Top 10* Makeup Brushes (Tom Ford, Hakuhodo, Wayne Goss & Kevyn Aucoin)

Todays post is all about brushes! My Top 10.

They are a well edited bunch of eye and face brushes that I REALLY enjoy and use practically every day. Therefore I’m certain you’d end up loving them too!

So before we get to todays post, confession time. There aren’t 10 brushes here.

As I started out picking my favourites, I could only manage gathering nine! It wouldn’t have been fair to speak about 9 favourites and add one extra brush I just don’t feel comfortable recommending as a TOP FAVOURITE!. So I figured I’ll keep it real and share a post about my top 9 brushes instead!

First up, here’s a look at the poor souls to be judged based on looks, size and performance.

Makeup brushes review Hakuhodo Tom Ford

Left to Right we have,

Hakuhodo J4006, Hakuhodo J5523, Hakuhodo J125, Tom Ford Eyeliner & Definer Brush 15, Wayne Goss 05, Hakuhodo J004G, Kevyn Aucoin Concealer Brush, Tom Ford 05 Bronzer Brush, Wayne Goss 02.

Tom Ford bronzer brush review

Tom Ford Bronzer Brush 05

Is a plush, goat hair brush. One of the oldest brushes in my current collection (4yrs or so).

The bristles are soft and densely packed enabling it to hold it’s shape well and allow maximum control.

The handle is a chubby wooden lacquered one to match the voluminous brush head and gives it good balance. The overall quality of this brush is exceptional. The gold lettering hasn’t rubbed off, the handle has never chipped (even after dropping it many a time) and the golden ferrule has never lost it’s shine. I’m happy that it lasted so well over time and is money well spent.

Performance

This brush applies bronzer twice as fast as any other brush I’ve tried. Mostly due to it’s size as it covers a large area one go. It also picks up just the right amount of product and applies it seamlessly without any harsh lines or patchiness so I don’t have to spend time blending.

My method of application is holding it close to the furrule and buff in circular motions to achieve a perfect finish every time.

General Maintenance

I try to wash my brushes at least every two weeks. And so far I’ve never experienced any shedding from the Tom fords. They also never stain and after every wash look as good as new!

Additional info – The bristles of most of the TF brushes are Goat Hair and are a natural off white, which means the goat hair has never been dyed. Usually I notice brushes with dyed hair smell strange when being washed (my Hakuhodo powder brush being the perfect example) and also has a slight colour bleed.

Tom Ford brushes are made in Japan and are available at Tom Ford Beauty counters, which is where I purchased mine. (Now available at the Tangs Tom Ford Counter retailing at SGD190)

Wayne Goss makeup brushes

Wayne Goss 02

Is a small tapered face brush.

It’s described as a natural bristled brush (with uncut hairs for maximum softness).

The bristles are indeed soft and I believe the size and shape of this brush makes it quite versatile. The moderately packed bristles enable just the right amount of give for applying powder products with ease.

In comparison to the Tom Ford brushes, the handle of this is much much lighter. But overall I believe it suits the brush well and is perfectly balanced and comfortable to hold.

Performance

According to online description, it’s a brush which can be used for bronzing, blusher or highlighter. Personally I feel the shape is too tapered for blush or bronzer. But ideal for placing a perfectly diffused highlight or powdering areas that are harder to reach with a regular brush, such as the inner corner of the eyes, under eyes as well as the sides of the nose.

I mainly use it as a powder brush for setting concealer as it fits the undereye area perfectly.

P.S – It’s also a nice size and shape for softening your contour and blending. So if you do contour your face everyday, you’ll enjoy this multi purpose brush very much.

General Maintenance

As with all my other brushes I wash this every two weeks or so since I use it everyday. I never noticed any colour bleeding but have experienced slight shedding every once in a while.

Additional Info – If you’ve owned a tapered brush before you’ll know that it can ‘fluff up’ after the first wash. They don’t look as sleek as when it arrived. The best way to retain the shape is to put them in a brush guard to train the bristles to stay in their initial form. I obviously don’t do this and have no problems with my brush looking puffy. It doesn’t really affect it’s performance in this case. But I do shape the bristles into a point before I lay them down to dry.

Made in Japan. Retailing at $35 at Beautylish (Ships to most countries)

Kevyn aucoin concealer brush review

Kevyn Aucoin concealer brush

This is a densely packed, stubby brush with a small pointed tip. Perfect for pin point concealing. I came to know about this brush through a Lisa Eldridge video and have found it rather lovely.

The dense bristles allow great control and lets you conceal tiny acne spots or discolouration easily.

The brush handle of the KA is a hard acrylic and very durable. Almost feels like holding a pen.

Performance

I use this with a cream concealer. Just dab it right onto the blemish and soften the edges by tapping it with my finger.

As far as spot concealing goes, this brush is ideal. It doesn’t have much give and remains firm, so the application is very precise.

