This is my third post about Japanese brushes, but the first two were combined into part one, which can be viewed here. Unlike my past posts, this one includes brands that are not strictly from Kumano.
I’d also like to note that now that I’m familiar with the different sales and discounts offered among the retailers, I didn’t pay full price for any of these brushes from VisageUSA or CDJapan. Even though I think they’re priced fairly for their rarity of bristles and the craftsmanship, I still recommend signing up for those sites’ email lists to be notified of sale events and promo codes to get the most for your money!

As a reminder, when I have “width” listed in the brush specifications, I’m referring to the widest part of the brush when laid flat.

Chikuhodo

Chikuhodo FO-4 Cheek/Highlight Brush $90

  • Full Length: 145mm / 5.7 in
  • Hair Length: 35mm / 1.4 in
  • Hair Width: *35mm / 1.4 in
  • Bristle Type: Silver Fox

Certain brush styles, like angled cheek brushes, are shaped in a way that doesn’t suit how I like to apply my face products. However, the width, thickness, and density of this brush allows me to easily and quickly sweep the perfect amount of blush onto my cheeks. The soft bristles make this such a joy to use that I don’t mind the fact that I have to change how I typically apply blush and bronzer. The way the bristles splay is in a smaller area than the FO-3 Cheek, so it can feel like you’re getting a smaller brush for the same price. However, I get the added ability to use this with bronzer, which I wouldn’t use with the FO-3. I know many people that like to use a large fluffy blush with their bronzers, but I prefer something small and precise with light to medium density so I can build up the color to the intensity I desire.

Chikuhodo Z-11 $34

  • Full Length: 135mm / 5.3 in
  • Hair Length: 20mm / 0.8 in
  • Hair Width: *10mm / 0.4 in
  • Bristle Type: Gray Squirrel

This performs exactly the way I expected. It’s a soft brush between light and medium density. I would only use this with eyeshadows I know are easy to blend or with pigments I want deposited as a light wash of color. Since it’s a squirrel hair brush, the bristles are too soft for serious blending, but the slightly pointed tip helps to blend edges better than it would with a more rounded top.

Chikuhodo T-4 $52

  • Full Length: 150mm / 5.9 in
  • Hair Length: 35mm / 1.4 in
  • Hair Width: 16mm / 0.6 in
  • Bristle Type: Saikoho Goat

This brush, part of the Takumi series, feels like I’m applying blush with a bunny tail! It’s so soft and springy! It’s also larger than I expected, considering the price, which was a nice surprise! It’s fully round, which makes this excellent for buffing. Although goat hair is the better of the animal hairs to use with harder pressed powder products, I don’t like to use this one for that. This works amazingly with regular pressed products and picks up a ton of powder from baked blushes. This knocked my Koyudo Pine Squirrel brush back out of my top three favorite blush brushes!

Sonia G

Sonia G Cheek Pro $46

  • Full Length: 165mm / 6.5 in
  • Hair Length: 30mm / 1.2 in
  • Hair Width: *21mm / 0.8 in
  • Bristle Type: Saikoho Goat

This is very small, but at least I knew that prior to purchasing. It’s slightly smaller in width to the KZ-04 and much shorter in height. The pinched ferrule creates more pressure in the center of the bristles and lighter pressure on the outer rim, which makes this great for concentrating color precisely to a given area. This helps to create an airbrushed look. This is also a workhorse type of brush I use for blushes that are harder to blend on the skin or harder pressed in the pan. I can still get a very light airy look with this brush, but I prefer to use it in tougher circumstances since it can do what many other brushes in my collection cannot.

Sonia G Keyaki Brush Set $125

This limited edition brush set is special because of the Japanese Keyaki wood, which is “prized for its durability and beautiful grain” and has been used to build temples, shrines, and altars. It’s not common for an entire house to be made of that wood, but it’s more popular in smaller forms like countertops and lacquerware. I had been debating getting another Jumbo Blender and Mini Booster, plus I wanted the Flat Definer, so I reasoned that getting a set like this made sense for me. There’s no denying that these brushes are tiny (all 5 fit easily in the palm of my hand) but they aren’t so small as to make me question if this purchase was worth it.

