Friday, November 25, 2016

Shu Uemura Sable Eye Brushes - 2R, 4F, 5R and 10 Natural

Happy Black Friday! Many e-tailers are having sales this weekend I guess I should put out some long-overdue brush reviews, accumulated from my fude adventure last year. 

Shu Uemura is one of the brands (like Shiseiso) that has been relatively easy to access in North America that sometime I forget it's Japanese. Their brushes are solid, meticulously crafted and highly functional. Unlike many other companies who uses various hair types, Shu Uemura is a brand that focus on sable and kolinsky, the precious yet low-maintenance hair that's highly effective and gentle on the skin.
Shu Uemura 10 Natural (next to Koyudo BP 027 and C006P) is a standard sized shader made with a blend of sable and kolinsky. It comes with a painted wooden handle that's easy to hold but a bit too long for my near-sighted self.  

Beside all the qualities of the hair type (stiff, directional but not uncomfortable on the lid), there is a way that they bundle up the hair, like how full the body is and how fanned out it gets at the tips, makes the hair (that's usually too silky to be grabby) very effective at picking up, holding and depositing powder. 
Shu Uemura 10 (in the middle) 
I wish I can go on and on about how much I love this particular brush but all I could say is that: It's a very well designed one that put other kolinsky eye brushes (The two Koyudo feels silkier but don't apply colors as effectively) to shame and one of the few pricier brushes I own that I feel is truly worth it at 68 bucks. 

Sometime, I am curious about their No. 11 full kolinsky, a larger shading brush that costs a whooping 140 dollars. Maybe it's all the practicalities plus added silkiness? I guess I won't find out since I can't justify dropping Benjamin on a single beauty items (even my most expensive squirrel cheeks brushes were 80 bucks a piece at the time of purchase). 

Next up, a full kolinsky just for the fun of it. 5R (R is probably means round ferrule while F is for flat)is the Jack of all trades and master of none. 
It's a half blending half pencil kind of brush that can be used for many purposes such as:

1.As a blending brush, it is too small to fluff out larger patch of color.

2.As a pencil brush, the tip is too rounded for precision. 

3.It works perfectly smoothing out dry undereye concealer (something that I never use). 

4. The size and shape is perfect for brow bone highlighting but then again I can use Daiso sponge tip ($1.5 for 12)for that. 

You can find a dozen uses for this then another dozen reasons not to. The pricing on this was funny as well, for two years or so (when I stalked Shu's site and when I read other people's review), this had been priced at 60 bucks. Last summer, it was taken down (alone with 10 synthetic, which was straight out discontinued) for a few weeks and when it made a return, it became 95 dollars...

Before firing your outrage at big corporates, the one to blame here is more likely to be US Fish and Wildlife services,who put out a much stricter rule regarding import of kolinsky back in late 2014. As a result, Hakuhodo USA stopped listing sable and weasel altogether. I suppose now the customers are eating up the cost directly (or indirectly since they can't raise the price of the already expensive 11 kolinsky) . 

I got mine from Rakuten last summer for around 35 bucks, making it the first and only successful investment I have put (Cue Hanzawa Naoki theme ). The brush was mostly useless to me regardless of the price though.
I have talked about the 2R ($17) and 4F ($21) when I compared it to similar Chikuhodo brushes. To sum it up, the Shu is much better from the small details: The 4F has small gaps between hair giving it a softer definition along the lash line. 2R has a conical shape that makes it suitable for both powder and cream. Both are effective and reasonably priced.

 They are nice to own but personally, I don't recommend either since you can get similar result from synthetic brushes that are 3 dollars each.
Group shot to show the size and length.

Overall: 10 Natural is the only one I really love and I had to struggle really hard not to get a backup during the sale. Instead, I got a brow brush, brow pencil and a tint in gelato. 

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