Monday, December 26, 2011

Hakuhodo Kinoko Brush (Vermilion)

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 They ship internationally.


  1. I love your Hakuhodo brush reviews.

    I recently placed my first order for 6 relatively basic brushes, loved the feel of them so much (without using them to apply makeup!), I placed a second order immediately.

    The proposed price increase has made me anxious, so although I'd love to order more from them, I doubt I will be able to anytime soon.

    Nonetheless, your reviews are wonderful and helped me to choose my selection greatly, so thank you.

    Sorry for the rather long comment!

  2. I owe you Big Thanks for educating us on this brand. I love my first set! Having big success with the K005 eyeliner brush...turns out my issues with eyeliner are only 30% age and lack of skill, the other 70% was a less perfect brush. You weren't kidding about the difference it makes!

    Despite the price threat I'm going to wait on ordering more...I want the rest of your reviews so I make a smart decision. The only problem I'm baffled about is the washing. They suggest only once a month, but that's not going to work with gel eyeliner. Catch 22...I ruin my brush with daily washing or I ruin it with leaving gel in there to dry out?

  3. Thanks for your review - I am interested in a new kabuki and was wondering about the Hakuhodo ones so this has been super helpful. I put in my first order for a few of their other brushes and while I'm sorely tempted by this one, I think I'll wait till the new year despite the looming price increase.

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  5. Deciding on a kabuki for mineral powder foundation, whats your thoughts on the Hakuhodo kabuki goat & synth vs. the pure goat brush? Are there any other brushes you would suggest. looking for a brush that can apply both sheer & moderate-heavy but still strike that balance between polished & natural. Any thoughts?


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