Currently on sale at BeautyBay for $24.60

Hakuhodo J004G review makeup brushes

Hakuhodo J004G

Is a round, medium sized flat eyeshadow brush made of goat hair.

The bristles of this is perfectly shaped to follow the contours of the lid to apply eyeshadow effortlessly and precisely.

What’s special about this basic flat eyeshadow brush is the size. I found it difficult to zero in on a nice medium sized brush as everything I had in my stash were slightly too big with much longer bristles. However this one is perfect for steady application as the larger brushes are too clumsy for precision jobs. I also noticed this particular flat brush retained it’s shape well without the bristles getting unruly or fluffing up after a wash.

I use this mostly with wet eyeshadows (such as the NARS Dual Intensities) to create an intense lid. Just load the brush with eyeshadow and pat to pack on the colour. I find the size is just right and should be perfect for those with hooded eyes or smaller eye lids.

Additional Info – Hakuhodo brushes from the J series are all made of natural bristles that are not dyed. So they always maintain their original colour, be it white or brown without any colour bleeding. It’s why I always purchase brushes from this particular range.

Made in Japan. Retailing at $20 on Hakuhodo US. (Ships worldwide)

Wayne goss makeup brushes

Wayne Goss 05

Is a small, tapered crease brush with a rounded tip. The bristles are natural hair and very soft. They are also uncut which means they won’t feel scratchy when used on the lid.

I personally love the smaller size of this, and the density and length of the bristles allow just the right amount control while remaining flexible. Perfect for blending out harsh edges.

You can even use this to do a very defined crease as this brush gets right into the socket. It also excels in blending out small areas such as diffusing out the edges of a cut crease or smoking out liner keeping close to the lash line.

The Goss 5 is a unique brush and overall I am extremely happy with it. So far it has never shed and always retains it’s shape after each wash. I think I need another one in my life. One of the best eye brushes I have ever come across.

Made in Japan. Retailing at $25 on Beautylish. (Ships to most countires)

Tom Ford Brush review

Tom Ford 15 Eyeliner & Definer brush

Is a rounded, dense liner brush with a very fine tip. As far as eyeliner brushes go, I find this to be unique. The well packed, short bristles allows maximum control and a stiff edge for smudging out liner easily.

The thin edge also allows to smudge very close to the lash line (upper and lower, both) and define the eyes well. It’s one of the most frequently used brushes in my stash.

I plan on purchasing another since I use it so much.

Made in Japan. Retailing at $52.

Hakuhodo brush review J125

Hakuhodo J125

Is a round brush with an angled tip. It looks like someone chopped off the upper half at an angle.

This brush is very densely packed and has little flexibility. Regardless of the sharp flat edge the brush feels very soft on the lid and never scratchy.

I use this mostly to blend out any stubborn hard lines of a smokey shadow look. Just place the angled edge of the brush along the eye contour and swipe back and forth in a windshield wiper motion. It’s that easy.

Made in Japan. Retailing at $27 at Hakuhodo US

Hakuhodo J5523 review makeup brush

 

Hakuhodo J5523 (a softer, better quality substitute for a MAC 217)

Is a medium sized crease brush.

I find the bristles of this much softer than the TF Blending Brush which is downright scratchy in comparison (and why I didn’t include that brush in my top 9).

The brush allows for good flexibility while maintaining just enough resistance to blend eyeshadows in the crease.

The rounded fluffy brush tip allows for general colour placement and blending both. Making it a versatile brush for daily use. I already have three and also purchased several as gifts for friends.

If you are just starting out on your brush collection, this is an excellent brush to invest in. The quality is top notch (as all the brushes I’ve included here) and will last you very long if looked after. Plus, it’s very budget friendly.

Made in Japan. Retailing at $19 at Hakuhodo US

Hakuhodo J4006

Hakuhodo J4006

Is a tiny duo fiber fan brush.

It’s the only brush I’ve included which has synthetic bristles.

The brushes main purpose is to separate and define your lashes while removing any unwelcome clumps of mascara with ease giving lashes a natural fluttery finish.

How do you use this brush?

Simple, you just place the brush at the base of your lashes and wiggle and comb out.

Additional Info & Maintenance

The synthetic bristles allows the brush to retain it’s firm fan shape while also extending it’s durability as most mascaras tend to be waterproof and are difficult to cleanse off. This brush cleans easily though with a regular brush soap and dries fast.

Made in Japan. Retailing at $20 at Hakuhodo US

 

That concludes my post on the Top 9! However I’d like to leave you with some additional info on brushes, questions some of you have asked me on Instagram. I hope you find this useful as well.

The most frequently asked question is what my favourite brush brand is.

It’s Hakuhodo. I love that the quality is great. The brushes are long lasting and are priced very competitively. I feel that artists in particular who are looking to expand their brush collection would benefit a lot as the selection of brushes Hakuhodo carries is just mind-boggling and they have a brush for virtually EVERY need imaginable.

Another FAQ is what I use to clean my brushes.

