Fude Collection Part 4

To make things easier to catalogue, I created a page that has every Fude post linked, as well as a description of the topics discussed in those posts and a list of which brushes are in which posts.

In this one today, I’ll be reviewing some of the newest additions to my collection. At the end, I will also include the two brushes I reviewed in other random parts of my blog in order to make things easier for everyone to find in the future. This post got incredibly long and almost overwhelming, so I actually have a Fude Collection Part 5 already in the works!

Regarding my measurements, “hair width” is measured from the widest part, regardless of the overall brush shape. I don’t measure thickness. Anything with an asterisk indicates that I had to measure that one myself as those numbers were not listed on the website. All figures listed in inches are converted estimates.

*DISCLAIMER: The links in bold blue font (Example) are standard non-affiliate links. Links marked in bold black font with a light blue background (Example) are affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to get a commission if someone clicks them and then makes a purchase. Thank you so much to those who have already shopped through my links! Thank you to everyone who supports this blog, whether it’s through an affiliate link, visiting this blog regularly, commenting, following, and liking my posts! It’s very much appreciated!
All the brushes in this review were purchased by me with my own money. The brush I purchased using affiliate funds will be in the Fude Collection Part 5 post.

CHIKUHODO

Chikuhodo FO-9 Powder Brush

  • Full Length: 166mm / 6.54 in
  • Hair Length: 51mm / 2 in
  • Hair Width: *60mm / 2.36 in
  • Bristle Type: Silver Fox
  • Handle: Maple Wood
  • Ferrule: Aluminum

The FO series is one of my favorites from Chikuhodo, so even though I don’t set my face with powder very often anymore, I still couldn’t resist getting this FO-9. It’s packed with fox hair and looks marginally larger than the FO-1, but becomes so huge, fluffy, and airy after being washed! I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a drastic bloom for a brush before. It’s lovely!

When applying powder, it truly feels like I’m putting nothing on my face. Even if I hold the brush closer to the ferrule and try to apply pressure, the hair is so long and flexible that the added force disperses and still doesn’t feel any harder on the skin. It’s perfect for someone with skin that’s sensitive to touch, dry skin who wants to apply the barest whisper of powder to the face, and people who enjoy soft luxurious feeling brushes. This isn’t good for intense buffing because of that inability to add force to the tips. I also feel like it’s so large that I can’t really get this brush to apply enough powder in the crevices of my nostrils, so this is a brush I use specifically for setting or finishing everywhere else. I usually don’t have to set my nose, but occasionally the bulbous tip of my nose and nostrils get oily whereas I have dry skin everywhere else.

From left to right: FO-9, FO-1, FO-2, FO-3, FO-4, and FO-10

Post wash, the FO-9 is significantly larger than the rest of the line in every way. My FO-1 in the photo has been in a brush guard and hasn’t puffed back out yet (to where it would be wider than the FO-3), but it’s still smaller than the FO-9 in width and thickness, as well as 6mm shorter. The $22-$40 price difference (depending where it’s purchased) between those two is justified in my opinion.

This brush is 16000 YEN and can be purchased here.

Chikuhodo FO-10 Finger Eyeshadow Brush

  • Full Length: 125mm / 4.9 in
  • Hair Length: 15mm / 0.59 in
  • Hair Width: *12mm / 0.47 in
  • Bristle Type: Silver Fox
  • Handle: Maple Wood
  • Ferrule: Aluminum

I love the face brushes in the FO Series, but I haven’t been a fan of the eye brushes, so it says a lot that I really enjoy this FO-10! It’s perfect for one-and-done eyeshadow looks as it applies eyeshadow in a completely smooth and even layer. It picks up a light amount of product, but because of the amount of surface area on that flat angular side (the part that’s supposed to mimic a fingertip) a decent amount overall gets picked up with each tap. The angled edge also helps to be able to build up layers in a controlled way. I can hold the FO-10 like a liner brush to define the crease, as well as flip it 90 degrees to blend back and forth in the crease as well. The curves of the tip keeps it feeling soft and not pointy around my eyes, although that also makes it trickier for me to use for the inner corners if I’m doing more than just a basic eye look. Because of all the ways I can successfully use this brush, I am very pleased with it!

This brush is 3200 YEN and can be purchased here.

Chikuhodo T-13 Takumi Foundation Brush

  • Full Length: 145mm / 5.71 in
  • Hair Length: 30mm / 1.18 in
  • Hair Width: *40mm / 1.57 in
  • Bristle Type: Saikoho Goat

When I saw this brush, I was so excited because the mushroom head shape that it becomes post-wash is exactly what I’ve always wanted in a large bronzer brush! I usually don’t use big brushes for my bronzer because they tend to be shaped in a way that prevents me from being able to keep the product close to my hairline and in not so thick of a section under my cheekbones. This brush has a semi flat portion at the top that allows me to apply the product while simultaneously buffing everywhere else that the rounded edges touch my face. This brush is so poofy with cloud-like softness that blending bronzer with it is everything I hoped it would be. I love it! While I can use this brush for blush as well, it’s much bigger than I like or am used to for cheek application, so I prefer to use a different brush such as one of my holy grail blush brushes, the Chikuhodo T-4.

I don’t use powder foundations, but I have tried this out with my liquid foundations since this is actually intended to be a foundation brush. The T-13 works beautifully for that purpose and I can get a very quick and effortless blend onto my face. The only downside is that so much product remains in the bristles of this brush and the hair is too delicate for me to be able to wipe off every trace of foundation off the brush and then use it for bronzer, blush, setting or finishing powder, etc and needing to wipe it between each use. So, as excited as I was thinking about how versatile this brush was going to be because of the head shape, if I want to preserve the life of this brush, I need to choose one singular purpose. It’s not enough for me to decide to just stick to powders or just stick to liquid. The other complication with this brush is the shedding problem.

This photo was intended to show the width of product that gets picked up by the brush versus the surrounding area without product which helps to buff and blend. It inadvertently also shows a loose hair from simply swirling the brush in the compact before even being used.

