Home Brushes Favorite brushes 2012 – updated

Favorite brushes 2012 – updated

by Sonia G.

Makeup brushes is actually the main reason why I started this blog. I was often reading beauty blogs and the comments and suddenly I thought that having so many brushes could actually be helpful to others, the questions were often related to their size and comparison to similar ones and that’s something I thought I could provide.

I am easily tempted when it comes to brushes, I mean easily. If I can, I will. Sometimes I know I am making a huge mistake but I need to see by myself…

It’s only my opinion that I will share here, not the one of a Master in makeup brushes, but I will always give you my humble and honest opinion and experience, whatever the brand.  I also want to mention that if these are my HG, they may not be HG for everyone and I haven’t tried all the brands available today – thanks God ! The prices are also often high and paying a high price for a makeup brush is not always something that everyone can or want to do, I don’t mind doing it, but it has to be worth it.

I have tried to narrow down the list to the very top favorite brushes for each usage, I clearly cannot select all of the brushes I love otherwise I will make a post a mile long, so here you will only see the ones that have seriously blown my mind.

In this first picture, I have just gathered together the very top selection of all the brushes mentioned in this post, I will very briefly cover them under each category, these few have been serious great discoveries for me, some are just insanely beautiful, others are incredibly efficient and often unique.

I have already posts on some of the brushes here :


I am very demanding when it comes to applying foundation. I try to achieve a flawless and seamless blending, I don’t want people to see that I am wearing foundation at all. I never go for full coverage, only light to medium coverage and without covering the freckles.  I wear all kind of foundation textures from liquid to thicker cream.

The Real Techniques is really nice for applying Mac Mineralize foundation which is the thicker foundation I own.

The Rae Morris 23 I love it for applying liquid foundation, but, when I first ordered the set (and this brush was one of the most expected ones), instead of receiving this one,  I got another 23 completely different and that was a terrible one. So I just want to emphasize that it is THIS 23 and not the other one that I love.

I already reviewed this Rae Morris Radiance brush, I used it nearly every single day and today I have two of them.
What I usually do is that I first apply my foundation with any other flat foundation brush and then blend with the Radiance.

If I apply a cream contour, I blend again with this Radiance brush.

The fact that it’s not entirely flat-sleek (or smooth if you see what I mean) makes it really interesting and the finish is absolutely flawless. It does shed sometimes but so far it’s still in very good condition.

The Hakuhodo J4001 is very multipurpose, with either cream or powder products. I actually will need two of these because I like to use this one with different textures.

The Hakuhodo J4002 is fantastic with cream blush. The quality of these two stippling brushes is totally worth their price. Before these two brushes, I was never into this kind of stippling brushes, there was something about them that did not make me want to use them, today with these mixed goat-synthetic fiber, I have definitely changed my mind.

The Hakuhodo J544 is more versatile than I thought, a must-have brush for those who use a lot of cream products.

The Hakuhodo J528 is a nice to have, I use it mostly to apply the base foundation, blend thicker cream contour or thicker cream blushes.

The Tom Ford 02 and the Chikuhodo G-10 are for applying base foundation, I don’t usually apply base all over, but only in the center of the face so smaller brushes are nice for that, also for contour, or for placing the foundation,  then I use a different brush for blending. I have many similar ones because I reach for this kind of brush every day.

The Koyudo FU-PA 02 is huge and extremely dense, you can apply and then directly blend with it, the quality is perfect and you will not find any other similar brush. I still have to review the Koyudo brushes but you can see some pictures here.

Concealer and lashes

All the brushes that are in contact with the skin around my eyes have to be extremely soft otherwise I won’t use them.  I often see concealer brushes that are extremely hard and not flexible, I try to stay away from that.

The J4005 is a thicker concealer brush that I use for many things, sometimes I apply a lighter foundation in the under eye area or I also use it for contouring, the other J122R and J125R are just amazing versatile brushes and that has to be said.

I like the J4006 not only because it’s looks really cute but also because it works. I can comb my lashes from the bottom to the top and it does separate them well and remove any mascara imperfections.

Powder and bronzer

The Koyudo White Mushroom is just simply to die for, perfection at the highest degree, if you think it looks soft, think again, it’s even softer than that. You don’t think goat can be as soft as squirrel, here it’s baby goat hair, it’s as soft as squirrel hair, and it’s white.  I am in heaven. It’s even softer than the Tom Ford bronzer.

The Hakuhodo J501 is also soft and very dense, a great surprise.

The Chikuhodo Special G-9 is soft but what I love the most about it is the shape, there aren’t many brushes like that, this one is not only pointy but also thick and quite dense.

The Chikuhodo MK-2 is not as dense and firm than the Z-1,  both are amazingly soft and of the best quality possible.

The Chikuhodo Z-1 and the Suqqu face powder are both extremely expensive, the Z-1 is cheaper and I actually prefer it.

Comparison of the MK-2, the Suqqu face powder and the Z-1

These are the sizes :

Base of the ferrule Hair length Thickness at the widest point
Chikuhodo Z-1 2.5 cm 4.5 cm 3.5 cm
Suqqu Face Powder 2.3 cm 5 cm 4 cm
Chikuhodo MK-2 2.5,2.3 cm 5.2 cm 4 cm

Compared to the MK-2, the Suqqu face powder is softer (but the difference is very small), it’s also more tapered, the layers of hair start closer to the base of the ferrule so I believe that if you work a little bit sideways with the brush, it will hold more product along the brush head, but you can also use the point for more precision just keep in mind that it’s really soft and flexible so precision is a big word here…

The MK-2 is more firm than the Suqqu but still has much more flexibility in the hair than the Z-1. The layers start close to the top so you would use it more in a “flatter” directional way. It’s less pointy than the Suqqu but since the hair are bit more firm, you still get “wide” but directional application.

The Z-1 is the firmer and shorter of the 3, the base of the ferrule is rounded, it’s very dense and therefore precise. The layers of hair start approx 2cm from the base, it will grab a lot of product. I like to use it with less pigmented bronzers for example.

The Suqqu and the Z-1 have rounded ferrules, the MK-2 has a slightly oval ferrule.


These 2 are pictures that Malin from Kohlindo sent me, she told me I could show them to you to see the comparison with the Z-9 (MK-2 and MK-1 are the same brushes, only the art changes) :

Blush, highlight and contour

These are the brushes that I reach for the most :

If you want a similar brush than the Tom Ford 06, the Hakuhodo J5543 is really similar, thinner but it’s a real nice alternative.

The Koyudo BP016 is soft, same softness than the Hakuhodo J110 but thinner. I have ordered a few Koyudo to have a better idea of what their collection is like, but although I am loving all their white goat brushes, the black ones I am not really a fan.

The Suqqu cheek brush is amongst my favorites because of how soft it feels, but, if I had to choose between the Chikuhodo Z-4 and the Suqqu, I would go for the Z-4. Not only because it’s cheaper, but I prefer the density and precision of the Z-4.

I use the Koyudo BP022 to blend harsh lines of contour or to apply mineral blush, it’s grey squirrel, not goat.

If you read my post on the Chikuhodo Z Series you know how much I love these series, they are soft, dense, the quality is absolutely staggering and their shape has been designed to make them stand out amongst any other similar.

I have not found better than these but I am also loving the RMK cheek brush or the J Series, and I heard that Lunasol brushes were good so I have to investigate.

Cream bronzer

Either with the Givenchy Croisière bronzers or the Chanel Soleil de Tan that are gel or creamy textures, these are just fantastic.

Cream products for eyes or cheeks

I use a lot of cream or liquid based products for the eyes of the cheeks so I need several for that purpose.

This week I haven’t had the time to wash the J Series that were used for cream products , I left them dirty for 5 days, when I washed them on Friday, some stains were not completely removed, I have to see if that’s because of my soap or if I shouldn’t be using them or leaving them dirty for a few days before I can take care of them. This is for the J242G and the J220G, not that you can see that much residue but they aren’t completely back to normal.

Finishing, blending, buffing

These are the brushes that I love to use for finishing, either for powder or Guerlain Meteorites, or for blending, if I applied creamy blush or contour, I’ll rather use the Radiance, but for powder products I tend to grab the Koyudo Deka Fu-pa or the Chikuhodo Z-1.

The fan brushes are really excellent for either removing the fallout or wipe off excess powder and I have to say that I just find them simply beautiful. If you are into body painting the J011 can be great as per Hakuhodo recommendations.

I love the Shu Uemura brush for the Guerlain Meteorites, it fits perfectly well in the box and picks a lot of powder which makes the application quick and easy.

Eyeshadow base or blending

These are the ones I love to use for base eyeshadow application or for blending :

If you love the shape of the Shu 12 but can’t or don’t want to pay that much money for a brush (which I totally understand), try the Chikuhodo BL12-6, the shape is incredibly similar and incredibly soft. A must-have and believe me, this brush is worth much more than its actual price.

Same for the Tom Ford 11, get the Hakuhodo J220G, it’s bigger but it’s also soft and efficient.

I use the the J214 for blending, I was dreaming of a J214, softer and as dense as the B214 and this is it.

All the other brushes pictured here are amazing either only for blending or for several kind of applications, it depends on your personal preferences but these are just all perfect and HG for me.

Lid eyeshadow application

When I really need to pack on color, I will go for the Mac 239.

I have just received the Chikuhodo M-5, at first I thought I wouldn’t love it but it’s actually the kind of brush that you throw in your makeup bag when you are in a hurry and that will allow you to do your look with only one brush, that’s why I love it so much today.

The Hakuhodo Kokutan wood handles are so beautiful, I use this weasel brush either for powder or cream products.

Crease application

I just love the J Series, as you can see many made it to the top favorites. For more detailed pictures please have a look at the main J Series post.

The Nars ones are also efficient brushes and I am still loving them, I find them quite firm therefore nice for crease definition and great blending capabilities.

I was in a makeup training course some time ago and the makeup artist used an angled brush on me, very similar to the S122 for the crease, then I realized that with Hakuhodo, I am using extraordinary brushes and when you switch to “normal” standard brushes it can be a very painful experience.  The final result was great but I was about to stop her, it was really hurting me, I have very delicate skin and I just don’t see myself using standard brushes anymore, I prefer to give up makeup completely if I didn’t had the choice.

Definition of the eyes

I need definition around the eyes, either with gel eyeliner or powder, these brushes are fantastic for that purpose :

I actually could live only with the Hakuhodo G5520 and a base eyeshadow like the Hakuhodo S121G, but I don’t want to 😉

I prefer the Hakuhodo Kokutan T than the Suqqu M, if I want a precise definition I will use the G5520 and if I want a socket definition I will use the Kokutan T, the Suqqu is great but it’s something in between, which can be good, but I find it too thick for the lower lashes definition and too thin for the socket, it’s just when I do a more dramatic smoked look that I use it.

Brush organization

I got a few questions about my brush organization, so I think I can show you my organization here.
I have two shelves with some cups and acrylic holders. The powder brushes are kept in there since I don’t have space inside the drawers and I don’t want to squeeze them.

The Kabukis are stored inside an acrylic box that slides open. I got most of my acrylic holders in Selfridges in the UK.

