MakeUp Cat Brushes: Affordable, High Quality Natural Hair Makeup Tools – Overview + Mini Reviews

07 Aug

I spend a lot of time window shopping on the internet. Too much time. Sometimes, all that browsing can pay off in pretty sweet finds. You know, the ones that make you giddy with excitement. One of those great finds was Makeup Cat brushes. In this post, I will give a quick overview, some comparisons and my opinions on 7 brushes: two are face brushes and the rest are eye or detail brushes. This will be a VERY long post so feel free to read in sections or take breaks.

  1. Fine Goat Powder Brush
  2. Fine Goat Blusher Brush
  3. Large Goat Eyeshadow Brush
  4. Large Sable Eyeshadow Brush
  5. Small Sable Eyeshadow Brush
  6. Sable Eyeliner Brush
  7. Squirrel Nose Shader (Contour) Brush

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 in order

First of All: What Is Makeup Cat?
Makeup Cat is a affordable brush brand that is available in China but is not well known abroad, much like Lam Sam Yick brushes from Taiwan. You’ll have a hard time finding reviews in English (believe me I tried). The brand belongs to a vendor on Aliexpress. Pre/post sale services and communications were really smooth and quite speedy, though there’s a little bit of funky grammar due to the language barrier. It’s nothing unbearable and worth putting up with because the brushes (that i got) are worth it.

Makeup Cat offers all natural bristled as well as all synthetic bristled brushes. The brushes offered are quite reasonably priced around American drugstore level or lower, and those brushes are usually pony or synthetic hair. The Makeup Cat synthetics are around the price of Real Techniques or cheaper but being the snob that I am, I went for the natural hair brushes right away because trying to find a good one under $15 is like trying to find another person in Antarctica. Can be done but takes a lot of time.

Makeup Cat’s quality is not on the level of handmade Japanese brushes, but they are a better deal than MAC at one third the cost or less and approximately the same quality. Nothing can replace my Japanese brushes but there is no way I can deny the fact that the price points on these are much more attractive. I feel less guilty tossing them in a makeup bag or leaving them flat on their side. Also, do note that the MAC brushes that I borrowed for comparisons of softness were my friends’ and were heavily used so that may have impacted on my judgment. I do not own any Sigma brushes to compare these to so I can’t be of much help there. **10/27/15 EDIT: Since writing this, i have gotten my hands on some Zoeva brushes. I would equate the quality of the white goat hair brushes to the ones by Zoeva (if you happen to own Zoeva brushes). The hairs are silky and fine, but there is the slightest bit of drag from the texture of the hairs. In contrast, my Japanese white goat brushes are softer feeling, and the hairs are so silky that they feel eerie. Here’s an analogy: both velvet and silk feel soft to the skin, but velvet has a “drag” that silk does not. The Zoeva and Makeup Cat white goat bristles are the equivalent of velvet while the Japanese white goat bristles are the equivalent of silk.

Out of the batch that I picked i absolutely love two, dislike one, and like the rest alot (enough to recommend to strangers).  The presentation and overall look of all the brushes is aesthetically pleasing as well, so bonus points for nice design.

Face & Cheek
Let us start with the big face brushes. My eye was first drawn to these because of the resemblance to the Tom Ford 05 and 06 brushes with their sleek, classy and shiny design. Jessup also makes face brushes that resemble the TF brushes but I’ve heard that those have a lot of shedding.

These Makeup Cat brushes are all undyed goat hair and have shiny-gold, open ferrule joined to a weighty acrylic handle. There is the Makeup Cat brand  and a cute “Cat” graphic logo, but no name printed on the handle. Both are nicely balanced and come with brush guards – a nice touch – but they cause a few issues (which i will detail).

Fine Goat Powder Brush – $11.90 as of August 6, 2015 ($17 normally) – Oh my freaking Zeus. This brush has more hair in its head than i have on mine. It’s incredibly densely packed and HUGE. It’s very plush and the size makes this a speed monster when applying makeup. Usually, very dense brushes will deposit too much color/product. Not this brush. The cut is so thick that product sits on top of the hairs (none gets pulled into the hairs of the brush) and the excess just falls away with a shake or a tap so you get just the right amount of color or coverage. The long bristles also blend for you as you stroke it against the skin so that you’re left with a sheer layer and no harsh lines. It takes 5 quick strokes to cover my neck and another 5 to cover my face. Application of all over powders (finishing powders and bronzers) is very quick and effortless. I’ve used it to bronze my arms and legs too with great success.

