Oct 30, 2011

Hakuhodo Brushes V.

i've saved the best for last - this is my latest Hakuhodo-haul, few of you are probably already curious since i've shown some of these brushes in recent FOTD-posts. i have made the most exciting Hakuhodo-order in a long time! about two months ago i checked the website and discovered some new and really interesting brushes that i definitely wanted to try, and then there was this super thrilling (and super expensive) blush brush that i craved for since it was released about half a year ago so i finally splurged for it, too.
i just totally love Hakuhodo brushes, everytime i check the website and order something my craving list still doesn't become shorter because i would discover even more amazing stuff that needs to be possessed in a near future!
have a look at my previous reviews of Hakuhodo brushes here, here, here and here.
Hakuhodo brushes are available on hakuhodousa.com. they ship worldwide with a flat rate of 12$ (uninsured).

G5517BkSL Eye Shadow Brush round

the G5517BkSL is a tapered round brush for crease colour application. it's made with horse hair, which is smoother, thicker and more resilient than goat hair. it feels very soft against my lids but the tapered shape and the compact bristles let it work directionally. it's nice to darken the crease, however i have expected it to be even stiffer and might have to search further.
this one costs 18$.



Louise Young LY38 Tapered Shadow Brush - Hakuhodo G5517BkSL - Hakuhodo S142
Louise Young LY38 Tapered Shadow Brush - Hakuhodo G5517BkSL - Hakuhodo S142

G5552 4mm Powder & Liquid Brush round/angled

the G5552 is a new kind of duo fibre brush. i have never seen anything similar to this, so of course i was very interested to try it even if i'm not the biggest fan of duo fibres. it's a round packed brush with short, soft white goat hair and densely packed synthetic fibres inbetween. it has a flat top surface but is angled. if you know the new Shiseido foundation brush, this has a similar shape and size but the Shiseido is a dense brush with synthetic taklon fibres.
Hakuhodo offers different sizes of this brush with different lengths of the synthetic fibres that reach out of the white goat hair. i chose this particular one with a small diameter and longer synthetic fibres (4mm longer than the goat hair) because i wanted to use this brush specifically for cream blush.
in normal skunk brushes,  the white fibres stick out about 8mm-10mm, making the brush much looser.
the brush head fits perfectly even into smaller cream blush pots like the YSL Crème de Blush and the medium length synthetic hairs allow a dense application of the colour but enough movement to blend it softly. the bristles grab the ideal amount of product dabbing the brush lightly onto the cream blusher, then i would dab the product onto my cheeks. the dense hairs make it look blended right away, i only do very small circular motions to fade the blush softly. the angle is nice to do brushing motions and to get a better overview of what you're doing in the mirror without your hands in the way.
the dense brush gives you a lot of control but doesn't drag the skin at all, it feels very soft on the skin. overall i love this brush over every small skunk brush and am glad that i never have thrown my money out for the MAC 188 or 130.
this brush smells a lot like goat when it arrived, but the scent washes out very well. it doesn't shed and the white goat hair ensures no bleeding of dye which could interfere with your colour application.
it's absolutely worth the 42$ i've spent, it's of superb quality. the handle is very short but feels sturdy and weighty in my (small) hands.
my absolute fave for cream blush, i'm happy that i bought it right now when i'm pretty into cream blushes (Giorgio Armani Blushing Fabrics and Le Métier de Beauté Creme Fresh Tints).




Sigma SS188 - Hakuhodo G5552
this is the surface of the brush with cream blush and tapped once onto paper - you can see the bristles that touch the face are much looser with the traditional duo fibre brush compared to the Hakuhodo G5552.

G5557 2mm Powder & Liquid Brush round/angled

the G5557 is a bigger version of the brush i've shown you above. but since i chose this brush for application of liquid foundation, i went for shorter synthetic fibres. they only stick 2mm out of the white goat hair. the synthetic bristles that touch your face are very soft and dense compared to traditional duo fibre brushes, they allow a lot more control and create a flawless, airbrush-like finish with high coverage quick and effortlessly without tugging the skin like dense synthetic flat top brushes do. i'd say this is the perfect hybrid between a skunk brush and a synthetic flat top brush.
you could use it with stippling, swirling or swiping motions and would always get a streak-free result.
another fact that i like about this brush better than normal duo fibres is that this brush is made with soft hair, Hakuhodo didn't skimp on the hair quality of the "filling" material. the white goat hair is packed densely to give the synthetic hair more stability, but it's so soft that it doesn't feel prickly when it touches your face (which is very often the case with other skunk brushes, and if you use them in circular motions to buff in the foundation, the natural hair will most likely touch your face also). plus, it's not dyed so there is no colour to bleed.
it doesn't shed and washes nicely (but needs a day to dry). very interesting brush, great for foundation application - especially the creamier formulas.
this brush costs 69$.




