I wanted to write this little post to say thank you for being here with me, for supporting “Sonia G” and Kumano’s craftmanship, it has been almost a year and it’s wonderful to see that there is such great feedback and interest, I am sincerely grateful and deeply touched by your friendship.
I just recently came back from Japan, I am preparing a post about the trip for those of you who would like to know a bit more about Kumano. In the meantime, I saw some questions on Instagram that I thought I could answer here as I have more space to go a little bit more in detail, so let’s jump to them straight away:
Are you going to continue your blog (Sweet Make-up Temptations)?
Yes definitely, I am just as excited about make-up and tools as I was at the very beginning of the blog. The reason why I could not post often is just simply lack of time. I have a job and a 2 year old daughter, my husband is helping a lot with everything at home but until very recently my daughter was not sleeping during the night, I was exhausted, I did not know what sleep deprivation could really mean until I experienced it, drives you crazy. I tried to sleep a little when I could, no schedules possible, no planning possible, going through the day enjoying every moment but in survival mode and I obviously had to accept that I could not do everything.
I probably have at least a thousand more brushes compared to one year ago, I continued the “experimenting” in hard core mode and I promise that as soon as things calm down a little, I will immediately jump on my blog!!
My daughter Alice just recently started to sleep well and now I even manage to have a full night sleep! This feels soooo good, it is so extraordinarily amazing!! 😀 Today she is fine to play alone with her toys for a little while when I am moving around but as soon as I sit, she stops and gets me 😛
For sure it will get better and I would be delighted to be a frequent writer again.
When is Worker Two going to come back in stock?
It is ready, it’s on its way! Hopefully soon on Beautylish again.
It takes an awful lot of time to make the handles, each handle is sanded by hand and unique. They are made with the same techniques and craftmanship as an art object and by reknown artisans. For a handle to be completed, it takes 45 separate processes, in a specific sequence which takes more or less time depending on the humidity or the weather conditions, not easy to make precise plans…
When is Builder Two coming back in stock?
Not that soon. For machine made products it’s easier to control the production rhythm. When we talk about artisan made products, this is more difficult for various reasons. You cannot order huge batches at once and you cannot order small batches either. The profit margin is so small in comparison to a machine made product that you have to find the best moment in order to maintain the production costs under control and be able to handle them.
Then, there is also the slot availability in the various manufactures that impacts severely the delays, to enter the next slot available sometimes it takes many days or weeks. In all cases, whenever we know a brush is going to need restock, I do everything possible to bring it back asap.
Are you going to discontinue your squirrel brushes?
Squirrel bristles are getting too expensive for Kumano to obtain for mass production, many brands will probably just stop using them at some point.
In my case I had decided to change mine even before Kumano started to announce the price increase. I have been working on shapes that won’t need squirrel bristles to feel good and perform great. This refers to Pencil One, Crease One and Smudger One, once the current stock is gone, the new versions will come instead.
If you are planning on getting some squirrel brushes before the prices go higher, better do it now, whatever the brand.
Are your brushes going to change?
It is linked to the previous question, yes. The three squirrel brushes will change.
There is another mini change coming concerning Sculpt Two when the current version is gone. For obvious reasons I cannot share exactly what and how it is changing but at least I can give you the heads up as I know that some of you really love the squirrel brushes and that Sculpt Two.
Can your brushes be used with creams?
The white saikoho can be used with creams.
The dyed brown saikoho bristles, although not encouraged by the manufacture, they also can. The manufacturers are afraid that the frequent washing may cause the dyed bristles to bleed.
If you are planning on using them frequently with creams, I recommend using synthetic brushes instead, they will endure frequent washing better and synthetic bristles will also better handle the application and absorb less product.
Are you going to launch synthetic series?
I was working on it at the beginning, I have some prototypes but it did not end up as expected. I am working on a project at the moment but it will take a long time to complete.
How can I take better care of your brushes?
Here are some little do’s and don’ts:
If possible, avoid dropping or kicking the handles against hard surfaces or corners (for example to tap off excess), it is much better for the paint and the coating to not kick them against sharp corners.
Don’t use alcohol on the handles.
Don’t spray directly on the brush heads, if you need to sanitize them it in between clients, spray on a cloth and gently wipe the brush on the cloth.
When possible, store your brushes in a cup with a padded bottom or wood but not something really hard. This applies to any high end brush painted with special paints or coatings.
What soap do you recommend?
I alternate between several options. I sometimes use a soft Savon de Marseille, it’s a local soap that I find in France, it’s soft, it does not leave residue and does not dry out the bristles.
I also use the Sephora or the Beautyblender
What were you doing in Japan? Is something new on the way?
I travel to Hiroshima at least once a year, I have dear friends in Kumano who I love like family, I am always looking forward to spending some time with them each time I am there.
I have also meetings planned with manufacturers, to touch base and together have a look at the possibilities; it’s also a friendly visit to say hello and make sure they don’t forget me! 😀
My ultimate dream is to work with all of them at some point and I want to make sure that if we do, they keep in mind that I do it for the love of brushes and not for the money, they need to be willing and happy to go the extra mile so that we create more than just “tools”. Even with the language barrier I can feel when we are in the same page and it’s truly epic when it happens!
I shop but not so much, a little make-up, a few brushes, I love to buy towels and some gadgets. I don’t understand why I always end up with two cases because I don’t buy “that” much, seriously, that’s weird 😀
Yes there is something new coming this year, I cannot wait to share more and we are not that far away but when you do something new, until the items are ready to be shipped in the warehouse you should not even talk about it, you never know what could happen.
But, to clarify something: it takes months and years to create something really nice so whatever is coming, it has been in the works for quite a while.
What is your logo and what does it mean?
It’s a trident with an S.
The initial logo was different but could not be printed at the bottom of the handles due to technical limitations at the manufacture. I had to start all over and find something else that could be printed with their techniques and that would match me in the best way possible.
The trident suddenly appeared like the most strikingly obvious symbol.
It fits with the blog’s name, it can also be combined with the S of Sonia, representing Neptune’s symbol (the trident with a cross), its symbolic meaning including dreams, intuition, invention, imagination, emotion, etc, define the energies that are deep within me.
Why the blog has been called “Sweet make-up temptations” is part of another story but I could also share eventually 😉
We will speak soon and I cannot wait for the next chapter 😉
Again, thank you so much from the bottom of my heart!!!