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Monday, 19 December 2011

Eyeshadow Brush Comparison pictures -- part 2

Pointy/tapered ones this time -- my other favourite shape. If you asked me which single eyeshadow brush I would save in a fire, I would roll my eyes at you contemptuously. But I would agonise over Shu Natural 10 and Suqqu S on the inside.
Also, a head-to-head to answer one of my most frequently asked questions -- between the Chikuhodo Z-10 and Suqqu S brushes.

Onwards!
brush comparison  Boots No7 Smokey Eyeliner, MAC 219, Chikuhodo Z-10, Suqqu Eyeshadow S, M, Nars Small Domed Eye 12, Kevyn Aucoin Small Eyeshadow Soft Round Tip
brush comparison  Boots No7 Smokey Eyeliner, MAC 219, Chikuhodo Z-10, Suqqu Eyeshadow S, M, Nars Small Domed Eye 12, Kevyn Aucoin Small Eyeshadow Soft Round Tip
1. Boots No7 Smokey Eyeliner Brush designed by Lisa Eldridge (hair unknown. Anyone? Bueller?)
2. MAC 219 deservedly famous goat pencil brush
3. Chikuhodo Z-10 uncut grey squirrel
4. Suqqu Eyeshadow S uncut grey squirrel
5. Suqqu Eyeshadow M uncut grey squirrel, larger and more rounded than S
6. NARS Small Domed Eye No.12 long, loosely-packed tapered squirrel hair
7. Kevyn Aucoin Small Eyeshadow Soft Round Tip pony(!) but amazingly softer than most goat brushes in my experience. More rounded than the Nars 12 but firmer too.

I use all five pencil brushes (1-5) with both powders and creams; No7, MAC and the Suqqus handle both brilliantly, but Chikuhodo Z-10 is a little too loosely-packed for thicker/drier cream textures.

A closer look at 2 through 5:
brush comparison  MAC 219, Chikuhodo Z-10, Suqqu Eyeshadow S, M
brush comparison  MAC 219, Chikuhodo Z-10, Suqqu Eyeshadow S, M
brush comparison  MAC 219, Chikuhodo Z-10, Suqqu Eyeshadow S, M
The most versatile of these for me is the Suqqu S. I can and have used this alone to do full eyemakeup: lid wash, crease, brow highlight, outer-v, smudgy liner, lower lashlining and inner corner work. Suqqu M is more efficient at laydown and browbone-highlighting, and those with larger eyes and more lid space may find that the best all-rounder.
While I am very fond of the MAC 219, it now feels horribly scratchy compared to the grey squirrel trio, and was only ever suitable for precision work in any case. I can use this to sketch out shapes, but need a separate blending brush to buff out the harsh lines; both the Suqqu S and M deposit pigment and blend with every stroke.

My latest acquisition the Chikuhodo Z-10 suffers in comparison to the Suqqus (likewise the Hakuhodo Kokutan T, which I decided not to keep). Its similarity to Suqqu S in particular makes a head-to-head inevitable, and the Z-10's longer hairs make it harder to control and manoeuvre, while its loosely packed nature make it less useful for smudging and, as previously noted, for creams. Despite its finer tip, it delivers less precise results than I can achieve with the Suqqu S.

More pictures of the Z-10 (C) and Suqqu S (S) to illustrate these differences:
brush comparison Chikuhodo Z-10, Suqqu Eyeshadow S

Pressed down until I could feel the natural 'tension' in the hairs
brush comparison Chikuhodo Z-10, Suqqu Eyeshadow S
brush comparison Chikuhodo Z-10, Suqqu Eyeshadow S


Freshly-washed, damp brushes
Z-10 has fewer, longer hairs that taper to a finer point

Suqqu S has a wider base too
brush comparison Chikuhodo Z-10, Suqqu Eyeshadow S


flattened while damp -- Suqqu S is more densely packed with shorter hairs
brush comparison Chikuhodo Z-10, Suqqu Eyeshadow S

Hope this has been somewhat helpful! As always feel free to ask further questions and I'll try my best to answer them.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Eyeshadow Brush Comparison pictures -- part 1

Another picture post to give some idea of how the Hakuhodo/Chikuhodo brushes I own compare in size and shape to some more well-known ones from MAC and Shu.