Prior to purchasing my brush, I did see a few comments about how many hairs this brush sheds. I was convinced that those people happened to be unlucky in getting a bad brush because I’ve previously only ever had a true shedding issue with 2 out of probably 250 or more brushes I’ve owned in my lifetime. So, I bought the T-13 anyway and made sure to just be extra careful when I washed it for the first time (thinking that might possibly be the issue others had, if there even was a widespread issue at all). Upon taking it out of the package and feeling the brush with my fingertips, I was getting quite a few loose hairs with each pass. I was a bit alarmed, but thought about how packed with hairs this brush is and that perhaps it was overly filled as a precaution to ensure the brush will maintain its mushroom shape. I was extremely careful washing the brush and ensuring no water went into the ferrule, I gently squeezed the excess water onto my microfiber towel, and then I hung the brush upside down from my brush tree as usual. Now that I’ve been using this brush on and off for months, I can say that every time I use this, I lose anywhere from 2 to 6 hairs. This is highly unusual from my experience with my brush collection and this is the reason I don’t even like to swap between using this brush for various purposes if it requires me to do more than some light sweeping on a microfiber towel to clean off my brush. While I am concerned about the longevity of this brush over time, there is still so much hair that I’m not worried about it falling apart on me for at least a few years. It’s dense due to sheer volume, but it retains that airy feel due to the bundling. I currently am using this brush exclusively with powder bronzers and since I still love it so much, I considered whether I should get multiples to use for other purposes. That shedding issue is what stopped me. I’m happy to have this one, but I can’t justify buying more than one.
The T-13 was consistently on the list of CDJapan’s top selling brushes for months (having finally been dethroned off the main brush page in the last three weeks), so I’m guessing many other customers are still loving this brush and spreading the word about it.

This brush is 9000 YEN and can be purchased here.

Chikuhodo PS-2 Cheek Brush

  • Full Length: 145mm / 5.71 in
  • Hair Length: 35mm / 1.38 in
  • Hair Width: 17mm / 0.67 in
  • Bristle Type: Sokoho Goat

This brush is a classic! The Passion series has been around since before my Fude journey began, but I decided now was the time for me to see what Chikuhodo’s Sokoho hair feels like. The grades can vary between brands depending on their supplier, so I wanted to see how it compared. Their Sokoho is decent, but I wouldn’t want another full Sokoho brush from them again. In fact, from all brands, the lowest goat grade I will seek out is if the Sokoho is mixed with Grey Squirrel.

What this brush has going for it is the fact that the most dense spot is directly in the center, and the bristles are flexible, which gives me a nice bounce while I’m buffing product in circular motions. I use this brush almost exclusively for blush, though I can use it in the way I want with bronzer too because of the partly rounded top that performs like a flat top. This shape allows me to instinctively buff in circular motions and still feel natural switching to using sweeping motions.

It’s too large for highlighter. I also think it’s too small for all over face powder, though my opinion differs from what the brand says. Because the hair is Sokoho, it picks up a decent amount of product, but because of the density, it also buffs a lot out. This is especially the case if I keep the brush in a brush guard. So, I still consider this best for those that like to build up blush with multiple layers. Because I like bouncy buffing blush brushes, I will likely still continue to use this even though I have softer natural hair brushes I could choose instead.

This brush is 4000 YEN and can be purchased here.

KOYUDO

Koyudo y-8 Tapered Eyeshadow Brush S

  • Full Length: 138mm / 5.43 in
  • Hair Length: 13mm / 0.51 in
  • Hair Width: *5mm / 0.2 in
  • Bristle Type: Black (Tanuki) Raccoon

This brush is part of Koyudo’s Yoshiki Series, even though the main brushes in the series are supposed to be identifiable by the cherry birch wood (mizume-zakura) handles and saikoho goat bristles. I own the 05 Lip & Eyeliner Brush S, but I misplaced that tiny brush and hadn’t seen it for at least half a year. That’s why I figured it couldn’t hurt to buy another liner or pencil brush.


I have this strange fascination with hair and the biggest reason I wanted this brush was to be able to know what raccoon fur feels like. I expected it to be fluffy, but these hairs are a bit course like weasel. Apparently raccoons have underfur (which is soft) and guard hair (which is thick and course), so I’m guessing this brush is made from the guard hair. After washing the brush and using it a few times, it started to have a little more give to it and become a little more flexible without feeling rough or pokey. I have definitely grown to like and enjoy this brush. My favorite purpose for the y-8 is for my eye’s inner corner. It’s not the best with flakier eyeshadows like certain glitter, shimmer, and multichrome formulas, but I do enjoy this brush with my smoother eyeshadows. I even like it with my chunkier shadows as long as it’s still creamy enough to be spread, as opposed to a flakier one that would flick specks of eyeshadow messily around my inner corner. It can pick up a lot or a little product, depending on whether I dot just the tip into the eyeshadow or hold it at a 45 degree angle to pick it up along the side. I occasionally use this for deepening up the outer corner of my eyes if I want to create a sharper edge or line my upper lash line with an eyeshadow. If I want to use this on my lower lash line, I have to be a bit careful not to flick the particles up and into my eyeball, so I use short strokes for that task. While I admittedly still use my Smashbox Double Ended Smudger Brush (Discontinued) way more often, I have no regrets adding this one to my collection.

This brush is 2600 YEN and available here.

BISYODO

Bisyodo B-H-01 Highlight / Cheek Brush

  • Full Length: 168mm / 6.6 in
  • Hair Length: 40mm / 1.57 in
  • Hair Width: 19mm / 0.75 in
  • Bristle Type: Goat Saikoho
  • Handle: African Rose Wood
  • Ferrule: 24 KG plated Brass

Since the Bisyodo CH-HC is one of my holy grail highlighter brushes, I wanted to purchase the similar looking B-H-01 as my premium version. The head size and handle weight differences give it a much different feel than I expected and the end result is not alike at all. Since the B-H-01 ends at a wider taper than the CH-HC, the former gives a more diffused look whereas the latter is better for precision and a little more concentration of product.

I found it intriguing that this brush has such a thick handle, even larger of a handle size than the B-C-01 which has a larger brush head. I would have expected the larger brush to have the larger handle, or at the very least for the handles to be the same size considering Bisyodo describes them both as highlight/cheek brushes.

I was a little disappointed at first until I found the perfect purpose for this brush. If I want to only use one section of my Pat Mcgrath Duo Blushes, there are only a few blush brushes in my collection that picks up the amount of product I want, yet is small enough to select from one half without mixing into the shade of the other half. Considering Pat Mcgrath is a luxury brand, using a fancy brush like this with her products adds to the experience. This wasn’t a necessary purchase, but it’s a nice mini splurge.

This brush is 6400 YEN and available here.

Bisyodo B-ES-06 Eye Shadow Brush

  • Full Length: 143mm / 5.63 in
  • Hair Length: 13mm / 0.51 in
  • Hair Width: 10mm / 0.39 in
  • Bristle Type: Kolinsky
  • Handle: African Rose Wood
  • Ferrule: 24 KG plated Brass

I follow a lot of Fude-centric accounts on Instagram and I am frequently reminded about how much people seem to love Kolinsky brushes. Prior to this year, my only experience with Kolinsky has been the brushes from Koyudo I’ve reviewed before. Because brushes in the sable family aren’t that soft, comparatively speaking to high grade goat and squirrel, I did not understand the hype. I was using those Koyudo brushes for a while, but then gradually just went back to using goat hair brushes on my eyes.

