My Next CDJapan Brush Haul(s)… ft. Houkodou! Price Review, Thoughts & Research

29 Feb

I normally don’t do anticipatory posts, but shit am i excited. Side note, shame on me for getting crazy excited enough about these brushes to post this rather than any of the numerous actual brush reviews+comparisons in my insane backlog (120 and counting, thanks for asking).

Anyhow.  What is this prodigal daughter shopping for this time? Well, CDJapan recently added Houkodou brushes . Hou-what? Houkodou, another Kumano fude company. Their most famous/popular one is probably their BZ1 Dome Foundation Brush, a round kabuki looking thing that has been well received on SMUT and IG but I’m way more interested in the following brushes from the “Brilliant Gold” Series which i never knew about, but are now a new obsession:

  • G-S1 Flat Eye Shadow Brush (large) – 3,500 yen – a slightly pointed flat paddle, rather large, looks similar to my beloved Hakuhodo B127BkSL that really really needs a break.
  • G-S2 Flat Eyeshadow Brush – 3,000 yen  – the traditional flat blender + lay-down paddle shape like the Hakuhodo J5523 (goat) and Mac 217 (also goat). **Update!  (Review Here!)

G-S1 (Left & Top Center) + G-S2 (Right & Bottom Center)

I’m extra giddy about getting these for several reasons:

  1. I’ve been obsessed with Canadian squirrel since getting my hands on the Hakuhodo B127BkSL eye brush. The hair is so soft and silky, yet snaps back into shape. These will *hopefully* whet my appetite a bit.
  2. If i throw in the T-6 (3,500 yen), which i have had on my to-get list for forever now,  my order totals to EXACTLY 10,000 yen – the minimum for free shipping!!!!!! I feel like I’m way too excited for such a trivial detail… but seriously how often does that happen?
  3.  That elegance! Perfection. They look really similar to the Hakuhodo S100BkSl series and the Tom Ford aesthetic: gold plated ferrules w/ glossy black handles.

I’m restricting myself to getting the two above eye brushes for now but my wish list is already making my wallet (and brush display shelf) nervous. I will definitely be picking up the G-S3 (3,000 yen) & G-S5 (2,500 yen) in the future because I’m a sucker for affordable kolinsky filbert brushes.


G-S3 (Left + Top Center) & G-S5 (Right and Top Center)

Like seriously, when am I going to hit the enough point? Never, which means these babies will be joining me sometime in the near future for sure. The G-S3 might dupe my Shu Uemura #10 (can never have enough dupes for this) while the G-S5 seems more like a large concealer/lip brush with the potential for detail eye work or smaller lids.

There’s also another big kolinky eye brush (W-S1 Flat Eyeshadow Brush for 3,500 yen) I’m being half tempted by, but it doesn’t have the pretty handle of the Gold Series. :/ What it does have is a nicely tapered point that makes it look capable of being the only brush I’ll need for most eye looks.

Their face brushes are also tempting as hell and reasonably affordable. Their pure grey squirrel brushes face and cheek brushes are even cheaper than even Koyudo, and that’s my favorite *cheap* brand! Once upon a time, Koyudo was the King of Cheap, but then the Evil Price Increase of 2015 hit…..  Now there’s a new king, with better aesthetics. I much prefer the Houkoduo Gold Series’s looks to the Koyudo BP High Class Series which i have complained numerous times, do not look “high class”. They look like they were pulled out of those makeup/dress-up toy sets for little kids playing with makeup. Now that i have another affordable brand to choose from… well there’s no competition. The two brands’ ranges barely overlap in brush shape and material, but for the ones that do… Houkodou all the way.

Anyhow I’ve been seriously checking out their G-C6 Domed Cheek brush at 5,000 yen, around $42. I love domed brushes because they tend to be thicker, denser than their flat paddle counterparts, and excellent at blending stuff out w/ minimal strokes.

dome cheek

Domed Blush Brush G-C6

Here are the G-C6 brush specs:

Hair 33mm / Hair thickness: approx. 20mm / Width of ferrule: 15mm

And some popular dome cheek brush cousins, all goat:

  •  Hakuhodo J210 ($45) is made of saikoho goat, 30mm long hairs.
  • Wayne Goss #13 ($53) is made of dyed goat, 30mm.
  • Chikuhodo T-4 (5,000) is made of saikoho goat, 35mm. (review here)
  • Chikuhodo Chikuhodo R-C2 (4,500) is made of squirrel, 33mm and less wide. It’s not as pretty as the G-C6 but it’s cheaper  by about $4 USD.

Houkodou’s Gold Series also has two face powder brushes for 9,500 yen each. WHAT ?!?! Ya, I had to double check the description make sure they were, indeed pure squirrel. The G-F2 Domed Face Brush  has the following specs:

Hair 50mm / Hair thickness: approx. 25mm / Width of ferrule: 17mm

My comparable large domed powder brushes:

  • Koyudo BP006 (9,360) is made of saikoho, 55mm
  • Koyudo BP009 (13,650) is made of squirrel, 50mm.
  • a dozen more in goat and squirrel (or a mix), all more than 12,000 yen

I might or might not be more excited about the G-F3 Flat Face Brush:

Hair 50mm / Hair thickness: approx. 18mm / Width of ferrule: 23mm

because its a potential dupe for the Chikuhodo Z-9 (16,000) – which measures in just 2 mm larger in all dimensions – at a fraction of the cost.

Hair 52mm / Hair Thickness approx. 20mm / Ferrule Width approx. 25mm

G-F2 (Left + Top Center) & G-F3 (Right + Bottom Center)

The Houkodou face brushes are a damned good value. I’m not sure which one to prioritize but i have an inkling that the dome powder brush would have more resistance in the body.

If I’m happy with the G-F3 when i get it, i’ll just skip getting the Z-9, crossing it off my lemming list, because paying 6,500 yen extra for 8 cubic mm more fluff is not worth it to me. 6,500 yen is almost a whole other cheek brush i could get (see below).

Last but not least, there’s G-C2 Flat Blush Brush (7,000 yen) which is most similar to the Chikuhodo Z-8 , but not similar enough to be called a dupe in my book. The Z-8 is one of my favorites cheek brushes (review here) but also quite pricey.

Specs of G-C2 Flat Blush Brush @ 7,000 yen

Hair 45mm / Hair thickness: approx. 14mm / Width of ferrule: 20mm

Specs of Z-8 @ 10,000 yen (compared to the G-C2 shorter, thicker, wider = more stubby and most likely more dense)

Hair 40mm / Hair Thickness approx. 18mm / Ferrule Width approx. 23mm

It’s the closest one I can find, so the G-C2 might actually be a uniquely large blush brush that could double as a powder brush as the Hakuhodo B/K002 ($83) which is intended to be a face powder + cheek brush and measures in at 50mm. I don’t have, and can’t find, very many blush brushes (squirrel OR goat) with bristles longer than 40 mm, never mind the 45mm that the G-C2 features. Proceed carefully with this on if you like precision with your cheek product placement, but it seems like an excellent powder brush for smaller faces if the G-F3 Flat Face Brush seems to big. The G-F3 is just 5mm longer so if size doesn’t matter, get the G-C2 and save 2,500 yen. Addict that I am, I think I’m getting both eventually.

flat cheek

Flat Blush Brush G-C2

I’m not completely keen on having an affair with the BZ-1 (6,000) because it is made of sokoho and I already love my current chubby, dome kabukis: Koyudo Fuwafuwa (made of Saikoho) and Fupa 14 (goat + squirrel). I also love my Fu-pa 7 to bits (I know it’s a completely different shape, but it’s still for powder and cream foundation buffing). CDJapan is carrying 20 or so of the limited edition silver BZ-1’s.

gold and silver

Gold (left) & Silver LE (right)

However, I may get the BZ-2 (3,500) for detailed face work just because I think that the champagne handle and mauve-y ferrule are really nice. (Looks matter, yo!). But because it looks sorta, really small in comparison to the BZ-1 and its cousins, the BZ-2 is lower on my priority list.


BZ-2 (Left + Top Center) & BZ-1 (Right + Bottom Center)

Sadly the exchange rate from yen to USD is unfavorable compared to last year (about 5% higher than last year’s high) but 1000 yen is still less than $10 USD. The yen is slowly, but steadily getting stronger so I’m trying to get all the brushes i want before the exchange advantage for the USD is minimized further. But there’s free shipping on CDJapan for orders over 10,000 yen  (more details here) and that a free bit of money you can spend somewhere else.


Posted by on February 29, 2016 in On the Fence


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3 responses to “My Next CDJapan Brush Haul(s)… ft. Houkodou! Price Review, Thoughts & Research

  1. Namrata

    March 9, 2016 at 2:17 AM

    I, like you stalked CDJapan for chikuhodo brushes and recently came upon Houkodou on their “new in” page. I am excited! I am looking at the G-S1 and G-S2 along with the G-C6. Have you ordered already? Would you say they’re comparable to chikuhodo? My preferences are for beautifully made brushes that offer a luxe experience. Also,I bought the red squirrel cheek blush brush from Koyudo. Any thoughts on that? Comparisons?


    • XYZ

      March 9, 2016 at 11:46 AM

      i ordered my houkodou already but don’t have my dirty paws on them yet! because some of my brushes were not in stock, cdjaapan didn’t ship out until a week + some later (yesterday).

      i think that both houkodou and chikuhodo are beautiful, gold and black or just glossy black, and both look luxe. The question now is, are the houkodous weighted unlike the Z series which are very light

      the red squirrel cheek brush is sublime, i like it more than grey squirrel because it feels slightly more firm and less textured compared to my Z-4. however the red sq is s not as densely bundled.



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