Although it has always been possible to buy Japonesque tools in the UK, up until recently this has been mostly via online stores. Since the end of 2011, Japonesque have had a high street presence: their Pro line is available from John Lewis and the short handled Travel range can be found in Boots.
The brushes shown here are both from the Pro range: I have the Medium Eyeshadow Fluff Brush (£12.95 - £13.50) and the Angled Eyeshadow Brush (£11.95 - £12.99). The brushes are of good quality. The hairs feel soft but not floppy and I have not experienced any problems with shedding. There are a couple of hairs that don't sit as well after washing but they do maintain their general shape with no issue.
The fluff brush reminds me of the MAC 213 brush. It's a good size and shape for adding lid colour but it's not as good for packing on colour as something like the the MAC 239. With more flyaway, loose powders you can get a little fallout when using this brush. The hairs feel nice on the skin and aren't scratchy.
Although the angled brush may seem an unusual shape, I had been keen to try it ever since I saw it used as a crease and blending brush in a couple of YouTube tutorials. I thought it might be good for adding colour to the outer lid but it is quite a bit bigger that I had expected. My eyes are too small to use this to apply colour but it is fine for blending. It's actually quite good at softening colour in the outer V and crease if you've gone a little overboard. Although the hairs feel soft to the touch, on the delicate eye area I can feel a few hairs that aren't as soft as I would like.
Overall, I think Japonesque offer a good, affordable range of brushes. I also quite like that they make some more unusual shapes, like the angled eye shadow brush, the smudger and pointed style crease brush. So, if you've struggled with some of the more generic shapes, you my find your perfect fit within their range.
Most of the brush shapes seem to be available as both long and short handled versions. As well as Boots and John Lewis, Japonesque tools are also available from www.cocktailcosmetics.co.uk and www.love-makeup.co.uk. Prices do seem to vary a little depending on the retailer.
Disclosure: PR Sample