Classic Face Brush

  • Full Length: 128mm / 5 in
  • Hair Length: 33mm / 1.3 in
  • Hair Width: *30mm / 1.2 in
  • Bristle Type: White and Dyed Saikoho Goat

The bristles are loosely packed and will give a sheer finish. It’s meant to be an all over face powder brush when traveling, but for everyday use, the head width is about the size of a small blush brush, so I use it as one sometimes. This brush is best suited for picking up loose or very lightly pressed powders.

Mini Base Brush

  • Full Length: 123mm / 4.8 in
  • Hair Length: 23mm / 0.9 in
  • Hair Width: *19mm / 0.7 in
  • Bristle Type: White Sokoho Goat and Synthetic Hair Mix

This is intended for applying foundation. The addition of synthetic fibers makes it especially suited for liquids and creams. The bristles are soft but I can feel a slight drag/resistance when I’m gliding this over my skin using a liquid. I have a big face, so I thought it would take an extraordinarily long time to use this all over, but it only takes an extra minute or two because of how well it blends. Besides foundation, I’ve used this as a large concealer brush to quickly cover a bigger area, though a little imprecisely. It works with all cream blushes, but with the Lys Cream Blush it’s a match made in heaven! With most other creams I rub the product in, but with the Lys, I actually stipple the product on and it looks so incredibly natural! This brush is also great with cream bronzer, cream contour, and even with cream highlighter (though it covers a wider area so I put the highlighter first before the blush). If I took this on a trip, I would still want to bring my Blendiful because that product gives me a blended base so quickly, but I would use this for all other cream products.

I’m normally not interested in angled brushes, but I would love to buy an angled brush or fan brush with this exact density and bristle combination for sharper contouring and bronzing. I also wanted a larger version, so I bought the Smashbox Cream Cheek Brush. I was surprised to find out it wasn’t that much larger than the Mini Base. The Smashbox brush isn’t as densely packed and has more of a domed top, so I have to swirl my brush around to coat all the tips in product. The Sonia G Mini Base applies more product to the cheek. The Smashbox bristles actually picked the product back off my face the way a damp Beautyblender can soak up excess cream and liquid off the skin. For my preferences, the Sonia G is superior because it gives me the maximum color payoff which I can blend down. The Smashbox brush is better for applying lightly as first and building up.

Jumbo Blender Brush

  • Full Length: 125mm / 4.9 in
  • Hair Length: 12mm / 0.5 in
  • Hair Width: *12mm / 0.5 in
  • Bristle Type: White Saikoho Goat

I’ve already reviewed the Jumbo blender so I’ll keep this brief. Despite the smaller handle, I don’t notice any differences between the full size and this one because the brush heads are the same size. These bristles are undyed whereas the original has dyed goat hair, but I don’t notice a difference in the feel of them either. You’re just better able to use cream and liquid eyeshadows with this one.

Mini Booster Brush

  • Full Length: 129mm / 5.1 in
  • Hair Length: 14mm / 0.55 in
  • Hair Width: *8mm / 0.3 in
  • Bristle Type: White Saikoho Goat

Once again, I reviewed this previously and notice no difference in performance between the Keyaki version and original version despite the shorter handle and undyed bristles. The brush heads are the same size. If you have hooded eyes, small lid space, or like precision brushes, I highly recommend getting some form of this brush!

Flat Definer Brush

  • Full Length: 123mm / 4.8 in
  • Hair Length: 8mm / 0.3 in
  • Hair Width: *7mm / 0.27 in
  • Bristle Type: White Saikoho Goat

This brush is available with a larger handle in the original line, but I do not own it. It’s great for applying shadows to my lower lash line, lining the eyelid, and applying shadow to anywhere small like the inner corner and highlighting the brow.

Koyudo Brushes

I mentioned in my “Updated Fude Post” that I was unable to get Kolinsky brushes from CDJapan. Somehow, one month later, I was able to process the order! Koyudo has discontinued many of their brushes and the ones still available will have a price increase, so I bought these at the perfect time. In fact, I bought the last available BP031 at CDJapan.

