I purchased a large number of brushes from Hakuhodo and my only regret is that I did not do this sooner. Most of my brushes are from the G series which have the shorter handles. For the quality of product I I don't think these brushes are exorbitantly priced. If you find the S, Basic or G series more than you want to spend you can go with the 200 series which are more economical but still very good quality. This is a review for some of the brushes and I will do a review for the remainder at another time.
G504 Angled blush brush/blue squirrel & horse/$72.00 - I did not like this brush at first until I learned how to put it to use. This brush has a narrower and somewhat tighter head than the MAC 168 angled blush brush. I have never been able to learn to use an angled blush brush and obtain the desired results. However this is the perfect brush for contouring below the cheek bones, sides of the nose, temples and forehead hairline. It is perfectly angled and with a slight flick of the wrist you can either use the entire brush head for a wider color swatch application or just use the tip of the brush for color application in smaller areas like the sides of the nose. Can also be used for blush if you like angled blush brushes. A very versatile brush. I contour every time I wear blush so this is indispensable for me. Not to firm or not to soft.
G528/HIghlight brush/BlueSquirrel & Synthetic/$54.00 - While this is labeled a highlight brush I just can't see this being used for that purpose as it is a small sized incredibly soft flat top kabuki brush. I am using this brush to buff in mineral foundation around the eye area. I use just a bit of corrector, small amount of BB concealer and a fine layer of mineral powder and this brush blends that powder in flawlessly. Feels wonderful around the eye area even though it has synthetic fibers mixed in with the blue squirrel. Very soft.
G5519BkSL/Blush brush/Blue Squirrel/132.00 - This is the worlds softest brush, uncut blue squirrel hair! Because this hair is so soft it doesn't pick up too much pigment. So it is spectacular for heavy pigmented blush as well as for applying all over powder face illuminator. Applies the pigment just as evenly as the Nars Yahciyo but ten times softer. It does not deposit concentrated color in one spot which makes for very evenly dispersed color and blends out well. Of note is that since it is all blue squirrel hair it does not place concentrated color in one spot (unless there is a concerted effort to pick up lots of pigment) and thus there is no need for extensive blending out which is something I don't see this uber soft hair brush being able to do as well as goat hair. Glad I purchased two so that I don't have to wash as frequently.
G5518/HIghlight round brush/Kazan squirrel/$90.00 - This brush like a mini MAC 138 brush but of course many many times softer. This brush is tapered thus rendering it very versatile. Some of the uses I have found are for contouring, blush (for those with smaller faces) and my favorite dedicated use is it to apply & buff mineral foundation powder around the eye on top of concealer for an airbrushed look. Again uber soft.
G515/Angled Eye shadow brush/Canada Squirrel/$36.00 - Awesome awesome brush. Versatility and softness. The tip of the brush creates the perfect cut of color in the crease just by holding the brush with the slant side facing up and using the tip only. Turn the brush over and it can be used to apply shadow all over the eye, lid or in just the crease. However of note is that it does not blend out darker crease colors very well since the brush is so soft, the brush head is not firm at all. I have not checked if hakuhodo makes a MAC 226 version but the 226, similar Mercier or McEvoy blend out perfectly.
G5524BkSL/Pointed eye shadow/Kazan Squirrel/$57.00. Great brush for crease color although not a sharp cut crease color but a softer more dispersed color. It also does the outer V quite well. It is the perfect size for applying a shimmer/highlighter wash in the inner corner of the as well as the sides of the upper bridge of the nose if you do this type of application. Yes, uber soft!
G5527BkSl/Pointed Eye shadow brush/Kazan Squirrel/$57.00 - This brush is just a somewhat thicker/wider version of the G5524. Great for all over eye or lid color and with just a slight upward flick of the fingers when holding the brush you can do the lid and go into the crease perfectly. Again due to its softness you can either pick up lots of dark pigmented color for heavy application as well as applying a softer wash of dark color, but not the ideal brush for blending out heavy/dark pigment.
G531/Angled Powder brush/Sokoho Goat/$48.00 - The perfect sized brush for either finishing powder and or bronzer. Its shape allows for versatility in that you can turn the brush over and use it to powder the temple area with the narrow edge without going into the hairline.
G527/Powder brush/Ototsuho Goat/$54.00 - This is a flat top kabuki type brush and I don't know that I would use it as a finishing powder brush because it might apply just a little too much finishing powder. I have used this brush to apply mineral powder foundation as well as buffing it out and it did the job to perfection. This brush has a slightly larger brush head the the McEvoy flat top kabuki brush which I don't believe is made anymore.
