Home Brushes Tanseido – A few answers to your questions

Tanseido – A few answers to your questions

by Sonia G.

Hi !

Sometimes I receive questions from you that I cannot answer, so I send emails to companies to get the info. Recently I have even contacted Selfridges UK to see if their international shipping rate could be adjusted and reduced for small parcels… one can dream right ? πŸ˜€ They haven’t replied, but maybe they will ? who knows… I’ll keep you informed either way.

TanseidoΒ just replied to the questions I had sent them, I will copy here the 3 little questions and their answers.Β I hope it’s clear, if you have any other questions, please feel free to ask me, they are very willing to help and I highly appreciate their availability and effort.


I may travel to Japan soon, I am planning the dates and the trip at the moment, if Β you have any advice, recommendations, suggestions, I’ll be pleased to hear them, I have tried to take note of the skincare you mentioned in some comments but I won’t mind at all if you centralize your recommendations here, trip or beauty related, it will be easier to access them when I am there.

My very first trip to Japan, hopefully not the last !

Have a lovely weekend !

>>1) Why are the brushes dyed ?

In case of Goat ( sokouhou grade )
One of the highest quality of brush is white goat, It’ s so soft and very very good for your skin,
Mainly customers like colored one than white one,
We think this is the main reason to dye,
In case of professional make up artist, They prefer black or brown brush
because They often have to make up many people different type of make up in one time,
Consequently they have to pick up many colors from powder for each models,
If they use white heir brush, It’s looks not good after few make-up,
Black or brown can hide several kind of powder colors,
Also some animal low hair needs to dye because of each hair is not same color,
some hair color is brown to white or white to dark, It’s not looks good.
These above are main reason to dye.

We know dyeing will give a damage to the hair,
So our basic stance is using original hair like white color brush,
But it is depends on hair condition (color, smell, softness etc)

>>2) what is the difference between the black ones and the tea ones ? is there also a difference in functionality or just in color ?

There is no difference between those color, it’s dyeing from white, So no difference and same function

>>3) Naming (example WQ 10TS)

W :
sokoumitsu (type of animal hair)

Q :
circle & flat shape (shape of hair)

10 :
No10 Β (metal part sizeγ€€great number Β is bigger size)

T :
Brown (color of hair Β T-tea dye Β B-black Β no
specified is white)

S :
narrow type

other codes
Y :
long handle (about 12cm)

J :
shot handle (about 5cm)

no specified :
normal size Β (about 8cm)

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cc618 5 April, 2013 - 9:36 am

Thanks, Sonia. Very informative. πŸ™‚

Bea 5 April, 2013 - 10:16 am

Oh that’s so exciting! It’s too bad you couldn’t go right now because it is cherry blossom season atm. Thanks for the info on the brushes, it is really useful to know what the letters and numbers mean. My only advice is to bring lots of money as Japan ain’t cheap and it is shopping mecca over there lol! πŸ™‚ And don’t miss the opportunity to go into those 100 yen stores. I hear you can find deals there. πŸ™‚

Sweet Make Up Temptations 5 April, 2013 - 10:48 am

Thanks Bea ! I know, sad, but at least I’ll be able to go this year which I wasn’t even sure I could.
my colleague told me about those stores, when I am back I have to start the decoration of my studio, I hope to find little things to add some color and life because the furniture will be very sleek and simple.

Bonnie 5 April, 2013 - 10:34 am

Well, the last time I was there… I was still in primary school and our priorities were Disneyland, Disney Sea and the Pokemon Centre. I think my priorities now will include Kumano hahaha!

Bonnie 5 April, 2013 - 10:35 am

And thanks for the informative post from Tanseido. Will refer back to those abbreviations when I make my Tanseido order sometime in the future…

Sweet Make Up Temptations 5 April, 2013 - 3:22 pm

you are welcome Bonnie πŸ™‚

Sweet Make Up Temptations 5 April, 2013 - 3:20 pm

There are so many places to visit, I hope I’ll be able to split my time for a few of each !

bambi 5 April, 2013 - 11:06 am

Thanks, Sonia

I would like to try Tanseido’s brush.. But I didn’t plan to travel in Japan. Hope there has international shipping soon πŸ™

Sweet Make Up Temptations 5 April, 2013 - 3:45 pm

they are thinking of it πŸ˜‰

bellyhead 5 April, 2013 - 12:27 pm

Thank you for these answers!
I thought you might be interested in checking out allmadeup-nowheretogo. She’s a blogger based in Japan and posted several really excellent beauty shopping guides for Japan.