Again, all brushes are my own, and have been used/washed. I like my brushes to be multi-purpose and find these flat(ish) fluffy(ish) shapes quite versatile -- all of them perform at least two functions out of three of lay-down, blending, and precision work.

NOTES:
I bought my short gold-handled Hakuhodos in Japan. They do not seem to be available on either Japanese or English webshops so I've linked to the brushes from different series but with exactly the same heads and numbers, currently available on the English site.
The Chikuhodo Artist series comes in both black (long-handled) and red (short-handled) versions.

brush comparison Hakuhodo Kokutan MLL, K021, B127BkSl, Chikuhodo Artist 12-6, 6-6, 8-1, Shu Uemura Natural 10, Synthetic 10 ,Louise Young LY09 MAC 239, MAC 242
brush comparison Hakuhodo Kokutan MLL, K021, B127BkSl, Chikuhodo Artist 12-6, 6-6, 8-1, Shu Uemura Natural 10, Synthetic 10 ,Louise Young LY09 MAC 239, MAC 242 1. Hakuhodo Kokutan MLL blue squirrel
2. Hakuhodo 021 blue squirrel (see K021)
3. Chikuhodo Artist Red 12-6 grey squirrel
4. Hakuhodo 127 Canadian squirrel (see B127BkSL)
5. Shu Uemura Natural 10 kolinsky/sable mix
6. Shu Uemura Synthetic 10 synthetic (!)
7. MAC 239 goat
8. MAC 242 synthetic
9. Chikuhodo Artist Red 6-6 Canadian squirrel
10. Chikuhodo Artist Red 8-1 kolinsky
11. Louise Young LY09 sable


Closer look at the bigger, fluffier paddle brushes with Shu N10 as a reference
brush comparison Hakuhodo Kokutan MLL, K021, B127BkSl , Chikuhodo Artist 12-6, Shu Uemura Natural 10
brush comparison Hakuhodo Kokutan MLL, K021, B127BkSl , Chikuhodo Artist 12-6, Shu Uemura Natural 10
brush comparison Hakuhodo Kokutan MLL, K021, B127BkSl , Chikuhodo Artist 12-6, Shu Uemura Natural 10
1. Hakuhodo Kokutan MLL
2. Hakuhodo 021
3. Chikuhodo Artist 12-6
4. Hakuhodo 127
5. Shu Natural 10


And the flatter, denser brushes, with MAC 239 as a reference
brush comparison Shu Uemura Natural 10, Chikuhodo Artist 6-6, 8-1, Louise Young LY09 MAC 239
brush comparison Shu Uemura Natural 10, Chikuhodo Artist 6-6, 8-1, Louise Young LY09 MAC 239
brush comparison Shu Uemura Natural 10, Chikuhodo Artist 6-6, 8-1, Louise Young LY09 MAC 239
1. Shu Natural 10
2. MAC 239 (much blunter, fluffier and less versatile than the others)
3. Chikuhodo Artist 6-6 (which is not angled, just prone to rolling around while being photographed)
4. Chikuhodo Artist 8-1
5. Louise Young LY09

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Trial Run

It's Saturday which means more time to play with makeup in the morning, and I decided to try out:
-- some new(ish) Rouge Bunny Rouge goodies
-- to franken a plum lipstick with a hint of brown à la Sleek Cranberry
-- my new hat
-- a new style of FOTD post

Eyes
Left to right:
RBR Long-Lasting Eyeliner Pencil in Lola as a base and liner
RBR Caress of Mink loose pigment over lid and under the eye
 RBR Unforgettable Oriole eyeshadow on inner corner and lower lashline
Koji Linequeen 1 Day Strong extra-fine liquid liner for a little wing
RBR Vera eye kohl on lower waterline
Majolica Majorca LEFP #12 mascara
Shu Uemura H9 Stone Grey brow pencil

 natural light

 natural light with flash

 Other products and swatches
Shu Uemura Stage Performer Instant Glow as base
Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer SX01 on blemishes
Ellis Faas Concealer S201 under eyes
Sleek Flushed blush
Shiseido High Beam white highlighter

Ellis Faas Milky Lips 202
Media Lip Liner WN-1

natural light and flash (to bring out the shimmer)

 natural light, no flash (more colour-accurate)