In May, I decided I wanted to try and give Kolinsky another chance as I was starting to use my Nyx Glitter primer again, which can be harsh on soft natural hair brushes. I also planned to incorporate more gel liners and create some graphic liner looks and wanted to see how that would go using filbert shapes rather than my usual flat angle brushes. Jaybirdwalking on YouTube has a super in-depth video dedicated to the topic of Kolinsky and shows her large collection of brushes, which is how I decided which ones would be the best for me to order.

This brush is officially the softest Kolinsky brush I own! For context, I do only own four. It’s comfortable enough that I actually enjoy using it. I like the width of it, to get more product on my eyes at a time. I also like that the tips come almost to a point, which makes it fantastic for using with those gel liners I wanted to use this with. I can get a crisp even line each time and I have the control to make it thinner or thicker depending on the amount of pressure I use. I have no trouble using this for packing on shimmers to my lids, though it can be a little trickier in the folds of my inner corner. While I can use this with mattes too, using it with shimmers (and especially if I want to apply them damp to my eyes) is where this brush stands out. I still prefer my goat brushes with mattes. Also, despite the B-ES-06’s size, it performs very well on the lower lash line too. I know some people like to apply their concealer and/or eyeshadow primer with Kolinsky hair brushes, but the Sonia G Jumbo Concealer brush is way more comfortable and easier to use for my eye area because of the thickness and hair type.

Out of the four Kolinsky brushes I have, this is the one I recommend most.

This brush is 4800 YEN and available here.

HOUKODOU

Houkodou Brilliant Gold Series G-S5 Flat Eye Shadow Brush

  • Full Length: 140mm / 5.5 in
  • Hair Length: 11mm / 0.43 in
  • Hair Width: 7mm / 0.27 in
  • Bristle Type: Kolinsky

I couldn’t decide if I wanted the wider Bisyodo brush or this one, so I decided to get both. The bristles aren’t as soft as the Bisyodo brush I previously discussed, but it’s still softer than the Koyudo ones I’ve reviewed here before.

This brush is great for lining the eyes and applying shimmers, including getting into the crevices of my inner corner. Because it doesn’t have the same softness as the B-ES-06, I don’t enjoy using it on my more sensitive lower lash line, but it can be done. Also, the dome tapered tip of the GS-5 gives me a little thicker of a line than the Bisyodo brush. This is a good detail brush for adding definition to the outer corner, crease, and under the brow. I’ve also used it to clean up the edges of my eye look with concealer in either a harsh line or blending it a bit for an even line with a soft edge. The Houkodou and Bisyodo brushes are multi-purpose in that way. While I still recommend the Bisyodo one over this, the price difference might make the Houkodou Kolinsky brush more appealing. Also, the GS-3 brush that Jaybirdwalking featured in the video link I posted is larger than the GS-5 that I bought. I wanted a brush that wasn’t quite so similar to the Bisyodo, which I’m glad I did since the one edge that it has over the Bisyodo brush is that ability to get into the inner corners. And, of course, the price.

This brush is 3000 YEN and available here.

KIHITSU

Kihitsu Purple GV Eyeshadow Brush

Full Length: *135mm / 5.31 in
Hair Length: *14mm / 0.55 in
Hair Width: *10mm / 0.39 in
Bristle Type: Prairie Dog

On FudeJapan’s website, there are two versions of this brush: Kolinsky and Prairie Dog. Even though Kolinsky is sought after and I certainly have room to expand that in my range of hair types, I leapt at the chance to feel a new animal hair type. The only hair I’ve seen in a brush that I’m not too keen to own is cat. I actually emailed CDJapan to verify that it wasn’t a “goat” misprint, but no, it’s not. The set has a cat hair brush.

Anyway, unlike the two previous brushes I discussed, this one can feel scratchy if I try to use it in the crease and flip it vertically to do windshield wiper motions across the eyes. If I’m just patting this brush on my lids in short strokes or lining my eyes by using the brush in a horizontal motion, it feels fine. This brush isn’t as soft as Kolinsky, but it picks up quite a bit more product and is also a little thicker in shape around the belly of the brush. For that reason, I will definitely continue to use this brush for its main purpose of applying shimmers wet or on a tacky base. Though this brush applies more product, I prefer Kolinsky over prairie dog.

TSUBOKAWA MOUHITSU

Koyomo nadeshiko Pearl Pink Blush Brush

  • Full Length: 116mm / 4.57 in
  • Hair Length: 39mm / 1.53 in
  • Hair Width: *30mm / 1.18 in
  • Bristle Type: Goat Haku-ototsuho Yomo

I enjoyed the eyeshadow Koyomo brush I purchased at the end of 2020, so I knew it was a matter of time before I eventually tried out this hair type again in a face brush. I’m still not a fan of the short handle, but it’s not something that impacts my ability to use this brush effectively. I hold it by the bottom end of the ferrule where some of the writing is, so that may be something that will get worn away if I use it consistently. It’s a dense brush with hair that shockingly feels borderline as soft as Saikoho. The main difference is that the hair strands in this brush are thicker, so it has a little more drag on the face than my other Saikoho brushes (even if I hold the brush further back), but the softness factor prevents that drag from feeling abrasive on my skin. My Koyomo eyeshadow brush feels like Sokoho, so I don’t know if I just got an exceptionally great version of that hair type in my blush brush, but it makes me want to purchase Tsubokawa Mouhitsu’s higher grade lines if only they made longer handle versions. If they do in the future, I would absolutely pick one up.

The way that is most comfortable for me to hold this brush lends perfectly for blush usage, but feels a bit awkward in the hand while I attempt to apply bronzer in my preferred (for bronzer) sweeping motion. I can still do this easily enough though.

The head circumference is fairly small, even after the post-wash bloom, so I believe this brush really is best to use solely for blush. It works beautifully for blush regardless of whether or not I want to pounce it on my cheeks or swirl and buff, so that’s good enough for me.

I decided to post the size comparisons of these two at the last minute. Please excuse the fact that the Koyomo brush isn’t washed. Because these brush posts take me months to complete, it can be difficult to juggle between wanting to use these brushes in my down time with wanting to keep them clean for blog purposes in case I need additional pictures.

This brush is 5000 YEN and available here.

MURAGISHI SANGYO

MS-2 Mai Sakura Blush Brush

  • Full Length: 159mm / 6.26 in
  • Hair Length: 36mm / 1.42 in
  • Hair Width: *32mm / 1.26 in
  • Bristle Type: Gray Squirrel and Goat Sokoho

The HS-2 Hana Sakura is one of my favorite brushes and it’s quite versatile. The MS-2 isn’t as versatile for me, but has proved to be an amazing dedicated blush brush. This shape is similar to the Chikuhodo T-4 and PS-2, so it performs similarly to them, but with a smaller brush head. I love the spring back when I pounce it on my face, but I can use it in any application method. It’s a medium density brush that’s packed tightest in the center and the flexibility of the hair allows it to curve enough to function like a sweeping brush if used in that way, but also stand firmly enough to be used in a buffing motion if so desired. The handle length is great for me and it looks so much prettier in person when I can see the sparkles in the black lacquer of the handle and that pretty flower pattern too. The head size is on the smaller side, but the splay from the outer ring keeps it from feeling too small when I use it.

