Mittwoch, 7. Mai 2014

CHIKUHODO Z-Series - "La Crème de la Crème" of Makeup Brushes

"Chikuhodo by Tesshyu" - Does that name ring a bell?! 

... Oh yessss, in my case since ageees :) Well, truth be told, since about a year or two:
It began after acquiring a taste for SUQQU's grey squirrel brushes, thanks to the gorgeous and suuuuuper fabulous Miss Eldridge!

Once you've tried a squirrel hair brush, you'll probably hate all your goat and synthetic hair brushes from MAC, Sigma and Co... So think twice before jumping into this luxurious experience, it could end up wickedly expensive!!!

Anyways, let's just have a look at what I purchased:

Z-2, Z-10, Z-5, Z-4, Z-1 (left , bottom up)

First of all, every brush does come in plastic packaging, like for example MAC brushes, with some japanease letters on it (which I sadly don't understand). I personally think that's a great pity for the high quality of the brushes and their prices. 
They should rather come in boxes like SUQQU brushes...

So let's look closely at the individual babies!

The biggest and most expensive one I purchased is the Z-1 Powder Brush (RP $226):

CH Z-1

CH Z-1
 Hair: 100% Grey Squirrel 
Shape: Round
Length: 160mm
Hair length: 45mm

This powder brush is extremly soft - you even don't feel the individual bristles on your skin, more as a whole... 
It's not too fluffy, like the SUQQU Face for example, so that you can apply and really buff product on the face. It picks up enough pigment, but don't get me wrong, you'll never be able to "overload" the brush and apply too much product!
The SUQQU one in comparison has less density and therefore feels more 'airy' and softer, but actually both are equally as soft. 
In shape SUQQU is more tapered, the Chikuhodo is more rounded.

SUQQU Face, CH Z-1 (bottom up)

SUQQU Face, CH Z-1 (left to right)

I love using this one for bronzer - it applies the perfect amount of my Guerlain Terracotta 4 Seasons (which is reeeeally pigmented) without any problems and buffs and blends it like a dream! If you prefer heavier application you can always build up the product ;) 
Of course it is soft enough to apply loose powder perfectly without overloading or caking, and at the same time it's dense enough for buffing in pressed powders or even powder foundations! 

A fierce competition to SUQQU Cheek -  Chikuhodo Z-4 (RP $92):

CH Z-4

CH Z-4
 Hair: 100% Grey Squirrel
  Shape: Flat Round
Length: 150mm
Hair length: 36mm

This brush is labeled as "Cheek / Hightlight Brush" and is very very similar to the legendary SUQQU Cheek Brush
It is again, equally as soft (because of the grey squirrel hair) and has about the same size:

SUQQU Cheek, CH Z-4 (bottom up)

SUQQU Cheek, CH Z-4 (left to right)
Again, the SUQQU one is fluffier, I think that's how SUQQU brushes are designed! Therefore the SUQQU Cheek fluffs out more and spreads the product on a bigger area (but you can control that of course). 
I think the lenght of the hair should be approximately the same... 
Z-4 allowes you more control and precise application, so if you're going for an accurate look and don't like to apply blush on certain areas, go for this one ;) 
This cheek brush is also perfect for applying highlighter on top of the cheekbones, setting the under eye area and specific parts of the face and even contouring, because it has a flat side 
- so again, a multitasker!

The last face brush I ordered: Z-2 Highlight (RP $99)

This particulary brush is very pointy, a candle-shaped brush which is again heavenly soft. It is smaller than I thought when I read about it:

CH Z-2

CH Z-2
Hair: 100% Grey Squirrel 
Shape: Candle Shape
Length: 150mm
Hair length: 37mm

It is comparable to the MAC 168 sizewise and shapewise:

CH Z-2, MAC 168 (left to right)
The Z-2 has a pointier end and again, is definitly a million times softer. I like to use this one for contouring with highly pigmented powders such as Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder or Chanel Notorious, which can look muddy and awefull applied wrong.
 It never applies too much and therefore the shadow looks very natural and realistic - that's the point with contouring, right?!
Of course it works perfect with powder hightlighters too and can be used for setting in specific areas on the face.

I only wouldn't recommend it for cream products - and this applies for all of this grey squirrel hair brushes - because the hair is too delicate and high quality that creams and liquids could easily damage it! The manufacturer even recommends to wash grey squirrel hair brushes only rarely because of the possible damaged caused by water and harsh cleanser...

Now on to the two eye brushes: Z-5 (RP $56) and Z-10 (RP $45)

CH Z-5

CH Z-5
 Hair: 100% Grey Squirrel 
Shape: Flat Round
Length: 135mm
Hair length: 19mm

 Z-5 is a perfect allrounder!!! Definitly one of my favorites from the collection. 
It has a flat side for laying down colour, but is at the same time fluffy enough to blend shadows - that's quite comparable to Tom Ford's 11 brush:

Tom Ford 11, SUQQU F, SUQQU L, CH Z-5 (bottom up)

Tom Ford 11, SUQQU F, SUQQU L, CH Z-5 (left to right)
SUQQU L's hair is longer and it's fluffier, whereas SUQQU F is just flat and can only pack on colour or smudge...

CH Z-10
And last but not least Z-10: It looks like a smaller version of Z-2 and basically it is!

CH Z-10
 Hair: 100% Grey Squirrel 
Shape: Candle Shape
Length: 125mm
Hair length: 11mm

It's perfect for applying colour on the lower lashline and smudging liner. It also works great as a crease brush and is an excellent brush for creating a cut-crease or deepening the outer-v! I wish I had the SUQQU S Eyeshadow Brush for comparison but unfortunately it seems to be discontinued since ages...
In shape it's quite comparable to pencil brushes like the MAC 219:

CH Z-10, MAC 219 (bottom up)

CH Z-10, MAC 219 (bottom up)

The only downside for this is that it hasn't got that much density to make smudging effortless, but it works and is very gentle to the delicate eye area!

Bottom line

You can purchase Chikuhodo brushes from the sole official distributor now-eproject online for the most affordable prices. 
I wouldn't recommend purchasing them through eBay or something like that unless you have no other opportunity, because the prices are mostly higher and you'll never know where the product comes from and if they're authentic ;)

If you planning on splurging on new luxury brushes, especially squirrel hair ones, try Chikuhodo first I would say! 
SUQQU is great, without doubt, but the Z-Series is of the same quality and is a lot cheaper and probably more accessible. 
Just according to performance I would probably pass on the SUQQU versions if I wouldn't be a "brush-a-holic" and (more or less) "normal" brush-lover :p

Nonetheless I think they are different enough to have them all (SUQQU Face, Cheek and CH Z-1, Z-4), but the most similar ones are SUQQU Cheek and Z-4!



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