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The “Konayuki Set” from the Kisetsu Collection: Koyudo x CDJapan Beauty Holiday Brush Set – Value Calculations and Comparisons

Preface
To those of you who think I’ve died, you’re not too far off. This blog is on hibernating mode and I’m kinda micro-blogging on Instagram now. (Yes, I made one finally…) I’m posting videos of me using my fude so y’all can see the size of the fluffies in the context of a face and examples of how i use them. Follow me @jaybirdwalking or search up #brushdemo for well, brush demos.

But don’t worry, when it comes holiday time I’ve got you. I can never pass up some good number crunching, especially when it also helps others. Massive thanks to Fude Kyun for alerting me to this set and contributing to a bunch of the following points.

Leading the pack in releases this holiday season is Koyudo! in collaboration with CDJapan Beauty or CDJ Beauty. They’re releasing their first holiday brush set together and it looks magnificent.

konayuki banner

The “Konayuki Set” (which translates to the Powdered Snow Set) is what looks to be the first of a series: the “Kisetsu Collection” or Seasons Collection. If that isn’t foreshadowing, then I don’t know what is. We can probably expect a set released with each season in the future. They also say that it is “the first” in a series of exclusive collections. R.I.P. bank account. Here is the press release. CDJapan have gotten fancy with their press-release pages lately.

Koyudo has also been on fire with special releases recently so we could really use some precipitation. (Bet you didn’t miss the bad jokes) Speaking of which, it was freaking 104 degrees here yesterday. Snow sounds heavenly. In regards to the special releases, see the ultra-collector’s dream: the Yoshiki Saibikoho Powder Brush, and the more affordable-luxury that is the White Canadian Squirrel Small Powder Brush.

The Set
Everything brush is made with saikoho, or a high grade of goat hair, which is resilient, and easy to use + maintain. At first glance, the Konayuki Set seems highly reminiscent of the Chikuhodo Noel 2015  brush set. They’re both blue with a smattering of silver decoration and feature white goat hair.

kona vs noel.png

Left: Koyudo Konayuki 2017, Right: Chikuhodo Noel 2015

However, the Konayuki’s color scheme is a warmer indigo rather than cobalt so it comes across less cold. However, it affects the color that the hair appears. Saikoho, due to its semi translucency has a yellow tinge to it. Cobalt is bright, and a cold blue which is complementary  to yellow and thus better cancels out that tint, resulting in more snowy white looking bristles.

The compositions of the two set is also quite different so for fude veterans, it could be worth owning both sets. The Noel 2015 set contained a face powder brush, a cheek brush and an eye paddle brush. The Konayuki Set comes with a over-sized foundation brush, an eye-paddle brush, and a precision eye brush (pencil brush).

Analogs & Calculations
JYP = Japanese Yen
USD = United States Dollar

kona face brushes

NOT TO SCALE! Just showing general shape

Brush Hair length Hair Thickness Ferrule Width Price Difference
CDJB x Koyudo Konayuki Foundation 40 mm 32 mm 28 mm ~
Tom Ford Bronzer Brush 05 45 mm 30 mm 30 mm 115 USD Ebony handle, Gold plated ferrule,
Koyudo BP013 Foundation Brush
40 mm 5,040 JYP Hakutotsuho goat hair
Bisyodo B-FD-01 Foundation Brush
28 mm 25 mm 10,000JYP Gold plated ferrule, Rosewood handle

Estimated Value of Konayuki Foundation Brush: 8,500 yen ???

Unfortunately, there is  no near match or clear way to determine how much the Konayuki foundation brush is worth. The Tom Ford Bronzer Brush 05 get this closest in terms of type of hair and size, but keep in mind that they price is jacked up due to the luxury elements added: the ebony handle and gold plated ferrule. he Tom Ford 05 is already pretty dense so Konayuki Foundation brush should be denser to be strong enough to blend foundation with it’s long flexible hairs. If it is similar tot he Tom Ford 05, I’d say use it as a face powder/ bronzer tool.

