Home Brushes Kashoen series

Kashoen series

by Sonia G.

One of the exciting parts of my Japan trip was being able to enter the shops and try everything ! I was afraid that they would throw me out but they didn’t, I managed to control my facial expression so that my smile still looked natural enough and I didn’t look like a total obsessed pervert drooling around their counters, you know what I mean, I hope.

Online shopping is great when you know what you expect and you know the brands well enough, when you have no idea and a limited budget it’s not so fun, spending a lot of money and then getting disappointing items is really heart breaking. It was my opportunity to see what I could expect from this brand and I was just minutes away…

So there I was in Ginza, I admit I am no good with directions, so getting lost is just a matter of minutes, it happened. After 1 hour or so walking around I finally saw the boutique. I approached their entrance in slow motion.

Ginza is not a place where I feel that comfortable, women are so elegant, walking around in high heels, their dress, the way they move around is so aerial and elegantly-posh. I was a sweaty tourist lost in Ginza and that wasn’t pretty, I was afraid they would look at me, ignore me and don’t even help me. I have experienced this attitude in London and Switzerland and was wondering how they would welcome me. Despite the way I looked, Kashoen welcomed me with respect and with a huge warm smile.

kashoen

Kashoen are the oldest brush manufacturers of Kumano, they may also easily be the most expensive brushes. They have different series, some of them are extremely expensive and have very special handles, the “Royal”, hair is rated SS class, other series are more for the retail shops, Shoko, hair is rated A class, in the middle range we have the Kashoen series, hair is rated S class.

I won’t buy the Royal series because the price is way above my budget, the design is beautiful but I wasn’t that blown away by the SS hair. I won’t buy the Shoko because they aren’t soft enough for my sensitive skin. It leaves me with the Kashoen series to try. I was hesitating between the black handles and the red handles, I though the red was more appropriate and unique so I took these :

kashoen2

At the back of the brush it’s written “Kumano, Japan”

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I will briefly show you these 4 brushes from their Kashoen collection WA series, the highlighter, foundation, blush and powder brushes:

kahoen4

In their boutique, they have the Royal series in a wall glass cabinet that you cannot open yourself, but they did open it for me during my first visit, during my second visit they did not open it but I did not ask either.

In the middle of the boutique they have an open display with the more affordable series, there you can easily play with them.

If you come from the Mac world directly, without going through Chikuhodo, Koyudo, etc… you will find these series really good. But you know I own very good brushes that’s why I wasn’t that much impressed with these. I love the logo, the color of the handle and the quality of the bristles is great but although I have a huge respect for them, I was expecting a little bit more for the price I paid. I will tell you why below.

The foundation brush

It’s a great flat brush, no doubts about that, providing you love flat foundation brushes. I haven’t found a flat brush that I could achieve a great finish with, I still feel I need to use another one to blend and finish the application and paying a high price for a flat foundation brush doesn’t change my mind about this.

I thought this brush will maybe make me love flat brushes a bit more but not quite there yet, although it is more efficient than many other flat brushes since it has a higher blending powder, still not convinced by flat brushes vs goat brushes.

You can read this if you want to know why I don’t love flat brushes on their own. Maybe one day I’ll change my mind and I will happy to own this Kashoen, but for now I will stick to using a flat one to place and roughly disperse and then a goat one to finish.

kashoenfondation

 

kashoenfoundationsideways

The bristles of the Kashoen are firmer and shorter than other flat brushes :

flat

 

The powder brush 

When I arrived, I thought it would be easier to choose which brush I wanted. I initially just wanted one just because of their price (but I ended with 4…).

After 1 hour pondering I decided it would be the powder brush, I thought I could get much more use of this one, for bronzer, a sheer coverage of powder foundation or for finishing with a highlighting powder.

