Renowned in the beauty industry as the best in brushes and a Good Design Award winner, Hakuhodo's line features premium bristles and first-rate craftsmanship. NYC-based makeup artist Jessa Blades, champion of organic products and founder of Blades Natural Beauty, tipped CH to the line recently, highly recommending the handmade brushes for their quality.
The company's blue chip status comes from the traditional techniques of their Japanese brush-making heritage, which they put to use for a variety of styles. Made from natural hair—ranging from Blue Squirrel to weasel—their output includes the S100 Series (top), the Kokutan Series (above left, right), which includes standard and portable brushes, and private label brushes for cosmetics companies.
The line also offers a few non-makeup brushes with the Japanese Traditions collection (above left), modelled after traditional art brushes.
Vetted for the highest quality hair, artisans make the brushes in Hakuhodo's factory in Kumano, Japan using a traditional sculpting method that leaves the superfine hair tips intact for superior makeup application. After removing crooked and low-quality hairs from each brush with a special hand-sorting technique, the brush is sculpted into a mountain shape angled to follow the contours of a face. The result is a brush that not only performs but is easy to use, and (as Hakuhodo cites as their mission), "the perfect tool."
The brushes sell online directly from Hakuhodo with prices ranging from $11 to $100 and more.