The Bisyodo FD-01 is one of the few saikoho foundation brushes that I know of and  the only one that is an oval shape. It is extremely dense and has a lot of high quality hair packed in there. However, the price is also higher than it would be if it had a regular wood handle and nickle-brass ferrule. Meanwhile I don’t have the other measurements for the BP013 so i can’t comment on it besides that their hair types are really different. If anyone has it and would like to contribute measurements, I would really appreciate it! Saikoho is more supple, and finer in diameter than hakuototsuho. This will mean a softer, more flexible brush that may require extra work to achieve a seamless finish.

kona eye comp.png

Again, Not to Scale. NOTE: some of the brushes are starched and not properly fluffed out like they will be with usage and thus the shape is not accurately represented.

Brush Hair length Hair Thickness Ferrule Width Price Difference
CDJB x Koyudo Eye Shadow Brush 15 mm 7 mm 10 mm ~
Hakuhodo J5523 16 mm 4.5 mm 19 USD Used to be saikoho specific
Chikuhodo Takumi Series T-7 14 mm 4 mm 9 mm 2,500 JYP
Tsubokawa Mouhitsu Koyomo Nadeshiko Flat Eye Brush 16 mm 4 mm 10 mm 2,500 JYP “ancient” Hakutotsuho hair
MAC 239 10 mm 5 mm 11 mm 25 USD Unknown goat

Estimated Value of Konayuki Eye Brush: 2,500 yen

The Konayuki eye brush is unusually thick and should make for strong, fluffy paddle this will translate into an excellent blender and buildable laydown brush. If you want a strong laydown brush that’ll pack product on, you need a thinner brush.  It will be on the larger side of medium so if you have small eyes or very little lid space, this may not be ideal as an everyday eye brush. The closest in shape seems to be the Chikuhodo Takumi T-7 (which is also made of saikoho) so i just went with that price. The specifications kind of speak for themselves otherwise.

kona eye.png

Not to Scale. NOTE: some of the brushes are starched and not properly fluffed out like they will be with usage and thus the shape is not accurately represented.

Brush Hair length Hair Thickness Ferrule Width Price Difference
CDJB x Koyudo Pencil Brush 10 mm 6 mm 5 mm ~
Koyudo C011
10.5 mm 1,560 JYP
Chikuhodo Takumi Series T-8
12 mm 6 mm 6 mm 2,200 JYP
Koyudo Mizume-zakura Medium Eye Shadow Brush
11 mm 6 mm 2,000 JYP
Hakuhodo J5529 13 mm 5 mm 5 mm 17 USD unspecified goat, prev. saikoho

Estimated Value of Konayuki Eye Brush: 1,900 yen

The pencil brush looks more like a precise blender than an actual pencil brush. It’s got a bit of a dome to it so it doesn’t look super precise. so I’d label it a crayon brush. Seemingly the closest brush (in measurements) is the Koyudo Mizume-sakura (Cherry Birch) Medium Eye Shadow Brush. However the shape is closer to the Hakuhodo J5529. The Konayuki pencil looks more like a small/precise crease brush, rather than a pencil-type brush that’s strong enough to be a smudger. It’ll be excellent for those with small creases and scarce little space.

Estimated Set Value 12,900 yen vs. Retail Price 12,000 yen, a difference of 900 = 7.5 % savings.

So the savings margin is not great. Some might say that I’m being stingy about the value of the foundation brush. Fine. We’ll bump that big fluffy’s value up to 10,000, the same as the Bisyodo B-FD-01 with the length of the hair making up for the luxury trappings (handle and ferrule). That brings up the set total to 14,400 yen, a difference of 2,400 yen which will translate to a 20% savings.

Price and Availability
As we already know, the Konayuki Set costs 12,000 yen which translates to about 103-107 USD (depending on the daily exchange rate).

