Saturday, March 8, 2014

All My Brushes - The Hairy Edition

There is a brush frenzy going on Makeupalley these days.  People have been posting their entire collections sparking much oohing and aahing and starting of new lemming lists.  I posted my collection on the board already, but I thought I'd share on the blog, too.  And since today was a rare day of sun and warm temperature I took time to re-take some photographs.  Sorry mub friends for posting my crap pictures over there.  I even washed all my brushes for this post.

I've not been using these very long.  I think I had some kind of a bias or mental block against this brand previously.  Having spent sizable chunk of funds on Tom Ford and SUQQU (also manufactured by Chikuhodo), it seemed a dangerous proposition to be trying out the brand.  What if I fall in love and then end up with a pile of Chikuhodo brushes?

That seems to be what happened.

I was looking to find a more suitable replacement for my Shu Uemura travel brushes and picked up a few pieces from the Artist Red series.  And then learning they are being discontinued, I quickly picked up several more.  (updated)  These brushes seem to be discontinued from the consumer side but it shows up on Chikuhodo's own website as available in wholesale (here).  Thanks Adele for pointing this out!  I'm not sure how to go about purchasing these as an individual consumer.  If anyone has any advice, please let us know in the comments!

These short little handles are great for travel, but also great for those of us that are a bit near sighted and need to get a bit closer to the mirror to apply makeup.  When I use these when I travel, I don't feel like I'm missing anything of my other brushes!  Now I finally have my dream travel set.

These were all purchased from where some brushes from this series are still available.  Many of the ones I own are no longer available from what I can see.  As a note, the Artist Black handle series are the same brush heads, but on longer handles.  These are available on along with many other brands of artisan Japanese brushes.
  • 20-2 Powder Brush (Grey Squirrel) has more density than my floofy and airy SUQQU face brush.
  • 16-1 Cheek Brush (Grey Squirrel) flatter overall shape.  Both these face brushes are incredibly soft.  
  • 2-3 Eye Brow Brush (Nylon & Weasel).  I've not used this on my brows but use then exclusively as a detail brush that is excellent with cream shadows.
  • 4-3 Lip Brush (Kolinsky)  The long hairs taper into a fine point.  I like how precise I can be with by getting into the corners of my mouth as well as drawing the lip line.  Places color very sheerly.
  • 6-1 Lip Contour Brush (Kolinsky)  I also only use this for eye shadows and cream shadow products.
  • 6-3 Eye Brow/Screw Brush (Nylon) I have ones from Missha but I like having a matching set.
  • 8-1 Eye Shadow Brush (Kolinsky) longer, flat paddle shape.
  • 8-8 Eye Shadow Brush (Grey Squirrel)  This one was a gift provided by Kohlindo.  Fluffier paddle shape.  Soft hair.  I think it must be a mixture of squirrel (Canadian?) with something else.
  • 10-1 Eye Shadow Brush (Grey Squirrel & Weasel)  Very soft but dense pointed brush.  Very versatile for lay down as well as more detailed more like placement into crease.
  • 10-2 Eye Shadow Brush (Kolinsky) Larger version of the 8-1.

  • Lip Brush (Kolinsky) has a very precise corner for shaping the bow of the lips.  Can work a lipstick into the lips more so than the 4-3.

