Best Concealer Brushes For Every Need (Japanese Fude)

I've shared with you my acne journey, Accutane and acne scars in the past, but now to my favorite topic: brushes! These are the fude or brushes I use for concealing the under eyes, discoloration, spots and blemishes. Since my acne cleared up I haven’t purchased many new concealer brushes, but I still reach one or two every single day. You might think concealer brushes aren’t as exciting and sexy as bigger fluffs, but they are multi-purpose workhorse brushes and something everyone should have in their makeup kit. This post is most likely going to be a long one, so sit back, relax and enjoy!

Best Concealer Brushes | Japanese Brushes | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Choosing The Right concealer brush

Concealers come in many forms and textures: creams, liquids, waxes. Choosing a brush depends on which type of concealer works best for your skin, concern and technique, it might take a trial and error to find the perfect product and the perfect tool. Some of the brushes I introduce in this post are designated concealer brushes (コンシーラー if you search Japanese sites), but basically any small brush resilient to cream/liquid textures can work for you. This means repurposing lip and eyeliner brushes, but also small cream eyeshadow brushes will do the trick! Maybe you already own something that’s too stiff for blending the eyeshadow, but could be used for cream concealer or corrector. I follow these guidelines:

  • Eyeliner and lip brushes for pinpoint concealing blemishes, scars, pimples

  • Paddle brushes for correctors, creams and liquids under the eyes

  • Oval and stippling brushes for blending around blemishes or covering redness

Personally I don’t use much goat hair for my concealers as I like more firmness and control from kolinsky or synthetic hair, they also absorb less product. Never use delicate hairs such as squirrel for cream/liquid concealers as they might damage the brush. All brush hairs below are kolinsky or weasel unless otherwise stated.

Fine and small concealer brushes

Kyureido Fine Kalla eyeliner

I love this eyeliner brush, to read more about the Fine Kalla series click this post. This liner brush is very precise, but not quite as tiny as Hakuhodo B007. Kyureido has firmness and control for pinpoint concealing, and it picks up the perfect amount of product in my opinion. Since the brush hairs are semi-long, you shouldn’t add too much pressure.

Hakuhodo B007

For the tiniest pinpoint concealing work (such as sunspots, scars). The brush is very tapered; there are only few of longer hairs, so you can have the precision and add only the smallest amount of product. If you wish to blend or perhaps conceal a larger area, I’d go for Kyureido. Same if you want the brush to double as a liner brush, I prefer Kyureido as it can hold more product and cover a larger area.

Hakuhodo S148

One of my newest brushes and pure perfection in craftsmanship. It’s similar to Chikuhodo GSN-11, but has a bit longer hairs and less density, also feels much softer than Chiku. Perfect for applying and blending concealer on blemishes, carving out eyebrows or perhaps fading some discoloration around the nose. I have a sentimental attachment to this brush, but I love its performance as well.

Unknown

Brush I got as a GWP or a gift when I visited Kumano. It’s very close to Chikuhodo’s Limited Edition Noel Lumiere 2015 concealer/eyeliner brush, maybe a tiny bit more tapered. I’d keep an eye on Koyudo if they come out with something like this in their permanent collection.

Chikuhodo Noel Lumiere 2015 (LE)

Tapered brush made of kolinsky, has nice firmness and control for both sharp wing eyeliner as well as applying cream concealer on spots or blemishes. The point is rounded, which makes it unique in my book (just like the Unknown one). I think it’s a shame this particular brush was a limited edition. I prefer it over the Beautylish Sakura brush.

Chikuhodo x Beautylish Sakura eyeliner (LE)

This brush is an odd one: it’s not long enough to be a good lip brush, a bit too floppy for applying eyeliner. If you do pinpoint concealing, let’s say with Haku or Kyureido, you might use this for blending the edges. I must say I haven’t given this brush much love.

Hakuhodo eyeliner B005

This Haku brush is labelled as an eyeliner brush. Its hairs are very short, dense, and has sort of oval shape on the sides. Perfection for gel eyeliner, but if you’re in a pinch this would work for concealing small areas or carving out eyebrows. For concealing alone I do prefer Hakuhodo S148 or Chikuhodo GSN-11.

Chikuhodo GSN-11

This is one of my oldest brushes and has held up very well. I’ve used it for eyeliner, concealer and smudging eyeshadow near the lower lash line. The hair density is light, length excellent for precision and control, but the feel isn’t as stiff as with Hakuhodo B005. Hakuhodo B005 is sharper, which makes it better for eyeliner, GSN-11 gives softer edges.

Hakuhodo J214R (goat and synthetic)

This mini duo-fibre stippling brush picks up cream products very nicely and works well for blending. For example, if you conceal under eye darkness but also suffer some minor redness underneath, you can take the conceal further by stippling with J214R. Most of us have discoloration around the nose and J214R fits nicely in nooks and crannies for buffing and blending product. The feel is not overly dense but very soft. With a stippling brush I like to go over the covered areas with a finger or a sponge to make sure there is no brush marks. I don’t use this brush for cream eyeshadow as I want the edges to be more blurred and there are better options.

Koyudo Purin (synthetic)

When checking the brushes for this post, I sadly didn’t see the Purin line on Koyudo’s website, so this brush may be discontinued. The Purin (sounds like ‘pudding’ in Japanese) concealer brush is one of my favorites as it has a nice rounded paddle shape and similar stippling qualities (a mix of longer and shorter hairs) as the Hakuhodo J214R. The body of the brush is somewhat dense, but the very tip is soft and bendy, making it easy for tapping and blending product, such as under eye concealer. One of my favorites.