Then I have an Ikea Malm dresser with 2 thin drawers and a compartment with a mirror, you lift the top part and there is a mirror inside.

In the first drawer I keep the eyeshadow brushes. Well, that’s not really a drawer, it’s the part where you lift the mirror open.

In the second drawer I keep the Rae Morris in a pencil roll otherwise they stick to each other and it drives me insane.

Also the flat brushes are kept together.

In the third drawer I keep the foundation brushes and also some other small ones that I don’t use often.

I also have a box where I store the brushes I don’t use but that I need for brush reviews or comparisons.

Bottom Line

I apologize if this post mentions expensive or hard to find brushes, it’s just my opinion on the best brushes I have come across so far, whatever the price.

If I didn’t have a lot of budget for brushes, I think I’d rather get one great multipurpose brush than many medium quality ones. I would certainly have saved a lot of money on brushes if I had started with Hakuhodo and Chikuhodo for example but my way to these top favorites happened to be not that straight forward.

If you want to share your favorites, please do so ! I would love to know what your HG are 🙂

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Shameless Fripperies 7 October, 2012 - 1:09 pm

WOW. What an in depth post. I am amazed, thank you for this!
Can you elaborate as to how you use Hakuhodo 214R as a concealer? Is this for under eye or facial concealing?
I recently bought this so I’m just getting the hang of it. I wasn’t sure whether to use a dabbing or swiping motion.
Thanks again!

Sweet Make Up Temptations 7 October, 2012 - 2:20 pm

Thank you !
I use it with the Burberry Sheer Concealer, I first place it straight from the pen, then I just “slide” it in place with the brush, more in a swiping motion I must say. I don’t apply much concealer and if I do apply a thicker one, I’d rather pick the 125R or 122R, but since right now I am using the Burberry on a daily basis then it makes it easier and a bit more precise than using the fingers 🙂

Nikole 6 January, 2013 - 11:23 pm

Thank you so much for sharing this with me. This has helped me so much 😀

Sweet Make Up Temptations 7 January, 2013 - 8:53 am

you are welcome 😉

Dena 7 October, 2012 - 1:51 pm

Amazing – you have some fantastic brushes. I always feel inspired to buy more brushes after reading your blog! I posted on my blog yesterday about my favourite blending brushes, but I just couldn’t condense them into a concise post – I have too many favourites!

Try the Masters Brush Cleaner on those stained brushes. It is amazing; some of my brushes were seriously stained, and this product gets everything out, leaving the brushes really soft.

Thanks for another brilliant post. I’m still waiting for another Chikuhodo order, but I am tempted to go shopping again now…

Sweet Make Up Temptations 7 October, 2012 - 2:37 pm

Hi Dena, waow, I just read your brush post ! that’s a HUGE post with a lot of useful info, thank you !!
I will try that cleaner then !
I have just received my order this Saturday from Kohlindo, Malin was indeed very helpful, and that’s not good for me, because I am even more tempted to go back 🙂

helen856 7 October, 2012 - 3:26 pm

Hi Sonia , Malin is way TOO helpful 🙂 He broke up a set so I could get my hands on the Z-4 , and also I ordered the Z-5 and 10. My Fu Pa 02 is on it’s way now too. Following your great advice what I have learned is that the price of a good brush is so worth every penny , as you achieve the result you want so much more easily and quickly ; it’s such a pleasure !
I went to Harvey Nichols yesterday and bought the Serge Lutens lip liner , which is a gorgeous colour that will blend with anything . I got testers for the lipsticks: there are only 6 shades , but the texture makes all my other lipsticks feel like jam or lard !!!!!! Sublime : but I should think so at 60 euros ……..hx

Sweet Make Up Temptations 7 October, 2012 - 3:39 pm

Malin is a sweetheart !
I am not ready yet for a Lutens lipstick, I need to try them in person first but I will next time I am in London 🙂

Nikoleta 7 October, 2012 - 4:21 pm

Chikuhodo Z are so beautyful ! I’ll definitively get Z-8 in several months. Dena is right, try the masters cleaner soap. For really stained brushes, you should leave them several minutes with the product on.
I don’t find Lutens lipsticks exceptional in texture, they are very good ones but not worth their price. The only one that can eventually justify the price is Votre sienne because i’ve never found this color in other brands. I’ve bought some time ago the refills for Votre sienne and Garde rose. Garde rose is nice but I prefer the fushia of Ellis Faas L104 (really unique) and I have a similar feeling when wearing mac’s mattene rare exotic (it is lighter though).

Sweet Make Up Temptations 7 October, 2012 - 4:44 pm

Please let me know whenever you get the Z-8 or any Z series, I would really love to know what you think of them. They are acting like a brainwash on all my other brushes 😛
thanks for the info about the lipsticks 🙂

helen856 7 October, 2012 - 5:26 pm

re Nikoleta’s reply about Serge Lutens lipsticks : yes it was Votre Sienne that I found fascinating too ! In truth though , I would get far more wear from something like the Compliment Beige ; so I looked on the Ellis Faas web-site and Rusty Rose looks good in the Creamy Lips range , so thanks for that recommendation as they are half the price of the S.G ., from what you say the texture should be fab 🙂

Sweet Make Up Temptations 7 October, 2012 - 7:30 pm

I found a pic of Votre Sienne swatched on the lips, waw, the shade is exactly what I would wear, I am not sure I will buy it but I am curious to try it for sure !

Stacy 7 October, 2012 - 4:34 pm

Sonia! Thank you so much for this post! Very helpful as always! I have the Masters brush cleaner on it’s way! We have to baby these gorgeous brushes that are going to end up costing more than my children’s education!

Sweet Make Up Temptations 7 October, 2012 - 4:54 pm

😀 Imagine how much you will save if you directly get the best brushes 😉
I would have saved so much !!! 😛
I still want to try new brands and new brushes but I feel happy and I don’t think it can get better..

Stacy 7 October, 2012 - 5:04 pm

I agree on both points! One could save soooo much money by starting with the best of the best but having said that I still will always want to try new! That goes for brushes, lipsticks, shadows etc!! Can’t help myself!

Buggsiebee 7 October, 2012 - 5:12 pm

Hey there brush guru!!
I’m certain that your inforamtive posts will help loads of readers to find the right brushes for their needs & the ones which are really worth the investment. These brushes are really investments for life if you take good care of them.
I’ve had my Chikuhodo brushes for quite some time already & I can tell you that as useful or divine as they are, when the next new exciting brushes pop up on the horizon I’m still there like a flash, pulling out my credit card:))
Sure, one gets more selective , but brushjunkie remains brushjunkie & one always finds an excuse to add a new one to the burgeoning collection:)

Buggsiebee 7 October, 2012 - 5:15 pm

Yeah Stacy, you’re soooooooo weak:)) You really should try to be more frugal – like me:DDDDDDDDDDDD!!!!!

Stacy 7 October, 2012 - 5:22 pm

You know it!! You are my inspiration! I aspire to be as frugal as you!
😉 what is next Ms Buggsibee?

Buggsiebee 7 October, 2012 - 5:28 pm

I’m working on it already……….see the link ……..
Now thta’s RIGHT up my alley:)))

Buggsiebee 7 October, 2012 - 5:32 pm

I practice being frugal as often as I work out at the gym:)))
I have to get back into the fitness saddle though. I have been soooo lazy for the past year & it SHOWS!

Sweet Make Up Temptations 7 October, 2012 - 5:25 pm

I’am dead xP°°°° and drooling noooooo not again !!!

Buggsiebee 7 October, 2012 - 5:34 pm

Oh no! Don’t die before you’ve held this beauty in your hands!!!!

Buggsiebee 7 October, 2012 - 5:35 pm

It NEVER ends. How do they continue to think up goodies to make our eyes sparkle & put silly grins on our faces?!!!

Stacy 7 October, 2012 - 5:57 pm

Well there is no question that item is a NEED not a want!!! No question about it!
I am really feeling the Chantecaille love right now!

You are right Dena! Bad bad bad!

Buggsiebee 7 October, 2012 - 6:20 pm

You’re absolutely right Stacy – on ALL accounts! No question about it:)))

cc 8 October, 2012 - 3:38 am

Oh Buggsiebee! You had me staring at it and drooling here for a full 6 minutes just to realize that they do not ship to my country?? 🙁
I might need to migrate.

Buggsiebee 8 October, 2012 - 10:12 am

Hi cc………if you want it I will help for sure. Saks does ship Chantecaille to Germany ( using FiftyOne ). I though FiftyOne shipped worldwide. Don’t they ship to you at all, or is it just some brands which aren’t available?
Malaysia is way too beautiful to leave! When I read that you have Summer temps almost all year round I was ready to pack my bags and move there. Winter is on the way here now & it it sticks around for EVER!!

cc 8 October, 2012 - 1:10 pm

Thank you so much for the offer, Buggsiebee. 🙂 I will try to write to their CS and see if they can arrange a delivery to my country even though it is not on their list.

You should come visit some day. I would love to show you around!

Dena 7 October, 2012 - 5:42 pm

OMG that highlighter is unbelievable!!! I have to log off now, before I place another order.

We are incorrigible, all of us, and a terrible influence on each other!

Are the J110 and J5543 very different? Do you prefer one over the other?

And what do you think of the Chukuhodo Z-3?

Sweet Make Up Temptations 7 October, 2012 - 6:30 pm

😛 yes we are but who cares … 😛

The J110 there is no question, you need it, I wasn’t that impressed when I got it, but when I washed it., omg, the hair just went *kaboum* ! I prefer it over the S110 a thousand times better !
The J5543 is a bit redundant when you have the Tom Ford blush, it’s flatter versus the J110 which is a bit more tapered and fluffy, they are two complete different brushes. If you don’t have the TF, then you need the J5543. If you have the TF, then it’s just a matter of budget..
The Z-3 is great, tiny and so soft, now that I have the J214, the Z-3 is not such a necessity, I initially wanted it to blend the eyeshadow application (it fits nicely in the browbone area) but I see a lot of potential and it applies highlighter beautifully. I would say to start with the Z-4, Z-8 and Z-2 and then the Z-3… 😛

Buggsiebee 7 October, 2012 - 5:49 pm

Bad influences! That’s the truth of it Dena:)
Mind you, I’d rather splurge on these kinds of treasures which bring a sparkle to my eyes and face than have any other addiction.

Buggsiebee 7 October, 2012 - 5:52 pm

Sonia, to the lovely red shu brush. Do I need this? My friend, who lives in London is coming for a visit next weekend. Should I ask her to bring it over for me? ……….PLEASE say yes?!?!!!

Sweet Make Up Temptations 7 October, 2012 - 6:41 pm

I have tried to find a similar hair quality in another brush so that you can maybe compare better, do you have the Shu 27 ? The hair is the same quality, not the softest brush and not the best quality since we are so spoiled 🙂 but for picking up the meteorites it’s the best ! I know you like colored brushes, this red is absolutely gorgeous and the handle feels very well balanced (not like the 27 at all), so I don’t know what to tell you 😛 If you use meteorites, get it !!!

Buggsiebee 7 October, 2012 - 6:54 pm

I have the 27 but it’s not red:(
Whew, what a relief, for a moment there I thought that you were going to try to talk me out of getting it!
I suppose it’s quite simple really…….it’s a brush, it’s from Shu uemura , it’s red, = I NEED it:)) Absolutely!