Koyudo BP027 Large Eye Shadow Brush $45

  • Full Length: 142mm / 5.6 in
  • Hair Length: 17mm / 0.6 in
  • Hair Width: *14mm / 0.5 in
  • Bristle Type: Kolinsky

Koyudo BP031 Medium Eyeshadow $35

  • Full Length: 140mm / 5.5 in
  • Hair Length: 15mm / 0.6 in
  • Hair Width: *10mm / 0.4 in
  • Bristle Type: Kolinsky

These two brushes perform the same way, they’re just different sizes. I was under the impression that these would be very soft, but I didn’t realize that it was “very soft” comparatively speaking to weasel and sable hair. These are firm brushes, but not scratchy. They’re stiff, but still have some give as to make them more comfortable to use than other brushes of a similar nature and purpose. What I like about these is the immediate color payoff deposited to my eyes. These are fantastic for cut crease work and creating defined lines, even with the large shadow brush because it is wide but nearly as thin as the medium brush. I also like using these to pack multichromes onto the lid because the bristles can handle being patted onto a layer of glitter glue/primer that I use to keep the shimmer on my eyes.

These brushes are not restricted to just eyeshadows, as the bristle type is fantastic to use with highlighter or creams and liquids like applying concealers and contours and cleaning up edges, but I have only used them for the purpose of applying powder eyeshadow. These would be great with liquid shadows as well.

Koyudo Kakishibuzome Series KSZ-03 Cheek Brush $60

What makes this brush special and the meaning behind the name is that “Kakishibuzome” is the technique used to dye the tips of the bristles. Kakishibu dye is created from the oxidation of two or more year old fermented unripe persimmons. It supposedly has antibacterial properties from the dye and the color will naturally fade with continued washing of the bristles over time. According to FudeJapan, the handles are made of “mizume-zakura” (cherry blossom wood).

  • Full Length: 155mm / 6.1 in
  • Hair Length: 45mm / 1.8 in
  • Hair Width: *38mm / 1.5 in
  • Bristle Type: Sokoho Goat (Beautylish), Saikoho Goat (CD Japan and Fude Japan)

This is one of those brushes I prefer for the aesthetic over function. The bristles just feel a bit fragile to me. It’s light to medium density. It’s sturdy enough, thanks to the pinched ferrule, but with the amount of pressure I use with my blush, the tips of the bristles don’t all move in a uniform direction. It has a wide splay, but I’m not used to a sweeping style of brush at this size to only be great for blending in one direction. At this size, I can usually buff a little in a circular motion or at least back and forth. I can only get even blending using my normal style if I use light pressure, which would require me to switch up my application techniques, but I would rather just keep this to display. I’ve used this brush for a few months and washed it twice. Despite feeling fragile, it’s still holding up perfectly fine with hardly any shedding. I’m not saying this is a bad brush or not worth the price. It just isn’t as suited to my style as I hoped.

Also, Beautylish has this listed as Sokoho hair but CD Japan and Fude Beauty list it as Saikoho. I’m not sure if it’s just a typo on the part of Beautylish or if Beautylish was given a lower grade batch. The prices among the websites are fairly similar.

Koyudo Yoshiki Series Yoshiki-005 Lip & Eyeliner Brush S $14

  • Full Length: 130mm / 5.1 in
  • Hair Length: 8mm / 0.31 in
  • Hair Width: *4mm / 0.16 in
  • Bristle Type: Saikoho Goat (Beautylish and Fude Japan)

At the time of purchase, this brush was also listed as Sokoho on the Beautylish website, but the last time I checked it was updated to Saikoho. Interestingly, CD Japan just has this listed as “Goat” but describes it as a high quality goat. Usually retailers would want to highlight if their product is Saikoho. To my knowledge, “Goat” is used to describe Sokoho at best, but it tends to be lower grades.
The brush isn’t clean in the photo above (sorry! I misplaced my original photos when I had to get my laptop repaired). I rinsed it (but didn’t wash with soap) prior to using it, but the bristles look the same as when I first got this brush. You can see the tip doesn’t come to an insanely fine point the way it appears on some retailer websites. It’s much too thick for me to use as a lip brush, but it’s perfect for what I really wanted: to gently apply shadow to my inner corner and lower lash line, as well as smoking out darker shadows and liners.

Kihitsu Brushes

I purchased the Kihitsu Brushes from a seller on Mercari. My curiosity was piqued because the ferrule and handles looked identical to Koyudo’s BP series. Finding information on this brand was difficult, but it’s my understanding Kihitsu brushes are in fact manufactured by Koyudo. This line of Kihitsu is also called the BP series, but I have no idea what the names of these particular brushes are called.