This brush is great for knocking off excess product and setting powder. It’s soft enough not to move the foundation underneath, but the density and plushness picks and sweeps off any excess so I don’t look cakey. I also use it to “polish” my foundation and make it look more smooth. I lightly buff the clean brush all over my face to smooth out any texture. Some product does get wiped off and transfers onto the bristles but foundation-concealer coverage is not affected..

The bristles are snowy white but they’re very easy to clean and return to white. It shed 7 floater hairs the first time i washed it and none more since. This goat is not the softest I’ve every felt (I’m spoiled) but they are softer than a black dyed goat brushes by MAC or other mid-range cosmetic companies. I can feel some texture when i run it against my palm because some of the hairs are slightly wavy. There’s also a firm “push” feeling because the hairs are packed so tightly at the ferrule, but the brush still feels very soft because the hairs are so thin. The tips are naturally tapered with shiny, semi-translucency indicating that they are indeed fine quality. When i run it against my face, everything feels like one, big mass of satiny fluff. Mine does have an errant blunt hair here or there, but it never feels scratchy, rough, or otherwise uncomfortable. (fyi: I do not have the most sensitive skin) Is it as soft as the TF bronzer brush or my Hakuhodo white goat brushes? No, but at less than 10% of the price do i have any complaints? Heck no.

Okay i do have one complaint: the brush comes with a sleeve guard. However, it is not big enough to slip up and over the head of the brush. To remove it, you have to pull the guard toward the butt of the handle which causes some of the hairs on the perimeter to bend and kink. This can be fixed by washing the brush and reshaping the hairs a bit while the head is still damp, but it bugs me so much so i no longer use the included guard. I use a stretchy net-guard instead. The sleeve-guard is a nice inclusion but it is flawed. I have since given it to another brush.

Fine Goat Blusher Brush – $9.10 as of August 6, 2015 ($13 normally) – This one is one of my favorites out of the batch that I picked. It’s like an oval pompom for the face. It’s quite dense for a cheek brush. The hairs are nice, straight and silky in addition to having naturally tapered tips. It feels very soft. Not Saikoho soft, but I feel like the quality is even better than that of the powder brush. There are no blunt hairs as far as i can feel or see, but there are a few wavy hairs mixed in so i can feel texture against my palm. The brush head feels completely silky on my face and is a joy to use. This brush also comes with a too small sleeve-guard which caused kinky hairs which pulled it off. Those hairs were fixed by washing (it’s also very easy to clean) and reshaping in a net-guard. I also gave the sleeve-guard that came with this brusher brush to another brush.

The shape of this brush ideal for applying blush, sculpting cheeks and target bronzing around the face or where not. It’s too wide for highighter. This brush can also remove excess setting powder: the hairs are soft enough to not mess with liquid/crream underneath, and firm enough to sweep excess product away. The size of the brush head is Goldilocks-sized. It will fit and work with most faces. I’m not sure what else to say besides I really, really like it. It would be perfect…. if it didn’t shed 2 hairs the first time i washed it and two more the second time, but I’m just nit-picking.

This brush excels at applying softly to moderately pigmented products but it can also be used with highly pigmented things, assuming you only tap once into the product pan. The length and density of the brush head makes it great at blending and if you have a heavier hand and often go overboard, you can wipe the excess product off with a clean section of the brush to tone down the color.

There will never be any harsh lines if you follow your sweeping application with a few circular buffing motions. The blusher brush doesn’t blend automatically like the bronzer brush does, but it does a pretty good job on its own and is quite fast. The goat hairs of the brush allows me to use it with cream brush. It takes longer to apply than powder blush, but the density of the brush head allows me to blend the product out, resulting in a very natural finish.

If you have a soft pressed product (coughcough Ambient Lighting Blushes), this brush is firm enough to kick up a lot of excess. If you moosh the brush into the pan as hard as you please, there’s going to be a powdery mess in the compact and waaay too much product loaded into the brush which may cause clown cheeks.

