I have a confession to make: I am slightly addicted to nice makeup brushes. I bought quite a few Hakuhodo brushes when I last visited Japan (and would have got more if the yen wasn’t so bloody expensive then!) and have a large collection of Suqqu brushes (which are produced by Chikuhodo, incidentally), as well as a number of synthetic brushes to complement the natural hair ones.
However, I couldn’t resist when Chikuhodo and Beautylish collaborated to launch The Sakura Collection, a five-piece brush set with beautiful makie flower designs on the lacquered handles. The brushes are described by the suppliers as follows:
Powder brush (Saikoho goat hair and gray squirrel): Perfect for contouring, highlighting, and applying a setting powder. The soft angle allows you to emphasize your most flattering facial features without disturbing your foundation.
Cheek brush (gray squirrel): It is designed to work with your favorite blush or highlighting powders.
Crease brush (blue squirrel): The unique shape makes it easy to blend the perfect smoky eye while the precise tip allows you to get deep into the crease.
Shader brush (blue squirrel): The soft edge of the brush is curved and dense enough to deposit and shade your favorite cream or powder shadows.
Detail brush (fitch): It is the ultimate detail brush. The precision tip is ideal to blend the smallest kohl liner or create the perfect lash line. It can also be used for applying concealer, lip color, or adding a highlight to the corner of your eye.
These brushes are beautiful: they feel weighty and solidly built, and the makie flowers on the handle are gorgeous. If I could change one thing about them it would be to remove the Chikuhodo x Beautylish logo from the handles: while not a deal breaker, it would be nice to have the flower design across the whole handle of each brush.
I received these brushes early this month so haven’t had a chance to test their performance extensively, but they all seem useful. The powder brush has a nice angle and the cheek brush is a bit bigger than my Suqqu Cheek (comparisons to come in a future post!). The blender is quite floppy and probably good for creating a hazy effect, and the detail brush is quite stiff (which I personally like).
The handles are truly a thing of beauty, the little flowers in gold, pink and white featuring an iridescent, mother-of-pearl-like finish. I could stare at (and take pictures of) those handles all day long!
Overall, the only thing in the set that did not impress me was the case – it looks and feels cheap. I guess considering the price of the set ($215) and the quality of the brushes, they had to cut corners somewhere. I won’t be using the case that came with the set, that’s for sure.
Conclusion: I love this set and am happy I purchased it as a birthday present to myself. The brushes will get a lot of use in my travels and make me glad every time I look at those pretty handles. It is unfortunately sold out on the Beautylish website but I’m sure they’ll bring out more sets in the near future.