Saturday, July 4th, 2015

Hakuhodo x Sephora PRO Brush Collection
Hakuhodo x Sephora PRO Brush Collection

Hakuhodo x Sephora PRO Brush Collection consists of five face brushes that are made out of synthetic fibers. All five are on the larger side and dense with a lot of spring/give (particularly the Large Teardrop brush, which seems almost floppy as the brush tapers). The edges of all five brushes was very even, and I didn’t have any issues with scratchiness or feeling an odd bristle while trying the brushes in multiple directions. The fibers don’t seem as fine as they could be–IT’s Velvet Luxe line is softer and smoother in feel against the skin. I’m uncertain about some of the shapes and how versatile/useful they will be, but that is a personal call based on my own preferences, but you may want to see them in-store if you can.

It was apt that all but one brush was specifically named as a “Powder Brush,” because these seemed to be best with powders. Their density, though, made then prone to picking up and applying quite a bit of product, so you’ll want to use a light hand or use this with your sheerer to medium coverage products. I do not recommend using this with a bright candy apple red blush, for example, which is my personal test for seeing how much powder is deposited in a pick-up as well as how well the brush blends the color out (red blush is unforgiving, it gets splotchy quite easily without good application). As a side note, all of that intense red blusher washed right off with no staining (which is as expected).

Despite being a synthetic material, which often lends itself to liquid application, the Kusabi (Wedge Sloping Powder Brush) worked poorly with liquid/cream foundation as is very streaky, while the Kusuriyubi (Angled Concealer Brush) must be used to pat concealer into place rather than any sweeping or blending motions as it will leave slight lines. I think the Kusuriyubi is rather large, so it only worked okay underneath the eye (larger area), but it doesn’t fit as well into the grooves of the nose, around the mouth, under the brow, or for concealing acne or spots.

See more photos! Continue reading →

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

Hakuhodo x Sephora PRO Brush Collection
Hakuhodo x Sephora PRO Brush Collection

These beautiful brushes feature an innovative synthetic bristle material—the first to benefit from exclusive technology—that creates a softer, fluffier feel with actual bounce while retaining the benefits of synthetic bristles. As a result, these brushes are soft as cashmere, yet deposit more product onto the face due to less absorption and are more hygienic than natural hair. The result of the first ever collaboration between a beauty company and highly-skilled traditional Hakuho-do craftsmen, these brushes benefit from the expertise of the Sephora Pro team and are handmade in Japan using a traditional, 200-year-old manufacturing technique. This ensures the highest quality design, materials, and assembly for astounding results.

Concealer Brush ($30.00) (Limited Edition)

This beautiful multitasking brush can be used to apply blush, contour, or for more detailed application and can also create an ideal natural look. The innovative synthetic bristle material is the first to benefit from exclusive technology that creates a softer, fluffier feel with actual bounce while retaining the benefits of synthetic bristles. As a result, these brushes are soft as cashmere, yet deposit more product onto the face due to less absorption and are more hygienic than natural hair.

Fan Cheek Brush ($40.00) (Limited Edition)

This beautiful multitasking brush can be used to apply powder, contour, or for bronzer. The innovative synthetic bristle material is the first to benefit from exclusive technology that creates a softer, fluffier feel with actual bounce while retaining the benefits of synthetic bristles. As a result, these brushes are soft as cashmere, yet deposit more product onto the face due to less absorption and are more hygienic than natural hair.

Wedge Sloping Powder Brush ($54.00) (Limited Edition)

This large angled powder brush—a brand-new shape developed by the Sephora Pro team—can be used for the self-application of powder, bronzer, or for neck shading. The new shape is designed to sculpt and provide maximum control when applying makeup to yourself. The innovative synthetic bristle material is the first to benefit from exclusive technology that creates a softer, fluffier feel with actual bounce while retaining the benefits of synthetic bristles. As a result, these brushes are soft as cashmere, yet deposit more product due to less absorption, and are more hygienic than natural hair.

Small Teardrop Pointed Highlighter ($38.00) (Limited Edition)

This beautiful multitasking brush can be used for precision contouring and highlighting. The innovative synthetic bristle material is the first to benefit from exclusive technology that creates a softer, fluffier feel with actual bounce while retaining the benefits of synthetic bristles. As a result, these brushes are soft as cashmere, yet deposit more product onto the face due to less absorption and are more hygienic than natural hair.

