The term 'At Long Last' applies to this entry in so many ways because...
For one, I had finally splurged on these luxurious brushes and secondly, I am finally penning this haul down!
For a timeline reference, this haul actually happened sometime in November, or was it end-October, last year!
Since these brushes are making a physical appearance at Beauty Asia 2013, I figured it would be a good time for me to finally churn this out.
Anyway, the majority of you are probably not strangers to Hakuhodo Brushes as this name has made its rounds in the beauty realm, from local makeup pals to international beauty bloggers.
For the longest time, I had been tempted to get my hands on them yet at the same time, it wasn't such a good idea.
Long story short, back at my old place (or home-home, as I call it), it gets quite dusty and if I leave some brushes un-used for awhile, they become a landing strip for dust so... that's no fun.
I could put them in drawers but I didn't have the storage space for a brush drawer and personally prefer to have my brushes out in a holder, for easy access.
So, over here at my my current place (the boy's house), it is a lot less dusty and I have a proper vanity area and space to display these brushes in their full (and deserved) glory. Thus, the desire to own some of these luxurious brushes kicked in and the rest is history!
As most would know, Hakuhodo brushes are pure luxury and I am not just talking about the soft sweeping feel of running it across the skin. Though that is also something I can't stop doing because the bristles are so soft.
Each brush is hand-made and constructed with artisan skills, dedication and fine material. The range of brushes available is very extensive and the brushes aren't priced very cheap either (there are the pricier ones, and the rather reasonable ones), therefore a little research should be done to know what exactly it is you are looking for. Unless you have the moolah to just plonk on whatever catches your eye then by all means, go you!
While the brushes, and choices available were insanely confusing at first, I ended up liking the process of discovering and finding out more about the various brushes they had to offer; how the different natural animal hairs were used and how that affected the softness and purpose of the brush.
It is almost like appreciating an art form through learning about the construction and purpose of the brushes.
But anyway, I shall stop rambling and go straight to my purchase.
I picked up a total of 10 brushes, which totalled to about S$400+, inclusive of the pricier shipping option since that included a tracking number. Given the amount of the haul, splurging a little more on a safer shipping method seemed like a good choice.
I must admit that this 10 brush haul actually stemmed from my interest in the Yachiyo brushes and instead of simply getting the Yachiyos, I figured, why not throw in more brushes since I was already hauling from the site.
And look what I've done...
I didn't have anything particular in mind, so Yachiyos aside, I dived into the rest of Hakuhodo's brushes with an open mind. And maybe just a little biase-ness for crease / blending brushes.
I don't know what it is about eye crease / blending brushes but I often feel that you can never have too many of them.
You need various sizes, blendability, stiff and pointed or blunt fluffy ones - the options are endless! Plus not all brands do good variants of crease / blending brushes so when I see good variety and quality, I hone in on it.
Without further ado, let's see the haul.
Do keep in mind that this entry isn't a review about the brushes since I haven't given them all enough use to share my thoughts It is more of a brief write up and break down of what I think about the brushes I had gotten.
I am hardly an expert at Hakuhodo's brush categories and everything they have to offer but I will share what I know about their various categories. If you are familiar with Hakuhodo, this information would not be new to you but it will be somewhat helpful to those learning about this for the first time!
Starting off, here are the Yachiyo Brushes I have been talking about.
Brushes under the 'Japanese Traditions' range have a very... well, traditional Japanese flair to them. Aside from the Yachiyos that I will showcase soon, they have the Itabake (made popular with Everyday Minerals) and a couple of other traditional brushes that Geishas used (or rather still use?) to paint on their makeup with.
I was attracted to the Yachiyo brushes due to their unique brush handles and bristle shape, especially so for the 'pointed' ones.
The brushes were a little smaller than I thought and though this scissor-comparison picture doesn't yield much in terms of a universal scale, it still gives you a quick idea of how large (or not that large) these brushes are.
While fluffy looking in demeanour, the natural hairs used in this brush is Goat Hair, which leaves the bristles quite firm (but still soft) and allows the brush to pick up and deposit color well.
The pointed shape of these brushes also make it good for a pointed (no pun intended) and precise blush / highlighter application on a certain part of your face.
On hindsight, I should have perhaps picked up the Yachiyo L Purple instead of the medium pointed size as that is fluffier and better for buffing and a softer focus.
Though this just means that I have an option of hauling once more, if ever? ha!
To share another point, of the entire batch of brushes, the Yachiyos are not as soft and silky as the rest of their counterparts but I would attribute that to the Goat Hair used. It is still, in comparison to the brush world, considerably soft and smooth on the skin.
