top of page
  • Writer's pictureAnnie

Koyudo Yoshiki Series Brushes

These brushes strike the right balance between luxury and affordability.

Koyudo discontinued many products from its wide range in 2020. The major casualties were from the BP High Class Series and the Fu-Pa line but among them went the Mizume-Zakura Cherry Birch brushes. The Yoshiki Series replaces the Mizume-Zakura Cherry Birch line with a few slight differences. The hair lengths on each brush are fractionally (1–2mm) shorter than those sold as part of the old Cherry Birch line. The hairs are still comprised of soft saikoho goat fibres and the handles are still made from cherry birch wood. The Mizume-Zakura and the Yoshiki brushes are not exactly the same but they're close. The Yoshiki face brushes are just a teensy bit denser as the consequence of being comprised of shorter hairs and they are also not as soft as the preceeding generation. But softer doesn't always mean better. I'll get into more detail about that below.

The saikoho hairs used in the Yoshiki series are not the softest saikoho on the market. If you were to grade them against other saikoho offerings from Koyudo, Hakuhodo and Sonia G which typically offer very soft and silky undyed goat hair products, then these Yoshiki brushes fall short. I'd definitely agree with their saikoho designation but it's on the lower end of the grading scale. If you own any of the Takumi brushes from Chikuhodo, then you might have felt a hair quality disrepancy between them. The Yoshiki brushes are equivalent to the not-as-great saikoho hair quality in the Chikuhodo T-Series. Soft but if you're hyper-sensitive with hair softness, you'll probably want to give the face brushes a miss. If you're looking at photos online and trying to discern between the Mizume-Zakura line and the Yoshiki line, then look at the handles. The Mizume-Zakura brushes had the 'Koyudo' block lettering lasered into the handle whereas the Yoshiki brushes do not have any brand markings on the brushes and only shows 'Yoshiki' laser engraved into the handle in much smaller cursive font.

Each brush handle is extremely smooth to the touch and feels light in the hand. I'm not particularly picky about my handles but these brushes create a luxurious tactile experience. The handles are simply laser engraved with 'Yoshiki' but lack any other identifiers. I wish they would have engraved the brush numbers on the other side of the brush.

Price, Packaging and Availability

At Koyudo, premium line brushes arrive packaged inside a box. Their entry level brushes typically arrive in a standard plastic sleeve with the Kumano certified seal on them but the Yoshiki series come beautifully presented in a sleek black box that makes it perfect for gifting.

Koyudo implemented a price increase to its brushes in 2020 and again in 2022 but fortunately, the Yoshiki brushes released at the same price as the old series. I'd say these brushes are reasonably priced and affordable, especially from a company which tends to produce higher priced items. I purchased my brushes during lockdown and I'm pleasantly surprised to see that at time of publication in mid 2022, they haven't changed prices on CDJapan. The Yoshiki brushes are currently available from retailers CDJapan, Beautylish and Fude Beauty at varying price points but you should factor in any shipping costs or additional taxes for import into your country. For me, it was cheapest to buy these from CDJapan, especially because they often send out 1000 Yen discount codes which can be stacked on top of any existing rewards points. I paid an additional 10% on top of the advertised prices in line with my country's taxation.

I have created affliliate links to CDJapan in this post. If you would like to support this blog and are considering making a purchase, please use the links below when making a purchase. I will receive a commission should you buy via my link but it will not affect your purchase price.

The Yoshiki 03, 04 and 05 brushes will arrive with very stiff pointed tips because Koyudo uses starch on their eyeshadow brushes to preserve the shape during transportation. It'll easily come out during the first wash. I always recommend washing your brushes before using them.

Yoshiki 01

The Yoshiki 01 is a dense round powder brush with hairs reaching 36mm long at its height. It's perfectly rounded in shape so it allows for easy circular buffing motions without drag. If you're sitting at home looking at my photographs trying to gauge the size of the brush head, make a claw with your hand and place it over your nose. It's approximately the same size and shape as a typical red clown nose.

L to R: Shou Shou Lang Green Dill 01, Koyomo Pearl Pink face brush, Koyudo Somell Garden Lemon brush, Koyudo Yoshiki 02, Koyomo Pearl Pink blush brush.