  • Z-3 Contour Brush (Grey Squirrel) Dense and soft with a very small head.  Surprisingly effective at not only placing the color but great with buffing and blending in.  I've only used this on powder products so far.  Not sure if I can get this to work as well with a cream.
The big face ones are several years old now and still performing magnificently.  Especially true for the cheek brush.  I don't recall losing hairs and they hold their shape so nicely.
  • Eyeshadow Brush F (Grey Squirrel)  I think this brush is a bit underrated, and I really like how well it places an even layer of color on the lid.  Not very good at anything defined, but as an example, for whatever base shade I use in a Suqqu quad, this is a good brush that I would choose to apply all over the lid.
  • Eyeshadow Brush M (Grey Squirrel)  This is probably the standout star of the eye shadow brushes.  
  • Eyeshadow Brush L (Grey Squirrel) This has a large flat brush head.  For those of you with big lid space, I suspect this might be a handier brush.  For me, I like this for light washes (also good for the matte white base in the older Suqqu quads) and works reasonably well to place color softly into the crease.
  • Eyebrow Brush G (some firm animal bristle)
  • Cheek Brush (Grey Squirrel) Yep, officially, if I had to only have one brush for blush it would be this one.  Sorry, not sorry.
  • Face Brush (Grey Squirrel) Same quality of hair as the cheek brush, but for purposes of applying powder, I don't find this as effective.
I have giant walls of text all over the blog on these brushes.  Be sure to check out the big tab above which links to all of them in detail.  Over the course of my blog, I got rid of the Shade and Illuminate Brush, which I didn't find great at blending the contouring products.  Having used all these for a while now to really firm up my opinions on these.  The only one I really find mediocre is the contour one.  I find the shape awkward for me, though the quality of the brush is still excellent.  All of them have remained pristinely clean with regular use, even the lip brush.  I surprisingly love the 11 brush way more than I originally thought.  I find the slightly full shape of the brush well suited to general placement, some light blending.  
  • 22 Lip
  • 14 Smokey Eye Brush
  • 13 Eye Shadow Blend Brush
  • 12 Eye Shadow Contour Brush
  • 11 Eye Shadow Brush
  • 02 Cream Foundation Brush
  • 06 Cheek Brush
  • 05 Bronzer Brush
This group has some of my oldest and my newest brushes.  The Chanels are the old discontinued ones and they are well over 10 years old.  They are missing bristles and no longer soft.  Remember how I confessed I never used to wash brushes?  Ahem, this is what happens when you don't take care of your brushes well.  
  • Bobbi Brown Essentials Concealer Brush.  I got this to use with the correctors and concealers which I no longer use.  Nylon bristles are fine for applying product, but you will need to blend with fingers or another brush afterwards.
  • Bobbi Brown Essentials gel liner brush.  This is a classic.  I've used the Bobbi Brown gel liners almost every day for many years.
  • Bobbi Brown Essentials Lip Brush.  I like this shape and the bristles are firm but not pokey.
  • MAC 217.  This one likely needs no introduction.
  • MAC 187.  This is my newest brush purchase.  Sheds all the time.  Sheds every day.  Sheds when I wash it.  Sheds when I looks at it.  I got this primarily to apply highly pigmented blush.  For that it works very well...while shedding.
  • Chanel 10 Angled Blush Brush.  Aw, so sad looking now.  Now I'm not a keen fan of angled brushes.  I think I can get more control from a non angled brush.
  • Chanel 2 Eye Shadow Brush.  I still use this.  Missing some chunks of hair.
  • Chanel 11 Eye Shadow Brush.  This is synthetic hair and very firm.  Doesn't work with powder products and works ok with cream ones.
I have my share of these, but these don't make up a bulk of my brush collection.  Some of these are indispensable, especially the G521.
  • J4006 Duo Fiber Fan Lash Brush.  Uh, never used it.  Not even sure how I would.
  • K005 Love this little brush.  Excellent for detail work and working with cream products
  • G5515BkSL  Too small and fiddly for the normal stuff I do.
  • G521 D1  This brush changed my life!  I use this for tightlining with my Laura Mercier cake and I had used the LM brush before.  Having small eyes and a challenging epicanthic fold, the LM was much too big.  This little Hakuhodo is small enough to work for me.
  • J5523  I bought this primarily for comparison purposes (versus other blending brushes like the MAC217, Tom Ford 13 Blending Brush, etc).  I still think it's a very good one and always good for me to have extra ones around.  If I had to get down to one blending brush though, I don't think this would make the cut.
  • J5521 You can't see from the angle of this picture, but it has a nicely pointed tip.  I use this brush for apply powder highlighters and I like the shape for working in smaller areas.
This assorted lot definitely has some gems in there.  
  • Bare Escentuals concealer brush.  Was good for mineral powder concealing work, which I no longer use.  Also good for applying concealer (cream) products.
  • Shu Uemura 5R (Kolinsky) long barrel head shape.  The kolinsky has soft tips and excellent snappiness.  I love this brush!  Crease, outer v, cream products can all work with this brush.
  • Rouge Bunny Rouge sponge tip applicator.  This is a GWP from Beauty Habit a while ago.  I don't normally use sponge tips so this rarely gets used.
  • Nars Smudger Brush.  It's pretty limited in function.  It smudges, but boy does this smudge liners well.  Something like the Tom Ford Smokey Eye Brush can smudge liner as well as apply eye shadow, but the Nars just smudges.  Still an excellent brush.
  • Paula Dorf Sheer Crease Brush.  Might be my favorite blender.  Maybe.  Love this one.  I think this may also be discontinued.
  • RMK Eye Shadow M (?)  Scratchy hair.  I think maybe pony hair.  Yet I like this for blending my concealer under eyes and under my mose.  I'm guessing it works so well because the hairs are not so soft.  I would like a softer replacement for this one day.
  • Edward Bess Luxury Eye Brush (Goat).  I think this is too big for my eye lids and not the luxurious goat hair like the Tom Fords.  But it does work pretty well for wash and blend.
  • Trish McEvoy fan brush.  Some duo fibre blended hairs.  Works well for highlighting as well as for applying pigmented blushes.
  • Shu Uemura 18 (goat).  Works similar to the Tom Ford cream foundation brush, but with a smaller brush head.
  • 2 brushes at the top of my picture are Missha spoolies.  Brows always need brushing out after apply brow products.
A mix of new and old here and more on the budget friendly side of the spectrum.
  • RT Setting Brush.  I like how soft these bristles are.  I use this to set my under eye concealer with powder
  • RT Expert Face Brush.  Great brush for applying foundation and for cream blushes.
  • SK Powder Brush.  I always use this for applying my Guerlain ballz.
  • SK Eye Shadow Brush.  Eh...
  • SK Flat Top Brush.  Haven't used this in a while.  I think this brush is over 15 years old.
On a brush related topic, I mentioned above that these are all nice and freshly washed.  Do you know what happens when you haven't washed your brushes in a long long long long time?  (Ignore how my foundation is too light for my face, but matches my neck and needs to also be better blended into the hairline.  Man, the shit you notice with a better camera)
Your nude blush (Rouge Bunny Rouge Delicata) turns into a weird orange color.  I couldn't figure out why my nude blushes were all turning orange on my skin.  I thought it may be oxidation, my skin care, my foundation until I realized I need to wash my brushes.