Eye Brushes
All of the Eyeshadow brushes that I ordered are in the traditional paddle shape. Surprisingly I don’t have that many paddle shadow brushes, but by some people’s counts 9 might be more than enough. I’m very picky about paddle eyeshadow brushes when they are available in stores. I only buy them if

  1. they are better than my fingers at packing on color
  2. superb at blending (soft, fast, and effortless)
  3. do both of the above mentioned really well

when it comes to online purchase, I buy blind and hope for the best. Obviously, that is what i did here. The following brushes (other than the goat ES brush) all have wooden handles. Once again, the brushes have the brand name and logo, but no brush name or number. I threw the Shu 10 (black handle, silver ferrule) for comparison to the Sable ES brush,

Large Goat Eyeshadow Brush – $5.70 as of August 6, 2015 ($10 normally) – This is the last of the brushes that i picked form the gold ferrule + black acrylic handle series. This is also the one that i don’t like. Maybe it’s defective, I don’t know. I’m saddened because the shape and build of it has SO much promise. The shape is perfect for use as an universal eye brush. The wide face of the paddle can be used for quick all over shadow application, the skinny side can be used for eyeshadow application on smaller lids or more detailed areas like the corner-V and on the brow bone, while the tip has the perfect taper for blending . The tip is literally perfect for blending with back-and forth sweeps.

HOWEVER, the hairs are relatively coarse. They are thick, wavy/kinky, and give the head a lot of texture. I can feel it against my palm and face-skin. The tips are still naturally tapered so it’s not scratchy but It’s not fun to use either. The diameter of the hairs causes the body to be very firm and have a lot of snap. This all results in one very unyielding brush. I had to wash it with conditioning shampoo to make it more silky and tolerable. I suppose if you had a really shit-pigmented product, the wavy-ness in the hairs would assist in grabbing and depositing product.. but :/

Once upon a time, i might have thought it was the best brush ever. The design is excellent, but the hair quality leaves much to be desired. If the goat hairs were the same quality as the blusher or powder brush, I happily get a second brush or more and give them as gifts – because it is just so multipurpose (which makes the fact that I can’t stand to use it even sadder). Plus, look at how goddamn elegant and beautiful it is. What a waste (T_T) The other reviews seem to be positive though, so like i said, maybe mine was defective.

Large Sable Eyeshadow Brush – $7.35 as of August 6, 2015 ($10.50 normally) – I ordered this hoping that it would be a dupe for my Shu Uemura 10 because I’m afraid of losing my Shu 10 every time i travel with it. That little (money) sucker goes with me where ever i go, and i always double check my makeup bag before I get up and leave to make sure that it is safely packed away, rather than sitting out on a counter. But I digress.

My verdict on the Large Sable ES Brush: you need this now. No questions. Go put in in your cart before you forget or I will nag you forever about why you didn’t get it. It’s that excellent.

About the brush itself, it’s slightly wider than the Shu 10. It’s pretty much the same length and thickness. The Shu 10 is a kolinsky + sable mix while the Large Sable ES is pure sable, which theoretically should not be as soft. My eyes and finger tips can’t tell the difference. The tips of the hairs in the Large Sable ES brush are naturally tapered and the bristles are packed tightly into a flat paddle. The body of the brush has an excellent ratio of springiness and flexibility that makes product application effortless. It can be used to paint on cream or gel textures in very even layers or pack on  eyeshadow (dry or damp) for opaque color. The brush is not fluffy like a traditional blending brush but it can be used as so to do a smokey or gradient eye.

The sable hairs handle cream and powder eyeshadows beautifully and can do just about everything except tearduct corner highlight. It hasn’t got a point enough to do that. The bristles wash clean very easily. It can also be “refreshed” between products by wiping it on a dampened towel or tissue so it can pretty much do a whole eyelook.

Small Sable Eyeshadow Brush – $6.65 as of August 6, 2015 (9.50 normally) – This is the little sister of the above brush. It’s almost like a very thin smudger. The small size of the brush head means that it takes way too long to use this to apply product to my upper lids so i use this for detail work and small areas. I’ve had success using it to “push” liner into my tightline, apply eyeshadow and smudge/blend liner on my lower lash line. It’s a great companion to the Large Sable ES brush because it can take care of finer details, like the inner corner highlight which the Large ES is too big for.

In addition to cream and gel liners, I also use this for concealer. I can use the fine edge to clean up areas (like around the lip line) and the broader paddle side to apply concealer to little areas of blemishes or post-inflamatory hyperpigementation.