I wanted a big goat brush that made me want to use goat bristles more often, that is the case, I quite like to use it and it is efficient. I also like the shape, if like me you like to start from the center/corner of the nose it will adapt to the face really nicely. Regardless of the fact I like to use it, it’s not that mind blowing for the price. Specially because the bristles are not nicely placed in a perfectly even layer.

Kashoen insist that their goat hair is a selection of the best of the best, but on the other hand Koyudo’s goat hair is softer (I am referring to their “baby goat chest hair” ), and it’s less expensive. With regards to the quality of the “bundling”, the layering, or the finishing of the brush, Koyudo also does it better.

Here is an example of how they compare in terms of size. You can see that, compared to the Koyudo on the left, the handle of the Kashoen is narrower in the center, I like that, it’s more pleasant to hold, but the quality of the ferrule and handle is similar.

The density is spot on, it picks the perfect amount of bronzer and the application is straightforward and fool-proof. But I could just as well use the Chikuhodo special G-9 and get same results.

kashoenpowder

The bristles of the Kashoen have a special auburn-reddish color, this may be due to dye but I am actually sending them an email and enquiring, I know some of you cannot use dye therefore I want to make sure.

The blush brush

Nice size for blush or bronzer, less dense than the Hakuhodo S110, the application will be more natural and diffused. It is softer than the Yojiya goat brush. From this 4 brushes below my favorite is the RMK, I know it’s a squirrel brush so I shouldn’t be comparing apples with oranges, but the density and precise layering of this one makes it a great competitor against goat brushes, packs a lot of color and blends really well, so when I “need” a goat brush, I may as well pick the RMK instead and I am happy.

What bothers me (a lot) is that the Kashoen blush brush has at least 10 hair out of length (10 are approx 4 mm longer than the others). For the price I am not happy with that. I didn’t noticed it at first and the quality of the application is not altered by this but if you are a perfectionist you will not like that !

kashoenblush

 

kashoenblushsideways

 The highlighter brush 

It’s not an eyeshadow brush, it’s a highlighter and contouring brush, perfect for the nose area. It’s not as soft as the others at all, but it’s not scratchy. Not as precise either, as you can see in the pics, it will apply a more diffused contouring than the others and blend really well so for that it’s much better.

If you are looking for the most precise you should pick the Hakuhodo, if you are looking for the most versatile you should pick the Koyudo, both the Hakuhodo and Koyudo are extremely soft and dense.

kashoenangled2

kashoenangled

I found that the lacquered coat of the Kashoen highlighter brush is altered, I don’t know why, it’s like the second coat of paint is not fully finished. Maybe you can see it on the picture, maybe not… Again for the price, although it does what it says, I would be happier if it had no flaws !

koyudoangledl

Bottom line

Soft and efficient goat hair, doesn’t poke, the density is spot on, but not always evenly layered.

Nice and beautiful handles but the logo is already rubbing off on the powder brush. The Koyudo red ones that look similar are “engraved” with the Koyudo logo and the yellow paint of the logo is inside the engraving, so it won’t rub off as easily. I will feel sad the day the Kashoen logo disappears !

It hurts me to have to say that I expected better but I do, specially because if they didn’t have these “flaws” I would love them a lot. I do like them but for the price, I am disappointed. I have to forget how much I paid for them…

I am also sorry because I am sure they are great people and I have a huge respect for them. Unfortunately there aren’t many reviews online, I don’t know if all the brushes are like mine.

I have to say that they have big competitors in my collection and today it takes a lot to surprise me…

Do you have any of them ? if you do, please share what you think !

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47 comments

Katara 27 August, 2013 - 2:03 pm

I would like to know if any animals are harmed, in creating these brushes?

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Sweet make up temptations 27 August, 2013 - 2:04 pm

they aren’t, if you need to talk to the brand, please don’t hesitate in contacting them directly.

