Pure Grey Squirrel Brush for $25 + Review and Thoughts

05 Jul

This generically named Koyudo 100% gray squirrel powder brush popped up on CDJapan some days ago and i couldn’t help but notice that it looked an awful like the BP009 in more than a few ways. **Edit July 20, 2015 All gray squirrel brushes are sold out but there is always the BP009. 🙂

Me thinks someone effed up the handles. The over all length of the brush is different but the length of the hairs are the same 50 mm or 5 cm or 2 inches. The brushes are too similar. There could be other things wrong with it but still, pure squirrel for less than a normal goat brush? I’ll take one to try.

The only thing that i can see wrong is that the “fit” of the ferrule to the handle is not seamless/smooth like the BP009 that I’m comparing it to. Also, the Koyudo logo is not printed on the handle so I think it was the finishing step that got messed up. Maybe machine scratched the ferrules? We shall see. I don’t believe CDJapan or Koyudo would dare to tarnish their name by selling a brush if something was wrong with the glue or the hairs (shedding, brittleness, blunt-cut, breakage, etc.).  More updates to come when i receive my order. If i like it a lot I’m definitely getting a back up at this price, if there are still any left. **EDIT July 14th, 2015. I have received my brushe 😀 review and pics below.

Specs and Comparisons
I’m just going to call this the Ditto brush (after the pokemon) for reasons that you will see in a sec. As always, click on the pics to enlarge them if you can’t easily see the measurements. This is all post wash so it looks nothing like that wimpy thing in the pictures on the CDJapan site.

In Neutral state, the brush head is circular. The bristles flare from the base, start tapering about 2/3’s of the way up, and end in a rounded edge. Simple enough. It’s dense at the base and takes overnight and a bit more to dry completely. Ditto actually takes longer than my Z-1 to dry. The core is still damp long after the outer guard hairs are dry. My theory for this is that the Z-1 starts tapering from halfway so there are fewer guard hairs to impede the drying of the core hairs.  Anyhow it is quite airy at the tip. So airy that it’s floppy. There is very little resistance and spring in the body. This lets the brush take on a number of … configurations. I can groom with my fingers to give it a tip (Picture 1 Top), shake it out to neutral state (Picture 2 Middle), or helicopter-twirl it into a massive beast-puff (Picture 3 Bottom).

**Edit July 15, 2015 I’M SO SORRY I DON’T KNOW WHAT I WAS DOING. I labeled the diameters all wrong. They are all 1 cm bigger than they are supposed to be and the inch measurement is wrong too because I just converted. Actual Diameters: 3.3 cm or 1.3″ — 4.1 cm or 1.6″ — 4.8 cm or 1.9″

I can, of course, do the same to my other brushes (groom skinnier and twirl to flare it out) but the difference between max and min width are only 3-4mm as opposed to Ditto’s ridiculous 15mm window. It is easily the floppiest/softest-bodied face brush i have to date. Shape and resilience wise, I don’t have anything like it (yet, ha) but I’m going to compare it anyways to two other squirrel hair brushes: the Z-1 and MK-2.

Ditto and  Z-1 are both round and domed. That’s where the similarities start and end. I have already mentioned that Ditto is super soft and has little resistance while the Z-1 seems bouncy in comparison. Sweeping Ditto around will “deform” the head as shown in the comparison below.  The Z-1 is slightly angled while this brush is SUPER angled. The Z-1 compared to Ditto is like a puff vs a sheet of paper towel: the former will more or less return to its original shape, the later will make a feeble attempt.

The MK-2 is  comparable in bristle length – both are approx 5.2 cm or 2″ long – and usage (as will be discussed in the next section). I can actually transform Ditto into a MK-2 lookalike. It’s actually more like the Z-9 from pictures I’ve seen, but round at the base, rather than oval (Z-9 and MK-2).

Ditto is good for light dustings of finishing powder, bronzer and setting powder. If i groom it, I can get the point directional enough to apply blush for a diffused flush as opposed to a sculpted flush.

The brush is so soft that it – get this – doesn’t kick up/loosen excess product with my Hourglass ambient lighting powders! Well that’s a first.  If you have a hard product, it won’t pick up very much color and just be a frustration. Total waste of time. Conversely if you’re using it with loose powder or something very pigmented, this brush is pretty great. The coverage it gives is very controlled and build-able because the hairs slooowly release the color with each pass over the skin. If you’re heavy handed, this brush will be a good choice.

The MK-2 is much denser and more resilient. I also use it for finishing, bronzer and setting but the coverage is much heavier that what i get with Ditto. That also means that i can build color faster with the MK-2. It takes three times the number of passes (with Ditto) to reach the same color intensity that i get with the MK-2.

Summary: this brush is idiot proof but might be TOO soft and inefficient for some people who want to get their makeup on/done quickly. Ditto is very much a layering brush that allows for controlled building.

The bristles are very soft and consistent with my other grey squirrel bristled brushes.

As i have already mentioned and compared in the beginning of the post, this powder brush is very cheap for an all squirrel.brush. The price is competitive compared to mid-range brand brushes (and those are usually made of dyed goat) but the quality easily compares to high end tools.