The link to the set is available now on CDJapan, but stock goes live for pre-orders on the 27th, 12 PM Japan time which is 8 PM of the 26th in Pacific Standard Time. If you miss the preorder, CDJ Beauty says that the set will go live for sale sometime in November. If you are new and have questions about ordering from CDJapan, you might find this guide helpful.

The cut off for free shipping on brushes at CDJapan is also 12,000 yen. Coincidence? I think not but I’m not complaining at all! It is very no bullshit. I hate it when companies price things juuust below free shipping so you have to add something inexpensive (that you probably don’t really want) to tip past the threshold. Good guy CDJapan.

Appraisal and Critiques
I’m very pleased that the hair being used in the Konayuki Set is saikoho goat hair. This makes them more versatile and durable. Due to the expected high quality of the hair, the brushes should be soft enough for everyone except those with the most sensitive of skin.

Overall, I’m really liking this set because there’s no filler, or what some of you might consider to be throwaways. I’m talking about stuff that you wont use on a regular basis that you know adds to the  “pieces count” and thus the total price of the set because it increases overhead. I’m talking about stuff like a brush case, lip brush, eyeliner brush, and eyebrow brush (fight me, I don’t do eyebrows everyday :P).

Thus, this set is excellent for collectors. It’s small at only three pieces, a blessing for those of us running dangerously low on space.  The brushes are fairly unique yet useful. It’ll still be interesting enough for those who nearly have it all. And of course, it’s beautiful enough to proudly display in rotation.

However  the same qualities that make it great for fude nuts make this set is not so great as a gift or introduction set for beginners. I don’t know if i would give this set to someone as an “upgrade” for their current tools.  Starting with the lack of a case.:I could be wrong, but i assume it’s going to come in Koyudo’s and CDJapan’s signature paper boxes which are nice quality, but may come across as kind of playful and not serious. The packaging is not “extra” enough to make a “WOW!” type of first impression. You might have heard of “form follows function”.  Because the form (container) does not match the level of the function (brushes inside), the person receiving the gift might not get the full impact of just how extraordinary fude are. Additionally, assuming you are giving the set as a gift, it is a rather incomplete set, because it is missing those “extras” it comes across as truncated, in complete (the lip brush, eyeliner brush, eyebrow brush). To be a fully functional set, it’s also missing a glaring essential: smaller/medium sized face brush. Hopefully the person you care to give it to are chill enough to not give a crap.

paper box

Signature paper box: stand not included

The the large foundation brush might be not that useful to the casual makeup user. Most people do not use natural hair brushes for foundation because of the perception of natural hair being more prone to harboring bacteria and needing to be washed more frequently. Though I’ve suggested using it as a face powder brush.giant powder brushes are a luxury, not a staple. I personally am a fan of  including moderately sized cheek brushes over foundation and powder brushes in a set and I would have liked to see that instead. A smaller, more reserved brush would have also made the set cost less, but I don’t blame Koyudo for wanting to make their holiday a luxury, albeit an affordable one. This is not so much a critique as much as a comment.

Something that ACTUALLY irks me (and probably only me) is the fact that the ferrule is not the same color as the handles. They are more of a violet than indigo-blueberry. SOMEONE. EXPLAIN. WHY.  Yeah the ferrule is metallic and shiny, a contrast in texture from the glossy, creme-finish handle, but they put SO much attention to detail into the brushes. Are they really in capable of color matching across different textures? I can’t be the only bugged by this… or am I?

The value of the Konayuki Set isn’t stellar so whether you decide to get the set or not should really be based on how much YOU like it and the state of your brush stash. Do you have these shapes already? If not, it might be worth getting. I know I will be despite my nit-pickings, because it intrigues me enough.

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Susan Sontag’ words after the WTC-tragedy

Quoted from this source which no longer works properly. This is not current event but it is more relevant than ever with the current state of affairs.

