Tuesday, January 27, 2015

REVIEW: Makeup Brush Guide + My Holy Grail Brushes by Chikuhodo, Wayne Goss, Hakuhodo, Tom Ford, and more

I can hardly believe it has been almost two years since my last favorite brushes video! I have garnered so much knowledge and experience since then, and my skin has been through hell and back, so my brush preferences are rather different. Since discovering the beauty of artisan brushes, I have not looked back. The craftsmanship and attention to detail oftentimes astound me, even if I've owned the brush for a year or two. Each brush is shaped by hand and the natural tips of the fibers are much finer, which ultimately lead to a much softer feel on the skin as opposed to laser-cut hairs. More details after the jump!

☆ List of Makeup Worn Here 

Brushes Reviewed
Chikuhodo Z-1 Powder
SUQQU Face Brush
Chikuhodo PS-1 Powder
Chikuhodo GSN-1 Powder
Wayne Goss Face 11
Tom Ford Bronzer Brush
Bobbi Brown Foundation Brush
Chikuhodo GSN-4 Highlight
Shu Uemura Cheek 20h
Wayne Goss Face 14
Chikuhodo Z-2 Highlight
Shu Uemura Kolinksy 10f
Shu Uemura Kolinksy 11
Tom Ford Eye Blend 13
Wayne Goss Eye 4
Hakuhodo BJ142
Wayne Goss Eye 20
Tom Ford Smoky Eye 14
Chikuhodo GSN-13 Eyebrow

I reviewed all the brushes individually in the video, but please keep in mind that it is very difficult to convey the remarkable sensory experience that an artisan brush creates. That being said, I want to own a dozen limited edition Wayne Goss Holiday brushes! The WG fibers do not irritate my sensitive skin whatsoever, and the ultra tapered shape makes it ideal for application of any powder. I can use the Holiday Brush to set my concealer, loose powder, powder foundation, powder blush, powder bronzer, and even powder highlighter! Yes, SIX different powder functions.. best of all, the price does not break the bank the way Chikuhodo or SUQQU brushes can. Also, I have noticed that the general public is usually blown away by the ultra soft and plush quality of Wayne Goss brushes. I highly recommend his Face Set (reviewed here) for your personal use and/or clients. If I was still a working makeup artist, I would own multiple sets! 

Since many of you are interested in SUQQU, here are my in-depth reviews of the famed Blush Brush and the elusive Face Brush. I adore them, but SUQQU brushes are so incredibly delicate. Avoid using heavy powder foundations with your Face Brush or the hairs may split, which would be a tragedy. Since I treasure my SUQQU brushes very much, I try to use them only when I want to pamper my skin or for a special event (perhaps a tutorial occasionally). I may purchase a second SUQQU Blush brush to use for highlighter application, since the smaller brush head is easier to clean and maintain. Still, I prefer powder to blush/highlighter, which is why the SUQQU Face Brush will always be my most precious baby. 

If you have sensitive skin, stick to grey or blue squirrel fibers. They are the softest that money can buy, but you will have to pay a premium for them (just so you're warned in advance). If you have normal skin, you can experiment with all fiber types! I use brushes with goat fibers or blue squirrel/goat mixes most regularly, and I tend to reserve horse and badger for my eyebrow brushes. If you have combination skin, try goat and goat/synthetic mixes. Goat fibers are predominantly offered in white or black, but those by Wayne Goss are "tea" colored — unique and luxurious. If you have oily skin, stick to goat/synthetic mixes for daily use because they are more resilient. Unfortunately, squirrel hair soaks up oil, which will eventually damage the brush. 

As mentioned in the video, I use a BeautyBlender with most of my liquid foundations. I use MAC 130 or the Tom Ford Cream Foundation Brush (reviewed here) for all my cream foundations, but I figured I would share other liquid foundation brush alternatives here! If you're looking to upgrade from Sigma brushes, try the Hakuhodo G5557. I actually own the lovely S Class version, but the G series is more affordable. It requires very, very little pressure to blend liquid foundation. I do not recommend stippling, as it can sting sensitive skin. If you prefer a softer style, try the BJ527. It is traditionally used for powder and blush, but I like it paired with liquid foundation and some facial mist. Feel free to stipple and swipe with the BJ527! I also suggest the Wayne Goss 13, since the smaller brush head is easier to maneuver around the nose and eyes, especially with tinted moisturizers and sheerer foundations.

This time around, I decided to add eye brushes to the review since it was highly requested previously. I tend to use the same dozen despite owning quite a few more, and that's because the brushes I shared are so phenomenal! It is true that preference will determine which brushes are most suitable for your eye shape, but Shu Uemura's Kolinksy 10f and 11 are fabulous tools for everyone! Use them with all cream, liquid, or powder eyeshadows. Even after all these years, I feel that Kolinsky brushes are truly worthwhile — firm to the touch but silky soft on the eyes. Tom Ford's eye brushes, however, are exceptional for the price and have more specific functions. I love the memorable design. Now, I realize this video's review is lengthy, but I sincerely hope you find the extra eye section helpful!

Here are my most-used picks in each category:

My Top 3 Face Brushes
Bonus Wayne Goss Holiday (LE)

My Top 3 Cheek Brushes

My Top 3 Eye Brushes

Splurge Brushes
SUQQU Face Brush (for loose powder only)
SUQQU Cheek Brush (for blush or highlighter)

Please do not forget that these artisan brushes are investment tools. Marvel at their beauty. Do not throw them around or submerge them in water if you want to use them for years to come. I usually cup my fingers and gently whip the brush up and down to remove excess color and wipe them on a plain tissue (again, gently). You can also use a clean microfiber towel if you prefer. I wash my face brushes every four to six weeks unless it is a brush that I use regularly. I tend to wash my powder brushes every 2 to 3 weeks, which is why I prefer using Wayne Goss brushes on the day-to-day, since they hold up well to washings! Here's a quick 101 on how I bathe and dry my brushes.

Please feel free to leave questions here or ask me on Twitter!
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  1. Great recommendations and tips. I am looking into hakuhodo and chikuhodo and this really helps :)

  2. Thanks for the great reviews and tutorials! They are so very helpful. Any thoughts in the make up brushes by It! cosmetics? They feel so gentle and fluffy, and look very plush. I am tempted to buy one or two, but am reluctant to spend on them without a trusted review. I appreciate your opinion!

    1. I highly recommend IT Cosmetics kabukis and EM Michelle Phan face brushes! They are a pain to cleanse thoroughly, but they are affordable and definitely the best synthetics I have used thus far (other than the BB brush I featured).

  3. Thankyou for this great review! Yesterday i made my first chikuhodo purchase, the Z8 and im so exited!

  4. Thank you for the response. I am biting the bullet and getting a few Wayne Goss brushes. I am having trouble narrowing it down!

  5. Excellent! Thanks! I think I'm going to be purchasing the Chikuhodo brushes in z2 and z8, and also the wayne goss in 14. My face brushes absolutely suck, so I think it's time to slowly upgrade!

  6. Do you prefer Chikuhodo over Hakuhodo. I notice that the Chikohodo brushes are mainly made with goat hair (sohoko). I own a selection of Hakuhodo brushes, and I wanted to make sure if the Chikuhodo brushes are worth the splurge. Thanks.


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