Hakuhodo Brushes


51 reviews

94% would repurchase

Package Quality: 4.8

Price: $$$$

Package Quality: 4.8

Price: $$$$


on 8/28/2014 7:49:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Other, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

It all started a couple of months ago when I googled 'a dupe for the MAC 222'... I was pointed in the direction of the Hakuhodo J146, developed a love affair with Hakuhodo and have now amassed a well-loved and well-used collection of brushes!

In no particular order, these are the Hakuhodo brushes I own;

G5513 - The G5513 is perfect for extremely detailed e/s placement anywhere on the eyelid. I love using this for applying e/s to my lower lashline. Compared to the MAC 228 it's more stiff and softer.

J5523 - This brush is hands down the far, far, far more superior dupe to the MAC 217! It blends e/s really nicely,is much softer, even after multiple washes. Believe the hype of this brush! It makes blending in the crease or any other area of the eye a breeze.

J5522 - I absolutely LOVE this brush for applying my transition colour and highlighter. The tapered tip allows me to perfectly position my transition colour in the crease area and blends as it applies it, resulting in a perfectly blended and diffused look, no matter if the eyeshadow is dark or light.

J5533 - This brush strongly resembles the MAC 224, but it is a thousand times better and blending! My absolute favourite blush for blending out harsh lines. Blends harsh lines away seamlessly and with ridiculously little effort. One of my absolute must-haves!

J5529 - An amazing brush for firstly applying eyeshadow to the outer corners, and then going back to blend it with the rest of the eyeshadow on the lid. If you have very small eyes, I think this would make an excellent crease brush.

J146 - The perfect brush to apply eyeshadow in a very precise placement to the crease. I apply the eyeshadow of choice to my crease area and then use windshield wiper motions to blend it in. The e/s stays exactly where I want it to. If you have smaller eyes, again, I think you would also like this brush.

J142 - This is the supposed dupe to the MAC 222, which I have never owned and always regretted not purchasing. I use this brush to deposit a stronger wash of diffused colour to my crease, thanks to it's tapered tip. Although it applies a stronger wash of colour, it never applies eyeshadow harshly.

J242G - I use this brush for everyday application of my eyeshadow to the lid - it is smaller in size than the MAC 239, which means I can't apply eyeshadow as quickly, but I can apply it more precisely to my eyelid and just below the crease.

My must-haves;


Since I bought all my brushes, I've used them all nearly every single day - my MAC brushes are all stood in the jar gathering dust! All of the brushes wash well, and have still retained their softness. I always always comb each brush head after washing - it's important to really take care of these brushes so they last!

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

on 7/14/2014 5:47:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Tan, Neutral

Hair: Black, Straight, Other

Eyes: Brown

My Hakuhodo brushes have been part of my daily make-up arsenal for the past 7 months now: the quality craftsmanship and the price point make this brand a no-brainer for me, and my (still relatively modest) collection already contains far more brushes than I need.

Hakuhodo are now also etching the brush numbers onto the handles of their newer batch brushes, which is probably a response to customer feedback.

The brushes which I use every single day (and take with me when travelling) are the:
B133 (x 2, one per eye colour)
K024 (which I am still preferring over my new Shu Uemura 10 kolinsky)
White goat fan brush

I've also posted separate reviews for each, so won't go into details here. As a general observation, although these brushes are reliable workhorses and I wash them once every week-fortnight with mild soap, they are not indestructible! The hair of the squirrel/blend brushes have been breaking noticeably (B133 and G5521) and the J5543 sheds a lot.

It's actually the K024 (pony hair, and which I've had very mixed feelings about) and the B110 which are holding up best to the test of time so far. I think sticking to sohoko goat hair brushes might be the way forward for me.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

on 5/24/2014 11:10:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

Simply nothing in the world like these brushes. Nothing. Worth every single penny when you get such soft and amazing brushes that do all the work for you. Truly a high quality product. If I could buy every Hakuhodo brush and return all my Mac brushes (except 109 contour) I would do it in a heartbeat!!!!

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

on 5/6/2014 9:14:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Oily, Dark, Warm

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Looking for high quality, superb craftsmanship and a great value? Hakuhodo is your answer. Hakuhodo are known for their high quality, soft, handcrafted brushes. Each brush are assembled using the finest, natural hairs ranging from goat, squirrel, horse, weasel, and water badger. There are also a few synthetic fiber brushes. Hakuhodo brushes come in a variety of series. The series range from reasonably affordable to pricey. The J series, which I mostly obtain, consist of goat, horse, and synthetic fiber brushes. Some are blended with a little of each. Most of the brushes in the J series are quite affordable; some even more affordable than my Mac brushes. I purchased a total of 6 brushes most of them are for eyes. Five are made up of white goat hairs, while only one is made up of horse. I wanted brushes that I don't already have in my collection or wanted a dupe of. Starting with:

J142 ($18): Absolutely amazing. I adore this brush. If I had to rate this brush from a scale of 1-10, I would give this a 20. Not only is the quality superb, but, the way it functions is beyond words. The J142 is a medium sized crease brush. I don't have another brush like this to compare it to, but, I've heard it is very similar in shape and size to the Tom Ford # 13 brush or the Mac 222. The size isn't too big nor too small. It can fit most eye shapes/size, however, for smaller eyes Hakuhodo does sell a smaller version of this brush the J146. It's dense enough to provide support and to pick up color, but also fluffy enough to blend out harsh edges. I reach for this brush when applying darker shades in the crease that I don't want too dark, as well as, for the outer V. I loved this brush so much that I went back and ordered another one. One for the crease and one for the outer V. Great brush to have in your collection and it's definitely a must have.

BJ142 ($18): Same brush as the above. I purchased a second one for the outer V.

J5522 ($20): This is a great blending brush. It's a little larger than the J142/BJ142, but, still can be used as a crease brush for larger eyes. Its tapered edge provides a good amount of control when working in the crease. It's not too dense nor is it floppy. I personally use this brush for blending out my entire eye look, but, I sometimes use it for applying transition color or when I'm not looking for a defined, crease look. I love the amount of control I have with this brush unlike the Mac 224 which I feel is too floppy for crease work and tends to spread color in unwanted areas. If you're looking for a larger brush for all over blending or need a crease brush for larger eyes, than this is the brush for you.

J5523 ($18): Very similar to the Mac 217. A bit softer than my 217, but, let's keep in mind that my 217 is like 6 years old. Both brushes are the same in length and shape, but, the J5523 is a bit flatter while my 217 is a lot fluffier. Does a fantastic job at blending. I usually use it for applying and blending colors in the crease, applying transition color, and/or highlighting the browbone area. If you already have the 217 and are happy with it, there is no need to purchase the J5523, however, If you've never owned a 217, your brush needs replacing, or just aren't completely satisfied with a brush you may have, the J5523 is a better, affordable option.

J116 ($34): The J116 is a small, flat highlighting brush with a slightly tapered edge. I bought this brush for setting my under eye concealer with translucent powder. It works perfectly for that purpose because of its smaller and tapered shape. Not only can this brush be used for highlighting smaller areas of the face like the bridge of the nose, around the eyes etc; but, it could also be used for precisely contouring the cheekbones. A great brush to have in your arsenal.

G5515 ($15): The G5515 is the smallest, pencil brush I've ever owned. It's made up of horse hair, but, it's extremely soft and gentle on the eye area. It is half the size of the Mac 219, but, can be used for various things such as smudging out eyeliner, adding and blending eyeshadow very close to the lash line and can even be used for tight lining. This is my daily go to brush for smudging out my eyeliner. It washes well and keeps its shape through numerous washings. This is a must have, especially, if u find larger pencil brushes too large for your eyes or if you're not looking for an overly, smoked out look.

I'm 100% satisfied with all of my Hakuhodo purchases. It isn't extensive, but, it's enough to keep me happy. I already own enough brushes from Mac, Sephora and Ecotools now adding Hakuhodo to that list. Their customer service is outstanding. They respond promptly to all of my emails and their processing and shipping is extremely fast. I've placed orders in the morning and afternoon and all of them have been shipped the same day and arrived from California to New York City in 2 days. Super fast. If I'm ever in need of any other brushes or need to replace a few, Hakuhodo will be the first place I'll go to.

8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

on 2/10/2014 4:44:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

This is a long review. So hold tight. I have a lot of brushes to talk about.
K002: $82, blue squirrel hair. I use this for loose powder application. Ridiculously soft and picks up the right amount of powder. Has a large, rounded paddle shape. Most expensive brush I have.
K022: $36, black goat hair. I use this for bronzer application. Picks up a good amount of product and the unique paddle shape and size of this brush makes bronzer application easy. Not super soft, but not scratchy either. The brush does have a tendency to spread out, so I would recommend drying this in a brush guard to hold its shape.
G5545: $48, blue squirrel and black goat hair. I use this for blush application for very pigmented blushes. The blue squirrel mix makes it ideal for pigmented blushes because it doesnít pick up a lot of product. The shape is relatively flat and rounded off at the top.
B512: $60, blue squirrel and black goat hair. I use this for blush application for very pigmented blushes. The shape is angled and denser than the G5545. They are built for the same purpose, but for me, I prefer the B512 due to the angled shape. Itís also softer than the G5545. However, itís more on the expensive side for a blush brush.
B110: $46, black goat hair. I use this for blush application for sheer blushes. The goat hair and denseness of this brush helps pick up lots of product for sheer blushes. It does have a tendency to spread out, so dry with a brush guard. It has a rounded off, full shape and is fairly soft.
G5521: $34, blue squirrel and black goat hair. I use this for contour application. The shape is tapered and has a small size, perfect for nose and cheekbone contouring. Picks up a fair amount of product and blends it out very nicely. Soft and keeps shape well.

