Chikuhodo Takumi T-8 and T-9 Brushes

Thursday, December 22, 2016

 I've been blogging for so long (7th bloggaversary crept past me last month, how crazy is that) that a clear pattern of my shopping habits has emerged. Every year without fail, I go through an indie eye shadow phase, I vow to start (and subsequently abandon) a serum with Vitamin C, and I buy some handcrafted brushes. I'm a little ahead of schedule this year, having already splurged a bit on brushes well before the new year.

CDJapan had a deal offering free shipping on brush orders over ¥10,000 (~$85) so I chose this opportunity to order some Chikuhodo and Koyudo fude. From the Chikuhodo Takumi series, these two particular brushes caught my eye, which these days is no small feat.

The two brushes are a bit lighter than I would like (heft, I like heft) but very convenient for traveling. I was very, very drawn to how these look; is the red lettering against the matte black handle and ferrule not striking?

Chikuhodo T-9

As soon as I laid my internet eyes on this XL brow brush. I wanted it.  Far from being intimidated by the size, I was eager to see if the size of the bristle footprint meant that I could use this brush to both fill in and subjugate my stiff, wiry brows. 

 From left to right: Sephora Collection Pro #15 Brow Comb, Sephora Collection Pro #22,  Smashbox Angled Brow Brush #12, Chikuhodo T-9

I have this issue where when filling in my eyebrows, one of them always seems to become more curved in appearance. I think it's because with a smaller brush, my instinct is to make short "sketching" motions, which all too easy become rounded. With the T-9, I go about filling my brows in a completely different way. After picking up some brow powder with the bristles, I tap into the areas that need to be filled in, rather than any brush strokes. Then after wiping off the remainder of the powder, I use the clean-ish brush to make elongated strokes that force my brow hairs into submission and apply some sort of fixative (usually Tweezerman Brow Mousse, big fan of that stuff). I like this brush quite a bit for my arched brow shape, but I think that if I was rocking a strong straight brow, I would flat out love it.

You should know that this brush becomes much fluffier after being washed. Too fluffy and disorderly to draw fine lines without some sort of treatment - my solution has been to lightly slick the bristles into place with a tiny helping of brow wax. Here I'm using NYX Brow Shaper because it's very soft and just a few swipes onto the sides of the bristles primes the brush perfectly.

 Chikuhdo T-8

While I have shorter, smaller versions of this brush, I found that nothing I had was quite this tapered.

Left to right: Chikuhodo T-8, ArtNet 123, Hakuhodo B533BkSL, Rock & Republic Defining Brush

The T-8 could be more dense. I use it to add more depth to the crease or to smudge color around the outer corner of the eye, into the lower lashes. Whenever I use this brush, I can't help but feel like it gives a little too much with every stroke. I think packing another 25% worth of hairs would keep the brush from feeling like the bristles sway too much. However, it could just be that I'm not used to how soft the white goat bristles are - I don't have many white goat eye brushes that aren't the puffy blending type.

Side note: the man whose name is printed upon these brushes, Tesshyu Takemori, is the founder and master artisan of Chikuhodo. Here's an interesting (though poorly written) article  on him.

Does one need these brushes? Well in the world of luxury brushes, "need" is hardly a word I toss around. Especially when the brush in question is $30+. I do enjoy them, though the T-9 brow brush more so than the T-8.

You can find Chikuhodo Takumi series brushes through CDJapan and through Beautylish. While Beautylish has higher prices, the free shipping threshold is much lower (orders over $35).

What are your favorite pencil and brow brushes? Are there any other Chikuhodo brushes that have left you with a favorable impression that you'd recommend?

Products featured were purchased by me, for my own use. Post contains affiliate links. For additional information, please refer to my Disclosure Policy.

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