Jun 28, 2011

are these the best brushes ever? - and a great great great blog!!

i've been splurging big time on some brushes over the last months. let me warn you that this post won't cover the review for them - it's more like a preview for the next few days.
these are RMK and ÍPSA brushes, japanese brands.
but to tell you about how i discovered them, i have to introduce a blog to you first.

i want to tell you about this fantastic blog i have been reading all the time over the last month:
Ars Aromatica.
i don't know why i just recently discovered this blog although it exists since 2008. Dain, one of the authors of this blog probably is in the top 3 most competent persons that i've came across so far when it comes to ... well, anything beauty-related. reading her blog opened my eyes in many ways, it's like reading in a really good book about beauty.
if you seriously want to know the real basics about make up i strongly recommend you this blog.
i can't say enough good things about Ars Aromatica - it felt to me like when i discovered Lisa Eldrigde on youtube. like you found a gold nugget in the mass of pebbles. her "The Beauty Primer" series simply is genius. period.
for example i have enjoyed her post about make up brushes soo much - the best article i have read about this topic ever.
if you want to follow this blog, you can subscribe to her posts via atom or use the "follow" tag on your blogger navigation bar (i can't find GFC or Bloglovin' on your blog, Dain).

ok, back to the brushes: i came across the RMK brushes and Chikuhodo as a well known japanese brush manufacturer through Dain's post on brushes, i browsed the official website of Chikuhodo a bit and was really tempted to order their top-notch Z-Series brushes. they produce brushes for RMK, Shiseido, Kanebo, SUQQU (which i wanted anyway) and many other high end brands. unfortunately i can't speak or read japanese and the google translator doesn't help much when it comes to search for the contact form to order...
so i thought: well, i could buy some OEM brushes from them to try and since SUQQU is incredibly expensive (about 180£ for the face brush :( - i'll get 'ya someday! i would have bought them if Selfridges London wouldn't charge 56£ only for the shipping and they were sold at a much higher price point on ichibankao.com (for example the face brush would be ~300€) - but this is another topic) i went for RMK - the brushes look great on every online pic anyway.
then i found another online store that offers japanese high end brands and most important: these brushes at a reasonable price (about 50$ per brush on an average) - they ship for free on orders over 30$. they have tons of other cool stuff - check out bonboncosmetics.com!.
RMK is also sold in the UK, i have often seen their products on popular uk-online shops (but never the brushes -.-) and Wayne Goss (Gossmakeupartist on youtube) had mentioned their products many times.
let me tell you for now that these brushes are serious  - i would rate them on the same level as the luxury brushes by Hakuhodo, maybe slightly above Trish McEvoy, a mile above most brushes by MAC. the japanese know about their artisanry!
prepare for a few brush-posts in the next days ;)

if you have tried them or these brands in general, please leave a comment so we can talk a bit ;)


  1. Great! I enjoy reading your brushes posts the most :-) I have a few japanese brushes, mainly kanebo and shu umeura. I find their brushes are super soft, to a point that it lacks a bit of resistance when I blend..Do you have this issue? Look forward to your thoughts on the RMK brushes, they look absolutely divine.

  2. Can't wait to read your reviews! These brushes look amazing! Are the handles short?

  3. Looking forward to read your favorite blog ;) Who are the two others? Looking forward to your brush reviews!

  4. You got me hooked ;o)
    Maybe you are interested in sharing the Sefridges shipping costs, as I die to get my hands on Suquu Brushes at least one. Bad Lisa created such a lemming in raving about these bad guys :o(

    So far I´m gone...to Ars Aromatica...

  5. Wow... I was so embarrassed I left the room, lest the computer see I was blushing. : )

    Thank you so much for your kind words. I discovered your blog while I was researching brushes, so I can't help but return the compliment. I don't do any networking, just whether people enjoy reading the blog, or not. I'm not quite sure how it got there, but here is the bloglovin' link.

    I too wish Chikuhodo and their OEM were more accessible (I got RMK in Korea). I've been lemming those Suqqu brushes for ever. I'm looking forward to your reviews. Brush posts are so interesting.

  6. I should have mentioned this before, but she (Rumiko, the creator of RMK) makes some interesting glitter eyeshadows, including a couple of golds and a pretty violet. They're quite ethereal for glitter, and strike me as very Japanese.

