All My Brushes - The Hairy Edition

There is a brush frenzy going on Makeupalley these days.  People have been posting their entire collections sparking much oohing and aahing and starting of new lemming lists.  I posted my collection on the board already, but I thought I'd share on the blog, too.  And since today was a rare day of sun and warm temperature I took time to re-take some photographs.  Sorry mub friends for posting my crap pictures over there.  I even washed all my brushes for this post.

CHIKUHODO
I've not been using these very long.  I think I had some kind of a bias or mental block against this brand previously.  Having spent sizable chunk of funds on Tom Ford and SUQQU (also manufactured by Chikuhodo), it seemed a dangerous proposition to be trying out the brand.  What if I fall in love and then end up with a pile of Chikuhodo brushes?

That seems to be what happened.

I was looking to find a more suitable replacement for my Shu Uemura travel brushes and picked up a few pieces from the Artist Red series.  And then learning they are being discontinued, I quickly picked up several more.  (updated)  These brushes seem to be discontinued from the consumer side but it shows up on Chikuhodo's own website as available in wholesale (here).  Thanks Adele for pointing this out!  I'm not sure how to go about purchasing these as an individual consumer.  If anyone has any advice, please let us know in the comments!

These short little handles are great for travel, but also great for those of us that are a bit near sighted and need to get a bit closer to the mirror to apply makeup.  When I use these when I travel, I don't feel like I'm missing anything of my other brushes!  Now I finally have my dream travel set.

These were all purchased from Kohlindo.se where some brushes from this series are still available.  Many of the ones I own are no longer available from what I can see.  As a note, the Artist Black handle series are the same brush heads, but on longer handles.  These are available on cdjapan.co.jp. along with many other brands of artisan Japanese brushes.
  • 20-2 Powder Brush (Grey Squirrel) has more density than my floofy and airy SUQQU face brush.
  • 16-1 Cheek Brush (Grey Squirrel) flatter overall shape.  Both these face brushes are incredibly soft.  
  • 2-3 Eye Brow Brush (Nylon & Weasel).  I've not used this on my brows but use then exclusively as a detail brush that is excellent with cream shadows.
  • 4-3 Lip Brush (Kolinsky)  The long hairs taper into a fine point.  I like how precise I can be with by getting into the corners of my mouth as well as drawing the lip line.  Places color very sheerly.
  • 6-1 Lip Contour Brush (Kolinsky)  I also only use this for eye shadows and cream shadow products.
  • 6-3 Eye Brow/Screw Brush (Nylon) I have ones from Missha but I like having a matching set.
  • 8-1 Eye Shadow Brush (Kolinsky) longer, flat paddle shape.
  • 8-8 Eye Shadow Brush (Grey Squirrel)  This one was a gift provided by Kohlindo.  Fluffier paddle shape.  Soft hair.  I think it must be a mixture of squirrel (Canadian?) with something else.
  • 10-1 Eye Shadow Brush (Grey Squirrel & Weasel)  Very soft but dense pointed brush.  Very versatile for lay down as well as more detailed more like placement into crease.
  • 10-2 Eye Shadow Brush (Kolinsky) Larger version of the 8-1.

  • Lip Brush (Kolinsky) has a very precise corner for shaping the bow of the lips.  Can work a lipstick into the lips more so than the 4-3.


  • Z-3 Contour Brush (Grey Squirrel) Dense and soft with a very small head.  Surprisingly effective at not only placing the color but great with buffing and blending in.  I've only used this on powder products so far.  Not sure if I can get this to work as well with a cream.
SUQQU
The big face ones are several years old now and still performing magnificently.  Especially true for the cheek brush.  I don't recall losing hairs and they hold their shape so nicely.
  • Eyeshadow Brush F (Grey Squirrel)  I think this brush is a bit underrated, and I really like how well it places an even layer of color on the lid.  Not very good at anything defined, but as an example, for whatever base shade I use in a Suqqu quad, this is a good brush that I would choose to apply all over the lid.
  • Eyeshadow Brush M (Grey Squirrel)  This is probably the standout star of the eye shadow brushes.  
  • Eyeshadow Brush L (Grey Squirrel) This has a large flat brush head.  For those of you with big lid space, I suspect this might be a handier brush.  For me, I like this for light washes (also good for the matte white base in the older Suqqu quads) and works reasonably well to place color softly into the crease.
  • Eyebrow Brush G (some firm animal bristle)
  • Cheek Brush (Grey Squirrel) Yep, officially, if I had to only have one brush for blush it would be this one.  Sorry, not sorry.
  • Face Brush (Grey Squirrel) Same quality of hair as the cheek brush, but for purposes of applying powder, I don't find this as effective.
TOM FORD
I have giant walls of text all over the blog on these brushes.  Be sure to check out the big tab above which links to all of them in detail.  Over the course of my blog, I got rid of the Shade and Illuminate Brush, which I didn't find great at blending the contouring products.  Having used all these for a while now to really firm up my opinions on these.  The only one I really find mediocre is the contour one.  I find the shape awkward for me, though the quality of the brush is still excellent.  All of them have remained pristinely clean with regular use, even the lip brush.  I surprisingly love the 11 brush way more than I originally thought.  I find the slightly full shape of the brush well suited to general placement, some light blending.  
  • 22 Lip
  • 14 Smokey Eye Brush
  • 13 Eye Shadow Blend Brush
  • 12 Eye Shadow Contour Brush
  • 11 Eye Shadow Brush
  • 02 Cream Foundation Brush
  • 06 Cheek Brush
  • 05 Bronzer Brush
BOBBI BROWN, MAC and CHANEL
This group has some of my oldest and my newest brushes.  The Chanels are the old discontinued ones and they are well over 10 years old.  They are missing bristles and no longer soft.  Remember how I confessed I never used to wash brushes?  Ahem, this is what happens when you don't take care of your brushes well.  
  • Bobbi Brown Essentials Concealer Brush.  I got this to use with the correctors and concealers which I no longer use.  Nylon bristles are fine for applying product, but you will need to blend with fingers or another brush afterwards.
  • Bobbi Brown Essentials gel liner brush.  This is a classic.  I've used the Bobbi Brown gel liners almost every day for many years.
  • Bobbi Brown Essentials Lip Brush.  I like this shape and the bristles are firm but not pokey.
  • MAC 217.  This one likely needs no introduction.
  • MAC 187.  This is my newest brush purchase.  Sheds all the time.  Sheds every day.  Sheds when I wash it.  Sheds when I looks at it.  I got this primarily to apply highly pigmented blush.  For that it works very well...while shedding.
  • Chanel 10 Angled Blush Brush.  Aw, so sad looking now.  Now I'm not a keen fan of angled brushes.  I think I can get more control from a non angled brush.
  • Chanel 2 Eye Shadow Brush.  I still use this.  Missing some chunks of hair.
  • Chanel 11 Eye Shadow Brush.  This is synthetic hair and very firm.  Doesn't work with powder products and works ok with cream ones.
HAKUHODO
I have my share of these, but these don't make up a bulk of my brush collection.  Some of these are indispensable, especially the G521.
  • J4006 Duo Fiber Fan Lash Brush.  Uh, never used it.  Not even sure how I would.
  • K005 Love this little brush.  Excellent for detail work and working with cream products
  • G5515BkSL  Too small and fiddly for the normal stuff I do.
  • G521 D1  This brush changed my life!  I use this for tightlining with my Laura Mercier cake and I had used the LM brush before.  Having small eyes and a challenging epicanthic fold, the LM was much too big.  This little Hakuhodo is small enough to work for me.
  • J5523  I bought this primarily for comparison purposes (versus other blending brushes like the MAC217, Tom Ford 13 Blending Brush, etc).  I still think it's a very good one and always good for me to have extra ones around.  If I had to get down to one blending brush though, I don't think this would make the cut.
  • J5521 You can't see from the angle of this picture, but it has a nicely pointed tip.  I use this brush for apply powder highlighters and I like the shape for working in smaller areas.
ASSORTED
This assorted lot definitely has some gems in there.  
  • Bare Escentuals concealer brush.  Was good for mineral powder concealing work, which I no longer use.  Also good for applying concealer (cream) products.
  • Shu Uemura 5R (Kolinsky) long barrel head shape.  The kolinsky has soft tips and excellent snappiness.  I love this brush!  Crease, outer v, cream products can all work with this brush.
  • Rouge Bunny Rouge sponge tip applicator.  This is a GWP from Beauty Habit a while ago.  I don't normally use sponge tips so this rarely gets used.
  • Nars Smudger Brush.  It's pretty limited in function.  It smudges, but boy does this smudge liners well.  Something like the Tom Ford Smokey Eye Brush can smudge liner as well as apply eye shadow, but the Nars just smudges.  Still an excellent brush.
  • Paula Dorf Sheer Crease Brush.  Might be my favorite blender.  Maybe.  Love this one.  I think this may also be discontinued.
  • RMK Eye Shadow M (?)  Scratchy hair.  I think maybe pony hair.  Yet I like this for blending my concealer under eyes and under my mose.  I'm guessing it works so well because the hairs are not so soft.  I would like a softer replacement for this one day.
  • Edward Bess Luxury Eye Brush (Goat).  I think this is too big for my eye lids and not the luxurious goat hair like the Tom Fords.  But it does work pretty well for wash and blend.
  • Trish McEvoy fan brush.  Some duo fibre blended hairs.  Works well for highlighting as well as for applying pigmented blushes.
  • Shu Uemura 18 (goat).  Works similar to the Tom Ford cream foundation brush, but with a smaller brush head.
  • 2 brushes at the top of my picture are Missha spoolies.  Brows always need brushing out after apply brow products.
REAL TECHNIQUE and SONIA KASHUK
A mix of new and old here and more on the budget friendly side of the spectrum.
  • RT Setting Brush.  I like how soft these bristles are.  I use this to set my under eye concealer with powder
  • RT Expert Face Brush.  Great brush for applying foundation and for cream blushes.
  • SK Powder Brush.  I always use this for applying my Guerlain ballz.
  • SK Eye Shadow Brush.  Eh...
  • SK Flat Top Brush.  Haven't used this in a while.  I think this brush is over 15 years old.
On a brush related topic, I mentioned above that these are all nice and freshly washed.  Do you know what happens when you haven't washed your brushes in a long long long long time?  (Ignore how my foundation is too light for my face, but matches my neck and needs to also be better blended into the hairline.  Man, the shit you notice with a better camera)
Your nude blush (Rouge Bunny Rouge Delicata) turns into a weird orange color.  I couldn't figure out why my nude blushes were all turning orange on my skin.  I thought it may be oxidation, my skin care, my foundation until I realized I need to wash my brushes.

Here is Delicata Redux:

A soft subtle nude, over the same skincare and foundation.
Oh my goodness.  This was a long post.

Thank you for reading and if you have any question, please feel free to ask!  I think I am in the mood to edit some brushes now.  Having completed this post, there are definitely ones I no longer use or have found better replacements.

Are you a brush lover, too?

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