makeup brush guide

My Fude Starter Kit

@fluffyfude | YT: Fluffy Fude

Based in the USA, Fluffy Fude has been collecting Japanese makeup brushes for more than 10 years and has over 1,000 brushes. With such a depth and breadth of knowledge, we felt she's a perfect candidate to create a 'starter kit' guide for anyone looking to embark on their Fude journey—as well as Fude lovers looking to build on their existing collection.

Please note, this blog may contain affiliate links to support the contributor.

Which brushes would I start with, if I had to start over?

This is a topic that has often intrigued me and one that I have put much thought into over the years.

After the excruciating thought process of asking myself where I would start if all of my brushes suddenly disappeared, I have compiled a selection of brushes that would meet all of my immediate needs.

The first need being that it would need to be budget friendly. I have been collecting brushes gradually over the years and if I had to start over, I simply would not be able to replace them allat once. I selected brushes that are as budget friendly as possible by fude standards, butwithout sacrificing quality, softness, or collectibility. Despite being on the more affordable side, these brushes are by no means 'entry-level' or something one would outgrow. Quite the contrary, these brushes remain reliable tools that I use often. I think the best brushes are theones that make it into our makeup routines because they perform well and are well loved.

The remaining criteria was that I wanted the brushes to be multi-purpose and work with different formulas and products. Except for one squirrel brush, these brushes can be used with creams or powders. Lastly, my selection would need to be comprehensive enough to meet all of my makeup needs, from everyday minimal makeup, to full glam. In writing this guide, my hope is that others may find it useful as a starting point or to discover new, budget friendly brushes.

Face Brushes

I selected a total of three face brushes: one that excels with liquid foundation, one that excels with powder foundation, and one multitasking brush that works well for all over face powder, bronzer and buffing. While these brushes excel at these particular tasks, they are by no means limited to just these tasks and can be used for other purposes such as cream bronzer and blush. I have created a table below detailing some of the other uses the brushes are capable of handling. There is overlap in uses and the ability to mix and match depending on what your needs are.

Prices range: ¥6,500—8,000

Cheek Brushes

Cheek brushes are my favorite to buy and use, yet I could get by with only two and cover all of my bases. A soft squirrel cheek brush for ultra pigmented products and a goat brush to pair with hard to pick up formulas and creams. I particularly enjoy a round pom-pom shape brush for cheek products due to its ease of depositing and blending pigment. As for highlighter, I selected a large eye brush that can be used both as an eye brush but also a detail face brush. The Chikuhodo T-6 is great for blending out highlighter and can even be used for concealer.

Prices range: ¥3,800—7,000

Eye Brushes

As someone who likes to experiment with different eyeshadow looks and formulas, I tend to reach for a number of different types of eye brushes to complete a single look. If you enjoy one or two color eye looks, you may not need this much variety. I also included two different size options for some categories but one does not need both sizes. For example, for a flat shader brush, I included a standard size shader, the Chikuhodo T-7, and the slightly larger Tanseido YWQ 10 which I would recommend for users with more eyelid space.

Prices range: ¥2,000—3,600

Other Brushes Needed to Complete a Look

If there is one thing I do not leave the house without, it is having my eyebrows filled in. My eyebrow brushes are the most used in my collection because I use them every single day. Truly a staple and the ones I would get first out of all in this guide. I have been enjoying a larger eyebrow brush but also included a smaller size recommendation. My advice is to go with the size you feel more comfortable with.

Often overlooked, a lip brush helps complete a look especially if you are a lipstick lover. I prefer the experience of applying a lipstick with a lip brush versus using it out of the tube. A lip brush also helps with precision, even application, and lining around the lips in a similar manner to a lip liner. Owning a lip brush has actually saved me from wanting to buy more lip liners to match a lipstick exactly because I can use the brush with the lipstick to line around my lips instead.

Prices range: ¥1,510—3,600

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