This one is also made of pure sable, packed into a flat paddle. The hairs are just as soft, but the brush head feels firmer due to the shorter length hairs. It’s not physically possible for this brush to have much give or flexibility. The tips of the hairs all naturally taper and don’t hurt unless you press too hard because unlike the larger sable shader, i can feel a few pokey bristles if i angle or use the brush a certain way. Another flaw i can cite is one floater hair that likes to stick out on the side, but I usually must moosh it back into the main body with a little bit of water.

Detail Brushes
This is sort of my miscellaneous section with detail brushes for the eye and face. I got these brushes for the look and the material.

Sable Eyeliner Brush – $8.50 as of August 6, 2015 – This is a standard fine eyeliner brush made of pure sable so it can be used with any formula eyeliner, except pencil. Despite the pointy tip, it never feels scratchy or harsh. The hairs have a moderate flexibility so it feels soft and yields to moderate pressure, but it is still easy to control. I can draw very fine lines and layer more product for a thicker line.

The point is very fine and stays fine. I’m pleased to say that there is absolutely no splaying and the tip is retained quite well. I do keep it in its included brush cap when not in use. It’s hard to get me excited about eyeliner brushes. Sorry. Alll you need to know is that it works well and is a high quality tool.

Squirrel Nose Shader – $11.50 as of August 6, 2015 – this is supposed to be used for shading down the side of the nose (aka contouring) but i use it to shade my socket-crease too. I just load it up with the powder shadow, stuff it into the crease-socket and wiggle-swipe it around. So fast and effortless. Everything blends out seamlessly with minimal effort. The angled-round shape is just perfect for the crease.  I don’t contour my nose very often but i tried it just to test it out. It works quite well but i use it on my eyes much more often. Needless to say, i am happy with the quality and softness of the hairs to use it so liberally on my lids.

It’s impossible to overdo color because the brush head is airy with a barely there feel. This is due to the material and density. Or rather, lack of density. (Refer to the below picture to see what i mean)

See all that space when the hair has been pushed to the side? Yeah, this brush is on the less packed side, but I can’t really complain because it makes applying dark/contour colors fool-proof. Watch out for that rim, don’t press too hard or you might poke yourself with the edge of the ferrule. That is a design flaw that i would like to see corrected but it doesn’t bother me as much as it should because i haven’t stabbed myself with it, yet. This brush would benefit from having the edge of the ferrule curled in toward the hairs.

The hair is Canadian or Pine squirrel. (I’m putting my bets on pine as it is less expensive and picks up color better). Consequently, it looks very funky like all other C./P. squirrel brushes. The coloring makes it look like the hairs are coarse and uncomfortable. Don’t worry, they’re not. The hairs feel very silky and whisper soft on the skin. An added bonus: they spring back into shape quite readily. Even after being squished in a brush pouch, the brush head will re-shape well, with little help from me.

All Thoughts in One Place + Comments
Overall I am very impressed with the quality of these brushes. My recommendations to start out with are the Large Sable Eyeshadow Brush, Fine Goat Blusher Brush, and Squirrel Nose Shader Brush in that order. There are the universal crowd-pleasers with perfect shape, size and build.

I do like the Small Sable Eyeshadow Brush a lot but it is prickly from some angles and might be too small for most eyes; it will take a long time to cover large lids. Of course, you could always use it for applying product to the lower lash line, lip filling and concealer like i do. It is a good, multipurpose companion to the large Sable brush.

I hesitate to recommend the goat powder brush because it’s so massive and hard to fit in a brush case/brush roll. It’s a wonderful brush but it’s not for everybody. If you are attracted to big, silky, cushion-like fluffy things, definitely go for it. It is not an essential tool but it is reaalllly nice to own and use if you have $12 to spare. I am most impressed by this brush out of all the ones i got for price:quality. There’s just SO much hair packed in, one can only wonder how the vendor and manufacturer is able to profit, selling it at such a steal price. Side note, one of my friends got some Makeup Cat brushes too and likes her powder brush way more than the blush brush because it feels softer than the blush brush she got

The little sable eyeliner brush is nice (keeps shape well with no splaying) but i suspect that many of you may already have a liner brush that came with an eyeliner that you bought. If you don’t already have a pixel-point eyeliner brush, this is worth checking out.

The only one that i don’t recommend or like is the goat eyeshadow brush, but you’ve already heard enough about that one already. I’m done being salty now. As noted there are discrepancies in the quality of the brushes so who knows, maybe i just got one from a bad batch.

