Fude Collection Part 5

Welcome, lovers of Japanese brushes! If this is your first time visiting, I’d like you to know that I have a page that’s accessible on the left menu bar with 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. For cell phone users, this page is visible by clicking on Navigation. If this is not your first time here, welcome back!

Regarding my measurements, “hair width” is measured from the widest part, regardless of the overall brush shape. I don’t measure thickness.
In some cases, I included widths in a range. This means I happened to measure it prior to washing the brush and the second number is what it bloomed to in size post-wash. 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.

With costs of materials ever increasing and supply of certain hair types being harder to acquire, brush prices also increase. So, the prices I’ve listed might not reflect what is current, though I will do my best to keep them updated.

*DISCLAIMER: To those who have been using my affiliate link to shop from CDJapan, thank you so much! The commission from that was used to pay for one of the brushes in this post. Otherwise, all other brushes discussed today were purchased by me with my own money. Non-highlighted 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 purchases are made directly using my link. Whether you click to shop through them or not, I appreciate you visiting and I hope you find the information I’ve provided to be helpful!


The Mizuho OEM been around since the 1970’s with its company located in the Kumano area. It was originally part of the calligraphy world, which is why they say they have “180 years of history and experience.” Their focus is on simple brush designs with high performance and functionality of their makeup brushes, cleansing brushes, water color paint brushes, nail brushes, and more. Besides their own line of brushes, like their flagship MB series and others, they are the manufacturers of Shaquda brushes. Additional information on the brand can be found here (including a fantastic video seeing the full brush making process) and here.

Mizuho MB114 Highlighter Brush

  • Full Length: 169mm / 6.65 in
  • Hair Length: 38mm / 1.5 in
  • Hair Width: *21mm / 0.83 in
  • Bristle Type: Pine Squirrel / Pony

I’m not the biggest fan of pony or horse hair in my brushes, but I was surprised that this combination of hair was softer than I expected. It’s good at picking up some harder pressed highlighters, such as baked gelee formulas, but I would caution against using it with loose highlighters or softer pressed ones because my issue with this brush is the size. Despite having angles and what seems like a thin section along the side, I very often apply too much highlighter in a wider stripe than I want. It’s not so bad with highlighters that blend out easily, but if I’m wearing the kind that wants to stick where it is placed, I have to switch to a stronger blending brush or apply blush back over the top of the section where it got too low onto my cheeks. This is because the more the brush is used between washes, the wider it fluffs out. I guess this could also be remedied if kept in a brush guard, but I generally don’t use those with non-round brushes. Perhaps I should eventually give it a try.

I tend to apply it along the edge horizontally and then turn the brush vertically to blend it out with that same edge (after wiping off the excess onto a microfiber towel). I do like this brush, and have been using it quite a bit, but only if it’s within reach and my favorites are elsewhere. Those with small faces or are heavy-handed might want to be careful about placement and which highlighters to use with this brush.

This brush is 4800 YEN and available here.

Mizuho MB123 Eye Shadow Brush

  • Full Length: 136mm / 5.35 in
  • Hair Length: 10.5mm / 0.41 in
  • Hair Width: *10mm / 0.39 in
  • Bristle Type: Pine Squirrel

I never expected to use this brush as much as I do, but it’s fantastic at picking up eyeshadows and packing them on, is tapered enough at the tips so that I can even use this to deposit and blend out color on my lower lash line, but I can also turn it on its side and blend out the edges of my shadows in the crease as well. I use it in the same way as the Sonia G Builder Three and Builder Pro, but the pine squirrel bristles give it a different feel. What I like about those Sonia G brushes is that they’re tightly packed, so I can have strong buff and blending power but with it still feeling soft on the skin. With this brush, it’s dense but still flexible. It doesn’t have the blending strength as the Sonia Brushes, but because of the way it picks up and disperses the shadows, it doesn’t require a heavy amount of blending to begin with. Of course, this is the case with good to high quality eyeshadows. If I’m using the type of shadow that sticks to the spot its applied on first, this brush applying things heavily but a little more dispersed isn’t going to matter with an eyeshadow that’s tougher to blend. The few times I was able to notice this was when using pressed pigments from brands that are inconsistent with their quality. So, it’s only because I’m always testing new palettes that I ran into a few eyeshadow duds with the brush. In my personal time, I only use eyeshadows I like, and most palettes I buy are good quality and higher. So, this is rarely an issue.
I really like this brush and it has become one of the four main packing eyeshadow brushes I use with every eye look. This has been the case for about ten months now!