Not a single one of these brushes bled, shed a hair or had unpleasant odors. The basic series are the same as the G series but just have longer handles. All Hakuhodo brushes have uncut hair tips which make even the goat hair brushes feel like squirrel hair. On days that I will be wearing makeup I look forward to sitting at my vanity and treating my skin by using these super soft brushes. BTW, Hakuhodo offers superb customer service and lightning fast shipping.
I was on the search for the perfect foundation brush for applying my mineral makeup. I needed to look no further than Hakuhodo! Everyone's always raving about the softness (and indeed, it IS the softest thing I have EVER put on my face), but these brushes aren't just soft--- they pick up just the right amount of product and distributes it evenly across the face. Ever since I got this brush, I've been using LESS foundation but am able to get the same exact coverage. I'm also amazed that it hasn't shed ONCE since I got it (which is a revelation because I used to have to pick away 4-5 hairs EACH time with my previous foundation brush!)
I also loved how informative their site was--- they use many various kinds of hairs for their brushes (blue squirrel, horse, weasel, etc.) and they have a page that explains what kind of qualities these hairs have and which one would be appropriate to achieve a certain effect (for example, whether you want a subtle effect or if you really want to pack the pigments on).
Their service is also second to none. They are SUPER helpful and when you e-mail them, you get a speedy reply (that's NOT a stock reply! *shocker*) that's personalized. If you explain to them what kind of effect you're trying to achieve, they'll work with you to recommend you the right brushes to get the job done.
Although expensive, Hakuhodo brushes are an investment and I think when it comes to makeup brushes, you really do get what you pay for! If you want brushes that apply makeup like a dream, rarely (if ever!) shed, are the softest things you will ever feel on your face, then look no further than Hakuhodo!
This is more a review of the customer service than the brushes themselves.
I just want to share with you my experience with their customer services because it was really excellent and they deserve their reputation.
They have a few faq in their site but I needed some more detailed information as I was looking for a brush to apply liquid foundation, I prefer round and flat (like sigma F80) rather than the usual flat ones.
I could not find any like the Sigma F80 on their site, apart from the natural hair ones and I did not know if I could use them for that purpose so I contacted them by email.
They replied the same day with the following information :
*****Basically, you may use the brushes made of Goat hair, Weasel hair and Synthetic.
However, we would not recommend using black goat hair brush with liquid or cream products because they are dyed in black color and the hair color could fade in the future. You don't have to worry about color fading if you use the brushes made of natural color hair or synthetic.
In addition, we have new brushes for liquid foundation but they are not
available online yet. I have attached a picture of the products and detail
for your reference. Please let us know if you are interested in the new
They sent me the pictures of the new brushes and all the details including the prices.
As they are new and not yet in their site, I could order directly by email and they sent me a paypal invoice for them.
I had made an order the day before and they have just added these to my order so that I did not had to pay for two different shipment fees.
I will tell you how these brushes perform when I get them, but the service is exceptional and if you have any questions you can contact them and get a nice personalized reply...
I have received my brushes, I really love them of course I still had no time to test them all. But two brushes that I already think everyone should have are the G5514 and the G5515. These are amazing !! They are the smaller and smallest versions of the Mac 219. See pic for comparison with the Mac one. Much better for precision and thin application, I really needed these and I am not disappointed !!! Finally I can line my lower lid with powder and it looks flawless... also to set eyeliner they are perfect, I think it is my best buy of all times ... They are really not expensive as they are so small but they are worth a lot believe me !
After reading so many reviews and hearing so much hype in the makeup industry, I placed my first order with Hakuhodo. I purchased three brushes, which arrived in three days and were carefully and beautifully packaged.
There is no turning back.
I replaced my Mac 109 Brush with the Hakuhodo 210, which is the exact brush in size and use, only the Hakuhodo one is softer, does not shed, and does an exquisite job of applying liquid foundation without leaving pieces of broken hair all over the face.
I bought the Hakuhodo 212, which they call a highlight brush, and used it to apply my Mac Studio Finish (Cream) Concealer. In a word: Perfection!
I also purchased the S103 (similar to the Mac 138) for contouring/highlighting, and it is gorgeous to look at, to handle, and to apply contour, blush, highlighter, or setting powder, whether loose or pressed.
All three brushes washed well without any shedding or bleeding, and absolutely kept their original shape.
Folks - Believe the raves! Their brushes are simply wonderful, as is their customer service.