Hakuhodo G538 (synthetic)

Synthetic version of one of my all-time favorite brushes. The difference with G538 and G537 is how the hais splay: with synthetic hairs the shape is very straight and sword-like. Good for dabbing on product, easy to clean, not much bad to say about this brush, but I do prefer my kolinsky G537.

Hakuhodo G537

This brush is a pure gem to me, I reach it almost daily for concealing my under eye area. It covers a nice amount of surface, picks up a good amount of product and has a great control. The brush has a good bend to it, which makes it feel firm yet soft on the skin. It’s a multi-purpose brush for concealing and I love it to bits.

Koyudo BP036

On the Koyudo website images this brush looks very tapered and ‘sharp’, but it does splay after washing. I think this brush is too large for pinpoint concealing, but good blending any edges after you’ve applied concealer with a smaller brush. Or, if you need to conceal larger areas or blemishes, perhaps do very detailed work around the nose; this is your brush. I’ve used it a ton when I still suffered from acne.

Koyudo C006P (below)

I use this brush similarly to Hakuhodo G538, Hakuhodo 537 or Koyudo Purin, but C006P is much denser than any of these. The hair length is similar to Purin, but C006P is much wider, like an oversized eyeliner brush. It’s a powerful tool when you really need to pack on a lot of product and enjoy firmness and control. Could also be used as an eyeshadow brush for packing on color on the lid. I’ve used Koyudo C006P also a ton, but nowadays prefer softer, more bendy brushes for under eye work.

Best Concealer Brushes | Japanese Brushes | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
Best Concealer Brushes | Japanese Brushes | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

And here they are, my concealer workhorses and small treasures! I think most of them are excellent, just for different usages. If you have any questions about any specific brush, please leave them in the comments below. Thanks for reading! x

Match made in Heaven: Rouge Bunny Rouge Diaphanous powder & Chikuhodo Z-2

As a regular watcher and reader of Shameless Fripperies, I noticed Karima using Rouge Bunny Rouge's Impalpable Finishing Powder in Diaphanous with Chikuhodo's highlighting brush Z-2 for precise powdering. As a fan of Diaphanous powder, I put Z-2 to the top of my brush wish list (yes, I have a brush wish list) and got it last time I was in Japan. Now after good couple of months of using them together, I'd like to share my thoughts.

Rouge Bunny Rouge Impalpable Finishing Powder in Diaphanous

Diaphanous is a finishing powder, which means it should go on the top of your make up as a the last step. After applying base such as foundation, powder, blusher, etc., a finishing powder is meant to blur your imperfection and give your complexion an even finish. Diaphanous is extremely finely milled silica based powder, and silica is meant to have oil absorbing qualities. The packaging has a round mesh where the powder comes through. The lid has a similar sized circle to keep the excess powder inside the mesh. If you're heavy handed the powder can fly into the air in a small cloud - it's as fine as fairy dust. 40€ for 7g / 0.25 oz

Ingredients

SILICA, TALC, CAPRYLYL GLYCOL, BORON NITRIDE, MICA, PHENOXYETHANOL, POTASSIUM SORBATE, HEXYLENE GLYCOL, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, GLYCERIN, MALTODEXTRIN, SUCROSE DILAURATE, LAUROYL LYSINE, AQUA (WATER), SODIUM COCOYL GLUTAMATE, ENANTIA CHLORANTHA BARK EXTRACT, PISUM SATIVUM EXTRACT (PISUM SATIVUM (PEA) EXTRACT), CARBOMER, SODIUM LACTATE, POLYSORBATE 20, OLEANOLIC ACID, PALMITOYL OLIGOPEPTIDE, PALMITOYL TETRAPEPTIDE-7

I've read some favourable reviews of Diaphanous' oil control properties, but unfortunately it didn't work for me. I'm mainly dry but if I wear a heavy moisturiser, sunscreen and dewy foundation on a hot day I do need to blot if I don't set my make up properly. With Diaphanous, the finish was a beautiful natural matte, but my T-zone got too shiny for my liking during the day. I doubt it would work for oilier skin types as the only setting powder.

Chikohodo Z-2

Z-2 is the highlighting brush in Chikuhodo's premium Z-series, which are all soft grey squirrel hair (except for the lip brush). Z-2 has a long candle shape with thick, shiny black handle. The max hair length is 37mm and costs ¥7,000(+tax). Instead of working with highlighters - I've used it as a precise powdering brush for my forehead, under eyes, sides of the nose and chin. Very oily skin types might opt for Hakuhodo J 5521. The hair of Z-2 is soft and delicate, yet the brush acts as a great everyday workhorse for me. 

Application

I tap some powder onto the lid or press the mesh gently with Z-2, swirling around the package. Imitating Karima, I started to use Diaphanous for precise powdering: pressing around the nose and middle of the forehead, swiping under the eyes. 

Personally I wear finishing powders on a special occasion when I feel like doing "a full face" of make up with all the bells and whistles. I don't have very large pores but there are some texture around my nose, thanks to my dryness. I press some powder on the centre of my face with Diaphanous and it does blur and smooth things out beautifully. Setting under eyes is pure magic. So smooth, so light, prevents concealer from creasing, won't emphasise my dryness or look cakey. You can lightly 'bake' your under eye area with the powder by dusting a light but visible layer under the eyes, waiting for 5-10 minutes and gently swiping the excess away with Z-2.

Overall

I very much love this combination of airy, almost undetectable powder for smoothing things and setting under eye area. If you struggle with visible pores, Diaphanous could be a great addition to your routine. Chikuhodo Z-2 is precise for inner corners of the eye or the nose, but can be used for swiping motions that softly caress the skin. Highly recommending both!