Chikuhodo x Beautylish Sakura Brush Set Photos & Comparisons (Plus, First Impressions)

Chikuhodo x Beautylish Sakura Brush Set ($215.00) is a five-piece brush set created as a collaboration between retailer Beautylish and Japanese brush maker Chikuhodo (see reviews here). I haven’t had much time to use the brush set, so these are first impressions (and may be the only “review” I’ll write-up, as these are almost sold out). All five brushes appeared very even across the edges upon arrival, and the brushes are incredibly soft, with the exception of the Detail brush, which isn’t scratchy but comes to such a fine point that it is a firmer brush so you’ll want to use light pressure when working with it. The price point is higher than your average brush set but seems in line with the pricing of most handmade, Japanese brushes, if not a little cheaper. The handles have cherry blossoms cascading vertically, and I tried scratching at them with my nails, and none of the sheen or color flaked off. Three of the brushes (Powder, Crease, Detail) are shapes that I don’t find my collection, so that was a nice touch. I’m not sure about the usefulness of the crease brush, but I’m certainly game to give it a try. I think the best brush in the collection is the Cheek brush, with the Powder and Shade brushes right behind it.

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Chikuhodo x Beautylish Sakura Brush Set

MAC 137, 221, 267 Brushes Reviews & Photos

MAC 137 Long Blending Brush ($42.00) is a long, tapered cheek/face brush made out of natural fibers. It’s supposed to be used for a “light dusting of any powder.” The brush head is 22mm in width, 22mm in thickness, and 49mm in length. It had a total length of 7.4 inches / 18.7 centimeters and an open, metal ferrule. This brush was manufactured in Japan. The brush has a really light, feathery feel and is perfect for dusting highlighters onto cheek bones, down the bridge of the nose, or applying a finishing powder all over with more control than a fan brush would give you. What I was most surprised by was how soft the brush is, because a lot of MAC’s recent brushes have been rougher in feel, and many of their cheek and face brushes (even from before) aren’t that soft, but this is one of the softest MAC brushes I’ve come across that has natural fibers. This is very comparable to Wayne Goss Brush 14 ($33) as far as length and purpose go, though MAC’s is significantly more tapered, longer by 8mm, a little less soft, and a bit denser (though not a dense brush by any means).

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MAC 137 Long Blending Brush
MAC   137 Long Blending Brush
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Wayne Goss #02, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 Face Brushes Review & Photos

There are nine Wayne Goss Brushes designed for the face. It’s a good, solid range for cheek and face options, with shapes that should work for many. The most interesting brush that I tried was the #14, while the brushes I used and liked the most would be the #02, #11, and #15. I also liked #12 a lot, but I have two very similar brushes that I favor a wee bit more, so I don’t tend to reach for it on my own. The brushes feel lighter-weight than some higher-end brushes, but they don’t feel poorly balanced with what weight is there. Japanese-style natural brushes have been noticeably better to significantly better in quality over most mainstream mid- to high-end brands (think Bobbi Brown, Chanel, MAC, NARS, etc.).

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Wayne Goss Brushes
Wayne Goss   Brush 02
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Wayne Goss #03, 04, 05, 17, 18, 19 Eye Brushes

Wayne Goss Brushes are, by and large, a good, solid range of brushes with usable shapes and sizes. I think the eye brushes are better than the face brushes, though the cheek and face brushes are still good, but the assortment of eye brushes has been more impressive. The price point across most of the brushes is comparable to mid- to high-end brands, and some of the eye brushes are more reasonable than you’d expect (cheaper than brands like MAC). What I personally enjoyed most was not just the quality of the brushes, but the shapes and sizes of the brushes, as I found myself reaching for and using them as part of a routine, not just for testing. The line is more traditional in its types of brushes offered, but a couple of brushes are more interesting. The only brush in this review that I had quality issues with was the #18, which felt poky on the lid. The #03, #04, and #19 are brushes that have found their way into my permanent stash, while #05 and #17 are nice, they aren’t shapes I personally reach for.

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Wayne Goss Brush 03
Wayne Goss   Brush 03
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Real Techniques Bold Metals Brushes Reviews & Photos

Real Techniques Bold Metals Brushes ($15.99 to $25.99) are intended to be a premium range above the standard range of brushes that made the brand so popular. I don’t know that they’re really softer or more usable than their original brushes, which are more affordable. I think that they tried to create some more unique/interesting shapes, and as a result, I find that whether the good brushes are worth picking up depends on your needs and preferences even more so than usual. The only brush that I anticipate using going forward (now that I’m done testing them) is the #202 Angled Liner brush, but if I did more contouring, I would also consider the #301 Flat Contour Brush.

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Real Techniques Bold Metals Brushes
Real Techniques   #100 Arched Powder Brush
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Chikuhodo GSN-04, GSN-08, GSN-11, GSN-16 Brushes Reviews & Photos

Chikuhodo GSN-04 Highlighting Brush ($64.00) is a medium-sized, domed brush that narrows as the base and flares upwards towards the upper third of the brush before tapering and rounding at the edge. It is made out of a mix of gray squirrel and goat hairs. The brush head is 37.5mm in length, 27mm in width and thickness at its widest point. It had a total length of 7.25 inches / 18.5 centimeters with a lightly pinched, metal ferrule. I think for most people, this is going to work better as a blush brush than a highlighting one, as it is larger than the average highlighting brush. I think it is too rounded and dense to be the best highlighting brush as well, but it does work for diffusing and blending out a highlight or for applying more of a highlighting blush where the area of coverage is larger. It is a moderately dense brush with light spring so it can be swirled and swept across the skin in all directions. The hair felt fairly soft, though at this price point, it could have been a bit softer, I think. For blush, it worked well for applying color, diffusing and blending out the applied color, and it made short work of the process.

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Chikuhodo GSN Brushes
Chikuhodo   GSN-04 Highlighting Brush
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