I have made so many changes to my brush collection since my previous Fude discussion that I felt the need to create a second post. And for consistency, the barebones information presented here has been updated to that post as well, so it can continue to be a single resource for all things Fude related from my end!

I’ll start with the most exciting update: Chikuhodo’s Homare “Honor” Kazan Squirrel series!

According to VisageUSA, “Not only is Kazan squirrel hair the rarest and softest of cosmetic brush materials, its slight wave in texture allows for greater efficiency in picking up and distributing powder products.” The Grandillo wood handles are exquisite! I absolutely love the way they look and feel but Visage does not offer an engraving option on them. Perhaps this is because the brush is already engraved with the brand name on the front and brush name on the back.  

This series is extremely popular, as it has gone back and forth between being in-stock and back-ordered from CDJapan and VisageUSA. This isn’t a limited edition collection, but quantities do appear to be in limited stock.

Chikuhodo KZ-04 $100

  • Full Length: 150mm / 5.9 in
  • Hair Length: 35mm / 1.4 in
  • Hair Width: *30mm / 1.2 in
  • Bristle Type: Kazan Squirrel

This brush head is completely round-shaped. I incorrectly assumed it would be the same width as the Z-8, but it’s much smaller. Although the shape is round and can be used in a circular buffing motion, the bristles aren’t very dense and flatten enough to feel like the kind of brush you’d use to sweep on blush instead. This makes the brush trickier to use the way I like to apply, as I have to hold it further back on the handle to have the bristles not squish flat from regular pressure, yet firm enough to still buff. I am impressed, though, with how soft the bristles are. I do find it to be slightly softer than grey squirrel hair, although I don’t know how much of a factor brush head density plays into that. At least this brush doesn’t flatten the way synthetic bristles with no substance do; I can still feel how springy the fibers are when bounced on the skin.

This brush is definitely made for just loose or lightly pressed powders. My favorite uses for this are with blush and bronzer. I like it and enjoy it, but the FO-3 is still my favorite blush brush in my collection. This brush is 5th place based on size and thickness. If softness was the only factor, it would be #1.

I have a photo of the KZ-05 and KZ-04 while wet after being washed. It shows a better idea of the amount of hair in each brush, and I was shocked to see how much thinner and more tapered the blush brush got than even the highlighter brush!

Chikuhodo KZ-05 $90

  • Full Length: 150mm / 5.9 in
  • Hair Length: 35mm / 1.4 in
  • Hair Width: *25mm / 1 in
  • Bristle Type: Kazan Squirrel

I debated between getting the candle-shaped KZ-03 or this less strongly tapered KZ-05. Because I have the Wayne Goss 00 brush, and already know it’s not a “must-have” in my collection, I decided to go with the KZ-05 instead. There’s also a $50 difference between the two. I don’t have the width stats, but the KZ-03 is 10mm longer than the KZ-05.

Upon first glance, the brush head size reminded me of the Wayne Goss Air Brush. That brush is made of blue squirrel for $35 versus Kazan squirrel for $90. The Air Brush is a few millimeters smaller in length and width, but when I squished the bristles, the Air Brush is about half as dense as the KZ-05. If the Air Brush was double the density and twice the price, it would still show the large price gap between the two squirrel hair types.

Even though this is called the highlighter brush, I don’t actually like it with highlighter. However, I like a very natural contour, which this brush is perfect for creating because of that tapered tip. It’s also nice for bronzer.

Chikuhodo FO-2 $100

  • Full Length: 131mm / 5.2 in
  • Hair Length: 21mm / 0.8 in
  • Hair Width: *29mm/ 1.1 in
  • Bristle Type: Silver Fox

Flat tops are not my favorite style of brushes, but I decided to buy this one to use as a buffing blush brush, and I’m so glad I did! It’s especially handy when I have a sheer/buildable blush that I want to quickly pack onto my cheeks. It’s also nice to blend out (not apply) powder contour. Applying it would deposit too much color at once and in too large of a surface area. The Z-3 Contour brush would be better to apply with and then use the FO-2 to blend out for a quicker and more diffused look.

