Home Makeup Japanese Makeup Brushes (Complete Guide + What To Buy)

Japanese Makeup Brushes (Complete Guide + What To Buy)

by Gabbi

How can you achieve a flawless makeup application with ease? Investing in your cosmetics can improve the wear time of your makeup. However, investing in makeup brushes is often overlooked and can transform how cosmetics are applied.

Beauty tools can elevate your routine, make it easier to apply products, or even create flawless finish like a professional makeup artist. The most sought-after makeup brushes are from Japanese brands/companies because they’re high-quality.

These brushes are high-end, but they prioritize craftsmanship, longevity, and design. Japanese makeup brushes will add a sense of luxury to your routine, and you may not even have to replace them, thanks to their long-lasting characteristics.

What are the best Japanese makeup brushes, and which ones can you buy? You’ll want to search for brushes manufactured by Japanese companies or specifically state they’re made in Japan. You can also choose from hundreds of brush styles. 

The right brush can take your makeup game to the next level, and you’ll be able to care for Japanese brushes for years to come. Are you not sure where to start your brush hunt? Follow along to see how to find the best Japanese makeup brushes.

Why Choose A Japanese Makeup Brush?

What is the hype surrounding Japanese makeup brushes? Japanese brushes are high-quality, long-lasting, and high-performing. They’re most often made with natural bristles and are delicately shaped to offer a soft and silky finish.

Japanese makeup brushes are beautifully designed and can serve multiple purposes. Also, the natural fibers can help indicate what skin type or makeup products can benefit the most.

Some Japanese brush companies are still family-owned or crafted uniquely compared to giant manufacturers. Their design, performance, luxury, and longevity are some of the many reasons why people choose Japanese Makeup brushes.

What Else Should You Know About Japanese Makeup Brushes?

Japanese makeup brushes are a big commitment. It may be expensive to buy a Japanese makeup brush initially because they can retail for more than $100 depending on the brand. However, they are meant to last a lifetime.

Japanese makeup brushes require special care. You’ll need to wash and dry the brushes according to the manufacturer’s direction to prolong the longevity of your brushes. 

Things To Look For In A Japanese Makeup Brush 

Made In Japan/Kumano 

Authentic Japanese makeup brushes are made in Japan, or more specifically Kumano, a city in Japan. Kumano is where a majority of brush-making techniques originated from and use natural materials like animal-friendly hair and wood.

Natural Bristles

Natural bristles are more expensive than synthetic fibers. While some brands may use synthetic fibers, a traditional brush uses an array of animal hairs. Each animal fiber serves a purpose or provides a specific finish for your makeup. 

For example, goat hair can have an intense finish because it is usually densely packed. Some animal-friendly fibers will work better with powders, while some can handle cream cosmetics.

Type Of Brush 

It’s also crucial to consider what brush is missing from your makeup bag. Are you in the market for a powder brush or an eye detailing brush? You may also choose a set to invest in if you want to try multiple Japanese makeup brushes at once.

The Best Japanese Makeup Brushes 

Below you can find a list of Japanese makeup brushes for every budget. In addition, this selection includes complete sets and individual brushes, so you can add any brush you need to your beauty regimen. 

RankProductKey Features
1.Shiseido Hanatsubaki Hake Polishing Face BrushFlower petal design, densely packed bristles, apply wet and dry products
2.Shaquda Ubu Sheer Eye Brush Wooden walnut handle, grey squirrel hair brush, ideal for eye makeup
3.Hakuhodo Makeup Brush Set Basic Selection3-piece basics set, traditional Japanese brush, soft/silky bristles
4.Shaquda Ubu Soothing Face Brush Grey squirrel bristles, wooden walnut handle, ideal for face and cheek products
5.Shiseido Professional Perfect Foundation Brush4-piece brush set, ideal for cheeks and eyes, prioritizes affordability, soft bristles
6. Chikuhodo Kumano Powder BrushGoat hair brush, loosely packed and abundant bristles, ideal for powders
7. Ai Brush Traditional Crafts Kumano Cosmetic Brush Set Densely packed bristle brush, great for liquid products, multifunctional face brush

1. Shiseido Hanatsubaki Hake Polishing Face Brush 

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Shiseido is a Japanese makeup giant that has a global presence. They’ve perfected all cosmetic items, whether it be makeup, skincare, or beauty tools. Japanese brushes are known for their high performance and incredible craftsmanship.

