formula I don’t use when travelling with my motorbike because of the helmet, it would wipe the product off quite quickly. I like the look of these blushes and I love the finish but when they fade, it’s not really happening as evenly as I wished. However, if working the blush with a softer/denser brush, the lasting power and fading results are more even, so I mainly noticed this issue when applying the blushes with the Hermes Blush brush.
    I love to wear them on a glowy skin, occasionally with some highlighter underneath. A creamy base may also help a bit to retain the color of the blush but, as long as I don’t touch or rub my face like a crazy fool, it holds ok. I know that I am difficult and picky when it comes to the lasting power, that is because I don’t like to do touch ups during the day and when I am wearing these blushes, I just like to check on them and see how it’s going.

I think these are beautiful easy to wear shades with a very good formula, worth checking out but I wouldn’t pick them all because they do not really stand out so much from each other.

I thank you so much for reading this long post, I hope that you found the details that you were looking for and that it was interesting, if you have any questions or if I can help with anything, please do not hesitate to leave me a comment!

Stay safe and happy 🙂

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5 comments

Sesy 15 May, 2021 - 1:32 am

Hi Sonia,
Thank you for the much awaited review. Very detailed and analysis of each brushes as always. How does the blush brush compared with Shu Uemura 20 pony hair in terms of softness?
Like you, I really like the Rose Blush color, I didn’t know that I would like it when I decided to buy the H blusher, but now I am thinking to get the Rose Abricote.

Reply
Sanella 24 May, 2021 - 12:04 am

Hi Sonja.
Many thanks for that review. I do have most of your brushes with exception of the Face Pro, Inochige Pro and Master Face for which I am waiting to be restocked. Which of your brushes would be the best tool to apply the Hermes Blush? I watched many reviews, my best friend bought one shade and I tried it on myself. Impressed by the ability to layer and staying power I really do appreciate the quality of the blushes itself. Looking forward to your advice. Thank you so much. Sanella

Reply
Julie Z 28 May, 2021 - 5:41 am

great review as well, just a little correction— surratt sculpt brush is squirrel/goat blend.

Reply
Sonia G. 15 June, 2021 - 10:27 am

Hi Julie, you are right! Thank you so much for pointing it out and I have updated my comment accordingly! I needed to confirm with Troy himself because mine feels extremely soft and you cannot even feel the goat blend inside it at all! I have 100% squirrel brushes that are mush less soft than this one so I am not sure if mine was from the very first batches but it does feel incredibly soft with the flexibility and feel of a 100% squirrel brush. Thank you!!! take care! <3

Reply
Kasia 23 November, 2021 - 7:11 am

What an article! The depth, the passion, the information! Thank you!

Reply

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