  7. Ich warte auf deine Review!!!
    Die Pinsel sehen sehr gut aus!
    LG! :)

  8. Hey,
    i have been reading your blog for the last few weeks and I'm really fascinated about your knowledge. Thats why I have a question ;) I know you are not that fond of mac brushes but i have a gift certificate for one and so i was thinking if you maybe have a suggestion for a good one for applying blush. That would be awesome :)

  9. Very interesting... I love Japanese brushes! I have a Shu Uemura Pony and the Suqqu blusher. At first I loved my Shu above all, but it isn't even close to the Suqqu one. My boyfriend went to London not too long ago and I ordered him to bring this brush home for me, I love it so much!! I will be doing a review on it soon. Oh and thanks to you I ordered some a'squirrel brushes as well, can't wait to get them!!

  10. FYI, Chikuhodo only ship domestically, unlike Hakuhodo, they are relatively small and only focusing on OEM and domestic market.
    I helped a friend to get Z-8 and she loves it to bits while I'm getting the Z-2 and Z-10 pretty soon. But for practicality, I'd go for the SV series...
    So far Suqqu's served me well :) Although I think it's best to use in colder time and if you have oily/combo skin, I don't recommend you getting pure squirrel or Chikuhodo Z-series. I've done some posts on brushes and the differences of application but I think RMK will serve you well (face brushes).
    Otherwise, I've currently acquired Lunasol eye brush (L) as a shader, it's Chikuhodo OEM too.
    Glad that you are enjoying your brushes :) x

  11. Hey, do you have a link to where you ordered your rose gold pigment sample? thanks xo

  12. @rei: oh, kanebo and shu also tickle me ;) yes, the point with these soft brushes are their low resistance.

    @productdoctor: yes, the handles are short. i find this is the case with many asian brushes. although i really dislike it for the brush holder, the short handles are really easy to use as a near-sighted ;)
    i think the short handles are only inconvenient for professional usage.

    @flyavsted: it's really a great one! i can't even put my finger on the other two right now haha - maybe lisa eldridge being one of them?

    @aureolis: yeah, it's all her fault!
    sorry, i can't afford those brushes within the next few months... and if i would order them, i would order at least 3 or 4 brushes at once. but i think the only way to cope with the high shipping costs is to share them ;)

    @dain:hey, come into the spotlight, your blog needs to be honored! i also love brush posts the most, i always check newly discovered blogs for their brush posts ;)
    i'm really curious about some of RMK's foundations (and blushes and eyeshadows)...did you try them?

    @karo: ich hoffe ich krieg es bis zum wochenende online ;)

    @carolin: thank you very much for your appreciation! i find mac does really good eye brushes. my essentials would be 219, 242, 217. for blush brush i always liked their 116 the most. the 129 was always too big for me and i'm not a fan of duo fibre brushes, so the 187/188 get dismissed ;) there is also the angled 168, it's made of white goat hair and is the softest (natural hair) blush brush by mac, but i blend my blush in circular motions so i prefer a symmetrical shape.

    @evelien: don't tempt me with the suqqu! i'm dying! oh, and i would very much appreciate it if you could compare the softness of a'squirrel and suqqu when you get them, only a short comment under any post. but why do you need any other brushes if you have suqqu! you lucky one!

    @poseylass: oh, and you're also such a bad one! i've been checking out your blog all morning and was drrrroooooling over your suqqus!!!!!!!!!
    maybe i will have to travel to tokyo only for the suqqu & chikuhodo Z-brushes next year...

    @anonymous: you just need to type in "mac rose gold pigment" into the ebay search engine. my seller came from germany and was called wirth something. i don't know if they ship worldwide.

  13. The foundation is quite thin and fluid, easy to sheer out, but not striking; among Asian brands, I rate Kanebo Lunasol foundations the highest (powder, liquid, cream). The primers are nice, though. The RMK palette is very candylike and feminine (blushes, eyeshadows, and lipsticks), a lot of pastels and sparkle, rather than geared towards neutrals, and tends to be more seasonal than most brands.

  14. vielen dank für die empfehlung von ars aromatica! der blog ist eine regelrechte offenbarung, hab gestern erstmal fünf stunden gelesen ;)
    dain, your blog ist wonderful. you definitely got me hooked.
    lg kaddi

  15. lol it's funny you did an RMK brush post because i was just looking for blogs that discuss them and yours came up. i happened to do a review on the Chikuhodo z-8 brush the day after u did this review. LOL.

    lovely taste in makeup, especially brushes :)

  16. hi panties!
    i would love to get my hands on some chikuhodo brush, have them on my wish list for quite a while now. how could you order yours? or do you live in japan? (i thought they wouldn't ship overseas)

  17. a friend of mine got it for me. i don't travel to japan. :*(

  18. you lucky one ;) i need to figure out a way to get them...


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