Chikuhodo GSN-09 Eyeshadow, GSN-07 Eyeshadow, GSN-12 Eyebrow Brushes

Chikuhodo GSN-09 Eyeshadow Brush ($25.00) is a small-medium, dome-shaped eyeshadow brush made out of gray squirrel hair. The brush head had a length of 12mm, width of 6.5mm, and thickness of 2.5mm. It had a total length of 182mm with a pinched, metal ferrule. Of all the GSN brushes I’ve tried, this is easily my favorite, and I could see getting multiples of it, because it’s a really versatile brush for eyeshadow application. It’s narrower than my go-to MAC 239, but it is softer with a more domed edge. The narrower width allows it to apply color more precisely, which is helpful if you’re using more than two or three colors on the lid. It packs on, sweeps, and diffuses eyeshadow beautifully. The edge also fits into the crease area well and can apply color there, too, if you don’t have a go-to crease brush (or sometimes get lazy, in my case). It’s incredibly soft and silky against the skin, but it still picks up plenty of product, so you don’t sacrifice color payoff in your application.

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Chikuhodo GSN-09 Eyeshadow Brush
Chikuhodo   GSN-09 Eyeshadow Brush
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NARS Mie, Mizubake, Yachiyo, Kudoki Kabuki Brushes Reviews & Photos

NARS Yachiyo Kabuki Brush ($55.00) is described as a “multi-functional tool designed for defining cheekbones, highlighting the complexion, and blending and diffusing color on or around the eye area.” It’s a slightly smaller-than-medium-sized blush brush that flares outwards from the base and then tapers gradually to a point at the tip. It’s 1.5 inches / 4 centimeters in length, 0.75 inches / 2.5 centimeters in width (at its widest) and thickness. It has a total length of 6.25 inches / just over 16 centimeters. It has a fair amount of spring and moderate density. I liked it best with under-pigmented blushes or blushes with stiffer, drier consistencies, because the bristles aren’t as soft, so they seem to disturb the surface of tougher powder blushes better, but it’s a brush that doesn’t feel as nice on the skin at times. When I use a feathery touch, I don’t notice that it’s lacking some softness and smoothness to the bristles, but if I try to buff or really blend and diffuse color, it’s less comfortable. I remember hearing a lot of raves for this brush over the years, so when I received it, I was disappointed by the texture and feel of the brushes. It actually prompted me to try Hakuhodo’s Large Yachiyo brush ($50), which is softer but not as soft as other face brushes.

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NARS Yachiyo Kabuki Brush
NARS   Yachiyo Kabuki Brush
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NARS Powder Brush #10, Bronzing Powder Brush #11, Blush Brush #20, and Contour Brush #21 Artistry Brushes Reviews & Photos

Last April, NARS released new Artistry Brushes. Since then, I’ve spent time using them on and off, figuring out which ones I like, don’t like, and all that. I don’t like any of the face brushes; I find them prone to shedding and at times, scratchy–the latter is hard to deal with. I had shedding with all four face brushes I tried continuously, though after a dozen or more washes, I only find a stray hair here and there now, but initially it was more than a few. The only thing I liked about these were the handles, as they were weighty and well-balanced. They are not brushes I would reach for voluntarily due to the scratchiness as well as the shedding.

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NARS Powder Brush #10

Chikuhodo Z-2 Highlight Brush, Z-8 Cheek Brush, Z-3 Contour Brush Reviews & Photos

Chikuhodo Z-8 Cheek Brush ($141.00) is a medium-sized, tapered, slightly paddle-shaped, blush brush. The brush head is 1.25 inches or 3 centimeters in width, just over 1.5 inches or 4 centimeters in length, and 0.75 inches or 2 centimeters in thickness. It has an open ferrule and a total length of 6 inches or just over 15.5 centimeters. It is made out of gray squirrel hair.

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Chikuhodo Z-8 Cheek Brush

MAC 127 Split Fibre Face Brush & 233 Split Fibre Eye Brush (Alluring Aquatic) Reviews & Photos

MAC 127 Split Fibre Face Brush ($35.00) is a medium-sized, tapered, slightly flattened, blush brush. The brush head has a length of just shy of 1.5 inches / 3.5 centimeters, width of 1.5 inches / 3.5 centimeters, and thickness of 0.5 inches / almost 2 centimeters. It has a total length of 6.75 inches / just over 17 centimeters. The ferrule is pinched and metallic teal, while the handle is more of a satin-finished teal and made in China. It’s designed for “light pickup and sheer wash of powders, bronzers, highlighters, and blush.” It is a combination of synthetic and natural fibers, though there seem to be 60-70% of natural fibers. The brush is moderately soft, with the synthetic side feeling slightly softer. I had minor shedding after the first two washes, but I didn’t notice shedding after that. You’ll get less color applied if you use the synthetic side compared to the natural fiber side. The size lends itself best to blush/bronzer application, though angled/positioned just so, it could certainly apply highlighter as well.

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MAC 127 Split Fibre Face Brush

Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Powder Brush (2014) Review & Photos

Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Powder Brush (2014) ($42.00) is a short-handled, red-bristled brush designed to be used with Guerlain’s Terracotta Bronzing Powders. The brush head is 1.5 inches / 3.5 centimeters in length, 1.5 inches / 3.5 centimeters in width, and 1.5 inches / 3.5 centimeters in thickness. It had a total length of just over 4 inches / 10.5 centimeters with an open ferrule. The bristles are scratchy, and the brush, overall, is poorly cut–it’s just not even at all. I had shedding for the first four washes, but after that, it did seem to abate. I noticed some dye bled for the first three washes as well. At this price point, there are too many higher-quality options to consider this one (and there are more affordable options that are better, too).

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Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Powder Brush (2014)
Guerlain   Terracotta Bronzing Brush (2014)
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