Large Teardrop Pointed Powder Brush ($49.00) (Limited Edition)

A large pointed powder brush to apply powder, contour, or bronzer.

Availability: Now at Hakuhodo x Sephora PRO Brush Collection (early access for VIB Rouge/VIB)

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Hakuhodo J004G Eyeshadow Brush Round & Flat
Hakuhodo J004G Eyeshadow Brush Round & Flat

Hakuhodo J004G Eyeshadow Brush Round & Flat ($20.00) is a small, dome-shaped, flat eyeshadow brush made out of goat hair. The brush head is 10mm in length, 9mm in width, and 3mm in thickness. It had a total length of 145mm with a pinched, metal ferrule. It’s incredibly soft and silky–it feels like the brush moves at once, so I never felt the individual bristles–and excellent for packing and patting on eyeshadow or blending two shades together. For me, this shape and style of brush is a workhorse, because it can be used to apply, blend, and diffuse eyeshadow all on its own, so it is a true multi-tasker.

It is the most similar brush I’ve found in terms of general shape and feel to MAC 239 ($25). The 239 has a flatter edge with a bit more firmness, while the J004G has a slightly fluffier, lighter feel and is a bit bigger overall. The J242G (reviewed in the next paragraph) is narrower and flatter in comparison to the 239. The 239 is more like a mix of the J004G and J242G, but both are worth considering as alternatives to MAC’s 239. Just for reference, the measures of the 239 are as follows: is 8.5mm in length, 9.5mm in width, and 3mm in thickness. It had a total length of 170mm with a pinched, metal ferrule. The 239 is also much longer in total, as Hakuhodo’s handles run shorter.

Hakuhodo J242G Eyeshadow Brush Round & Flat ($18.00) is a small, flat eyeshadow brush with a slightly tapered edge made with a mix of goat and synthetic bristles. The brush head is 9mm in length, 7mm in width, and 2mm in thickness. It had a total length of 144mm with a pinched, metal ferrule. It’s a narrower eyeshadow brush that’s great for packing or patting on eyeshadow on the inner portion of the lid or for more precise color application if you’re applying more than two shades on the eyelid and want them to be more distinct. The brush is soft and silky, never rough or scratchy, so I also like it for patting on color along the lower lash line using the edge.

The Glossover

product

J004G Eyeshadow Brush Round & Flat

For me, this shape and style of brush is a workhorse, because it can be used to apply, blend, and diffuse eyeshadow all on its own, so it is a true multi-tasker.

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!
product

J242G Eyeshadow Brush Round & Flat

It's a narrower eyeshadow brush that's great for packing or patting on eyeshadow on the inner portion of the lid or for more precise color application.

Results
Loading ... Loading ...

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

Hakuhodo G5515 Pointed Eyeshadow Brush
Hakuhodo G5515 Pointed Eyeshadow Brush

Hakuhodo G5515 Pointed Eyeshadow Brush ($15.00) is a tiny, pointed pencil brush made out of horse hair. It’s a mere 5.5mm in length, 3mm in width, and 3mm in thickness. The total length of the brush is just over 6.5 inches or 14.5 centimeters with a rounded ferrule. I thought it might work really well for applying eyeshadow to the lower lash line in a thin line, but I find that I feel the pointed edge, which feels somewhat sharp, even when I’m holding (or at least, trying to) the brush horizontally to use the edge. I could use it for more detailed work on the face, and it didn’t feel sharp, but on the lash line and along the eyelid, it just wasn’t that comfortable to use. I don’t think I have any other pointed brushes this tiny!

Hakuhodo G5520 Pointed Eyeshadow Brush ($21.00) is a small, pointed pencil brush made out of blue squirrel and horse hairs. The brush head is 9mm in length, 4mm in width, and 4mm in thickness. It had a total length of 5.75 inches or just over 14.5 centimeters. This brush was more comfortable to use, as it is denser, larger, and the edge is softer. It’s comparable to MAC 219 ($25), which isn’t quite as pointed.

