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 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 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 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 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 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.


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.


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 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.


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.


*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.

FUDE COLLECTION: Japanese Makeup Brushes Part 1


**DISCLAIMER: All products in this post were purchased by me with my own money and prior to me being part of any affiliate program. Unhighlighted links in bold blue font (Example) are non-affiliate links that will not generate commission. The vast majority of links on this blog are traditional non-affiliate ones. Links marked in bold black font with a light blue background (Example) are affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to get a commission if purchases are made directly using my links. The price of the product is not affected by these links, and anyone who uses them would be supporting this blog. Whether you click to shop through them or not, I appreciate you visiting and I hope you find the information I’ve provided helpful!

What Makes These Brushes Special?

Kumano is called the world’s brush making capital and it is where all the brushes I’ll be talking about today were created. Chikuhodo has a detailed explanation of the process that artisans go through to handmake these brushes. For generations, the brush makers in Kumano have been honing their craft, making world-renown calligraphy brushes, paintbrushes, and then segued into makeup brushes. The finest hairs are chosen, and nothing is machine cut. The tips are left on, which adds to the silky-soft feel. These brushes are never scratchy! Although most of these companies use natural hair, especially for their elite lines, there are some brands like Hakuhodo, Chikuhodo, and Wayne Goss who have some synthetic brushes in their lineup.


Before we get into the review, I’d like to address the discrepancies that are sure to come up, such as some brushes being listed as Blue Squirrel on one website and then Grey squirrel for the same brush on another site. Red squirrels and Grey squirrels are confirmed to be different, but I’ve seen conflicting information as to whether blue and grey are the same.* It ultimately is up to the manufacturer to decide what it is and how it should be listed. I thought perhaps it came down to the location the hair came from, the color of the bristle, or the quality of the hair. The ones listed as blue that I have seen tend to be darker, almost black. Whereas those listed as grey when I bought them look dark brown. However, the tail colors of actual grey squirrels fluctuate seasonally between brown, black, and silvery gray, so I realized that couldn’t be the right answer.

I have only found one source that specifically lists a name for a blue squirrel (or at least a squirrel with blue-black tail hair) which is called Saccamina or Sacamena.

Even on Sonia G’s blog in 2012, she makes a distinction between the two types, but in her Surratt review from 2015, she calls them the same.

I contacted Beautylish asking if blue squirrel comes from a grey squirrel or if they are different, and the customer service representative told me they are not the same. That they feel the same but grey is less expensive than blue. I contacted FudeJapan and they told me the opposite information. That they are the same. So finally, I emailed Chikuhodo and the representative wrote back that blue and grey are the same. That in Japan it is usually marked as grey and that western markets tend to call it blue. This makes sense to me when I thought about how Beautylish and the US Hakuhodo website are the only ones I’ve seen with blue squirrel brushes, compared to what is available on CDJapan or Fude Beauty’s websites. So, from this point forward I will consider grey squirrel and blue squirrel to be the same.  

*UPDATE: 04/2022 According to this source, red squirrel hair is the red hair from a grey squirrel.

As for the cruelty-free status, there is this idea that has been going around for years that the fur from wild animals have been gathered from catching, brushing, and then letting them go, or that they were humanely kept in cages to be brushed. This is a concept that retailers like for us to believe because it’s a much sweeter tale than the reality of the situation. This might sound feasible for domesticated animals in abundance, such as goats and ponies which their hair can be combed, sheered, or cut, but this concept for rarer hairs like squirrel and silver fox isn’t realistic. Even with goats, the quality of hair isn’t the same across the entire animal. The chest is the coveted area, but the quality is different even within that section: Saibikoho, Saikoho, and Sokoho. If squirrels had to be brushed every day to produce a few loose strands that haven’t already fallen off while they ran around, it would take years to make just one hundred brushes and the cost would be astronomical.

While combing/brushing, sheering, and cutting hair is cruelty-free, if the animal was killed for their meat or as pest/population control in a region, the procured hairs are considered a by-product of the industry, which allows them to also be labeled cruelty-free. Meaning, if the animal was not killed specifically for its fur, it is considered cruelty free. I don’t remember all my sources, as some of my research was done in 2017, but I came across this comment from Temptalia where Hakuhodo mentions that even goat hair is obtained from “butchers.” This further supports my belief that most cruelty-free natural hair fibers are not obtained from brushing or sheering. The majority are sourced when the animal is no longer alive.

It is quite a messy topic that I don’t feel informed enough to debate the ethics of the situation. I’m just providing the information I’ve obtained over the years, though I feel my information is still just as limited.


As these are all handmade (although I’m not sure about the Hakuhodo / Sephora ones) the measurements vary slightly among the brushes. Any number I measured myself in millimeters will have an asterisk next to it. All inch numbers were calculated by me as well. Regarding the width, the numbers are based on post-wash which will typically be wider than straight out of the package. My width measurements are the widest part of the brush hair.

Also, this post took several weeks to work on. So, some of the photos of the brushes look clean (as they’ve just been washed) and in other photos there is leftover product on them because I took more pictures later on. Natural hair brushes should not be washed as often as synthetic, so to preserve the integrity of my brushes, I did not want to wash these multiple times in a month when I normally only deep clean them once a month.