One of the important things  (I think) is that the brushes don’t reach full softness until after a couple washes so you won’t be impressed right off the bat. There’s some heavy starching with the goat brushes. The powder brush wasn’t puff-soft until after 4 washes, but the blusher brush only took 2 (I used plain baby shampoo each time). The goat eye brush, I had to break out my conditioning shampoo for.

The brushes washed clean easily, as i have already mentioned. I may have forgotten to mention any smell or lack therefore of. Scents usually don’t bother me. Only the goat face brushes have slightest hint of goaty-ness to them. The rest of them only smell like the plastic packaging for a brief stint. The goat smell is nothing unbearable by any stretch of the imagination, just a little something to note.

I’ve had these and have been testing them for about a month now. I was mostly waiting to see if they would fall apart or start shedding really badly (stigma against cheap things), but they haven’t and I could not wait any longer to share them, hence the mini reviews. Stay tuned for full reviews and comparisons to other more well known brushes!

I am eyeing the Pahmi angled eyebrow brush among others for my next order. I normally don’t buy eyebrow brushes without glowing recommendations but I’m going to make an exception because I am very curious. I don’t own a pahmi brush and it is something not found in western brands. As far as i can tell from my cursory research, pahmi is gathered from the dense underfur of the Asian Ferret Badgers.

Availability and Safety
All of the Makeup Cat brushes mentioned in this post can be found here at this link. I won’t list the links for the individual brushes because the store occasionally relists things so the links may become broken over time. There aren’t 50 different brushes so the ones you’re looking for should be easy enough to find with a little patience and time.

For those of you wondering if this Aliexpress store is safe, yes it is. I chatted with a vendor representative for a bit (Sara), checked out the store’s near 100% approval rating and read a lot of customer feedback before I bought my brushes. I said in the beginning of the post that the replies are very prompt (assuming that it’s daytime in China).

They send stuff by registered, tracked shipping. My tracking took 3 days to kick in and everything went quite smoothly. I finalized my order on June 29th, got a notice 3 days later saying that my order had been shipped out, and received my package on July 13th. The speed is reasonably fast (for free shipping). The brushes come in their own little plastic sleeves, get wrapped in liberal layers of bubble wrap, then stuffed into a bubble mailer. There was a little gift of 5 stretchy net brush guards which i favor over the sleeve-guards that came with the face brushes. So yay~!

I did contact the store again after my purchase to give my concerns on the quality of the goat eyeshadow brush as well mention that the sleeve-brush guards were messing up my face brushes. Another rep (Lily) responded and offered a favorable solution quite quickly. All in all, I am impressed with customer service and quite satisfied with my shopping experience. I would highly recommend contacting the sales rep with a message or via “chat now” (if they are online) before you place your order because they are willing to give a discount if you buy a large batch of brushes all in one go. If they ask you which bastard told you that they give discounts…. *runs away*

Would i order Makeup Cat brushes again? Absolutely. Would I order the goat eyebrush again to see if maybe the one I had gotten was defective? Probably not for a while (I have a lot of other brushes on my wishlist), though one day i might revisit it. If you can’t tell, I’m still hung up about the fact that the shape and build was perfect, only to be ruined by the low quality hair…. Dammit, i said i was done being salty.


Posted by on August 7, 2015 in Brush Reviews, On the Fence


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

12 responses to “MakeUp Cat Brushes: Affordable, High Quality Natural Hair Makeup Tools – Overview + Mini Reviews

  1. Mabel

    October 27, 2015 at 5:43 PM

    Oh man, I just submitted my long response and it didn’t go through so hopefully this one does! Thank you so much for the rec’s and detailed descriptions! Fupa14 was actually one of the brushes I was considering during my second order this past weekend and I decided to wait to get it. Instead, I ordered the CB101 (Cdjapan gray squirrel powder brush) that’s on sale. Maybe I should email them and see if they can change the brushes?!

    My first order contained these brushes after 2 weeks of thorough research on Sweetmakeuptemptations and other places: Koyudo Fupa07-p, Koyudo pink macaron, Koyomo powder and eyeshadow brush, Mizuho large pony eyeshadow brush (thick and short, looks like its for highlighting but I use it for a sheer wash over the entire lid), and the CDJapan white angled goat hair brush. The fupa07-p has become my favorite bb cream/foundation brush! It micro-exfoliates my face and makes it glow. I don’t need any highlighter with it. Sonia at Sweetmakeuptemptations recommends fupa07-p for people who are looking for a softer and less dense version of fupa02. Let me know if you want my opinions on the other ones!

