Definite upgrade from MAC 217: softer and more control; don't forget cheaper too. Worth every penny. I own 3 MAC 217 brushes and will still use them but will replace them over time with the J5523. Actually i am done buying MAC brushes( but not their makeup; still the best) .I am all about HAKUHODO now!
I currently have two of these brushes. Really fantastic blending brush. It is slightly less expensive than it's counterpart, the MAC 217. In my opinion, it does work better, but the 217 is still a great brush. In terms of softness, the Hakuhodo wins out due to the brush hairs not being laser cut and hand selected. I have had my 217 for a while so it's looking a little worse for wear, so it would be unfair to compare the two today as opposed to remembering when I got the 217 originally. Another thing to note, the handle to the Hakuhodo is shorter.
I added a photo of the J5523 (left) and 217 (right) side by side. Hope it helps!
The softer version of the MAC 217. It is cheaper, it is better and you can even tell just by looking at it that it's softer, the hairs are much thinner.
This is better than the MAC one in every way, and I prefer the shorter handle, it gives more control.
One thing I had to add: MAC 217 is still a good brush and I've seen so many comparisons with a brand new haku and a three year old MAC brush, which isn't fair. Of course brushes will be rougher with time.
A staple. One of my top all-time favorite beauty products for sure.
What more is to say that it blends out eyeshadows beautifully, soft as feather, and retains its shape after, say, a hundred washes?
Plus side - it also blends concealers to perfection. At the price of $18 it is worth every penny. I have tried dupes but they are incomparable to this beauty.
Holy crap I love this brush! Soft as a baby's breath and great at both applying and blending shadows. Retains its shape beautifully, so glad I got this instead of the MAC 217.
I love this brush. It is very versatile and well made. It is very soft on the eyelids but also blends shadow extremely well. I use it with both creams and powders. It is flat on one side but fits in my crease perfectly. The price is very reasonable for such a well made brush. This is a must have brush.
Buy this brush instead of the MAC 217!
This is a wonderful blending brush. I own the MAC 217, and several cheaper dupes aswell, but I prefer the Hakuhodo.
+ the shape is perfection, no stray hairs
+ it doesn't shed
+ holds the shape after washing (no brush guards needed!)
+ very soft goat hair with a great "bounce" to it
+ blends extremly well
+ 18 $ for the brush is amazing value
I have this brush for over a year now, and since then I have been getting a lot of use out of it, and washed it about 50 times. It still looks brand new.
Will be getting a 2nd and 3rd one!
I would compare this brush to the Tom Ford #13 brush in terms of softness. It is similar in shape to the Mac 217, but not as tapered. This is fantastic for blending the crease. All that for under $20!
This brush is a joy to use and versatile. The head is soft as breath on the eyelids (uncut hair tips!) without sacrificing springiness or shape retention. It's dense to allow you to pack on product and blends out powder effortlessly; its flattish shape and pointed tip makes it easy to apply shadow into the crease and inner corner, even light smudging along the lashline. I haven't had the brush long enough to comment on shedding, but it hasn't so far and nowhere have I heard that it does. What I can't believe is the price-- this is a top-notch brush for only $18 US. I have heard that, as a dupe of MAC 217 (shapewise), it performs infinitely better for less (MAC 217 is $23). The brushes are not printed with any model ID on the handle, though, so Karima of the blog Shameless Fripperies suggests cutting out the model ID on the label of the plastic pouch the brush arrives in and sticking it onto the handle. Like the Hakuhodo brochure suggests, I stand my brush in a cup which I filled with rice because I don't want it leaning on the rim and it looks cool.
Whelp, now I've been turned into a brush snob and I'm just going to buy only Hakuhodo. Not even sorry.