The G series brushes contain a good mix of various hair types and also come with some pretty interesting bristle cuts, shapes and sizes. Some of their G-series brushes may also look similar to ones in the pricier S100 range, except with the default black Hakuhodo polished handles.
My entire G series purchase would be eye crease brushes which can ring "boring" for some but I do recommend at least taking a look at the G5523 brush. From this angle you can't really tell but it is actually a flat yet fluffy crease brush, pretty interesting!
It reminds me of the popular MAC 217, except if I remember right (I haven't seen my 217 in ages), it is flatter, softer and a tiny bit longer than the 217.
Moving on to the J series, these brushes have the same handles as the G-series. Bristle-cut aside, there is absolutely no differentiation between both series.
The brushes in the J series range have not been color-treated, hence you will spot a good number of white-bristled Goat Hair brushes in this series. I don't know about you but while white bristled brushes are a pain to maintain because they look dirty quicker, there is a pretty chic quality about them. Me likes.
But back to the J series. Since these brushes are not color treated and have a slight resistance in the bristles, they work well for use with powders, creams and liquids.
While J533 may look similar to G5528 above, in the fact that it is a rounded and pointed crease brush, it is notably smaller and more precise in point.
I wanted a small, flat and firm eyeshadow brush for detailed placement of shadows and the J242G fitted the bill.
The last and bulkiest brush you see above, J214, can be used for both the face and eyes, depending on how you prefer it.
I got this on a whim because of its interesting inbetween (and also versatile) size. While I haven't figured out its optimal usage in my routine, it is certainly too big for the eye area for my liking.
I have read reviews of some loving it for buffing on concealers and correctors but I haven't tried it in that way just yet.
Compared to the huge assortment with the G and J series, the K-series is much smaller with its offering.
The brushes found in the K-series are quintessential basic makeup brushes – simple face brushes, general eye ones, spoolies and such.
This simple range was perfect for what I was looking for - yet another small and flat eyeshadow brush for detailed placement of shadows. With that, I settled for the K004, which appears to be very similar to the (previously mentioned) J242G.
Though upon closer scrutiny, this is a tad fluffier and not as stiff as the J242G, however the differences aren't too major.
One thing I wish the J, G and Basic Series would adopt from the K-series would be the labeling. I have no idea why they decided to do it for the K series but not the rest.
The brushes from both the G and J series that I had featured earlier do not have their names engraved or stated on them thus you will have to find a way to either remember it by heart or... like me, transfer a label and hope it stays!
But anyway, I digress...
On to my last brush in this haul!
The S100 series comes with a slightly heftier price tag. Coated in the distinct traditional Japanese vermillion shade on the handles, paired with gold-plated ferrules, it certainly stands out from the rest of Hakuhodo's ranges.
While I prefer the sleeker look of black polished handles as opposed to a loud vermillion, I do like the shape / design of the handle and how exquisite the whole brush looks.
The brushes in the S series also have some interesting bristle cuts and designs, amidst a mix of simple basics.
Of the range, I decided to splurge a little on the S122 because of how unique the bristle cut is. It is not to say there is nothing like it but I rarely come across a medium-sized fluffy angled eye brush, as such.
How would I use this unique looking brush then? Well, I haven't decided yet. Heh.
For now I have been using it to sweep on shadows all over the lids and the angled nature of it gives me control over how buffed out, or blended yet defined I want the outer corners to be. From the reviews that I have read about this brush, many loved how versatile it is.
The brushes in the S100 series have their names engraved on the handles as well, finished in gold.
So... this marks the end of my really rambly and long Hakuhodo haul entry!
I didn't mean to make it that rambly but I figured with their huge assortment, perhaps a little elaboration here and there would be of help to those who, like me at a period of time, were sourcing images and thoughts about the brushes.
I haven't given all the brushes enough use to warrant a general review post yet but if you have any queries about the brushes featured here, do ask away!
That aside, here are some helpful sites for Hakuhodo referencing if you are just embarking on this Hakuhodo adventure.
- Basic Introduction to Hakuhodo (Diablous in Cosmetica)
- Hakuhodo Brush Series - Introduction (Glossed in Translation)
- Hakuhodo J Series (Sweet Makeup Temptations)
Though one of my favorite Hakuhodo references would be trawling through Glossed in Translation's Hakuhodo Tag.
Hope this post was somewhat helpful and thanks for reading!
For the Hakuhodo brush lovers and users, let me know of the brush(es) you love!