Beauty Tools

hakuho-do + SEPHORA PRO Brush Collection

August 12, 2015

The Sephora Pro team worked in collaboration with Japanese craftsman to launch their hakuho-do + SEPHORA PRO Brush Collection. There are five brushes for the cheeks and face with the initial release. Each brush is sold separately and the presentation and packaging of each brush is quite stunning. According to Sephora:

“This line of brushes is the result of the first ever collaboration
between a beauty company and traditional Hakuho-do craftsmen. Each of
these brushes benefits from the expertise of the Sephora Pro team and is
handmade by highly skilled craftsmen in Japan using the traditional,
200-year-old manufacturing technique. This ensures the highest quality
design, materials, and assembly for astounding results.”

The five brushes are made of a synthetic material. In addition they are not tested on animals and cruelty-free. The brushes and descriptions from Sephora:

I’ve been playing with these brushes for the last month. I was a bit skeptical about how they would perform with powders since the brushes are made of a synthetic blend but they perform very well. Each brush appears to have been crafted with great care. The handles are sturdy, well balanced in weight and the perfect length to fit into my hand without feeling too small or too large. The longest ones are about 7 inches in length – they are all pretty similar in terms of how long they are. In addition, the handles have a tapered shape so it allows for a better grip. The bristles are extremely soft and evenly distributed. The craftsmanship is excellent. My thoughts on each one below.

On the nails: Chanel Ecorce Sanguine

Up first is my favorite of the five: the Kusuriyubi Angled Concealer Brush. It’s designed for concealer but I think it is a multi-tasking brush. It’s quite dense and the perfect width. Most concealer brushes are either too wide/flat or too small/skinny. This one is perfect for blending concealer under the eye. It also works well with both powder and cream shadows. It’s extremely soft even though it’s dense – the shape is perfect and there is no poking whatsoever. I’ve shown it below to an Edward Bess and Cle de Peau Beaute concealer for size reference (thoughts + swatches here in case you are interested). I do think it’s worth buying a second one to keep separate for eye products. It’s dense enough to use as a detail highlighter for the eyes as well.

Next up are the Ougi Fan Cheek Brush and Kusabi Wedge Sloping Brush. The Ougi Fan Cheek Brush is the smaller one shown on the left. I placed it next to a Tom Ford Blush for size reference. This one is supposed to be a multi-tasking brush for powder, contour or bronzer. I thought the name “fan” to be odd because it’s not fan-shaped at all – however it does fan out a little when you press it to your face. This was the one I was least excited about simply because it looks so slim – but it really surprised me. I tried it with several super pigmented blushes and it picked up just the right amount of color to give a smooth even application. Since it’s a synthetic material and slim I thought I’d try it with foundation too – it works surprisingly well to blend liquids into a flawless finish on the skin.

The Kusabi Wedge Sloping Brush is a powder brush. It has an angled tip that has a very slight slope. This one is designed for powder, bronzer or neck shading. I didn’t like this for all over face powders (pressed or loose). I found it didn’t pick up enough powder for my entire face – the shape and angle made application feel odd. For bronzer on the other hand it’s amazing. The sloped shape makes it glide along the side of the face easily. For bronzers it picks up just the right amount of product to apply to the cheeks. It blends powders beautifully. Given the fact that I usually use powder brushes for bronzer though I don’t think this one is a must.

Above shown: Eve Snow Nail Polishes, Tom Ford Cheek Color Blush in Flush, Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light, Chanel Les Beiges, Chanel Eyelash Curler (discontinued), Marc Jacobs Beauty O!Mega Mascara, MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Shooting Star (discontinued)

Below are a couple quick front versus side views of the three brushes mentioned above so you can see the tapered angle/shape the Wedge Sloping and Angled Concealer brushes have:

The last two brushes are the tapered teardrop ones. They are both extremely soft and plush. The Large Teardrop Pointed Powder Brush isn’t as dense as the others in the collection. It is a super soft almost fluffy-feeling brush. Since it’s not quite as dense it will give the face more of a sheer wash of color if you use bronzer or highlighter. I would recommend this one over the Wedge Sloping Brush if you wanted to narrow down your picks. It has a similar function but performs better.

The Small Teardrop Pointed Highlighter Brush is similar in shape but smaller and more dense. It has a similar shape and size compared to the Charlotte Tilbury Powder & Sculpt Brush. The Sephora Pro brush does the job in terms of picking up highlighter for the cheek bone area or cheek sculpting but I find the Charlotte Tilbury far superior. It picks up powder product better while the synthetic material of the Sephora Pro brush works, it’s just not as good in my experience.

A few comparisons below to Wayne Goss and Charlotte Tilbury brushes for size reference:

Overall these exceeded my expectations, especially considering they are synthetic brushes and I don’t usually like synthetic material for powders. They performed really well with face and cheek powder products and I’m really impressed with the quality and craftsmanship. Each brush is well designed and although they are on the pricey side they are very well made. I’ve accumulated a number of brushes over the years – it’s only recently that I started using Japanese brushes because they are usually so expensive. The ones I’ve tested that are made in Japan are far superior to any other brushes I’ve tried. These are no exception. Still the synthetic material for powders is new to me. I would say the Concealer Brush and Large Teardrop Brushes are the two I would recommend the most. I’ve already ordered a second of the concealer brush. The Fan Cheek brush surprised me – it performs really well for powder blush and foundation, but since I already own a number of blush and foundation brushes I can’t call it a must-have. I do like it a lot though. For the other two I would say skip – however they are extremely well made and soft.

Above: Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse mini, Muji Acrylic Cylinder, Marc Jacobs Beauty Genius Gel Super Charged Foundation, Chanel Coquelicot Le Vernis, simplehuman Sensor Mirror

Have you checked out these brushes yet? If not do you have any favorite synthetic brushes in your collection? If you’re curious on how to use these, Sephora has short videos on how to use each brush online.

The hakuho-do + SEPHORA PRO Brush Collection currently consists of five brushes, each available for purchase individually. They are exclusive to Sephora and prices range from $30 to $54.

The hakuho-do + SEPHORA PRO Brush Collection brushes were provided courtesy of Sephora for review consideration. All opinions my own.

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