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Madina 27 August, 2013 - 3:02 pm

Sonia, I don’t know how to thank you! You’ve delivered me of at least a tiny portion of my obsession, and for that I’m eternally grateful! With a sigh of huge relief, I’m crossing Kashoen out of my wish list. Phew!:-)
Please tell me that yojiya brushes are also not that hot and I’ll love you forever!:))

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Sweet make up temptations 27 August, 2013 - 9:33 pm

hahaha hmmm not sure you’ll love me forever then… you tell me 🙂
coming soon… 😉

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Madina 28 August, 2013 - 8:40 am

Can’t wait!. And, honestly, whatever the verdict, I’ll love you anyway.:-)

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Sweet make up temptations 28 August, 2013 - 1:07 pm

🙂 thank youuuuu !!

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Bonnie 27 August, 2013 - 3:04 pm

I think when brushes are at that price, it is right to expect something above and beyond. And considering that we get fabulous brushes at an expensive, but still…somewhat…plausible price point, with quality that is more consistent, it is understandable that it is disappointing when they don’t exceed expectations by what their prices exceed their competitors:( Shame about the hair lengths of the blush brush too…

I love the packaging though!

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Sweet make up temptations 27 August, 2013 - 9:39 pm

The idea of the handles narrowing in the middle is excellent. I really would love to know how others are, shame I don’t know someone who has them ! I wish someone could tell me.
I am happy with the performance and the hair quality, it’s just that I wished they were perfect in all categories 🙁

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Bonnie 28 August, 2013 - 2:34 pm

Ohhhh yes, I think that is a great idea too! I’m sure the Kashoen brushes aren’t bad, it’s just that we are used to amazing!!

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212kiki 27 August, 2013 - 3:12 pm

I thought i want to get the blush brush but since a while i think i dont need it really (high price for only goat)
Now I think I really should get another brush (evtl. the haku g520 😛 )instead of the kashoen 😀
When the royal series would be priced like the normal kashoen I would def buy one but I think now the normal range is not special enough for the price 😉

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Sweet make up temptations 27 August, 2013 - 9:44 pm

It’s not only goat, it’s really nice goat hair for sure, totally worth the price if it was perfectly shaped. My regret here is the alignment of the hair, without that it would be an acceptable price.
Unfortunately the Royal series will never be priced like the Kashoen series because the paintings (and material used on the handles and the paint) are way too unique/expensive and done by artists who have a big name in the field, shame…

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Star Girl 27 August, 2013 - 3:52 pm

When I read this post I laughed because I know you as a Guru (now don’t get all modest on me ;). And I expect everyone else to know who you are too, Sonia. So the idea that these Sales Assistants wouldn’t lift their game when you’re there or make sure they give you the good brushes that are finished off properly, well it surprises me. I’m being quite serious. No one has your encyclopaedic knowledge across so many brush companies and their ranges. If I worked at one of those places, I’d be rolling out that red carpet for you, my dear!

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Sweet make up temptations 27 August, 2013 - 9:55 pm

thank you !!! you crack me up ! I cannot believe what you say ! I am just a normal customer who is lucky to be able to try many brushes, nothing else.
I don’t necessarily say I am a blogger when I buy or order 😛 It would be really weird for me to tell them beforehand !
But if one day someone rolls a red carpet for me I would be thinking of you because I would know you planned it just for a laugh 😀 😀 😀

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Bonnie 28 August, 2013 - 2:33 pm

She can wear a dress with a train of brushes… I will personally hold that train for you as you’re walking down that red carpet!!

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Sweet make up temptations 29 August, 2013 - 12:22 am

could be heavy !!!

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Bellyhead 27 August, 2013 - 4:26 pm

Sonia,
I don’t comment as often as I should, but I wanted to let you know how I savor each and every one of your posts! Whenever a new post from you comes up from on my feedreader, I make sure to read the others and save yours for last.
I’ve learned so. darn. much. on your incredible blog and DARN YOU! Now I crave brands I didn’t even know existed! *shakes fist*
Whenever I ponder a brush purchase I come here first to do all my research. 😀
xoxo
Belly

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Sweet make up temptations 27 August, 2013 - 9:59 pm

Hi Belly 🙂 gosh seriously ??? 😀
That’s terrific ! I am very touched and couldn’t be happier !