MAC 187 - Hakuhodo G5557 - Sigma F80
here you can see how these brushes would stiple on liquid foundation: the typical duo fibre brush (MAC187) is much looser than the Hakuhodo G5557 and both are not as dense as the synthetic flat top brush (Sigma F80)

G5519BkSL Blush Brush

the G5519BkSL Blush Brush is my latest "heaven-on-earth-brush". an absolute splurge at 132$, but my best Hakuhodo brush so far - and probably the best in my collection.
the handle and ferrule prove of perfect craftsmenship and the brush feels sturdy and worthy in my hand.
it's a classic shaped, fairly large blush brush, slightly flattened and with a rounded taper. it's made of the most exquisite and soft blue squirrel hair. i could pet my face with it to fall asleep, it feels just like a soft breeze on the skin.
it's very densely packed, denser than any of my other blue squirrel brushes and is not as fluffy as my RMK or Lunasol squirrel brushes, however it has slightly more volume than my other Hakuhodo squirrel brushes (hope that wasn't too irritating).
my biggest concern was that it might be too similar to my Hakuhodo S111 Blush Brush that is also made with blue squirrel hair, but the customer service was very nice and helpful and even made comparison pictures for me so i could decide. the G5519BkSL is much thicker, more voluminous and a bit bigger compared to the S111.
while i would use the thinner brush rather in flicking/feathering motions, the thick brush head of this brush allows me to apply and blend with the tip as well.
i have been using and enjoying it constantly over the last month, it works with all of my blushers from the brightest to the most subtle ones (well, obviously i haven't tested the brush with all of them, but a representative selection). however i think this one would not work too well with firmly pressed, low pigmented blushes - but since i've separated from all the "bad" ones, i can't prove. i have used it with contour powder or highlighter with the same pleasing results. it applies like a dream, soft and blended.
while i can't say that my blush results look better than ever since i use this brush (well, i already own some really amazing tools) and would not recommend you to buy this only because you are not happy with you actual blush brush, i can wholeheartedly recommend you to splurge for this if you want something really exquisite to treat and pamper yourself, so you will already feel great when you are putting your make up on.
remember though, that a brush made of so delicate hair needs a certain level of care to maintain it's worth and quality. it should not be washed too often or treated with harsh chemicals and it needs to be stored with care.

my order of SUQQU brushes will arrive shortly, i will definitely compare them with the best squirrel hair brushes of my collection. stay tuned!



Lunasol Cheek Brush N - RMK Cheek Brush - Hakuhodo G5519BkSL - Hakuhodo S111
Lunasol Cheek Brush N - RMK Cheek Brush - Hakuhodo G5519BkSL - Hakuhodo S111


  1. I'm glad I read your review because just by looking at the pictures, the G5557 brush looks like a brush made of ALL natural bristles. I'm surprised that the tip is actually made of synthetic material and I might actually consider purchasing it now. Natural bristles tend to shed when using it for liquid/cream products; however, synthetic bristles don't shed. I might get the G5557 brush for applying liquid foundation. =)

  2. Fantastic post. I've really enjoyed your posts on brushes, as I am also obsessed with them! I can't wait to read about your comparison with the hakuhodo and suqqu brushes. I've been eying the suqqu brushes ever since I saw Lisa Eldridge rave about them but they are so hard to get! (and pricy!).

  3. Great review! I got some eyeshadow brushes from Hakuhodo lately, and I love them! now I am planing to try some face brushes! G5557 look really nice:)

  4. I enjoyed this post SO much. All the brushes look and sound amazing. I'd been browsing the new powder & liquid brushes and pondering. As a fan of cream blusher, I think I might have to treat myself sometime.

    The G5519BkSL has me practically drooling. I am very smitten with the shape and in my head this would be he most perfect blusher brush. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on it. It's clear that I don't need it as I already own some lovely blusher brushes (RMK and RBR) but I do want it!!