Here is Delicata Redux:

A soft subtle nude, over the same skincare and foundation.
Oh my goodness.  This was a long post.

Thank you for reading and if you have any question, please feel free to ask!  I think I am in the mood to edit some brushes now.  Having completed this post, there are definitely ones I no longer use or have found better replacements.

Are you a brush lover, too?


  1. YOU DID NOT JUST POST ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLL YOUR BRUSHES IN ONE HUGE POST!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes I SCREAMED...and DIED.....and just got to the entrance of brush heaven :D :D

    Love love love all you brush posts, and you know you are to blame for my obsession with Suqqu and Tom Ford! Pretty much anything you post, I wants :D

    1. I just did and it was ... ah! I need a cigarette now, surely. Don't blame me! Blame all the brands for making such beautiful fuzzies!!!!!

      So what's next on the purchasing agenda?

  2. The lash/fan brush..I saw it (MAC version) in a MAC artist video and got all interested in trying it out. Not sure if I would use it either - having a sneaky suspicion it would be another of those things that I buy and then rarely use :|

    1. Doesn't it look so fun and interesting. From what I've heard, it applies very lightly and I'm more into dramatic lash looks. I don't know why I bought this. :/

  3. You just transported me into blush heaven!!! I feel like I'm dreaming, and please don't wake me up! You're also encouraging my obssesion with Tom Ford brushes, those that I keep like treasures since they are not available here and had to get CP from my brother's last visit to D.C.

