Category Archives: Hakuhodo

My Favorite Brushes – Face Edition

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Favorite Brushes - Face

Hi all! First, a quick note about the blog – I’ve been unusually swamped at work, which means less time for posting. I do apologize for scarcity of posts lately – hopefully everything will be back to normal soon!

Today, I’m going to talk about my favorite face brushes (favorite eyes, brows, and lip brushes are here). I think of my face brushes as being in two separate categories – brushes for powders, and brushes for creams.  For powder products, I generally prefer natural hair, as I feel like it picks up product better and distributes it more easily. For cream products, I prefer synthetic hairs, as they’re easier to clean (yet still soft). Continue reading

My Makeup Brush Collection

Makeup Brush Storage

Makeup Brush Storage

Today, I have brush picture spam for you! Above, is my brush storage – I started off with the two containers on the left, for face and eye brushes. However, I now have too many burhses for just those two containers, and they’re also too tall for some of my brushes – so I’m using a wine glass and a shot glass as well (the shot glass works surprisingly well for travel-length handles).

On to the pictures! This post is going to be mostly pictures with minimal text, but I’d be happy to answer questions in the comments.  I apologize that several brushes are dirty; they’re never all clean at the same time – since most of them are clean right now, I though this was a good time to take photos.

First, Hakuhodo brushes – these have a reputation for being very expensive – and some are! – but most of the eye brushes I love are in the $15 – $25 range.

Hakuhodo J110, K020, G5533 BkSL, G5529 BkSL, J515, G5515 BkSL, K005, K005, K007, 270

Hakuhodo: J110, K020, G5533 BkSL, G5529 BkSL, J515, G5515 BkSL, K005, K005, K007, 270

I would recommend all of these brushes except the G5533, which is too floppy to be useful. My favorites are the K020 blush brush, the J515, G5515, and K005 eye brushes, and the 270 lip brush.

Here’s a close up of the eye brushes & the lip brush:

Hakuhodo G5533 BkSL, G5529 BkSL, J515, G5515 BkSL, K005, K005, K007, 270

Hakuhodo G5533 BkSL, G5529 BkSL, J515, G5515 BkSL, K005, K005, K007, 270

My MAC eye brushes are also staples, and I sometimes use my 188 to contour with eyeshadow.

MAC 188, 239,239, 219, 217

MAC 188, 239,239, 219, 217

Notice anything odd about the two 239s?

I have two Shu Uemura eye brushes – they’re the most expensive eye brushes I own, but they really are fantastic.

Shu Uemura natural 10, 5r

Shu Uemura natural 10, 5r

I recently bought some short-handled Sonia Kashuk brushes, mainly because I was intrigued by the shape of the 3rd brush – I haven’t figured out what to do with it yet though. It’s very small – about an inch across; you can see it in the shot glass in the first picture in this post.  The 4th one is a fantastic pencil brush, though.

Sonia Kashuk set

Sonia Kashuk set

Here are some miscellaneous eye brushes:

Laura Mercier Finishing Eye Brush, Monda Brush , Smashbox brush

Laura Mercier Finishing Eye Brush, Monda Brush (from beauty
supply store), Smashbox brush (from unknown source)

Benefit Get Bent brush, L'oreal brush x2, spoolie

Benefit Get Bent brush (discontinued), L’oreal brush (comes with
gel liner) x2, spoolie

Sephora brow brush, Maybelline cream eyeshadow brush

Sephora brow brush (trimmed a bit), Maybelline cream eyeshadow brush

Moving on to (mostly) face brushes, here are the mixed brands.  I adore the Ecotools Bronzer brush especially, it’s wonderful for buffing in powder.

Ecotools Bronzer brush, Sigma F80, Sonia Kashuk Medium Angled Multipurpose brush, MUFE 24S,  Illamasqua Blending Brush 2

Ecotools Bronzer brush, Sigma F80, Sonia Kashuk Medium Angled Multipurpose brush,
MUFE 24S, Illamasqua Blending Brush 2

I have several Real Techniques brushes; I really like them, but tend to find myself using them for purposes other than what they are intended for. The crease brush (second from right) is a great concealer brush, and the brow brush (right) is terrible as a brow brush, but great for using dry eyeshadow to on the upper lash line.

Real Techniques brushes

Real Techniques brushes – combined from various sets

I also love for ELF Studio brushes.  My favorite is the eye contour brush (third from the right) – it’s just fantastic at laying down a cream base. I actually have a second one, which was hiding for this photoshoot.

ELF Studio Complexion Brush, Blush Brush, Small Tapered Brush, C Brush, Contour Brush, ELF Mineral Blending Eye Brush,  ELF Glitter Eyeshadow Applicator

ELF Studio Complexion Brush, Blush Brush, Small Tapered Brush, C Brush, Contour Brush,
ELF Mineral Blending Eye Brush, ELF Glitter Eyeshadow Applicator

I also have a handful of ELF’s $1 concealer brushes that I use as lip brushes.

And, that’s my brush collection! I think that only ones missing are that hiding ELF contour brush and the retractable Maybelline lip brush I keep in my bag.

My Favorite Face Makeup Brushes

Favorite Face Brushes

Continuing on with my brushes series, here are my favorite face makeup brushes.  If you missed it, I posted about my favorite eye makeup brushes here.  These are definitely a work in progress; I have a couple brushes that I’d like to upgrade – but here are my favorites at the moment, organized by category.