J214: $35, white goat hair. This is the brush I most regret purchasing. I thought it would be great for under eye concealer but its a little bulky and natural hair doesnít blend out concealer as nicely as synthetic. Itís too big for my small eyelids to be an eye brush. So it just sits in my stand, unused.
J5523: $18, white goat hair. The MAC 217 dupe but much better. Great for blending out eye shadow or placement. Definite must purchase if thinking about buying from Hakuhodo.
J142: $18, white goat hair. Slightly longer hairs and tapered compared to the J5523. I use this for applying a matte crease wash.
J146: $17, white goat hair. The smaller sibling of the J142. If you have smaller eyes, I would recommend getting this one. The hair is about the same length but the head is not as big or as tapered. Great for applying focused crease color.
J5529: $16, white goat hair. Smaller hairs than all the brushes above. Rounded tip and size makes this ideal for applying a dark outer-v shade, especially for smaller eyes. I would recommend using a brush guard to preserve the shape.
G5529: $21, blue squirrel hair. Even though numbers are the same, the G5529 is more tapered than the J5529 and not as dense. Softer and holds its shape better. I personally use this as an inner corner highlight brush due to the softness and precision I get from it.
G5523: $26, blue squirrel hair. Softer, picks up less product, and less dense than the J5523. Even though this is an eye shadow brush, I use this for setting concealer under the eye because itís soft and the right size.
G5528: $29, blue squirrel hair. Soft and has short hairs that taper to a tip. I use this for application to the outer 1/3 of the eye. This and the J5529 serve the same purpose, but I would reach for this if I want a lighter wash of color or something not as precise. I use the J5529 more. I expected the brush to spread out, yet it kept its shape due to the hair. Wish it was more dense.
G5520: $21, blue squirrel and horse hair. I use this for applying eye shadow to the lower lash line as this is a very soft pencil brush. I was afraid the horse hair would make this brush scratchy, but itís soft and the horse hair just adds a firmness and density to the brush.
G522: $18, weasel. Very small push-style liner brush with longer hairs and flexibility. I bought this for gel eyeliner, but too thick for that. Itís too small for eyebrow work, but I have found some success in pin-point concealing.
J163: $18, horse hair. I find this brush not firm enough and too dense for eyebrow application. I was expecting something like the MAC 208 but smaller. This was too soft and flexible for what I wanted. It does work nicely for applying powder eyeliner to your eye.

I have posted more in-depth reviews for the brushes that have their own pages. All in all, Hakuhodo brushes are really outstanding in terms of quality and craftsmanship. The prices vary. Iím a college student, so I stayed with plain black detailing and saved a few bucks. If you order a good amount, they come with a purple box or if you order a couple, they come in a white sleeve.
However, shipping. A $9 flat rate in the U.S. seems steep. I wish they charged depending on where you live because it takes one business day for them to arrive due to being in the same state and on how much the package weighs. The brush handles are small. This comes down to preference. The Hakuhodo inscription on the handles starts to wear off with use (but as with MAC too).
Finally, if you are ready to invest in these brushes, please take care of them. I personally use The Laundress Wool & Cashmere Shampoo (ordered from Amazon). Itís 100% biodegradable and sulfate/phosphate/dye free. Iíve used baby shampoo, a concoction of olive oil and detergent, and Dr. Bronnerís soaps, but this is simply the best. It leaves my brushes clean, but most importantly it makes them so, so soft, not like any washing method Iíve done before. Do not use harsh chemicals on these brushes, especially the ones with blue squirrel hair. Use luke warm water and dry them upside down and use brush guards when/if you can.
All the best!

19 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

on 1/10/2014 3:40:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Dry, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Black

Hakuhodo definitely makes the best makeup brushes in the world! I recently replaced all my brushes to Hakuhodo after reading all the glory reviews about this brand, and I have to say aren't all you guys right, I don't think I will ever have the need to switch brand again.