The Hanatsubaki Hake Polishing Face Brush from Shiseido can help you create a flawless base. 

It’s compatible with cream and powder makeup products. This brush is a densely packed kabuki-like brush that adds a sense of luxury to your beauty routine.

Shiseido claims their camellia flower inspires this brush, and it has four petal-like sections that fit seamlessly into the contours of your face. These bristles are ultra-supple, sturdy, and flexible so that you can buff the skin with ease. 

It’s made of high-quality synthetic fibers that offer a streak-free finish and works well with wet and dry products. The Hanatsubaki Hake Polishing Face Brush can apply makeup, but it can also help you distribute your skincare products on the face. 

Shiseido’s Face Polishing Brush is the ultimate J-Beauty tool to add to your routine, and it’s relatively affordable compared to its competitors. Its red bristles are bold, and the brush is beautiful enough to act as a display piece for your vanity. 

2. Shaquda Ubu Sheer Eye Brush 

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Shaquda is a brand to become familiar with, especially in the world of Japanese makeup brushes.

Shaquda provides high-quality tools and prioritizes craftsmanship inspired by Kumano, which is Japan’s most well-known town for brush-making.

All of Shaquda’s brushes have a simple but elevated design. It feels comfortable to grasp but still features a unique shape. The Ubu Sheer Eye Brush is a great tool to invest in for those looking to upgrade their makeup arsenal, and it feels silky soft.

This eyeshadow brush can swiftly apply eye makeup and easily blend out creases like a dream. It can also double as a highlighter brush to accentuate the tops of your cheekbones. 

Of course, Shaquda’s brushes require the utmost care and maintenance.

You can clean these bristles with warm water and shampoo and occasionally with conditioner to retain softness. Avoid drying them out in the sun to prevent cracking. The bristles are made of grey squirrel hair fibers accompanied by a walnut handle.

Shaquda describes the brush as the “first touch first experience ethical makeup brush.” It’s designed without metal ferrule, so you can expect the entire component to be made of hair fibers and wood. However, it’s a hefty investment.

You can prolong the lifespan of this brush by using it gently, cleaning it well, and storing it according to the directions. 

3. Hakuhodo Makeup Brush Set Basic Selection

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Are you looking to expand your Japanese brush collection? Or do you want to invest in first-rate makeup tools?

Hakuhodo is another Japanese brand on the market that provides impeccable and fine makeup brushes that are meant to last. 

The Hakuhodo Makeup Brush Sets feature three brushes that are staples in any beauty regimen.

In addition, you can try multiple at once instead of buying them individually. Hakuhodo also provides a sleek and convenient carrying case.

This set features a blush brush and two eyeshadow brushes that are versatile and multi-functional. The case will make traveling a breeze or help organize your vanity. Hakuhodo crafted these brushes with a mix of goat and horse hair for a silky effect.

These brushes feel ultra-soft on the skin and will blend product evenly. All Hakuhodo brushes are made in Kumano, Japan, so you can rest assured you’re receiving high-performing and long-lasting brushes. They are great for beginners and pros.

The blush brush can be used for any step of your base makeup that you see fit. The medium-sized eye brush can effortlessly sweep shadow across the lids, while the smaller one is ideal for detail work or smudging products in the lash line.

4. Shaquda Ubu Soothing Face Brush 

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Another Shaquda brush worth checking out is the Ubu Soothing Face Brush.

We’ve mentioned earlier that Shaquda prioritizes design and craftsmanship while also adding their own style to each brush. This face brush is no different.

It may be time to elevate your makeup routine with the Soothing Face Brush. The bristles are silky and smooth, adding a luxurious feel during makeup application. It also pairs wonderfully with the eyeshadow brush listed previously.

Like the Ubu Sheer Eye Brush, the Soothing Face Brush also features grey squirrel bristles and a wooden walnut handle. It’s designed to blend and smooth face products effortlessly. You can use it to touch up or to apply a fresh face. 