Foundation: Sigma F80

I’ve written before about the Sigma F80 – it’s by far my favorite foundation brush! It gives a flawless application, and is the only foundation brush I ever use (though I do sometimes use a beautyblender or my fingers).  Highly recommended!

Powder: Ecotools Bronzer brush, ELF Complexion brush

I love the ecotools bronzing brush – it’s $10, and I don’t think I’ll ever stop using it.  I use it to buff in either power foundation (usually Pur Minerals) or setting powder.  If I want a light veil of powder instead, or to brush away excess powder I use the ELF Complexion brush. I’m happy with the ELF brush for now – it’s soft and well made – but I will eventually upgrade to a natural hair brush that is even softer.  Lately – since taking these pictures – I’ve also been using the Hakuhodo J110 for setting powder.  The smaller size is working really well for me.

Blush: Hakuhodo K020, Hakuhodo J110, MAC 188

These are the three brushes that I was using exclusively for blush at the time I took these photos. As I mentioned above, I’m currently using the Hakuhodo J110 for powder, and loving it for that purpose!

Before I got the Hakuhodo K020, I used the MAC 188 for my most pigmented blush. Lately, I’ve been using the K020 for my medium to very pigmented blush, and the 188 has been getting less use; however, it’s still a great brush for pigmented blush, so I wanted to include it in this round-up.

Contour & Blush brushes: Sonia Kashuk Medium Angled Multipurpose brush, MUFE 24S

I use both of these brushes for both blush and contouring.  I use the Sonia Kashuk brush for my less pigmented blushes, and occasionally use it to contour, while I use the MUFE 24S to contour most days, and occasionally use it for my less pigmented brushes.  I love the shape of both of these, but I’m considering upgrading both.  The Sonia Kashuk has been a great brush for a year or so, but it’s starting to shed; the MUFE brush is scratchier and a little less dense than ideal.

Highlighting: ELF Mineral Blending Eye Brush, Illamasqua Blending Brush 2

I use two different eye brushes for highlighting.  The ELF Mineral Blending Eye Brush is soft, well made, and perfect for highlighting down the bridge of my nose and my cupid’s bow.  The Illamasqua Blending Brush 2 is FAR too large for me to use for my eyes, but is fantastic to use to highlight my cheekbones.  Both of these are perfect for their purposes!

And, that is a lot of brushes! Do you use any of my favorites?


This post is from Project Swatch. All rights reserved.

My Favorite Eye Makeup Brushes

I love eye brushes, and I’m always searching for the next, best great eye brush.  Here are my current favorites!

For eyeshadow laydown, I use the MAC 219 and the Hakuhodo K005; the 219 is great for the lid, and the K005 is great for getting in to the inner corners of my eyes.

Hakuhodo K005, Mac 219

My favorite detail brushes are the Shu Uemura 5r and the Hakuhodo  G5529 BkSL; since I don’t have much lid space, both are great for crease work.  I also can use either to highlight the inner corner of the eye.  For a comparison of these two brushes, please see this post.

Shu 5r, Hakuhodo G5529 BkSL

My favorite eyeliner brushes are the Hakuhodo K007 – which has the finest tip I’ve seen – and the Benefit Get Bent eyeliner brush, which I love because it’s, well, bent – which makes it super easy to use.  It’s discontinued, but Sonia Kashuk has a similar bent eyeliner brush.

Benefit Get Bent, Hakuhodo K007

Surprisingly, I really love the little eyeliner brush that comes with the L’Oreal Infallible gel liners.  I don’t use it to apply eyeliner, but it’s the perfect size and shape for apply eyeshadow on top of eyeliner to either set the liner or smudge it out.

L’oreal liner brush

I had to put the last two brushes in a separate photo because the writing went in the other direction, which was driving me crazy!

I received the Smashbox brush in a swap a long time ago. I never use the white flat-tipped side, but the rounded size is absolutely fantastic for a base shade all over the lid/browbone, or to use a highlight shade on the browbone; I use it almost every time I do my makeup. I have no idea where it came from, and it’s not on Smashbox’s website, so I assume it’s discontinued.

Unknown but awesome Smashbox brush

The final brush is Laura Mercier’s finishing eye brush, a duo-fiber brush. It is a really great blending brush – it works beautiful, but never overblends.  It’s also smaller than brushes like MAC’s 217, which works well on my smaller lids.  Sorry that it’s dirty – didn’t realize how bad it was until I saw the close up photo!

Laura Mercier Finishing Eye Brush

Some other brushes I occasionally use – but that didn’t quite make the cut as absolute favorites – are the MAC 217, MAC 219 ELF studio eye contour brush, and ELF studio eyeshadow C brush.  I use the 217 and contour brush for cream eyeshadow, and the C brush as an all purpose brush, especially when my favorite brushes are dirty! I used to use the 219 pencil brush for crease work and as a detail brush, but it’s been replaced by the brushes above.

I do realize these are not cheap brushes – though the Hakuhodo brushes may be less expensive than you expect; the three in this post are $15 – 24.  I personally find that it’s worth it to splurge for the brushes I love, as it makes applying my makeup, which is something I really enjoy, even more fun for me.  But, for those on a budget, I have a some posts coming up with some inexpensive brushes!

 Do you use any of my favorite brushes?  What are go-to brushes?


This post is from Project Swatch. All rights reserved.