The disconnect between last Tuesday’s monstrous dose of reality and the self-righteous drivel and outright deceptions being peddled by public figures and TV commentators is startling, depressing. The voices licensed to follow the event seem to have joined together in a campaign to infantilize the public. Where is the acknowledgment that this was not a “cowardly” attack on “civilization” or “liberty” or “humanity” or “the free world” but an attack on the world’s self-proclaimed superpower, undertaken as a consequence of specific American alliances and actions? How many citizens are aware of the ongoing American bombing of Iraq? And if the word “cowardly” is to be used, it might be more aptly applied to those who kill from beyond the range of retaliation, high in the sky, than to those willing to die themselves in order to kill others. In the matter of courage (a morally neutral virtue): whatever may be said of the perpetrators of Tuesday’s slaughter, they were not cowards.

Our leaders are bent on convincing us that everything is O.K. America is not afraid. Our spirit is unbroken, although this was a day that will live in infamy and America is now at war. But everything is not O.K. And this was not Pearl Harbor. We have a robotic President who assures us that America still stands tall. A wide spectrum of public figures, in and out of office, who are strongly opposed to the policies being pursued abroad by this Administration apparently feel free to say nothing more than that they stand united behind President Bush. A lot of thinking needs to be done, and perhaps is being done in Washington and elsewhere, about the ineptitude of American intelligence and counter-intelligence, about options available to American foreign policy, particularly in the Middle East, and about what constitutes a smart program of military defense. But the public is not being asked to bear much of the burden of reality. The unanimously applauded, self-congratulatory bromides of a Soviet Party Congress seemed contemptible. The unanimity of the sanctimonious, reality-concealing rhetoric spouted by American officials and media commentators in recent days seems, well, unworthy of a mature democracy.

Those in public office have let us know that they consider their task to be a manipulative one: confidence-building and grief management. Politics, the politics of a democracy—which entails disagreement, which promotes candor—has been replaced by psychotherapy. Let’s by all means grieve together. But let’s not be stupid together. A few shreds of historical awareness might help us understand what has just happened, and what may continue to happen. “Our country is strong,” we are told again and again. I for one don’t find this entirely consoling. Who doubts that America is strong? But that’s not all America has to be.

—Susan Sontag

 

 
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Posted by on September 11, 2017 in Current Events

 

Short Humor: Nature Is Trying to End the United States of America, Starting At the Edges

Because the North West is one big bonfire while the East one big swimming pool.

And because I just can’t leave End-of-the-World jokes alone.

Dear Oregon & Washington,

Calm down. “Blaze it” is just an expression. Yes, we know you have a reputation to maintain but please stop going up in flames. You guys are supposed to get a lot of precipitation yes, and you probably wanted to spice it up a bit, but it’s not supposed to be raining ashes.

If that wasn’t enough, it seems like you’re having so much fire fun that Idaho and Montana has decided to get in on it themselves… to the tune of 1 million acres.

I guess we damn liberals are going to burn in hell so this is just a pre-taste, but in the meantime, let’s just enjoy how lit the NW is… I guess.

Sincerely,

A Scared Shitless SoCal Resident Dreading Fire Season Who’s Wondering Where The Media Went On This Story

P.S. WA / OR Residents. Should I ship you some marshmallows?

 

Dear Hurricanes,

Please stop running a train on the poor East Coast and Gulf of Mexico.

Harvey just tried to wash Houston off the map.

Irma is intimidating the fuck out of everyone (all 7 million who are evacuating at least) with 185 mph winds, 200 mph+ gusts, and sheer size.

Please let up a bit. Do you actually think that the National Guard will be able to keep up with all this?

No way, Jose.

And to you dear Jose, STOP IT. You and Irma should NOT be exchanging high 5’s.

Sincerely,

News People Who Are Tired Of Reporting On Hurricanes

P.S. Thanks for being nice, Katia

 

Dear Trump

This is what happens when you bow out of the Paris Climate Accord.

Best regards,

Mother I’m-Going-To-Destroy-You-Slowly Nature

Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2017 in Current Events, Short Humor

 

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Sun Dragon by Ohm Beads – Review, Pictures Galore, and Composition Ideas

Preface
I’m being an ass again, reviewing something that is sold out… but should you find it second hand at a non-jacked price, you really should seriously consider getting it. This review here is to provide insight that’ll hopefully guide your decision making process.