Kihitsu Brush (Cheek? BP018?)

  • Full Length:*160mm / 6.3 in
  • Hair Length:*36mm / 1.4 in
  • Hair Width:*33mm / 1.3 in
  • Bristle Type: Squirrel (exact type unknown)

Kihitsu Brush (Eye?)

  • Full Length: *140mm / 5.5 in
  • Hair Length: *14mm / 0.5 in
  • Hair Width: *10mm / 0.4 in
  • Bristle Type: Squirrel (exact type unknown)

The condition of these brushes are questionable. I’ve seen some hairs on the edges that look snapped off on the larger brush and it feels unusually thin as though it lost quite a bit of hair. I still use these brushes occasionally and I enjoy their softness, but for these reasons, I can’t comment on the quality of what these brushes would have been like if they were brand new and not pre-owned. I can only guess that if I think the quality is decent in this state, the new ones are probably amazing. In the case of the BP018, the Koyudo version was not dense at all, so perhaps that part is the same. I cannot find a retailer than sells Kihitsu to the US. In fact, it’s difficult to find any information about them at all. The only way I’ve seen to obtain brushes like these is through a personal shopper, or buying pre-owned like I did.

Muragishi Sangyo

HS-2 Hana Sakura Blush Brush $35

This is the Hana Sakura Series from Muragishi Sangyo. All I know about this brand is what CDJapan states, “MURAGISHI SANGYO is a makeup brush producer with 90 years of history. MURAGISHI’s makeup brushes are created using the traditional techniques of artisans from Kumano and completed with a touch of Kyoto culture.”

  • Full Length: 145mm / 5.7 in
  • Hair Length: 35mm / 1.4 in
  • Hair Width: *30mm / 1.2 in
  • Bristle Type: Gray Squirrel and Sokoho Goat Mix

I love this brush! I purchased it sometime last year and for several weeks straight, I exclusively used this for my blush and bronzer. Even though this is a sweeping style brush, I can use my regular buffing techniques with it. This is one of the main brushes that changed my opinion about the practicality of small blush brushes to the point where I almost favor them! I am admittedly pretty rough with this brush and have used this on some of my harder pressed powders like the Nabla Skin Glazing and Skin Bronzing line. I should treat it gentler because it still has some squirrel in it, but it is holding up very well. The Cherry Blossom design and mix of luxurious hair makes this brush well worth the price and is both effective as a brush and beautiful to display.

Rephr Brushes

Rephr is a brand that I was a bit hesitant to purchase from at first. Part of what makes Kumanofude so special are the artisans who have learned the brushmaking techniques that have been passed on for generations. The founders of Rephr don’t have that same experience. It is a relatively new company and although they produce their brushes in Kumano and have hired artisans of their own, the company itself doesn’t have a long-standing history to aid in their credibility. In August, I decided to get two brushes from their concept store in order to test the quality.
The concept store is where they put the brushes on sale for half off*, with the condition of getting feedback about the brushes. That feedback is supposed to be used in order to tailor and tweak future brushes to meet the demands of the customers and create brushes that the majority of people want most. I expected to get an email asking for feedback, as I couldn’t find where I was supposed to input that information on the site, but I never received a message after buying them in August 2020.

*As of March 2021, Rephr has reintroduced the concept store (with the feedback section linked in the account). Also, the concept store brushes are not automatically 50% off anymore.

Rephr 15 $12

  • Full Length: *171mm / 6.7 in
  • Hair Length: *17mm / 0.7 in
  • Hair Width: *12mm / 0.47 in
  • Bristle Type: Goat

Rephr 16 $12

  • Full Length: *175mm / 6.9 in
  • Hair Length: *20mm / 0.8 in
  • Hair Width: *12mm / 0.47 in
  • Bristle Type: Goat

Regarding the goat hair quality, it is only on the FAQ page that Rephr explains that each brush is a mix of Sokoho and Saikoho goat hair. The brushes intended to deposit more pigment lean more on the side of Sokoho and the brushes they want to be airier and give a sheerer application have more of the Saikhoho hair.

