Compare all the Hakuhodo price increases with my handy chart!

I added an exclamation mark to make the title seem fun, but really, how much fun can an excel spreadsheet be?

Hakuhodo Kinoko Brush(Actually, I’ll admit that I completely geek out when I look at statistics; I love looking at trends and patterns, so, if you’re like me, this spreadsheet is quite a bit of fun to look at.)

Anyway I’ve made a sheet detailing all the prices of Hakuhodo brushes before the New Year increase, and after. I’ve also added a ‘% Increase’ column so you guys can see the extent to which each price increased.

If you click on the column names, you can sort the sheet by that criterion.

Here’s some quick analysis.

  • The biggest price increases were:
  • The Blue Squirrel & Goat/Sokoho blend hardly increased in price at all (only 3 brushes increased in price out of 15)
  • On average, the K Series increased the most(with an average % increase of 42.66%), followed closely by the Japanese Traditions Series (41.78%)
  • The G Series had the smallest average % increase(14.24%), followed by the Basic Series (15.90%)
  • The cheapest brushes in 2011 were the K013 Mascara Brush and the K007 Eyeliner Brush Round (both $9). The cheapest brush in 2012 is the Tentsuke Brush ($12).
  • Three brushes seem to have disappeared from both the Japanese and the US Site:
    • S114 Highlight Brush Round and Flat (Kazakhstan Squirrel) – E0011
    • Lip Brush, Stick type, Round and Flat (Weasel) – E0307
    • Lip Brush, Stick type, Flat (Weasel) – E0308

Click here for the full spreadsheet.

What do you guys think of the price increase? I’m not really bothered, but that’s because I have most of the brushes I want already. I’m sad that the S102 Finishing Brush has become even more unattainable (from $111 to $142), but I’ll cope!

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My 6 Must-have Hakuhodo Brushes (for now!)

I thought it would be fun to share a few of my favourite Hakuhodo Brushes.

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The Kokutan Eyeshadow SL, G5522BkSl, B505BkSl, Kokutan Finishing Brush L, 235, G515

Let’s start with the biggest!

Kokutan Finishing Brush L – Blue Squirrel & Synthetic

If you asked me which brush was the most quintessentially Hakuhodo, I’d instantly say the Kokutan Finishing Brush L. It has that gorgeous Kokutan handle, it’s unbelievably soft, it has an almost unique shape; to me, this is the Hakuhodo brand contained in one brush.

IMG_6154But let’s not gush. In terms of function, it applies a thin veil of powder; it wouldn’t be much good at applying the amount of powder you’d need for a powder foundation. It is just lovely for setting powder. It’s also good for ‘finishing’; even if you aren’t using it to apply anything, it can brush over your freshly-applied make-up and get rid of excess powder, eyeshadow fallout, random bits of fluff etc. etc.

Some people seem to worry about the addition of ‘synthetic’ in this brush – a characteristic of the Kokutan series. I wish I had the pure blue squirrel finishing brush to compare it with as I can’t say for sure, but I would assume the addition of synthetic hairs add a tiny bit of stiffness. In general though the brush is extremely yield…prone, but with such a long brush head you can’t really expect otherwise. So perhaps the synthetic hairs add an incremental difference in stiffness, but they don’t affect the softness of the brush at all.

While its function may not seem too necessary, it is useful, but I suppose it’s really the luxury, softness, and ‘heirloom’ quality of this brush that makes me love it so dearly.

B505BkSl Blush Brush – Blue Squirrel & Goat (Sokoho)

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I’ve already written about this brush here, and like I said in that post, it’s my favourite blush brush partly because of its crazy softness. While I love to try out new and interesting brushes (see above and below), I can also be quite traditional in my brush needs and my devotion to the ‘fluffy’ blush brush shape is a reflection of that.

I’m particularly fond of this hair mix. I think Hakuhodo are really on to something with it: it makes a brush that’s very soft (thanks to the blue squirrel) but that has the stiffness (from the goat) to apply pigment relatively well (especially compared to pure blue squirrel).

G515 Eyeshadow Brush – Canada Squirrel

IMG_6222I won’t lie to you, I bought this brush primarily because my brain went ‘oooh what a funny shape’ and my wallet responded by spitting out some money; it practically bought itself. After using it, I realise I love it. I think the shape, while intriguing, can also be off-putting – there’s a fear that its shape might be quite limiting. The slant of the brush means it fits exactly over the eyelid, with the longest part extending into the crease, which means it’s perfect for diffusing eyeshadow over the whole eye. But just because it’s perfect for this purpose, it’s not restricted to it.

It works to blend pretty much any area of eyeshadow. It is supremely soft (Canada Squirrel) and the hairs are very densely packed together. This means that as well as feeling nice, it also has a little bit of power behind it to move eyeshadow around, making it good for shaping eyeshadow as well as blending. Its density means that in a pinch, you could also use it to apply shadow as well.P1010979P1010978

This is a great multi-tasker, I’m constantly in awe of its results.

