Organisation Porn: Hakuhodo Brush Storage

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

Autumn Look with Shu Uemura, Addiction and Lunasol

L'oreal InfallibleAs you may know, right now I’m trying to pare down my stash. I started with taupes, and now I’m moving on to my other eyeshadows to see which ones make the cut. This week, I decided to try some rusty red browns – I tend to avoid them like the plague usually because I find hints of red just bring out the surface redness in my skin and around my eyes and I look a little…sickly. (Don’t ask why I have so many if I’m apparently so terrified of them – put it down to fits of madness)

So I fully went into this look expecting to look…sick chic. (pronounced ‘sick sheek’ or ‘sick chick’? – You decide!)

But actually I was pleasantly surprised. Although it did strike me as a little odd that I’d matched my eyeshadow to my hair.

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For my face and brows I used:

Face and Brow Products

  • Brushes: Hakuhodo B505BkSl, Hakuhodo G5521, and Laura Mercier Concealer brush (not pictured)
  • Brows: Shu Uemura Hard 9 Pencil in Walnut Brown, Clarins Double Fix Mascara
  • Base: Maybelline Pure BB Mineral 8 in 1 BB Base (Jp version), Bobbi Brown Corrector in Porcelain Bisque, Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage SC1
  • Colour: Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pearl, Chanel Notorious Ombre Contraste, Bobbi Brown Illuminating Bronzer Antigua

For eyes and lips:

Eyes and lips

  • Brushes: All Hakuhodo: 235, Kokutan Eyeshadow SL, G5515BkSl, S142 (black handle)
  • Mascara (not pictured): Tiffa Volume Mascara
  • Eyeshadow: L’oreal Infallible Bronze Divine, Addiction Fudge (on the lid), Shu Uemura ME Medium Brown 885 (outer corner, crease, liner), Shu Uemura P Pink 125 (inner corner highlight)
  • Lips: Lunasol Full Glam Liquid Lips 06 Bright Pink

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So, while I started out this look fully intending to purge my red-browns, I actually ended up loving them and I’ll definitely be reaching for them more often.


Are there any products that have surprised you recently? Any new colours you’ve found that suit you better than you expected?

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?

(Mis)Adventures in Contouring: Chanel Ombre Contraste Notorious Review and Test Run

I start this post with a disclaimer: I am not good at contouring. I have contoured twice in my life, once yesterday (disaster), and once today (…meh). Usually I’d practise a bit more before posting my efforts, but it seems a LOT of people want to know how this product looks on skin sooner rather than later.

For a post where the Ombre Contrast is used by someone good at contouring, check out this post by the lovely Xiao of Messy wands.

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Being a newbie, I had no idea which brush to use (Xiao used the Hakuhodo 210) so I picked out the G5521, Small Pointed Yachiyo, B214BkSm Highlight brush, S111 and Kokutan Eyeshadow C brushes for my attempt. I ended up using the G5521 to do most of the work, and the Small Pointed Yachiyo to blend difficult areas.

Oh and here’s another swatch

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Heavy on the right, smudgy on the left.

Before

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I tried to create an even base using Shu Stage Performer, Bobbi Brown Corrector and Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation.

Half and Half

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Contour on the right side of my face (the left side of the photo). I’ve contoured my cheekbone, my jawline, and the side of my nose.

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This is where skills come into play, the edges of my contouring are very blunt, which makes it look quite obvious. BUT, if you look at the shadow at the bottom of my neck, then look at the shadow on my jaw or on my cheek, you can see that they’re pretty much the same colour and that’s really what matters. The reason I haven’t even attempted contouring in the past is because the shade is nowhere near what a natural shadow on my face would look like. The Ombre Contraste makes a refreshing change.

Full

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Contouring on both sides of face on jaw, cheek and nose.

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Finished Face

Adding some lipstick (LQ Medieval), blush (Addiction Revenge), and highlighter (Becca SSP Pearl). (And letting my hair out finally!)

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Conclusions

  • I need to practice!
  • But I really love this Ombre Contraste
  • Because it actually looks like a shadow, and not like darker foundation/poorly-placed bronzer.
  • It’s pretty easy to work with and build-up
  • But use a light hand because it’s quite difficult to fix mistakes.

Further Reading

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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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