This brush is 2500 YEN and available here.

Mizuho MB125 Blending Brush

  • Full Length: 130mm / 5.1 in
  • Hair Length: 13.5mm / 0.53 in
  • Hair Width: *9mm / 0.35 in
  • Bristle Type: Gray Squirrel

I bought this brush because I thought it was fully round and wondered if it would be comparable to the Chikuhodo Z-11. The only similarity is the hair type, which admittedly the Chikuhodo brush hair is slightly softer. However, I get a stronger blend with this brush than the Z-11, which is why I like this one much more. This is the most used squirrel eye brush in my collection (besides the MB123), even more than my Houkodou GS-1 and GS-2. It’s because the shape is a combination of a blending brush with the length of bristle and tapered tip, with the width of a packing brush like the Sonia G Builder Pro. However, this preference may change once I start using the Sonia G Keyaki Trio with the Canadian Squirrel hair. I still need to test those out after my long trip ends.

If I have an eyeshadow that I want to pack into my crease, but have it dispersed thinly (but also opaquely and more than a “wash of color”), this is the brush I like to use. I also tend to use it with my starting eyeshadow that transitions into the crease, in addition to highlighting under my eyebrow arch. So, even though I don’t consider this a workhorse brush, which tend to be my favorites, I get quite a bit of use out of this brush for other aspects of my eyeshadow looks. This brush works best with drier formulas like dry shimmers, satins, and mattes. I don’t recommend using it to try and pack on shimmers (the MB123 is better for that), especially these wetter dimethicone heavy shimmers that are growing even more popular these days.

And then just for size comparison, here is the brush next to the Houkodou GS-2. I personally have found this Mizuho brush to be more useful due to the shape and recommend this one over the GS-2.

This brush is 2800 YEN and available here.

Mizuho MB120 Large Eye Shadow Brush

  • Full Length: 146mm / 5.75 in
  • Hair Length: 20mm / 0.79 in
  • Hair Width: *15mm / 0.59 in
  • Bristle Type: Pine Squirrel

This is a last minute addition to the post in the sense that it’s on the relatively newer side, but I’m including it here since this is likely the last Mizuho brush I’ll be buying unless they release something new. I set out to try this brand, and I feel like I’ve gotten to do that with the eye brushes at least.

I’m not sure if it’s just that the hairs are longer, but the pine squirrel hair in this brush is the softest pine squirrel in my collection. The MB123 is surprisingly soft too, but as a packing brush that one is tighter packed and bound to effect how it feels. However, despite this one certainly not being floppy, I’m able to feel the quality of the hair and I’m very impressed. I recommend trying at least one pure pine squirrel brush from this brand.

Considering this is a gigantic eye brush, I’m surprised how much I like it. The shape of it aids in precise application despite its size. I can sweep on eyeshadow using the widest part and it picks up quite a bit of product, but I can also apply and blend shadows on the tips, moving the brush side to side. I usually only use large eyeshadow brushes with matte products, but considering the point the brush comes to, I’ve been able to apply shimmers to my lids without too much fallout.

In addition to using this with eyeshadows, it also doubles as a small highlighter brush! I’ve liked the results I got for that purpose with this brush.

Within my collection the closest similarity I can think to compare it to is the Houkodou GS-1. I really like that brush as well, but I prefer this shape and it deposits a little more eyeshadow. This may be a downside for those who like a wash of color, but with my skin tone, the more the better.

This brush is 3500 YEN and available here.


All of my limited edition handle Hakuhodo brushes were purchased from Fude Japan, the only place that I know that has them available. I’ve placed multiple orders from them by now with no issues in terms of products arriving to me. There have been a few instances where I didn’t realize a certain brush was on the website or a new one was added before my order shipped, and Toshiya of Fude Japan had been kind enough to make a separate invoice for me so I could combine the orders. The timing of when I order tends to take about two weeks to ship. He mentions on his blog, if I remember correctly, that he goes to the Hakuhodo shop on Saturday and what’s in the shop can be picked up but brushes that have to be sent over from the main factory can take a week or more. It can also take extra time if a lot of people are ordering at the same time. Right before the Hakuhodo price increase, I believe it took nearly a month to ship out. So, for those impatient, this is something to consider if you want a brush that’s available at multiple other websites. However, I’ve always felt it was worth getting these special ones I can’t get elsewhere, including having to absorb that shipping cost.

Hakuhodo S113 Highlighter Brush Round & Flat

  • Full Length: 174.5mm / 6.87 in
  • Hair Length: 31.5mm / 1.24 in
  • Hair Width: *25mm / 0.98 in
  • Bristle Type: Goat
  • Handle: Wood
  • Ferrule: 24-karat gold plated brass with clear coating

This is actually a momentous occasion because at the start of my dive into the fude world, it was my dream to one day own a Hakuhodo S100 flagship series brush. I’ve always credited Wayne Goss for starting my obsession with Japanese fude, because when he first mentioned the brushes he would be making, other people hinted at Hakuhodo being the actual brushmakers. When I browsed Hakuhodo’s US website and noticed they had some less expensive dupes in their own line (at the time), that is what sparked my interest in learning more about them. My first ever fude purchase was with Hakuhodo at the end of 2014, followed by some of Wayne’s brushes a few weeks later. However, my interest in Hakuhodo specifically and those vermilion handles can be attributed to Tati Westbrook who used and loved the S100 series. I could never justify spending more for the special handle, 24 karat gold plated ferrule, and blue squirrel hair when I could spend significantly less to keep the hair and ferrule but get the black handle S100Bk version instead. Even the S100Bk I couldn’t justify when I could lose the ferrule, switch to goat, and get an even more affordable B series version. There’s a synthetic i-series too, but I’d rather get a synthetic fiber brush elsewhere.

I just couldn’t wrap my head around paying face brush prices for eye brushes, and at the time I was definitely unwilling to spend so much on the S100 face brushes, so I thought, “Maybe one day.” As the years went on, the brushes only got more expensive and I didn’t think I would ever be able to justify having one until Fude Japan had this S100 brush listed at the S100bk price at $59! I figured this was my chance after nearly eight years of pining for at least one of these vermilion brushes! I’m glad I did because after the 2022 price increase, the brush is now $97 on the Hakuhodo USA website.

One thing I have heard about the downside to the vermilion handles and the slanted handle edge is that the paint chips easily. This is something I will have to keep my eye out for when using this brush. So far, I’ve been careful and haven’t noticed any issues since my purchase about a year ago. Admittedly, I don’t use this brush that often though because it’s precious to me. Also, I think keeping this brush in a cup with other brushes could increase the chance of it chipping. Most of the time, I keep it in the silicone makeup brush holder/stand like this for example.

I’ve used this brush for highlighter purposes, and it’s fine, but I have other shapes I like better. My preferred usage for this brush is either precision bronzing (especially with a bronzer that’s a bit dark for me, so I can apply it lightly and carefully) or for setting my under eyes with powder. It nicely fits the contours under my eyes. I still have a preferred brush for that purpose (the Real Techniques Setting Brush), but this is leaps and bounds softer. I’m not surprised that these are the two ways I like to use this brush considering it’s the same for the Wayne Goss Air Brush, which reminds me of this one. I took comparison photos below.

Hakuhodo S110 Blush Brush Round & Flat

  • Full Length: 175mm / 6.89 in
  • Hair Length: 38mm / 1.5 in
  • Hair Width: *36mm / 1.42 in
  • Bristle Type: Goat
  • Handle: Wood
  • Ferrule: 24-karat gold plated brass with clear coating

I was content to have my newly acquired S113 be my only flagship brush, however, seeing the S110 for sale on the private account fude_sale_page on Instagram changed my mind. As I started to watch more videos of fude lovers ranking the B110 as their favorite blush brush and it being a staple brush from the brand, I started to regret not buying it. Of course, it’s a bit of a risk to make a brush purchase outside of a retailer site or official selling app, but it worked out for me and I was able to get this beautiful S110 at nearly the same price as the B110BkSL was (in 2022).

Even after the price increase, I ended up ordering the Hakuhodo J110 September ’22 Limited Edition Red Handle Blush Brush from Fude Japan. Since the specs and performance are supposed to be the same, it isn’t necessary to give this version of the brush a separate review, but I thought I would at least include some photos of it.

Also, for size reference, the rephr 05 blush brush is similar in size and shape to the the Hakuhodo S110.

I also purchased the Hakuhodo J5523 September ’22 Limited Edition Blue Handle Eyeshadow Brush, which is another one I reviewed in my original Fude post, so I don’t think it’s necessary to review again. However, I thought I would include photos of this one also.

Back to the J110, I still use it and it’s a great shape, but because the one I specifically use is pre-owned, I think it’s just not bundled as tightly as it used to be when it was newer. I always keep my rephr brushes in brush guards or aloe sealed to keep them dense because that’s how I prefer to use brushes of this shape and they’d be perfect for me if they were easier to keep dense and not so airy. Even my Hakuhodo travel Hello Kitty brush gives me similar blush results as this one, so I definitely don’t need to buy any more of them.

Hakuhodo F6210 (April ’22 Limited Edition Mint Handle)

  • Full Length: 168mm / 6.6 in
  • Hair Length: 28mm / 1.1 in
  • Hair Width: *36-42mm / 1.41- 1.65 in
  • Bristle Type: Goat and Synthetic

Although I still prefer my Wayne Goss 15 (discontinued) fan brush because of the flat wedge formed via the tips, I’ve grown to really like this brush! I have several highlighter products now that include thin strips that are tough for any other of my highlighter brushes to pick up solo without mixing with the other shades next to it (like the Bobbi Brown Brightening Blush with the two shimmery strips and the Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Multi Glow Highlighter). So, this brush is quite convenient. Completely opposite to the Mizuho highlighter brush I mentioned earlier, this one gives me the upmost precision. I don’t use it to pick up hard pressed highlighters, but medium and lighter go great with this one. Even wetter highlighters like the Charlotte Tilbury Glow Glide Face Architect highlighter works well because this is combined with synthetic bristles, which I wasn’t happy about at first, but this brush works well with so many formulas, is a great shape, is soft, and easier to clean. So, I’ve come around on the synthetic and goat mix. I can blend in the highlighter pretty well with this brush and although I personally don’t use the baking technique, this would be a good one to dust away excess powder.

Hakuhodo S4001 (April ’22 Limited Edition Green Handle)

  • Full Length: 180mm / 7.09 in
  • Hair Length: 40mm / 1.57 in
  • Hair Width: *33mm / 1.3 in
  • Bristle Type: Goat and Synthetic

We can’t love everything we buy, and this happens to be one of those situations. I have tried to use this brush in so many ways with so many products and I haven’t found a single one that I like this for. The ends are pokey (though not sharp, just the bunches that are packed together are able to be felt when the tips bend from pressure onto the skin), which I don’t like. Using foundation with it is streaky. Cream bronzers don’t blend well enough. Powder bronzers work better, but don’t give me the airbrushed effect that I like. Cream and powder blushes look patchy. I lowkey hate this brush, but I’ve always strongly disliked duo fibre stippling brushes. I hoped this one being from Hakuhodo would change my mind, and I honestly bought it for the gorgeous handle. I wish it could have been more functional though.

This photo shows my other peeve with the brush. I use foundations that tend to be either thick liquids or runny ones. The amount of product “absorbed” by the brush with the runnier ones is excessive in my opinion. I don’t easily go through foundations, so product wasted in my makeup tools doesn’t bother me as much as the thought of how dirty this gets. A simple wiping of the brush onto a microfiber towel isn’t going to cut it. That much above from just one use is a lot.

Hakuhodo J6070 (Jan ’22 Limited Edition Pink Handle)

  • Full Length: 165mm / 6.5 in
  • Hair Length: 30mm / 1.18 in
  • Hair Width: *15-20mm / 0.59- 0.79 in
  • Bristle Type: Goat and Synthetic

I consider this a stippling highlighter brush because these hairs are not uniform and have that stippling feel to them, while still being soft. I actually love this one because of the slant. Any of my highlighters that need to be blended out to make them sheerer or subtler is great with this brush because of the way it hugs the curve of my cheekbones and have both firm and softer bristles (softer in the area of hair that splays outside the circumference of the ferrule) that buff out the highlighter without disturbing the makeup underneath. It’s also dispersed a little more widespread as well because of the spread out angled length, which I apply along my cheekbone with that angled side. When I’ve been in a hurry, I’ve also used this brush to set powder under my eyes. The thinner tips bend to fit in the corners, although it can feel a bit pokey due to this specific shape when used that way. For highlighter though, I’ve grown even more fascinated with the Kebi style, so when I see other limited edition handle brushes with this shape, I’m automatically tempted. I’m just not sure if I will like them as much as this when the ones I’ve seen are even longer and look either more dense or less dense. I would certainly be interested in this same brush in an even more dense version.

Hakuhodo B104 Powder Brush Round (L, Gold Handle)

  • Full Length: 190mm / 7.48 in
  • Hair Length: 50mm / 1.97 in
  • Hair Width: *40-50mm / 1.57 – 1.97 in
  • Bristle Type: Goat

This brush expands a ton after the first wash. When it’s that airy, it’s only really usable for me with loose powders or lightly pressed powders. Something like my Dior Powder no Powder, the one I use most, would be aggravating to try and pick up with a brush like this. It’s one of the largest in my collection, alongside the Chikuhodo FO-9, but even that one is a combination of both airiness and still picking up powders a little easier. Some powder brushes can also be used for blush, but this is much too large for that. Some people love this kind of brush for bronzer, and something lightly pressed could be quite nice for this too, but huge bronzer brushes aren’t what I typically reach for. So, I have very limited uses for this brush. I’m still glad I bought it though to be able to experience a Hakuhodo classic.

Hakuhodo Hello Kitty Slide Face Brush L Round & Flat (70’s) [XB007]

  • Full Length: 144mm / 5.67 in
  • Hair Length: 40mm / 1.57 in
  • Hair Width: *32mm / 1.26 in
  • Bristle Type: Goat and Synthetic
  • Handle: Synthetic Resin/Black

The slide reminded me of the size of the S110. The shapes aren’t quite the same, but it’s the closest comparison I could find.

I wish I could have gotten the Hello Kitty pink handle version, but I couldn’t find it available for purchase. In any case, I’m not usually interested in retractable brushes, but Jaybirdwalking was discussing it in one of her Hakuhodo on-site showroom videos and said the sliding mechanism was actually well made and the brush was versatile. I agree on both counts. When the brush is showing only a small amount of hair, it’s a nice shape for applying highlighter. The fully puffed out version does okay for all-over powdering (and nice with a loosely pressed bronzer), but I like dense brushes a lot, even for face powder. So, I prefer when the slider isn’t all the way down and the hair is compact and a semi-large size for blush purposes. I’ve taken this on trips with me because it’s a nice multi-purpose brush when one doesn’t want to bring many things, but I still have individual powder, blush, bronzer, and highlighter brushes I prefer to this one. This does many jobs adequately, but none that are a particular favorite. So, this brush doesn’t tend to get much use from me except on trips (though not my current one).

Hakuhodo J7012BkSL Fan Brush [H3926]

  • Full Length: 170mm / 6.69 in
  • Hair Length: 30mm / 1.18 in
  • Hair Width: *42mm / 1.65 in
  • Bristle Type: Hog
  • Handle: Wood
  • Ferrule: Nickel-plated brass

I love feeling and owning different types of animal hair brushes, which is why I bought this one from the Hakuhodo USA website. I actually got a phone call from them because of this brush and them wanting to verify that I understood hog hair is very wiry and hard. Some people in the past have been disappointed, expecting every brush to be soft, so they made it a common practice to check in with the customer before the order is fulfilled. I thought that was quite fantastic customer service. I explained that I expected it to be hard, but that I love collecting every type of hair for a brush I can find, but still asked what most people use these brushes for. The woman on the phone said heavy stage makeup (the thick type that gets painted in large areas and not just for the face but the body) as well as body glitter application.

For fun, I tried to use this on my cheeks as a traditional highlighting brush. I will not be doing that again because it really is scratchy. It’s like the world’s softest floor sweeping broom or soft fishing wire or a paintbrush with dried glue on it. It’s thick and coarse, but the scratchiness doesn’t come from sharp tips. The roughness is noticeable on the face, but not as much of an issue on the body.

What I’ve realistically used this brush for, since I don’t wear body makeup, is to take off the top layer of products that are hardpressed or hardpanned. It loosens things up enough that I can then pick up the kicked up product with another brush to apply the product to my face. So, I don’t need to use something like this very often, but it has come in handy several times. I wouldn’t recommend it to the average makeup wearer, just those who would very specifically need a brush like this for the purposes described above.

Comparison between the F6210 and J7012.

Hakuhodo Yachiyo (Traditional Powder Brush) Medium Round [H2384]

  • Full Length: 128mm / 5.04 in
  • Hair Length: 33mm / 1.3 in
  • Hair Width: *22mm / 0.87 in
  • Bristle Type: Goat
  • Handle: Covered with Cane

This is another purchase made for the style rather than function. I wanted something traditional, like the Yachiyo brush from Nars, but I heard that one has scratchy bristles. This Hakuhodo version is soft, though not as soft as the similar head shape of the Chikuhodo T-4.

With the handle being so short and thin, this brush feels so fragile in my hands despite it having taken no damage yet. It just feels like the wrapping could unravel if I grip it too tightly. For that reason, this brush is mainly decorative in my collection, now that I’ve used it enough times to know that I love the shape and construction of the brush head. It’s just a matter of having this same head with a different handle. That I can definitely recommend. And perhaps one that is slightly bigger because it’s quite small even as a cheek brush. For that reason, it’s even smaller than my usual small brushes for bronzer. I recommend it strictly as a blush brush.

I should also note that I purchased the medium handle size (for $39 at the time), but Hakuhodo sells a “large” size too.


Koyudo Gray Squirrel Angled Powder Brush [OUTLET]

  • Full Length: 140mm / 5.51 in
  • Hair Length: 40-45mm / 1.57 – 1.77 in
  • Hair Width: *52mm / 2.05 in
  • Bristle Type: Gray Squirrel

Even though I definitely don’t need anymore powder brushes, I couldn’t resist the thick fluffy look to the brush from the website photo, especially for the price. There were only three or five available at the time that the Koyudo outlet brushes were released on the CDJapan website, so I had to act fast. Unfortunately, it was not as thick or fluffy as the photo example. This is one of the rare times that I received something from the outlet options that wasn’t better than I expected.

On the bright side, it’s quite soft. It’s a pretty looking brush and well constructed. The bristles are on the lighter end of medium density. I haven’t had any shedding from it. It picks up lightly pressed powders fairly well. I like how it evenly distributes product on my face. I’ve tried to use bronzer with it, but it was just okay. I prefer keeping it as a designated powder brush and to use it in a sweeping/dusting motion across the face to get a light even layer of powder foundation or setting powder. Because of the shape, I wouldn’t want to use it with a powder that I would typically buff out. It’s an interesting addition to my collection in terms of shapes, but I really didn’t need it and even though it was a good value for the hair type, I should have skipped it.

Koyudo OUT22-18 Heart Shaped Blush Brush [OUTLET]

  • Full Length: 125mm / 4.9 in
  • Hair Length: 35mm / 1.38 in
  • Hair Width: *40mm / 1.57 in
  • Bristle Type: Goat and PBT

I bought this brush on a whim because I always wanted to have a Koyudo heart shaped brush, which is what I first knew the brand for. I didn’t expect it to actually be functional, but I was even more shocked by the results! I absolutely love using this brush with bronzer! I dip it lightly into the product so that it picks up a little bit of bronzer on both curves of the heart. I then hold the brush against my skin and move the brush left and right with the curves also going in a side to side motion so that both parts are doing double the buffing work one after the other. It picks up the perfect amount of product and builds it up easily. I feel like products go on even smoother with the brush. It was quite the surprise!

This specific brush can be found HERE.

Koyudo Black Blush Brush

  • Full Length: 167mm / 6.57 in
  • Hair Length: 38mm / 1.49 in
  • Hair Width: 24mm / 1.1 in
  • Bristle Type: Goat Hair (Sokoho according to the product description section and not the usual spot on CDJapan’s website)

For one final time, Koyudo restocked the Black Handle series which was originally released in 2013 and then discontinued. I wanted one of the brushes in the collection purely for that reason and it was only natural that I chose a blush brush, which is my favorite fude type to purchase. It’s a decent brush, but nothing particularly special. I prefer round shapes, and this one is more ovular. It’s a bit thick to be using for sweeping, but the tapered tip doesn’t feel intuitive for circular buffing motions. I can still use it either way, but it’s not my favorite. Plus, I wish the hair quality was higher. It’s an okay experience on the cheek, but it’s not what I think to grab when there are plenty of softer ones in my collection that I’d prefer to use on my cheeks for that plush soft application experience.

In the off chance that this brush gets restocked once more, the link to it can be found HERE.

CB White Canadian Squirrel Blush Brush (Red Handle)

  • Full Length: 160mm / 6.3 in
  • Hair Length: 35mm / 1.38 in
  • Hair Width: *28mm / 1.1 in
  • Bristle Type: White Canadian Squirrel

While this is a CDJapan Beauty brand brush, Koyudo is the maker of this brush. I always wanted a White Canadian Squirrel type of brush out of curiosity to see if there really is much difference between this and regular Canadian Squirrel. I feel like this is slightly more resilient than the yellow kind (and more resilient than grey squirrel), but since I don’t have a ton of experience with WC, it’s possible that it’s not always the case and comes down to the batches and supplier.

I’ve used this a few times with blushes and bronzers, but this is honestly a brush I’m not going to get much use out of because the whole special part about it is the rarity of the white tips and I don’t always have the easiest time getting my white brushes back to their pristine color. So, if I use the wrong red blush that stains the hair pink/red or too pigmented of a bronzer for it to turn light brown…I lose the original color and that kind of defeats the purpose of having this hair specifically and I’d have been better off just getting the slightly less expensive Canadian Squirrel. So, my paranoia about it keeps me from using it anymore. This is also why I haven’t explored White Pine Squirrel hair either.

I can say this brush surprisingly worked nicely for blush and bronzer purposes considering this brush isn’t very full, even after being washed, and I prefer round face brushes over sweeping paddle shaped ones. I understand why this hair type is so coveted when it has the benefit of being as soft as grey squirrel while giving a stronger application of powder products. In the future, if I’m able to afford a thicker fluffier version as a face brush, I would probably get one. However, it would have to be in Canadian Squirrel and not White Canadian Squirrel so my fears wouldn’t hinder me from using it!

One other thing I’d like to mention is that at the time I bought it, the USD to YEN was far in favor of US currency, so I bought it for significantly less than it costs now. However, even at that price and with the additional promo coupon deals CDJapan offered, I don’t think this brush is worth the price in terms of function. For such a small amount of hair in the brush and what it can accomplish, there’s so much else out there that can do the same or better for less. In fact, I’d recommend the next brush I’m about to mention over this one. In terms of having something with hairs that are hard to acquire, a pretty handle, and is well constructed, then I can see why a Fude Collector would be drawn to this or other brushes of this type. Getting the CDJapan-Koyudo version is a more cost effective way to experience this than the more luxurious handle version from Koyudo.

Sonia G

Sonia G Lotus Detail Brush

  • Full Length: 173mm / 6.81 in
  • Hair Length: 28mm / 1.1 in
  • Hair Width: *28mm / 1.1 in
  • Bristle Type: Dyed and Undyed Saikoho Goat

Sonia G is one of my favorite brands for Fude, but I’ve been blunt about how the Lotus Collection didn’t work out for me as well as I wished. I might be missing out when it comes to the Lotus Base brush (but decided I didn’t need it since I very much love and am satisfied with the Patrick Ta fully synthetic Contour Brush), though I know I’m not missing out on the Worker and I was disappointed with the Builder and Cheek, and really don’t like the Soft Definer. I took a chance buying this one when it was available as an individual brush and I am so happy it was worth it!

The brush is listed as being great for blush, contour, and highlighter though I disagree with the highlighter part. Sure, it can be turned along the thinner portion along the angle, but I personally feel it deposits highlighter in too wide of an area. And one can apply it with the tips, but the amount that gets dispersed just isn’t worth the effort to build up and blend out, though I can understand it’s still possible and is just an extra benefit for this already multi-purpose brush. I love using this the most with blushes because the precision allows me to apply pigmented blushes precisely so that I don’t accidentally cover too much of my bronzer. Also the density from the shorter hairs to about the middle of the brush is enough to nicely buff out what I’ve applied, and the less dense middle to longer bristles that splay wider across the slant edge disperses the blush more lightly. This ensures that one has control of where the more concentrated amount of blush goes but it’s still buildable overall and gives a blended affect as the dispersal of product goes from concentrated to least concentrated. Of course, that’s if applying along the angle. Applying in a circular motion mainly applying pressure with that denser portion is better for blushes that are on the sheerer side to those who want maximum color payoff.
The special purpose that I have for this brush is due to the shape, overall size, and density which is that I love mixing two different blush shades with this brush. This brush is fantastic when I want a darker color towards the back and a lighter color on the apples. I can create a very easy gradient effect with this one.

As for contouring, this brush fits nicely in the hollows; so I do like it for that purpose. Bronzer wasn’t listed in the website description, but I tried it anyway, and because my forehead is so rounded and the brush is so small it was a little cumbersome trying to use an angled brush for that purpose. Round, round-flat, or flat-tops are my bronzer shape preferences. I haven’t reviewed the Sonia G Jumbo Bronzer Brush here yet, but spoiler alert, that one is amazing! I love it so much. It’s not one that I use all the time, but when I do, it’s such a pleasurable experience.

I initially felt $36 was a lot for such a small brush, but considering I can use it as a great contour brush and a special purpose blush brush, plus it being not much more expensive than Sonia’s eye brushes, I now think it’s a reasonable price.

Also, even though this isn’t one of the fusion brushes (saikoho+synthetics), in addition to powder, I’ve used this with MAC Glow Play blushes (cream/putty) and cream-to-powder formulas on occasion.


Eihodo NO.327 Blush Brush [Outlet]

  • Full Length: 128mm / 5.04 in
  • Hair Length: 35mm / 1.38 in
  • Hair Width: *27mm / 1.06 in
  • Bristle Type: Gray Squirrel and Sokoho Goat

6000 YEN to 3300 YEN ($24)

This is one of the more disappointing brushes from the Outlet, but not because of the handle or ferrule quality. This brush is visually stunning! It’s just on the smaller side. A 35mm head isn’t too bad in terms of length, but it’s not a very full brush. It’s for the best that it has a pinched ferrule, so it’s at least not as floppy as it could have been. I find this brush only really useful for sweeping blush and no extra benefits like being able to buff satisfactorily with it either. The shape reminds me of an even smaller version of the HS-2 Hana Sakura Blush Brush, but the HS-2 is a way more useful brush. These bristles are a little softer, even though it’s the same hair mix as the HS-2, but I recommend that HS-2 way more because of it being far more efficient and liking it with sweeping on both blush and bronzer.

In case someone still wants this brush and it gets restocked, it can be found HERE.

Eihodo NO.329 Powder Brush [Outlet]

  • Full Length: 145mm / 5.7 in
  • Hair Length: 50mm / 1.97 in
  • Hair Width: *40mm / 1.57 in
  • Bristle Type: Gray Squirrel and Sokoho Goat

This brush has a similar handle to the previous one, and similar gorgeous chocolate brown ferrule, but this ferrule is matte whereas the other is shiny. Because this brush has the proportional amount of hair I expect of a powder brush and for the size dimensions, I consider it a much more worthwhile purchase than the previous one. It’s about medium density and does a decent job sweeping on powder, though nothing extraordinary. The mix of hair leads to the brush being soft enough to be satisfying to use, but doesn’t pick up product as well as I wanted considering the amount of goat that is in it. I’m still happy with this brush though when I remember to just use it with loose and lightly pressed powders, and especially soft baked ones (not baked gelee). I don’t expect it to be very versatile, as I keep it to strictly powder use and not blush, bronzer, or contours.

At the time the price was listed as 10000 YEN that was reduced to 6000 YEN ($44).
On April 13th, 2023 this brush was restocked for the same 6000 YEN and is available HERE.

Eihodo Makie Blush Brush Kozakura [Outlet]

  • Full Length: 125mm / 4.92 in
  • Hair Length: 40mm / 1.57 in
  • Hair Width: *31mm / 1.22 in
  • Bristle Type: Pine Squirrel

I was so pleased with this brush that I bought two others to give as gifts! It’s Pine Squirrel, so it’s not the softest of the squirrels or even quite as soft as the Koyudo BP017, but it still feels quite lovely. Also, to have such a gorgeous Maki-e handle with it at this price was quite the bargain! Functionally, it’s a little flatter and not as packed with hairs as I’d hoped (altering those two things would have made it perfect), but it’s still workable for a light application of blush. It applies things on the more sheer side because of the smaller width, and it’s slightly airy, while the flexible bristles make it naturally buff better while applying. So, it’s the type that works well with products that one wants applied precisely, yet remain buildable. This is why even though I like it with blush, I enjoy it even more with bronzer applications. It’s not too bad with contours either, though I prefer an angled or even thinner brush for that purpose.

I usually prefer longer handles on my brushes, but the beauty of the handle makes up for it.

I thought it would be interesting to compare it to the Koyudo BP017 that also has pine hair, as well as the CDJapan/Koyudo White Canadian Squirrel Blush Brush.

This brush was priced at 8000 YEN, but I bought it for 4400 YEN ($32). It has been restocked several times, so those who want to save the product page to their bookmarks can find it HERE.

That’s everything I have for this post. I’m so sorry it took this long to finally do, but life throws a lot of unexpected things our way! I still have plenty more Fude updates coming, though per usual, it will be at least a few months for the next one. I have an ongoing directory list here of what’s coming next.


FUDE COLLECTION: Japanese Makeup Brushes Part 1


**With costs of materials ever increasing and supply of certain hair types being harder to acquire, brush prices also increase. So, the prices I’ve listed might not reflect what is current, though I will do my best to keep them updated.

***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 *3500 YEN and available HERE.

*Price increase updated 3/25/2023

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!