G5522BkSl Pointed Eyeshadow Brush – Blue Squirrel & Goat (Sokoho)

Ah, here’s that lovely hair mix again. Like the G515, I like that this brush also has a bit of push behind it (from the goat). Because of its tapered point it’s useful for detail areas, but its size can be off-putting. A lot of people think it’s a little too big, but I find that its pointy end gives it a versatility in size. P1010977P1010976

235 Flat Eyeshadow Brush – Weasel & Synthetic

This is a very basic brush, but it’s special because it’s so useful. I tend to hugely favour my super soft brushes, but this one can’t be beaten in eyeshadow application. It really packs on pigment. I never really thought that there was much variation in a mere application brush; with blending brushes there are so many different shapes and styles, and to me an application brush was just an application brush. However, since experiencing this brush’s application skills I’ve cast aside all my other lay-downs. Anyway, basically it applies eyeshadow amazingly well; it doesn’t absorb it or drop it everywhere, it clings to it until the moment of contact with the eyelid.

Kokutan Eyeshadow SL – Weasel (also the K005)

IMG_6225This brush is an absolute treasure. I want twenty of them. I use it for using eyeshadow as a liner, but a lot of people use it for gel eyeliner too. It is so so easy to control, and while it looks a little bit chunky for an eyeliner brush, it actually tapers gradually towards the end, so it draws a nice thin line. I think this tapering is what sets it apart from other push eyeliner brushes, others tend to stay the same thickness from base to tip, or splay out (and get even more splayed over time). It deposits pigment wonderfully. I usually use it for a normal thin line, but because of the great control with this brush, I can easily thicken and shape the line to my liking.

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(next to the ecotools eyeliner brush)

Do you have any favourite brushes? And do you find you have silly patterns like me (my penchant for the marriage of squirrel and goat, for example).

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Hakuhodo S111 (with a comparison to the S110) Picture Post

Due to the recent announcement of a Hakuhodo price increase (starting 1st of January), I thought I’d post a little flurry of Hakuhodo-related posts for those trying to get their orders in. Because time is of the essence (a lot of brushes have sold out already from the USA site), I’ll be posting picture posts first – it takes me a long a time to write posts, not such a long time to take pictures – and then I’ll post complete posts (with written descriptions and comparison tissue swatch thingies) when I can.

S111 ($69)

Front ViewP1010902Side View (had to stop it from rolling with a Shu palette)P1010905P1010903P1010904

I’ve already reviewed the S110, and some have asked if the S111 is similar. It’s not. The S110 is much fluffier than the S111, which is more flat and paddle-like.P1010909

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While the S111 is made from Blue squirrel hair, it is still just as stiff as the S110 because the hair is so densely packed together.

Addiction Brand Spotlight and Swatches

I saw a few requests for swatches of of the Japanese make-up brand Addiction and, as I have a few in the depths of my computer, I thought I’d share them here.

About Addiction

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the brand, Addiction is a Japanese department store brand that is, in comparison with many other Japanese department store brands, quite reasonably priced. In Japan it’s not as ubiquitous as other department store brands, with only 11 counters nationwide. Outside of Japan there are websites where you can order it but the mark-up is very high. The packaging is more Shu Uemura minimalist than Coffret d’Or elaborate, and the brand sells a few empty palettes in which to put their eyeshadow and blush inserts (which can be poked out from their original packaging with a pin through a hole in the back).

Products

Now, I’ll be the first to tell you that a lot of the obsession with Japanese cosmetics is just based on hype – and perhaps I’ll get further into that in another post – but Addiction actually offers many high quality, impressive products.

Their eyeshadows are beautifully complex and have a buttery texture, with – like Shu Uemura – their ME range being the best (in my opinion). Their blushes are good; I tend to be more interested in the eyeshadows because I find the blushes have quite a generic shade range, and I already have many good blushes in those colours. Were Addiction to expand the blush shade range, I’d definitely be interested. The newly-released cheek sticks are also very good multi-purpose products, but again I felt uninspired by the shade selection. I also use their powder foundation and I really like it, I just hope I don’t run out before I get back to Japan. This also means, as some of you may have deduced, that Addiction’s foundations do go quite light, lighter than MAC N15, I’d put it at N10ish.

Swatches

Here’s a mishmash of swatches, they’re not comprehensive, and some of them were quickly done in the store, so they’re not great (read: pretty terrible). BUT it may give you guys an idea of the shades, and how many of them swatch very differently from how they appear in the pan!

*The letters in parentheses represent the finish.

For eyeshadows:

  • ME – Metallic
  • M – Matte
  • P – Pearl
  • S – Sparkle

For lipsticks:

  • C – Colour
  • S – Sheer
  • P – Pearl

Crow (ME), Arabian Ruby (ME), Missa (M), Flashback (ME)

With Flash

Keshi (P), Fudge (ME), Faithful lipstick (C), Revenge Blush blended, unblended

(Sorry for the goosebumps!)

With Flash

Lipsticks (this is where they get wonky)

Desert Rose (S), Crush on you (P), Faithful (C), Monroe Walk (C), Last Scene (C), Femme Fatale (C), Garland (C)

And this is where it really hits rock bottom, but I thought I’d include them to give you guys a vague idea.

Ice wall (ME), Sandbar (P), Baghdad Cafe (P)

Concrete Jungle (P), Thriller (P), North Star (ME), Yesterday (P)

You may also want to check out Pink Sith’s review of Nostalgia eyeshadow.

And lastly here’s a pic with Faithful on the lips and Revenge on the cheeks:

Phew!

If you have any questions, or need help understanding the site, let me know in the comments section!