Sweet Make Up Temptations 7 October, 2012 - 7:15 pm

😀 😀 no comment … you are so funny 😛

cc 8 October, 2012 - 3:44 am

Dear Brush Queen, 🙂

How would you compare the red Shu brush to RMK face powder brush in using meteorites? (I have to get the red Shu brush too, don’t I?)

Dena 7 October, 2012 - 8:42 pm

Thanks for advice. I will have to decide which one I want more! I have the z4 and z8 on order. I actually don’t think I’ll get the z2, as I don’t really like those pointed highlighter brushes. But don’t worry; I’m absolutely sure I’ll find something else to order!!

I am going to bed now, no doubt to dream about that beautiful Chantecaille highlighter 😉

Christine 7 October, 2012 - 10:00 pm

I absolutely love your brush reviews, but it isn’t helping me with my brush addiction! My favorite brush is the Claudio Riaz double ended blush brush. While it is not the softest brush in existence, I like the fullness and shape, especially how it’s tapered. I think I need to look into a Chikuhodo brush or two. I noticed someone commented on Serge Lutens lip liner and lipstick. I like them both, the lipsticks feel very lightweight but the darker and brighter colors have a lot of pigment. I wear compliment beige daily and it is slightly more sheer. The lip liner is nude, but pigmented. It won’t look like concealer lips.

Sweet Make Up Temptations 8 October, 2012 - 7:06 am

Hi Christine,
Thanks for the info about the Claudio Riaz, I did order a few but I had to send them back. The quality of the handles and the hair was very disappointing, if they weren’t “rusty” and damaged I would have kept the face powder because of its nice shape, but the price of his brushes is just way too high.
And also thanks for sharing your thoughts on Serge Lutens lip products 🙂

MakeupByJoyce 8 October, 2012 - 1:49 am

Please adopt me! =D

Sweet Make Up Temptations 8 October, 2012 - 7:14 am

If you come to Switzerland one day, please let me know 🙂

Buggsiebee 8 October, 2012 - 7:42 pm

Here’s an offer which may be of interest to all Japanese brush lovers out there.
It comes from Shirley at Bonboncosmetics.com

‘I noticed that you’re interested in makeup brushes. If you’re interested in any other Japanese makeup brushes that we do not usually carry, please let us know or make sure to visit us again soon. One of our partners is traveling to Japan soon, and she’ll be able to arrange for special orders. Soon we’ll be launching a special event for such one-time order. If we’re unable to cover the items you’re interested in, you may let us know.’

I asked Shirley if it was ok for me to share the info & she said it would be perfect….so if it’s ok with you too Sonia, I think it sounds like an interesting offer which is certainly worth passing on?

Sweet Make Up Temptations 8 October, 2012 - 9:05 pm

yes it is 😀

amazing ! thank you <3
brushes only or also cosmetics ?

Buggsiebee 8 October, 2012 - 9:13 pm

Shirley only mentioned brushes, but I assume that is because she recognises me as having a brush addiction:)
I’m sure you can approach her with whatever request you have.

Sweet Make Up Temptations 8 October, 2012 - 9:16 pm

If that’s the case … YOUHOUUUU 😛 I just went nuts !

Buggsiebee 8 October, 2012 - 9:22 pm

Ummmm……weren’t you nutty already:))

Sweet Make Up Temptations 8 October, 2012 - 9:24 pm

nono, I was perfectly sane …. O:-)

Stacy 8 October, 2012 - 9:30 pm

Oh I will vouch for ALL of us! We are all “very sane”!!

Buggsiebee 8 October, 2012 - 9:30 pm

We’ll drive you nutty enough. Just you wait:))

Buggsiebee 8 October, 2012 - 9:51 pm

Good night my ‘ very sane’ friends!
It’s really such fun having you around:)

Neo 9 October, 2012 - 1:23 am

Hello! I have been following your blog for a while (we seem to share the same brush sickness…), and was wondering if you could please say a bit more about the Chikuhodo MK-2 and how it compares with the Z-1?

I have to admit that while I love my Suqqu face brush, I am intrigued…and tempted :)! The MK-2 is so beautiful, but it also looks very big.

Thank you so much for your lovely blog and super informative posts, they are so useful and such a pleasure to read (and I’m sure I’m not the only lurker who thinks so ;)!)!

Sweet Make Up Temptations 9 October, 2012 - 7:28 am

Hi Neo 🙂
First of all, thanks for your comment, I am happy to see that we are so many to be hit by this beautiful sickness…
I took some pictures of the MK-2, the Z-1 and the Suqqu face powder for you. I will upload them in the post during my lunch break today 🙂
I will also give you some info about the brushes.
Talk later !

Sweet Make Up Temptations 9 October, 2012 - 11:17 am

Neo, I have updated the post, you can now see more pics and my comments on the brushes 🙂

Neo 9 October, 2012 - 12:13 pm

Ooooh, thank you so much Sonia!!!!!! Now I want them all, lol!!!!!!! Well, I already have the Suqqu, but have to decide between the Z1 and the MK2, and that’s not easy… I’m leaning towards the MK2 because it’s so beautiful and unique, but suspect I would get more use out of the rounder Z1. Decisions, decisions… 😉

Again thank you so much for adding all the pictures and info, I really appreciate it :)!

Sweet Make Up Temptations 9 October, 2012 - 1:48 pm

I am afraid I have to tell you that you just cannot decide between a Z1 and an MK, because they are two complete different brushes and you will love them both.
You can decide between the MK2 and the MK1 or maybe between one MK and the Z-9, but honestly the Z1 and the MK are both absolutely divine and different 🙂 I am not pushing you here and I don’t like to do that, but I am soo happy to have both !
I would start with Z1 but with the MK in mind for the future…
I am here to help, if you have any other question 🙂

Neo 9 October, 2012 - 11:55 pm

Ugh, I was worried you would say that!!!!! Thank you (I think ;)!)! I have been waffling all day long: Z1 or MK2, and I guess I’ve come to the same conclusion… Which one to get first though???? Big problems, LOL

Thank you so much again for all your feedback and for taking the time, I can’t begin to say how much I appreciate it!

Malin, Kohlindo 9 October, 2012 - 5:27 pm

Hi 🙂
Wow! You really have many brushes! And I love reading about them 🙂
I see that you are talking about MK-1 and MK-2. Those brushes are so beutiful. I just would like to take the chance and tell a little about the handcraft on them. The decoration is real Kaga Maki-e. You can learn about Kaga Maki-e at this link: http://www.kk-makie.com/mov/makie.html It may take some seconds before it download. But its a fantastic handcraft. Im so impressed about the handcraft in Japan. I do think about it every time I hold a brush. Did you know that the real name for the brushes that Chikuhodo makes is Fude?
Here is also a page about the Fude making process. http://www.fude.or.jp/e/main_content.html If you click on Kumano Fude you will find the Fude making process. This page is not from Chikuhodo but this is how a Fude is made.
I LOVE Japan and their way of thinking. I think thats why Im so crazy about the makeup brushes from Chikuhodo. EVERY brush, Fude is made by hand and on the MK-1 and MK-2 there are also Kaga Maki-e on….When I realized the hard work and the way of thinking I was…. I dont know how to decribe it…well I was jumping up and down of happiness.

Take care 🙂

Buggsiebee 9 October, 2012 - 6:31 pm

I really like the MK1 & 2 , but I’ve been hankering after these for ages & I need these pieces of art first:-


If they had little white heads of hair, I swear I would have sold my car for them already:)))

Sweet Make Up Temptations 9 October, 2012 - 6:58 pm

gosh the price !!! 🙁
same for me, for white little heads I would sell anything… or maybe I could have my Koyudo White Mushroom customized ??!!

Buggsiebee 9 October, 2012 - 7:01 pm

Perhaps the art work looks better with black hair though?
Soooooooo expensive, but soooooo special!!!

Malin, Kohlindo 9 October, 2012 - 6:49 pm

Hmmm Buggsiebee, I bet I seen them somewhere…..hmmmm…I will go brushhunting! 😉

Buggsiebee 9 October, 2012 - 6:58 pm

YES please:) PLEASE!
I know they’re impractical because they can fall & break but that beautiful traditional art work combined with the perfect Kumano brush tradition has my heart racing:)

Stacy 9 October, 2012 - 7:02 pm

Oh Malin! You are just the one for Buggsiebee!!!
Actually all of us:)

Sweet Make Up Temptations 10 October, 2012 - 5:13 am

This is one place I would love to visit : http://www.fude.or.jp/e/main_content.html
and they say : “If you don’t find a Fude that fit to your liking, you can even order it custom-made.”
I am sure we can come up with some ideas 😉

Malin, Kohlindo 10 October, 2012 - 7:23 am

Stacy: Maybe I should call my self Brushhunter instead! 😀 Well I will see what I can do 🙂

For everyone with new babies this is a beautiful brush, Aka-Chan Fude: http://www.koubundo.co.uk/index.html
I have saved hair from my son and I will make a brush for him. Here you can read about the Fude making process: http://www.koubundo.co.uk/fudekobo/index.html

Buggsiebee 10 October, 2012 - 9:01 am

Thanks Brushhunter:)))
The brush part of these little treasures is made by Chikuhodo so if you have connections there then perhaps??? I first discovered them by reading up about brush manufacture in Kumano but the only place I have found to purchase them so far is the exposhop. I need to keep in mind that besides the purchase price, a further 19% import tax will still be added plus customs duty before I hold them in my hands. This makes them really very expensive!

cc 10 October, 2012 - 9:35 am

I think I NEED to go to Japan. And camp in Kumano town for 2 weeks. Or maybe 3.

Buggsiebee 10 October, 2012 - 10:12 am

Camp is the riight word!! There would be NO money left for a hotel. It would be a tent & bread & water for me……and lots of lovely brushes to snuggle up with at night:)

Malin, Kohlindo 10 October, 2012 - 10:00 am

Yes I think I have seen them in Chikuhodo´s shop. They dont show them anymore so I dont know if the still sell them. But if we are lucky the might sell them in their shop at Chikuhodo. I let you know as soon as I get the answer 🙂

Buggsiebee 10 October, 2012 - 10:50 am

Thank you!!
Perhaps they’ll be a leeeetle bit cheaper than the exposhop, but quality craftsmanship & unique items never come cheap.

helen856 10 October, 2012 - 6:55 pm

Hi Sonia , just to say that I received my Z4,5 and 10 on Tuesday in the UK after ordering them on the Friday from the marvellous Malin in Sweden : as I have issues with delayed gratification I was so pleased 🙂 The Z-4 is perfect for me for blusher so I’ll have to use the Tom Ford 06 as a buffer or bronzer .
My query is could you recommend a brush that is pointed , half-way between the Chikuhudo Z 10 and the Hakuhodo G5522 . I’m still searching for my own personal HG crease brush ( I have LY 38 and NARS 12 natch ! ). Many thanks Sonia , Helen

Sweet Make Up Temptations 10 October, 2012 - 7:09 pm

Hi Helen!
That was a fast delivery ! glad you also love the Z-4 🙂
I believe you are looking for a pointed crease brush size between the Z-10 and the G5522 but a bit bigger than the Nars 12, right ?
In that case the Trish McEvoy 29, Hakuhodo J146 or Rae Morris 8 would be nice.
You can check out Dena’s blog, she just made a post on blending / crease brushes and you can have a great idea on other brushes capabilities and pictures 🙂
Have fun 🙂

helen856 12 October, 2012 - 6:54 am

Thanks again Sonia ; I’ve ordered the Trish McEvoy 29 from Amazon 🙂
re Rae Morris brushes , not to be had for love or money it seems ! I’m still trying to get hold of the Radiance as it’s one of your HG s
I’ve tried lovemakeup but they say out of stock . I wonder if you or any of your devotees reading this have any other suggestions .
Anyway , my Fu Pa 2 is in the UK somewhere according to the tracking 🙂
I believe in a recent post you said you’d be reviewing a new foundation….? Am looking forward to that very much as need a new foundation to inaugurate the Fu Pa !!!!! What do you think of the Creme de la Mer concealer ( got a really rave review from sali hughes beauty guru in uk) or is there another one you would recommend please ?