The bristles are long which in and of itself increases the value. This is no P-8 but it compares to the Chikuhodo MK-2 and Z-9 in length.

There was no shedding at all through three washes, though there are two short, cropped hairs (they were there from the beginning) that i can see on the perimeter. (I’m just nit picking)

The ferrule-handle fit is a little crude. It’s not near-seamless like I have come to expect from Japanese made brushes.

The brush details are unfinished; there’s no Koyudo logo, name or markings anywhere but that was mentioned in the product description. It’s possible that this brush was a prototype for another company and the deal didn’t go through, or something in the manufacturing process got screwed up (incorrect handle length or wrong color generated) but we will never know.

It smells so bad, like-ammonia bad. It could be just my brush or it could be the reason why this batch was so discounted. Normally i don’t mind the musky smell of natural hair brushes when wet. This is beyond earthy-goaty. It’s reminiscent of o-chem lab post synthesis and purification procedure or Beijing streets in the summer heat. After washing this brush, my palm smelled… not so great. My sister walked into the room as i I was hanging it up to dry and asked: why does it smell like  burning poop and gasoline? That’s how stinky my hands were.  Once wash and dried for the third fourth time (with conditioning shampoo), the smell finally went away. Or maybe my nose just got used to it.  It also stopped puffing out so much when i twirled it. I think what ever substance was in the hairs finally got washed out.

Thoughts Summary
Despite my grumblings, I would say go for it. It’s $25 (not including shipping) well spent. You’re not likely to find a pure squirrel face/cheek brush at a price like this again anytime soon. If bad smells really put you off, just tough it out for a handful of baths or hope that yours isn’t like mine.

I’ve already jumped the gun and placed a order for 3 more Ditto’s. They’re not all for me! I swear. I’m brush crazy but not THAT crazy. Like i said, the brushes are unfinished but that’s okay because I plan to paint the handle with nail lacquers. DIY faux makie designs, heh-heh.  I’m already planning the designs of two that I’m going to give as gifts. 😀


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7 responses to “Pure Grey Squirrel Brush for $25 + Review and Thoughts

  1. Dev

    July 19, 2015 at 9:54 PM

    Thanks so much for your review of this brush, I have it ordered but with two Chikuhodo eye brushes that are still not in stock. I am still not sure if I need a second one but the remaining brushes count is making me feel like need another. If you like white goat brushes and don’t mind tiny handles then check out the Koyomo pink brushes. They use hair from 1992 and it is just as soft if not softer than the bp016, Chikuhodo Takumi, etc. Great brushes for the price.


    • XYZ

      July 20, 2015 at 12:04 AM

      Ooof. If those two eye brushes aren’t in stock they might not ship your order for a while until they have everything together. I only got a backup of this for myself because i prefer to wash my brushes frequently, squirrel or not, and because of the price. =P Don’t call me out on brush abuse.
      I don’t mind tiny handles at all. But oh no. Now it seems like i have yet another brush set to add to my already extensive wishlist. >_< Lalala i can't hear you telling me now good they are. But do tell me more about them softness and density-wise, please (in comparison to the BP016 and Takumi T-4 specifically because I have those). 😀


      • Dev

        July 23, 2015 at 2:31 AM

        The Koyomo cheek is very similar to the T-4. The Koyomo seems to be just a tad denser and softer but they are very close in size and shape. My Koyomo, BP016, and Takumi brushes all have pretty much the same level of softness. The hairs on the BP016 and Koyomo seem nicer overall than the T-4, some of the hairs on the T-4 can seem kinky at toward the base but the other two have nice and straight hairs.

        The eye brush is great and I have already ordered a second one. I am not sure what eye brushes you have but it is a nice, medium density with short bristles crease brush. The hairs are a bit longer than the T-8 (if you have that). None of my round Hakuhodo crease brushes are similar since they seem to be pinched tighter at the base and flare out more. The picture of it on CDJapan is pretty much how it will wash up, it doesn’t widen out like most crease brushes do. I do use brush guards as well. I have the face brush on order but I know the quality will be superb but I am not entirely sure how big it will be.

        Sorry to write a novel but if you want to know anything else then just let me know.


      • XYZ

        July 23, 2015 at 8:56 AM

        If any thing I really appreciate novel length descriptions! Thank you very much for the treasure trove of information. I also kinda regret asking because now I’m seriously considering the whole pink set. >_<

        Oh well no going back. How does the Kokomo cheek move/release product? Can it polish and blend the over all cheek colors together?

        It's nice to know that my t-4 was the only kinky one. (heh) I do feel like the bp016 hairs are yellower or maybe it just appears that way due to greater translucency.


  2. D.

    July 7, 2015 at 10:27 PM

    Yup. It’s in my basket ^.^


    • silverfiretwilight

      July 8, 2015 at 12:13 AM

      I really shouldn’t being saying this but *whispers* there’s also a purple handled koyudo squirrel eye brush for $13-14. It’s on its way to me now. XD



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