Caught up in a brush flush, I decided to check out Artisan & Artist brushes again.
In Singapore, they can be found at Schmidt Marketing Pte Ltd at Ngee Ann City, whose main merchandise are Artisan & Artist professional ranges of camera bags and accessories. The brand specialises in such wares but also carries cases for cosmetics, so I guess it isn’t far-fetched for them to make makeup brushes too, even though these tools might seem incongruous with their mainstay products.
Made by Chikuhodo whose masters also hand-crafts Suqqu brushes, the tools have a luxe touch and the typical softness associated with Japanese artisan brushes. The company is located in Kumano, Hiroshima, from where all the best hand-made brushes hail, apparently! ;)
The prices at Schmidt have remained the same for the past few years, which isn’t saying very much – the markup was incredible and still is, especially with the falling Japanese Yen. I couldn’t help but leave with one anyway, just to see what the fuss is about.
I bought SG-03, part of the Short Grip Professional series. Made of 100% grey squirrel hair, this shading/contouring brush is superbly soft and comfortable on the skin. Priced at a hefty S$100 at Schmidt, it’s merely ¥5400 (~S$66) in Japan. I must’ve been momentarily insane to plonk down so much in excess! To take the edge of the sticker shock is my rationale that I won’t be travelling to Japan soon, though I have a nagging feeling it might be cheaper somewhere online.
I did receive some disturbing news regarding Schmidt recently. A couple left a comment under this post, stating that the company has been passing off goods made in China as Artisan & Artist products made in Japan. This pertains mainly to the brand’s signature camera straps. I cannot verify the truth of these claims but for what it’s worth, the brushes felt and looked authentic when I examined them; their precise cut and plush feel evident. My hubby also wondered if the issue of authenticity could be attributed to online purchases from non-authorised sellers. In any case, caveat emptor!