Hakuhodo G5522 Tapered Eyeshadow Brush ($28.00) is a large, tapered crease brush made out of blue squirrel and goat hairs. The brush head is 21mm in length, 9mm in width, and 9mm in thickness. It has a total length of inches a little over 6 inches or just over 15.5 centimeters. This brush was fantastic for diffusing color in the crease, blending, or laying down a transition color. It is a larger brush, so it’s something I tend to use with a softer look, or to really diffuse a deeper shade. It’s soft but springy, dense but not firm. It is more tapered than MAC’s 224 ($32) and Make Up For Ever #17S (discontinued).

The Glossover

product

G5515 Pointed Eyeshadow Brush

If you do very fine and detailed work, you may want a brush of this size. I don't think it is a must-have for most people, as it is quite small and not as versatile as a small (but not tiny) brush of a similar style, like the G5520.

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!
product

G5520 Pointed Eyeshadow Brush

The G5520 works well to smudge eyeshadow, apply concentrated color inside the crease, and to fade out edges with more precision than a more feathery brush.

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
product

G5522 Tapered Eyeshadow Brush

This is a brush I would get multiples of, personally, as it is incredibly soft and feathery to use on the eye and works incredibly well to apply, diffuse, and blend out color into the crease.

Results
Loading ... Loading ...

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Monday, November 4th, 2013

Hakuhodo G5545 Blush Brush
Hakuhodo G5545 Blush Brush

Hakuhodo G5545 Blush Brush ($48.00) is a rounded, flat blush brush made out of blue squirrel and goat hair. It’s 38mm in length, 30mm in width, and 18mm in thickness. It has a total length of just under 7 inches or just over 17.5 centimeters with a pinched ferrule. Prior to my aggressive try-all-the-brushes campaign, I don’t think I had a brush like this–it is a lot flatter than I’m used to. It’s somewhat dense, flat, and just a little rounded around the upper half of the brush head. If you tend to pat your blush on, it’s a good option. It feels incredibly soft against the skin, doesn’t apply too much or too little product in a go, and can softly blend color together. I liked it best with powders. Sephora Pro Precision Blush Brush ($32) is shorter and has a more angled/tapered edge, but it is similar in flatness and overall application; the G5545 is much, much softer (feels like water, almost, against the skin). MAC 116 ($35) is thicker and fluffier overall–and feels much rougher in comparison. Shu Uemura #20 Natural Brush ($50) is the most comparable, though it has a flatter edge, so it is not as rounded, but it has a similar flatness and overall size; it is almost as soft as Hakuhodo’s but not quite (I don’t think you’d notice unless you had both).

Hakuhodo G5556 Powder & Liquid Brush ($69.00) is a blend of goat hair and synthetic fibers. This particular shape of brush is available in a few sizes (and you’ll also find a few in the S series with the red-orange handle if you prefer that aesthetic), there is the G5552-4mm ($45), G5553-2mm ($45), G5554-4mm ($54), G5555-2mm ($54), G5557-2mm ($69). Since I have a history of choosing a brush that’s just slightly smaller than I actually want, I went for what I hoped would be one of the larger versions! From what I’ve seen from readers, this shape/style is supposed to be similar to Shiseido’s Perfect Foundation Brush (which, apparently, is $30, and I had in my mind that it was going to be a $50+ brush, go figure! This also means I’ll probably cave and buy it!). I don’t have Shiseido’s to compare at this time, so I can’t weigh in on that debate.

The G5556 is 28mm in length (from the tallest edge), 28mm in width, and 28mm in thickness. It’s just under 6 inches or 15.5 centimeters in total lenght. It has a round, open ferrule. The brush handle is also very, very thick and round–about 3/4 in diameter and a wide as 1 inch at its widest point. It’s a round, dense brush with a slanted, angled edge that goes flat across (but at an angle). That angle makes it easier to pull the brush into crevices and curves, like around the nose, around the eyes, and along the jaw line. The mix of synthetic and natural bristles makes it work well for liquid as well as powder, so for cream and liquid foundations, this is a nice option. I really liked it for foundation application, but I don’t reach for it over some of my other favorites! It does take a little longer to dry due to its density. This is one of the only angled foundation brushes I own, I think!