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Melissa 27 August, 2013 - 6:49 pm

HUUUUUGE thank you for saving me lots of €€€€€. However, I will visit them regardless. Just to see or drool on the Royal Collection 🙂 🙂

The most dissapointed for me would be the poor paint work. That what supposed to make them so ‘special’. Especially because they already starting to run off 🙁

Yaaay now I have more left to spend on other brushes when Im there 🙂 🙂

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Sweet make up temptations 27 August, 2013 - 10:04 pm

You definitely need to go there, they are really welcoming. You have to ask to touch the Royal Series and then report back to me 🙂
When are you leaving ??
Because seriously, what you could do (if you really don’t mind) is take the 3 brushes that have flaws and ask them very kindly and respectfully if they are supposed to be like that, and then see what they tell you… I am not being rude, but maybe they are not usually like that and in that case I would love to have the 3 replaced, because I really like them and if they had no flaws I would be delighted with them.
The powder one because the name is rubbing off, the blush brush because of so many hairs not aligned and the highlighter because the lacquered coat is not even…
If you don’t mind asking them, I send them to you before your departure 🙂

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Melissa 28 August, 2013 - 5:33 pm

YOU BET I WILL MY DEAR!!! Shoot me an email incl detailed pics of the flaws so I can tell them that u got soooooo dissapointed with the highly ‘praised’ reputation. I mean they’re supposed to be the ‘Bentley’ of the brushes right?!?!

And I’ll let u know where to send the brushes. Would be great if u still have their receipt! If not I will just show them yr report post with the pic with their VP. I will not leave that store until Im satisfied….LOL

Im leaving Sept 19! So u still have time to send them over!

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Sweet make up temptations 29 August, 2013 - 12:34 am

ok, so I will be back on the 8th, so it should be ok if I mail them on the 9th 🙂 they take around 4 days in Europe.
I should have the receipt… will check when I am back home 🙂
will you have internet over there ?
the flaws are very visible in person so no need to send pics about them 🙁
you’ll see that the highlighter brush, the coating in the back is not perfect. The blush brush has hairs sticking out needing a close shave and the logo of the powder brush is coming of. It’s quite obvious… if you can please ask them if that’s supposed to be like that, it would already help to know if these are their standards and if not, what happened with mine.
Thank you so much ! I think this is going to be interesting 🙂

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Melissa 29 August, 2013 - 11:42 am

YEP! sending them on the Monday the 9th should be fine dear! it’ll be delivered within a week tops. No worries 🙂

I sure hope that this is NOT their standard, owise they should lower their price to meet this kind of standard!
After 130 years of history I would expect NO flaws whatsoever with any of their brushes, whether its the ‘basic serie’ or the more expensive ones! If their philosophy is delivering products at high quality craftmasnship they should do better than this. After all they are so proud of such long history of craftmanship and their quality.

LOL….yes i think this will be verrrrry interesting. And just in case, I will take my guide with me so she can translate when ever its needed 🙂

Hoping to have internet on my phone when Im there. But for sure when Im in the apartment I rent! we’ll find a way to communicate anyway 🙂
Enjoy your vaca and shoot me an email when you’re back sweetie!!!! Ooooh…..Im so excited to have a ‘mission in Tokyo’ 🙂 🙂

Sweet make up temptations 29 August, 2013 - 12:35 pm

ok fantastic !
and for sure, it is interesting to have more info about what they think… shame because I do love them 🙁
can’t wait ! thank you so much !!!