    I’ve been wanting the MK-2 ever since I got into my brush phase, but it’s expensive ;__; $133.. $75 is the most I’ll spend on a brush atm.

    For powder eyeshadow, I’m planning on ordering the Hakuhodo brushes! I know what you mean by memorizing the brush numbers. Hakuhodo is so confusing though so I’ll never be able to memorize them all x_x. Agh, goodbye $$$!!


  2. Mabel

    October 27, 2015 at 5:26 PM

    Whoa, thanks for the list of recs and the detailed explanations! I really appreciate it. Actually, I hate myself right now because I was contemplating on the fu-pa14 over the weekend when I was placing my second cdjapan order and passed on it in hopes that it would go on sale in December. I got the CDJapan gray squirrel brush (CB101) that’s on sale instead. D: should I try to email them and see if I can switch the brushes?!

    My first order consisted of: Koyudo fu-pa07-p, Koyudo pink macaron, Koyomo powder & eyeshadow brush, Mizuho pony large eyeshadow brush, and the white angled goat CDJapan brush. Fupa07-p is AWESOME for foundation (sometimes I use foundation, been trying out Nars Sheer Glow, but really dislike how transferrable it is). It micro-exfoliates the face and makes me glow without highlighter (according to Sonia at Sweetmakeuptemptations, it’s softer and less dense than fupa02). It took me 2 weeks of thorough research to decide on the ones I ordered, lol. Let me know if you want to know about anyone of the others and I’d be happy to give my opinions as well as link them since you may not know all of the ones I’m referring to.

    I also ordered 2 Wayne Goss brushes: 06 and 13. Not very impressed as I also ordere Takumi T-7 to compare the 06 with and Takumi was way better in application (obv. since it’s goat) and blending. #13 was good for buffing things on my cheeks, but I will have to disagree that this brush is truly a multi-tasker brush because when I applied foundation with it, it shed 6 times and made my foundation super streaky. Ew.

    I’ve been wanting the MK-2 ever since I got into brushes but man, $133 for a brush is too much for me right now. I think the most I’d spend is $75 -_-.

    For the Clinique TM, I find my fingers are the best and Nars is thicker, like a cream, so Fupa07-p is great for that.

    Yea, after awhile you memorize all the numbers….except for Hakuhodo which has a really weird numbering and lettering system. I'm planning on ordering some Hakuhodo eye brushes soon as well for powder eyeshadow!! Agh goodbye $$$!!!


    • XYZ

      October 27, 2015 at 6:35 PM

      if they havent shipped out yet, i think their customer service will get on changing the order asap.

      oh damn. first order and already going for the koyomo. i just got their pink set last month after half a year of eyeing it. i’m lusting over the rounded, dark red lacquered handles now though >_-> but it looks so nice….. i would probably only use it of blending foundation after i applied it. maaaybe sculpting if it’s thin enough. Is it streaky at all with your Nars foundation?

      iirc, the goss 06 is squirrel so the goat t-7 is going to be better at coloring. and 13 is dyed goat and a little small for my taste though i’m still interested in getting it. just wondering, do you wash your brushes before you use them for the first time? usually 4-6 hairs will fall out with mine with the first wash and occasionally 1-2 hairs for the first month after. I’ve never lost 4-6 hairs on my face at once before though.

      and you can always save up your points for the MK’s! they add up fast if you have a brush obsession. That what i did. i hurt to let go of all those points but i “only” paid ~50 bucks for my MK-2. and you may be saying $75 is your limit now…. just wait. I used to say, i’ll get the tom ford bronzer brush only in my dreams, guess what i have coming in the mail later this week -_-”

      The 036 gets a lot less scary and pointy:

      tbh, after koyudo, i only have a few hakuhodos (eye and face) that i think are absolutely worth the money. and yes, i know the numbers on them… their numbering and lettering system actually isn’t that hard, but then again, i spent 3 hours browsing their showroom.


      • Mabel

        October 27, 2015 at 7:53 PM

        Just emailed you back to make things easier! 😀


  3. Mabel

    October 27, 2015 at 11:20 AM

    Thanks for your review! I just found your blog and read a few reviews (like Koyudo Bp016 vs Takumi and the Chikuhodo Christmas set calculations) and love the in-depth and long breakdowns and reviews! Excited to give Makeupcat brushes a try.