These brushes speak for themselves. They are fantasic. The quality of these brushes is amazing. I have never felt a brush so soft. I ordered a number of brushes from different ranges. I ordered some from the S100 range which is Hakuhodo flagship range. I also ordered some from the basic series, the Kokutan finishing brush LAG & the G527M powder brush. The difference in the price of these brushes is in the handles and the ferrule. They are all fantastic and I have now ordered more of them. Again some from each range.
The customer service at Hakuhodo is second to none. I have never dealt with a company so efficient and helpful. I have emailed them a lot as I wanted to make sure that I ordered the correct brushes and wanted to know a little more about them. The price of some of the Hakuhodo brushes are very expensive but well worth it.
You can only buy these brushes on line or at trade shows. Shipping to the UK is fairly high but well worth it. I used the highest shipping so that the order was tracked from the US to my home address.
Their brushes are amazing!!! I falled in love with Bobbi Brown's brushes first, then I found MAC, and I use the 187 everyday, until I find Hakuhodo!!! I will never never buy brushes from any other brands any more! Hakuhodo's brush are hand made and they keep the oringinal shape of the hair instead of cut to the desired shape.
I bought the S110, S127, and K005. The S110 is a must have and it is the bestseller of Hakuhodo, it is so soft and you can tell the high quality even by just looking at it! And it is PERFECT for highly pigmented blush like NARS, it applies the blush so natually and the result is WAY better than MAC 187.
The S127 is an eyeshadow brush which is simillar to MAC 242 but bigger. It is made of Canada Squirrel, which is amazing soft! I can not even feel it when I use it on my eyelid, I use the side for applying and the tip for smudge. Superisely, it is not only good for powder eyeshadow, but also great for applying cream shadows. And again, the result are way better than other brushes.
And the K005, I use it to apply the Bobbi Brown gel eye liner, the best result that I have ever had so far. It is so comfortable even for inner liner application. 100 times better than BB's ultra fine.
Highly highly recommend these brushes! The only con is the price, but they worth every penny that you invested! They have an office in US and they ship from California. For your reference, here is the link to their US online shop:
I LOVE, LOVE LOVE there brushes. Better than any high end brushes. I have MAC, YSL, Nars, Bobbi Brown, MUFE etc...HAKUHODO Brushes is the best.
I bought six from the Kokutan series, primarily for aesthetic reasons. Some of the brush heads are repeated at different price points, but with no diminishment in quality. Unfortunately, unless you can attend a trade show, these brushes can only be purchased online. As much as possible, anticipate what you are looking for. These brushes tend to be smaller than expected. And yes, they boast an exquisite softness, from the highest quality noge, the uncut hair tips, all bundled by hand, but except for the denser brushes, keep in mind that they deposit pigment more sheerly.
The Kokutan Eye Shadow Brush T E0183 ($42) is nearly perfect as a small, pointed brush for detail work; I only wish it were a millimeter or two smaller, as I use it primarily for smoky liner (a favorite technique) rather than creasework. This little nub of blue squirrel, fragile and extremely expensive, very soft on the skin but densely packed. Only the tip picks up pigment directly, but the brush is so well tapered it softens the line even as you apply, like a liner brush with a q-tip built in for automatic smudging.
A generous amount of high-quality goat hair is carefully bundled into an unusual angled shape for the Kokutan Finishing Brush LAG E0173 ($82)—I've never seen anything quite like it elsewhere—that fits neatly into the contours of the face no matter how clumsily you manipulate it. Because of its shape, you can manipulate the surface area, whether sweeping over tight corners or broad areas. The goat hair is cut long enough to be slightly floppy, as opposed to a squat, dense kabuki brush, and the tips are extremely fine, with some synthetic fibers woven in for extra delicacy. It's best for a diffuse application, or "finishing", a so-sheer-it's-invisible layer of powder to set foundation. A full base isn't my style, but I sometimes wear Chanel Poudre Universelle on its own, for a little luminosity, and this brush makes the process all that more luxurious. Not the most functional brush, but a beautiful one.
