Thursday, December 10, 2015

Chikuhodo Eye Brushes - Passion and Artist Series

 Out of my pricier brushes, Chikuhodo takes up the biggest percentage. Not that they are amazing, they just went on sale (on Visage, which charged a decent chunk of markup anyway, I later found out)and have free shipping unlike other brands. Looking back it seems a little silly to start off a collection based on sale, but I got to start somewhere. Brushes preferences are so personal, the online brush reviews were more confusing than they were helpful. It could just be that I am really particular about these tools and have yet to find a taste twin.

I think the quality of Chikuhodo brushes are fair that do do get quality and serviceable tools for the price. I don't think they are the best in terms of craftsmanship nor best bang for the buck. There are certain models I love but there are also tiny details that doesn't quite hit the spot. If there is a time machine, I probably only pick up half of what I have. Since I don't (nor want blog-sell or am generous enough to gift them away) so I will just use what I have. After all, they are significantly better than brushes in US (in the same price range). I talked about four Z - Series brushes a while back, here are other eyes brushes I have from the brand.
Passion Eyeshadow Brush (capra/a type of goat) - The Passion series is a more affordable line from the brand that doesn't venture into some fancy hair. The handles are all in a glimmering magenta that doesn't look cheap at all and is quite resistant to micro-scratch /dulling of lacquer. The print also stays on for months, which is another plus. I am very glad that I only have bought one from the series because the somewhat flashy color/finish just seems it would be obnoxious when there is more than one in sight. 

The brush looks pointy when new but fans out after the first wash, into a rounded square shape(thus becoming less versatile). The hair is somewhat stiff and has a coarser touch compared to squirrel and weasel/kolinsky. 

The stiff hair deposit more color, especially when I use the side instead of the belly, but doesn't blend as smoothly. I don't reach for it (unless I am running out of clean brushes) since there are other laydown that are kinder to the lids and more functional. For example the one next to it...
The Artist Series CH-RE-(12)-5 is one of my favorite brushes (not just from Chikuhodo). The large laydown brush is made of Canadian squirrel, being silky on the lid, a very smooth blender and can be used perpendicular to/poke the pan for greater grabbage. The firmer but non-pokey hair also is more practical and resilient than the delicate gray squirrel (which has ultra fine tips that kink up after heavy handed application).

The shorter wooden handle has a nice balance and grip. It just seems that the print on these start to rub off as soon as it makes contact with skin. I don't mind in this case since the brush works so well.

On the very right is the high-maintenance Z-5 (which I have reviewed)- The large laydown is soft and delicate on the lid but the hair can get weight down (become matted)with sebum, powder or cream based primer.
The small weasel brush is from Kanebo Tesshyu Collection (made by Chikuhodo). It's a firm detail brush that is multi-functional. It can be used for eyeliner, pinpoint concealer and eyeshadow very closed to the lash line and diffuse it to a natural gradation. The handle (wooden, well weighted with paint and print that stay on) is a little too long that it would hit the mirror if I use it for eyeliner, I only use it for lower lids. It's nice to have around but not an essential tool. 

The little Edge Brush RE-(2)-2 is mostly for tight-liner. Shu Uemura 4F (the black one) is essentially the same brush but designed much much better. Instead of being cut straight across, the Shu is not only wider and flatter. The tips are arranged in a way that they look like fringe being trimmed vertically(there are tiny gaps between each hair). The result is that the Shu are much easier to maneuver around the lash line both across and getting between lashes. The line drawn is also thinner and softer, looking more like fuller lashes than clumsily applied makeup. Shu tends to be a few bucks more expensive (I only buy during sale anyway so the price is the same) but a handy 21-dollar (16 during sale)  brush is much cheaper per usage than a 13-dollar brush that I don't use. 
Lastly, a weasel fine liner brush R-SL3(this one has pointed handle and prints that stay on!), since I don't have a potted liner at the moment, I use this type of brush with my palettes instead. It doesn't grab too much product and is great for precision. Despite that kinky hair (I put them in a bag before taking them out for picture) in the picture, Shu Uemura kicks its ass again, being more streamlined and tapered into a more conical shape, giving a precise and fine line even with powder. The Chikuhodo requires liquid and cream to hold they hair into a line.

So here is all the Chikuhodo brushes I have. While I really like 12-5 and Z10 brushes, I am neutral about/can do without the rest. The whole Z-series is luxurious (high maintenance and not very practical, not to mention I don't like their handles that dull down) and the other are good but not good enough for me to reach for by default. I think for most of their brushes that I have tried, I can either find the close-enough analog at a much better price (Koyudo eye brushes or Mizuho cheek) or better functionality (Shu Uemura and Koyudo). Even for their specialty, squirrel haired brushes, I think I prefer other brands over it. Maybe I haven't tried their truly great ones, I won't venture more into the brand as it's simply too much expenses and hassle.

P.S. CDJapan is having a free shipping discount (on order over 10,000 yen/80 bucks) and Koyudo are 20% off till the 16th. Hopefully this post was somewhat helpful (kicking out some lemming).


  1. Hey Citrine,

    Owning all 3 eye shadow lay-down brushes, interestingly enough the Artist 12-5 is my favorite! It just grabs the pigment really well! The Z-5 is great but it's powder shadows only being squirrel, so it's a bit too princessy for my taste LOL


    1. Z-5 annoys me a bit since it's so silky/big that powder gets inside the bundled hair(hard to wipe clean with microfiber/too delicate to be washed all the time). After 12-5 and a yojiya mini, I realized that I just really like Canadian squirrel for eyeshadow, so I bought another one from koyudo!


Leave a comment and I will get back to you! Commercial links and nameless comments WILL BE removed.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...