    1. I think goat hair brushes are so versatile and I think of the goats, Tom Ford really makes some exceptional ones. I LOVE these fuzzy guys. I'm so glad you enjoyed this post, Anne!!

    2. I love goat hair brushes too... I need to start being serious about my low buy and start saving for some more TF$ brushes!!! :D


    *cries at your S brush*

    That epic brush night made me finally decide to spring for a Z-2. Of course, I'm also getting two *other* brushes, because moderation is not something I do very well.

    I also decided I'm going on a two-month no buy, so I have to get in all my spending, right??

    1. I only has the M, no S. I NEEDS S!!! WHY SUQQU WHY DISCONTINUE S?! :(((

      So Z-2 and what are the other two you are getting. Other Z's? I think if I didn't have the Suqqu ones, I would be more interested in getting some Chikuhodo Z's. I know they are very different, but I kind of feel like I need one or the other.

      Those brush purchases will start of the no buy in proper style!

    2. Ahhh, that's the M! It looks more pointed than I expected? I still want it though!

      I'm getting a cheek brush from the new line - RC-2 - which is also grey squirrel. I was going to get a flat grey squirrel eye brush, and then I realized I'd rather wait for Selfridges to get the M brush back in stock... or order from Ichibankao... or maybe just be happy with my Hakuhodo G5528? So many decisions! Either way, I'm getting them CP'ed through Bring Bling, which is muuuuch more reasonable than Ichibankao. Odds are I can get Suqqu through him, too.

      But Chikuhodo is enough for this month, I think! And I think they're both very functional luxury, but Chikuhodo is denser, which works better for me. I have the Suqqu L and it's too - fluffy - for my taste. I wish Chikuhodo made a brush the shape of the M, that would probably be perfect.

      (Look at how I blab! Sorry :/)

    3. I think it's probably because I shaped it into a point for drying and I hadn't used it. It's slightly tapered at the end but not a real pointy point. This is a great brush. :) L is a weird brush. I learned to love it versus having it be love at first use. Now I find it very handy!

      Please come chat often! :) or at MUB.

  5. Colour me the shade of envy!! My brush collection is so haphazard. I have a couple of excellent kolinsky brushes but I got them for cream products and they go unused because I don't want to clean my brushes THAT often. :P

    1. kolinsky brushes are so fabulous. I love how each different hair type really excels particularly in different things. I also like the soft and boingy feel of the kolinsky hairs. washing brushes... ugh, what a chore. Please remind me never to buy any more brushes because washing them are such a pain.

  6. Brush porn! *fans self* I haven't yet tried Chikuhodo, but I do own and love the TF 02 & 13s, so its now inevitable that I own some chikus too! Have a few Hakuhodos that I buggered my friend to get for me in Japan, and I love them dearly. Also love the real techniques ones, great functionality and price.

    The brand that really opened my eyes up to how great brushes better your makeup is Koyudo. I got my precious select few a few years back when Sogo had their annual Hokkaido festival thing, and they were one of the invited stalls that had my attention once I finished nomming on all the food testers.

    Thanks for the great post, and for reminding me I'm gonna have to wash my weeks worth of brushes tonight!

    1. I think the RT ones are really wonderful value for the quality and function. The expert face brush in particular is excellent. I almost always use fingers to apply foundation, but when I do use a brush, I am really enjoying that particular one. I really wish I had access to seeing these brands in person. Even on a comprehensive site like Hakuhodo, it's hard to tell I'd like something unless I get to see it.

      Thanks for reading the post. Yes, wash those brushes! :)

  7. Oh no lol I am currently lemming brushes so this post has indeed fueled the fire! :)))

    Would you happen to know how to wash the Suqqu cheek brush? Can I use just any brush soap on it? I've tried googling the know how but haven't seen any info.

