REVIEW: SUQQU CHEEK BRUSH
Value For Money10
Make-up brushes come in all shapes, sizes and prices these days. There are so many choices, natural vs synthetic bristles; long vs short handles, etc.. In fact, there is a sub-category within each of those. Let’s take natural bristles, there are so many kinds, Squirrel, Goat, Pony, Sable, Kolinsky, Badger and more… That’s not all! There is even a micro-categorisation within the above, red squirrel, blue squirrel, grey squirrel, normal squirrel…. What’s good and what’s not??
If you follow me on Instagram, you would know by now how big a brush junkie I am. I remembered my first expensive brush used to be a blush brush from Kesalan Patharan – a Japanese brand that used to be available at Takashimaya. It was $140 and lasted me about 8 years. Bear in mind, this was before I knew how to take good care of my brushes! My point is, a good brush is an investment that will last a long time if you take good care of it!
Over the years, I continued to try different types of brushes and the Suqqu Cheek Brush was one I badly wanted to try after seeing Lisa Eldridge use it extensively. I first encountered it during my Japan trip last year but it was out of stock so I picked up a bunch of Hakuhodo instead. Sophia (the makeup blogette) kindly picked it up from Selfridges when she was in London earlier this year. It was a whopping $170, but trust me, you would forget about the cost once the bristles start caressing your cheeks 😉 I loved and enjoyed my Hakuhodo for a couple months, but after I started using my Suqqu cheek brush, I never looked back. Do note that the price of the brush can fluctuate with FX rates because it would have cost me about $200 in Japan. Check out Selfridges online or you can get it from Suqqu in Bangkok which I believe would come up to be about $180.
This brush, like other premium Japanese make-up brushes, are handmade with natural hair by brush artisans. The brush is pretty small compared to most cheek or blush brushes. It’s also got a short handle, which I like because it is very travel friendly. The bristles of this brush is the softest I have ever encountered. I love how it caresses my face so gently and softly it’s unreal!
No scratchy feeling, I mean no feeling of bristles at all!
Can you see how fine the ends of the individual bristles are? Imagine that on your face, feels wonderful ya?
The Suqqu Cheek Brush is made of extremely soft grey squirrel hair which is very fine and tapered at the ends, which is what makes the brush incredibly soft. Now, you may think, isn’t squirrel hair quite commonly used? Remember I mentioned above about the different types of squirrel hair?
Let’s get technical.. If I look at my stash of brushes and also those I’ve felt in person, this would be how I would rate natural bristles in terms of softness. Below is a list in descending order:
- Red Squirrel – based on my research, this is supposedly the queen of natural hair brushes but I have yet to try any.
- Blue Squirrel – Hakuhodo has a range of pure blue squirrel brushes. I have one tapered eye blending brush from the range. It is incredibly soft, more so than Suqqu Cheek Brush but there is a downside to this which I will blog about in a later post.
- Grey Squirrel – Suqqu and Chikuhodo (which I am receiving tomorrow!) and some Hakuhodo (though they are mostly mixed with goat hair, making them more affordable but also less soft).
- Kolinsky – very often used for paintbrushes, these are incredibly soft but have got really good resistance, making the brushes stiff but not scratchy. I own a couple, which I will review at a later date.
- Normal Squirrel – I have seen some brandless brushes that claims to be squirrel and they are pretty soft as well. I believe the premium Sephora range is made from squirrel hair.
- Goat Hair – this is the most common of natural bristle brushes, used by MAC, Bobbi Brown and several other brands
So, you just spent $170 and want to get the most out of this brush?
You can absolutely do so!! I have used this brush to set my foundation, contour, apply blusher and highlighter. I would say, it is one multi-purpose brush even though it’s marketed as a cheek brush.
If the bristles are so soft, will it pick up colour?
Oh hell ya!!! Do not underestimate this little brush. It is a dream when it comes to picking up colour and depositing it onto the face. I especially enjoy using this with my highly pigmented blushes such as Illamasqua Excite because the brush allows the blusher to be diffused and blended out so beautifully and naturally. Being efficient in picking up colour also means that you need to use less product to achieve a beautiful look, thus saving some $$$ this way.
Why is this brush not as dense?
First things first, Suqqu is a Japanese brand make-up brush. We all know that the Japanese style make-up is natural and soft, so naturally, this brush would be made with that in mind. However, this does not mean that the brush is inferior to more densely packed brushes. It all boils down to technique. Personally, I much prefer it this way to have more control and disperse colour onto the cheek and slowly build up rather than to place one big blob of colour with a densely packed brush and have to go over with powder foundation to tone down the blusher if it became too intense.
What about maintenance?
I find that with use, the bristles will start to fluff up, giving you a larger surface area to play with which I sometimes like. If this is not your style, and you are a little OCD, you can always use a brushguard to “tame” the bristles back to it’s original shape. With regards to washing, I do not recommend using the Make Up Store soap bar to clean this brush. It is a little too harsh for this. I would recommend using the good old baby shampoo + detergent + olive oil method to wash and condition the bristles gently. I have a video tutorial here which I demonstrate how to wash brushes using this method. Also, because it’s natural bristles, I would not recommend washing it too often. If I were to use the Hakuhodo guidelines, these should ideally only be deep-cleansed twice a year. On normal days, I would just tissue off after every use.
Is it worth the price tag and would I purchase more from the brand?
YES YES YES!!! Like I said, once you start using a Suqqu, it’s hard to look back. You will never look at brushes the same way again. Yes, not even Hakuhodo!
Really hope this has been helpful for you. If you are still undecided on what to get yourself for Christmas, this might be a little splurge for you 🙂