20170808_154542

This is the Ohm Beads Bead of the Month for August of 2017 in commemoration of the solar eclipse that will be taking place on the 21st which is, conicidentally, the day I start the fall semester of my M.S. program, and the day my life as I know it will cease to exist. (Similar to how if the sun was devoured and the Earth cast into darkness, life would cease to exist.) Kidding. It’s not that bad because we’re only going to be in three days of classes (rather than five) with one day of fieldwork. But we have been warned that fieldwork will be quite… intense.

Anyways, where was I? Oh right. Eclipse. I don’t care about that. I mean, I do REALLY want to view the total eclipse if I can swing it (ditch class maybe?) but my train of thought in getting it went more like, “I see pretty dragon. I want pretty dragon. ” Plus, it’s shiny. *cue Moana song*

The Bead
It’s obviously East Asian inspired in design with the boxy head with “antlers”, feathered tail, and lack of wings . Just about every other dragon design I’ve seen has been goofy looking, or the dragon has been given a bird-like head. No, just… no. This little guy was handsome and beautifully detailed so I “had” to have it.

 

I’d call this a charm rather than a bead. Being made of solid sterling silver, it’s pretty weighty despite the delicate, sinewy appearance. It’s a good size that will get noticed, but it is still small enough that it doesn’t take over a bracelet. it doesn’t HAVE be the focal point of a composition (as i will demo on a few bracelets later in this post.  Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2017 in On the Fence, Pretty, Shiny Things

 

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On Studying for a Neuroscience Final

“This is fun! Because now your brain can freak out about itself!”

 – P. Harding, 2017


 

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2017 in Short Humor

 

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Mariscos Los Compadres – Seafood (& Mexican Food) Delight in Dinuba, California 

Mariscos Los Compadres – Seafood (& Mexican Food) Delight in Dinuba, California 

Preface
Talk about a surprise. During a roadtrip to the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, my family stayed in the city of Dinuba. We were originally going to eat at a place called Safari but jumped ship at the last minute to Mariscos across the street because we were intrigued by the sizable line outside.

So glad we did.  Until I looked at the menu:

  • First thought: fuuuuccck It’s all in Spanish
  • Second thought: Well, it must be legit. That and the fact that the venue is a de-wheeled food truck in a gated patio with picnic tables.
  • Third thought: FML why’d we do AP Chinese instead of Spanish Q.Q

Luckily there are various applications out there than can provide translation of text in a picture but a lady in line helped us out with figuring out what stuff was.

Ordering was not a problem as the lady at the window was fluent in English, in case you were wondering.

The Food & The Commentary

  • Tostada Ceviche Pescado ($4.00) – Fish Ceviche with a packet of Los Pericos Toastadas. Fucking delicious. I could have eaten the toastadas all day by themselves but the ceviche itself was also (of course) fantastic. The fish pieces were a little too small for my liking as they weren’t substantial enough to really sink your teeth into but the texture was great. also perfect salinity and acidity.  I totally would have sprung for another order of the version with both fish and shrimp if I still had room at the end.

Ceviche de Pescado (Fish) after I inhaled some and remembered to take a picture.

