Organisation Porn: Hakuhodo Brush Storage



So Xiao recently posted about makeup storage on her blog, and I got the bug. Sadly, my actual makeup storage is a bit up in the air at the moment (still scattered between shoe boxes, makeup bags and my handbag), but I recently got my brush storage sorted out and wanted to share.

Face and Lip Brushes

I used to store all my brushes in a huge brush roll I made, but I found that the bigger brushes (for cheeks and powder) got flattened on one side and basically became misshapen. So I decided to store them upright in some tea jars I had lying around. My main issue with storing brushes upright in jars is that they tend to get dust/fluff/air-stuff on them, and powder applied with a lint-covered brush looks kind of crap. So naturally, because I am super classy, I decided to cover the jars with those free shower caps you get in hotels. While this doesn’t look too pretty it’s great because:

  • It keeps dust off
  • It clings tight to the jar, so it’s not always falling off
  • It balloons out over the top of the jar, so it’s not pressing down against the brushes, just protecting them.


I like to keep as many brushes as possible in their original packaging and plastic tubes – partly because it helps them keep their shape, and partly because I think it may protect them …somehow. I tend to do this with my makeup as well – keeping it in the cardboard boxes it came in.

Eye Brushes

If I had an extra tea caddy, I could easily store my eye brushes in there, but

  1. I don’t and
  2. I like to be able to see them all laid out.

I have many eye brushes that can do the same thing, so it’s nice to be able to see them all at once and maybe pick a brush I haven’t used recently instead of going straight for old favourites. So I chose to put these in a brush roll. With bunnies on it.


The brush roll is sorted with application on the left, then multipurpose, then blenders, then detail, and then liner. Then the random yachiyo because it’s too small to fit in the caddies.


The Mizubake

Storage for the Mizubake perplexed me up until recently, it was too short to go in the tea caddies, too fluffy to go in a brush roll, and the plastic box it came in had been crushed long ago.


I eventually decided on using an empty vitamin pot. I had to put it in the dishwasher and then soak it in Dr. Bronners solution to get rid of that strange vitamin smell, but now it makes a perfect storage container for the Mizubake.

I don’t have to worry about hairs splaying because this vitamin jar is a perfect fit, but if it were too big, I’d put some cotton pads at the bottom to lift the brush so the hairs don’t get caught under the neck of the bottle.

How do you store your makeup brushes? Or, how would you want to store your brushes if you had the time/makeup/energy? Bonus points for links to pictures!

We’re Absolute Beginners: A Hakuhodo Starter Set

A lot of people feel overwhelmed when they’re about to take the plunge into Hakuhodo brushes – there are just so many of them. It’s difficult to define what’s necessary for a ‘starter set’ as everyone’s needs are different, but I decided to put together my idea of a reasonably priced Hakuhodo basics set.

Hakuhodo Essential Set

I tried to cover most bases here:

  • Powder and Blush: $30 – J5547 – Goat and Synthetic – I haven’t actually tried this brush yet, but after extensive research it seems the J range goat is super soft, and very versatile. I’ve marked this down as a powder and blush brush, but because its a goat synthetic mix, it will also lend itself to cream products, maybe even foundation.
  • Eyeshadow: $18 – J5523 – Goat – This is widely regarded as a dupe (in terms of size and shape) for the MAC 217, but apparently it is much softer and performs much better. This is a workhorse, good for applying and for blending.
  • Eyeliner: $15 – K007 – Weasel – This is a great little brush for applying eyeliner, if you prefer the ‘push’ shaped brushes, swap this one for the K005 ($18).
  • Concealer and Lips: $15 – 280 – Synthetic – This brush deposits colour nicely and does double the work as both a concealer and a lip brush (though wash it in between, don’t want to make your blemishes pinker!).

Total: $78

Go Luxe

I feel a bit iffy recommending the J5547 because I haven’t used it and there isn’t a lot of info available on it. Experience and research tells me that this brush will be a really good all-rounder, and it’s a great price. A blush and powder brush I can recommend is the B110BkSL. It’s pricier ($46) but it’s the same brush head as the S110 (which I’ve reviewed here), very soft but at the same time nice and elastic so it deposits colour and blends perfectly.B110BkSL

What’s your idea of a basic brush set? Have I missed out any brushes you think are essential?


Hakuhodo H601: 3 Brushes in 1 Pocket-sized Package

This is one of Hakuhodo’s slide-up portable powder brushes, it’s made out of Sokoho goat hair.

I love this brush; it’s a work horse.

Actually, it’s so tiny that it’s more like a work falabella. Aww.

Why I like it

  • It’s so easy to travel with:if I’m going away for a weekend or a few days, this is the only face brush I take because it’s so easy to pack and…
  • It’s versatile: at full slide, the brush is a (somewhat small) powder brush; if you don’t slide it out all the way, the brush head is smaller and denser, so it works as a blush brush; if you only slide it out a tiny bit, it’s a very dense highlight brush.
  • Um…it’s versatile: this is a different kind of versatility; even if we disregard all its transformer-esque (sans Shia Labeouf, blegh) qualities and just see it as a powder brush, it’s a very versatile one. The hairs are quite resistant against the skin so it deposits unpigmented blushes very well, but it’s still quite flexible and bendy which means it applies pigmented blush well (as opposed to stiffer brushes which can just leave two big circles of blush on your cheeks).

Let’s have a look at its special powers

Lid off

Super dense, small headed brush head for powder highlight

Still dense brush head with more flex for unpigmented blushes

Fully extended powder/pigmented blushes brush, covers a wider area and is more flexible

Using Bobbi Brown Pale Pink at varying levels of extension (l-r: slight extend, mid extend, full extend)

How it works

If you’re interested in the mechanism, here’s the brush on its side.

You can see the funny latch in the centre of the brush. Basically the lid of the brush (which is now the bottom half of the handle in the picture above), hooks on to a little sticky-outy-bit on the main brush.

The sticky-outy-bit (in the centre of the pic above) is connected to the slide that controls the movement of the brush head. Once the lid is hooked onto the sticky-out-bit, you can push the brush head up and down just by moving the lid.

Things I don’t like

  • It’s not crazy-soft: Ok, I know I’m obsessed with brush softness, and I also know that some brushes are better off being…not soft. BUT because I can have so much control over the density of the brush using the slide, I feel like the H603 (a Blue Squirrel and Sokoho mix) would be almost as effective for my needs. Emphasis on that ‘for my needs’ part because I tend to use this brush for blushes and loose powder. I don’t use it for pressed powder foundation (but it would be really good for that!) because I don’t wear it that often. I doubt the H603 would be great for applying powder foundation. Yes you could slide it down a bit so it would be firmer (and therefore be more inclined to deposit the powder on your skin), but the smaller brush head would mean it would take you twice as long to apply it all.

The bottom line:

If you want a versatile brush and you use pressed powder foundation often, get this brush. If you want a versatile brush but you don’t use pressed powder foundation a lot, then I’d say try the H603.

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Bleurgh (it’s French) and Brush Drying

Hello lovely people, I just thought I’d let you know that I won’t be posting until next Wednesday.

How will you live without my wisdom for a week? It’ll be hard, I suggest hibernation or extreme tea consumption.

Anyway basically I just have to get myself sorted for the new University term. I considered writing half-assed blog posts just to keep the updates going, but:

  • What if you liked them more than full-bottomed blog posts? (I would cry)
  • I’ll feel rather ashamed when I read them over in a few months time – I’d rather give you what I deem to be good content than any old stuff.

I’ll leave with you an amazing idea for drying brushes that Karen (a fellow Hakuhodo obsessive) sent me. (Thanks, Karen!)

Here’s what she says about it:

“I take a rubber band, wrap one end around my towel rod, loop that end through the other end of the rubber band, and then around the top of the brush handle a few times. The brush head will end up pointing towards the floor due to its weight. With this method, I can dry any number and any type of brush including the thick handled ones like the G543 and G527. … It works great and if you don’t have a convenient towel bar, you can loop your brushes on a clothes hanger and hang it on a drawer pull or doorknob.”

I wrote about brush-drying here, but I prefer Karen’s method because it can work for any handle size, and I don’t have to lug my rag dryer between uni and home.

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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