Although this brush is intended for foundation, I don’t want to take the chance of ruining the bristles from my liquid foundations (I don’t use powder or cream foundations), so I will not be using it for that purpose.

The VisageUSA summer sale was the perfect time to get an engraved FO-2, and while I was at it, I purchased engraved FO-1 and FO-3 brushes. I have since sold the ones I originally had, in addition to the FO-5 which I didn’t like enough to keep.

I don’t know if I ever mention this but my given name is Lian (Lee-Ann) but Lili is my nickname. I had a difficult time deciding which one I wanted to use for the engraving, but I decided for the FO-series to use Lian and any other series in the future, I’ll probably go with Lili.

Chikuhodo E-4 Nose Contouring $20

  • Full Length: 133mm / 5.2 in
  • Hair Length: 18mm / 0.7 in
  • Hair Width: *18mm / 0.7 in
  • Bristle Type: Horse

CDJapan has a softness scale rated 1-10. This brush has a softness degree of 3, which surprised me when I felt the bristles because it’s not that rough. However, when I used it on my face, I could feel that the very tips where it tapers slightly inward was a bit scratchy.

This brush was made specifically for contouring the nose, but I didn’t like the results when I tried it. Something about the way this is shaped prevents it from performing evenly. The tips create a harsh line, which takes so much longer to blend in.

Because it’s so scratchy, I don’t want to use this brush for any purpose other than one-and-done eyeshadow looks. The flat side picks up a lot of product and lays color on the eye beautifully, without having to feel the sharper ends.

Chikuhodo R-S1/RR-S1 $16

  • Full Length: 140mm / 5.5 in
  • Hair Length: 20mm / 0.8 in
  • Hair Width: *15mm / 0.6 in
  • Bristle Type: Horse

The R stands for “Regular” series. The brushes in this series come in either red or black handles. In order to distinguish between the two when purchasing, red handle brushes have an additional R written on receipts, though not on the actual brushes.

Unlike the previous horse brush, this one was noticeably rougher on my finger before even applying to the eye. It’s rated 2 out of 10 for softness on CDJapan, so it’s even lower than the E-4. Unfortunately, I also find it to be a less useful brush. The bristles are longer than the E-4 and flop around in multiple directions when I try to blend with it. One of the things I love about squirrel, fox, and goat hair brushes from Chikuhodo is the way the bristles glide perfectly in the direction of the movement of the brush. Even though this is made from horsehair, I thought it would move the same way as the others, but it does not. This also doesn’t pick up as much product as the E-4, so it’s not even as efficient for the one-and-done eyeshadow looks.

It does make a nice precision highlighter brush on the cheekbones and under the brows. I like the way this brush picks up shimmers.

Koyudo BP Series BP017 Blush Brush $65

  • Full Length: 162mm / 6.4 in
  • Hair Length: *37mm / 1.5 in
  • Hair Width: *38mm / 1.5 in
  • Bristle Type: Pine Squirrel

This purchase was made entirely on the recommendation of TheFancyFace. I have been curious about the feel and performance of pine squirrel, but I was waiting to find the right brush first and this became the one! I purchased this from Beautylish, as I was surprised to see this brush was slightly cheaper from them than CDJapan and FudeBeauty (plus free shipping).

My curiosity was always about how pine squirrel performs, and was never about the looks, as I think the bristles are quite ugly. I’m guessing this will be an unpopular opinion, but I just prefer dark sleek mostly solid-colored bristles.

I’ve used this several times now and I haven’t noticed it being any better or worse than my other squirrel brushes despite the 6 out of 10 softness degree vs the typical 9 out of 10 grey squirrel brushes get. I can feel slight texture when I feel the bristles on its side but when touching the tips I don’t notice any difference. Perhaps it’s slightly less soft than the others, but it still feels extremely nice on the skin. I really like the shape and size of this and the way my blush looks when I use it. I’m very happy I bought it and I do use it exclusively for blush, as the size prevents it from being as versatile as the others.

Koyudo Somell Garden Bluberry x Walnut Highlighting Brush $30

  • Full Length: 97mm / 3.8 in
  • Hair Length: 27mm / 1.1 in
  • Hair Width: *30mm / 1.2 in
  • Bristle Type: Hakutotsuho Goat

This brush is TINY! I should have paid attention to the dimensions listed on the website. From photos alone, I assumed it would be an average size highlighter brush. Despite being so small, this brush is very useful! Once again, I don’t use it for the intended purpose. The bristles are packed densely in a round shape and the head is quite wide considering the overall size of the brush. The surface area applies a wider patch of highlighter than is my preference, but this is perfect for packing a concentrated amount of color to one area, like blush. It gives a sheer blush more impact with one application or it can be used as a buffing brush.

The softness degree is 6 out of 10 on the website, which is still quite nice. I have some goat hair brushes that are so rough I use them to dust off my figurines and other products. I’m not even joking. Since I know what a 2 out of 10 brush feels like, I think some of the roughest brushes in my collection would place in the negatives, if that was possible. And now that I know what a 6 out of 10 feels like, I would say anyone looking for a non-scratchy brush should aim for 6 and up.

Before I move onto the next brush, I have to show the concept (as sited on FudeJapan and CDJapan) behind the Somell Garden series because it’s pretty fascinating.

Koyudo Saikoho Powder Brush [OUTLET] $54 ($78)

  • Full Length: 162mm / 6.4 in
  • Hair Length: 50mm / 2 in
  • Hair Width: *48mm / 1.9 in
  • Bristle Type: Saikoho Goat Hair

This brush was released June 16th at the discounted price. I assume outlet means it just wasn’t able to sell well, so CDJapan got ahold of some stock at a cheaper price the way some mid to high-end makeup brands end up at TJMaxx? The alternative meaning is if “outlet” products have a cosmetic flaw, but something like that would normally be noted on the website, so I believe it’s the former.

Saikoho goat hair at this size for that price is a fantastic deal! It’s so large that the only product I’d use to apply with this is powder all over my face. My favorite use though is as an all-over finishing buffing brush because it’s fairly dense with durable enough bristles to sustain me using it a little rougher.

Wayne Goss The Artist Large

  • Full Length: 7.24 in / *184mm
  • Hair Length: 1.5 in / *40mm
  • Hair Width: *28mm / 1.1 in
  • Bristle Type: Grey Squirrel and Saikoho Goat

I purchased this brush from a reseller, as I did not want to buy the full Artist Collection set. I figured if the brushes were sold individually, it might be priced at $80-$85 for the large, $60-65 for the medium, and $30-$35 for the small. The large brush was the one I knew I’d get the most use from, as I despise brushes that are too pointy (like the medium and small), but I wanted to have at least one of them for collector purposes. Even though I predict the brushes will be sold individually in the future, I didn’t want to wait for that. So, I purchased the first one of the three that happened to fall into what I considered a fair price range.

This brush is way more useful than I thought! It might have actually surpassed the Wayne Goss Air brush as my #1 favorite bronzer brush.

The bristles pick up a lot of product, but the application is still sheer because the bristles don’t deposit the powder on the skin all at once. Every time I used it, I would blend until I didn’t think there was anything left, and then I’d look at the brush and see certain spots that still had colored powder on it. This can be seen as a good thing depending on your needs. It nearly guarantees that overapplying won’t be an issue. It’s amazing for bronzer and contour, both products I’d want to build up and blend for an airbrushed finish. It also deposits the perfect amount of highlighter, but it’s time-consuming with blush. The shape of this looks good for precision blush work but I’d rather use other brushes for that purpose. Three standout uses is still impressive and worthy of being called a multi-tasker brush. I can even set concealer with powder under my eyes, though it’s a smidge too large to get into the very inner corners.