Please excuse the little eczema flare-up, and note:
1. the pigmented, complex, creamy divinity that is Lola. It blends effortlessly as a base/cream eyeshadow even on my extremely dry winter skin. Swatch is fat festive(!) because, as previous reviewers had warned, these pens are NOT retractable and I twisted out too much and and and then it broke.
2. that Caress of Mink is swatched straight onto a bare arm, no primer or base. These RBR pigments are as creamy as their pressed eyeshadows and every bit as effortless to use. If you are leery of loose powder products, please ditch all preconceptions and give these a chance. Replica has swatches of her beautiful collection.
3. that the Sleek Flushed swatch is two layers, applied with my Suqqu Cheek brush, a testament both to the incredible pigmentation of the former, and the ability of the latter to deposit pigment despite its unholy softness.

natural light, indoor

Lighting was off so I snapped another outdoors on my way to...uh, pick up some milk and the paper. So glam.

It is bloody freezing today so my latest finished object came in handy. Made from some odds and ends of Rowan Kid Classic (a wool, mohair and nylon blend), it was a fun, interesting and quick knit, and I shall always think of the generous friend who gave me the pattern when sporting it. <3

Friday, 16 December 2011

Small Face Brush Comparison pictures

Over the next few days I'll mainly be posting picture comparison posts à la glossedintranslation. More detailed reviews of individual brushes will come in time, but I know people would like to order from Hakuhodo USA before the planned price rise in January 2012 (which is also when DollyLeo is due to be restocked with Suqqu brushes) so hopefully these will help you make some decisions.

This time, all the brushes are my own, and post-wash/use. I prefer smaller brushes for precision so these are all multipurpose blush / highlight / contour / powder brushes for me.

brush Hakuhodo Large Pointed Yachiyo, S116, Shu Uemura 20 Pony, Chikuhodo Z-2, Z-3, Z-4, Suqqu Cheek, Sigma F35, MAC 188
brush Hakuhodo Large Pointed Yachiyo, S116, Shu Uemura 20 Pony, Chikuhodo Z-2, Z-3, Z-4, Suqqu Cheek, Sigma F35, MAC 188
brush Hakuhodo Large Pointed Yachiyo, S116, Shu Uemura 20 Pony, Chikuhodo Z-2, Z-3, Z-4, Suqqu Cheek, Sigma F35, MAC 188

1. Hakuhodo Large Pointed Yachiyo pointed round goat hair brush
2. Shu Uemura 20 Pony blunt round flat pony hair brush
3. Chikuhodo Z-4 round flat grey squirrel brush
4. Suqqu Cheek tapered round flat grey squirrel brush
5. Chikuhodo Z-2 candle-shaped grey squirrel brush
6. Sigma F35 pointed round brush (hair unknown, I suspect pony/goat/synthetic)
7. MAC 188 goat/synthetic duofibre stippling brush
8. Hakuhodo S116 tapered flat blue squirrel brush
9. Chikuhodo Z-3 rounded flat-top grey squirrel brush


A closer look at the round flat brushes, hopefully showing the cross-sectional differences better
brush comparison Shu Uemura 20 Pony, Chikuhodo Z-4, Suqqu Cheek, Hakuhodo S116
brush comparison Shu Uemura 20 Pony, Chikuhodo Z-4, Suqqu Cheek, Hakuhodo S116
1. Shu Uemura 20 Pony -- Obviously it's not an ideal comparison as horse hair is coarser than squirrel anyway... (edit: I wrote earlier that this was a laser-cut brush; it is NOT. The difference can be entirely attributed to the fact that squirrel hair naturally grows in a conical shape, and pony hair does not come to a point.)
2. Chikuhodo Z-4
3. Suqqu Cheek
4. Hakuhodo S116

Head to Head: Suqqu Cheek (top), Chikuhodo Z-4 (bottom)
Suqqu Cheek Chikuhodo Z-4 comparison brush

Cross-sections Suqqu Cheek (left) Chikuhodo Z-4 (right)
Suqqu Cheek Chikuhodo Z-4 comparison brush

Both handmade by Chikuhodo from uncut grey squirrel. You can see for yourselves the Suqqu is smaller and more directional with a wider variety of hair lengths used to achieve that tapered shape.
Something which doesn't show so clearly in photos is that the Suqqu is also less densely packed and allows a softer, more diffuse application of powders and easier blending. In fact, I would say it blends and applies in one stroke slightly better than the Z-4.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Chikuhodo Z-series set and Z-10 brush

Chikuhodo is a Japanese brush company based, like Hakuhodo, in the town of Kumano with a long tradition of calligraphy brush manufacture. They provide makeup brushes for Suqqu, RMK, Lunasol and Kanebo Tesshyu among others. Of course, there are still variations in quality and price-point between the brushes from those brands, and within the various Chikuhodo own-brand lines as well. My personal favourites are without a doubt Suqqu, although the Tesshyu and Chikuhodo own-brand Z series and Artist series have proved excellent quality as well. I do not at all care for Lunasol and RMK brushes.

Currently, Chikuhodo's only brick and mortar shop is in Kumano, although they also have a travelling counter which tours various department stores around Japan (dates and locations are listed on the front page of their site). Their webshop only ships domestically within Japan -- I ordered mine from here, borrowing a kind friend's Japanese shipping address.

The Z-series is Chikuhodo's second most expensive range, all handmade and mostly consisting of uncut grey squirrel hair -- the naturally tapered shape of each hair picks up and deposits pigment far better than any laser-cut brushes. All the Z brushes are available separately, or in a set consisting of Z-1 through Z-8 and a black or white brush roll.

Another friend generously allowed me to play with and photograph her Z-series set and Z-10 brush, thus rendering me awesome by association, gotta love it.... (ed: this worked so well that no-one seems to have read the disclaimer at all so I'm bolding it.)


Chikuhodo Z series brush set Z-1, Z-2, Z-3, Z-4, Z-5, Z-6, Z-7, Z-8, Z-10
Left to Right:
Z-1 grey squirrel round powder brush (brush length: 16cm // hair length: 45mm)
Z-2 grey squirrel "candle-shaped" highlight brush (15cm // 37mm)
Z-3 grey squirrel flat top contour brush (13cm // 15mm)
Z-4 grey squirrel rounded flat cheek/highlight brush (15cm // 36mm)
Z-5 grey squirrel rounded flat eyeshadow brush (13.5cm // 19mm)
Z-6 badger angled eyebrow brush (12.3cm // 5mm-8mm)
Z-7 kolinsky flat lip brush (10cm-16.5cm with cap // 10mm)
Z-8 grey squirrel rounded flat cheek brush (16cm // 40mm)
Z-10 grey squirrel "candle-shaped" eyeshadow brush (12.5cm // 11mm)

The Z-9 brush, which she doesn't own, is a rounded flat grey squirrel powder brush 16.5cm long with a hair length of 52mm; it looks to be a large version of the Z-8 around the size of the Z-1.

reverse order
Chikuhodo Z series brush set Z-1, Z-2, Z-3, Z-4, Z-5, Z-6, Z-7, Z-8, Z-10

Chikuhodo Z series brush set Z-1, Z-2, Z-3, Z-4, Z-5, Z-6, Z-7, Z-8, Z-10

Some closeups
Z-5 grey squirrel eyeshadow brush
Chikuhodo Z-5 brush

Z-6 badger eyebrow brush
Chikuhodo Z-6 brush

Comparison between the Z-4, Z-8 and Z-1
Chikuhodo brush Z-4 Z-8, Z-1 comparison
Chikuhodo brush Z-4 Z-8, Z-1 comparison
Chikuhodo brush Z-4 Z-8, Z-1 comparison

Bear in mind these pictures were all taken pre-washing -- grey squirrel brushes do fluff up quite a bit after washing and a few uses.

Comparisons of Chikuhodo brushes with some others in my motley collection, including Suqqu and Hakuhodo, are still to come.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

KATE Rouge High Glam swatches

Released on August 1st 2011 as part of KATE's Autumn 2011 collection, these Rouge High Glam are marketed as 'luxury' drugstore lipsticks, promising long wear with with a treatment complex to keep lips moisturised and plump.

While I love KATE's eye products, their lip formulations have always seemed like an afterthought and I much preferred those from sister-brand Lavshuca. However, just as Lavshuca eyeshadows have improved beyond all recognition over the last few releases, KATE now seem to be upping their game with this new lipstick.

It does feel luxurious: silky, with just the right amount of slip and more pigment than I'd expected from a Japanese drugstore line -- similar to my beloved Lavshuca Dramatic Memory Rouge. The sleek black twist-up bullets are slim, to make straight-from-the-tube application more precise, and textures are all creams, some with subtle micro-shimmer, but none downright shiny/glossy on the lips. There is a good shade-range (15) almost entirely devoid of concealer nudes, with (typically of KATE) darker and brighter shades than are commonly found in other J-drugstore brands

15 permanent shades, retailing at HK$90 or ¥1470.

All swatches one swipe, pictures taken in bright artificial light (no flash)
KATE Rouge High Glam swatch RS-10, RS-11, RD-15, RD-14, OR-10, PK-21, PK-22, BE-33, BE-34, PK-17

KATE Rouge High Glam swatch BE-35, BR-6, RS-9, RD-16, BR-9
Hop over to Birkinbeautybag for a glowing review of PK-17, one of the twelve shades currently available on adambeauty for US$13 each.

Shade list for search purposes: RS-10, RS-11, RD-15, RD-14, OR-10, PK-21, PK-22, BE-33, BE-34, PK-17, BE-35, BR-6, RS-9, RD-16, BR-9

Sunday, 11 December 2011

The future is frivolous

Those who don't enjoy next-season antici..... look away now.

I tentatively began this blog along with my East Asian travels, figuring that going home would provide a natural end point if the product or process turned out to suck. Well, I fly back London tomorrow and seem to feel no readier to shut up than usual, so stay tuned for:
  1. brush comparisons featuring Chikuhodo, Suqqu, Hakuhodo, Shu Uemura and more
  2. swatches and reviews of the two brands that dominate my 'stash': Suqqu and RBR
  3. whatever drivellings ensue from revisiting my local Suqqu, Paul&Joe, RMK, Becca, Illamasqua, Burberry, Tom Ford and Ellis Faas counters
  4. makeup DEATHMATCH as I try to edit down my collection and keep only Teh Best
  5. odes to ye good olde British high street (drugstore)
  6. another trip to E. Asia for moar swatches! Maybe even some Korean brands...
  7. cake.
Thank you so much to everyone reading, whether you're just stopping by or (really?!) subscribing and commenting and linking back. I welcome any questions and suggestions/requests for swatches, reviews or brands to feature. More fashion? Knitty things? Fragrance ramblings? Books and telly and fillums oh my? None of the above ever, swatches FTW? Leave a comment or email me at drivelaboutfrivol(at)gmail(dot)com.

Right, pretty picture time.
Of some makeup that I'm anticipating (some of which come out next week in Japan, jeez...)

Addiction Sandcastle collection -- I always find Addiction's colour stories inspiring, and am sure these washed-out sandy nudes will be beautifully complex in reality.
pictures from Kuri's beauty report and maissygirl

Suqqu, natürlich. Released Feb 3rd in Japan, the three eyeshadow palettes will all be permanent and the split-pan looks interesting.
But I am most excited for the three limited-edition blush duos, being an ardent fan of Suqqu textures but not the current shade range.
The lipsticks will share the formula of the three limited edition sheers from Autumn 2011.
pictures from yahoo beauty blog

Givenchy Instant Bucolique collection -- I adore the pairing of sightly dusty pastels with poppy-red on cheeks, lips and browbone. The saturated matte textures in the ad make this look. I am not familiar with this brand (despite always admiring their ad images) but next year may see some toe-dipping.
The red petri-dish is giving me the eye, the saucy minx.

Coffret D'Or Bright Up Rouge Creamy Liquid, released Dec 16th in Japan. The testers impressed me greatly on my trip to Japan and I'll be stalking adambeauty for one come next year.
picture from Japanese Coffret D'Or site

Chanel's Le Blanc Fleur de Lotus collection Illusion D'Ombre #87 (a limited-edition silvery tealish shade?)
picture from kuri's beauty report

As you may know, I am a sucker for cream blush, and have spotted a few incoming:
Shu Uemura Creamy Dome Blusher, two shades of another limited-edition formula due Jan 20th in Japan
picture via rougedeluxe

Majolica Majorca Blood On (facepalm), a pinky red lip and cheek tint, due Jan 21st in Japan.
picture via atouchofblusher

Paul&Joe blusher sticks -- last year's lipsticks skeeved me out but apparently you can sell me on anything with the addition of a top hat and the words 'cream blush'. Three shades, due Feb 3rd in Japan.
picture from popbee