As a basic, all-purpose eyeshadow brush, the Kokutan Eye Shadow Brush WM E0186 ($54), thinner and longer than the Shu Uemura 10, is nothing short of perfection. In general, sable or weasel is my preference for eye brushes; it's often too expensive for most brands (Shu Uemura is the most notable exception). The hair is firm but pliant, so pigment applies in even layers, but extremely fine, and so practically blends itself, no harsh edges, without lifting off pigment already applied on the skin. When angled flat against the lid, you can pack on metallic pigments, but closer to the perpendicular, using mostly the tips, you get an ethereal wash of shimmer or do a little blending, and the sides can also smudge liner and even manage fairly decent creasework. My eye shape is relatively simple—they're symmetrically almond-shaped, wide-set, with no crease, and very little lid space—so the expense is well justified by its extreme usefulness.
If it were fluffier, it might serve as a blending brush, but Kokutan Eye Shadow SG E0188 ($28) performs similarly to the WM, slightly squatter in shape. Though not as expensive, its goat hair does not handle pigment quite as deftly as the weasel, so I find myself giving preference to the WM's precision and control. It does pair excellently with cream products; it's become my favorite brush to buff in my Laura Mercier Moisturizing Foundation, not all over but selectively, like a concealer, leaving most of the skin bare. The finish is so much more refined than a synthetic brush could ever yield.
The Kokutan Eye Shadow Brush SL E0189 ($32) is thicker than most liner brushes, only crafted of the same expensive weasel as my shadow brushes, unlike the generic synthetic flat liners, with rounded, tapered edges. To my surprise, this is the perfect tightlining brush, and easily my favorite out of all the ones I bought. I didn't account for how fine the uncut tips would be, and unlike dirt-cheap synthetic fibers, the flexible weasel hairs actually maneuver pigment right between lashes, but looks perfectly soft, not harsh. If you're not so eager for the Kokutan finishings, the K005 ($15) from the K Series is the exact same brush, a brilliant deal.
I generally apply lipstick straight from the tube without difficulty, but it's nice to have the Kokutan Lip Brush RS E0194 ($32) for completeness' sake, all the same. It's quite wide, which I like in a lip brush, since it lifts off lipcolor and softens edges, if that's what you want, with a slightly pointed tip for crisp edges, if that's what you want.
For full review and images, please read my original blog post (I hope it's ok to post an outside link, I'm not sure how to show images in post): http://arsaromatica.blogspot.com/2011/01/beauty-notes-hakuhodo.html.
I am so impressed with the quality of this brand. I ordered the K022 Powder brush for $20 and the quality rivals MAC brushes for half the price!!! I opened it up and it was so delicately wrapped and the bristles feel like silk. I am now a loyal customer to Hakuhodo. I will try some of their more expensive brushes. I am so impressed that I just ordered a small foundation/blush brush!!! Its a cheaper dupe to the MAC 131!
P.S: Shipping is extremely fast! Expensive, yes. But fast!!!
Hakuhodo S103 Brush. So soft and it picks up powder easily and applies wonderfully. When I first received these brushes, I literally couldn't stop touching them. It's so dense and lush and so good for precis blush placement. If you have a small face frame (which I have) I'd definitely recommend this brush. Not only does it work for blush, but it can work for highlighting and contouring because of it's pointed tip.
Hakuhodo S116 Brush. I didn't expect the brush hair to be so big and long to be honest, but maybe because I have very small almond shaped eyes and face frame which is why it seems so large for me. I can use this for a highlight underneath the eyebrow or for an all over wash.
Hakuhodo S133 Brush. This eyeshadow brush is my favorite of the brushes. It's stiff but it still flexible and small enough for my small eyes. I've also notice that I never get any fallout, and I mean never. Even with my glitter shadows. One I pat it down is stay down.
Hakuhodo S142 Brush. A blending brush. It didn't come with my set and so for a while I had to make do before I could get this brush. I'm so glad I did. Before my makeup looked a bit choppy bit this makes everything gradually blend into each other. I barely knew where my eyeshadow started and ended. It was really nice.
Hakuhodo S143 Brush. I love using this one when it comes to eyeliner.
Hakuhodo S162 Brush. I know this is supposed to be used as a eyebrow brush, but I don't like filling in my eyebrows because they're pretty thick .So I never used it for it intended purposes, but I instead used it when I wanted to place some eyeshadow on the outer corner of my eye. Personally, I like it better this way.
Hakuhodo K019 Eyelash Comb. I've never purchased an eyelash comb before. I used to think it was a stupid idea, but now I can really see the power of using one. It great for getting top and bottom lashes full and even. It also stops the horrible flaking from my mascara! I hate flaking, the flakes would get under my contacts and irritate my eyes. I think I had too much mascara on, but the comb gets rid of the excess and and makes sure that my eyelashes don't stick together either. This is my second favorite makeup tool after my S133 brush.