Returning readers will be aware that I have very dry skin which can be particularly sensitive on some days due to the use of chemical exfoliation. The brush isn't too coarse that I can't use it to buff over the entire surface of my face. The saikoho hairs in this brush are soft enough but I wouldn't rate these saikoho hairs as soft as that coming out of Hakuhodo, Rephr and Sonia G in the same category though. To be fair, I have softer brushes so it's not my go-to brush.

I typically use these rounded dense brushes to buff finishing powder in with the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder being my product of choice, however this great for blush application as well if you like a cheek to cheekbone kind of placement. If you're always in a hurry and looking for a blush brush, I recommend using this as a quick tap and swipe brush. As for powder foundation, it should be perfectly suitable because the Y-01 can be used to buff and blend product seamlessly into the skin because the benefit of it not being as soft as other saikoho is that it doesn't go floppy. The brush maintains its shape if you want to be a bit rough with your application.

Yoshiki 02

The Yoshiki 02 comes to a rounded cherry tomato head which makes it a nice accompaniment to go alongside the multitude of candlestick shaped brushes I own. The flame-shaped brush head is my favourite type of brush because it is suitable for contour, brontour, highlighting and selective powdering, however I recognise that it has limitations when it comes to blending. For this reason, I always like to have brushes of similar length but with a rounded head somewhere close at hand for when I need to work harder to blend out a product or if I need to use circular motions to achieve my intended look.

L to R: Rae Morris 01, Koyudo Yoshiki 02, Koyudo Somell Garden Walnut brush, Hakuhodo J210, Sonia G Face Two, Rephr 28, Wayne Goss 10, Rae Morris 02.

The Yoshiki 02 is packed rather tightly which yields a dense brush that can withstand all types of brush strokes whether directional or circular. It's a rather stiff brush compared to something like the medium density Hakuhodo J210 or the Sonia G Face Two which is far floppier than photos would make it out to be. Although I'm describing the Yoshiki 02 as 'stiff' I don't mean to suggest that the hairs aren't fine or soft in any way, I mean that this brush will maintain its rigidty better to allow for more vigorous usage so while being saikoho in softness, it can withstand blending out stiffer cream products. Again, it's a brush that is just on this side of being classified as saikoho. It's honestly closer in touch and flexibility to Koyudo's hakutotsuho hairs (which are excellent and soft while being springy). Of the brushes I've pictured the Y-02 with, it's closest in density and hair quality to the Koyudo Blueberry Somell Garden hakutotsuho brush. The benefit of the Yoshiki 02 being comprised of marginally thicker hairs than its sister Mizume-Zakura iteration is that you can pick up cream product directly from the pan using the brush rather than applying cream blush to the face first.

This is an excellent brush to be using with cream products or to buff in powder products in directional strokes. If you like to contour or blend in highlighter for a seamless transition, this is the brush for you.

Yoshiki 03

The Yoshiki 03 is the largest eyeshadow brush in the series. All of the eyeshadow brushes in the Yoshiki line feature prominent tapered tips. Other brands would most likely label these as pencil brushes but I think the Y-03 is a great crease brush or a defining brush. There's fantastic flexibility and softness in this brush that allows you to precisely lay eyeshadow onto the lid and then softly blend out harsh edges using windshield wiper motions across the lid.

I like to use this brush to create a false crease on my hooded and protruding eyes. It's also really useful for deepening the outer edge or for applying inner corner highlight. The Y-03 is the stand-out eyeshadow brush in the series.

If you like the Tsubokawa Mouhitsu Koyomo Pearl Pink Shadow Brush, then you will like the Yoshiki 03. Both brushes have the thickness or density of a traditional eyeshadow crease brush at the base but they are different in that they come to a distinct taper whereas a typical rounded crease brush flares outwards. As the brush head begins to taper, the density drops dramatically so that the user can blend with ease. The tips of the brushes are extremely airy. The reason why brushes are bundled this way is so that can move the brush back and forth or in circular motions with only the slightest pressure. Consequently, the brush head glides over the skin with very little effort. If you have saggy eyelids, loose skin or you find that your eyelids are shifting as you age, you should really consider a brush like this.

