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Love for Brushes

I'm developing a love for brushes of all kinds.  I bought a few higher end brushes and they are amazing.  They are incredibly soft and my makeup glides on like a dream.  There are so many interesting shapes. I am really interested in creating a beautiful brush collection.  Show your brushes and share any cleaning and storage tips and let us know which ones are your favorites.


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Re: Love for Brushes

I hope that you enjoy your brushes.  It's hard to stick to a no/low buy when you visit that site!

Re: Love for Brushes

Have I said that I absolutely love this thread!


Hera are two new beauties to add to my collection. They both Bare Mnerals. The larger one is called "blurring buffer" and is SUPER SOFT! The smaller one is "smoky smudger" and is a great eyedshadow brush.FullSizeRender (11).jpg


Well I tend to prefer Kevyn Aucoin, Marc Jacobs, and Hourglass brushes... I have started to grow a liking to this brand as well. (plus, they are cheaper)


Through tonight, everything is 20% off including makeup brushes on the Bare Minerals site. They also have free shipping. Hope this helps someone!

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Re: Love for Brushes

Ok more questions I'm posting multiple times because I don't want each post to be too long...more rambling.  LOL


Where is the best place to buy the Japanese brushes




Would it be better to get my girlfriend in Japan to purchase the brushes and send them to me state side?


I'm bummed because I lived in Japan for years and NEVER bought makeup or brushes!  



Re: Love for Brushes

That could really depend on just how high end you are looking to go. The closest I have to "Japanese" makeup brushes (and not coincidentally probably my most expensive brushes) are some of the Sephora + Hakuho-do limited edition ones that are on clearance now. (Grab them while you can if you see ones that look like they fulfill your needs and fit your personal technique. You can always return them in-store or offer them for trade here if you decide they do not fit as well as you'd hoped) Will they be the same as even higher end ones bought in Japan and shipped here for you via your friend? Maybe but maybe not. Not having been there and tested the brushes out, I have no other comparison than the Sephora Hakuho-do ones I have but I do like mine quite a bit if that helps at all.


I was previously using the travel size Precious Elements Pro Mini Airbrush (#55.5) for setting powder/a final buff to blend everything together. I now use the Hakuho-do Kusabi (Wedge Sloping Powder Brush) instead and while the other Airbrush was nice and I still keep ones in various places as a backup in case I need a retouching somewhere that I might not take my full makeup set with me (like at work, unexpected overnights at my in-laws house, you get the idea), there was still a clear difference between the ease of use to do the same job when comparing the Hakuho-do Kusabi brush with the Airbrush.


I also have the Ougi (Fan Cheek brush) of the same line and while I had intended to use it for blush, I think it is more my technique and personal preferences than anything else why it does not get used in that capacity. I simply prefer a lighter, fluffier brush for that and while I did fine using the Ougi brush, that is where I ended up relegating the Airbrush to instead. In the end, I guess it is as others have said: you can have a high end one that is a good brush but is still a 'miss' simply because the techniques and habits you have adapted in regard to application of makeup is different than what it is intended to be used as...or you could have a good quality, mid-range one that is half the price and do just as well or potentially even better because it is a better fit for you and your personal style/methods.

Re: Love for Brushes

If they are not available in the US, I buy mine from CD Japan or use a buying service for the brushes they don't carry.  Hakuhodo has a US website. Beautylish carries many Chikuhodo brushes and Wayne Goss brushes, which are made in Kumano. 


I like Japanese brushes because as I get older, I feel the hairs (depending on what you buy) don't move my skin around as much as other brushes and I love the craftsmanship and artistry that goes into them.  I have hooded eyelids, and many Japanese eye brushes are small enough so that I can do a precision application.


Having said this, I still use MAC, RT, Elf. etc., brushes as well. I'm not a collector, I use my brushes so I will use what I feel will do the best job at the moment. 

