A Guide To Japanese Makeup Brushes | Choosing The Best Japanese Makeup Brushes

by Takashi Nomoni
japanese makeup brushes

Get the ultimate guide to Japanese makeup brushes from a professional makeup artist. Learn about the different types of brushes, how to use them, and where to buy the best quality brushes.

Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, Japanese makeup brushes are essential for flawless makeup application. As a professional makeup artist with over 10 years of experience, I’ve used all the different types of makeup brushes on the market, and Japanese brushes are by far my favorite. They’re made with high-quality materials, and they’re incredibly soft and gentle on the skin.

In this guide, I’ll share everything you need to know about Japanese makeup brushes, including the different types, how to use them, and where to buy the best quality brushes.

Top Makeup Brushes From Japan: Quick Summary

Best Japanese Make-Up BrushesUsage
Best Hakuhodo Brushesfull makeup
Kumano Mizuho Japanese Makeup Brush Gift Set With 4 Brushesfull makeup
Hakuhodo Basic Selection Makeup Brush Set of 6full makeup
Ai (Love) Japanese Natural Makeup Brush Kit With 8 Brushesfull makeup
Yoshiwara Japanese Wide Makeup Brushfoundation application
Koyudo Cheeks Makeup BrushCheek glam
Kumano Powder Makeup Brush By Chikuhodopowder dabbing brush
Shiseido Professional Perfect Foundation Makeup Brushfoundation application
Youshiwara Japanese Flat Makeup brushtouch up brush
Shiseido Hanatsubaki Hake Polishing Face Makeup Brushface polishing

Which Is The Best Japanese Makeup Brushes

Best Hakuhodo Brushes is a ten-piece brush set empowers you to achieve the outcome that you want. These Hakuhodo makeup brushes will definitely make your everyday makeup routine enjoyable and fun. The brush set comes in four different colors – Glossy-Black, Champagne Gold, Silver, and White. The set comes in a lovely case that you will not be able to trade for anything else. It’s available to buy on Amazon

Hakuhodo Brushes – Top Japanese Makeup Brushes

This ten-piece brush set empowers you to achieve the outcome that you want. These Hakuhodo makeup brushes will definitely make your everyday makeup routine enjoyable and fun.

The brush set comes in four different colors – Glossy-Black, Champagne Gold, Silver, and White. The set comes in a lovely case that you will not be able to trade for anything else.

Best japanese makeup brushes

Japanese makeup brushes Hakuhodo offers some of the best Japanese makeup brushes. While you’re browsing for Hakuhodo brushes, also check out the Hakuhodo sakura brush set – which is just absolutely gorgeous!

If you love makeup, this is one set that you definitely need in your vanity box.

Related: Style your eyebrows to perfection with these amazing Japanese eyebrow pencils!

Kumano Mizuho Japanese Makeup Brush Gift Set With 4 Brushes

This luxurious set comes with five brushes that feel and look super luxurious. It comes in a gift set, so if you’re looking to gift your makeup artist friend something he or she will adore, this is what you should get.

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You can also gift this to yourself because, believe me, you will not be able to part with this once you use these.

The brushes are manufactured by Mizuho Brush, which is a well-known manufacturer of handmade decorative brushes in Japan. Mizuho Brush is famous for being among the primary producers of makeup and cleaning brushes and is known for making some of the best Japanese makeup brushes in the market

This Japanese handmade makeup brushes set has the natural hair of various creatures for the bristles. The hair for the bristles is chosen by keeping in mind the area of application.

Related: Along with your favorite makeup brushes get some of these Japanese beauty products that are worth every penny!

Hakuhodo Basic Selection Makeup Brush Set of 6

This is a very beautiful makeup brush set by Hakuhodo. It has been made in such a way that it beautifully sculpts your face and is the best bet if you want your highlighter to shine bright – like a diamond. It’s one of the best makeup brush set for beginners.