L to R: Koyomo Pearl Pink Shadow Brush, Koyudo Yoshiki 03, Chikuhodo T-8, Rephr 28, Rephr 12, Koyudo Yoshiki 04, Sonia G Pencil Pro, Koyudo Kakishibuzome 06

If you already own the Koyomo Pearl Pink and are wanting to know whether the Yoshiki 03 is a dupe, it's not. The Y-03 is packed more densely, is fractionally shorter than the Koyomo and has a more defined tip in comparison so you will get more precision and colour pay-off with the Y-03. The Koyomo Pearl Pink brush is a better blender due to being fluffier and softer. This may be the flaw of the Y-03 in that you can definitely use it to blend but if you really want a diffused, blown-out edge then you're going to need to spend more time and apply more downward pressure on the lid. I'm personally willing to do so with a sheer eyeshadow but if I'm using a highly pigmented shadow which I want to soften, I will reach for a fluffier brush to do so.

Yoshiki 04

The Yoshiki 04 brush is what I'd consider as a standard pencil brush. There are many of these available on the market and I own more precise tools in my collection. If there was one brush that I had to let go out of the five, it would be this one. Don't get me wrong, this is a perfectly nice brush. I just feel that it is limited in its eyeshadow application functionality. I'm generally not a fan of pencil brushes. I think they're cumbersome, dense and imprecise. The Y-04 is best used as a smudger brush for those who like to apply a pencil liner or a cream eyeshadow stick on the upper lash line. Again, the tapered tip of the brush head gives the brush nice flexibility to pull along the lash line in horizontal strokes. I personally feel that it's a bit too dense to be comfortably dabbing eyeshadow onto my outer corners to deepen the area. In that case, I prefer a flared or fluffier brush such as the Hakuhodo J5529 to apply extra product and to blend the darkened edges too.

L to R: Koyomo Pearl Pink Shadow Brush, Koyudo Yoshiki 03, Chikuhodo T-8, Rephr 28, Rephr 12, Koyudo Yoshiki 04, Sonia G Pencil Pro, Koyudo Kakishibuzome 06

What I really like the Y-04 for is to spot conceal a pimple or hyperpigmentation on the face. The same density that I find unappealing on the eyeball is perfection on a spot which requires pin-point concealing. The fine tip makes it really easy to blend out the edges of a concealer without disturbing the coverage over the pimple. Admittedly, the brush size is a bit larger for 'pin-point' concealing but I'm not going to pretend that my pimples are the size of a pin. Due to the tapered bundling on this brush, you can literally dab the spot and it'll blend out the edges by itself.

I've also taken to using this brush to apply lipstick. I have a bundle of the Salt New York Lip + Cheek Creme Tints which come in a pan so they require a lip brush to apply because I prefer a more opaque lipstick finish. The tip on the Y-04 is fine enough to allow you to follow your natural lip line but if you prefer a feathered or smudged lipline for a more natural lip look or if you wish to cheat your natural lip line a bit, you can do it while also having enough brush to cover your entire lip quickly.

Yoshiki 05

The Yoshki 05 is nifty little brush that balances flexibility, precision and softness in one brush. I'm awful with liquid eyeliner and I have extremely hooded eyes anyway so if I want to apply eyeliner, I do so with a pencil and a brush or I wet an eyeshadow to use as liner. I prefer a small brush with a rounded ferrule over a steretypical angled brush because it's easier to follow the convex curvature of my eyelid. The only downside of this is that you can't achieve a sharp wing without an angled brush.

L to R: Koyudo Kakishibuzome 06, Wayne Goss 05, Rae Morris 9.1, Koyudo Yoshiki 05, Rephr 03, Rephr 23

The Y-05 is actually quite similar to the discontinued Rae Morris 9.1 brush which is comprised of slightly more hairs in a larger ferrule. Like the Y-03, the smallest eyeshadow brush of the Yoshiki series also is bundled with that taper which drops in density towards the brush tip. If you have sensitive eyes and like to apply detailed inner corner highlight or want to line the lashlines or even tightline your eyes, then the Y-05 is an excellent choice that beats out other similarly shaped brushes on the market.

1,354 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page