It’s mostly soap.

There are special soaps meant specifically for brush cleaning. Some brush companies carry their own soaps but also artistry brands such as Make Up Store make a great one as well. So far, I’ve tried the Hakuhodo soap and the Make Up Store one. Both equally good.

For those of you with no access to purchase a brush soap, just use a baby shampoo and luke warm water. It works well. Occasionally I use my facial cleanser (a gel one) too as it’s  very mild and doesn’t dry out or damage the bristles. Of course that’s an expensive option. But I don’t mind, as I only need a teeny tiny bit to wash my brushes. And to be honest my brush collection consists of mostly high end natural fibre brushes which require very gentle cleansing!

So there you have it, lengthy ramble about brushes. If there is any additional information you’d find helpful, please feel free ask me in a comment, I’ll answer them asap.

I’m also planning on doing a post on a brush starter kit for those of you new to makeup brushes, so if you are keen on something like that, let me know!

Anyways, Thank you for reading and I hope you have a great week ahead  🙂

xx, Michelle.

 

 

 

 

 

19 thoughts

  1. I’ve always wanted to get my hand on the J5523 and WG #2 brushes, but the price point for these brushes is so high. The most expensive brush I use is from Sigma LOL. Maybe I’ll start with J5523, since it is the less expensive one here 🙂 Oh! And that fan brush at the end is so unique! I only know those metal/plastic lash brushes.

    1. The J5523 is a great starting point! But I know you’ll eventually get to the Goss too 😉
      And yes! The fan brush may seem unnecessary at first, but I can’t live without it! Such a useful little tool it is 🙂

  2. My fav is Sigma for now! Synthetics but streak free! I own a few Hakuhodo goat hair brushes but I cant bear to use them. Thry are really expensuve in Singapore. I havent start using my Real Techniques brushes too! 😜

  3. You have some fabulous brushes! The Hakuhodo J4006 is something I have nothing like and sounds so useful as well as the KA Concealing brush. I love good quality brushes and my favourite most used brushes are Wayne Goss Holiday and Fan, Chikuhodo Z1 & Z4 and a 217. I will have to check out the J5523 as well!
    The Beauty Bloss

    1. Thank you! These are only a few in a large collection 🙂 Somehow I can’t seem to resist buying new brushes and the Goss one’s are the latest additions to my collection.
      I also purchased the Holiday brush in black (the white was already oos) and the colour keeps running and it sheds. But i’m keen on getting the fan brush and a few eye brushes next. So far I adore this one eye brush I have ❤ Hopefully all my other picks will be just as good. How are you liking the fan brush so far?
      Anyways you definitely need to try the J4006. It's such a genius brush. Highly recommend! 🙂

  4. I love Wayne Goss’s 02 brush! I use it in a similar way, to set my under eye concealer, and for highlighter as well. It seems to work for some blushers but not all. This was a great post, I’ve added the Hakudohu brushes to my wishlist now 😀

  5. Hi Michelle!

    I’m a new reader to your blog, and so far I’m loving every little bit! 🙂 plus I’ve got on a binge-reading spree for the past few hours LOL

    Although, I must ask, and I genuinely hope you’re not offended in any way shape or form. It’s my own curiousity(and nosiness) but I don’t think I’ve come across any highstreet/drugstore brands reviewed on your blog post so far apart from Avene and IndeedLabs, it’s mostly high-end. May I ask how do you afford all of this? I mean your collection is heaven for any makeup or skincare fanatic! 😀

    Have a lovely day, and I look forward to more posts by you!

    Semara xx

    1. Hi Semara,

      Thank you for stopping by and glad you are enjoying my blog.
      And to answer your question, I don’t think ‘how I can afford all of this’ is anyones business but mine. btw, I am not at all offended by your nosiness like you said but just putting it out there 🙂

      It’s my preference to buy high end makeup over drugstore brands as I usually go for quality over quantity and if I can afford it, why not. And I personally don’t go asking someone why they wear mostly designer clothes and not purchase from Forever 21 Or drive a Ferrari over a Toyota or how they can afford to pay for it. Fact of the matter is, people come from different walks of life.

      To sum it up, my reviews are unbiased be it drugstore or high end.
      I believe that’s what’s important when it comes to beauty blogging and not necessarily actively seeking out drugstore brands and using them just so I have a balanced selection for my readers. Plus, there are plenty of other bloggers to turn to if someone wants reviews on drugstore brands. So why go out of my way to buy things that I don’t normally use. That would be a waste of money.

      Warmest Regards,
      Michelle.

      1. Hi Michelle!

        Thanks for replying! And I agree with what you’ve said, it’s true that people do have their preferences and so forth 🙂

        Hope you have a lovely day! xx

  6. are those hakuhodo eye brushes medium length size (BkSM)? are they comfortable to handle since they are all around 13 cm long, i imagine it will be too short since most eye brushes like mac comes with 17 cm long handle…

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