Shiseido Foundation Brush 131 Review

December 5, 2011

I am very happy with my latest foundation brush purchase, which is the Shiseido Foundation Brush 131 – the Japanese Version. I have previously done a foundation brushes overview post and was quite happy with my current collection, but there is something about this brush that just really clicked with me.


The Shiseido Foundation Brush 131 was released a while ago in Japan. First of all, it has achieved phenomenal success in an already saturated brushes market. Almost every Japanese beauty magazine has done a feature on this brush. Secondly, this brush was designed and endorsed by THE celebrity makeup artist 山本浩未. She is known for her flawless and natural base makeup creation and is the magic hand behind all of the amazing beauty shoots for some of the most popular Japanese mags such as Voce, Vivi and Ray. Most importantly, it is a very affordable brush. I bought it for only USD$20 at Adambeauty. There is also a high end version of it released by Shiseido.

The Shiseido Foundation Brush is made of synthetic fiber, and it feels incredibly soft and bouncy on the skin. Most of the foundation brushes are made of synthetic fiber and this brush is the softest amongst all.  The bristles are also the most densely packed – it’s important for a foundation brush as it means it will leave no foundation streaks if you apply it the correct way.

It’s a flat top brush but it is slanted, and don’t confuse this as a Kabuki brush as it is not meant for buffing. The application method is slightly different – in essence you dab the foundation on to the skin first, mainly focusing on the large pore areas and the under eye areas, then you gently smooth the foundation outward. I highly recommend that you view the following videos in which the makeup artists demonstrate the application method in detail.

Video Demonstration by 山本浩未

Video Demonstration from Shiseido

shiseido-perfect-foundation-brush-131-1The makeup artist was using a dry compact foundation with this brush in both videos, and that’s also what I love using this brush for. If you find that applying compact foundation/powder with a sponge gives a cakey and blotchy finish and hard to blend, then this is THE perfect tool for it. I have been using it with my Laura Mercier mineral powder foundation and the Edward Bess Creamy Compact foundation, and the result is so remarkable that it got me totally hooked!

Bottom Line: A remarkable and affordable foundation brush that is excellent for applying liquid foundation, dry or creamy compact foundations. I don’t think I can live without it!


{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Gladys December 5, 2011 at 1:01 pm


This brush looks very interesting! I like so much the post!


Celina December 5, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Oh wow! $20!? That’s incredible 🙂 I love how unique this brush looks as well, I’ve never seen anything like it, great to know it works a charm 🙂


Winnie December 5, 2011 at 2:33 pm

I have heard so many good things about this brush even in Asia (which is really rare you know :P) After reading your entire review, I think I just need to go pick it up this afternoon. Maybe that has been the reason why I stayed away from cream foundation all these years. Now its the time. Really appreciate Shiseido designs such awesome yet affordable foundation blush.


onlyfr33b33 December 5, 2011 at 4:42 pm

wow! that looks awesome. Love the shape. Thinking of getting one…after I get a new foundation. I’m up for a total overhaul of makeup soon.


Reika December 7, 2011 at 12:44 pm

Overhaul of makeup, that sounds very exciting!


Elena December 5, 2011 at 4:43 pm

I do not know why, but in all your posts can only see this photo last 2-3 weeks: ((


The Girlie Blogger December 5, 2011 at 6:28 pm

I like the flat brush head. Want to try this now.


kelly December 5, 2011 at 6:55 pm

another rave post…i checked out this brush but i was surprised with how small it is! i will probably end up trying it, it looks awesome!


Cafe Bellini December 5, 2011 at 7:06 pm

Ah you mentioned that you had this brush, too! I still love mine! I generally even skip concealer when using this brush and the new Chanel foundation. Interesting videos, thanks for the links!


Jess December 5, 2011 at 8:07 pm

I got myself the one from Shiseido that is released for the European/International market about 2 months ago. I guess it’s the exact same brush but slightly different in the appearance of the handle. I too can not live without it no more for foundation aplication.


jamilla December 5, 2011 at 8:26 pm

Very impressive! I’ve heard lots of good things about this brush!


Elizabeth December 5, 2011 at 9:39 pm

I’ve had this brush for a few months now and reach love it too – it works foundation into the skin so seamlessly and does ‘eat up’ all the product, forcing you to use more. Great review!


Elizabeth December 5, 2011 at 11:18 pm

^ omg! I meant ‘doesn’t’ eat up all the product. silly!


Ae December 6, 2011 at 3:07 pm

Hi, Reika,

A bit off topic, but have you tried Koh Gen Do’s Aqua Foundation? I’d really appreciate your take on it, as I’m mulling over getting one!



Reika December 7, 2011 at 12:37 pm

sorry Ae, I haven’t tried koh gen do’s foundations…but they are on my wishlist 😛


petrina December 7, 2011 at 4:26 am

This review came at just the right time as I’m looking for a new brush to apply my powder foundations! Thank you – I am definitely getting one!


Rain December 10, 2011 at 2:57 am

Thanks very much for the video links 🙂
I picked up this brush in Japan this July for slightly less than SGD 20 without knowing how to use it properly. I have a similar brush under Hakuhodo brand but have not used it due to lack of knowledge on the application method, which I will rectify soon since now I know. The Hakuhodo brush has a different type of hair (white colour) but the shape is the same with a slightly bigger circumference.

Your post is the the most useful of all the posts on this brush I’ve come across to-date. Thanks again!


Reika December 12, 2011 at 11:20 am

Thank you so much Rain! Glad that you liked my review 🙂 btw I also adore Hakuhodo brushes!


Emeline December 12, 2011 at 10:23 am

The brush is back in stock on Adambeauty and I ordered it a couple of minutes ago. I can’t wait to receive it and try it!!! Thanks for your lovely post!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Reika December 12, 2011 at 11:21 am

That’s great as it’s been out of stock on Adambeauty for a long time! Enjoy!


LiLi April 19, 2012 at 5:40 am

I read so many good reviews & bought this. It’s fantastic! Gives me a flawless airbrushed finish. Thank you for your in-depth review!


Renee July 18, 2012 at 2:54 am

Hi Reika, this is way long overdue & I reckon this post is the best place & person to ask. 🙂

How often do you wash your foundation brushes & how do you do it? Do you use like brush cleansers or mix up your own formula (eg oil + detergent)? Your insight is much appreciated. Thanks in advance.


Reika July 19, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Ha..I’m not very good at the DIY department 😛 I like to go for the convenience so I bought the Becca brush soap cleanser and it’s working great. I lather it up using a sponge, then I dip the brush into the foam and gently rub the bristles against the sponge. It cleans the brush really well and takes less than a minute.
A more budget friendly way is to get a brush soap from those arts and craft shop, they are pretty much made of the same material but becca just does better packaging.
Out of topic, for brushes made of natural hair such as goat or squirrel, I prefer to use a gentle organic shampoo instead of soap.


Renee July 19, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Thanks for your recommendation! x Much appreciated. I have been searching around for brush cleanser & looking at YouTube. Washing brushes is such a chore esp for foundation brush when it’s so dense, getting it properly clean is hmmm painful! People have been suggesting to use baby soap but that take a good 5-8 procedure. I have went through tonnes of MAC brush cleanser and looking for some alternative. I am off to get it in the next couple days. Thanks again. 🙂


Karen November 5, 2012 at 10:46 am

Hi Reika,

just wondering if you could tell me what is the difference between the japanese version from adambeauty and the higher end one available in department stores. are they different in quality or shape? please reply. thanks for your help!


Reika November 7, 2012 at 12:34 pm

Hi the only difference is the handle, but the actual quality and the shape of the bristles are the same as the high end version.


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