Beautylish Year of the Rat Powder Brush (Initial) Review & Photos
Year of the Rat Powder Brush
Beautylish Year of the Rat Powder Brush ($125.00) is a new, limited edition powder brush made with blue squirrel hair paired with a specially-designed handle to celebrate the Lunar New Year. I’ve only used it a half a dozen times and washed it once, but it was consistent with previous collaborations between Beautylish and Chikuhodo, though this year’s is without Chikuhodo as a collaborator but was manufactured in the same type of way (by Japanese artisans and all that entails). For the detail on the handle, the brush head size, and the material type, the price is a little lower than I would have guessed. The bristles felt as silky and smooth as I’d expect from blue squirrel hair as compared to Chikuhodo, Hakuhodo, and SUQQU.
The brush head was moderately dense and incredibly silky to the touch, which was expected based on the type of hair used in this brush. The brush head was 50mm in length and 40mm in width. It flared outward from the ferrule for two-thirds of the length before tapering inward for a more dome-shaped edge–slightly rounded–with tapering bristles in the front and back. It was not quite perfectly round but was thick enough that it wasn’t “flat” in shape either.
Blue squirrel hair picks up less product than synthetic fibers or goat hair, so it lends itself to a sheerer application of products, regardless of what it is used with. I would say this would work well for dusting all-over powders, whether translucent or a finishing powder, along with some setting powder. If you have a larger highlighter, bronzer, or blush pan, it could work for applying any of those for a more buildable application of product (particularly for those who apply in larger areas). One of the nicer parts about working with such fine bristles is that it is hard to disturb base products because it really does move like silk over the skin.
For those who are unfamiliar: blue squirrel hair is one of the more fragile hair types, so it is often recommended to wash as little as possible; whether one adheres to that or not is one’s prerogative, of course! I wash my brushes at similar intervals and go by how often I’ve used it, and I haven’t found that to be a major detriment to my natural hair brushes, including blue squirrel brushes. That being said, I’m okay with having to replace a few brushes at some point down the line (in like a decade or longer) if it means I can clean my brushes when I want to!
When used for setting powder over a cream/liquid base, I find that powder brushes need to be washed routinely as there is, inherently, some transfer of the base to the bristles (that touch of dewiness from still-drying foundation or a luminous base), which is why I wanted to make sure newcomers were aware of what they might be getting themselves into!
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I don’t even use powder but I want that adorable brush!
Christine, has Beautylish clarified that Chikuhodo was not involved with this brush at all? The first email I received from Beautylish about this brush launch on 1/16 stated it was a Beautylish x Chikuhodo collaboration, but that verbiage was not to be seen on the product page or anywhere since launch.
It’s not in collaboration with Chikuhodo per Beautylish! I don’t know if they were the manufacturer of the brush, but Chikuhodo isn’t part of the brand – Chikuhodo does OEM, so they could have made the brush, but it is not branded Chikuhodo on the handle or anything like that.
I made an enquiry about manufacturing yesterday:
“I would like to know if Chikuhodo manufactured the Lunar New Years brush this year?”
Beautylish “Thank you for reaching out to us! Yes our year of the rat brush was in collaboration with Chikuhudo. Please let me know if you have any questions.”
“In collaboration” and “manufacturing” are not one in the same, but I’ve just made my purchase anyway given Christine’s review and the fact that I’m (a rat) about to give birth to a rat of unknown gender. If it’s a girl I will save it for her and if it’s a boy it will make a lovely present to myself 🙂
Thank you for sharing, Carla!!
I bought it because I thought it was a chikuhodo collab. It’s odd their name is not on the handle. Nice review!
Beautylish carries a lot of Japanese-made brushes, so it just sounds like they used Chikuhodo as the OEM but it is at their direction (vs. with Chikuhodo at a brand level).
That’s so neat – best wishes, Carla!
Congratulations on your anticipated arrival. Boy or girl, they are both special.
Squirrel hair? In 2020? No, thank you.
They don’t kill them, from what I’ve read.
As far as I know, the high end Japanese manufacturers use hair/ fur from slaughtered animals, not live ones. (There are manufacturers who use hair that’s been naturally shed or removed through grooming.) I last looked into this a few years ago, so things may have changed.
I don’t think Chikuhodo kills them, but I think they buy hair from companies that breed and kill them in China (who probably sell parts for feed and parts for hair).
Personally, I’d rather that where it makes sense for the product than everything being plastic. Vegan leather, for example, is not great for the environment and not very durable (it’s plastic), whereas real leather can last decades if you take care of it.
This is such a pretty brush. If I was born in the year of the Rat I would snap it up. I would probably never be able to use it as I would be afraid that I might rub the impression off. Really beautiful though.
I am a rat, and I did. Not sure I’ll be able to use it…kind of like the m/u you display and don’t use. I’m afraid it only encouraged my splurging, as I’ve been checking out Japanese knives. ?
this is the cutest thing i have ever seen in my entire life
Right?! And I was born in the Year of the Rat… but I just don’t think I can justify the cost.
If it was the year of the rabbit, I’d be all over it! This little guy is adorable!
If I could, I would. Especially since it’s blue squirrel instead of goat hair for a nice change. And it is so stinking CUTE!
But PMG took far too many of my coinz, and what’s left goes towards moving. ?
It is a lovely brush but I won’t be getting it. I’m year of the rooster, which won’t come around till 2029 so until then.
It is a stunnungly beautiful brush with awesome art work. If I had the money, I would buy it in a heartbeat but not sure if I would use it or just frame it to look at it’s beauty.
never bought any of these but this year is their best handle design yet.. and im a rat so this is perfect.
I bought this, and it’s so cute in person. I also bought last year’s and have quite a few other Chikuhodos with a design on the handle. So far, they’ve held up well through washing, but I am careful with my brushes.
I have been debating whether or not to post something because of the saying, “if you can’t say something nice…” But I just have to say something. The design is definitely cute, but this is big, fat NO for me. I cannot see myself paying this much money for one makeup brush…unless it was a magical makeup brush that could make me look like Audrey Hepburn, and only if the squirrel hair had been vacuumed off the couch of a pampered pet squirrel’s loving home.
I know people are knocking the price but if you knew what’s involved in making one of these, it might make more sense. Blue squirrel is super super soft and an experience. I believe chikuhodo sources responsibly. I haven’t looked into it recently.
Can you imagine each person putting their little bit of (he)art and soul into this – everything is handmade. The pretty design is handmade. Everything.
I have some other handmade brushes with lovely designs and they hold up remarkably well. They can be displayed but they are meant to be used.
I got this at 3 payments of $40 each, thanks to Beautylish, so it can fit in my monthly cosmetic budget, which works out to a month of daily coffee at my local shop for me and brings me infinitely more happiness.
The price point is steep but having gotten some of these brushes in the past, I trusted that the price actually reflected quality – and Christine’s review confirms that.