The bristles of this brush have been carefully made to provide resilience. The special built of this Japanese makeup brush also ensures that you get the most out of your vivid colors; this brush helps in getting the brightest colors onto your face.

best japanese makeup brushes

Even with all of these benefits, you will never see the brush declining in its ability to perform exceptionally. It will remain soft and fluffy and give you a finish that you will want to keep looking at.

This is a great and convenient makeup tool that has been designed for daily use.

Related: Here are amazing Japanese mascaras for long luscious lashes!

Ai (Love) Japanese Natural Makeup Brush Kit With 8 BrushesBest Japanese Makeup Brush

This is a high-end makeup brushes kit and one of the best Japanese makeup brushes you’ll encounter. It comes from Hiroshima, Japan. If you want to pamper your face and give your makeup palette the love it deserves, this is the set you should go for.

Ai (Love) produces some of the best makeup brushes in the market. And they’re all definitely considered some of the best Japanese makeup brushes for their high quality, design, and price.

Best makeup brushes

This set is advocated by the professional makeup artists of New York. The brushes have a beautiful red handle that looks luxurious and chic. The bristles of the brushes are made using premium pony hair that is gentle on your skin.

The set comes with four brushes that are enough to do your makeup perfectly.

Related: Here are beauty products from best J-beauty brands you cannot miss!

Yoshiwara Japanese Wide Makeup Brush – Best Japanese Handmade Makeup Brushes

This is unlike any ordinary makeup brush; the make of the brush is such that it helps you make bold shapes and enhance your most notable features with ease.

This is one of the best Japanese makeup brushes because bristles of the brush have slight imprints around the borders that make using this brush so easy.

This Japanese makeup brush is handmade in Japan using the traditional Tan-Itabake style. This style of the brush has been in use for over 400 years in Japan; this design has been used by Japanese geishas, maikos, and kabuki performers.

Japanese handmade makeup brushes

It is an all-around makeup brush that lets you apply liquid and powder foundation as well as face masks with a lot of ease and control. Since it is extra wide, it helps to distribute makeup evenly with broad coverage.

Related: Here are amazing Japanese sunscreens for different skin types. Check it out!

KOYUDO Collection Cheek BrushSaikoho Goat Hair Makeup Brush

This cheek brush from the Koyudo collection is extremely powder-absorbent and is made of goat hair. The goat hair makeup brush used here is of the highest quality hair called Saikoho. The bristles are super-soft and don’t irritate your skin. This makeup brush is perfect for making color gradiation. 


Its handle is made of natural wood, which makes it look really luxurious. What’s more, it comes with a gift box so it’s perfect for gifting as well!

Related: Deep cleanse your skin to get rid of all impurities with these nourishing Japanese cleansing oils!

Kumano Brush (Kumano Fude) Powder Makeup Brushes By Chikuhodo

The Kumano brush by Chikuhodo can be used for applying both loose and pressed powders. It has a rounded shape so it the brush moves smoothly against your skin. It’s made of goat hair and feels soft against your skin. 

Amazon Japan

To get rid of excess powder, just tap the brush before applying the powder. Use the brush in soft, sweeping motion against your cheeks for the best results. 

Related: Keep your lips soft and supple with these moisturizing Japanese lip balms!

Shiseido Professional Perfect Foundation Makeup Brush


This is one of the best Japanese makeup brushes. It works really well with liquid foundation. It’s shape and size make it easy to fill in the wrinkles. The size of the handle makes it easy for application as well. And the bristles of the brush feel great against the skin and gives a smooth finish. 

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Related: Check out these eyebrow pencils for perfectly shaped eyebrows!

Yoshiwara Japanese Makeup Brush


Yoshiwara Japanese makeup brush is made of white goat fur and its handle is made from aromatic Japanese hinoki cypress. This makeup brush is multi-functional and can be used for applying liquid foundation, powder, as well as masks.

This flat brush is tapered around the edges so it works really well if you want to use it as a contouring brush as well! Moreover, it has a long handle so it gives you more control when you contour

Related: Check out these Japanese eyelash curlers for fluttery lashes!

Shiseido Hanatsubaki Hake Polishing Face Brush

Shiseido’s Hanatsubaki Hake polishing face brush is one of the brand’s latest designs. The makeup brush has 4 petals for optimal skin contact. It’s probably the best brush for buffing and leaves you with a smooth and polished finish. The bristles are super-soft and feels great against your skin! 

shisiedo hanatsubaki
Amazon Japan

To use the brush, swirl the brush on the product and in circular motions buff onto to the skin for a polished finish. You can use this brush with liquid and cream makeup. It’s the perfect brush to blend your makeup on the face and neck regions for a seamless look.

HAKUHODO Brush Set 3 pcs 

Japanese makeup brush

This is a 3 piece brush set that can be used for face foundation, eyeshadow and kohl. The two small ones work really well for eye makeup and the biggest wand is used for face perfections. The bristles of the brushes are extremely soft and glides smoothly on the face. 

These makeup brushes are vegan and cruelty free. The best part about these brushes are they’re travel sized and compact. You can use it while doing your daily makeup and it’ll long for a long time. 

Kabuki Makeup Brush

makeup brush

This is a really ergonomic brush which is super easy to use especially for foundation, bb cream, body tanner, face powder etc. The non-slip design makes it easy to control and the soft synthetic fiber easily applies makeup on the face without leaving streaks or patches. 

The high density of fibre helps in easy blending. This makeup brush is unique and a must have from Japan. It’s compact size makes it travel friendly. 

Related: Cover up blemishes to create a seamless palette for your makeup with these Japanese concealers. Check it out!

Japanese Makeup Brushes Vs Normal Makeup Brushes 

The main difference between Japanese makeup brushes and normal makeup brushes is that the bristles of some of the best Japanese makeup brushes are made from natural hair from animals like squirrel, goat, weasel, or horse.

But with most natural makeup brushes you’ll find that the bristles are made of synthetic fibers made of polyester, PBT, Nylon, PPT, etc. Japanese makeup brushes are extremely soft on the skin and since it uses natural hairs, its bristles pick up the finest grain of the powder, thanks to the cuticles present in the animal hair. Whereas synthetic fibers are not as soft and don’t pick up the powder as good as natural makeup brushes do.

How To Choose Makeup Brushes?

There are two ways in which you can choose the makeup brush – based on your skin type and based on the result you want to achieve.

  • Based On Skin Type
Skin TypeBest Makeup Brush Type
Oily SkinMakeup brush with goat hair bristles
Dry SkinMakeup brush squirrel hair bristles

If you want to choose a makeup brush based on your skin type, you need to know if your skin is oily or dry. If you have oily skin, you need to choose a Japanese makeup brush that has bristles made out of goat hair since it is a more durable option for you.

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Japanese brushes, as we know, are very delicate and need special care. For people with oily skin, you need a brush that will remain in good condition even after repeated washing.

If you have dry skin, you can choose a brush made of squirrel hair since this is very delicate and will not cause flaking on your skin due to dryness.

Many brushes make dryness worse, but this is the brush that will take away all those worries. Also, since you have a dry face, there is less dirt and less oil so you do not need to wash your brush as often.

  • Based On Desired Look
Desired Look Makeup Brush Type
Natural look Makeup brush with goat hair bristles
Dramatic look Makeup brush squirrel hair bristles

If you want brushes based on the results you want to achieve, you need to first understand if you want a natural look or a dramatic look. Different animal hair is designed and structured in such a way that they pick up pigments differently. So brushes that have more irregular bristles like goat hair will give you a more dramatic and bold look.

On the other hand, softer bristles that are made of squirrel hair will give you a more natural and subtle look. One thing with makeup is for sure that you won’t know unless you try. So go on, experiment with your favorite makeup brushes and create different, fun looks!