The tostadas. Yummy

  • Torta Asada ($5.20)  – pretty good. Bread was very nice, fluffy but had substance once you mash it in your mouth.  The little chnks of meat were just chewy enough to have some texture to be fun, but yielded easily with a few firms chews. I’ve got no complaints and would highly recommend. easily sharable between two people for a lunch or heavier snack. would make a very filling meal for one person
  • Wet Burrito w/ Beef Tongue ($7.50) – rice was great, beans were pretty darn good. beef tongue was okay,. could have had more of the beefy flavor that usually smacks you over the head, which is one of the primary reasons I love tongue so much. Could have done with a little more acidity, perfect salinity though.
  • Ostiones Estill ($28) – raw oysters on the half shell. We opted to get it “fully loaded” (as explained by the girl taking our order) with fish and shrimp ceviche. Fml, that shrimp was SO excellent. Great taste and fantastic texture, and I normally don’t even like shrimp here in the States! Luckily they were pretty generous with it. We got this item for the oysters and enjoyed the shit out of it due to the shrimp. Not that the oysters weren’t good. They were a little on the smaller side like Kumamoto’s in size despite the expected size belied by the shell. Succulent, fatty, lightly sweet, completely clean, and super fresh. I happily slurped up the remaining “soup”.
    • Luckily you can just get a serving of shrimp crevice for only a little more than just the fish civeche if you don’t want to spend so much but this is really worth a try. This was a total splurge but we had had two days of cup ramen and hot dogs leading up to it…

Money shot. The oyster is buried somewhere under that shrimp and fish ceviche.

Look at this glorious mess. Look at those beautiful limes.

 

General Notes

One order of ostiones estilo, two orders of ceviche pescado toastada, one asada tortas and two orders of wet burrito with beef tongue fed a famished family of 4 (that had eaten breakfast at 6AM and skipped lunch) with half a burrito and 10 toastadas to spare (we had two orders of ceviche, but only ate one tostada packet leaving the other one).

The accompanying limes were excellent and aesthetically pleasing to boot.

Flavor here is pretty balanced between being tasty and more than tolerable for “light eaters” (that is you are used to a blade palater from wooing with only a fraction of the recommended salt and seasoning). Nothing was “too much” for us and that’s why I keep mentioning salt, because that was really important. Additionally, the leftover ceviche “soup” at the bottom of the container after we had consumed all the solid contents was a delight to drink. Not too sour, salty, spicy or anything. IMO, it was extremely well balanced. No one ingredient overwhelmed the others. Keep in mind, my family tends to eat much lighter, on the heavily reduced sodium side. Because we TRY to be healthy.

If you choose to eat on the picnic tables instead of doing take out there is a nice selection of tasty hot sauces though two of them have…. questionably vivid coloring

Marcos Los Compadres uses sweet purple onions. the kind that don’t sting and linger forever in your mouth afterwards like regular white onions.

Sodas and drinks were $2 each whether you opted for regular coke, Mexican coke in the glass bottle, Jarritos, Raspberry Ice Tea, etc

Street parking is easy, and right in front of the white gate and fence that surround the eatery and the picnic tables.

Menu (see end of post for a pic of it in full) is in Spanish, but ordering can be done English.

Cash only

Oyster (minus shrimps) in foreground. Ceviche de Pescado in background


Closing Thoughts 

The meal overall felt very light, like it was supposed to be healthy, despite the fact that we stuffed ourselves silly.

A dozen fresh oysters at Safari would have only been 15.99 but the extra $$ for the shrimp and ceviche that topped the ostiones estilo was well worth it.

I never would have expected to find such good seafood so far inland in a small town.

Definitely give this place a try
and have Google translate at the ready.

And damn, that Lime Jarritos was good. I’ve only had the tamarind and orange flavors up until now.

Here’s a shitty shot of the menu.

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2017 in Eats Reviews, Mexican

 

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Wanna Know How To Improve Your Tuna Salad?

So my sister made some tuna salad dinner. Here’s the conversation that went down at the dinner table:

Sis: How is it how is it howizzit?
Me: Pretty good, but needs some more acid.
Sis: Here, I’ll throw up what I already ate.
Me: Are you saying that your cooking is literally so bad that even vomit would make it taste better?

 

It doesn’t help that tuna salad is already a kinda chunky-looking, nondescript, beige mush. I was thinking lemon juice when I said add some acid but her mind jumped straight to stomach acid.  I think someone was AP Bio-ing too hard.

But really, if what you make tastes like it’s missing a little something-something try a tiny amount of an acidic component, or throw some more salt in there.

 
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Posted by on June 1, 2017 in Short Humor

 

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