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.

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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

Kyureido Fine Kalla cheek and eyeshadow brushes

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

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.

Final words

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?

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