Types Of Japanese Makeup Brushes

Let’s talk about the different types of Japanese makeup brushes you need to get first!

  • Foundation Brush
foundation brush

With a gentle taper and less full, foundation brushes and usually flat. If you use liquid or cream foundation, this type of foundation brush is best. To apply foundation using a foundation brush, first take some foundation on back of your hand, swirl it around using your foundation brush. If you need to use multiple foundation colors to get your color, you can mix it in here. Now use the foundation brush to apply the foundation on your face.

  • Powder Brush
powder brush

A powder brush is a full, thick brush. It has soft, fluffy bristles. This type of Japanese makeup brush is used to apply compact or loose powder. To apply compact of lose powder using powder brush, dip the powder brush in the powder, tap off the excess powder and apply it to your face in quick circular motions.

  • Concealer Brush

Concealer brush, as the name suggests, is used to apply concealer to your face. It has a flat, small head. You can use this to apply cream or liquid concealer. To apply concealer using this type of brush, dip the concealer brush in the concealer and then apply to concerned areas.

concealer brush
  • Bronzer Brush and Blush Brush
bronzer brush

Contour brush is a fluffy, soft brush that’s circular and can be used to apply bronzer and blush, sometimes even highlighter.

  • Contour Brush

A contour brush is always angled with dense but soft bristles. You use this type of brush when contouring your face to enhance your cheekbones and to make your face look thinner.

contour brush

Eyeliner Brush

The eyeliner brush has rigid and dense bristles with a flat tip. You can neatly apply eyeliner using an eyeliner brush.

eyeliner brush
  • Eyeshadow Brushes

There are two types of eyeshadow brushes you should know about: Flat eyeshadow and eyeshadow blending brush.

Flat eyeshadow brush is a medium sized brush that’s flat and you use it to apply eyeshadow over the eyelids. The Eyessadow blending brush, as the name suggests, is used to blend in all the different eyeshadow layers together.

Top Japanese Makeup Brushes: FAQs

What Is The Best Brand Of Japanese Makeup Brushes?

Hakuhodo Japanese makeup brushes are the best brand of Japanese makeup brushes! It’s light and easy it is to use. The design of the brush is easy to handle and the bristles feel gentle on the skin.

Is Hakuhodo cruelty-free?

Hakuhodo makeup brushes are cruelty-free as its raw materials are sourced from cruelty-free suppliers. All the makeup brushes by this brand are handmade in Kumano.

Are Japanese Makeup Brushes Good?

Japanese makeup brushes are the world’s best makeup brushes. Most Japanese makeup brushes are handmade and are absolute beauty. The brushes are designed so it’s easy to hold and use. Since Japanese makeup brushes use natural hairs and the thinner tip is placed on the top (the part that comes in contact with your skin), the brush feels extremely soft against your skin and won’t irritate your skin.
Also, Japanese makeup brushes are designed using a mix of goat, horse, squirrel, and weasel’s natural hairs. It’s also designed based on application and skin type – this allows you to get the required look and finish you like – airbrushed, soft or dramatic look, there’s a Japanese makeup brush for each style.

What are Japanese brushes made of?

Japanese brushes are made with specific types of animal hair according to what the brushes are going to be used for. Most common hair used are squirrel, pony, weasel, sable and PBT synthetic hair for making Japanese makeup brushes. 

Are Hakuhodo brushes worth it?

Yes, Hakuhodo brushes are worth it. They might be a little expensive but they’re of great quality. If you’re looking to upgrade your makeup products, you can go for Hakuhodo products. They’re basic yet very easy to use and work great while applying makeup.

Also Read:

  1. Get your skin makeup ready with these nourishing Japanese BB creams!
  2. Take care of your skin with these amazing Japanese night moisturizers!
  3. Keep that excess sebum in control with these Japanese moisturizers specially formulated for oily skin!

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