Ultimate Guide to Chikuhodo makeup brush series

Ultimate Guide to Chikuhodo makeup brush series

If you are exhausted from the long search for the best Japanese makeup brushes, we at A-Janaika Japan have created this ultimate guide to the Chikuhodo Makeup Brushes series. (we were confused in the beginning as well!). Whether this is your first time hearing about Chikuhodo, the Chikuhodo Makeup Brush Series, or you are a long time dedicated fan to the brand, this article will be useful to you as you search for your “soulmate” in makeup brushes.

First of all, Chikuhodo is based in Hiroshima and is one of the largest crafters of handmade Kumano makeup brushes. Kumano brushes originate from the Kumano region of Hiroshima and require years of training to perfect the methods used to create the exquisite brushes. Kumano is known to be more durable of makeup brushes so if one invests in a handcrafted set of Kumano brushes from a Chikuhodo series, they might last you a lifetime.

Chikuhodo’s brushes (Regular series)

Chikuhodo is an OEM manufacturer that supplies high-end makeup brands such as SUQQU, Shiseido, Kanebo, and Kose. They are now one of the most respected makeup brush artisans around the world. In this blog, we will cover three kinds of models to Chikuhodo brushes and each of the unique series within the models. Each series is very specific to the target user but we have specified which kind of makeup fanatic should buy which series.

Chikuhodo Makeup Brush Series overview:

High-end Model:

#1 best-selling Chikuhodo brush, Z-9 Powder brush – $149

Basic Models:

Limited Edition Models:

Each Makeup brush series is detailed in an image, release date, description, set availability and recommended customer.

Take your time browsing through this guide and we hope that you refer to it as a reference throughout your shopping of the highest quality Chikuhodo makeup brush series.

High-end Models

High-End Models are all designed by the second generation head of Chikuhodo, Takemori Tesshyu. The quality is indisputable, and this has contributed to their popularity. The Chikuhodo Z-series is the most popular of the series and even won the fude lover’s choice award in 2017. In contrast, the Maki-e is famous for its beauty and Japonesque allure. Purchase of Chikuhodo High-end models will distinguish a casual makeup brush collector from an experienced cosmetician.

Chikuhodo Z-Series

CHIKUHODO Z-series brushes
CHIKUHODO Z-series brushes with Z-11 as the newest addition!

Release Date: 2014

Description of Series: The most sought-for of the Chikuhodo brushes, this popular brush series lives up to its reputation. They are renowned for their quality, lightweight feel, and delicate touch to the skin. Each brush in the Z series is created using 100% grey squirrel hair, with each hair hand-picked by a team of specialists. The bristles are left uncut, allowing for the silkiest feel possible. Designed by Tesshyu Takemori.

Availability: Comes in 4, 6 and 8 piece sets with a lip, eyeshadow, eyeliner, cheek, powder, contour and highlighter brushes available.
*Z-11 Eyeshadow blending brush was released in 2018 as the newest addition to the brush series.

Recommended customer: For those with Sensitive Skin and a high budget who would like to experience the very best series from Chikuhodo.

Chikuhodo Takumi T-series

Chikuhodo T-series with its natural, undyed Goat hair brushes

Release Date: 2014

Description of Series: Made with Saikoho goat hair, which is the highest quality of goat hair. The bristles are soft yet firm and are not dyed to honor the original white color of the goat hair. The designer Tesshyu Takemori has his name painted on the matte black handle in a red insignia. This makeup brush series is hard to miss.

Availability: Available in a 10 piece set with powder, foundation, cheek, highlight, eyeshadow (L, M, S), eyebrow, and lip brushes available. Comes with a sleek black bag with pouches for the individual brushes.

Recommended Customer: For those who want a soft yet firm makeup application and who have a higher budget. E.g. affluent career women

Chikuhodo GSN series

Chikuhodo GSN series with its elegant gold ferrule and white handle
Chikuhodo GSN series with its elegant gold ferrule and white handle

Release Date: 2013

Description of Series: The GSN is the new (n stands for “new”) edition of the older GS Chikuhodo series. Sets include a mixture of Sokouhou goat and blue squirrel bristles (remember “g” for goat and “s” for squirrel). GSN is recognizable by the white handle and metallic gold ferrule.

Set Availability: The series comes in 4, 6, 9 piece set (elegant black tie-up pouch included). Lip, screw, eyebrow, shadow liner, eye shadow, liquid foundation, highlight, cheek, powder brushes available for individual purchase as well.

Recommended Customer: For those who want to buy Chikuhodo brushes with long handles but enjoy contemporary makeup brands and application styles. E.g. Modern day businesswomen.

Chikuhodo Maki-e MK-series

Chikuhodo Collaborated with Maki-e lacquer company to make this series possible.
Chikuhodo Collaborated with Maki-e lacquer company to make this exquisite series possible.

Release Date: 2016

Description of Series: Arguably the most aesthetically pleasing of the Chikuhodo series. The handles are the defining feature with beautifully painted peony and sakura flowers on the black lacquer. Made from squirrel hair, densely packed to ensure even finishes to your makeup.

