|(L-R: WH 14, YCQ 12S, YWQ 9, YWQ 7)|
OverviewTanseido is a brand that's relatively new to me. They're hand crafted in Japan and are a little bit of a hassle to get ahold of outside of Japan... but totally worth it. The pricing is fairly comparable to Hakuhodo but there isn't nearly as large of product range. From what I've gathered, most Tanseido brushes aren't particularly dense but they're incrdibly soft and efficient. These brushes are easily some of the softest and most flexible goat hair I've used yet. Of the brushes I purchased, all are made of goat hair excpet for YCQ 12S (which is made of squirrel). I really appreciate the longer handle length (a relatively unusual feature in Japanese brushes). Additionally, most brushes allow you to choose the color of the handle (red, blue, or black). Tanseido also offers the option of customizing your brushes with an enscription of your choice. As with many Japanese brushes, these don't have the name of the brush anywhere on them so I usually opt to make my own with a label-maker.
WH14: This is the only face brush I purchased but I couldn't have been more impressed. My thoughts upon first touching it was that it was too soft lacked the density needed to pack on product. I was so wrong. I don't know how this brush does it, but it's able to build up however much intensity I want. I prefer this to apply powder contour, but it's able to essentially do so much more.
YCQ 12S: Again, amazing soft and shockingly efficient. It's not a densely packed brush but it is able to really pack on color. Perhaps not quite as much as the MAC 239 but it is infinitely softer and with just a little more work, can get you equal color intensity. In my opinion, it's far superior to any other similar brushes I own. I've also had good luck using this to blend, applying shadow to the brow bone, smudging liner, and placing shadow near the lower lash line.
YWQ 9: This brush is strikingly similar to the Hakuhodo 242G. I like both brushes, but I don't know why I felt the need to get a near duplicate for a brush I don't use very frequently. That said, this brush is also great for packing on color, smudging, and more detailed work.
YWQ 7: Aside from the hair, this one is very similar to the Hakuhodo K005 (Weasel). I mostly use the K005 for tight-lining with gel liners but I prefer to use the YWQ 7 for when I use cake/powder liner along the lash line. While you can use this for cream-based products (Ex. gel liner), goat hair isn't quite as "tough" as weasel. It's much softer than the K005 and slightly longer. A nice brush to have, but not necessarily a must-have for me. However, if you prefer to use powder liners, this might be perfect for you.
How I Purchased
Admittedly, this can be a little bit of a hassle to get ahold of but it was totally worth it and I look forward to doing it again. There are a few ways to go about getting Japanese products but the easiest way (in my opinion) is to use a private forwarding service. I used Tommy of http://bringblingjp.blogspot.jp who can pretty much connect you to almost any Japanese brand. You email her a list of what you're interested in and she quickly responds with what it will cost you.
After I sent my PayPal payment she ordered the items. Once she had received my items she sent a picture to ensure everything was correct. She charges a percentage of your order total ranging from 5-10%. This percentage depends on how much your order is and whether it was an online or in-store purchase. She ships everything EMS with tracking so I received my order 3 days after they were shipped from Japan. The whole process is dangerously easy and Tommy was such a pleasure to work with... I highly recommend her! I'm in the process of getting a Chikuhodo and Addiction order together.