As I’ve mentioned before, the way these kind of brush heads are constructed is holy grail for me for blush usage, and blushes alone. I don’t enjoy it nearly as much for any other purpose, though I could still get the job done realistically with bronzer.

Because of the addition of the Grey Squirrel hair, which adds extra softness, this brush is a bit more expensive than the similarly performing Chikuhodo PS-2. However, I personally think this brush is better and worth that extra expense because of the softness and the handle, but admittedly the handles of both brushes are pretty in their own ways.

There is only one negative to this brush and it’s that the pretty matte gold ferrule is very malleable and therefore easy to bend. Even though it doesn’t look like it’s any thinner than the ferrules of my other brushes, it feels like I could actually squeeze it out of shape with my fingers if I tried hard enough, unlike the others. There’s also a bit larger of a gap than I’ve seen before between the hair and the top of the ferrule when I push the hair to the side. I’ll include a comparison photo below between the MS-2 and PS-2 demonstrating this. It’s just something I’ve noticed, and so far it hasn’t made the brush shed, feel loosely packed, or problematic in any way.

I accidentally dropped this brush, and I believe that’s what caused the ferrule to bend and create a flat edge at two points, which made the hair shape go from being circular to a quarter section being flat. I have a tool from my crafting days that I used to get it back in shape. I would not have attempted to fix a more expensive brush, and a few times I did make it a little worse before making it better, so I only recommend those with experience to attempt the same as I did to fix things. I have dropped other brushes in the past, but this is the only one I’ve noticed that actually got damaged from that happening. Perhaps the others did too and I just didn’t notice it, but I figured it was something I should mention. Those who aren’t as clumsy as I am sometimes will likely not have to worry about it. I certainly still love this brush and recommend it.

This brush is 5200 YEN and available here.

CDJapan Outlet Brushes

You’ll notice that all of the Eihodo brushes below are listed as “outlet” brushes. CDJapan sometimes acquires brushes with minor flaws from companies and sell them at a discount. They say officially that, “The shape and color of the tip might differ from the image provided. There will be no problem when using, but there might be damage to the brush shaft.” Sometimes outlet brushes have the brand logo still on them, but these from Eihodo do not. I personally have not been able to see where the flaws would be with the brushes I’ve bought, which is why I love these type of events because I can get brushes that I find to be great quality or higher but at significant savings. I don’t know if I’m just incredibly lucky that I’m usually happy with the outlet brushes I get, but if so, I know of other fude lovers who seem to share the same lucky streak. Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of Eihodo outlet brushes available, but every so often they have Koyudo outlet events too. Occasionally, I see a random single outlet brush added to the new brushes section of the website, so I always keep my eye out for other great finds.

The brushes in the “Special Price Events” tend to sell out fast depending on the hair type and whether or not the brush is in a very popular style or an aesthetically pleasing handle. For instance, Canadian Squirrel tends to go the quickest. It could be within 5-30 minutes depending on how many CDJapan stocked and the price of them. From what I’ve seen, the pricier outlet brushes only have 5-15 available with five being the average. Gray Squirrel is usually gone in under an hour. Squirrel mixed with goat could sell out within minutes or weeks. There are a lot of variables.

Some tips that I have for those who are trying to get these brushes first before they sell out are as follows:

  • Ensure that you understand the launch time for your time zone. If you’re subscribed to emails, CDJapan will inform you of the day and time in advance, but from what I’ve seen it is usually at 11:59 AM (UTC+9). As an example, if the day and time is marked for June 16th at 11:59 AM (UTC+9), this would be for me in Florida 10:59 PM EST on June 15th. Japan is thirteen hours ahead of me. Don’t wait for an email reminder announcing the launch because I always get those the next day.
  • Keep a tab open for the new beauty releases page along with the special price page. Even though we have a specific launch time, the products usually don’t become visible immediately. It may take a few minutes or longer. I have observed that the new releases page typically gets updated before the special price page. Although the special price page is handy for someone like me that only wants specific hair types, if you’re more interested in the brush shapes and could therefore easily scroll through the 20+ newly released brushes to spot which ones look promising, then you get at least five minutes of a head start to view specific brush pages before those waiting only on the special price page get to see what’s available.
  • Pay attention to the quantity of brushes listed as available. Knowing how many are stocked gives a clue as to how much time you have to complete your order. If there are 5 or less available at the start, one could expect it to sell out on the first day and potentially even in the first ten minutes depending on those brush factors I mentioned earlier.
  • Know your favorite shapes, lengths, hair types, and handle styles in advance. This is one tip that took me far too long to plan out. For instance, one time I didn’t factor in how tiny a brush would be and how I would not be able to accomplish what I wanted from a brush of that size, even though it was the hair type I wanted. Another time I got my favorite size of brush in the hair type I wanted, but I didn’t think about how much more I prefer round brushes over round flat ones. I picked the right specs to get a nice brush, but it wasn’t something I would use a lot because of my preferences. Knowing what I want ahead of time allows me to make quick decisions when a brush that isn’t completely within my preferences ends up being available and I have to make a judgment call on whether to get it anyway or skip it. For me, I only want eye brushes above 125mm in full length with sizes starting at 130mm and up being the most ideal. I also only want squirrel, goat, or goat mix face brushes. Brushes made of pony/horse, weasel/sable, and synthetic hair are instant skips. For face brushes, I prefer them to be longer than 135mm at full length. 150mm is perfect. I prefer to not have a ferrule that is longer than the handle, but it’s not a deal breaker if it’s the right full total length. As mentioned before, I like round shapes over angled and oval shapes, medium density brushes and up, and dyed bristles over undyed depending on the brand. Also, as much as I like goat, I don’t tend to go for a Sokoho hair type unless it’s mixed with squirrel. Honing in on my preferences helps me turn away the ones that are tempting me with their discounted prices so I don’t overspend.

These are the things I wish I thought about, but have learned to be content with by the time I started working on my Fude Update #5 post, which will not be published for quite some time.

EIHODO

Eihodo is based in Osaka and their brushes are produced by Chikuhodo. Eihodo is technically an OEM as well when it comes to their oil-blotting papers, which the customers’ name can be printed on. I couldn’t find much more information other than that.

Eihodo NO277 Blush Brush [OUTLET]

  • Full Length: 128mm / 5.04 in
  • Hair Length: 35mm / 1.38 in
  • Hair Width: *30mm / 1.18 in
  • Bristle Type: Gray Squirrel and Goat Sokoho

This oval shaped brush is a squirrel goat mix that has the highest percentage of goat to squirrel ratio in this post. It’s soft enough, but the way the hair is packed means I can feel a distinct difference between this one and the other mixed brushes reviewed here today. I can feel a bit more friction on the skin when I use it. It feels dense, but it still splays quite a bit when pressed on the skin, making it not great to use with highlighter. I typically prefer round brushes over round-flat, but this brush is so packed with hair that despite the pinched ferrule maintaining the round-flat shape, this brush after being washed and left to air dry without aloe vera gel or a brush guard fluffs a little closer to a circular shape. So, it feels natural when using it to sweep on bronzer, but I intuitively switch to buffing when I use it on my cheek for blush. Because of this feature, I ended up liking this brush more than I expected. It picks up a decent amount of product with each tap in the pan. It’s not an essential brush in my collection, but a nice one to have. I would have liked it even more if the handle was longer, but this is one of the outlet brushes I bought before I finalized my stance on getting face brushes at a minimum of 135mm in full length. The original price of 4200 YEN would have been okay with me, but getting it for 2520 YEN makes me feel all the better about getting it.

Additional photos are at the end of the Eihodo section.

Eihodo NO278 Blush Brush [OUTLET]

  • Full Length: 160mm / 6.3 in
  • Hair Length: 37mm / 1.45 in
  • Hair Width: *30mm / 1.18 in
  • Bristle Type: Gray Squirrel and Goat Sokoho

This brush head is pretty much the same length and width as the MS-2, but the shape is similar to the PS-2 in the way that the tips form enough of a curve to barely avoid being considered a flat top. If these three brushes represented a family, they would be cousins. The MS-2 and PS-2 perform similarly because of the tightness of the bundling in the center, which is also the case with the 278, but because it has even more of the gray squirrel in it than the MS-2, the hair is so fine that it curves even more under pressure and doesn’t bounce on the skin as well as the others. The hair bends enough that I can actually use this for sweeping with bronzer without it feeling awkward; and because of that near-flat top and how dense it is, it still makes for a great buffing brush. So, for use with both blush and bronzer, I like to apply those products in a circular buffing motion. It surprisingly picks up a lot of product, so I have to just do a dab or two at a time in the makeup product and knock off the excess before using it on my face.

Considering the hair type and performance for price, this is one of my top two favorite outlet brushes from this bunch. Because the MS-2 is slightly fuller and denser, I still prefer that one to this. However, this exceeded my expectations and I’m glad I bought it. It would normally cost 5800 YEN, which is pretty fair, but I got it for 3190 YEN, which is a phenomenal price.

Eihodo NO280 Powder Brush [OUTLET]

  • Full Length: 175mm / 6.9 in
  • Hair Length: 50mm / 1.97 in
  • Hair Width: *36mm / 1.42 in
  • Bristle Type: Gray Squirrel

This brush is the big winner! Considering how much hair is here, the type of hair, and the quality of this type, I can see why it would be 12,000 YEN. Getting it for 6600 YEN is practically a steal! This was the best outlet deal I’ve had so far, and still worth the added shipping cost since I hadn’t met the free shipping minimum. I initially reserved this brush for those rare occasions I set my face with powder, which has increased a little during the summer months. However, because it’s dense enough for buffing and doesn’t splay too widely, I’ve been able to use this brush for subtle bronzer and blush looks too!

Comparing other round brushes I own that are wider at the tips than they are at the base, the closest I have in size to the Eihodo 280 is my Koyudo Saikoho Powder Brush (another outlet brush) and Hakuhodo B104. The B104 is in the long handle version, which makes this brush a comparable length to the Eihodo, although the brush head is bigger. The Koyudo brush is a lot closer, but still bigger. I thought it might be a good comparison though because I suspect the Koyudo brush is similar to the rephr 30, (though I don’t have it to confirm it).

Eihodo NO.282 Blush Brush [OUTLET]

  • Full Length: 153mm / 6.02 in
  • Hair Length: 36mm / 1.42 in
  • Hair Width: *33mm / 1.3 in
  • Bristle Type: Gray Squirrel

This 282 brush is like the longer handle full squirrel version of the 277. It’s of course softer than the 277, but this isn’t the softest gray squirrel hair I’ve ever felt. It’s closer to the feeling of the best Saikoho goat brushes I have, but with a more delicate hair structure. I appreciate though that they really packed this brush with a lot of hair, so it’s dense, but it still has a large splay when pressure is applied. It’s every bit the sweeping style brush that I expected. It doesn’t pick up a lot of product unless the makeup is loose or loosely pressed. This brush ranks slightly above the 277, and I like having it, but it still wasn’t a necessity. According to Fluffy Fude, this brush is very similar in shape to the Chikuhodo Z-4, which is a brush I’ve considered getting for years, so I feel like I definitely don’t need a Z-4 anymore.
The 282 was supposed to retail for 7000 YEN, but I got it for 4200 YEN. For the size of the brush, I still got a great deal, but considering the hair type and the amount of it in this fairly small brush, I really came out on top with this one!

Additional photos with comparisons are at the end of the Eihodo Outlet section.

Eihodo NO.297 Eyeshadow Brush S [OUTLET]

  • Full Length: 110mm / 4.3 in
  • Hair Length: 10mm / 0.4 in
  • Hair Width: *6mm / 0.24 in
  • Bristle Type: Canadian Squirrel

110mm is small, but I don’t think I truly processed how little a brush of that size would be. I finally learned my lesson about guessing at sizes rather than producing a ruler and judging dimensions off that instead. And here I thought keeping track of the Koyudo 05 Lip & Eyeliner Brush S was difficult, but this is even tinier! At least the handle is bright red, which helps me pinpoint it among the rest of my brushes if it’s in a box or cup.

This is the only outlet brush I regret getting because it’s just not functional for me. It’s exactly as soft as one would expect for a Canadian Squirrel brush, but because it comes to such a sharp point, it’s not as comfortable to use on my sensitive lower lash line. It’s not pokey during the entire use, but it is enough to be irritating. Also, because of this hair type, even if I swirl the product in eyeshadow enough to fully coat the hair, because it’s so delicate, it can only apply it to my skin in a gentle sheer amount. It basically touches the area to apply it but I can’t get enough force to actually press it in and build color. My only option if I want a built up look is to wet the brush, which this is not the kind of hair I want to apply damp. I don’t think it would damage it, but it’s just not something I usually do with squirrel. I might start to anyway, just so I can have another use for this brush. And when I use this and it makes my eyes water, the brush gets wet anyway. Something small like this should be good for lining the eyes, but again, because it applies such a light amount of product, that doesn’t make for a good liner unless someone wants a watercolor type of look on the eyes. I always want maximum pigmentation, so that’s not for me.

The one use I have for this brush is blending two lid shades together or adding sparkle to the center of the lid. Sometimes trying to blend two pigmented shimmers with my fingers leads to back and forth overpowering of one shade over the other rather than getting one to fade into the other. And applying a pigmented sparkle shade can also sometimes look too opaque and not give me the effect I want to just highlight/accent the center of the lid. So, a brush like this does help, even though it’s so tiny that it’s still tedious to use for that.

This brush is listed as 3000 YEN but was sold for 2100 YEN. Lowering the price any further would not have made buying this brush any better in my eyes. I should have skipped it entirely, but at least it wasn’t an expensive lesson. A month after purchasing this brush, they released NO.346, which is basically the same brush in a longer handle. That one would have been better for me, but the issues with the shape would have persisted anyway.

Eihodo NO.299 Powder Brush [OUTLET]

  • Full Length: 138mm / 5.4 in
  • Hair Length: 46mm / 1.8 in
  • Hair Width: *40mm / 1.57 in
  • Bristle Type: Gray Squirrel

This brush isn’t bundled tightly, so it looks fuller than it is. When I lightly push both ends of the hair together to see how much is actually there, it’s only 5mm thick. It’s very floppy and is difficult to pick up my pressed powder products, except the ones that are very loosely pressed. That lack of denseness also means I can only sweep the product on since the hair isn’t resilient enough for proper buffing.

Most of my blushes aren’t loose/powdery enough to fully coat the brush in one go. So, it takes a ridiculous amount of layers to build it up enough for my liking on my cheeks. I get better results using this brush with bronzer because my bronzers tend to be softer, but it’s still time consuming to use. Sure, I can get a nice subtle airbrushed look, but my bronzers are mostly all high quality and I can still get airbrushed results much quicker with most other of my brushes.

So, this is the kind of brush I only recommend to someone who uses loose powder products or wants a brush to sweep away setting powder that has been left on the face to bake. I never use the baking technique and I only use loose powder 2-3 times a year, unless I’m specifically testing a product. So, I truly don’t have much use for this brush. It has a short handle, which I generally don’t like, but it’s also a full grey squirrel brush with ferrule that’s a beautiful and uncommon shade of pink. That’s why I ended up purchasing it anyway. I don’t have the heart to part with it so soon, but this brush might not remain in my collection for long. For the amount of hair in this brush, the 12,000 YEN price is absolutely not worth it in my opinion. Even the 7800 YEN discounted price is difficult for me to justify.

Eihodo NO.312 Blush Brush [OUTLET]

  • Full Length: 190mm / 7.5 in
  • Hair Length: 40mm / 1.57 in
  • Hair Width: *32mm / 1.26 in
  • Bristle Type: Gray Squirrel and Sokoho Goat

This handle is super long! It’s among the longest in my collection, and because of that paddle head shape, it gives me paintbrush vibes. I rarely use brushes of this type, but it looked nice in photos, the hair type is what I like, and the handle length had me curious as to whether I would like it more than other paddle brushes I’ve used in the past since I would be able to hold it like I would an actual paint brush.

Considering this is an outlet brush that’s supposed to have flaws, I am so impressed with how perfectly shaped it is with not a hair out of place. It’s the widest paddle brush I have and it’s not as flat as I expected either. From the side view, at about 22mm up is it’s widest point that gradually tapers to a gentle point at the tips. The tip is thin enough that I can pick up product there to apply highlighter precisely, but I like to pick up product on the slightly angled side in the top third section of the brush and apply highlight in downward strokes across the top of the cheekbones. I use a traditional sweeping technique for use with bronzer on the forehead, but apply bronzer to the tips for use on the sides of my face to get a more sculpted look. As for use with blush, I don’t have a set preference between sweeping or using quick strokes across the cheeks. I guess it depends on how pigmented the blush is.

Despite the soft bristles, the tight bundling doesn’t allow for as much flexibility, so it feels a bit firm. The pointed tip also makes it feel a bit pokey at times, not from sharpness but purely due to the shape. So, despite the many benefits and how impressed I am with the beauty and construction, it’s not the best fit for my makeup style. Had I paid the full 6500 YEN price, I would not have been happy with this purchase. However, for 4550 YEN, that’s a fairer price. I understand that the squirrel element is what makes this such a good deal, but the shape of it and my preferences make this a little less valuable to me.

I wanted to compare the Muragishi Sangyo HS-2 with the Eihodo 277 and 282 because they are such similar shapes and considering the HS-2 is one of my holy grail brushes. The 277 doesn’t surpass the HS-2 because it’s not as soft. The 282 doesn’t surpass it because it splays more and therefore doesn’t give as much precision as the HS-2. I also like that the HS-2 is bundled tighter for blending purposes.

Sonia G

Sonia G Master Face Brush

  • Full Length: 178mm / 7 in
  • Hair Length: 38mm / 1.5 in
  • Hair Width: *35mm / 1.38 in
  • Bristle Type: Dyed & Undyed Saikoho Goat Hair
  • Handle: Maple Wood

Because Sonia G’s eye brushes have become my new holy grail over the last two years, I’ve been interested in exploring more of her face brushes, although they are a bit pricey even for Saikoho quality. I had $20 in credit from the previous Beautylish Gift Card Event, so I decided to use that on this brush.

What was the most enticing was the description of the “ball shape” which I interpreted to mean bouncy like my favorite blush brushes that I describe as pouncing my face with a rabbit tail. Unfortunately, I’m not a fan of the way the bristles are staggered to create that ball shape and it wasn’t until the third wash that it formed a shape I actually liked and was a little puffier. I like dense brushes, but in my opinion, it’s too dense for this shape. The bristles are of course soft, but this brush is for super buffing. I have to build up even my pigmented products because it buffs out the color so much. I appreciate the fact that I can use any blending technique with the brush and the bristles will move in the direction I want. If I want to apply bronzer to warm the perimeter rather than achieving a precise sculpt, this brush is great for that. It’s a bit too much brush for blush for my liking, and that’s unfortunately what I was excited to use with it the most. It also works well to blend and buff face powder all over the face, but the only time I usually powder my face anymore is to set a cream product that doesn’t set on its own or to tone down my extra pigmented products. So, I ended up not using this brush nearly as much as I thought I would. It’s a shame because I like the construction of the handle and the look of the hair. I want this to be a favorite, but it isn’t. According to Sonia G, this is foremost a powder foundation brush. Perhaps if I used powder foundation I would like this more. To be fair though, the Beautylish website description for the use of this brush makes it very clear that it’s a dense buffing and blending brush. I just underestimated how strong “lot’s of strength” actually meant.

PREVIOUSLY REVIEWED BRUSHES MOVED HERE

Sonia G Builder Pro Eye Shadow Brush

  • Full Length: 152mm / 5.98 in
  • Hair Length: 12mm / 0.47 in
  • Hair Width: *9mm / 0.35 in
  • Bristle Type: Dyed Saikoho Goat Hair

The Builder Pro and Builder Three are both brushes that lay product down well but can also be used for blending. I’ve discovered that the Builder Three leans better on the blending aspect because of the flatter top, so I prefer that one for crease work. The Builder Pro leans better on the lay down and building aspect because it’s perfect for applying shadows to the section of my eye between the eyelid and inner corner. I always struggled with that spot, but this brush gets in there easily. It’s also more precise for application to the outer V. I’ve actually been able to do entire eye looks using this brush alone. I’m very happy I decided to finally buy this!
The tapered tip that makes the Builder Pro so great for applying shadows also prevents it from blending large areas as quickly as the Builder Three, so I will probably use that one more often when I’m in a rush. However, for when I have more time and want to create a detailed and more skillfully done eyeshadow look, I will definitely grab the Builder Pro instead. They perform differently enough that I feel justified having them both in my collection.

Beautylish Presents

Beautylish Presents is the brand name of the Beautylish retailer’s line of brushes that one or more Fude companies produce for them. Their most popular brush series is the Lunar New Year Series, but they also have the Yano Series, 420 Brush Collection, and the Hachiko Kabuki brush. They also have two Faux Fur Brush Roll options.

Beautylish Presents the Year of the Tiger Lunar New Year Powder Brush

  • Full Length: *170mm / 6.69 in
  • Hair Length: 47.6mm / 1.87 in
  • Hair Width: *40mm / 1.57 in
  • Bristle Type: Blue Squirrel

I succumbed to the temptation and finally bought one of Beautylish’s collaborative Lunar New Year brushes. They did not announce which brush-maker created this year’s brush, but in the past is was Chikuhodo. Even if another Fude company created this brush, I’m still happy that it has the Chikuhodo aesthetic with the large round shiny handle similar to the Z-series. As long as the brush is high quality, which it is, it doesn’t matter to me which Japanese company created it. This brush is still hand bundled with an exquisitely detailed lacquered handle using the maki-e process.

At launch, Beautylish also restocked the previous Lunar New Year brushes as well: Pig, Rat, and Ox. As cute as those designs are, those three have nearly identical brush heads which is already practically the same as the Tiger brush. It’s also comparable to the Chikuhodo MK-KO, as they’re both “round-flat” brushes, but the tip shape is different.

This brush is unbelievably silky soft and of course perfect for those who want a very sheer application of powder. I can use this for highlighter (when applied just on the very tips), blush (when I use sweeping motions across the cheek), and bronzer, but in my eyes this is a dedicated all over face powder brush. Although it picks up a small amount of product, when that product is very pigmented it takes more effort than I like to buff it out because it’s not dense enough for that. If I use a squirrel hair brush for blush, I prefer one that’s thicker and more round like the Z-1. Anything looser packed than that, I consider to be more ideal for setting/finishing powders. Honestly, this is more of a collector item for me and not one I intend to use a lot. When I do use it, it’s heaven though. It’s so soft and light that I barely feel any pressure on my skin. This is a beautiful powder brush, but if you already own one with grey/blue/ash squirrel hair, you’re not missing out by not having it. For those who don’t and would like a light/medium density powder brush, this might be a good place to start since comparable brushes to this would be a little more expensive. I still recommend this for collectors, but for someone looking for a more functional or versatile brush, I would direct them to Chikuhodo’s Z series and FO series.

Thank you for joining me today! I hope this has been helpful! Fude Part 5 already has as many brushes as this post, so it may be several months before that one is published.

-Lili

*Also, I apologize if there are any serious spelling or grammatical errors. I was not able to proofread this post as many times as I normally would due to unstable/barely usable internet over the weekend.

Beautylish Presents The Year of the Tiger Brush and other January Purchases

I’m still playing catch up on things I purchased in 2021 and wish to post about, but today is an update on all my beauty purchases from January 2022. I’d like to show how well (or not) I’ve been sticking to my Beauty Resolutions for the year.

Beautylish Presents the Year of the Tiger Lunar New Year Powder Brush

  • Full Length: *170mm / 6.69 in
  • Hair Length: 47.6mm / 1.87 in
  • Hair Width: *40mm / 1.57 in
  • Bristle Type: Blue Squirrel

In my Beauty Resolutions post, I mentioned that I should only purchase Lunar New Year items that had personal significance to me (ex: Year of the Dragon). This brush depicts the most adorable chubby kitty with tiger stripes, which does make it significant to me in my interpretation of this design (it’s an inside joke). In addition, for half of my life the Tiger was my favorite animal. This is why I succumbed to the temptation and finally bought one of Beautylish’s collaborative Lunar New Year brushes. They did not announce which brush-maker created this year’s brush, but in the past is was Chikuhodo. Even if another Fude company created this brush, I’m still happy that it has the Chikuhodo aesthetic with the large round shiny handle similar to the Z-series. As long as the brush is high quality, which it is, it doesn’t matter to me which Japanese company created it. This brush is still hand bundled with an exquisitely detailed lacquered handle using the maki-e process.

This brush is unbelievably silky soft and of course perfect for those who want a very sheer application of powder. I can use this for highlighter (when applied just on the very tips), blush (when I use sweeping motions across the cheek), and bronzer, but in my eyes this is a dedicated all over face powder brush. Although it picks up a small amount of product, when that product is very pigmented it takes more effort than I like to buff it out because it’s not dense enough for that. If I use a squirrel hair brush for blush, I prefer one that’s thicker and more round like the Z-1. Anything looser packed than that, I consider to be more ideal for setting/finishing powders. Honestly, this is more of a collector item for me and not one I intend to use a lot. When I do use it, it’s heaven though. It’s so soft and light that I barely feel any pressure on my skin. This is a beautiful powder brush, but if you already own one with grey/blue/ash squirrel hair, you’re not missing out by not having it. For those who don’t and would like a light/medium density powder brush, this might be a good place to start since comparable brushes to this would be a little more expensive. I still recommend this for collectors, but for someone looking for a more functional or versatile brush, I would direct them to Chikuhodo’s Z series and FO series.

At launch, Beautylish also restocked the previous Lunar New Year brushes as well: Pig, Rat, and Ox. As cute as those designs are, those three have nearly identical brush heads which is already practically the same as the Tiger brush, so I didn’t feel any pressure to add those to my cart. Since I already have three close enough brushes as the Tiger, Koi/Carp, and the Z-1 (the Z-9 is a better dupe but I don’t own it), I don’t feel a need to get a backup brush. However, trying to steer clear of a Rabbit next year will be difficult, and I suspect trying to ignore the Dragon will be impossible.

Sonia G Builder Pro Eye Shadow Brush

  • Full Length: 152mm / 5.98 in
  • Hair Length: 12mm / 0.47 in
  • Hair Width: *9mm / 0.35 in
  • Bristle Type: Dyed Saikoho Goat Hair

The Builder Pro and Builder Three are both brushes that lay product down well but can also be used for blending. I’ve discovered that the Builder Three leans better on the blending aspect because of the flatter top, so I prefer that one for crease work. The Builder Pro leans better on the lay down and building aspect because it’s perfect for applying shadows to the section of my eye between the eyelid and inner corner. I always struggled with that spot, but this brush gets in there easily. It’s also more precise for application to the outer V. I’ve actually been able to do entire eye looks using this brush alone. I’m very happy I decided to finally buy this!
The tapered tip that makes the Builder Pro so great for applying shadows also prevents it from blending large areas as quickly as the Builder Three, so I will probably use that one more often when I’m in a rush. However, for when I have more time and want to create a detailed and more skillfully done eyeshadow look, I will definitely grab the Builder Pro instead. They perform differently enough that I feel justified having them both in my collection.

Before we move onto the next topic, I have to acknowledge that I bought a backup of the Builder Three at the same time that I ordered the Builder Pro, which is a breech of my beauty resolutions. Then Sonia G/Beautylish restocked many brushes I wanted, including the Cheek Pro which would have been yet another backup purchase, but I was able to stop myself.

Lethal Cosmetics Charity Eyeshadow in Meekha

This is one of four limited edition charity eyeshadows released from Lethal Cosmetics. I mentioned liking tigers earlier in this post, but I am dog person and I have a soft spot for pitbulls. It was very lucky that the only eyeshadow that caught my attention happened to be the one named after the sweet rescue pitbull named Meekha. In addition to the animal charities being supported by the purchase, Lethal also committed to planting a tree for each January order. My sister had a pitbull named Radja, so that’s the name I chose for the planted tree in her memory.

This is the second indie brand that I’m aware of who has created limited edition shadows for charity, and I am here for it! For some reason, when larger brands do it, it feels like it’s just for press. Somehow, this kind of thing coming from a smaller brand seems more heartfelt. In any case, I like to see this.

The combination of the colors in the Meekha pan turn into an icy lavender shade on me. I’m not sure how often I will use this shadow, but I was able to create a look that I liked. It even makes for a nice bright inner corner highlight shade for other eyeshadow looks! The eyeshadow texture and performance feels just like other shimmers from the brand. The formula is a bit thick, but they smooth out nicely on the lids and fallout is about what one would expect from a shimmer shadow (present but not too bad especially if applied wet or on top of a glitter primer).

And as a follow-up to the charity aspect, post-January purchases will continue to go to charity. It’s just the tree part that is over now.

Lethal Cosmetics Highlighter in Fusion

I wanted this highlighter shade for a long time, but it was initially exclusive to the Equilux face palette, which I did not get because the blush and bronzer in the trio were too deep for my skin tone. Since it’s now available as an individual item, and I wasn’t completely satisfied with the highlighter selection I brought with me on my trip to Germany, I figured this was the best time to get it (especially with the lower shipping cost). I am supposed to be on a highlighter No-Buy, but this purchase was allowed as it falls under the category of something I would have bought last year if it was available to me, and in this case, available as a single product.

Unlike Gamma and Gravity, my two other Lethal Cosmetics highlighters, I find Fusion to be quite subtle. Fusion is close to my skin tone, and that could add to how subtle it is, but even the texture feels a bit different than the other two, and not just because of the lack of ridges. Fusion was difficult to show in swatches, even when built up. It feels a bit hard pressed*, and when the highlighter was delivered, it was messy around the pan edges as well as within the packaging. My brushes are able to grab product easily (despite the fact that it looks a bit hard-panned** now too) but perhaps the hard pressing is preventing more of the actual shimmer particles from being picked up. That would be ironic considering if I have an issue with a highlighter it’s usually that my brush is picking up too much of the shimmer.

*NOTE**: I have a few wonderful friends and family members who read my blog sometimes and may not be aware of some of the terms I’ve used. For anyone who needs clarification, the press of a product refers to the force in which a product is physically pressed into the pan (usually with a pressing machine). Makeup that is “Hard Pressed” has powder so compacted together that it becomes difficult to get the product out of the pan and onto the brush. “Hardpan” is when a powder product gets a hard or filmy top layer that also prevents someone from being able to pick up product onto a brush, but it is usually due to oils from the skin getting into the powder and creating that tough layer. Certain formulas of powder products are more prone to hardpanning than others.

Fusion has an orange tinge to it. Although the shine level is a bit low, when it hits the light, the golden-orange sheen is apparent at that point. It’s not what I was going for but mixing it with some of Gamma puts the look back in my comfort zone. I will likely declutter Gravity and Fusion at some point, but testing out these shades reminded how much I enjoyed wearing Gamma, and I will have to remember to use it more often. Anyone interested in seeing those shades on me can check out my previous Lethal Cosmetics post here.

Chanel JOUES CONTRASTE Powder Blush in 320 Rouge Profond

I considered buying a Chanel blush for a long time, although I always expected it to be from one of their limited edition collections. My interest in buying one re-sparked when Ulta started carrying Chanel Beauty products in January (although the brand will probably be excluded from all coupons including prestige). I also really wanted the Blush Lumiere Brun Roussi shade from the Spring 2022 collection, but I wasn’t willing to spend Hermes prices for it. So, when I was browsing the Duty Free section at the Frankfurt Airport, I had an impulsive moment to buy shade 320 Rouge Profond, a shade that is not available at Ulta and is part of their older blush formulation. Chanel changed to the new formula in March 2021, and according to reviews I’ve seen, the new formula is less smooth, less sheen-like, and less pigmented, so I decided to go ahead and get this one in the old formula while it was still available.

The Houkodou Nagi Powder N-F1 Brush fits perfectly around the dome of this blush and applies it perfectly as well. The blush swatch needed to be built up on my arm, but color goes onto the cheek nicely. The perfume scent is very noticeable. The color and performance reminds me of the MAC Mineralize Blush in the Flirting With Danger shade. In fact, as much as I like this blush, it didn’t “Wow” me more than the MAC blush and that one is significantly less expensive. My curiosity is satisfied knowing Chanel’s permanent blushes aren’t superior to products I already have, but there’s still that troublesome part of me wondering if Chanel’s even pricier blushes are better. Either way, at twice the price, I doubt it would be two times better, so it’s best I leave that topic alone.

That’s everything I bought in the month of January! I did not include products I ordered in December that arrived in January. Those items will show up in future posts.

Thank you for joining me today! I hope this has been helpful!

-Lili

*UPDATE: For those on the email list, I apologize for the accidental early release of this post. I’ve been consistently posting at the same time for a reason, but I’m not sure how or when the scheduled time for this one was changed and it completely escaped my notice. Considering we just entered Daylight Savings time in the US, this could be especially early for some people. I plan to resume our regular schedule of Mondays at 11:30 am EST.