Availability: Portable lip, cheek, and powder brushes. Basic Powder brush model has three kinds of maki-e art to choose from. Also available, 2 different kinds of Makeup Brush Maki-e boxes in black, red, and beige.

Recommended Customer: For those who would like a very “Japonesque” handle due to the Maki-e art with all the power of a soft, yet firm powder brush. E.g. Japan fanatics, Art lovers

UPDATE: Chikuhodo released a Makie Moon Rabbit Brush, inspired by the legendary folktale. Sold out in almost all resellers.

Chikuhodo Artist Series

Chikuhodo's professional makeup brush series for makeup artist
Chikuhodo’s professional makeup brush series for a makeup artist

Release Date: 2015
Description of Series: This series provides over 30 brushes for cosmeticians and makeup experts. Different handles are included in the series such as short red colored handles for precise application.

Availability: Short and Long handles available depending on brush: Lip (4 varieties), Brush and Comb, Screw, Shadow Liner (2 varieties), Eyebrow Brush (3 varieties), Eyeshadow (9 varieties and 1 shadow sponge), Finishing brush, cheek (5 varieties), Powder (8 varieties)

Recommended Customer: Makeup artists and those who will apply makeup in a variety of styles. E.g. cosmeticians

The Basic models

Basic models are highly diverse series of brushes. In each series, you will find a variety of brushes to suit a diverse, more contemporary form of makeup application. Different colors are introduced as well as 100% synthetic animal-free bristles, even retractable options are available. These models are for those who have high-end needs with a lower budget and a variety of creative ideas that can only be applied with a wide variety of brushes.

Chikuhodo Regular R-series

Chikuhodo R & RR series makeup brushes
Chikuhodo Regular series makeup brushes with a Red handle

Release Date: 2014

Description of Series: The brush series employs 35 brushes in two different colors: red and blue. The series covers basic needs of makeup application but with the highest quality available.

Availability: Recommended Customer: Those who would like to buy Chikuhodo brushes but who have a very specific area they would like to apply makeup to. E.g. Minimalists who need very specific brushes and nothing else

Chikuhodo Passion PS-series

Chikuhodo Passion series brushes with pink gloss finish handle!
Passion series brush with pink gloss finish handle!

Release Date: 2015

Description of Series: The most fun series of brushes from Chikuhodo. Sokoho Goat hair bristles are paired with a glossy magenta pink handle that symbolizes “passion” for beauty and a desire to allure. If the set is purchased, all of the Passion series brushes are included.

Availability: 7 piece brush set with a glossy pink pouch. Lip, Edge, Eyebrow, Eyeshadow, Highlight, Cheek, and Powder brushes available.

Recommended Customer: For those who would like a comprehensive set and are looking to create looks from natural glows to dramatic pouts. Also for those who care about having the brush handle stand out with matching pink pouch available. E.g. Fashionistas, Actresses, students with a higher budget. (Keep in mind it is goat hair and less soft than squirrel brushes)

Chikuhodo BP series

Chikuhodo BP series with its minimalist look
Chikuhodo BP series with its minimalist look

Release Date: 2015

Description of Series: Designed based on feedback from customers and makeup artists. The makeup brush series has a distinct silver ferrule and black handle.

Availability: Set of 8 pieces with three-fold black tie up pouch. Powder, Cheek, Highlight, 3 Eyeshadow, Shadow Liner, eyebrow brushes.

Recommended Customer: Minimalists or for those who would like to buy a set with many eye brushes. Also for those who would like a series tailored to customer reviews.

Chikuhodo G series (Short Handle)

Chikuhodo G series is someone who seek for compact makeup brushes
Chikuhodo G series is someone who seeks for compact makeup brushes

Description of Series: This series is distinct due to the short handles which allow for faster application with the faster application. Made from a variety of fur including goat, squirrel, and weasel. Includes liquid foundation brushes.

Availability: Sets of 3, 5, 8, each with specially designed cases. Cheek, 2 Screw, Liner, 2 Liquid foundation, Contour, 2 Powder, Lip, Eyebrow, Shadow liner, 2 Eyeshadow, Cheek/Highlight, Powder/Cheek brushes available for individual purchase.

Recommended Customer: For women who enjoy liquid foundation and would like to buy smaller sets of Chikuhodo brushes.

Chikuhodo Artificial – AF series

Artificial series uses synthetic, 100% animal-free material
Artificial series uses synthetic, 100% animal-free material

Release Date: 2016

Description of Series: 100% animal-free synthetic fiber that recreates the illusion of a delicate Chikuhodo touch. Uses the corn-based material in an effort to be environmentally friendly. Silver is also used for antimicrobial advantages.

Availability: Lip, Foundation, Blush, Powder, Eyebrow, Eyeliner, Cheek brushes available. Sold individually.