Shaquda states this face brush is ideal for putting on highlighter, loose powder, cheek products, or other powder products. Because it features natural hair bristles, it’s best to apply dry powder products rather than cream or liquid cosmetics. 

The Ubu Soothing Face Brush won’t irritate the skin and glides seamlessly to provide a flawless face finish. In addition, this brush requires the same treatment and care as the eye brush from earlier.

These high-quality brushes are also crafted in Kumano, Japan. 

5. Shiseido Professional Perfect Foundation Brush 

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Shiseido also ensures that Japanese makeup brushes are more accessible to anyone looking to try them. This global cosmetic giant has produced another brush that anyone can incorporate into their makeup or getting-ready routines.

The Professional Perfect Foundation Brush is crafted to create a flawless base. Most Japanese makeup brushes feature natural bristles that sometimes don’t perform with liquid or cream makeup products. This one from Shiseido is compatible with creams. 

This foundation brush features short, firm, densely packed bristles that blend makeup swiftly. It works well with liquid and creams and can provide a full coverage finish without absorbing any excess product. You can also use it for concealer.

Because the bristles are densely packed, you can expect a streak-free finish that won’t leave you looking cakey. It features a medium-sized handle that’s comfortable to hold, so you don’t lose control during application.

You may also notice it can apply cream bronzers and blush to achieve a seamless finish. It provides a similar effect to the flower brush listed earlier, except the diameter is slightly smaller to help blend all the creases and contours of the face.

Overall, it is a staple brush to have in your makeup bag. 

6. Chikuhodo Kumano Powder Brush 

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Chikuhodo is a familiar name in the Japanese makeup brush industry. If there is one Japanese brush to invest in, let it be a powder brush. These brushes are fluffy, dense, and versatile so that you can use them several times.

The Chikuhodo AR20-4 Kumano Powder Brush can fit into everyone’s makeup regimen. It’s a large and fluffy brush that can cut down your makeup routine in half since it can quickly cover most of the face.

The bristles are smooth and soft, so you won’t have to worry about them scratching the skin. Chikuhodo also formulated this brush with goat hair to provide a silky finish. In addition, these loosely but abundant bristles will help create an air-brushed effect. 

Chikuhodo recommends using this product with powder makeup. It’s designed to apply loose and pressed powders, but you may also find that it applies bronzers, blushes, and highlighters effortlessly across the face. 

You can expect longevity and experienced craftsmanship with the Kumano Face Powder Brush. All Chikuhodo’s brushes are manufactured in Japan, so you can expect a traditional product.

This brush is tiny but mighty and can easily fit into your bag while on the go. It’s ideal for touch-ups and quickly covers the face.

7. Ai Brush Traditional Crafts Kumano Cosmetic Brush Set 

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Japanese brushes are luxurious and feel opulent, but they may not be accessible to everyone. Also, Japanese makeup brushes usually have a high price attached, limiting who may be able to purchase them. 

Brands like Shiseido and Ai provide more accessible and affordable Japanese makeup brushes. Ai has produced the Traditional Crafts Kumano Cosmetic Brush Set that can fit most budgets. You’ll be able to test out multiple brushes at once.

This four-piece set provides all the essential tools you need to create a flawless face. You’ll receive a cheek brush, two eyeshadow brushes, and an eyebrow brush/comb. It also arrives in a compact and convenient carrying case to protect the brushes. 

The Hiroshima Artist Brush Manufacturing Co has been producing brushes since 1869 and values traditional Japanese brushes. Also, they’ve been crafting every brush imaginable, whether it be for makeup, painting, or calligraphy.

The bristles are soft but sturdy, and they will gently caress all the contours on your face. The handle is comfortable to hold so that you can maintain your grip during makeup application. It’s also a beautiful set that beginners and professionals will love.

Follow the Hiroshima Artist Brush Manufacturing Co’s instructions to maintain the quality of these brushes. 

Final Thoughts 

Japanese makeup brushes are beautiful products to invest in if you’re tired of other brushes breaking down. You may also achieve a more professional finish, which can elevate your beauty regimen.

Will you be trying Japanese makeup brushes? 

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