The quality of the brushes are superb, although it's also the maker of mac brushes, the quality is uncomparable. The hakuhodo brush looks, feels super luxurious while the mac brush, well... it's just a makeup brush that many brands can easily compare to, and it's definitely over priced for its quality. Also I don't think you need to spend fortune on the S100 Series only for the art work on the brush handle (except for personal collections), if you are only looking for a really good makeup brush, you can find top quality brushes with reasonable price from the J and G series (most are lower priced than mac). It's a shame that hakuhodo is not as well known as those commercial brands like mac or bobbi brown, etc... otherwise people can stop wasting their money on paying the extra for commercials and spend on some thing truly offers its value. I'm so grateful that I discovered this brand on MUA, hopefully more people can find a good use of hakuhodo brushes like I do.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Age: 30-35

Skin: Oily, Fair, Cool

Hair: Other, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Green

"J602 Slide Face Angled brush". It's a portable/retractable angled contour brush made of white goat hair. I've used it for two weeks so far.

In my world, MAC's 168 is my perfect brush, so it sets the benchmark for my comparisons. I bought the Hakuhodo J602 in hopes of it substituting for my 168 while on the road. Overall, I'm lukewarm to the brush: It isn't quite as springy as I would ideally like, it feels cheap in the hand due to it's lightweight plastic housing and I feel like I have to pick up a lot more product than I'm used to, to get the color payoff that I want. However, it's super compact size, nice blending ability, nice feel on the face and protective case make it a tolerable substitute for my MAC 168 when on the road. Would I repurchase?--probably not. The expense in combination with the cheap in-hand feel of the J602 and Hakuhodo's unfriendly return policy would make the company an option of last resort in my book (seriously, where else can you find a decent angled, retractable blush brush?). I'm an investment buyer...I treat my items well and expect my more pricey items to last years...and this brush is no exception. We'll see how it holds up and I will absolutely update my review if anything changes.

-Measurements at the bulkiest point are taken with the cap on, as if you were traveling with it in your bag: 9.5 cm long, about 3.5 cm wide and about 2.25 cm deep at the cap.
-The base of the brush is about 3 cm wide and about 2 cm deep.
-The overall brush length (including the bristles) while in use is 13 cm.
-Brush head is made of seemingly high quality, soft white goat hair and is about 4 cm tall (maybe just a hair shorter). No problems with shedding.
-Brush housing is made of black plastic which makes the brush extremely lightweight overall, and, unfortunately, cheap feeling. I feel like I need to be careful with it when using it. "HAKUHODO" is engraved into the cap with silver holographic pain. There is plain, black, elevated text on the bottom of the brush: "MADE IN JAPAN" on the first line and "PAT.P" on the second...no one will see this.

$42 + $9 USPS priority shipping = $51. That's a pricey brush. Shipping was timely.

The brush came nicely packaged in a USPS priority box. Inside was a small package wrapped in tissue paper containing the brush in a beautiful pearly-champagne box with "HAKUHODO" embossed in simple silver holographic type and some inserts (one explaining how to care for the brush and that it will probably only last 3-5 years).

on 10/2/2013 11:08:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

just some general thoughts on these brushes are all extremely good quality, felt very soft against the skin and very well made.
They have a variety of hair types ,shapes that you can choose and available for purchase online from Hakuhodo USA

if you're looking for very good quality brushes ,I would totally recommend it
The customer service was very responsive to all questions and special requests I had and they had super fast shipping

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

on 9/22/2013 11:16:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I have being eyeing these Japanese brushes for a while and bit the bullet last minute and went to Sydney IMATS. So glad I did as it was good to feel the brushes before committing to buy. Loved the pure blue squirrel brushes, so went a little nuts and got 11 brushes. They are so amazing, I could barely feel them on my eye lid, not like the scratchy Mac 226 which I paid twice as much for.

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

on 9/21/2013 10:33:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Dry, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I have a few brushes from Hakuhodo,
And like everyone else's reviews I agree these are SOFT and very well made. Most of brushes are very reasonably priced, if you go for the less expensive series. I purchased mine in the Torrance CA show room and I asked the sales person why such a big price jump( of 20 dollars or more) for brush heads that look the same.. She said that the brush handle is what you are paying extra for, the brush heads are the same. So I always check to make sure to buy from he cheaper series as I am really only interested in the function of the brush NOT aesthetics. My only recommendation would be to immediately brush on clear nail polish on the logo/model number that is on the brush handle after opening. I love the holographic logo and do this to all my brushes so it doesn't wear off( which it will, and quickly) other than that these brushes are highly recommended!

9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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