    • XYZ

      October 27, 2015 at 3:25 PM

      I hope you like your selection! and I’m glad the reviews aren’t too long winded for you.


      • Mabel

        October 27, 2015 at 3:42 PM

        No, they’re not! Also, I love your sense of humor (that spoolie post LOL). I ordered the 3 brushes you recommended so I hope they’ll be great! 😀 Not impressed with this year’s Chikuhodo Xmas sets (last years looked a lot better, if only I had been into brushes back then), but the Lumiere set is kind of tempting since I’ve been going crazy over brushes recently. I ordered my first CDJapan order a few weeks ago and placed another one this past weekend (mostly Koyudo). Obsession >_<


      • XYZ

        October 27, 2015 at 3:52 PM

        it’s too late to talk you out of makeup brushes i guess XD.
        If you are interested in brushes from the chikuhodo Lumiere set, but not all of them, I can save you some money and give recommendations based on your skin type and makeup formulation preferences… unless you’re completely smitten by the gold handles and makeup pouch and do end up ordering the set


      • Mabel

        October 27, 2015 at 3:58 PM

        Haha yea, my friend who got me into brushes said I have fallen deep into the brush hole! I’m actually not too keen on the gold handles and don’t care for push liner and lip brushes. Rec’s would be great! I have combination-oily skin so I mostly stick to goat brushes, but squirrel ones are sooo tempting +_+ Makeup formulation-wise, I wear tinted moisturizer mostly (like clinique and nars) and use powder blush/setting powder. No cream products except for some Colourpop eyeshadows. Not even sure if those are considered cream… more like whipped?

        Liked by 1 person

      • XYZ

        October 27, 2015 at 4:45 PM

        you’re going to hate your friend and me so much.
        okay here we go: for chikuhodo squirrel brushes, i would skip the chikuhodo Z-1 (because you don’t wear powder foundation) this one is rather dense, better suited for powder foundation users, and the long bristles trap powder and release the product gradually so if you make too many passes over the same area it will look powdery and cakey. That leaves you with the MK-2 (Mk-1 is same brush with a different handle design) or Z-9 (all three of these are the same price by the way: 16,000 yen). The z-9 is floppier and that means very sheer coverage. MK is my personal favorite. I can use it for blush, setting + finishing powder and bronzer – has just the right amount of density and give (plus the gorgeous handle). These are rather pricey. >_>
        If i were you i’d invest in a fupa-14 (9,000 yen). It claims to be a squirrel-goat mix but i swear to any god out there that i can’t feel any goat. The best part is that it’s multifunctional: dense enough to be capable of powder foundation, but it also works for setting powder (unlike the Z-1) because the bristles are shorter and not floppy so they have buffing power to get the powder on really sheerly.

        another option for powder brushes: I would also skip the chikuhodo z-4 and get the z-8 (review here). The both z-4 and z-8 are capable of powdering and blush but ofc i would like the more expensive one more. tl;dr z-8 is bigger and powders faster.

        I can’t really suggest you a good foundation/ tinted-moisturizer brush because i’m super crude and use my fingers or cheapo bh cosmetic brushes. go figure. but my favorite is their stippling brush ($7 sometimes cheaper during their numerous sales).

        I consider CP eye shadows to be in the “wet” family, though not quite cream, because the lid has to be kept on or they dry out, so squirrel is out of the question. My preferences are for sable over goat when it comes to wet formulas. The shu uemura 10 is pretty great but also damn expensive. The Koyudo BP 036 (2,160 yen) is a great round blending brush, way under-priced imo. It does fluff out to a rounded point after washing so it’s not sharp and pointy like the picture suggests. I also have smaller lids so it might not be efficient enough for you.

        The BP 034 shader (3,600 yen) is a eyeshadow paddle, like the makeup cat large sable. The hairs feel finer to me, slightly smoother but flexibility and softness is about the same. The C006P (2,880 yen) seems to be the same brush – albeit slightly cheaper – with a different handle (it has the same head dimensions) but i can’t comment on if it actually is different on not because i don’t have it to compare.

        the saddest part about writing all this is that i knew all the brushes by their number code and i’m terrible at memorizing numbers otherwise >_>



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: