Thanks to my readers Patricia and Sarah who asked and reminded me to review a Hakuhodo Kabuki-type brush: my vermilion Kinoko. For those who're confused over where to find these brushes (they come in a couple of sizes and shapes and various handles, including Kokutan (ebony wood), but all of them are under the Fan/Kinoko Brush category on Hakuhodo's site menu (on the left of the screen).
This Kinoko brush with the vermilion handle is made of goat hair and synthetic fiber blend. The hair length is 43mm and the diameter (Hakuhodo refers to it as "thickness") is 38.4 mm at the top and base. The shape of the Kinoko brush with its domed head always reminds me of a traditional men's shaving brush, but the texture and feel of this brush is anything but.
The Kinoko is a dense powder brush, as soft and luxurious as they come. It buffs finishing powder beautifully, does wonders with normal (not too dark) bronzers, removes excess powder and helps with touch-ups. The very round top makes the Kinoko perhaps less ideal for narrow areas, but it's actually soft and flexible enough that unless you need a very detail-oriented brush it performs quite well even around the nose.
The shape and size of Hakuhodo Kinoko are close to MAC 182 Kabuki brush. You can see that they're not identical, and when it comes to softness there's no comparison. The Hakuhodo brush is light years away in luxury. My MAC 182 is much older and doesn't see much use these days, but it's a solid brush that only experienced minimal shedding. The Kinoko hasn't lost one hair after the initial washing, so I don't hesitate recommending it.
Should you choose this type of brush over other powder/bronzer tools? It depends on your preferences. A Kabuki brush is also perfect for applying powder or mineral foundation, so it's quite the multitasker. If you prefer smaller/thinner/long handle brushes, so be it. If you feel the need to have a couple of Kabuki brushes in your arsenal, this is a great option, together with Edward Bess Luxury Face Brush.
Hakuhodo Kinoko Brush ($72) is available from hakuhodousa.com. They ship internationally.