As to how durable these brushes are, I’ve been using all the Hakuhodo brushes for years and they still look to be in great shape. All of my Wayne Goss brushes I’ve used for years as well, excluding the original Holiday brush (but it’s pre-owned and probably used a lot) and the Holiday 2019 brush. The Chikuhodo Z-3 is the only Chikuhodo brush I’ve had for years, although I barely used it. So, I would consider my overall Chikuhodo brush use timeline to be a few months to a few weeks. My Sonia G brushes, I’ve also only used for a few months.

And my final note is that even though I broke this post into separate sections by brand, it’s difficult to discuss these brushes without comparing them to each other. So, if you’re only interested in learning about the Chikuhodo FO series, for example, just note that additional information might be included in the comparison to the Z series or Wayne Goss brushes. And I will include additional photo comparisons at the very end.


Hakuhodo is an OEM, an original equipment manufacturer. OEMs purchase supplies from other companies (for example: fibers, wood, paint, metal, etc.) to create their own products. But generally, the product they make becomes part of another company’s unique creation.

Hakuhodo has its own series of brushes, but they also create brushes for other companies. This is not necessarily the same as private labeling, though OEMs can offer that as well. Private labeling would be keeping the brush identical with just a different label or color. The most basic of changes. Some OEMs offer even more, where their customers can request modifications to their exact specifications: handle size, weight, and width, bristle length, density, hair type, ferrule metal type, pinched or unpinched ferrules, etc. This is done in bulk to make it worth their time and effort. The further the specifications stray from an OEM’s template, the more expensive it will be. Larger companies may work out a deal to keep their unique specifications from being used by anyone else, but others might see the ones they came up with become a new template. The Lunar Beauty vs Makeup Revolution prism highlighter component comes to mind. 

Hakuhodo was my first introduction to Fude in December 2014, upon hearing rumors that they might be the ones to make Wayne Goss brushes and some of MAC’s past older brushes. It’s just a rumor I heard; I cannot confirm anything. Though, the extreme similarities between the brush heads among Hakuhodo and WG brushes is an interesting coincidence. And the additions to Hakuhodo’s synthetic line around the time that WG started offering synthetic brushes as well…

Between getting a WG brush and Hakuhodo brush, I started with Hakuhodo as I wanted to go for the brand with the longer-standing reputation. In a sense, I have them to thank for sparking my love of Japanese brushes. Although some of their brushes have gone up in price, everything Hakuhodo makes (minus the Sephora collab) is well worth it.

Hakuho-do + Sephora Pro Fan Cheek Brush (retail $40)

  • Full Length: *169mm / 6.7 in
  • Hair Length:* 35mm / 1.4 in
  • Hair Width: *33mm / 1.3 in
  • Bristle Type: Synthetic

I didn’t purchase anything from the collection until they went on sale. I didn’t want to pay full price when I was uncertain how much I would enjoy these brushes due to their unusual shapes. I love fan brushes though, so I was curious about how this would perform. It’s soft, but I’m admittedly biased against synthetic brushes for powder products. As expected, it doesn’t feel as soft as the finest goat or squirrel hair and doesn’t pick up powder as well when using this brush on a firmly pressed or baked product. The shape is such that I would only use it for cheek and jaw contour, as well as bronzer in a sweeping motion. It’s a little too floppy for my taste as I find myself holding the brush as close to the head as possible to blend out bronzer and contour. It works fine with highlighter for a more subtle and diffused application. It’s a versatile brush, but not my favorite.

Hakuho-do + Sephora Pro Small Teardrop Pointed Highlighter Brush (retail $38)

  • Full Length: *180mm / 7.1 inch
  • Hair Length: *38mm / 1.5 in
  • Hair Width: *22mm / 0.9 in
  • Bristle Type: Synthetic

I’m not sure what other uses this brush could have, besides highlighter, but the shape of the bristles makes it just okay for applying and blending highlighter on my cheeks. It’s more precise than the fan brush above, but it still applies powder sheerly. Perhaps I could try this sometime with a liquid highlighter, but this brush ranks low in my entire brush collection, not just among the Fude.

Hakuhodo B5521

  • Full Length: 172mm / 6.8 in
  • Hair Length: 32mm / 1.26 in
  • Hair Width: 13mm / 0.5 in
  • Bristle Type: Blue Squirrel and Goat
  • Handle: Wood
  • Ferrule: Nickel plated brass

This brush used to be $35 as I remember it being the same price, if not cheaper, than the WG 02 brush. I specifically purchased the one from Hakuhodo because it has similar dimensions to the WG, but I wanted to know what a goat and blue squirrel mixture of a brush felt like. I can confirm the former price from a blog post I found dated from 2014, although the current Hakuhodo brush is a little longer. Temptalia has it listed as $53 from 2016, although the hair thickness was listed as 5mm thicker. It is $63 as of 2020.

This was my favorite highlighter brush until it was surpassed by the Wayne Goss Air Brush. It is still very pleasant to use, but the reason I prefer the Air Brush is because of the paddle shape (with its wider surface area to pick up powder). It disperses more product onto my skin and picks up harder pressed powders a little better.

Hakuhodo J142

  • Full Length: 153mm / 6 in
  • Hair Length: 18mm / 0.7 in
  • Hair Width: 6mm / 0.24 in
  • Bristle Type: Goat
  • Handle: Wood
  • Ferrule: Nickel plated brass

Certain styles of Hakuhodo Brushes, like the 142, are part of multiple series’ of brushes. For example, you can get the same Basic/J version that I have with black handles made of wood, a nickel-plated brass ferrule, and goat hair bristles. There’s also the i-142 synthetic version for $6 less, but you’re getting black plastic handles and an aluminum ferrule. The S142Bk is double the price of the B/J version, even though it also has black wooden handles, but the ferrule is made of 24-karat gold plated brass and has squirrel hair instead of goat. The final version is the S142, which has everything the same as the S124BK except that the handles are painted in a gorgeous vermilion shade with the end of the brush as an angled flat surface with the blue and white Hakuhodo logo on it, that if I remember correctly is supposed to symbolize a crane. This was one of my most used eyeshadow blending brushes until I started purchasing Sonia G brushes.

Hakuhodo J146

  • Full Length: 156mm / 6.1 in
  • Hair Length: 16mm / 0.63 in
  • Hair Width: 5mm / 0.2 in
  • Bristle Type: Goat
  • Handle: Wood
  • Ferrule: Nickel plated brass

The 146 is available in multiple series’ as well. It’s slightly shorter and thinner than the 142. Deciding which version is the best depends on the customer’s preferences. The more expensive brush doesn’t automatically make it better. Squirrel hair will give a softer wash of color, softer blend, and softer application. When it comes to eyeshadow, I want a more resilient bristle such as goat hair which is soft but also less fragile. Most of the time I want the maximum color-payoff and not a sheer application that a squirrel brush will provide. That’s not to say the squirrel brush cannot build up color. It would just take longer, especially as these brushes are meant to be used gently. It’s why I prefer squirrel hair for my powder complexion products and high-quality goat hair for eyeshadows. I used to prefer the 142 over this one, but as I got older and my eyes became even more partly hooded, I began to prefer the tip shape of this one instead.

Hakuhodo J5529

  • Full Length: 153mm / 6 in
  • Hair Length: 13mm / 0.5 in
  • Hair Width: 5mm / 0.2 in
  • Bristle Type: Goat
  • Handle: Wood
  • Ferrule: Nickel plated brass

This brush, along with the other two above, are brushes I use in my crease. I love how small they are, so I can do more complicated looks with precision. I have a tendency to carry my eyeshadow too far up, so using smaller brushes helps me with that. This brush has similar dimensions with the Sonia G Mini Booster, making it tied for smallest crease brush in my collection.

Hakuhodo J5523

  • Full Length: 151mm / 5.9 in
  • Hair Length: 16mm / 0.63 in
  • Hair Width: 4.5mm / 0.18 in
  • Bristle Type: Goat
  • Handle: Wood
  • Ferrule: Nickel plated brass

This brush is available in a variety of fibers: goat, horse, goat/horse mixture, blue squirrel, and synthetic. This brush is commonly touted as the equivalent of the MAC 217, Wayne Goss 18, and Sonia G Worker Pro. I don’t use this brush that often, as I feel more comfortable using my cheaper brushes with this head shape (until the Sonia G Builder Three). Though the shape is more beneficial for packing/patting, I sometimes use this to apply a wash of color above the crease or blow out one shade.


Chikuhodo is also an OEM, having made brushes for Suquu, RMK, Lunasol, etc. Chikuhodo is my favorite brush manufacturer. The hairs they procure and their skill at bundling and shaping their brushes is top notch. If I want a classic and traditional brush shape, there’s no one better to go to than them. In addition, their specialty handles appeal to the luxury lover in me and it makes their brushes that much more special to not only use, but also display. Many Chikuhodo brushes are like works of art. Their brushes are so sought after that counterfeit brushes started being made in 2018, so purchasing from a reputable seller is important in experiencing the true quality of their products.

A timeline of the company’s history can be found here and more in-depth information on the accomplishments of Chikuhodo and how they grew into a powerhouse can be found here.

As with most of these brushes, the price differences vary greatly between Beautylish, Fude Beauty, CDJapan, and VisageUSA. Beautylish is the most expensive, but the shipping is free in the US for orders over $35. This makes it cheaper for me, than say CDJapan whose prices might be ten or more dollars cheaper in total, but because of the pandemic, the cheapest shipping option is $24. If I spend over $112, specifically on makeup brushes, then CDJapan is cheaper. CDJapan also has a points-for-cash program, which can help, but their prices are in yen which means Paypal will charge a small international conversion fee, which could make prices about the same as other retailers. Another thing to factor is the strength of the YEN versus the currency of the customer. For example, at times when the YEN is weaker than USD, a retailer like CDJapan, Fude Beauty, and Fude Japan whose websites automatically adjust prices based on the currency value would give me a better price than Beautylish or VisageUSA which have set prices. I would suggest taking your time when deciding the most cost-effective options among these retailers. One thing I wish I knew beforehand is that Visage offers $2 engravings on some of the brushes. The engravings plus occasional sale up to 25%, depending on how much you spend, make it an alluring option.

Chikuhodo MK-KO Powder Brush (Carp Design)

  • Full Length: 167mm / 6.6 in
  • Hair Length: 52mm / 2 in
  • Hair Width: *40mm / 1.58 in
  • Bristle Type: Grey Squirrel (listed as “Ash Squirrel” only on the Beautylish website)

I jokingly refer to this as the Rolls Royce of my brush collection. This brush was released at the end of April 2020 and is part of Chikuhodo’s Makie Series. It is described as a collaboration between Chikuhodo, the lacquerware brand Yamanaka-Shikki, and mural artist Hideki Kimura for his Koi design. The subtle sparkles in the paint on this brush were caused by the Maki-e process of powdered gold, silver, and/or other precious gems being dusted onto the design while the lacquer was still wet. The brush head looks huge because the bristles are extremely long while also being the standard width of a large powder brush. However, when turned, you can see that it has a flatter side. This is not a dense buffing type of brush. I find it’s more of a finishing brush to either sweep powder all over the face or dust away any excess powder.

Another thing to note is that the handle of this brush and the Z-1 are quite chubby and feel on the verge of being too big, despite the fact that I have large hands and should have no issues with large handles. I don’t mind this handle size for the MK-KO because it doesn’t need to be practical when I may just stop using it and keep it on display instead. The Z-1 could have benefited from a slimmer handle. I like that Chikuhodo gave us smaller ones in the FO series, including indentations that show the best spot to grip each brush.

This brush is 20000 YEN and available HERE.

Chikuhodo MKC-1 Makie Box

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

This box is the tortoiseshell black color, but it’s also available in red and beige. I bought this originally for my MK-KO but I’ve since found a better storage method that won’t disturb the bristles from laying flat.

These are 3800 YEN and available HERE.

Chikuhodo KZ-04

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

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

This brush is definitely made for just loose or lightly pressed powders. My favorite uses for this are with blush and bronzer. I like it and enjoy it, but I can name several blush brushes I prefer over this one. It doesn’t rank as high because of the size and thickness. If softness was the only factor, it would be #1.

Chikuhodo KZ-05

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

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

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

Chikuhodo FO-1 Powder Brush

  • Full Length: 155mm / 6.1 in
  • Hair Length: 45mm / 1.8 in
  • Hair Width: *30-50mm / 1.2 – 2 in
  • Bristle Type: Silver Fox
  • Handle: Maple Wood
  • Ferrule: Aluminum

The head of this brush is described as a “round flat” shape. When you first receive the brush the bristles are much more compact (around 30mm), but after it is washed and dried the brush puffs out to be much wider (approximately 50mm at its widest point). This is not due to improper cleaning or care. This is a unique feature of silver fox fibers.

Also, the varnish or lacquer of the green ferrule still had a noticeable smell on all the FO series brushes for me, so I let them air out in a ventilated spot for about 3-7 days.

This brush is slightly softer than grey squirrel, yet the bristles are as resilient as goat hair. I absolutely love the feel of this on my skin! I initially purchased this to use as a large blush brush, but the shape of it made it clear it’s better suited for applying powder all over my face. If you’re a natural hair brush lover, I highly recommend getting one of the face brushes in this line to experience how amazing these are! Silver Fox hair in makeup brushes is so uncommon, or at least it was in 2020. To my knowledge, Chikuhodo did it first. I believe Koyudo was next and released theirs on May 15th, 2020 although the shapes of those didn’t appeal to me the way this FO series does. In 2022, there are several other brands including ones from China that are selling silver fox bristle brushes, but they are pricey and still not commonplace.

This brush is 13000 YEN and available HERE.

Chikuhodo FO-2

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

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

Although this brush is intended for foundation, I don’t want to take the chance of ruining the bristles from my liquid foundations (I don’t use powder or cream foundations), so I will not be using it for that purpose. This is my absolute favorite brush to use with my Dior Powder-No-Powder and this is overall easily my favorite flat top brush in my collection.

This brush is 11000 YEN and available HERE.

Chikuhodo FO-3 Cheek Brush

  • Full Length: 150mm / 5.9 in
  • Hair Length: 40mm / 1.58 in
  • Hair Width: *35mm / 1.38 in
  • Bristle Type: Silver Fox
  • Handle: Maple Wood
  • Ferrule: Aluminum

After washing my Chikuhodo FO-3 and using a brush guard, it dried a bit misshapen. So, I rewet it (without cleanser) and let it dry upside down freely. I love the way it fluffed up naturally into the perfect shape for me. A brush with silver fox is the one time when I actually want my brush to be a little fluffy and rounded, especially for blush. As for brush guards, I rarely use them anyway. I prefer the aloe vera method which I describe in greater detail under the Wayne Goss 00 Original Holiday Brush section.

The FO-3 brush is very similar in size to the Chikuhodo Z-8. The bristles have incredible spring to it. When bounced on the palm, I can feel the spring back. It is not perfectly rounded, but applies as though it is. I don’t have any other blush brush that tops this, especially for use on pigmented blushes to ensure I won’t overapply the product. There are only two other blush brushes I like just as much (Chikuhodo T-4 and Sonia G Cheek Pro). I am so happy! It’s not too small and also not flat the way the majority of Japanese blush brushes are made due to the preferred technique of sweeping blush rather than patting and buffing. For about a year, this was my favorite brush in my entire collection!

This brush is 10500 YEN and available HERE.

Chikuhodo FO-5 Eye Shadow Brush

  • Full Length: 130mm / 5.1 in
  • Hair Length: 20mm / 0.8 in
  • Hair Width: *15mm / 0.6 in
  • Bristle Type: Silver Fox
  • Handle: Maple Wood
  • Ferrule: Aluminum

Because this brush doesn’t fluff out, and is more compacted, it feels differently than the others on the skin. The rounded tip is where it feels the softest, but I would have to use it in my crease to get the full enjoyment of the way it feels while applying product to my skin. Because of the size, I bought this for the purpose of setting my undereye (which works decently) or doing a one-and-done shadow application (which is nice). It works fairly well to blend out a subtle nose contour. I probably should have skipped getting this brush, but my curiosity wouldn’t rest until I could test it out for myself. There are two other eye brushes that I did not purchase because the shapes of them are the type of eye brushes I don’t use often.

This brush is 3200 YEN and available HERE.

Chikuhodo Z-1 Powder Brush

  • Full Length: 160mm / 6.3 in
  • Hair Length: 45mm / 1.77 in
  • Hair Width: 20mm / 0.8 in
  • Bristle Type: Grey Squirrel

From photos on the websites, I didn’t realize this brush was a fully round shape, as is my preference. I’m glad I watched several videos online before purchasing, as it stopped me from getting the wrong one! I learned that the difference between the Z-1 and Z-9 is that this brush is round whereas the Z-9 more closely resembles the heads on the Makie Series. 5 out of 7 of the Chikuhodo brushes in this post were purchased from CDJapan because they offer free shipping on brushes over 12000 yen and the listed price is less expensive than Beautylish, even with Paypal’s conversion rate. Fude Japan and Visage sometimes have their brushes priced the same or lower, but during the pandemic, the cost to ship was too expensive (or they didn’t ship at all). With CDJapan, I also purchased when they offered a discount code and was also able to use accrued points to make the purchases as cost-effective as possible.
This brush is great to use when you want to quickly cover a large surface area with powder products. However, because this brush is denser than the MK-KO and FO-3, I really enjoy using this for blushes that are harder pressed. It’s my second favorite brush to use for blush because of the head shape and how soft it is.

This brush is 19000 YEN and available HERE.

Chikuhodo Z-8 Cheek Brush

  • Full Length: 160mm / 6.3 in
  • Hair Length: 40mm / 1.6 in
  • Hair Width: 18mm / 0.7 in
  • Bristle Type: Grey Squirrel

I bought this brush pre-owned, and it does have a flaw (a portion of the bristles that were cut for some reason), but it surprisingly has not interfered with the integrity or performance. This brush is fairly round and not quite dense enough to be a true buffing brush, yet I do find I can buff reasonably well and I am not just restricted to sweeping blush onto my cheeks. I also really enjoy using this brush to apply bronzer. It doesn’t need saying, but as with all my grey squirrel brushes, the bristles are unbelievably soft.

I plan to purchase another one at some point, but this time from CDJapan. I want to experience the perfection that is the Z-8, but the way it was intended with whole and exquisitely shaped bristles.

This brush is 12000 YEN and available HERE.

Chikuhodo Z-3

  • Full Length: 130mm / 5.1 in
  • Hair Length: 15mm / 0.6 in
  • Hair Width: 19mm / 0.75 in
  • Bristle Type: Grey Squirrel

I specifically remember that when I bought this brush, the Z-series brushes from Chikuhodo were listed as grey squirrel on Beautylish’s website. They now say blue. From what I could find, it is only Koyudo squirrel hair brushes that are listed as grey on their website now.* I’m not sure if that was the company’s decision or if Beautylish wanted to differentiate between Chikuhodo and Koyudo, since Koyudo is generally less expensive among the comparably sized brushes. Other retailers like CDJapan and Fude Beauty still have the Z-series listed as grey squirrel as well.

*The change to “blue” was in 2020, but it’s back to “grey” as of 2022.

This is known as a contour brush, and I do exclusively use this brush for that purpose. Even though blue/grey squirrel is known for lighter applications, the fact that this brush is so dense means that I still have to be careful not to over-apply. However, the flat-top shape allows me to buff the product into my skin very well. I don’t use flat tops very often. Here are some others in my collection to compare, although there’s only one somewhat similar in head size.

It always bothered me that the ferrule of my brush was slightly misaligned and not completely flush with the handle. It didn’t impact the performance, so I just dealt with it. This was the first Chikuhodo brush I ever purchased back in January 2016, so I thought the high quality everyone mentioned about the brand’s handmade brushes was an exaggeration. It honestly kept me from wanting to purchase anymore at the time considering the expense, but now that I’ve experienced so many other brushes from them, I realized that this is absolutely not the norm and I should have emailed Beautylish since this kind of flaw is something Chikuhodo would never have wanted to end up in the hands of the consumer (unless listed as an Outlet brush). They have the reputation of being among the world’s best, and this brush did not reflect that. The flaw bothered me enough that I ended up selling this brush to someone else in 2021. I considered purchasing a new one, as I’m certain this kind of mistake from Beautylish or any other retailer would not happen again, but the Chikuhodo FO-2 is so much better suited to my style of makeup application that I’m just going to stick with using that one. In fact, the FO-2 is the reason I finally had the will to let go of the Z-3.

This brush is 5500 YEN and available HERE.

Chikuhodo E-4 Nose Contouring

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

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

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

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

This brush is 2200 YEN and available HERE.

Chikuhodo R-S1/RR-S1

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

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

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

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

This brush is 1800 YEN and available HERE.


Koyudo is another OEM that has made brushes for Kihitsu and even CDJapan’s CB line. I used to be uninterested in this brand because the majority of their brushes were not my style, but as the years have gone on I’ve bought quite a few that are beloved in my collection. A fantastic article on the brand’s beginnings, dedication to their craft, and the thought process that goes into their products can be found here. The company has a long and rich history which I have grown to respect, and they are one of the brands I always eagerly await seeing what they will produce next, even if I don’t end up purchasing them myself.

Koyudo BP Series BP018 Blush Brush

  • Full Length: 162mm / 6.4 in
  • Hair Length: 37mm / 1.46 in
  • Hair Width: *25mm / 1 in
  • Bristle Type: Grey Squirrel

Unfortunately, I had to return this as it was not the shape and size I expected. It’s barely bigger than my Wayne Goss Air-Brush (yet twice the price), and at this size, I would never think to apply blush with it. The Chikuhodo Z-8 is the smallest blush brush I would enjoy and this is smaller in width and thickness than that one. The BP018 is beautiful, with a nice weighted handle and such silky soft bristles, but I know it would never get used if I kept it. It costs too much to go unused. I thought I did enough research prior to purchasing, but apparently, it was not enough. So, I photographed all the brush comparisons I could think of before returning it to Beautylish.

Koyudo BP Series BP017 Blush Brush

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

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

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

Also, something about these bristles don’t respond as well to my aloe vera method. It’s the first time I’ve come across that being an issue, so I thought I should mention that. A brush guard works just fine.

I believe this brush has since been discontinued, along with many brushes in Koyudo’s BP line. I am happy that I ended up buying a backup brush before that happened.

Koyudo Somell Garden Bluberry x Walnut Highlighting Brush

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

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

The softness degree is 6 out of 10 on the website, which is still quite nice. I would say anyone looking for a non-scratchy brush should aim for 6 and up.

This brush is 3300 YEN and available HERE.

Koyudo Saikoho Powder Brush [OUTLET]

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

Saikoho goat hair at this size for that price ($54 instead of $78) is a fantastic deal! It’s so large that the only product I’d use to apply with this is powder all over my face. My favorite use though is as an all-over finishing buffing brush because it’s fairly dense with durable enough bristles to sustain me using it a little rougher. CDJapan occasionally has outlet brushes for sale, which means there is a small flaw. I have been unable to detect any issues with this brush, which gives me confidence in purchasing more outlet brushes in the future.
Although I don’t own the Rephr 30 brush, I believe this may be identical in shape to that one. Also, although I haven’t found this brush available for sale individually, I believe it is part of a fantastically priced set.

Wayne Goss

Wayne Goss is a makeup artist, YouTuber, and has an exclusive brush line sold through Beautylish. In 2020, he released a lip collection to launch his cosmetics brand. As I mention in the Hakuhodo section, it was rumored that they make Wayne Goss brushes. If that is indeed the case, I would recommend US purchasers of Hakuhodo to buy the WG equivalents from Beautylish wherever possible because his range is either the same price or cheaper when you factor free shipping over $35. Plus, the quality of his brushes is right up there with the other Fude makeup brush brands.

WG Holiday Brush 2019

  • Full Length: *185mm / 7.3 in
  • Hair Length: *60mm / 2.4 in
  • Hair Width: *65mm / 2.6 in
  • Bristle Type: Goat

This fan brush is enormous! The closest comparison to it that I have is the BH Cosmetics All Over Fan Brush 1. Despite the BH one being soft, the bristles are so flimsy and they don’t move in the same uniform direction while being used. It’s not as dense as the BH brush, but it performs way better.

I’ve used this brush to apply bronzer and highlighter. It’s surprisingly not too large to do that, as the pan size limits how much of the surface area of the brush get covered with the product. This means I can still apply highlighter with precision. And for bronzer, by dipping the center of the brush into the powder, once I apply it to the perimeter of my face, I can brush back and forth so that the bristles simultaneously blend without adding additional powder. I’ve also used this to blend out blush and contour (though not apply with them). This also makes a great finishing brush.

The only brush in my collection that’s larger than this is my Becca The One Perfecting Brush. The Becca brush is made of goat hair too, but it is much rougher to the touch and definitely a lower grade of goat hair. I believe the Wayne Goss brush has Sokoho goat hair based on how soft it is, while also factoring the price. I would like to say I get a lot of use out of this brush nowadays, but I don’t. It’s mostly around as a collector’s item now, but I’m still happy to have it.

WG 00 Powder Brush (Original Dyed Goat Hair Holiday Brush)

I purchased mine from a Third Party Seller. My brush doesn’t completely match the specifications on the site, as is normal with older brushes when hair is more abundant than other years, so I used Temptalia’s measurements based on her original review, which does match mine. When I received this brush it was considerably puffed out, which I reshaped later. I use 99% aloe vera gel (I couldn’t get 100% at the time) to shape them after being wet. I learned the trick from Tarababyz. It’s great because brush guards are only really meant for specific brush shapes. The brush guard didn’t work well enough on this brush and I felt it needed to be reconditioned anyway (I use facial oil or almond or sunflower seed oil mixed with a good cleanser) so I rewashed it using my reconditioning method, then added a small amount of aloe vera gel just on the outsides. Then I cracked it loose of the gel the next day and it was perfect! I’ve been using this method for several years and have not had any issues with it, though I would always say use caution when trying out new tricks. If you want to test it, try it on a brush you like the least.

For example, this is how the Wayne Goss Holiday 2019 brush arrived with the outer sections bent like that. But from the other photos you see of this brush, they’re straightened out due to the aloe vera method.
  • Full Length: *175mm / 6.9 in
  • Hair Length: 44mm – *50mm / 1.7 – 1.97 in
  • Hair Width: 20mm – *25mm / 0.8 – 1 in
  • Bristle Type: Goat

WG Air-Brush

  • Full Length: 170mm /6.7 in
  • Hair Length: 37.5mm / 1.5 in
  • Hair Width: *25mm / 1 in
  • Bristle Type: Blue Squirrel

This was my absolute favorite highlighter brush for years, though I also liked to use it to lightly set concealer with powder under my eyes before discovering the Real Techniques Setting Brush. It was also my favorite brush to lightly sweep bronzer precisely around the perimeter of my face. It’s the perfect thickness and even though the bristles are very soft, they’re still able to pick up harder pressed powders such as the Nabla Skin Glazing Highlighters. I bought it for $35, but in 2021 the price was raised to $45.

WG 15 Fan Brush

  • Full Length: *166mm / 6.54 in
  • Hair Length: *35mm / 1.38 in
  • Hair Width: *55mm / 2.17 in
  • Bristle Type: Goat

This dyed goat hair version of the brush is discontinued, though they sell the white undyed version now. I got rid of many other fan brushes because they couldn’t compete with this one. I’ve discussed it before on this blog, but I love how thick it is because the top portion picks up the perfect amount of highlighter. It’s also great for dusting away excess powder if you like to bake under the eyes.

I used to consider this a big fan brush, but compared to the Wayne Goss Holiday 2019 Brush, this is so much smaller!

WG 06 Eye Shadow Blending Brush

  • Full Length: 145mm /*150mm / 5.9 in
  • Hair Length: 15mm / 0.6 in
  • Hair Width: *10mm / 0.4 in
  • Bristle Type: Blue Squirrel

I used this brush off and on throughout the years when I’ve just wanted a light wash of color on my lids. Now that I have similar shaped brushes through Sonia G, this brush gets even less love. I still do like it and it has its place, albeit limited, in my collection.

WG 19 Eye Shadow Precision Blending Brush

  • Full Length: *154mm / 6.06 in
  • Hair Length: *16mm / 0.63 in
  • Hair Width: *8mm / 0.31 in
  • Bristle Type: Goat

This brush has a similar head shape and dimensions as the Hakuhodo J146, so I use it for the same purpose of precision blending.

WG 08 Eyeliner Brush

  • Full Length: 130mm / 5.12 in
  • Hair Length: 2mm / 0.08 in
  • Hair Width: *4mm / 0.16 in
  • Bristle Type: Listed as “Natural” with no specifics. It does not feel like Water Badger, so I’m unsure which of the more water-resistant natural hairs this could be. Perhaps sable, tree squirrel, or Yano goat (tail). I’m leaning towards sable of some kind.

This brush is so useful for stamping on a super-thin line across the lid or to use in my waterline. It’s the smallest brush that I own and it affords me the most control. It is also much softer than the Wayne Goss 21 eyebrow brush, which also adds to the comfort of using this brush in such a sensitive area as the eye.

WG Brow Set $55 (Purchased discounted from someone’s Lucky Bag)

WG 21 Eyebrow Brush Out of the set, I get the most use out of this brush. It works very well, but it’s a bit bigger than I prefer. All my other angled brow/liner brushes are smaller, so I have to be careful using this. Also, water badger hair isn’t all that soft. Just forewarning, since natural hair brushes are usually associated with softness. This brush is stiff.

  • Full Length: 140mm / 5.5 in
  • Hair Length: 4mm / 0.2 in
  • Hair Width: *10mm / 0.4 in
  • Bristle Type: Water Badger

WG 22 Dual Ended Brow Brush I’ve only used this tool a few times. I like the fact that this has natural bristles when all other tools of this style that I’ve seen are made of synthetic material. Because the brush portion is also made with water badger hair, it’s stiff but not as hard as synthetic ones I’ve had in the past. It’s fantastic if you have a need for this type of brush. However, I do not.

  • Full Length: 155mm / 6.1 in
  • Hair Length: 23mm / 0.9 in
  • Hair Width: *25mm / 1 in
  • Bristle Type: Water Badger

WG 23 Spoolie Brush $12. I prefer using brow products that already have a spoolie attached. I don’t notice any difference among spoolies. They all feel the same to me, so I don’t see this as being anything special, especially for $12.

  • Full Length: 153mm / 6 in
  • Hair Length: 23mm / 0.9 in
  • Hair Width: not applicable
  • Bristle Type: Synthetic

Wayne Goss The Artist Large

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

I purchased this brush from a reseller, as I did not want to buy the full Artist Collection set. This brush is way more useful than I thought! It almost surpassed the Wayne Goss Air Brush as one of my favorite bronzer brushes.

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

I have to note, though, that there are a few strands within this brush that feel a little sharp. I can’t feel it when I touch the brush with my fingers, but I feel it on my face when I move the brush back and forth to blend. I’m guessing a few bristles of rougher goat hair was accidentally mixed into this Saikoho-Squirrel bundle. I’m not sure how else to explain it, but I still really like this brush.

Sonia G

Sonia G is an avid brush collector and is considered an authority on makeup brushes because of the wealth of knowledge she has shared on her Sweet Makeup Temptations blog. I discovered that she is a great source for comparing brush sizes while doing my own research to try and figure out which brushes from her line I wanted to purchase. Her series’ of brushes are a combination of traditional and innovative shapes. It’s astounding how the slightest tweaks between her brushes and others regarding their shape or bundling can make such a difference in performance. Her eye brushes in particular have surpassed all other brands’ brushes for the top spots in my collection. My favorite hair type in her line are actually the dyed Saikoho goat bristles. The feel of them and the product pickup ability is fantastic! Chikuhodo is my favorite brand, followed closely by Sonia G.

Sonia G Mini Booster

  • Full Length: 154mm / 6.06 in
  • Hair Length: 14mm / 0.55 in
  • Hair Width: *6mm / 0.24 in
  • Bristle Type: Brown Saikoho Goat

I use this brush as often as my Hakuhodo J5529 though I like this one more. This brush is a little softer (due to the type of goat hair), and therefore more expensive, but I don’t notice a difference in performance. I love how small this is for precision work and it is described as a miniature version of the blender pro.

Sonia G Builder Three

  • Full Length: 150mm / 5.9 in
  • Hair Length: 10mm / 0.4 in
  • Hair Width: *10mm / 0.4 in
  • Bristle Type: Dyed Saikoho Goat

I’ve never really liked this shape of packing brush until I started using this one. It’s the only one I’ve used that I noticed actually performs differently—performs better. It came from my 2020 Beautylish Lucky Bag. Loving this one so much prompted my need to buy more! I could do an entire eye look using this brush alone if I really wanted.

Sonia G Worker Three

  • Full Length: 154mm / 6.06 in
  • Hair Length: 14mm / 0.55 in
  • Hair Width: *12mm / 0.47 in
  • Bristle Type: Saikoho Goat

This reminds me of the Hakuhodo J5523, but it’s a bit fluffier. It works well to pack on eyeshadow but I sometimes use it in the crease as well to apply and blend transition shades. Among all my Sonia G eye brushes, I get the least use out of this one. I tend to just use my multi-tasking eye brushes to complete a look.

Sonia G Worker Pro

  • Full Length: 154mm / 6.06 in
  • Hair Length: 14mm / 0.55 in
  • Hair Width: *9mm / 0.35 in
  • Bristle Type: Saikoho Goat

Whenever I see this brush, I instantly think of yet another packing brush. It is a smaller and slightly thinner version of the Worker Three. Because I have so many other brushes to apply color to my lid or use in the crease, this brush ends up being used to blend my brow highlight with the transition or crease shade. When a beauty guru says to, “Take a clean brush with no additional product on it to blend,” it ends up being either this brush or a different fluffy one from my collection.

Sonia G Blender Pro

  • Full Length: 158mm / 6.22 in
  • Hair Length: 18mm / 0.7 in
  • Hair Width: *9mm / 0.35 in
  • Bristle Type: Dyed Saikoho Goat

This blending brush has a pointed tip, which prevents it from feeling as soft on the eye, even though it is soft when I touch it with my fingers. It is on the larger side of eyeshadow brushes, but the pointy tip allows for a little precision, though not as much as the other brushes I use in the crease. What this brush is great for is blending out harsh edges. The point allows concentrated pressure onto the line, without blending too much of the color away.

Sonia G Jumbo Blender

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

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

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


There are so many more unique styles of brushes that I don’t own. As much as I love brushes, I thankfully don’t feel the urge to buy complete sets. Japanese brushes are truly amazing, and I don’t think any of them are bad. It all comes down to preferences of how the individual likes to apply makeup.

Thank you for reading!