I’ve been to Japan several times as well, but best to ask a real resident expert! πŸ™‚

Sweet Make Up Temptations 5 April, 2013 - 3:43 pm

I will, thank you so much !

Melissa 5 April, 2013 - 1:29 pm

Thank you for the explanations on the Tanseido! I wondered what the codes meant πŸ™‚
I’m still trying to resist the temptation of ordering the Tanseido and determined to get them myself when Im there! But I can tell you its HARD, especially when reading all your posts about them πŸ™‚

Woooohaaa…..I do hope u can go there verrrry soon. Even sooner than me so I can get all the insight stories from you πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

Sweet Make Up Temptations 5 April, 2013 - 3:47 pm

I can’t wait to go !
my basket is always full but I resist … well, I could go totally wild but I need to save…

Mimi 5 April, 2013 - 3:07 pm

Sonia, you may want to contact Vicky Tsai who is the owner of Tatcha skincare, based on ancient Geisha secrets. She travels to Japan numerous times per year and knows the area well. Her favorite city is Kyoto. I can tell you where to find a special shop where they still sell the basic Geisha ingredients. She also knows a shop that creates beautiful handcrafted fans. The wood on these fans has a delicate natural fragrance that is very pleasant while fanning yourself. She is very kind and if you tell her my name and that I sent you, she will recognize who I am and tell you all of her favorite places in Japan.

midnitedesire 5 April, 2013 - 3:20 pm

Thanks for sharing such great information with us! i’m sure, i’ll read it again πŸ™‚

What!!! OOh JAPAN, i wish I was going too!! would you be willing to pack me in your suitcase?…lol
i’m sure you’re going to have a fabulous time πŸ™‚

laurence 5 April, 2013 - 3:24 pm

thank you!!! very interesting!! about your trip to japan, go read the blog les chroniques de sonia (I know!!! same name!!), she’s been to japan and it’s sooooo funny what she wrote!!!
by the way, I received the billyB brushes!!!!!!interesting too! not the love at first sight I had with the red squirrel blush brush but interesting!!!!

Sweet Make Up Temptations 5 April, 2013 - 3:41 pm

With these Billy B brushes it was the same for me but gosh they are efficient !
I have already started to read her following to your advice, it’s really funny (I burst into a huge embarrassing laugh in a very silenced place).

This trip sounds funny, and knowing me (I have once asked for a “crΓ¨pe” to a guy doing a demo about frying pans in front of Lafayette because I thought he was selling something to eat… it was a very lonely moment to say the least) so imagine in Japan !

hazel w.h. 5 April, 2013 - 4:26 pm

thanks for your sharing.
It sounds amazing when I heard that you are going to go Japan.
Sonia, have you heard β€œMizuho”, which is one of the makeup brush companies in Kunano, Japan? I think these brushes are nice…I have a few brushes of Mizuho;)
I havent used brushes of Chikuhodo, Hakuhodo and Tanseido, so I cannot compare quality among them.

If you yearn to buy brushes in Japan, you can have a look first~^^

Sweet Make Up Temptations 6 April, 2013 - 6:13 pm

Hi Hazel,
no I haven’t tried them yet, I am interested by their eyeshadow brushes, some are really tempting but… they are made with pony hair and I have tried great quality pony hair but it is not soft enough for my delicate skin.
I hope I will see them in Japan, that would be fantastic.
What brushes do you have ? if you want to send me a picture I can upload it in “my friends purchases” if others are interested πŸ™‚ it’s always very helpful.
that’s the best about this trip, get to know new brands and talk to them, I hope I can bring precious info for you all …

Mimi 6 April, 2013 - 7:17 pm

This is getting very exciting!!!!

Gladys L. 5 April, 2013 - 5:01 pm

You have saved us from code breaking, awesome! Yay!

Japan is a safe and clean country for visitors. You may find salespersons knowing English, but not many.