Melissa 27 August, 2013 - 6:52 pm

Oh, btw shall I take yr brush back with me and tell them abt the paint work and the name starting to rub off so quickly? Maybe I can get u a brand new 1 🙂 🙂

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Raglo 27 August, 2013 - 9:20 pm

I always thought Suqqu were the most expensive! Never heard of this brand (okay, that’s not particularly shocking), and to be honest, starting to read, I got a little bit frightened. Things like “oldest, most expensive…” usually get under my skin and I end up obsessing about them (want, must have, neeeed….). I’ll save you my usual ramble about when expensive brands slack and don’t deliver. Wow, that a single brush can cost 1000+€…

Sorry you didn’t get your money’s worth, but at least it’s still a worthwhile experience for both you and your readers, which I’m sure everyone’s grateful for. And you never know the extent of influence this blog may have 😉 (maybe the other Kumano manufacturers are reading this and laughing at Kashoen for getting a bad web rep, their sense of honor will kick in and they’ll reassess quality/pricing to really become the best, not just on paper).

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Sweet make up temptations 27 August, 2013 - 10:09 pm

They do have a sense of honor and that’s why I am sad to have to write that I am not happy, but I cannot lie since it’s a awful lot of money to not be 100% satisfied with the quality.
That’s the bad thing of a blogger, to have to say that knowing that the people behind are very kind. I hope it does help them to know how to improve the quality and also to know what customers expect in return.
But it’s no fun for me 🙁

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Raglo 27 August, 2013 - 10:16 pm

Don’t even worry about it! It’s perfectly reasonable that your loyalties are with yourself and your followers first. Yes, I’m sure the people who make them are lovely, but you shouldn’t worry about their feelings if the product didn’t deliver. I spent 40% of my income last month on brushes/tools etc (it’s not a huge sum, it’s just my income is tiny, lol!) so for me, I truly rely on blogs like yours for honest, thorough reviews for me to make a decision.

Think if you’d twisted the truth, someone like me could become fixated with the idea of having something from them, lived very sparingly a month, two months to afford one, with incredibly high expectations, especially because of trusting your judgement, and it turns out to have such flaws. I’d be devastated if that happened!

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Sweet make up temptations 28 August, 2013 - 1:04 pm

thank you again !!! really appreciate that ! I feel better now 🙂

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Raglo 28 August, 2013 - 8:42 pm

Good! You better feel better, or else :D!

Off topic now, how long does it usually take to get approved for the forum? I registered yesterday evening and no confirmation so far…

Sweet make up temptations 28 August, 2013 - 10:01 pm

should be ok… I have approved it yesterday but my connection was plying tricks, can you please try to login ?

Sweet make up temptations 28 August, 2013 - 10:02 pm

yes I confirm, it says I already activated your account 🙂 hope it works !!

Raglo 29 August, 2013 - 12:01 pm

Yes! I’m in! But I never received a confirmation e-mail, just the original one saying the account was inactive until someone confirms it and to wait for a 2nd email… Oh well!

Excuse me while I go wreak some havoc in the purgatorium 😉

Sweet make up temptations 29 August, 2013 - 12:34 pm

I will make sure I spend some time checking and fixing things on the forum when I am back 🙂
too many robot spams if I don’t proceed like this for now, it’s a total pain 🙁
muahaha I am glad to see you in the forum ! I am looking forward to be back from holiday just to spend more time with you all out there 😀

Devin 28 August, 2013 - 12:59 am

I know these types of reviews are hard for you but I just want to thank you for your honesty. Hopefully Melissa can see if you got duds. I know that with this brand you are paying for the name and heritage but there shouldn’t be this many flaws in four brushes at this price point.

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Sweet make up temptations 28 August, 2013 - 1:06 pm

Thank you Devin, glad I have your support ! such a relief.

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Jillian 28 August, 2013 - 3:18 am

Sonia,
Thank you for your honest review. I can see how hard it was for you to do but I personally really appreciate it. It’s one of and endless number of reasons why I love coming here and reading your blog. I hope you’re able to get these replaced…

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Sweet make up temptations 28 August, 2013 - 1:07 pm

It’s so rewarding to get such feedbacks, thank you Jillian !!!

