Sometimes I wonder if I'm qualified enough to write about fude (=brush). I don't have that large of a collection (in my opinion..) and struggle to do as many comparison photos as I want, but then again, the purpose of this blog is sharing the fun and passion for make up, skincare and fude from my perspective. Maybe some of you are totally new to this amazing brand, which in my opinion deserves a lot more love and recognition.
Kyureido (九嶺堂) is a brush manufacturer in Kumano, near Hiroshima in Japan. Unfortunately I didn't have the time to visit their shop during my last Japan visit, so I ordered a couple of brushes to a friend's place. Their premium Kiwami series, otherwise known as 'Fine Kalla' among fude fans, has altogether 10 brushes, of which four are grey squirrel. I have three of them to show you: the blush brush, large and small eyeshadow brushes. I made the unwise decision to not order the face brush, as now my fude heart is breaking I'm missing one brush from this post (and my life).
I know this post is about the brushes, but isn't this the most gorgeous brush roll you've ever seen? Hand made of real kimono fabric and lined with waxy fabric to repel any dirt, this brush roll was a very generous gift from Sarah aka 212kiki (she might made these to order!) If you like, I can share more about my brush rolls in the future.
Ordering from Kyureido website was easy and the delivery was done in a couple of days, packed in a beautiful black box with orange lining. I had my brushes engraved with my name in katakana, which is a personal and luxurious touch to the brushes. The ferules and handles are black with gorgeous silver flecks in the handles, Kyureido logo and 'Fine Kalla' written in gold.
Blush brush KK-002
Total length: 155mm, hair length: 35mm, price ¥7,560
Kyureido Fine Kalla blush brush is a true beauty. Although pom pom style circle cheek brushes are my favorite, nothing beats KK-002 when it comes to working with the most pigmented blushes. Ultra soft and relatively small brush is perfect for depositing color precisely on the cheeks. The hairs grab and optimal amount of pigment for a sheer to medium/buildable coverage. The hairs spread out out evenly while pressing onto skin and there's enough density and resistance so the brush won't feel floppy while blending.
It's great for sheer to buildable/medium coverage. Ultra soft an, efficient, and I adorable the handle with subtle gold flecks.
Above I have Wayne Goss' Air Brush as a size comparison, but it's a totally different brush: much more pointy and tapered from its wide/flat side. As the tip of the WG brush is less dense than Kyureido, they both feel featherlight and similar softness. In the photo above you can see my name customisation in the Kyureido handle.
Kyureido KK-002 vs SUQQU Cheek
Now to the burning question that might interest many of you: are they dupes? It's common knowledge that Chikuhodo does SUQQU brushes OEM, but when it comes to the face brushes, there's been many speculations online if Kyureido manufactured them. I don't feel like sharing what might be a trade secret, so these are my personal opinions based on the brushes.
The wide side of SUQQU is slightly more tapered than Kyureido, otherwise I would dare say these are the same brushes by the same company. The hair, ferule and handle length are the same, except for logo design and Kyureido's gold flecks. In many reviews the SUQQU cheek is said to be softer than the Kyureido, but I'll disagree. When I first got my Kyureido I was certain it was softer than the SUQQU. I blind tested the brushes on my other half and he said the same. Now when I'm stroking myself repeatedly with both brushes it gets harder and harder to pick one over the other. I doubt many could tell any difference. Please keep in mind I'd need ten of each brush to do a perfect comparison and the softness may differ from each batch.
Could be the Kyureido is a bit fluffier than the SUQQU. Otherwise I don't feel much density differences. They're both sublime brushes made with care, craftsmanship and precision. You'd be happy with either one. Do you love the luxury of owning a SUQQU brush or are you drawn by the beautiful handle with metallic flecks of the less expensive Kyureido?
Eyeshadow brush (large) KK-003
Total length: 140mm, hair length: 20mm, price ¥5,400
All three of these Kyureido beauties are unique in their own league, and KK-003 is among my favorite eyeshadow brushes. I find myself reaching for it all the time, especially working with soft and pigmented eyeshadows. I actually use it mainly for blending, although judging by the shape it'd be well suited for patting the color evenly on the lid. For that purpose, I prefer a bit denser brush. KK-003 is not one bit floppy, but it has a great flexibility for blending purposes: either in round swipes or windshield wiper motion. The tip and the slimmer side of the brush are great for the crease, the wider side for larger areas. Believe me, for my hooded eyes blending with this brush is like a gentle massage therapy for the eyes.
Out of my big flat eyeshadow brushes, KK-003 is definitely my favorite. Not only it's the softest, but unlike "straight haired" Chikuhodos and Houkudou, Kyureido has a slimmer ferule and the hairs fan out. I use Chikus and Houkudou for densely patting a base color all over the lid color on the lid, and leave the more the pigmented shadows and blending for KK-003.
Eyeshadow brush (small) KK-004
Total length: 133mm, hair length: 13mm, price ¥4,860
And finally, the pencil brush. KK-004 is on the larger side of pencil brushes, pointy and dense yet maintaining its ultra softness. For me, it works the best for applying a shadow in the outer corner of my eye and blending into the crease. It's great if you need just a touch of contrast to deepen out your look, but don't want to go dabbing a dark shadow with a bigger brush.
You can see how pointy the Kyureido is compared to Chikuhodo R-S4 for instance, but also a lot larger. For me, the KK-004 doesn't really work for smudging the shadow on the lower lash line or inner corner. Although the tips of the brush is very precise, I prefer something smaller with more control, like C011 or R-S4. Similar shape, different purpose. One day I hope they would come out with a mini version of KK-004.
Although my collection is still small and humble, Kyureido has become one of my most favorite brush manufacturers. I can't wait to get my hands on more of their brushes. I sincerely hope you've enjoyed this post, let me know if you have any questions and I try my best to answer them!
Have you tried any Kyureido brushes or are you intrigued to?