Saturday, March 8, 2014

My Brush Collection with mini-reviews

Makeupalley MUB had a bit of a brush stash theme this week, and I decided to join into the foray. I thought I would cross post here as well, with some additional verbiage.

Oh, the platter is from Anthropologie, but long gone.

Face brushes

L to R: RT Setting Brush, Sigma F84, RT Expert Face Brush, Hakuhodo K020, Chikuhodo Z-4, Suqqu Cheek, Chikuhodo Z-2, Hakuhodo H603 (retractable)

  • Sigma F84 and RT Expert Face Brush: I use both for liquid foundation, thought I slightly prefer the Sigma because the bristles are a bit softer and more flexible. I'm happy to own both, though, and since they are relatively inexpensive, I don't feel bad when I clean them aggresively!
  • RT Setting Brush: This brush is a great size and density for setting undereye concealer with powder. However, I'm in the market for a natural hair version (hopefully squirrel hair). Do you have any recommendations?
  • Hakuhodo K020 was my first brush splurge, and also my first squirrel haired brush. It changed the way I applied blush! I still love it, but after getting the Suqqu Cheek brush, I now use this for loose powder instead.
  • Suqqu Cheek brush: Irritatingly hyped and expensive, I love this little guy. Super soft, not too dense, and nice and small (my preference for a blush brush)! So glad I splurged on this! I purchased it from
  • Chikuhodo Z-4 is great for my blushes where I want to pick up a little more pigment than Suqqu Cheek (but just a tiny bit more, since it's denser, but still ultra soft). I purchased it in Ginza, Tokyo at the Tau Hiroshima Brand Shop.
  • Chikuhodo Z-2 is a cool shaped brush, but I actually don't reach for it much. I should try to wear more highlighter I guess! I purchased it in Tokyo at the Tau Hiroshima Brand Shop.
  • Hakuhodo H603 Slide Face Brush: I purchased this for travel, as it retracts. It's very convenient, but I often find myself missing my other blush brushes when I use this. If you are hesitant to travel with your blush brushes, this is a great one to have. It's very soft (mix of blue squirrel and sohoko goat).
  • Here's a video I made last year when I got it showing the sliding action :)

Eye Brushes

L to R: Hakuhodo J146, J5523, K005, G5520BkSL (I think), G5529BkSL, G515, S123Bk, G537s, Shu Uemura 10N, 5R, Sigma ss266 (E65 now, I think), Yojiya Ebony Eyeshadow Brush Squirrel, Chikuhodo Artist Series 10-1, 8-5, 8-1

  • Hakuhodo J146: Super cute, soft white goat hair brush. I use it for light blending between shades.
  • Hakuhodo J5523: Infamous for being a "dupe" for MAC217, this is a great brush to own. Very soft, and great for blending. Can't go wrong with this one. I do wish I had a slightly smaller and shorter version of it, though (small lid space to blame, again!)
  • Hakuhodo K005: a must have for me, use it to line lower lash line with shadow, and sometimes a soft wing with black/dark brown shadow
  • Hakuhodo G5520BkSL: A standard pencil brush, but very soft! I don't use it much, but it gets the job done!
  • Hakuhodo G5529BkSL: I use this to darken my small outer corner area, and it applies colour very softly (so it's hard to over do it).
  • Hakuhodo G515: My first doe-foot shaped brush, this is SUPER soft and really versatile. I can do a whole eyelook with it. A pleasure to use and I should really give it more love!
  • Hakuhodo S123Bk: This 100% Kolinsky brush is only available in Japan, and is similar to the Shu 10N, but larger. I prefer the shorter handle, and the gold ferrule is gorgeous too. I do wish the head was smaller though. Still, it's incredibly versatile just like the Shu, so I am happy to have it!
  • Hakuhodo G537s: Another 100% Kolinksy brush only available in Japan. It is *so* good for applying and blending concealer, and I also use it to apply dots of foundation to my face before using a Beauty Blender. I purchased both these brushes from the Hakuhodo boutique in Omotesando, Tokyo.
  • Shu Uemura 10N: My first expensive eye brush, but worth every penny (... 20% off, that is). It's incredibly versatile (both laydown and blending). My only gripe is that the handle is too long (I'm near-sighted so I like to get up real close to my mirror to do my eyemakeup, and the handle sometimes gets in the way)
  • Shu Uemura 5R: This picks up and applies pigment brilliantly. I have to say I slightly prefer the Hakuhodo G5529 because the 5R puts down so much colour, that I usually need to blend the edges out, whereas the Hakuhodo applies colour more softly so I don't need to blend the edges (but I do need to layer and concentrate colour if I want it)
  • Sigma ss266/E65: One of the few Sigma brushes I still own from the original set I purchased years ago. I use it for gel eyeliner exclusively, but I rarely wear gel liner anymore!
  • Yojiya Ebony Eyeshadow Brush Squirrel: I purchased this at the Fa-So-La Tax Free Akihabara duty free shop at NRT for 3400 yen (slightly discounted from retail). It has been cited as a close "dupe" for the discontinued Suqqu S eyeshadow brush. It applies colour softly and blends amazingly well too, but is not great if you're looking to really pack on the colour. The handle is gorgeous, though!
  • Chikuhodo Artist 10-1: This line is discontinued (or simply unavailable for direct purchase). This brush really picks up a lot of pigment!
  • Chikuhodo Artist 8-5: This laydown brush also does a good job at applying pigment, but I do find it a tad pokey on my lids.
  • Chikuhodo Artist 8-1: This brush is stiff, but not pokey, and is good for lining with dark shadow. I like these three for travel because they are so petite! I purchased at the Tau Hiroshima Brand Shop in Tokyo as well.

Lip Brushes
Not Pictured!

Not brushes, but related

L to R: MUJI Powder Puff, Koh Gen Do Powder Puff, scrubby pad I use to clean all my brushes, black and pink Beauty Blenders

  • I use the powder puffs to apply loose powder (before brushing off the excess with my Hakuhodo K020). I find both the Muji and KGD perform identically. I purchased the KGD from Barneys in a pack of 2 for $16, while the Muji one costs $5.75 (probably much cheaper in Japan). The KGD one does come with a nice zip pouch for travel, though!

Phew! That took a long time to write up! I hope you enjoyed it! It's hard to believe I went from no brushes in 2010 to this collection four years later! I'm so happy with my brushes, but I do have some editing to do! (*whispers* and also some shopping, ho ho ho)


  1. Love this post! You have such an edited collection compared to me, I have some nice brushes but also a ton of cheapies. For undereye setting powder, consider the Wayne Goss 02 (or the similar Hakuhodo) - it's very soft and a good size for that.

  2. Ohh that looks really good!!! Thank you for the rec!!

  3. OHHHHH lovely fluffs you got here, cilucia! I think I will also do some edits soon. :)

  4. Wow, many brushes! :)