  5. I love your brush posts! I need to add a lot of new brushes to my collection.

  6. They look amazing! thanks for the info, take care

  7. Great post!! I have small Asian eyelids and am looking for a good blending brush to blend out the outer corner, I have been using Chanel #12 but it's a bit big to do that job. From your experience, which will work better for that - Trish #29 tapered blending brush or Hakuhodo s142?


  8. wow these brushes are all very nice. Reminds me of the sigma brushes.

    <3 great post


  9. I'm so glad you're doing this series. It really helps a brush newbie like me figure out what I want.

  10. Yay! I love your brush posts, I think I may add the blush brush to my (extensive) list for Japan next year.
    Thanks for the reviews

  11. I really super adore your make-up collection specially your brush collection! It's very amazing of you to collect these amazing finds and all of which really thrills me inside!!! My wonderment just grows as I open your blog everyday. It's really amazing. Keep it up hun! :)


  12. thanks, everybody!

    @anonymous/Daisy: the two brushes you've mentioned are very different: the Trish is pointed and resilient while the Hakuhodo is very soft and delicate. both are nice as a crease brush, however i like my blending brush to be of a more textured hair like the Trish Brush. but since it's so pointed i find it harder to blend. out of the two mentioned i would go for Trish.
    i would recommend you to try the Estée Lauder #25 Blending Brush for thorough blending, though. it's a smaller and more compact version of the MAC 217. for precise and soft blending of the outer corner (and for application as well) i really like the Hakuhodo Kokutan Brush T. they have launched a similar brush in their G-Series called G5528BkSL, i think.

  13. Excellent review as usual!! I've been a lurker on your brush posts since I'm thinking of upgrading my face/blush brush to a squirrel one. Can you recommend a brand/model for one that is versatile and with a good price point? Thanks!


  14. Ooops, so sorry if I send several of similar posts for approval, my computer/iPad is not working as well :-)


  15. Oh my... I'm glad I found another makeup brush addict! You have an amazing brush collection, girl! ;)

    Excited for your SUQQU brush post, as I have just shared my SUQQU brush family too! :)

  16. @stella: i like the RMK Cheek Brush, it's fantastic value for your money.

    @Jess: i love to find fellow brush-addicts!

  17. Hi! thanks for the review! I was looking into G5557 brush. How is it compare to sigma F80 (which I don't have also)? Would you suggest G5557 over the sigma one? I haven't tried Hakuhodo brush yet but I'm thinking of ordering couple. Are G collection have all the same length handles? Thank you so much!! :)

  18. Hi and hello!

    First of all, thank you for your posts on the many information on Hakuhodo brushes. They are a pleasure to read.

    I am very interested to buy those brushes myself, but I have some reservations.

    In all honesty, I have never heard of an animal called a ‘blue squirrel’ before. Ashamed at my lack of knowledge, I tried to search via internet but to no avail. In my quest to uncover the mystery of the blue squirrel, I have came across, the red, black, gray, white and even yellow (throated) squirrels, but still no blues.

    I am rather frustrated as I was just a few clicks away from making my purchase of those lovely ‘blue squirrel’ brushes, but this naggy uncertainty in my mind irks me to no end.

    As you have own many a ‘blue-squirrel’ brushes and have some extensive knowledge on Hakuhodo products, I was hoping you could help me to clarify this origin of blue squirrel hair.

    Thank you very much.


    1. Hi Areilea!
      i think the "blue" squirrel thing is rather something the brush industry came up with, i have no proof and haven't spoken about this with an expert yet, so i can't say with absolute certainty. i think it's just a black/dark haired squirrel and not golden brown like the grey ones. i am with you that there is no zoological species of "blue" squirrels, though!

  19. Thanks for your reply!
    I'll concur with you on the fancy naming of the squirrels... It must have been like the spoiled brat of the poodles, where a black poodle they call a blue, and a brown one is called a red... I guess calling them browns and blacks would be offensive for such distinguished pets. Then I suppose I have blue... err.. black hair then... That just sounds so funny and wrong, reminds me of bruised hair.
    And many days ago I was wondering if my search engine is purposely annoying me by blocking results of blue squirrel searches... guess they don't bother...
    Anyway, there goes my plan to trap a blue squirrel or two and keep them beside my pillow and stroke myself to sleep... ah well....
    Much appreciate your reply btw. :)



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