As for suggestion, how about buying the Twany Century foundations? It is a well known choice (sorry if you have already owned it) that beats Suqqu and perform as well as La Prairie or AQ. You may also try to use the much cheaper Covermark essence foundation. The only advice is that compare prices before purchase as foreign brands are more expensive in Japan. But don’t be afraid to ask for samples or facial service (@SUQQU) if you have bought enough products. Gift wrap is so beautiful in Japan.

I am always worried if u go to Kumano in non-festival days. Maybe sending a confirmation email won’t hurt. You may also ship your online orders to your hotel if time is allowed.

Have u done a shopping list for drugstore shopping? How about a dessert restairant list also?

I know nothing about Japan sale season, they don’t like to put large sale banner in shops.

What are your trip dates?

Sweet Make Up Temptations 6 April, 2013 - 6:04 pm

I am planning to leave on the 30th of May if work permits… but I am still not sure 100%.
the more I read you the more I am scared about my luggage πŸ˜› I can only take one luggage because I have an european connecting flight before πŸ™
I’d rather book a cargo boat for the return trip !!!
I hope I will have enough days to do my research and reservations, one thing is sure Tanseido will meet me πŸ™‚

Gladys L. 9 April, 2013 - 5:05 pm

Ha ha, even though this is not the meaning of your reply, I still want to write it down here that most hotels have mailing service. You just need to go to the counter and they will mail the parcel for you (I guess by EMS) after you pay the posting charge.

I wish you would try Twany Century The Foundation by Kanebo (http://www.cosme.net/product/product_id/10030089/top) so badly! And even if you don’t buy it, you can test it in Japan and buy in the future by mail.

Aside from Koh Gen Do you love so much, Twany Century is trully famous for how well it protect one’s skin. Another expensive one is the Cosme Decorte AQ Meliority Repair Foundation SPF 25. The new Suqqu liquid foundation released in March is referred to dry/ combined towards dry skin

up and rising items:
1. Milano Collection 2013 – powder products by Kanebo
2. est
3. Chicca

I think for us shopping/makeup addicts, the time will be better spent on printing out the LISTS of all branch stores of the brands you are certain that you must go to.

The next best thing while visiting Japan is snacks, you may finish them in Japan and show the pictures to your friends (haha).

As for drugstore items, I can only find one with categories in typed words only. The web page in picture follows, but I cannot make sure you can reach it.


Gladys L. 18 April, 2013 - 5:14 am

Yet another note,

I forgot to tell my brother to bring me a makeup magazine in Japan that people put in a more prominent position in store (I only read fashion ones before) so that I know what the Japanese top choice is:

Not knowing the best labels, but maybe BITEKI, MAQUIA are average but safe choices? Anyone have other recommendation?

Gladys L. 19 April, 2013 - 4:57 pm

up and rising items (cond’t):
4. MIKIMOTO Cosmetics – famous pearl product brand, killer: the face powder
5. Elegance – e.g. mascara base

Sweet Make Up Temptations 19 April, 2013 - 6:17 pm

Noted πŸ™‚
(never heard of them)

Gladys L. 20 April, 2013 - 7:53 am

Sorry for using your post as my Japan trip planning notepad.

But didn’t you heard of the cheese (yes, that loved by rats in cartoon) looking giant MIKIMOTO TOWER in Ginza, or the SHISEIDO THE GINZA as you love Serge Lutens so much?

Gladys L. 5 April, 2013 - 5:17 pm

Hakuhodo brush stores often has out-of-stock problems, better find a bigger on3. Have u heard of this place:


Sweet Make Up Temptations 6 April, 2013 - 4:57 pm

waw Gladys, so much to read ! when we start to dig we find nice treasures.. I need days made with 48 hours πŸ™
thanks, we have to investigate πŸ˜‰

Sylvia 5 April, 2013 - 8:37 pm

SO much information in the article and the comments. I’ve bookmarkd this page!

Sweet Make Up Temptations 6 April, 2013 - 4:58 pm

thank you Sylvia πŸ™‚

Devin 5 April, 2013 - 10:22 pm

My sister and I went in May of 2007 and it was a great trip. I don’t know how much train travel you expect to do but I would look into a JR Rail Pass. We went all over the country and we never did the math but are sure that we saved money and it was just so easy to use. I was still in college when we went so I wasn’t as into makeup yet but there are so many options and interesting products. If you like amusement parks I would suggest Fujikyu Highland, I may be in the minority but for me a vacation isn’t complete without some roller coasters. One last thing, if you are there during Grand Sumo (4 times a year) then go. It was easily one of the best things we did there. Thanks for the Tanseido info, those codes never made sense to me. I will surely be making an order in the next couple of months.