I honestly didn’t like these brushes at first. They were listed as “large” but I wasn’t expecting them to be this big for blending brushes, and I wish Rephr posted the brush stats at the time I purchased them. I tend to prefer a fluffy brush to blow out one shade in the crease, like the #15, but the tapered tip of the #16 is great for blending out a harsh edge. I would have liked them even more if they were a bit denser and sturdier so I could apply more pressure when blending. I know that many people love Rephr brushes, and while it’s a good introduction to Fude at a lower price via the concept store, I have brushes I like better and I recommend skipping the introduction and jumping straight into Sonia G for both traditional and innovative versatile styles. I still use the #15 and #16, but they’re never my first choice. I prefer the Sonia G Blender Pro to the nearly identical brush head size of the #15.

In addition, while the concept store prices make the brushes more affordable, their regular prices are not automatically cheaper. For example, Rephr’s number 23 brush for $24 is similar in size to the $14 Saikoho goat hair Koyudo Yoshiki Series Yoshiki-005 Lip & Eyeliner Brush. Rephr’s $28 #20 fan brush is pricier than the Wayne Goss #15 fan brush for $25. All the eye brushes are the same $24 regardless of how large or how tiny the brushes are, which makes it feel like it’s absolutely not worth buying a smaller brush. I’m guessing that by charging more for a small brush (leaving it to be overpriced) it offsets the cost of the larger brushes (presumably underpriced). The Sonia G Blender Pro is $10 more expensive than the #15. If the #15 was really meant to be, for example $4-10 more expensive, I would easily say the Blender Pro is more worth the money. Even with the larger brushes being underpriced, I feel like the quality somewhat matches, so it still doesn’t feel like a savings at $24. In Rephr’s own words, the cost difference is “minimal,” between the goat hair grades they use, so the bristle quality isn’t a factor. Other brushmakers charge lower prices for smaller brushes because they use less materials to make them. I prefer that model and wish Rephr gave each eye brush its own unique price.

**I completed this post in March 2021, but when Rephr reintroduced the concept store and started a point program, then scrapped it in favor of offering an outright automatic coupon of 40% off the customers’ next orders, I decided to give the brand a second try and purchased three more brushes. I also pushed back the release of this post so that I would have adequate time to test them out fairly. On the website, I was pleased to see they added better photos of the brushes and closeups of the brush heads from multiple angles, plus videos, in addition to at least listing the hair lengths of each brush.

Upon receiving my new order, it seemed to me that the bristles felt a little nicer. I was also surprised by how much tighter packed the bristles felt. Then I realized that these brushes were all matte black as opposed to the previous brushes I had with shiny metal ferrules and glossy black handles. This made me curious, so I watched a few videos on youtube to discover that some of my same brushes existed in both the matte and shiny handle forms and although I could not find an explanation, I suspect this is to differentiate between Rephr’s brushes in the concept store (that they get feedback on) from the brushes in their regular store that are usually listed at full price. I don’t know if these three brushes happen to be more of the “type 3” Saikoho hair or if the quality of the concept brushes are a tad lower than the regular store brushes. All I know is that these three brushes are more of the Fude quality I’m used to, which has caused my opinion of Rephr to improve. However, at full price they’re still more expensive than some of the prestigious brands I use, so I don’t know what the make of the situation. I would love to love them, but whether their brushes are worth buying depends on the situation. I know most brands factor future discounts/sale events into their pricing, so maybe this is why Rephr’s brushes are not that affordable at full price. It has to be working for them because businesses will do whatever works best for their company. If it doesn’t work, they’ll change it. As a consumer, I enjoy researching what else is on the market so I can feel confident that I got the best price that’s worth the money.

Rephr 05 $34 (originally $57)

  • Full Length: *170mm / 6.7 in
  • Hair Length: 38mm / 1.5 in
  • Hair Width: *30mm / 1.2 in
  • Bristle Type: Goat

This brush is ideal for sweeping, but I can easily use circular motions to swirl on the product. It works surprisingly well for that considering its oval shape and pinched ferrule. After washing it for the first time, I discovered that this brush blooms to a dramatically different shape, though I noticed it while it was half dried and was able to return it to the shape I wanted by putting a brush guard on it. The belly of the brush is still puffed out more than before, making this brush less oval and more of a round shape on the top. This explains how I was able to use circular motions so easily with a paddle shaped brush.

I thought using the brush on its toes would be great to chisel on bronzer and/or contour, but the tips come to a taper, so it doesn’t distribute as much pigment per swipe as it would if it had a flatter top. I can still use the brush on its side to apply bronzer, but I prefer to just use this as a blush brush. It picks up a decent amount of blush and distributes a soft, but not too sheer, wash of color to the cheeks. It also works to dust on a light layer of powder all over the face. For $34, I have no regrets getting this. I don’t want to keep harping on Rephr’s prices but rather than spending $57 for the #5, I would say the Chikuhodo T-4 for $52 is so worth it. It has more bristles and is softer and similar in size, though the brush head shape is fully round. The T-4 is in my top favorite blush brushes and is such a joy to use. Rephr’s #5 is nice, and I would definitely recommend it at the price I paid, but I wouldn’t recommend it if it was priced above $45 when I can list several other brushes I prefer for blush that’s under $57. I’m still curious about brush #24 from Rephr, but I’ve never caught that one in stock.

Rephr 12 $14 (originally $24)

  • Full Length: *145mm / 5.7 in
  • Hair Length: 11mm / 0.4 in
  • Hair Width: *7mm / 0.3 in
  • Bristle Type: Goat

This brush reminded me of a smaller version of a Real Techniques brush I used to love for crease work. That brush could apply and blend almost at the same time, but with continued use it eventually lost some of its shape and became less effective at blending. Because the Rephr 12 is smaller than that one and has a pointed tip, I can use it like a regular pencil brush to apply shadow below my lower lash line with precision despite how wide it looks. I also turn it slightly to the side to use the side of the bristles to blend out the edges of shadows. It also does what the #13 can do in terms of being great for precise crease work, and more precise than my Real Techniques brush was capable of doing. So far, I’m impressed with this brush and will continue to use it. This is the only brush I’ve tried from Rephr that I think is actually worth purchasing at full price.

Rephr 13 $14 (originally $24)

  • Full Length: *152mm / 6 in
  • Hair Length: 13mm / 0.5 in
  • Hair Width: *7mm / 0.3 in
  • Bristle Type: Goat

This brush is a hair smaller than the Sonia G Mini Booster. I have photos comparing the shape of this to several other similar brushes at the end of this post. This is the kind of shape that is my favorite for doing any precise crease work and deepening the outer corner of the eye by building up and blending out. The brush is dense enough to blend stubborn shadows, yet still soft enough to avoid tugging the skin in the process. While I do like this brush and find it useful, the Sonia G Mini Booster can do the same while being even softer on the eye. For this reason, I consider this more of a backup brush, useful but not my first choice. The Sonia G brush is $26 and has never gone on sale. Since this is regularly $24, if you don’t have the one from Sonia G and can get this on sale, it may be worth purchasing.

After both orders, I’ve come to believe that Rephr would not be getting this much hype without the concept store/deep discounts. Customers get decent to nice quality handmade uncut brushes from Kumano, but the sale price is the only reason I’d recommend looking into Rephr. The customer feedback aspect is where Rephr has potential. If their future releases are innovative shapes and styles of brushes, I think that would really make them a company to keep your eye on. On their “About us” page, they mentioned expanding to “products related to makeup, skincare & home,” which would also help them to really stand out as a company. I know that would certainly excite me! My experience with them is mixed, but I’m still keeping tabs on their future releases.

Tsubokawa Mouhitsu

Koyomo Nadeshiko Pearl Pink Shadow Brush $24

Tsubokawa Mohitsu is the actual brush manufacturer. I’m going to splice together what CDJapan has to say about this particular brush and the line overall because there is extra information depending on which page of the site you’re reading:

“Haku-ototsuho Yomo is hair from around the shoulder area of goats, which has a moderate firmness. The highest-quality hair for brushes, known as “Koyomo,” is hair that has been taken from goats living in the Yangtze region of China, in the 1970s or before, and is precious due to its rarity. Brushes using “Koyomo” confirmed as being from this period, are coated in cuticles up to the hair tip and have delicate tips, which means that they feel smooth on the skin and have no friction. The brushes also last a long time, becoming more adapted the more they are used, and as make-up brushes they are unparalleled.”

The fact that “Koyomo” is continually used in quotation marks on the website leads me to believe that this is somewhat of an umbrella term, especially when it just has goat next to it on the distributor page (shown in the screenshot below).
The main takeaway of Koyomo is that it’s intended to signify the source of the hair (specific goats from a specific region and period of time). The term alone does not distinguish the grade.
A Koyomo version of Saikoho is supposed to be better than Saikoho from a goat today. Sokoho grade Koyomo is said to be stronger and softer than modern Sokoho hair, and so on. So, if you have an opportunity to get a Hakuototsuho Koyomo brush or a modern Saikoho hair brush, you can expect the modern Saikoho brush to be softer because it’s still a higher grade.

Also, “highest quality” could mean strength of the bristle relative to its softness and doesn’t always mean it will be the softest brush, like the way Kolinsky is highly prized but they don’t all feel the same. I mention this because I made this assumption and I wouldn’t want someone to be disappointed with what they get. Even though this brush is technically a lower grade than most of my other natural hair brushes, it’s surprisingly soft considering the firmness of the bristles. On the softness scale it’s perhaps on par with modern Sokoho. All of the pink series are made of Hakuototsuho Koyomo, but the company also produces higher grade Koyomo in their Tsuki and Hana lines. However, those are naturally more expensive.

I don’t mind using small brushes but because this is so tiny it gets lost in the sea of my brushes. However, I continually seek this out because the bristles are so resilient and densely packed, yet small enough to use with hooded eyes that I absolutely love using this brush to blend the outer corners of my eyeshadow. I didn’t think it was worth buying at first, but after the first few uses I started to appreciate it a lot more and it’s one of my favorite brushes now.

  • Full Length: *110mm / 4.3 in
  • Hair Length: *15mm / 0.6 in
  • Hair Width: *10mm / 0.4 in
  • Bristle Type: Haku-ototsuho Yomo Goat

Bisyodo

Uyeda Bisyodo is an OEM like Koyudo, Chikuhodo, and Hakuhodo but I don’t know which brands they create brushes for. While the other 3 OEMs I’m familiar with are located in Kumano, Bisyodo is based in Osaka. I’ve always been curious about this brand, but after The Fancy Face on Youtube raved about them, I couldn’t resist them any longer!

BISYODO alba Series Powder Brush $69

  • Full Length: 180mm / 7.1 in
  • Hair Length: 50mm / 2 in
  • Hair Width: *38mm / 1.5 in
  • Bristle Type: Saikoho Goat

I love the way this gently glides across my skin. The size and shape allows me to quickly and evenly apply a light dusting of power all over my face. I believe it is the softest goat brush in my collection, more than the Chikuhodo T-4, Koyudo Saikoho Powder Brush, and Sonia G Cheek Pro. I don’t use powder all over my face as much anymore, but whenever I do with this brush, it is an absolute pleasure to use. I was surprised to discover such mixed reviews about this brush and the Alba series as a whole. I don’t know if i just got lucky or others received some defective ones, but the quality of mine is phenomenal. It’s a great tool with a beautiful wood handle that appears to have some kind of coating to make it feel like it’s ceramic. The aluminum ferrule isn’t pinched, but it has an oval shape, yet the width and splay of the bristles allow me to both sweep the powder and buff in a circular motion if I want.

B-C-01 Highlight / Cheek Brush $61

  • Full Length: 167mm / 6.8 in
  • Hair Length: 38mm / 1.5 in
  • Hair Width: *32mm / 1.26 in
  • Bristle Type: Saikoho Goat

Most of my points with CDJapan were going to expire, but I waited for the Valentine’s Day coupon before making this purchase. This also makes it one of the three newest brushes to my collection. Besides loving Saikoho goat hair, the biggest lure of this brush to me is the beautiful polished African Rose Wood handle (from a legume tree) with the brass ferrule plated in 24KG. I was able to get the last one before it went on backorder. The bristles are so soft that it doesn’t even feel natural to me. It reminds me of my softest, silkiest, smoothest synthetic brushes. The way it’s shaped, especially with a very pinched ferrule, makes this brush a definitely intended for sweeping applications of blush or turned on the side to use with bronzers and contours. It’s lighter at the top and a bit more dense in the middle, but I still find it to be a floppy brush. It has such a wide splay area that adds to my statement about it working best as a sweeping cheek brush.

CH-HC Highlight Cheek Brush (Round) $24

  • Full Length: 163mm / 6.4 in
  • Hair Length: 35mm / 1.4 in
  • Hair Width: 21mm / 0.8 in
  • Bristle Type: Saikoho Goat*

This brush is pretty, but I honestly just bought it to reach the free shipping minimum with CDJapan. This was part of my Valentine’s day order, so I don’t have a ton of experience with this brush yet in terms of longevity, but I’ve used it a lot since it arrived. The head is very similar to the Hakuhodo B5521, so essentially I have a duplicate of an amazing brush for a fraction of the cost. The Hakuhodo brush is $63 today but in Dec 2014 it used to be $35. While the squirrel-goat mix makes the Hakuhodo brush softer, I would say someone is much better off buying the Bisyodo brush instead at the current pricing. As soft as the Hakuhodo brush is, I’ve noticed I reach for the Bisyodo more often. I think I like this brush better!

The handle of this brush doesn’t have the same coated finish as the African Rose Wood or Alba brush line. The bristles are most important to me, so I don’t mind. I love that I can get Saikoho goat at this price.

*At the time that I bought this brush, it was listed as Saikoho Goat. At the time I am updating, it is now listed as Sokoho Goat. I’m not sure if this is to correct an original mistake or if certain batches are made of different types of goat hair depending on what is available. Perhaps there is a shortage of Saikoho and the current ones being sold are temporarily made of Sokoho. Maybe they decided to only use Sokoho from now on. I’m not certain which one is the case, but I’m less inclined to believe it was mistakenly written as Saikoho because the Cheri series has been out since 2018 and would have been caught long before I purchased it. In any case, this is a great reminder to always check the seller’s descriptions for the most up-to-date information about each brush before purchasing.

Houkodou

Houkodou is another Kumanofude company. Although they have been in business since 1900, I don’t know much about them. I’ve been waiting for years for my go-to Fude brands to have an affordable Canadian Squirrel brush for sale to try. I grew tired of waiting, which is why I finally bought this brush from CDJapan. The two brushes are labeled GS-1 and GS-2 but these are different from the identically named brushes from Eihodo that are also available from CDJapan. Also, I could have sworn I read that these were gold plated, but I cannot find that information any longer. It’s possible the gold plated ones were a limited edition release or they used to be but no longer are. I think mine are beautiful regardless.

Houkodou Brilliant Gold Series Flat Eye Shadow Brush G-S1 $35

  • Full Length: 148mm / 5.8 in
  • Hair Length: 20mm / 0.78 in
  • Hair Width: *15mm / 0.6 in
  • Bristle Type: Canadian Squirrel

This brush brings out the best in the eyeshadows I use with it. Whenever I’m doing a blown out look, this blends my shadows so well! It’s a positive experience every time! The bristles are nearly as soft as grey squirrel, yet they deposit significantly more color with one dip onto the eyes. This brush reignited my curiosity and interest in Canadian Squirrel so much that I had to buy the G-S2 later on as well.

Houkodou Brilliant Gold Series Flat Eye Shadow Brush G-S2 $30

  • Full Length: 148mm / 5.8 in
  • Hair Length: 14mm / 0.55 in
  • Hair Width: *10mm / 0.4 in
  • Bristle Type: Canadian Squirrel

This was another Valentine’s day purchase. It’s significantly smaller than the G-S1, but it allows me to do more detailed work. If you like the G-S1, I see no reason why someone would not like this as well.

ADDITIONAL COMPARISONS

In part 1, I had a list of all my favorites, so I will do the same here. If I had to choose the ones I would immediately repurchase if they got lost or damaged, they would be:

  • Chikuhodo T-4
  • Sonia G Cheek Pro
  • Sonia G Keyaki Mini Base Brush (as a cream stippling brush)
  • HS-2 Hana Sakura Blush Brush
  • Koyomo nadeshiko Pearl Pink Shadow Brush
  • BISYODO alba Series Powder Brush
  • BISYODO B-C-01 Highlight Cheek Brush
  • Houkodou Brilliant Gold Series Flat Eye Shadow Brushes G-S2 and/or G-S1

That’s all! Thank you as always for reading!

-Lili

2 Comments on “FUDE COLLECTION PART 2

  1. I love the design of that Bisyodo powder brush, might have to look into that one. To me, rephr definitely falls short in the overall brush design department. I’d rather spend more and get the more aesthetically pleasing to look at brushes.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to Nikki Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: