Review: Chikuhodo Passion Series Powder Brush
If you’ve taken a peek into the world of cosmetic brushes, you probably already know the best ones come from Japan, with its long history of brush-making. And you probably also know that two of the most well-recognized names in high-end Japanese brushes are Hakuhodo and Chikuhodo, both manufactured in Kumano. Over the past couple years I’ve assembled quite a collection of Hakuhodo brushes, which are pretty easily accessible in the US. Then a couple months ago I decided it was time to take the next step and purchase my very first Chikuhodo brush. I knew I wanted a large powder brush, and eventually narrowed it down to either the MK-2 or the Passion Series powder brush. As much as I want that gorgeous makie handle and fluffy grey squirrel hair, the MK-2’s $266 price tag seemed a bit steep as an intro to a new brand. And that, my friends, is the story of how I came to possess the Passion Series powder brush.
The Chikuhodo Passion series is a kind of fun set of brushes. They all have a bright pink metal ferrule with a pink acrylic handle that has a little bit of sparkle to it. It doesn’t exactly scream ‘understated elegance’ but it’s a bit whimsical. True to the Chikuhodo reputation, the construction of this brush is completely impeccable. It’s light-weight but well-balanced and join between the handle and ferrule is perfect, with no wiggliness, rough edges or glue overspill.
Just like the handle, I can’t really find any faults with the shaping of the brush head. It’s evenly distributed, and there’s not a hair out of place. So far it’s shed exactly one hair, which seems like a pretty good track record to me! It’s dyed and you can see a little bit of the natural hair color at the base, but I haven’t noticed any dye bleeding in the wash.
The hair type on this one is listed as 100% capra, which as far as I can tell means ‘plain ol’ goat.’ If you order this expecting the fluffy softness of Chikuhodo’s Z-series brushes (the grey squirrel ones that everyone raves about), you’re probably gonna be disappointed. You can feel the hairs a bit, though it’s far from scratchy and mine has softened up a little with use and washing. For comparison, I’d say it’s a bit softer than the Hakuhodo 210 (the black goat version), but not as soft as Hakuhodo’s white goat brushes. A firmer brush has its advantages though. The tapered shape picks up a good amount of product, so it only takes a couple swirls in the pan to powder my whole face. The density and springy hair also keep the bristles from being floppy, so it’s great if you like to pat your setting powder on instead of swiping the brush across your skin.
For those who like hard data like me, here are the measurements of the brush:
- Full length – 158mm
- Bristle length – 49mm
- Width of ferrule foot – 22mm
- Width of brush head at the widest part – 42mm
- Thickness of the brush head at the fullest part – 34mm
Notes on getting the brushes
Update: Beautylish is now carrying a selection of Chikuhodo brushes in the US! As of now they have the Z, GSN and Passion series available. You can get the Passion powder brush here for $64, which is a tad cheaper than now-eproject’s price.
The only unfortunate thing about Chikuhodo brushes is the sad lack of a distributor in North America. I’m aware of two websites where you can order them – kohlindo.se (based in Sweden, and they don’t stock the Passion series yet) and now-eproject.com (based in Japan). In general, Kohlindo’s prices are a bit lower, but some of the popular brushes like the Z-4 and MK-2 have been out of stock for a while. Now-eproject seems to have more consistent stock, but the prices and shipping costs are higher. They also have a minimum order – it used to be $200 (USD), but it’s recently been lowered to $100. I was lucky enough to have a friend ordering from now-eproject at the same time I was, so we combined our orders to meet the minimum. We had our brushes in hand within a couple weeks, and the customer service was very good. It’s worth noting that they currently have some discounted ‘best-seller’ sets available for Valentine’s day. I haven’t had a chance to order from Kohlindo yet, but I’ve heard only good things about them.
In Short: If you’re looking at Chikuhodo because you want to experience the heights of luxury in brushes, one of their grey squirrel options might be a better bet. That said, this is a very solid, high-quality brush that I enjoy a lot, and it definitely has a place in my collection.
The Chikuhodo Passion Series Powder Brush (~$54) is available from CD Japan.