Beautylish x Chikuhodo Sakura 2019
The past couple years I’ve slowed down a lot on buying makeup brushes. I’m still firmly convinced that you can never really have too many, but I’m also at a place where I don’t feel like I have any major gaps in my collection. Regardless of necessity, I’m a sucker for limited edition so I always keep my eye on the Chikuhodo holiday collections and Beautylish collabs. Lo and behold, this year the Beautylish x Chikuhodo Sakura collection not only has a gorgeous cherry blossom maki-e design (another thing I have a weakness for) but it’s something I don’t have – retractable brushes. Whaaaaat? This year’s collection has three travel brushes.
As usual, here are all the nuts and bolts-
- Price – $155
- From – Kumano, Japan
- Barrel material – I can’t tell if this is thin metal or gold-painted plastic (?)
- Cap material – lacquered plastic
- Mechanism – remove the lacquered cap, slide the button up, place the cap on the end
- Hair – Gray squirrel & fitch
- Closed length – 99.7mm
- Full length – 137.5mm
- Bristle length – 11.5mm
- Width of ferrule foot – 6.6mm
- Width of brush head at the widest part – 6.7mm
- Hair – Gray squirrel & horse
- Closed length – 72.6mm
- Full length – 129.5mm
- Bristle length –30.5mm
- Width of ferrule foot – 15mm
- Width of brush head at the widest part – 22mm
- Hair – Gray squirrel & goat
- Closed length – 106mm
- Full length – 176mm
- Bristle length – 38.25mm
- Width of ferrule foot – 18.75mm
- Width of brush head at the widest part – 28.25mm
So – did these live up to my expectations? I have mixed opinions on that, and here’s why. I never ever ever thought I’d say this about Chikuhodo, but they feel sort of cheap. Yes, I said it. I don’t have experience with any of their other travel brushes to compare with, but these just aren’t what I expected based on the quality of my other Chikuhodo brushes. Here are the overall issues as I see them-
- The slides don’t run smoothly, and the one on the eye brush falls back down on its own.
- There’s not a close fit between the cap and the handle once the cap is posted. Not loose enough to fall off, probably, but it doesn’t feel that secure.
- In use, there’s a little bit of a rattle as you move the brush. Not sure if it’s the slide or the weird cap/barrel fit, but it doesn’t feel stable in the hand.
- The handles are too light to balance the weight of the brush head.
I know that sounds like a lot of gripes, and that’s because it is. The news isn’t all bad though. The brushes themselves are consistent with Chikuhodo’s usual quality, and they’re pretty functional.
Powder – the goat & squirrel blend picks up the perfect amount of product from pressed powders, which is what I always use by traveling. It’s a little on the small side, but that’s understandable for a travel brush.
Cheek – again on the small side, but again I’m ok with that. It’s just the right size to use for blush, highlight and contouring – just be sure to wipe it off well between products. The density strikes a great balance between being firm enough to move product around, but doesn’t pick up so much product that you over-apply.
Eye – this is my least favorite one. It’s too small to be a really efficient overall lay-down brush, but not quite small enough for detail work. It’s not quite fluffy or soft enough for blending. It’s good for an all-over wash of color on the lid – which is mainly what I wear with traveling anyway – but that’s the only solid function. For a travel brush it’s not nearly versatile enough; I’d definitely need at least 3 other ones in my makeup bag to make up the difference.
All in all, I had serious thoughts about returning these right away, and I’m still not sure my mind’s entirely made up about it. I’m leaning toward keep because I’ve already used them (and I hate to be wasteful) and the two face brushes are useful enough to be good additions to my travel kit. Plus they are gorgeous.
Still, would I recommend buying them? That’s an emphatic no.
The Beautylish x Chikuhodo Sakura 2019 set ($155) is available at Beautylish