Re: Love for Brushes

To answer some of both of your posts...


you can get lots of Japanese brush brands from CD Japan, Visage USA carries chikuhodo and beautylish carries a few different brands.  Some of us also use personal shopper services in Japan to buy brushes, as well.


in terms of are they game changers; not exactly.  Will a better quality brush make someone who isn't good at application a MUA?  No.  I don't think it improves the end result, so much as the ease of application (and I say that as someone who owns a lot of Japanese brushes)  I find they feel nicer, because they are softer and usually more densely packed, but I wouldn't say they make my application skills better.


if you want to get a sense for the quality, try to get to a TF counter or Sephora or Barneys that has Suratt.  Both brands have brushes made in Japan (TF by hakuhodo and Surratt by chikuhodo) so it can help get a sense of them in person.


however, if you have a friend in Japan, I'd probably recommend going that route once you know what you want 


ETA: @newandaddicted I should probably clarify that because the main makeup products I use are blush and powder, 99% of my Japanese brushes are for blush or powder.  I feel within those categories there's only so much better you can get, so eventually it's just about paying for something softer/prettier/higher quality than about a quantifiable increase in performance.  Perhaps there is more difference in shadow or foundation brushes, but since I don't really use either, I can't comment.

Re: Love for Brushes

Hey @Mochapj - your point about using brushes mostly for blush and powder caught my eye. I'm the same, and I've been looking for a brush that is similar to Wayne Goss #14 - it is very airy and works really well for pigmented blushes. It has been sold out for a while (I use mine mostly with the ambient lighting powders for now). I've heard that Suqqu's cheek brush has a similar airy feel - do you know of any other brushes that are similar? I haven't tried Chikuhodu yet, do they have a similar brush? 

Re: Love for Brushes

@PavYellow I don't own any WG brushes, but I just googled to see the shape and I can say that I don't have any Japanese brushes that have such a long and tapered shape for blush, either.  It's a pretty interesting looking brush.


I'll take a look in my collection.  I definitely have a few squirrel brushes that work better for highly pigmented blushes, so I'll make some notes and report back.

Re: Love for Brushes

Thank you so much @Mochapj, that is so nice of you!


Re: Love for Brushes

@PavYellow I looked through my collection and the closest thing I could find to that type of shape was the Pat McGrath brush that came with her recent highlighter kit.  That brush would work well for diffusing pigmented blush (if you happened to own it already) but overall it isn't my favorite brush.


that said, even though the shape is not the same, I really like the Koyudo red squirrel cheek brush I picked up recently when using highly pigmented blushes.  The hair is very soft, so it doesn't pick up too much.  


It is a giant leap up in cost compared to WG though, iirc.


chikuhodo does make nice blush brushes in the Z and takumi lines, but neither are that same shape as WG

Re: Love for Brushes

thanks @Mochapj! I've been doing some serious perusing of this thread over the last couple of days Smiley Very Happy


I ordered the Chikuhodu Z-4 and a Koyudu Fu-Pa from CD Japan.Good to know you recommend the Z-series as well! I've added the Koyudu red squirrel to my wishlist Smiley Happy 

Re: Love for Brushes

Adding on to what @Mochapj wrote


I highly recommend Cdjapan, especially if you live in the US. I have placed many orders with them and so far I have not had to pay any customs.

*knocks on wood*

They have had a free shipping promotion going on for a few months. It recently went up to 12,000 yen minimum (Approx. $116 USD) The shipping is very fast considering it is coming from Japan. (About 3 business days for FedEx, 4 for EMS (goes through USPS once in the US)) They have a points program where each point is equal to 1 yen. For most brushes you get 3% back in points and once your brush has shipped, after 3 business days, you'll get back an extra 500 points or more depending on your order total. You can redeem these points in any amount, but I like to save them and use them on a bigger order to soften the blow. Also, for every brush I have cross checked, Cdjapan has always had the lowest price. Visage sells only Chikuhodo brushes at a slightly higher price, however you can negate this if you buy during one of the promotions they run (10-15% off). They offer engraving for a small fee so if that is something you would like you should subscribe to their emails and wait out for a discount. Beautylish has the highest markup on Chikuhodo brushes and they do not offer the variety CDJapan or Visage has so unless you have to order from them, I would otherwise advise against it. Selfridges sells Suqqu and RMK (they rarely have free shipping so if you see it, run. The prices for the suqqu brushes are the lowest I have seen (versus through a personal shopper) If you wish to ask your friends assistance be sure to compare prices. Money saved is money towards another brush Smiley Very Happy


Re: Love for Brushes

Do you know if CdJapan (or Visage) declares the full cost on their packages? Those customs charges can really hit you hard.

Re: Love for Brushes

@iris67 I have ordered from CDJapan several times and recently from Visage for the first time.