Sweet Make Up Temptations 12 October, 2012 - 7:58 am

Hi Helen,
there might be similar’ish’ options but also expensive and not easy to get, I am thinking of this Claudio Riaz but sincerely I don’t even want to try…
That’s right, I am testing foundations at the moment, the Armani Fusion (but this one has to be applied only with the fingers), the New Dior Nude, Cle de Peau, etc… my favorite so far is still Ellis Faas.
I am lucky not to need that much concealer, I use the Burberry Sheer pen, it’s like a highlighter but covers a bit more than a highlighter pen and it never feels cakey.
I also use this Laura Mercier when I need more coverage – like today… 🙁
I have never tried La Mer but I would love to !

Dena 12 October, 2012 - 8:00 am

Thanks for the link, Sonia, that’s really sweet of you. Helen, have you looked at the Nars 14? It’s v versatile. It looks like a pencil brush but it’s v dense, so great for packing on colour, and great for precise, strong placement of colour through the socket. I could actually live with just the Nars 14 and 12 and maybe a Mac 217, and not need any other eye brushes. (However, clearly I choose not to do this!!). Re the Rae Morris Radiance, I ordered it directly from Rae’s website. It’s annoying and takes ages, and you have to pay taxes, but I received it within 10 days. Or you could try Crown Brush Australia.

helen856 12 October, 2012 - 8:26 am

Dena thanks very much ; I’ll check out the NARS 14 . I studied , and I mean STUDIED 🙂 your post and the Rae Morris 8 looks very good . Re the Radiance , I just checked the Rae Morris web-site again , and it’s sold out . I asked my friends in Melbourne to try and get it , but they were told it was sold out WORLD-WIDE !!!!! But at least they had a no.8 , so thanks for that . Your post was so good giving all the sizes for comparison . I think the Radiance 27 will have people offering their first-born to get hold of one :))))))) thanks hx

Dena 12 October, 2012 - 8:42 am

Thanks Helen – I’m pleased you found it useful. Hakuhodo has a few brushes shaped similarly to the RM Radiance. I decided not to buy them as Hakuhodo told me they aren’t great for sensitive skin, but Sonia showed me hers close up, and I honestly think the hairs are identical. I guess Sonia can confirm whether or not this is the case as she has the brushes, but it may be worth a try. If you want to have a look, they are on the Hakuhodo website under the section on Japanese brushes. I have to say, the RM 7 brush has become HG for me – I use it daily. I don’t use the 8 much, but if you like smaller crease brushes, you’ll probably love it.

Sweet Make Up Temptations 12 October, 2012 - 9:50 am

The Hakuhodo are nice but they are much thinner, flatter and sleek, therefore they would not provide the same result.
Actually I just made another Koyudo order.. I will just rot in hell because I am so freaking week… 🙁 😛
I ordered the Koyudo Macaroon and the H011
Maybe the H011 can be similar than the Radiance… I will keep you updated when I receive them.
They are goat hair, I don’t expect the same softness as the white mushroom of course but I hope they are of nice quality !
The Macaroon is just a cute tiny thing and the H011 I expect it to be a nice foundation blending brush.

Sweet Make Up Temptations 12 October, 2012 - 9:11 am Reply
Stacy 12 October, 2012 - 9:54 am

Soooooo cute! Here we go……..

Nikoleta 13 October, 2012 - 9:28 am

I want all the box 🙂 they are so cute

Bonnie 15 October, 2012 - 1:33 pm

Quick question on cheek brushes. I want to invest in one cheek brush (for now!) from either Suqqu or Chikuhodo, and obviously, I’m tossing up between the Suqqu or Chikuhodo Z4 or Z8. What would you recommend? I’ve been wanting the Suqqu for ages, but I just read your comments about the Z4 and now I don’t know! And the Z8? I’d probably be using it with powder blushes like LMdB’s Blush Kaleidoscope or other contouring products….

Sweet Make Up Temptations 15 October, 2012 - 9:02 pm

Hi Bonnie,
It’s just a matter of preference… If I had to choose between one of these 3, I would go 100% for the Z-8 since it’s the most multipurpose and to me a unicorn. But that’s only my personal taste and choice and the one I use the most for anything powder. If you want to go for a smaller brush, my choice would be the Z-4, although I think the Suqqu cheek is also a real gem… all of them will work well with LMdB or contour, it is always good to be able to see them in person, when we can’t, we have to go with our guts and since they are so expensive, I understand it’s not an easy decision. Whatever brush you choose, you will love it for sure. Please let me know which one you got 🙂

Bonnie 16 October, 2012 - 9:13 am

Thank you for your reply! I will get the Z-8 then 🙂 It’s so difficult or expensive to get Chikuhodo or Suqqu in Australia (generally, makeup is expensive in Australia) but it just so happens that a friend is dropping by Japan and I’m begging him (or his Japanese friends) to try and get it for me! I’m also thinking about getting the Z10 because something about it just really calls to me…or that I just find it insanely beautiful… despite the fact that I can never seem to apply eyeshadow right 🙁 What would you say about the Z-10 in terms of function or versatility?

Sweet Make Up Temptations 18 October, 2012 - 7:30 am

Hi Bonnie, Here in Switzerland same problem, very expensive and we don’t have access to all these Japanese brands. Well if you can get Z-series brushes one day, don’t even think twice.
I use the Z-10 for the lower lash line or the socket with very dark shadows, not that you need such a pointy brush because the point is very soft and flexible which is good because it doesn’t hurt your eyes, but you won’t get the same packing and intensity like with a pencil brush (Mac 219 for example).
I think today I can say that Z Series are the “creme de la creme” I managed to get them all (I am missing the lip brush but I have a very similar one so I won’t need it). For a brush crazy like me, these have a huge place in my heart (and my vanity…) 😛

Bonnie 18 October, 2012 - 9:12 am

Thanks once again for your reply! I’m slowly trawling through your blog so I can make a list of Hakuhodo and Chikuhodo brushes to get. Going to start slow with the Chikuhodo but the Z-8 will definitely be mine soon if all goes well! I’m just trying to decide whether I want the Z10 or not or go for another brush in the series depending on what I can source from Hakuhodo haha. It looks like G5520 will be going on my list too though.

I guess I’m lucky in the sense that I never really spent too much on mid-range brushes so I’m happy to begin with quality investments 🙂

Kay 19 October, 2012 - 2:42 am

Hi Sonia,

Thank you for your terrific review on your favorites! I appreciate seeing what you love to use — helps me figure out what I might “need” next to fill out my brush inventory.

Just returned from my vacation in Japan with only 7 brushes, 2 from Suqqu and 5 from Hakuhodo. Hubby was with me so I had to rush :(. Had I dallied I am sure I would have purchased more! I must say I was disappointed that the department stores I visited in 4 cities did not have a huge variety displayed and the stock varied from store to store. Odd!

Didn’t find any Chikuhodo brushes so will be contacting Malin soon. I prefer smaller brushes and have my eye on Z2 and possibly the Z4 and Z5. I am unsure about the last two as I got the Suqqu cheek and L eyeshadow and am wondering if I need more. The Suqqus are nice but I can’t initially discern that much difference between the Hakuhodo blue squirrel and the Suqqu gray squirrel textures. LOL! And to think the Suqqus cost 6x more! I probably need to play with them a bit to see how they perform.

Thanks again for all your hard work on getting this post done. Love to read the comments also as I learn so much!


Sweet Make Up Temptations 19 October, 2012 - 7:04 am

Hi Kay, welcome back !
7 brushes must seem a lot to some but if I was in Japan I would need a return ticket by boat 😀
There are some Chikuhodo shops but you have to know the address, when I gave the boutique address to my colleague, he told me that if I hadn’t given him the address there was no way he could have found the boutique.
I prefer the Z series to the Suqqu brushes if I had to choose, both blue and grey squirrel are extremely soft but I like when a brush is dense that’s why I love the Chikuhodo so much more.
Enjoy your new babies 🙂

helen856 20 October, 2012 - 6:31 am

Hi Sonia , how are you ? I’m pleased to report that all my brushes have now arrived : the Fu Pa 2 , the Rae Morris Radiance 27 and the 08 (thanks for that recommendation , it’s perfect for my small eyes ).I was a little disappointed that the Radiance wood encasing isn’t varnished considering the price ; I guess you just have to be careful washing it ? As with my Tom Ford 06 , the Fu Pa still smells of goat ! Do you find tht too ? I have washed the Tom Ford many times now but it doesn’t seem to fade ………I then went to buy an Ellis Faas foundation , which the shop didn’t have , but they did have the new Kevin Aucoin eyeshadow palettes which are gorgeous ,and of course I especially liked the green-gold one ! I wondered if you think it’s superior to the Suquu Usumoegi ? thanks Helen x

Sweet Make Up Temptations 20 October, 2012 - 8:47 pm

Hi Helen, I am fine thank you, I hope you are also doing great 🙂
Waw all these new brushes !!
Well, you know I am disappointed with Rae Morris quality, but this Radiance efficiency somehow compensates for it’s lack in quality. Yes you have to be careful with Rae Morris brushes, not the most solid and well-balanced I must say 🙁
The TF brushes, some did smell at first but after a few washes, they didn’t anymore, so I don’t know, how many washes did they had and how do you dry them ?
The Kevyn Aucoin palettes are extremely nice but I think the Suqqu are really superior. Everybody needs a Kevyn and a Suqqu anyway 🙂
I haven’t seen the green-gold one yet…

Emi at Project Swatch 19 October, 2012 - 10:01 pm

Wow, this post is amazing! I love it.

Sweet Make Up Temptations 20 October, 2012 - 8:22 pm

Thanks Emi 🙂

Stacy 20 October, 2012 - 9:21 pm

My favorite Sonia quote that I take very seriously to heart:
“Everybody needs a……”
So true 😉

Sweet Make Up Temptations 20 October, 2012 - 9:29 pm

Hahaha Stacy 😀
I should probably write a post with the title “Everybody needs a….”

Stacy 20 October, 2012 - 9:31 pm

That actually would be a great HG post! I would love that!!

