Dec 12, 2010


i love brushes (as i always loved pens and expensive painting brushes also).
i love high quality brushes.
i think with a good brush, you can even make an o.k.-product look good on you, because you can achieve the right intensities. i rather spend a bigger amount on my tools to know i will enjoy them many many years than buying cheap substitutes and always lustering for good brushes wondering if i would look much better with the right tools.
but also i enjoy putting on my make up, it is something i have for my own, some pampering before the working day. so i would like to pet my skin with soft luxurious brushes.

i first was introduced to Hakuhodo by a youtube video of misschievous. then i did some research and ended up falling hard for this brand - first time i ordered was in april this year.

Hakuhodo is a traditional japanese calligraphy- and cosmetic-brush manufacturer.  they have a very interesting video to introduce the brand and the manufacturing process. also on their website, they give informations about the different hair qualities there is, how to care for your brush and such good stuff.
i like that they have actual fotos of the brush heads on a measuring tape and give you exact informations about the measures.

to say in few words they do the highest quality brushes i came to know so far.

of course people will be put off first when they see the price point of some kabuki brushes up to 200$ and above, but they also manufacture great basic brushes of phenomenal quality at a price much lower than MAC or similar brands.
the bristles Hakuhodo uses are the softest and finest you can imagine, especially the blue squirrel hair brushes are extremely soft. i own some squirrel hair brushes from other brands that are far not as soft as Hakuhodo's quality.

the customer service is very nice and helpful. shipping fees are about 12$ flat rate world wide, they usually arrive within 10 days. the packaging is great, always a big bubble-wrap envelope over a box filled with styrofoam, and in that another gift-box with your brushes packed individually between sheets of wrapping tissue.

until today i ordered 3 times at Hakuhodo, never have i been disappointed. neither have the brushes shed (sometimes a hair falls out of the more dense brushes), nor have they ever bled dye while washings.
now to the actual review of the brushes i own. please prepare to read "soft" thousand times, and maybe "i love it", too.

K007 eye liner brush

K007 eye liner brush - made of weasel hair. this isn't the best picture of it, i have used gel eyeliner on it and let it dry down, i should have washed it before :P . it has a good stiffness to it and a very fine tip which you can get exact lines with. it retails for only 9$.

B533BkSL eye shadow brush pointed

Da Vinci small round blender 4194 - Hakuhodo K007 - MAC 219
B533BkSL eye shadow brush pointed - a pencil brush type, it is made of horse hair. it's stiffer than the Da Vinci brush, but a bit more loose than MAC 219. good for people with a small lid space to use as a precise crease-brush, or to highlight in the inner corners. you can also smudge your liner with this or use it on the lower lid. it costs 18$.

B214BkSL highlight brush round

Hakuhodo compared to MAC 227

B214BkSL highlight brush round - made of ototsuho goat hair. i absolutely need this for my under-eye concealer! i know there are people loving the common paddle type concealer brushes as well as lovers of fluffy concealer brushes like the MAC 224 or 217 and many who swear by their ring fingers only - but i LOVE this brush. it is dense but yet so soft to smooth out your concealer on this sensitive area and has just the perfect shape and size to do that. soo great, i would never want to miss it! i haven't even tried it other than with concealer, although i didn't know what to use it for as i opened the package (just ordered to try it because of the unusual shape) ;) it retails for 18$.

Kokutan eye shadow brush L

it's dirty, sorry, used it with powder
MAC 227 - Hakuhodo (for size comparison)
Kokutan eye shadow brush L - a fluffy brush of blue squirrel hair. it's soooo soft, you hardly detect it touching your skin!!! i like to use it to apply loose powder precisely, or with highlighters and blushes. it costs 60$.
"The more you touch a Kokutan handle, the nicer the luster it attains."

S111 blush brush round and flat

Hakuhodo - MAC 116
S111 blush brush round and flat - the S100 series is the flagship series of Hakuhoto. this brush is made of blue squirrel hair and soooo soft! i love to use it with intense blushes, like most of NARS'es.  it retails for 69$.
"The handle is made of wood and colored in beautiful vermilion, a traditional Japanese color. It broadens slightly toward the tip and is designed to fit perfectly in the hand.The ferrules are made of brass-rolled 24-karat gold with clear coating."

large pointed Yachiyo

large pointed Yachiyo - traditional japanese brush made of white goat hair. it is soft and fluffy. i like to use it with setting powder, blushes and to contour. it has a slightly pointed shape that is great to apply contour colours just under your cheekbone area. it costs 33$.