    1. I wash the brushes all the same way, with the solid Beauty Blender soap. You can just about use any soap that won't leave a film. Also popular brush washing soaps are Dr Bronner in the bar and liquid.

  8. Gosh, those mini-Chikus aka Chiku travel brushes are TO-DIE-FOR!! Why is everything good has to be discontinued? What a cruel, cruel world. And yes, note to self: must wash brush.

    1. Aren't these little Chikus so adorable! I want to travel all the time to use these more often! Oh what the heck, I use them at home all the time because I enjoy using them so much. I wonder why the range was discontinued. They are lovely little things.
      Yes, Claire, washing them is a good thing. You don't want weird, unintended color on your face like me! :D
      Missed you these days, Claire!

    2. PBI: Now-Eproject seemed to suggest in response to my question that the Artist series wasn't discontinued, just not available for retail purchase, and it does look like the Chikuhodo website still lists them, just under the wholesale section! (Now-Eproject can get them, I think, for fairly reasonable prices, with their UNreasonable shipping fee. So I don't think they're completely gone.)

    3. Hiiiii Adele! Thank you so much for posting this information! I also saw that it is there in Chiku website and edited the post above for people to peruse. I wonder if this is how Kohlindo was able to order my 6-1, 8-1, etc a while ago. I had to wait quite a while for them.

    4. Thanks Adele for the info!!

      Thanks, Belly, we just got back from overseas vacation. I'm trying to write a post as we speak!

  9. ahhhh dying. I am going to Japan later this month and I'm trying to cut back on makeup-related purchases, but I has a weak spot for brushes especially halp me

    1. I can not halp you. please go smother all the fuzzy brushes! and go stick your finger in all the makeup testers! This is a beauty blogging prerogative. GO! Go forth swatch/squish!

  10. WOW, look at this collection. Lovely brushes! That Suqqu Face brush I am drilling over reminds me waiting for my CC to flip at the beginning of this month and seeing it selling out a few hours prior to my order, AGH! Maybe I should find a conference in Japan and make them send me for the science... of brushes ;-)

    1. Thanks Sara! The Suqqu Face is pure luxury and I love owning it. I actually get a lot of use out of it because not using it would be a shame. But of the face/big powder brushes I have, the Chikuhodo 20-2 and the Tom Ford Bronzer perform better for me. I suspect the more dense Z face brushes would probably work better to for true setting work.
      Please, make some reason to get to Japan!

  11. Looks great! I really want the tom ford blending brush but at £42, it seems a bit rich for my taste! I have the edward bess luxury eyebrush - i really like it for blending.

    1. It is so expensive over there! Here the blending brush is $55 or so, I think? The pricing is one of the reasons buying beauty in the US is an advantage. :)

  12. BRUSHES ! Salivation can damage the keyboard of my laptop? Wondering...
    I like you foundation! If it matches with your's perfect ! Big hugs from Greece. Amalia

    1. Drool plus electricity probably don't go well together. The last time I was gnawing on an electric cord, it was pretty shocking. ;)
      I like the foundation when I'm winter pale, but since my holiday it no longer matches face AND neck at the same time. I quite like the finish though.
      Thank you for your comment, Amalia!! xoxo

  13. Ah brushes. I go through phases. Bought shite loads of brushes a few years ago, then purged some... and I accumulated quite a few high end ones just recently. My wallet yelled for help, but I butchered it. LOL!

    1. Didya pick up the Tom Ford Brushes???!!! :DDDD
      I feel like I own a few that definitely can be whittled out of my collection. My brush collection seems to grow exponentially over the years.

  14. Oh, I am LIVING for that Tom Ford brush picture! So pretty.

    1. I love how they look together, too. Something about the white brushes... so pretty.

  15. So many beauties! *turns off computer crying*

    1. Don't cry! As I was washing the brushes the other night for an hour, I was struck by the stinky barnyard smells of the drying hairs. P.U.