Sweet Make Up Temptations 20 October, 2012 - 9:36 pm

Thanks Stacy, it’s really a great idea for a beauty post ! I’ll do that and I will have so much fun writing that one 😛

Fran 21 October, 2012 - 2:53 pm

Hello Sonia! I’ve just found your blog and have been pouring through your posts, soaking up all of the valuable information! What a lovely site and community. Thank you!

I was wondering if you have any advice for a good “starter kit” from various brands? I love brushes (I actually got my degree in oil painting, so I have a bit of an obsession with them in general.) However, I’m newer to makeup, just starting out and sometimes I feel like it can be overwhelming. I’d like to invest in just a few quality brushes, but am not an avid collector just yet 😉 What are some absolute essentials you suggest for a newbie?

p.s. I’m seriously considering a Koyudo Fu Pa brush, after reading this post 🙂

Sweet Make Up Temptations 21 October, 2012 - 3:36 pm

Hi Fran, thank you for your sweet comment ! I am happy you enjoy it 🙂
I can try to give you my advice for a starter kit but it depends on the size of your eyes or the type of products you like to use.
I would say the ones you absolutely need for the eyes are : Mac 239, Hakuhodo J5523, Hakuhodo J220G, Hakuhodo G5520, Hakuhodo J146 (or a Nars 12), Hakuhodo Kokutan T (or something similar for the outer V, a Mac 219 can work as well), then if you use cream shadows a Hakuhodo J125R (that can also serve for concealer). Of course you don’t need all of them, it depends on what kind of brushes you would use the most.
For the face a Hakuhodo J110 and maybe a smaller one for contour and highlight like the J5521.
Then for foundation the Fupa 02 is great ! there are cheaper ones like the stippling from Real Techniques that is also nice for applying liquid foundation.
I am recommending a lot of J series from Hakuhodo because the value for money is the best in my opinion.
Congratulations on your degree in oil painting ! what a fantastic art !

Fran 21 October, 2012 - 5:46 pm

Thanks for the reply! It was so much fun to look up all of those brushes on Hakuhodo’s website 🙂 I’ve got a great wishlist started now!

I guess I should have been more specific about my brush needs, but I felt selfish asking such a personalized question. I have big eyes, but not too much lid space and am still figuring out what looks suit my eye shape. I have very dry, sensitive skin so I normally try to buff my foundations in but without using duo-fibre brushes, as I’ve heard they cause micro exfoliation. I’m struggling with foundation because while most liquid foundations break me out, mineral foundations make me look dry in areas. I’m still in the very beginning stages of makeup, just finding out what brands I like and what looks good on me.

I already have the MAC 239 so that’s good news 🙂 I have the MAC 222 and 217, but here’s where my inexperience comes into play … I recently bought the MAC 185 on a whim at a CCO. I think it’s a good brush, but I can’t really figure out how to use it? Now I’m wishing I had found this post and saved my money for something else?

p.s. Any advice from the community would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you Sonia!

Sweet Make Up Temptations 21 October, 2012 - 8:01 pm

Fran, you must be very sad not being able to find the right foundation for you 🙁
You should go visit the beauty counters and have the sales assistants give you their recommendations. It’s really important to find a foundation that’s good for you otherwise whatever brush you use it will be too aggressive. This is a field I cannot be of much help 🙁
I know how you can feel because I could only start wearing foundation 4 years ago, before that, nothing was working on me, I had dry patches whatever the application. Once I found the right skincare, it was a revelation ! I can use pretty much any foundation brush today, but when I use a foundation that doesn’t work with my skin, even when I apply it with my fingertips I get dry patches…

The Mac 185 is good for the summer, I only use it in summer to apply powder or bronzer or highlight on my shoulders, arms, legs, etc..
If you don’t know what kind of brushes you should use, start with smaller brushes, I often made the mistake to buy brushes that were too big for me to use because I thought it was more interesting 🙂
If you have small lid space you will be happy to have something that allows you to place the product exactly were you want it!
I hope you find the right skincare, keep me informed please !

Fran 22 October, 2012 - 2:04 pm

Thank you so much Sonia! I’ve really felt welcomed here 🙂

I think I’ll go to a Shiseido store and get a consultation with them (I like the idea of their 3 step skincare system). Hopefully I’ll find something that works and then I’ll start experimenting more with foundations. I think that’s grand advice. Ultimately, I’d prefer to have hydrated skin and only wear a bit of mineral powder if possible.

hahhah. Oh well about the 185. I knew that was an impulse buy. Maybe I can return it since I’ve never even used it. Hmmmm. I will try to buy more useful brushes from now on! I’ve learned my lesson 😉

I will most definitely let you know how everything goes! Thank you for all the great information and help … and a billion thanks for introducing me to this wonderful group of makeup enthusiasts!

Dena 21 October, 2012 - 6:24 pm

Hi Fran,

Eye brush preferences are very subjective. I can certainly make some suggestions, but it’s really going to come down to your own preference. I have very large eyes and a lot of lid space, so I prefer using larger brushes, but I also like using larger brushes on people with smaller lids. You may find brushes like the Mac 217 easier to use than a standard socket brush such as the Hakuhodo G5533 or G5522 – the 217 will be more versatile, and works on virtually every size and shape of eye.

Re foundation brushes: Sonia is a great authority on this as she also has very dry skin. I do too, but Sonia has tried more foundation brushes than me 😉 – although I am slowly getting there! My own subjective advice would be first of all to look after your skin to deal with the dryness. Exfoliate once a week to help get rid of the flakiness. I would stay away from physical exfoliants (ie scrubs with beads in them). If your skin is very sensitive, avoid anything stronger than a lactic acid exfoliant. I like the Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant. (I can recommend others if you would like.) A good hydrating serum will help to deliver moisture to the deeper layer of your skin, and a very hydrating moisturiser will help to protect your skin and keep in moisture. If you are careful about looking after your skin, and definitely moisturise before applying foundation, you will find that foundation application is greatly improved.

Some buffing brushes seem to work fine on dry skin: I like the Real Techniques Stippling Brush and Buffing Brush. The Rae Morris Radiance Brush is great as well. If you really can’t work with the buffing motion, you could use the Stippling Brush in stippling motions, rather than buffing with it. Paddle-shaped traditional foundation brushes work well on dry skin, as you can smooth the product over your face without buffing and causing micro-exfoliation. You could also try the beauty blender; I find this always works on very dry skin. Or, you could try smoothing on the foundation with your fingertips.

I hope this helps!

Fran 21 October, 2012 - 8:47 pm

Thank you Dena!

I can see what you mean about the 217 being a multi-purpose and versatile brush. A good starter brush for sure 🙂 You know what … I’m such a newbie, I didn’t put nailpolish over the numbering and all of my MAC brushes are starting to become numberless! ohhhh well.

I’m still on the hunt for a perfect skincare system that can soothe my parched skin (seems like a never-ending journey) … but I’ll have to try the Dermalogica exfoliant! Sounds like a winner!

I do have the Real Techniques buffing brush and find that it’s pretty soft. The Beauty Blender sounds like a great option as well, I’m sure that it would be especially soothing. I’m thinking I’ll try it with my Bobbi Brown stick foundation, which is a bit too heavy and clingy in coverage (on me) … that might just do the trick! I think you’re right, if I find the right skincare regime, foundations and brushes won’t be as much of an issue for my skin.

Really. Thanks for taking the time to respond. I appreciate your advice!

Dena 23 October, 2012 - 8:32 pm

Good luck experimenting – I’d love to hear how you get on.

Fran 25 October, 2012 - 12:16 pm

Thanks for all your help Dena, cc and Sonia! I’m going to experiment with your suggestions over the next month or so and will see how my skin responds. I will most definitely keep you updated 🙂 I love this site!

Sweet Make Up Temptations 21 October, 2012 - 8:50 pm

Hi Dena ! thank you so much for your input ! you recommendations are always so helpful !

cc 22 October, 2012 - 6:28 am

Hi Dena & Fran,

I used to think I have combi-oily skin type.. It took me awhile to realize mine is actually combi-dry. I followed this simple lotion mask treatment as shown here:


After 3 weeks (yes, I do this for 3 min everyday), I found that my skin is much more hydrated that dry patches on my face (after applying foundation) is gone.. and that the T-zone on my face is no longer oily!

I am not sure if this is applicable to everyone but do give it a try. It has worked wonders for me. 🙂

Sweet Make Up Temptations 22 October, 2012 - 7:53 am

Thank you 🙂 fantastic info !!

cc 22 October, 2012 - 8:08 am

I must add that you should notice the difference in 3-5 days.. After 3 weeks, the skin gets ‘stable’ (if it makes sense) that sometimes if I get too lazy and skip 1-2 days, it still looks hydrated.

Sonia, I am so happy for you that this site has grown to become such a resourceful and informative community. I really really love this site. Great job done and really appreciate your effort. 🙂

Fran 22 October, 2012 - 1:28 pm

Thank you cc! Wow, this looks like such a soothing and relaxing technique 🙂 I can’t wait to try it out! I wonder … is the “lotion” more of a hydrating toner or “softener”, like the ones Shiseido sells? I will definitely give the process some time to work and will get back to you!

Thank you for your support and kindness!

cc 22 October, 2012 - 2:31 pm

Hi Fran,

Yes, hydrating toner would be suitable. After this step, apply serum and/or moisturizer. 🙂

Dena 22 October, 2012 - 5:20 pm

Hi CC, thanks for the tip. I do use these masks sometimes. I buy the sachets from Shu Uemura – masks with eye and mouth holes already cut out, soaked with product. I also have the precut masks from Muji, which are cut into the mask shape and rolled up; you just need to soak them in product. I used to love those Japanese lotions, but in all honesty,when my skin became really dry, I found that they did nothing. They can’t penetrate as deeply into the skin as a serum and they are not as rich as a moisturiser, so they just became an unnecessary extra step in my routine. They feel really pampering though, and I do love all things Japanese, so I still use them from time to time before a special occasion. The step I now use in my skincare instead is the Astalift Jelly Aquarista (another Japanese brand!), which can penetrate into the dermis, and has made an enormous difference to the brightness and tone of my skin.

cc 23 October, 2012 - 3:31 am

Hi Dena, thanks for your reply. I agree with you that masks cannot penetrate as deeply as serum, which is why they are ‘supplements’. Lotion mask is an essential step in Japanese skincare regime. I do use sachet masks from many Japanese brands and I normally use them after a good session of pore cleansing masque, in order to add the essence and moisture back into the skin. The precut masks is a good (haven’t tried Muji but I am using Kanebo’s) option while the cotton (as shown in the video) provides an easier and cheaper alternative.
Thanks for the tip on Astalift. I saw their counter last week but did not approach them. Their Astalift Whitening Cream is quite popular here in Asia as well. Maybe I should try to get some samples from them on my next visit.

Dena 23 October, 2012 - 8:53 pm

Hi CC, yes I definitely recommend Astalift products; I really think they have made more of a difference to my skin than anything else. I do like the Shu Uemura masks – I wish I had time to use skincare masks more often – as it is, my nightly routine takes 20 mins! (Oh, the joys of getting older!) Someone at the Shu counter once told me that the masks are soaked in an entire bottle of serum. I don’t think that’s true, but they are hydrating, and they feel very pampering. I absolutely love Japanese skincare.

Neo 21 October, 2012 - 6:46 pm

Hi Helen! I’ve been stalking the Rae Morris website for almost 2 months now, waiting for the Radiance 27 to be back in stock, with no luck! I just saw that after having had the same issue as me, you said you now received yours. Would you please mind sharing where you found it? Not that I can’t wait, but I would prefer not to, lol! Thank you 🙂

helen856 24 October, 2012 - 6:09 pm

Hi Neo , sorry I just read your message . I got my Radiance 27 from lovemakeup.com . I e-mailed them about 3 weeks ago to find out when it would be back in stock and they gave me a date , then I kept bothering them 🙂 Anyway , I was lucky because I checked the web-site when it was back in stock , but I think I ordered the last one they had – it was in stock for just ONE DAY !!!! It seems to be the must-have item de jour 🙂
Good luck ! helen

Sweet Make Up Temptations 24 October, 2012 - 6:45 pm

Thank you Helen 🙂
I believe you are talking about http://www.love-makeup.co.uk ?

Neo 21 October, 2012 - 7:03 pm

Ooops, sorry, I hit “post” before I was done! I wanted to ask you Sonia, do you prefer the RM Radiance 27 or the Fu Pa 2 for liquid foundation? My current HG foundation is the Cle de Peau Refining Fluid foundation, and I’ve used it with the Sisheido foundation brush, the LY 34, and am right now using my Shu 18 with it. They all work great, truth be told, but I find the LY34 a tad too floppy – I’ve finally realized that I like a bit firmer foundation brushes, and while I love the Sisheido (for a more polished finish) and the Shu (just as flawless a finish, but a tad more natural, and prefer this one for everyday – most of the days :D), I would prefer something bigger (and faster, lol). Do you think I would be happy with the RM Radiance brush, or would something else be more suitable for me?

I also wanted to mention that the Ellis Faas Skin Veil has been my favorite foundation EVER!!!!! Sadly, it breaks me out like crazy, and so I’ve had to reluctantly let go of it (no point having a beautiful foundation if it gives you crappy skin – kind of defeats the purpose :(…). I do have to say that I love the Cle de Peau though, and so does my skin (I just wish it came at half the price, lol), so I’ll be sticking with it (I do think it’s my HG foundation 🙂 ).

Totally unrelated, but I think I’ll be ordering my first RMK blush today – and it’s all because, hem, thanks to you :)! I’m going for the Mix Color in 01 (I’m a pink blush gal – I have yellow undertones, but strangely warm/coral blushes make me look sick 🙁 ). My only hesitation is that I can’t find out if they are sparkly or not? I love for my blushes to give some radiance, but not so much into glitter…. I’m also tempted to give the Rouge Bunny Rouge blushes a try, as I’ve read good things about them, but I think I’ll go with the RMK first 😉

As ever, thank you for all your wonderful posts, including all the kind follow-up and advice, I totally appreciate it! Also love all your followers, such a lovely group of like minded ladies 🙂

Sweet Make Up Temptations 21 October, 2012 - 7:47 pm

I prefer to live without the Fupa than the Radiance, but I love both…
The Radiance is fantastic because when you finish applying your foundation and cream contour, you use the Radiance to blend everything and it’s so flawless !
If you use the Shu 18 then the Radiance, it would be the perfect combination (it is for me).
Cle de peau have wonderful foundations ! I am happy that Ellis Faas doesn’t break me out, but Cle de Peau is a great foundation and I am loving it.
RMK mix for cheeks are not sparkly blushes, but they do have shine, a wonderful glow ! everybody needs an RMK blush that’s for sure 😉 If I am wearing a strong eye look I will pick RBR, but if I am wearing a neutral eye look I will definitely pick an RMK blush, they will make any look come to life !
You are very welcome, I agree my followers are such a lovely group of crazy beauty lovers 😛

Neo 21 October, 2012 - 9:00 pm

Thank you so much (again!!!!) Sonia! I shall try to patiently (not likely, lol!) wait for the Radiance brush to be back in stock, and continue with my Shu 18 only in the meantime :).

And I’m off to order the RMK blush (no doubt the RBR will soon follow – as soon as I’ve determined which color to go for, that is 😉 ) – Shine and glow just sound perfect!!!

Sweet Make Up Temptations 21 October, 2012 - 9:10 pm

If I find somewhere where it’s being sold, I let you know !
I have ordered and it has just being shipped this foundation brush from Koyudo.
I hope that it will work like the Radiance but I am not sure. The bristles seem to be too straight for a flawless finish… I keep you updated 🙂
Well, I got all of the RBR 🙁 I am pathetic 😛

Neo 21 October, 2012 - 10:30 pm

Oh thank you!!!! And that Koyudo looks adorable! I kind of hope you find it even better than the Radiance (but like you I doubt it, it just looks too different), as it looks more comfortable to hold – the Radiance does look awkward, but I’m sure I’ll get used to it, especially if it gives such a wonderful result ;). I can’t wait for you to get your new Koyudo order!!!!!

I don’t think you are pathetic at all – just a tad addicted, but hey, who am I to judge (especially after having taken a look at my own make up/brush stash, and I don’t even have a blog to justify it!!!!!! LOL) :D! I actually find it even wonderful, especially as now I can ask for your advice 😉 :). To give you an idea of my coloring, the Ellis Faas Skin Veil in 102 was a perfect match for me (104 was my summer match), so I would describe my skin as light-medium, with neutral to yellow undertones. My hair is dark blond/light brown. I am leaning towards RBR Florita – as I told you, I prefer pink toned (as opposed to orange or coral, not baby doll pink though) blushes, as they make me look more awake, and somehow “fresher”. But sometimes I think maybe Gracilis, or even Orpheline may also be good options????? And so while I waffle, I don’t order, and I’m no closer to knowing which would be good, lol! My favorite blushes at this point are the Chantecaille Mood, Suqqu EX 02 Mizumomo, and the Paul & Jo Les Tourtereaux from this fall’s collection. I apply them all quite sheerly. All advice and feedback would be super welcomed 🙂

Thank you 🙂

Sweet Make Up Temptations 22 October, 2012 - 8:10 am

The Radiance is weird to use but you quickly get used to it ! So let’s see how this little Koyudo performs.. I will get it very soon I think.

Thanks for the support 🙂 when I do something I just have to go full speed ahead 😛

Well, you know something about RBR is that even if they say “this is more suitable for this or that skintype-tone” I can basically wear all of their blushes. Which is so strange. Same for the lipliners.
When I go to the beauty counters, every single time I go they describe my skintone and my skintype differently.. so either I am some kind of camaleon or I am just very lucky.. nearly everything works for me (well almost everything and in a controlled application of course). If I refer to the definitions of warm and cool toned, I am just in the middle.
I never thought I would love and wear Gracilis, it looks so dull in the pan, but it’s actually the perfect blush for a neutral look, it gives a nice dimension to my cheeks and it does show on my skin without being powdery which is excellent.
Florita is amazing and Orpheline is to die for, but the thing about these is that you really have to try them, there is a big chance you will love them. That’s my experience with RBR, they are really easy to wear… I am not helping here right ? 😛
I have a post on them, did you see it?

I have to check out the ones you are talking about !

Neo 22 October, 2012 - 12:22 pm

Oooooh, no I hadn’t stumbled upon your RBR blushes post yet, but I did now :D!!!!!!!! Thank you, it’s really useful – I think ;): I now know that I will get Floritas first, but at some point will also need Orpheline AND Gracilis, and the no-blush blush too (can’t remember the name of that one, lol), as I’m really intrigued…

I’m doomed… LOL

And you are so lucky you can do all colors!!!! I would love to, and sometimes try to convince myself that I can, but then I look into the mirror and realize that no, really, I can’t 😀 😀 😀

Sweet Make Up Temptations 22 October, 2012 - 12:34 pm

Hahaha 😀 I know, but look at the bright side : they only have 6 shades 😀
The no-blush blush must be Delicata… I remember using Lancome Miel Glace as a no-blush blush in the past, I loved it so much ! I have to give more love to my other blushes too and I have to compare these two together by the way…

Neo 22 October, 2012 - 11:39 pm

Yaaayyyyy!!!!! I’m so excited for you, and hope you love Enchanted just as much as I do (I was wearing it today, and thinking once again how happy I am that I got it – expensive for sure, but worth every penny 😉 )!!!!! I will look forward to your feedback on it, and how it compares quality-wise to other TF quads (reviews seem to differ greatly, very confusing)!

And yes, it’s the Delicata I was thinking of, thank you :). And my RMK blush shipped today – hope it crosses the Atlantic fast, I’m really excited!!

Sweet Make Up Temptations 22 October, 2012 - 5:03 pm

Neo, my future Enchanted has been ordered !!! yeah !

helen856 23 October, 2012 - 4:26 pm

Hello Sonia : Empress of Beauty 🙂 I am a very happy but penniless bunny ! I went shopping and bought the Ellis Faas foundation you recommended ( the one in the silver pen )and applied it with my Fu Pa 2 and Radiance 27 and it’s pretty damn good ! Also a lovely green/gold eyeshadow and lipstick Rusty Pink in the same space-age pens .These are the first Ellis Faas products I’ve bought ( in Liberty’s in London now )and I’m so pleased with the quality : thanks again for the recommendation . I ALSO bought the Suquu Usumoegi palette and the texture of the finely-milled powders is just worth every penny. thanks again , Helen x

Bonnie 23 October, 2012 - 3:20 pm

I’m tossing up between the Z-2, the GS-9 or G5521. I know they’re all a little bit different but I’m looking for a contour brush, as well as for highlighting. What are your opinions on these three?

And oh! Have you seen the Chikuhodo PF series? What do you think of them?

I feel like I’m continuously spamming you with questions! Sorry….but you’re just so amazing, I think I’ll be calling you brush guru 🙂 But I think after I get my orders in, my wallet will be looking the worse for wear and I’ll have to start saving again for new wants…

Sweet Make Up Temptations 23 October, 2012 - 3:59 pm

I would go for the J5521 just to add a little bit more confusion 😛 it would be the most multipurpose and efficient for applying, blending and diffusing contour and highlight.
Funny but my preference is J5521 – GS-9 – Z-2 – G5521 (that would be the order from the most often used to the least often used…)
They are very different, the GS-9 is so much bigger so it would be a different usage for this one.
The J5521 is surreal for a goat brush, so insanely cute, soft yet so efficient. I am not really using the G5521, I prefer the density of the J5521.
The Z-2 is a gem and I also love to use it with contour, the application is directional but not streaky, it would give you a softer and sheerer finish than the J5521, it also depends if the products you use are very pigmented or not.
Do you have oily or dry skin ?

Yes I saw the PF series, but since I have the small Hakuhodo 214 and the Koyudo Fupa 01 that are similar I am not that much in a hurry to get them (althouth I tried in the past but I did not manage to get them forwarded to me…)

It’s always a pleasure to receive your comments and to help and also to see that there are many other brush lovers out there 🙂

Bonnie 23 October, 2012 - 4:21 pm

I meant J5521! Fantastic 😛

I have normal/combination with dry patches, more so in winter. In summer, I get a little more oily along the T-zone but the patches more or less go!

I saw the PFs and thought they looked so cute, especially the PF-1. Although, PF2 and PF3 somehow make me think of little soldiers standing in a row…

And I’ve noticed what time it is here (almost 3.30am!). I should sleep so I have energy to study tomorrow, but I think I spend more time studying brushes and makeup blogs instead of my textbooks!

helen856 24 October, 2012 - 7:04 pm

Yes , sorry , wwww.lovemakeup.co.uk. I just checked out the site again , and there is no Radiance 27 . I would suggest to Neo she e-mails them to find out when they are expecting their next delivery , and to pursue it relentlessly :)))) If she is ordering from the U.K. the postage and packing is free . When I did finally get my hands on it I felt elated !!!!

Buggsiebee 24 October, 2012 - 8:12 pm

But do you actualy use the Radiance Helen? i’ve heard such different FB on this elusive brush. I have a small face & quite frankly I think the brush will smother me but because everyone seems to find it soooo SUPER I feel the need to try it. You also have a small face. I’m looking in your eyes …..so tell me the truth!!! PLEASE.

helen856 24 October, 2012 - 8:51 pm

Oh I cannot tell a lie Buggsie bee 🙂 When I first opened the package I was disappointed because the wood casing isn’t varnished , it looks just like old balsa wood ; THEN I sniffed it , and it still reeked of goat ! ( just like my Tom Ford 06 ) . But I applied my foundation with the Fu Pa 2 and then worked lightly all over with the Radiance ; and I have to tell you the finish is flawless . You cannot tell where the foundation starts and ends . Because of the width , I think , the bristles go in at slightly different angles , so there is no area that is tell-tale in one direction so you could tell looking as the light falls on it . Sonia would be able to describe it much better than I .But I have to say it does really make a difference . This evening I washed all my brushes in the Masters Brush Cleaner : so quick and easy !!!! I’m afraid I’m a bit of a Sonia clone : if she says it’s good , I buy it ! Never been disappointed . Credit card totally maxed out though 🙂 Go on , Buggsiebee , you know you want one ! Helenx

Sweet Make Up Temptations 24 October, 2012 - 9:05 pm

thank you Helen ! I am really touched by your trust 🙂

Buggsiebee 24 October, 2012 - 11:01 pm

Helen……you know that I’m going to come over there and knock you on the head with a HUGE brick ….and steal your Radiance don’t you;))
Thanks Helen;)) I’ shall continue the radiance conquest!!

Sweet Make Up Temptations 25 October, 2012 - 5:23 am

You don’t need to have all of the surface of the brush touch your face flat (that would be difficult in fact), you can hold it angled and use only part of the brush surface.
I probably sound mean when I say that you wouldn’t be choosing this one for its quality since after a few months of daily use, it’s still in one piece and still doing its job perfectly well, maybe don’t expect the exact same quality that a similar Hakuhodo, it’s more roughly finished, but it’s worth it for its fantastic efficiency.
For smaller parts of the face you will use only the side of the head, or half of the brush head, then you would blend in strokes motion. I wish I could do a video for you 🙁

Sweet Make Up Temptations 24 October, 2012 - 9:12 pm

😀 I can actually picture you begging for a confession 😀
It is that good, which is a bit weird knowing that I am not that fond of her 26 pieces set… but you know I always tell you the truth 😉
you do need one, you won’t be buying for its quality or for it’s beauty, but you will get a truly efficient brush.. honestly I don’t know what you are waiting for… we cannot be more persuasive than that !!! 😛

Neo 24 October, 2012 - 11:48 pm

I know what she’s waiting for: for the brush to finally be back in stock and available for purchase!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you so much Helen! What stroke of luck you had :)! I will definitely get in touch with lovemakeup and relentlessly pursue them :D!!!!!!! I’m in the US, but it’s ok, I don’t mind paying postage, as it would probably be the same if I were to order from Australia 😉

I seriously can’t wait for the brush to be back in stock – it’s been 2 months or so now, a tad ridiculous, no? (Can you feel my impatience??? LOL)

Sweet Make Up Temptations 3 November, 2012 - 12:04 pm

Hi 😀
Wayne has just made a video on the Radiance
I use it more gently than he does since I have very dry skin but that’s how you would use it basically, you can get a better idea of its size on his video 🙂

Bonnie 25 October, 2012 - 1:03 am

When you guys all talk about the Ellis Faas foundation, it’s the pen right? What’s the difference between the pen and the bottle foundation? Everyone’s been saying amazing things about it, I think I have to head down to my local counter to check it out….

helen856 25 October, 2012 - 6:09 am

Hi Bonnie ,when I bought my pen last week the assistant who made me up WARNINGw said the pen has light coverage , whereas the bottle has full coverage . (see Sonia’s post ” Summer 2012 favourites ” ).The pen is considerably cheaper than the bottle .
WARNING : Don’t start looking at the lipstick or eyeshadow pens or you’ll be lost 🙂 Hx

helen856 25 October, 2012 - 7:55 am

P.S. Bonnie , for comprehensive analysis/swatches/comments of all Ellis Faas products go to Sonia’s June 2012 Archive . I wish I had read this before I did a haul in Libertys !
I agree totally with Sonia and Buggsiebee that the textures , colours and quality of the products is gorgeous , but the application with the “bullets ” is a real pain in the butt . I would still go for the foundation , ‘cos you can squidge it on your hand and then use another brush to apply , but the eyeshadow comes out in an irregular way and is quite difficult to manage once it’s out , likewise the lipstick.
Quelle domage 🙁

Bonnie 25 October, 2012 - 11:07 am

Thanks so much for your reply, Helen! I went and checked out both posts and I definitely think I’ll stick with the foundation for now. I just couldn’t decide between the bottle but I thought, for the amount of product, it would work out cheaper even though it’s more expensive…. I guess the pen is the way to go then!

As for the others…. OMG! They look so amazing when applied, in terms of colour and texture. But if everyone’s saying the packing is a pain in the…. I guess I should give it a miss. I’ll buy another brush instead haha!

Neo 25 October, 2012 - 12:01 pm

Hi Bonnie! Just wanted to say that having used the Ellis Faas foundation for quite a while a year ago (until I realized that it actually was the cause my break outs 🙁 ) and having communicated directly with Ellis Faas CS about it, the product in the pens and in the bottles is exactly the same, only the packaging changes. And you are right, because of the difference in quantities, the bottle is actually much cheaper – and way more practical to use, lol. I hope your skin agrees with it, it is such a beautiful product! Enjoy 🙂

Sweet Make Up Temptations 25 October, 2012 - 12:05 pm

Hi, there is so little quantity in the pen ! the brush is totally useless and quite difficult to clean, that’s why I prefer the bottle which has a pump and so much more quantity ! To me they seem the same indeed, same coverage, I will check tonight but that’s also what I have been told.

Bonnie 25 October, 2012 - 11:25 am

Oh no! I’m devastated… I was going to get it off niche-beauty as it was half priced but it doesn’t ship to Australia! It retails here for around US$90 and I got so excited that it was so cheap online but noooo 🙁 Doesn’t it just suck when places don’t ship!?

Buggsiebee 25 October, 2012 - 9:29 am

I’m SO happy that you got your radiance brush Helen. Perserverance pays!
I find it so frustrating when I really want something and it’s out of stock.
It’s nice to know that it will be making a reappearance though and when it does I sure that I will HAVE to try it out. I don’t want to be the only one not to possess this magical brush:)

Malin, Kohlindo 25 October, 2012 - 9:46 am

I bet I have seen this type of brush at Chikuhodo for some years ago…… I will go brush hunting again. Buggsiebee: Im waiting for answer of the little porcelain brush for you. I must have one too. I dont know why I didn´t buy it for Kohlindo when they had it.

Buggsiebee 25 October, 2012 - 3:10 pm

You’re a good woman Malin! Thank you:))
I particularly like the Sea & Cherry blossom design.

Buggsiebee 25 October, 2012 - 3:06 pm

Bonnie, I will get it for you if you like? I’m based in Germany. No problem!
Let me know Ok.

Bonnie 25 October, 2012 - 4:04 pm

Oh, thank you so much 🙂 I actually found it on another site, with the bottles but they’re down to the last S103L, which I think is my skin tone although I might tan a little bit over the summer. I’m just going to see if I can get my shade matched tomorrow in case I am S104 (and try and not be tempted by any of the other things eeep). My friend wants it too, so if that’s the case…I might have to ask you to get it for me!

Thank you in advance in case I do get it. If you’d like anything from Australia, I can try and get it for you, but no koalas! I’m not quite sure what else we’re famous for haha

Buggsiebee 25 October, 2012 - 4:55 pm

That sounds like a good idea. It would be silly to pay ebevn half price for a shade that doesn’t match. Whenever you’re ready. You can get my e-mail from Sonia if you like?
And don’t worry, I won’t be asking you to export any furry friends in exchange:)

Bonnie 25 October, 2012 - 11:01 pm

Oh! What I can do is keep an eye out for the Rae Morris Radiance, althought it won’t really help. You can only get it online, from what I understand, so it will be available to everyone all at once….

Jo 25 October, 2012 - 4:31 pm

Hi Sonia, have you had a chance to form an opinion on your Chikuhodo M-5 yet? I’d love to know what you think…have searched the blog and can’t find a post on it?
(We are terrible readers aren’t we, bombarding you with our very specific questions!)
I am looking for a small brush that will pick up Edward Bess shadow which is really finely milled for all over wash colour, I have a Kokutan ML which is great for all other shadows, but this doesn’t pick *quite* enough product for me.

Anyway, wondered what you think now you’ve had time to play with it!

Sweet Make Up Temptations 25 October, 2012 - 7:21 pm

Hi Jo 🙂
Guess what ?
I am actually writing on that brush ! the post will include the BL12-6, the M-4, M-5, GS-3, GS-4 and the Z-5 and hopefully it will be uploaded tomorrow or Saturday, depending on the time I will have available. All pictures are ready but I need to write my opinions below each picture.
What a coincidence… are you reading my mind ? 😛
If you don’t mind I will reply to you after posting that review, maybe it will help already and will answer your questions 🙂
talk soon ! oh by the way, they are all grey squirrel (and of amazing quality)

Jo 25 October, 2012 - 4:37 pm

ooooooh dear, now I’ve gone and done it, looking at the M-series! I’m wanting the M-4 now too. Aaaagh! Do you know what the hair is?

Buggsiebee 26 October, 2012 - 5:03 am

That’s a sweet thought Bonnie:) I think I will wait for the Radiance to be available at lovemakeup.co.uk though so don’t worry. For me to get the EF foundation for you is no prob & all & doesn’t involve any kind of pay back favour:) I would ship it as a registered international letter which costs approx €6,- so it’s not the end of the world. It would have no tracking but I think the ‘signed for’ function reduces the risk of it disappearing in the post and is sufficient protection?

Buggsiebee 26 October, 2012 - 6:03 am

Hey Sonia, did you pick up your macaroon yet?? Post -wash it gets softer but loses none of it’s shape. I love mine but now I really want the whole set;P

Bonnie 26 October, 2012 - 6:38 am

Heyy Buggsiebee, is it okay if I order a few other things? My friends wanted a few things as well, and…despite the packaging, we all just fell for the lips. I had to get 201 Ellis Red!
Hope it’s not too much trouble! I should be able to pay for the order with my card, so I’ll just …paypal?… you the postage and P+H. Thanks so much in advance!

Buggsiebee 26 October, 2012 - 7:01 am

No problem Bonnie. I might have to make separate packages to stay within the weight limit for shipping as an international registered letter. It may be better to send a few smaller parcels for customs too?? The half-price sale is amazeballs. I got every EF item I had ever wanted. I figured at this price it was now or never:))

Sweet Make Up Temptations 26 October, 2012 - 7:02 am

No I couldn’t go to the PO this morning.. I will go tomorrow morning for sure ! I can’t wait to see it !

Buggsiebee 26 October, 2012 - 7:04 am

Oh dear….sad face:(
I was a bit concerned that you didn’t like it as I hadn’t heard any squeals of delight & I thought you were picking it up yesterday evening.

yancy 5 November, 2012 - 4:34 pm

Gosh, so much to catch up. Not only your post itself but all the comments. Just so wonderfully helpful. Thank you. I notice, Sonia, that none of the Hakuhodo squirrel face brushes made to your favorite list. As I’m quite not ready to deal with all the complications extra cost of ordering more exclusive brushes, I wonder what your opinions on the Hakuhodo ones compared to the latter. I have no doubt about the excellence of J series brushes. However, I have an old Shiseido squirrel brush and I quite like the feel of it partly because even with my oily skin, softness matters a lot and buffing motion is often not an option. If I have some blemishes healing or gone through some heavy duty exfoliation, it is not only flakes exacerbating but also irritating. Another consideration is that with my oily skin I like to put a very thin layer of a liquid foundation on selected areas and put a quite a lot of powder foundation on top. Also when I go out, I put a prodigious amount of loose powder spf (Chantecaille spf46) even at the risk of looking powdery as I wouldn’t feel secure otherwise. So what would be ideal for me is some soft brush that doesn’t move my face much (I tend to prefer patting and downward motion or flicking or feathering, etc. no circular buffing) but also packs on product with reasonable speed making it as natural and seamless as possible (if it is possible at all). So going back to Hakuhodo question, I was considering G5519BkSL Powder Brush as it is described as giving more coverage that other squirrels. Do you have an experience with that brush? If so, with my needs in consideration, how does it compare to your favorite face brushes from J series. Or do you think I should try to obtain one of those harder to get brushes as it would be just so much better? Or if you don’t have an experience with that brush, can you think of a recommendation?

Sweet Make Up Temptations 5 November, 2012 - 8:24 pm

Hi Yancy, welcome back 🙂
You are right, but I am correcting that at this moment 🙂 I have just received the S116 and I am waiting for the S111 (and a few little others), I am pretty sure these will both be in my favorites. I have the K002 that I truly love, the only problem with it is that it’s too big for blush application, otherwise if I had the same but smaller (with the same density and flexibility), that would be it. I don’t have the one you selected G5519 but I wish I had, it sounds amazing in every word and I think you are making the right choice, the layers of hair seem to be starting close enough to the ferrule to pick a good amount of powder on the sides and by the look of it, it seems to be able to keep it in the bristles even if you tap the excess powder away (I saw a close-up picture here), perfect for working in a patting mode and you probably won’t need much work to gently reach the desire application and blend very softly. I have mostly mixed goat/squirrel Hakuhodo brushes and at the moment due to my sensitive skin I am trying to pick even softer ones.
If I had your skintype, I think I would like to use the Chikuhodo Z-4 or a smaller version of the K002, but I really think that the one you selected will be an excellent choice for packing great color without moving your skin around.
However, if you follow Hakuhodo’s recommendations, goat brushes should be used with oily skin and squirrel brushes with dry skin. I am a bit confused, I know oily skin and oil-based products are not the best for squirrel hair brushes, but if you really have sensitive skin, blending with a goat brush may really be uncomfortable and also if you want a more matte finish I would say to pick squirrel brushes instead of goat brushes… get’s complicated 🙁
I don’t know if this helps but I really think you couldn’t pick a better brush for your intended purpose 🙂

yancy 6 November, 2012 - 9:57 am

Thank you so much again, Sonja. I feel assured about the Hakuhodo brush and I will let you know how it goes.

Bonnie 17 November, 2012 - 1:56 pm

Sonia, I need help! If I have (or will be getting) the Chikuhodo G-10, do I need the TF 02? Well… not “need”… but whether they are too similar to justify getting both.

On another note, courtesy of my lovely friends, I have my TF bronzer brush!

Sweet Make Up Temptations 17 November, 2012 - 2:44 pm

hi Bonnie 🙂 The TF 02 covers approx twice the surface than the G-10 but they are both cream foundation/contour brushes. It depends what you want to do, if you will be needing two similar brushes, then it’s good to have two like that, I do need two similar ones because I may use them the same day with different cream products, it’s easier and faster but not necessary.
The TF 02 is softer and since it covers more surface I would rather pick this one before the G-10, I have the G-10 and I use it more often than the TF02 but this is to save my TF for longer.. If I can I prefer to avoid washing the TF’s too often.
I think the TF 06 is really one you should consider if you were looking for a second TF, this blush brush is stunning but since the TF 02 I have is really very similar in shape and density to the TF 06, you could also use the TF 02 for blush (it’s just smaller but other than that very similar). I hope this helps 🙂
you have very lovely friends by the way !!

Bonnie 17 November, 2012 - 3:32 pm

I know, they’re amazing friends 🙂

Hmm, I’ve already ordered the G-10 so maybe I’ll leave the TF 02… I don’t use that many cream products, in fact, it would really be foundation, and the Shade and Illuminate. But for the S&I, I’ve now decided that I want the Koyudo Christmas set for its cheek brush for that purpose! I’ve also ordered the Z-8 so I’m not really looking for another cheek brush atm, although I think both the Z-8 and TF 06 are quite different. I don’t suppose the TF 06 would work for cream products, would it? Aside from being bigger…

Sweet Make Up Temptations 17 November, 2012 - 6:11 pm

If you order the Koyudo Christmas set then you have both the perfect foundation and shade & illuminate brush (just my opinion..)
and if on top of that, you will have the Z-8 you will be in brush heaven !
As far as I know the TF brushes don’t have dye in the hair at all, therefore no problem to use them with cream products, even the TF 06 of course, but I will use this one more for cream/liquid blushes than foundations, again just my preference, I prefer a firmer and “coarser” brush – but in a good way coarser – for an easier blending. The TF 06 would be a nice versatile and luxurious addition to your ongoing collection !

Thank you Bonnie for telling me these sweet things 🙂

If you are looking for info about the G543, you may be surprised by tomorrow’s posts, what a coincidence ! Of course provided that I can manage to finish them … There are two posts being prepared for tomorrow and I hope that I will manage to hit ‘publish‘ this time (a bit busy these days) 😛

Bonnie 1 December, 2012 - 10:20 am

Hi Sonia! I just wanted to let you know my mum finally returned with all the things I ordered. The Chikuhodo brushes are gorgeous! First off, I just wanted to say – how small is the G-10!? It’s smaller than I imagined it would be but it looks lovely. The Z-8 is beautiful and is the G-3. The PF-2 is so cute as well 🙂

I also got the Koh Gen Do Aqua foundation and will test it out over the next few weeks. It’s so hot right now here in Australia that I really don’t feel like makeup for fear of it becoming a mess but it says that it’s sweat resistant on the little pamphlet included inside haha!

Sweet Make Up Temptations 2 December, 2012 - 12:32 pm

Hi Bonnie,
Let me know about the foundation, I am very curious to know how it performs with this hot weather !
The Chikuhodo are really amazing, I am so happy you like them 🙂 I think it’s very useful to have a little foundation brush like the G-10, and it’s easy to carry around in your beauty bag for any daily touch ups.
I am finally back from London, I have so many things to tell you ! I have to get started 😉

Bonnie 3 December, 2012 - 11:54 am

Hi Sonia,

I tried the KGD today although I can’t tell you how it holds up in the heat because the weather dropped nearly 10 C to about 20 C today! It’s a fairly fluid liquid foundation, applies quite light although I can definitely see it being buildable. It goes on beautifully, very natural. I managed to get rid of most of my dry patches (yay! I was getting so exasperated last week when at least 1/3 of my face was obviously patchy and peeling) so I can’t tell you whether it will enhance the patches. I didn’t use primer today to test, but it doesn’t fall into my smile lines which is usually my biggest problem 🙂 I will test it over the next few days and let you know how it holds up. I’m loving how light and moisturising it feels though.

I also came home to find the RMK Ex-02 on my table. It’s so beautiful! I’m going to wear it tomorrow and will let you know how much I love it – I’m fairly certain that I will haha.

And welcome back 😛 we were missing your presence!

Bonnie 17 November, 2012 - 3:33 pm

Thanks so much as always 🙂 I really appreciate everything you do in this blog, as I’m sure the rest of your readers/followers/minions do as well!

Bonnie 18 November, 2012 - 4:47 am

Yay! I’ll look forward to today’s post then if you get them ready. We all know you’re busy and you still make time to make these posts for us!

I’ve been looking at G543 for awhile – it’s actually the Hakuhodo brush I was first interested in, but I’ve been slowly compiling a list to make a mass order so I never got around to it. Now, through your blog and all these other amazing readers, I’ve learnt more about other brushes so now I’m considering if there are other better brushes. Too many choices!

While the Koyudo Christmas set may be perfect, one should never stop looking for perfection! And that’s why we look at the increasingly soft softness in these Koyudo brushes 🙂

Jess 24 March, 2013 - 4:39 pm

Hi, do you know if Koyudo and Chikuhodo are cruelty free?
Amazing blog btw, love your brushes 🙂

Sweet Make Up Temptations 24 March, 2013 - 5:56 pm

Hi Jess,
it’s what they claim, please feel free to contact their customer services if you have any question.

Thank you 🙂

Bo 24 May, 2013 - 4:02 pm

Please do a update on 2013 favorite brushes please!!!! Enjoy Japan=)

estrella 7 June, 2013 - 3:01 am

Finally found this 😀

fanny_blackrose 29 June, 2013 - 3:52 pm

I just bought hakuhodo brushes , base on your review. Thank you so much.

Chad 9 September, 2014 - 2:00 pm

And so I have stumbled here… and all I can say is “WOW”… I have been browsing and drooling (sorry for that..) at all the brushes that you have, and reviewed… Amazing in-depth reviews to all the brushes… I just want to say THANK YOU for putting your time and effort in reviewing these beautiful brushes. I am also a brush addict, and my collection feels mediocre from what you have. LOL. Again, thank you.. if I may, let me stay, browse and drool a little longer. 🙂

Sweet Make-Up Temptations 9 September, 2014 - 9:13 pm

Hi Chad!
well, it’s my pleasure 🙂 I am happy that this helps you, I know that when you start to discover new brands it can be overwhelming, gosh if you love brushes you will see how many amazing brands exist today, it’s scary for our wallets!!!
Welcome to this brush-lover community and wishing lots of fun discoveries 🙂


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