Visage declared the full value, but I didn't get dinged with charges.


CDJapan marks their packages as gifts if you specify and my most recent package I got charged because they marked it gift but left full value, but the 5 or 6 orders I've made previously never did.  

Re: Love for Brushes

Ooh okay thank you! I wonder if customs charges are just random then? It makes me a little nervous to order :/

Re: Love for Brushes

I made one order with CDJapan recently and had no customs charges (hope I'm not jinxing it). I used Fedex (didn't select the gift option either).

Re: Love for Brushes

Ok ladies and gents, I have a newbie question...I have LOTS o' brushes.  From ELF on up to IT/MAC cosmetics, I think that's the most I've currently paid for brushes. 


I'm a novice when it comes to applying makeup, even though I discovered makeup 10yrs ago (I was in my 30s!).  


NOW on to my question...LOL


Since I've only applied makeup with lower end brushes does the quality of a brush change the game with application?


I understand quality (I'm a purse "street walker" as well a a makeup junkie) and I know a Longchamp or Chloe bag is worth the price.  Is it the same with brushes?


Thank you for your patience with my rambling.

Re: Love for Brushes



Using a higher end brush versus using a lower end brush can have a great difference in makeup application but all the same, the application can end up very similar. With many lower end brushes I find that the quality can be hit or miss. If you have one of the brushes that fall into the "hit" category then you won't notice much of an upgrade if/when you get your first high end brush. If you have a brush that falls into the "miss" category then the opposite would occur where you might notice a drastic change. Generally, it's all a matter of which brushes are currently being used. Some brushes are not shaped correctly or packed correctly to adequately perform their dictated function. In short, the "right" lower priced brushes can give you a similar or equal final application. For me the advantage to higher end brushes is the comfort. Once you get into the realm of grey squirrel or high quality goat the hair is very soft. Whereas I have often run into an issue of a lower quality brush being good/but very scratchy or soft/but does not apply product as I would want it to, many higher end brushes have both qualities I want (not to say all lower priced brushes do not have this at all, it's just a bigger yes/no/maybe game). Higher end brushes (referring solely to Japanese made brushes and not brands such as Chanel, or others) generally come with assured quality, much more so compared to other brushes. For me it has turned applying my makeup into a pampering experience. Also, after using most of my higher end brushes my skin generally does not feel irritated. Higher end brushes are a great treat to the makeup lover, but are not necessary for everyone unless perhaps you have very sensitive skin. All brushes should be taken good care of but I have to say I didn't do such a great job aside from regular washes until I bought my first high end brush. I'm much happier collecting brushes than I was collecting makeup. Everyone will be different and find different things worth the extra money. Personally brushes are very therapeutic to me so I am more than happy to hoard them away. All in all, you may or may not see a dramatic increase in how your makeup applies but more than likely your appreciation of brushes, your treatment towards them, and how often you pet them will change. 



Re: Love for Brushes

IMO - I have replaced all my brushes with High Quality, I started out with Wayne Goss and then moved to Japanese brushes. I think you also have to consider your makeup game. essentially I only use liquid foundation and concealer everything else is powder so I have one foundation and concealer brush that is synthetic. All my other brushes that are animal hair work with powder. I feel like using high end brushes

A. gives a very small quality difference (vs. very low end brushes/you can get the same effect with similar mid end brushes)

B. Inspires me to use makeup/better my technique

C. Makes me happy (I take very good care of my expensive brushes, brush guard, conditioner, the whole shebang)

I feel like it was a worthwhile investment for myself however many people could not imagine spending $100 on a powder brush. To each its own.

If you do decide to splurge I hope you post your new babies here =D

Re: Love for Brushes

I was so excited to see they re-listed the Hakuho-do concealer brush online and can't wait until it gets here. Of course, that has to be the package that got sent to the wrong place so I was watching the tracking periodically and was thrilled when it was supposed to be here yesterday...until it showed "scanned in at ___ time in Eureka" when I expected to see "out for delivery." Trying to be patient, and I know it will have to get here eventually but still...grrr.

Re: Love for Brushes

@AMK721 - What brush is that with the purple handle in the photo you put in the original post? I can never seem to find the brush I need to replace and in the color I want at any given time (and the color I want could vary depending on my mood, lol) but purple always seems to be the most elusive.

1,215 Replies