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Jeanette 28 August, 2013 - 6:10 pm

Sonia, thank you for your honest review.
– And frankly, I would expect nothing less from you 😉

We are many people who consult your blog and trust your opinion enough to place a lot of brush orders on your recommendation.

You are a semi professional brush critic – it is probably right that you are one of few with this extensive knowledge across so many brush types and brands – and we spend our money in trust of your opinion. So your reviews really should be honest and reliable.

And thank you so much for sharing all your knowledge!

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Sweet make up temptations 29 August, 2013 - 12:43 am

It’s a pleasure Jeanette, I just wish I had more time for you 🙁

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Jeanette 29 August, 2013 - 9:06 am

No sweet Sonia, I think you are actually very generous with your time 🙂

I think I have just gone into a massive brush research to broaden my brush collection – very much based on your blog and the comments here. I have lacked different functionalities for a very long time, but haven’t managed to find what I looked for.

But then I found your blog 😉 You review the most amazing brushes that I had never even heard about before, and your comparisons across so many brands and pictures are wonderful!

Your blog is very extensive, so I try to soak it all in, and figure out which of the brushes should go on my personal list. I find all your in depth (and honest ;-)) reviews very, very useful. So thank you!!!!

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Sweet make up temptations 29 August, 2013 - 11:21 am

thank you Jeanette, truly deeply happy it helps ! 😀

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Gladys L. 14 September, 2013 - 3:39 pm

This may be a little distant from your very insightful review… I want to tell my experience with logo/ model no. protection.

I started to be serious with brush after meeting my MAC brushes, because it was expensive investment when nobody around me use one. I discovered that the lacquer of brand and model name can be easily rubbed off, although engraved.

So I always add varnish after taking photos, so I have to painfully drool over sth I own for days even I bought them home…but I don’t know if keeping an old bottle is the reason to get air bubbles appear for those perfectly painted brushes ‘ dried patch.

A little but unhappy accident was that I used Dior base nail varnish for coating on my Z series and the white paints dissolves (it was an approach shared online) and I try my luck and try to clean off the milky mess with nail varnish remover (serious paint dissolving).

So my brand name or brush title becomes blurred at the diaster area… stupid me.

Now I just return to my varnish from the Art store, a new bottle, even air bubble trapping is quite easy…

As I am slowly expanding my brush collection, I am so used to varnish protection no matter what brand it is, and I don’t do rubbing test at any spot along the wand.

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Gladys L. 14 September, 2013 - 3:44 pm

Oh, for very seriously imperfect varnish job, I use alcohol to clean it up, not so perfectly, but wand will look better. It was a gentle approach, inspired by MAC e/s depotting videos, when they sow how to dissolve the glue. My Z series look saved. But just becareful with Hakuhodo brand name’s paint, super easily rubbed off the irridescent layer, never want to clear any imperfection with alcohol even if present.

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Sweet make up temptations 14 September, 2013 - 8:49 pm

phew, relieved 🙂 at least you saved them ! great ! I am scared to apply nail polish on luxury brushes but I wish the names would last longer on them.

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Sweet make up temptations 14 September, 2013 - 8:46 pm

Hi Gladys,
Thank you for sharing your adventure, it’s good to know. The problem is that on a brush like the Kashoen it would be a sin… 🙁
I will just damage the way it looks and the lacquer of these handles should remain pure. Even if I handle them with care, the logo will rub off one day or the other … sad.

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Gladys Lam 15 September, 2013 - 5:57 am

Definitely don’t do that, although I didn’t cry with my Z series when the accident happened, I feel so drained emotionally…

maybe we can use thermal plastic that people in bookstore wrap new books with? Another crazy experient…I saw those plastic cling to shape and leave no gap.

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pinkieyeung 18 January, 2015 - 3:39 pm

Wait for your Royal Kashoen review! I know the day will come…..eventually.

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