Hakuhodo J511 Angled Highlighter Brush ($33.00) is a small-to-medium angled brush made out of goat hair (it is also available with a combination of blue squirrel and goat hair, with black bristles, for $42 as the G511). It’s 28 mm in length, 28mm in width, and 18mm in thickness. It has a total length of 6.25 inches or 16 centimeters. It has a pinched ferrule. The size makes it workable for highlighting, as you can delicately feather a shimmery product on without applying too much or getting it everywhere. For contouring, it works for those with smaller faces or who want a more precise contour. I also thought it was better for applying cream or liquid contours, as I find more precision in placement is more crucial with those textures than with powders. I noticed that this brush also fluffed up quite a bit after an initial wash, so it is more feathery and not as dense as it appears when it first arrives (not really a bad thing!). It is smaller than MAC 168 ($35) and Sephora’s Pro Angled Blush Brush ($32).

The Glossover

product

G5545 Blush Brush

If you tend to pat your blush on, it's a good option. It feels incredibly soft against the skin, doesn't apply too much or too little product in a go, and can softly blend color together. I liked it best with powders.
Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!
product

G5556 Powder & Liquid Brush

The mix of synthetic and natural bristles makes it work well for liquid as well as powder, so for cream and liquid foundations, this is a nice option. I really liked it for foundation application, but I don't reach for it over some of my other favorites! It does take a little longer to dry due to its density.
Results
Loading ... Loading ...
product

J511 Angled Highlighter Brush

The size makes it workable for highlighting, as you can delicately feather a shimmery product on without applying too much or getting it everywhere. For contouring, it works for those with smaller faces or who want a more precise contour. I also thought it was better for applying cream or liquid contours, as I find more precision in placement is more crucial with those textures than with powders.
Results
Loading ... Loading ...

See more photos! Continue reading →

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

Must-Have Eye Brushes
Must-Have Eye Brushes

It’s been a long time coming, so I’m so excited to share with you my favorite, must-have eye brushes! I’ve categorized them into a few different groupings, and when it comes to eye brushes, well, one can never have too many duplicates. Though you can definitely use one brush with multiple shades, if given the chance, I prefer to use one brush per color. I tried to include brushes that had high quality duplicates, too, so that you could see a few options for a given style (that is my must-have), because the shape tends to dictate whether a brush is one I’ll reach for often.

I would LOVE to hear about your must-have eye brushes, if you would be so kind as to share below!

Note, I have about 30 brush reviews I’ve yet to post, so some brushes mentioned here will eventually have fully fleshed out reviews, complete with individual photos. Stay tuned!

Blending Brushes

The classic may be MAC 217, but Hakuhodo J5523 is my new favorite–so much so that I bought a second one to add to my stash.

  1. Sephora Pro Blending Brush #27 ($20.00) is a soft, lightly fluffed-up brush that works well for blending powder products together, applying highlighters to the brow bone, or dusting a sheer color all-over the lid.
  2. MAC 217 ($24.00) is a long-time favorite for myself as well as readers as a go-to brush for blending eyeshadows together, softening edges, and applying brow bone highlighters. It’s a solid choice and readily accessible for most.
  3. Hakuhodo J5523 ($18.00) is incredibly soft, lightly fluffy, and a dream to use. It outshines both the brushes mentioned above, and even better? it’s the cheapest of the bunch.

Crease Brushes

If you’ve been a reader for awhile, you’ll know that I’ve often raved about MAC’s 226 brush, which was a limited edition medium-sized, tapered crease brush (I think I have four or five of them). So long 226, for I’ve found four replacements that I love even more (who knew!). Hakuhodo J142 wins this one for quality, shape/size, and price.

  1. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Tapered Blending Brush ($22.00) is a slightly shorter, nicely rounded and tapered brush that works well for depositing color into the crease and then blending and diffusing that color. It’s incredibly soft, works well, and is synthetic, so it’s what I usually reach for when I’m using liquid or cream products.
  2. Tom Ford Eyeshadow Blend (13) Brush ($55.00) is the perfect shape, density, size, and softness for depositing color into the crease with good color deposit and blends and softens the color easily. It’s a real workhorse of a brush for me. That being said…
  3. Hakuhodo J142 ($18.00) is a near-exact dupe of Tom Ford’s crease brush and a third of the cost–and because it’s nearly the same, this is my top pick. I reach for this one often, so I recently purchased a second one of these to have on-hand.
  4. Hakuhodo G5522 ($28.00) is slightly larger and a bit more tapered than the other three brushes, so it works well for really diffusing and softening color. I also like using it to lay down a mid-tone color that I’ll put in the crease first and really blend well past the crease before adding a darker color to define the crease (with a more precise brush).

