Chikuhodo x Beautylish Sakura Brush Set
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.
Chikuhodo x Beautylish Powder Brush is a large powder brush with a very rounded, angled edge that is flatter than your typical, round powder brush. The angle almost made me think it wasn’t cut right, but the angle is deliberate (described as “allows you to emphasize your most flattering features”). The angled edge is new to me, but it fits well when you brush across the cheek bones, going from the nose to the outer edge of the cheeks. It is incredibly soft and airy, and you don’t feel any of the individual bristles when using it. It is made out of a mix of grey squirrel and goat hair. The brush head is 54mm in length, 42mm in width, and 23mm in thickness. It had a total length of 6.5 inches / 17 centimeters with a lightly pinched ferrule. I compared it to Chikuhodo’s GSN-03 Cheek Brush ($127), which is made out of the same type of hairs, but the Sakura Powder brush is noticeably softer with finer bristles; they are similar in general size and shape, except the Sakura Powder brush has the angled edge and is flatter overall.
Chikuhodo x Beautylish Cheek Brushis a small-to-medium-sized cheek brush with a rounded dome shape that is flatter than some blush brushes (it isn’t rounded as a whole). The shape is perfect for patting on blush and then sweeping to blend and diffuse the edges. It will pick-up less powder than a goat-haired brush will, so the effect is subtler from the get-go and often makes applying blush more foolproof. It is very soft and smooth, and no matter the direction, it never irritates the skin. It is made out of grey squirrel hair. The brush head is 37mm in length, 28mm in width, and 16mm in thickness. It had a total length of 6 inches / 15 centimeters. I compared it to Chikuhodo’s Z-4 Cheek/Highlight Brush ($73), which is wider and fluffier; and SUQQU Cheek (£80.00), which is smaller, flares from the base more, and is more rounded with an airier feel overall, while the softness of the Sakura Cheek is very comparable to both.
Chikuhodo x Beautylish Crease Brush is a very long, tapered, and pointed crease brush that has hairs that start short on the exterior and get longer and longer as they taper. While it comes to a more distinct point, it doesn’t feel sharp (likely because the bristles taper, so there are only a few that reach the very tip) and is feathery (not very dense). This one is going to take some practice to work with, and it has such a light touch that it sometimes tickles to use (for me). It is made out of grey squirrel hair. The brush head is 20mm in length, 6mm in width and thickness (at its widest). It had a total length of 5.25 inches / 13.5 centimeters. I compared to Wayne Goss #04 Crease Brush ($28), mostly for size, as the way they’re designed is quite different.
Chikuhodo x Beautylish Shader Brush is a medium-sized, flat dome-shaped eye brush. This type of brush is similar to more well-known brushes like MAC’s 239, and it is good for depositing powder product on the eyelid. The flatter shape makes it ideal for patting and packing on eyeshadow, but the domed edge and ultra-soft bristles allow maneuverability along the lid as well as into the crease and for light blending. It is made out of grey squirrel hair. The brush head was 12mm in length, 11mm in width, and 5.4mm in thickness. It had a total length of 5 inches / 12.5 centimeters. The brush is wider and flatter compared to Chikuhodo’s GSN-09 ($25), which is also made out of grey squirrel (and one of my favorite brushes).
Chikuhodo x Beautylish Detail Brush is a very tiny brush that is flat and tapers to a rounded tip–it looks almost like a triangle. It is made out of fitch and horse hairs. The brush head is 7mm in length, 4.3mm in width, and 2.2mm in thickness. It had a total length of 4.75 inches / 12 centimeters. It is a very small brush and best used with light pressure, as it is rather pointed, and so it will feel almost sharp if you use too much pressure. I could see it being useful for applying eyeshadow on the lower lash line, inner corner, pin point concealing, or concealing underneath the brow bone or along the lips. More for reference, I showed it next to Chikuhodo’s Z-10 ($45), which is a more pointed crease brush, but it is quite a bit larger.