210 blush brush

MAC 109 - Hakuhodo (sorry for cut-off)
210 blush brush - a round brush with flat top. it's made with sokoho goat hair and costs 26$. it is a much much better version of the MAC 109. i have tried it with foundation also, and it didn't shed a hair (while the MAC 109 always left me looking as if i had a beard). it's also good for contouring, blush or even mineral powder. it is very dense and soft, a great! deal for the price.

S103 pointed powder/blush brush

Hakuhodo - MAC 138
S103 pointed powder/blush brush - just a more luxurious version of MAC's 138 (pricewise they are quite the same, aren't they?). this will set you back 76$ and is made with sokoho goat hair. this brush is also from their S100-series. it seems more flexible after several uses without washing than the MAC version. don't focus on the pointed tip too much, it won't be even and perfect, as both brushes are hand made and uncut.
it's perfect for contour powder, but also great for setting powder, blush, bronzer, or even highlighter as it has a pointed shape.

G527 flat top powder brush

Hakuhodo - Dior Powder Foundation brush
G527 flat top powder brush - an extremely dense brush out of ototsuho goat hair. i like to use it to buff in foundation or powder. it is super soft. compared to it, the Dior brush feels like a toilet brush. it has a short handle and costs 54$.

so as you can see, most of the brushes aren't that expensive but at really great quality.  even with the more expensive ones you'll get what you paid for.
i can totally recommend this brand to every brush lover like me. i will definitely purchase more brushes from there, my virtual shopping basket is already full to the brim with brushes worth a fortune... ;)


  1. Loved this post, so interesting! haha the Dior toilet brush!!! Wow I am jealous of your wonderful brushes, hope they are at IMATS again... I will probably go if they are! Not that I need more brushes, but these look like works of art xxxx

  2. I have loved reading this post. I really want some Hakuhodo brushes and you have quite a few that I have been admiring. The comparison shots and reviews are so useful. Again for me the problem is overcoming the import issues. I may have to wait for IMATS in London next year. Until then, I will be lusting!
    Jane x

  3. Nice collection there, how you care for your Hakuhodo brushes?(if u use them often) do u deep clean them each week or do u follow the Hakuhodo care tips where you only wash them when they start to smell? Hakuhodo brushes are so amazing.

  4. Is the handle of the Hakuhodo 210 brush shiny or is it matte like the Mac 109 brush?

  5. I have a small collection of Hakuhodo brushes and love them to death... They are the softest brushes in my collection. Here's a blog I created about them as well as a video --

  6. Hi, beauty, i got the Paula dorf powder brush due to your recommendation and i love it. It might be the softest brush I have own so far, just wondering if you could be able to tell me how's compare it to HAKUHODO brushes as I am very interested in these brushes lately. Thank you.

  7. oh, it's great to hear that you are pleased with your PD brush! compared to Hakuhodo brushes, the PD brush hair is a lot fluffier. it's similarly sof to Hakuhodo's goat hair brushes, maybe a bit softer, but not as soft as the squirrel/goat hair blend brushes and not far as soft as the blue squirrel brushes!
    but the quality of this PD Powder brush is quite lovely - it's my favourite for bronzer application since it's so nice and fluffy, it distributes the colour very evenly.

  8. hey thanks for posting this. I'm just wondering if you could tell me the difference between the two kinds of goat hair, ototsuho vs sokoho. i know they feel different but is there a reason why?

    1. Hakuhodo has an excellent "knowledge" area where they also explain the materials used:
      i guess it's either from different races of goat or from different parts of the coat.

  9. I am loving the look of G527 and the 210. 210 looks so cute!. I know you mentioned above but how would you use the G527> Does it hold its shape well? :) does it feel soft on your face?

    1. Hi GG,
      the G527 feels really soft on the skin, not scratchy at all. i need to use it much more often than i actually do. i like it for mineral foundation (Laura Mercier) or liquid formulas as well.


thank you for commenting!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...