I have to note, though, that there are a few strands within this brush that feels a little sharp. I can’t feel it when I touch the brush with my fingers, but I feel it on my face when I move the brush back and forth. I’m guessing the goat blend is the portion responsible in this goat-squirrel combined brush. Saikoho isn’t meant to feel anything but soft, but maybe a few other types of goat strands were mixed in. I’m not sure, but I still really like this brush.

Sonia G Jumbo Blender $38

  • Full Length: 160mm / 6.3 in
  • Hair Length: 15mm / 0.6 in
  • Hair Width: *11mm / 0.4 in
  • Bristle Type: Brown Saikoho Goat Hair

This was a preowned purchase, as I was tired of waiting for the restock. The brush’s condition is in like-new state as the owner took very good care of this (unlike my Chikuhodo Z-8). The size makes it great for applying a single shade quickly, as it covers a large area of space, but I can also blend with it.

The Jumbo Blender works as well as the other Sonia G brushes of this shape; it’s just bigger. It’s everything I wanted the Chikuhodo FO-5 to be, but better.

NEW BRUSH ACCESSORIES

Chikuhodo MKC-1 Makie Box $30-40

  • Material Surface Coating: Urethane Resin
  • Basis Material: Phenolic Plastic
  • External Dimensions: 215mm x 100mm x 50mm (8.5″ x 3.9″ x 2″)
  • Inside Dimensions: 200mm x 85mm x 30mm (7.9″ x 3.4″ x 1.2″)

This box is also available in red and beige.

I realized that my brush holders, although beautiful, weren’t very good for my large brushes, as they leaned on one another and the bristles kept getting misshapen. I bought this box to at least house my most expensive brush, the MK-KO, but laying it flat was encouraging the flattened shape that I don’t particularly like. It houses my Wayne Goss Large Artist brush instead. For my other brushes, the item below was necessary.

Brush Stand $8.88

I watch some of Jaybirdwalking’s videos and I’ve always admired her brush stand. I assumed it was something created by one of the Fude brands, which how I discovered the Makie Box in the first place. Later, I realized it’s called a BRUSHBAR from Kit + Hooks but Amazon sells a similar item for significantly cheaper. This finally provided me with the solution of keeping my brushes in a position that wouldn’t cause any disturbances to the hair shape. These brushes are quite the investment, and I want them to last as long as possible (but not pay for a $25 stand).

I’m really happy I was able to provide this same discovery with The Fancy Face! I hope she finds them useful!

EDIT: After prepping this post to publish, I realized she mentioned liking it in her Melt She’s in Parties palette review! I’m so glad!

FUTURE WISHLIST

A month ago I tried to get this Koyudo Kolinsky brush. Because of COVID-19, the only shipping option available to me is DHL. What I learned, after speaking with customer service when I was unable to check out, is that this brush is unable to ship by DHL or FedEx because it’s prohibited by the Washington Convention. So, I looked into it and found an article that explains it far better than I can.

The best I can summarize the situation is that both the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Convention on Intentional Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora had a hand in the decision to ban Mustela sibirica. Even though the Siberian Weasel is nowhere near an endangered animal, the proper documentation and guidelines must be adhered to for importing and exporting.

A supply of kolinsky hair was improperly documented when imported to China, and because it’s impossible to know which brushes were then made using that particular supply of hair, all Siberian weasel brushes were banned from being imported to the US.

This probably accounts for why Beautylish doesn’t have the BP031 on their website with the other brushes in that series, but I don’t understand why it would have been okay for Japan Post and the other international options from CDJapan to send it here.

I’m also not sure why, a month later, I’m suddenly able to check out with this brush in my cart using DHL as the shipping method. Has the ban finally been lifted? The article I cited was from 2014, and CDJapan specifically told me it was the “Washington Convention” and not the C.I.T.I.E.S. So, perhaps it was a different issue entirely.

Even though this brush says Weasel, not Kolinsky, I was unable to get this brush shipped to me a month ago either. Between the two brushes, I’d rather get the BP031, so if it’s in stock during my next CDJapan order, I’ll definitely be adding one and updating my original Fude post with a mini review!

That concludes this update on all things Fude related! Thank you for reading!

-Lili

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