You know that Japanese makeup brushes are my catnip. I always want more and have a weird desire to roll in them. It's all that soft hair, I think. So far I've tried several of the big names in the field (Shu Uemura, Hakuhodo, Chikuhodo, Suqqu, and RMK), but wasn't aware that Japanese e-retailer CDJapan has launched their own beauty line. It's a smart move on their side: more and more beauty connoisseurs started ordering Japanese cosmetics and brushes through them, so why not offer a private label of classic hand-crafted brushes, made in Japan, beautifully packaged (they come in a sturdy and heavy black box), and elegant?
I was sent these two beauties by the company's PR, and they thoughtfully added the two brush caps/protectors (similar idea to the popular Brush Guards, only made of black lace!) that you see in the top photo. I have yet to try those Madonna-esques devices, as I've used the regular Brush Guards when I first washed these brushes), but I was highly amused by them.
But we're here to talk brushes.
CB100 is an angled face brush made of white goat hair, Hakutosuho, that feels similar to the ultra- soft Saikoho of my favorite Hakuhodo J104 (I need to catch it on a rare clean day to take photos for a much belated review). CB100 is a relatively small/medium powder brush, too large for blushes, but I also tested it with a bronzer because of its directional shape. It's soft, fluffy, but firm enough to do its business accurately (see hoe much smaller and purposeful it is next to the Hakuhodo Kokutan large finishing brush). Dimensions: Full: approx.15.5cm / Handle: 7cm / Hair: L3.5-4.5cm W2.6-3.8cm / Ferrule: L4.5cm W1.7-2.6cm
CB101 is the stuff dreams are made of, as long as your dreams are lined with squirrel hair. It's equal in softness to the best out there (various Suqqu and Kokutan brushes). It's also a powder/finishing brush, too soft (and large) for most blushes-- see comparison to Hakuhodo B507 (a squirrel and goat blend), which in itself is rather large and fluffy for a blush brush. This is an ideal brush for a luxurious face finishing powder such as Guerlain Meteorites, and a good tool for a final blending in a soft touch that will not move other products you've already applied.
Dimensions: full: 16.5cm / hair: 5cm thickness: approx. 2.5cm / ferrule: L 4.5cm W 1.6-3.1cm
Bottom Line: a true luxury
CDJapan Makeup Brushes- CB100 Powder Angled Brush-- 4000 Yen (around $34) and CB101 Gray Squirrel Powder Brush- 9500 Yen (about $82) are available from cdjapan.co.jp. Choose "Japanese Crafts" from the left side navigation and go to "Beauty & Cosmetics" to browse the full range of available brushes. I was told the CDJapan Beauty line will expand soon, and I can't wait. The products for this review were sent by PR.