Sweet Make Up Temptations 6 April, 2013 - 5:01 pm

Devin, I am planning on taking the 7 days pass with the “bullet train” to travel in between the cities for example, thanks for the info πŸ™‚
The more I note what I want to do the more it looks like I need at least 1 month over there !!
If you order, please let me know what you think of them, I really appreciate your feedback.

Melissa 6 April, 2013 - 10:36 pm

Sonia, I used following links while doing research on my upcoming trip. Hope it helps you planning your trip. A month wouldn’t be enough for the brush research & interviews πŸ™‚ I am so freaking excited! Hope it all works out for you!

Lots of useful info:

Accommodations – apartments/studio (the 1 I used for Kyoto and Tokyo). It would be best if you could find 1 that offers a portable WiFi, which allows you to use the internet outside the house and report back to all of us asap πŸ™‚

Japan train and flight schedules. Download the App on your smartphone, FREE for the first 30 days!

Train schedules & price:

List of Volunteer Guide:

Tokyo subway:

Tokyo subway map:

Tokyo Tsukiji market!


Sweet Make Up Temptations 8 April, 2013 - 8:56 pm

Thank you Melissa, I really appreciate your help πŸ™‚
Even more because I don’t have much time at the moment for research, so that will help a lot !

Melissa 9 April, 2013 - 9:43 am

I will stay at this very cute and affordable “Machiya townhouse” in Kyoto. You will have the entire house to yourself. Location is great, since its located at the Gion (Geisha) area πŸ™‚ The owner is very nice and helpful and responses to your email promptly! Let me know if u need to know anything else. I’d be very happy to help you planning your amazing trip πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚


Sweet Make Up Temptations 9 April, 2013 - 11:49 am

Thanks ! it looks fantastic ! I still don’t know the dates or if I’ll go alone, I can’t wait !

Melissa 9 April, 2013 - 1:38 pm

If you can fly with Emirates that be great since their bagage allowance is 30kg πŸ™‚ You can bring plenty of brushes with that πŸ™‚

You can also send out your purchases upfront to your home addy! Thats what I’m planning to do!

Sweet Make Up Temptations 10 April, 2013 - 7:16 am

omg πŸ˜€ I have to try that !! I hope they speak english at the PO office πŸ™‚
It’s just the flight to Zurich that worries me, otherwise I’ll have 2x23kg but the small flights in between big airports don’t… πŸ™
But by the way, since you mention Emirates, AMAZING airline !!! tried it once, I was blown away, a real pleasure to travel with them.

Kay 7 April, 2013 - 8:05 am

Hi Sonia, one suitcase sounds pretty limiting. πŸ™ What I did on my trip to Japan last fall was leave some clothes in the hotel room as well as travel books, toiletries and other bulky items. I brought only the barest amount of makeup and toiletries, samples or just enough for the duration of the trip in small plastic bags, and used makeup I purchased.

Hotels and department store purchases were made with credit card but not every store/restaurant accepts credit so we mostly used cash we brought with us. I tried to get cash from a couple of bank machines towards the end of my trip but was unsuccessful — it is not as easy as when I visited Italy, France or London. Communication is also more difficult as fewer seem to speak English. I found two phrases extremely useful: “xxx wa doko desu ka?” (Where is xxx?) and when faced with an array of food, product choices “Nani ga osusume desu ka?” (What do you recommend?). Japanese English apps on my cell phone were also helpful.

As for places to visit, if you want to see old Japan, Kyoto is the place to visit as it was not destroyed by the war. But it takes a few days to enjoy it and if you are staying for only a week, then it may be best to save it for another visit as the best places for brush purchasing are Tokyo and of course the manufacturers around Hiroshima. Both cities are modern and on the face look like any other modern city, but I think you will find much that is novel and fascinating even if you just wandered around. Food, no matter where you go and what you eat is well prepared and excellent and transit is easy and super efficient with signs in Japanese and English.

If you can find a guide or contact to help you with translation and also getting around Tokyo, I think it would save time and energy as Tokyo is huge and the language barrier can be frustrating as most everything written is in Japanese. Just a suggestion as I know you have an agenda to accomplish and a short time to complete it!

Best of luck and I know you will have a great time!

Sweet Make Up Temptations 8 April, 2013 - 9:00 pm

Thank you Kay, I don’t know if I will be able to say anything in Japanese but I’ll try then πŸ™‚
Kyoto is in my list, that’s for sure. I will try to keep you updated during the trip. Still nearly 2 months to go, I will do my best to prepare !

Bonnie 7 April, 2013 - 12:39 pm

What I also loved when I was in Japan, was that they had Braille everywhere! I thought that was fantastic πŸ™‚

Sweet Make Up Temptations 8 April, 2013 - 9:00 pm

They seem so organized !!!

SinghStyleStudio 9 April, 2013 - 3:39 pm

interesting interaction & information

Sylvia 12 April, 2013 - 7:25 am

A question about a Tanseido brush, the KQ 12.
Does anyone here have it?

bambi 23 April, 2013 - 5:10 pm

I recommended skincare,make up and brushes brand “Three” . That’s hi-end brand in Japan. I really love all of products especially cleansing oil,concealer,loose powder and brushes. Must try!

Sylvia 25 April, 2013 - 8:29 am

My Tanseido KQ 12 arrived and yes, it’s kolinsky.
I’d never imagined the potential a natural hair brush has to combine silky softness and the capacity to pick up pigment from even the most stubborn Paint Pot.

Bea 25 April, 2013 - 2:22 pm

This must be the longer haired version of my one and only Tanseido brush. I’ve never used it with a paint pot or other cream shadow. Must try it! And I must rectify my KQ12S brush’s loneliness soon. πŸ˜›

Gladys L. 25 April, 2013 - 11:26 am

@sylvia: another tanseido kolinsky eye brush! Using a brush to handle paint pot is a good move. Did you order the KQ12 because the fellow reasers here ordered a similar model?

Actually, I always wonde if the shorter (—S) version function sufficiently differently from its normal version with the shorter hair.

Sylvia 26 April, 2013 - 9:55 am

I read everything on brushes here before buying, of course!
Still, I purchased this little beauty via a blog sale.

And yes to using a brush on PPs! I have cats, so fingers are simply out for applying eye makeup.

Gladys L. 26 April, 2013 - 1:26 pm

Before knowing any Japanese brands, I use MAC 252 to apply paint pot or concealer : )

Blog sale: Who is that generous to say goodbye to a Tanseido?!

Sylvia 28 May, 2013 - 9:29 pm

The seller is in the UK- I couldn’t believe my luck!

Melissa 25 April, 2013 - 1:34 pm

Sonia, since you’re going to visit Hiroshima you could contact a volunteer guide to come along with you when visiting the brush companies and help you out with the translation? I checked the list of voluteer guides and there is 1 in Hiroshima:

Name: Hiroshima SGG Club
Guide Area: Hiroshima City, Miyajima area
We can take you around at your request.
Recommended sightseeing tours are:
1) Hiroshima City and vicinity (Peace Park, castle and garden) and 2) Miyajima Island (Itsukushima Shrine).
Apply at least 10 days in advance to Mr. Kiyoshi Tai by phone ((082) 843-9030) or e-mail (taif@fureai-ch.ne.jp).
We can meet you at JR Hiroshima Station (Shinkansen exit or South exit).

I have contacted this voluteering guide in Kyoto and got a prompt reply. They are Japanese university students:

Sweet Make Up Temptations 26 April, 2013 - 9:45 am

waw Melissa, I can’t believe there are volunteer groups doing that ! so nice !
I will certainly book ! thank you !
I will start booking /preparing this weekend (I am so excited, freaking out a bit but in a GOOD WAY) πŸ˜€

Sylvia 26 April, 2013 - 9:56 am

That’s a fantastic service, Melissa!

Bea 26 April, 2013 - 10:40 am

I will live vicariously thru you for now Sonia until I can make it so I can bring my butt over to Japan myself lol. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

Sweet Make Up Temptations 26 April, 2013 - 8:41 pm

lol OK Bea πŸ™‚


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