  16. Wow wow wow!!! Such gorgeous brushes for a gorgeous face!!! Agree with Claire...I'm totally lusting your short handled chikus!! Ok, but I have to ask...what brushes are on your wish list and/or getting soon list??? Inquiring minds wanna knoooooow :-)

    1. :) They are fabulous little brushes. I actually have an empty brush wish list. The only thing I would consider at the moment is the little brush from RMK I've been using to blend out my concealer. But nothing urgent. I feel more like I need to trim down a bit more than buy any more. What about you? I know you have some coming in, but anything else you've been thinking of, Gummy?

    2. The ones that I thought would arrive last week - ugh they fooled me!! All of them showed as in stock, but I received an email saying they were inundated with orders and it would take awhile to fill them all...except the brushes STILL say in stock. Maybe their webmaster forgot to add the last part that says 'in stock - soon after we finish making them'. I don't know when those will come!

      I don't know why I want more brushes because I don't use a majority of the ones I already have. That's so terrible isn't it?? In my defense I did get rid of a few brushes. But wish list...Chiku z series of course and some other Chiku's that I don't know the specific names of, and some Hakuhododo's and the Suqqu shadow brushes. I'll probably end up ordering the Suqqu from ichibanko at some point. There's a makeup show in Chicago in June and Hakuhodo will be there so I'm hoping to check a few out in person. I'm super curious about the Rae Morris brushes, but not sure if I can live with the magnetic handle??? They don't seem like they'd be great to travel with. But I need nothing. That's just more brushes to wash. Right?!!! lolol

    3. Ugh! Did they already take the payment or will they charge you after they ship you? That sucks.

      I think checking out the Hakus in person at the show might be an awesome idea. Maybe if you get to travel to southern California soon, you can also check out the US showroom in Torrance. I don't like the idea of magnets on my brushes! I don't want them sticking to each other. That's one of the reasons I depotted the Burberry singles and how they stick oddly together!!!

  17. So many brushes, I was lemming a bunch of brushes, big list but I haven't put in the order because I went on a small trip and forgot about them until now lol. Your makeup always looks good :) btw your SUQQU M e/s brush looks longer pointer than mine and I'm not a huge fan of it.

    1. :) Thanks, my darling! I spend a lot of time staring blankly at the mirror painting my face!

      What's on the list now these days? You don't like your M??!! :( Mine is super pointy and tapered here because I washed and shaped it so. I WUV M!

  18. ooooooooh brushes. what a gorgeous collection! someday i want to get a couple TF$ eye brushes.

    in the most exciting news ever, the suqqu cheek is on it's way to me!!!! YAY!

  19. Pardon me while I drool over this post!!

    I was reading Temptalia's favorite blush brushes, and she prefers the Tom Ford cheek brush. It's an investment, but less than, say, the SUQQU. How do you think it rates?

    Shani x
    She Dreams in Perfect French

    1. She prefers the Tom Ford to the Suqqu? I think the Tom Ford is an excellent brush. I use it primarily for blushes that are more lightly pigmented (like Chanel JCs) as it picks up pigmentation more forcefully and it blends and softens edges very well. But because I tend to prefer v. pigmented blushes, I think Suqqu performs better (though even the TF is fine if you tap off excess onto a tissue or something). Both are excellent brushes, I think it would be a matter of personal preference if one was to pick just one!! Hard to do!

    2. Oh, sorry, that was misleading! She prefers it to a Hakuhodo. I was going to invest in the Tom Ford, since it's slightly more affordable, but if it's worth the investment anyway...

      I use both kinds of blushes, lighter and more pigmented (hello Coeur Battant!), so it would be good to have one I can use with both of them. Hmm. I have to think about it!

    3. Actually, it's a LOT more affordable. I think I just answered my own question!!

    4. There are some excellent quality options in Hakuhodo that are priced really well!! I'm sure you can get some great ones to fit your blushy needs! xoxox

  20. This is an extremely useful and informative post, belly! Thank you! I'm just sitting here swooning over all the fluffehs :D

    1. I don't have any pets, so this is about it for me. :D
      I'm so glad you found this helpful, Abby!


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