Eyeshadow Brushes

Sorry, there’s only one that is the holy grail for me, and that’s MAC 239 ($25.00). It is the perfect brush for applying eyeshadow, and frankly, if I could only have one brush to do my eye makeup, I’d pick this. Over every single brush mentioned in this post. There’s a reason why I have six of them. (I’m pretty sure I have two more hiding from me.) I have tried two Hakuhodo brushes (J242 and J004) and neither are quite right to me–though I am still testing the J004 so we’ll see. The shape of the 239 is square-ish, and it’s quite dense but still has a slight fluffiness to it, so it blends out colors if desired. It deposits eyeshadow nicely onto the lid, and it can be swept on or patted and packed on.

Cream Eyeshadow Brushes

When it comes to cream (or liquid) eyeshadows and products, I like firmer, flatter brushes for application. My favorite is MAC 242, because it’s firm, flat, but not too big or too small, so it is good for laying down a lot of color at once, blending out edges, and is a versatile choice.

  1. Tom Ford Eyeshadow Brush ($55.00) is a larger, slightly fluffy, flat eyeshadow brush with a tapered edge. It’s nice for applying eyeshadow all-over the lid, so I like it a lot for creams (but it does work well with powders). The fluffy edge makes this brush work for blending the edges of cream eyeshadow, too, so you can that diffused, softened edge.
  2. MAC 242 ($25.00) is a smaller, flat and firm brush with a slightly domed edge. It’s great for applying cream products to the inner corner of the lid, and it also works well for packing out any eyeshadow (powder or cream) and helps minimize fall out.
  3. MAC 252 ($32.00) is a large, flat brush with a slightly domed/rounded edge. It’s excellent for applying cream eyeshadow all over the lid and still having enough edge to blend out the edges. It’s not as fluffy as the Tom Ford brush but is similar in size.
  4. MAC 249 ($27.00) is a firm, flat brush that gives the most streak-free finish even with more emollient products. I, of course, just learned it has been discontinued when attempting to find the current price on. I guess I’ll have to go about finding a dupe for it now!
  5. Hakuhodo J242 ($17.00) is similar in shape to the MAC 242, but it is softer and a bit fluffier, so it doesn’t pack on color as intensely, but it is softer to use on the lid and blends out color even better. It also does a nice job of applying cream products with minimal streaks.  This brush also works well for applying powder eyeshadow, but I find it a little too narrow personally so I don’t often use it for powder.

Detail Brushes

These are smaller, more precise brushes that I don’t reach for as often as the brushes above, but they’re ones used enough that they’re still worth mentioning. These may also be helpful for someone with less lid space or who needs smaller brushes for their eyes.  MAC 266 is the only one I use every day from this grouping, as the others tend to be used if the application calls for it.

  1. MAC 266 ($20.00) is my go-to for filling in my brows, which I fill in with powder eyeshadow. It has a nice slanted edge, is firm enough to apply thin, precise lines, but has enough thickness that it can gently soften those lines as necessary.
  2. Hakuhodo G5513 ($16.00) is a small, flat, dome-shaped brush that works well for patting, packing, or sweeping eyeshadow onto very small areas. It is similar to Tom Ford Eyeliner & Definer (15) Brush but is slightly bigger.
  3. Tom Ford Eyeliner & Definer (15) Brush ($50.00) is a small, flat, dome-shaped brush for very, very precise eyeshadow application. I also like using it to pat on eyeshadow on the lower lash line or for blending out very small areas.
  4. MAC 208 ($20.00) is similar in shape and style to the 266, it’s just thinner. It’s great for applying cream, gel, and liquid eyeliner.
  5. MAC 228 ($24.00) is a small, dome-edged brush that’s lightly fluffy. It is a lot like the 239, just much, much smaller, so it works in a similar way: for applying eyeshadow, can blend out if necessary, and can be used in a sweeping or patting motion.

See more photos! Continue reading →