Recommended Customer: For those who are Animal-free conscious buyers who would like to use a high-quality makeup brush without animal hair. Also for those with sensitive skin due to the microbial effect of the brushes. E.g. Millenials, Animal Lovers, Veterinarians

Chikuhodo Retractable K-series

Chikuhodo K-series for your compact traveling companion!
Chikuhodo K-series for your compact traveling companion!

Release Date: 2016

Description of Series: metallic, portable series with 6 brushes (lip, eyebrow, eyeliner, eyeshadow, powder, cheek brushes). Made from Soukouhou goat, and weasel fur. Each handle is labeled with its functional purpose.

Availability: A 6-piece set is available. Powder, Lip, Liner, Eyebrow, Eye Shadow, and cheek brush available.

Recommended Customer: For those who want a less expensive set, with retractable portable functionality. Brushes provided are not as extensive but cover basic needs of a quick makeup application. E.g. Students, travelers, those who do not have a lot of time to put on makeup.

Premium or Limited Edition Models

Premium or Limited Edition series are highly anticipated favorites that are released on special occasions such as during the Christmas season. Many of these are Chikuhodo fan favorites and get a lot of media coverage through blogs and press.

Chikuhodo S-KW2 KIWAMI set

Kiwami, as the name suggest, is the ultimate squirrel makeup brush set Chikuhodo has ever created.
Kiwami, as the name suggests, is the ultimate squirrel makeup brush set Chikuhodo has ever created.

Release Date: 2017

Description of Series: Known as the finest premium edition brush set. The brushes are made by Chikuhodo’s master brush maker Tesshu, who hand-selected the quality materials. However, due to the rare materials, only 50 sets were produced. The handles are made of ebony wood, with “Kiwami” logo drawn by Tesshu printed in gold. Comes with black high-end cow leather storage case.

Set Availability: The brush series includes 8 brushes: 2 powder, 1 Blush, 1 highlighting, 3 eyeshadow, 1 eyebrow

Recommended Customer: Collectors of Chikuhodo or for those who seek the best and the rarest set of all.

Chikuhodo Noel Collection 2017: Vin Rouge & Vin Blanc

Release Date: November 2017

Description of Series: The Noel limited editions were highly anticipated and marketed well by the press. There are two colors, Vin Rouge and Vin Blanc. Depending on the color, the brushes differ in use.

Noel Collection: Vin Rouge (Red Wine)

Limited Edition: Only 300 sets will be released!

A 6-brush set and the most expensive Christmas set Chikuhodo has made in years.
However, features a foundation brush, not typical of Chikuhodo. This type of bristle enables the user to evenly apply the foundation or product without worrying much about the angle of the brush.

Set Availability: 6 makeup brushes within the series. Powder, Foundation, Highlight, Eyeshadow, Eyebrow, and a Lip brush within the makeup brush series. Comes with an attractive wine red makeup brush pouch.

Noel Collection: Vin Blanc (White Wine)

First Christmas set to feature compact, retractable brushes. It is certainly a big change to the Noel collection, which always had normal brushes with specially designed ferrules and handles. Chikuhodo was experimenting with the way the overseas market reacted to a retractable brush series for the Christmas set.
While portable brushes have smaller bristle, they are densely packed to compensate for its size.

Set Availability: Features the portable line (without slacking on quality). 4 brushes including powder, a cheek brush, eyeshadow, and lip brush.

Recommended Customer: For those who are already established fans of the Chikuhodo Makeup brush series and would like a more contemporary look to their makeup brushes. The Vin Blanc series is especially for those who have tried the K-series retractable brushes but who would also like the festive look of the Vin Blanc.

Chikuhodo Premium Line P-Series

Release Date: 2017

Chikuhodo P-8 Powder brush, the only one brush from the premium series.
Chikuhodo P-8 Powder brush, the only one brush from the premium series.

Description of Series: Gathering the very best of the materials, Premium series is listed in the standard lineup but almost always short on the stock due to the rarity of the materials. The only brush out of the series, P-8 uses only the highest-quality long hair of the grey squirrel. Ebony wood is used for the handle as well as the stand, to complement the high-end bristle.

Set Availability: There is only one brush in the Chikuhodo Premium Line Makeup brush series (Powder brush).

Recommended Customer: One who’s interested in trying out the rarest, very best of the grey squirrel powder brush.


Which Chikuhodo Makeup brush series would you choose?


As you might have noticed, the Chikuhodo Makeup brush series is a comprehensive lineup of makeup brushes which cover all scopes of the makeup application process. There are brushes for the simplest of purposes as well as the most precise angles. Needless to say, there is a Chikuhodo Makeup brush for everyone. If you have ever seen, touched, or bought makeup, then undoubtedly you need to invest in a Chikuhodo makeup brush series to truly reap the benefits of your makeup. Without it, is there really a point to wearing makeup? We would say, no.

Please email us with questions or comments. We would love to improve the article for future Chikuhodo customers and fans. We want to preserve the beauty of the Chikuhodo Makeup Brush series by providing only the best information.

Thank you for reading and we hope you try out a few of these marvelous Chikuhodo brushes.

By Hiro Kano and Ana Vigueras
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