I've had these Hakuhodo brushes for a few years now and they still perform the same. They do shed a piece of bristle or 2, once in a blue moon. However, it's not too much that would cause an alarm. One of things that baffles me is the lack of names or numbers imprinted on the handles. The company has a wide variety of products with some that look very much similar to one another. So, it becomes very difficult to distinguish the brushes and remember what the names and numbers are, especially if you have a huge collection. (I don't know about you, but I'm not going to remember "G5556-4mm" when I reach for that brush.) I had to label mine with tape, which makes them look unattractive, but the most important thing is the performance. So, continue reading to find out how they are in action.
Hakuhodo G506 ($75) - The bristles are made of goat and horse hair, which feels like my MAC 109 and are not as soft as my Sonia Kashuk black handled brushes. I mention this just to give you an idea of how the bristles feel. The head is also the densest and firmest compared to the other 3 paddle brushes. Because the bristles are more compact, it works well for picking up sheer powder products and blending harsh lines, especially if you over apply blush or want to blend out a sharp contour line.
Hakuhodo B110BkSL ($48) - This is the long handle version, which is only available in the US. The bristles are made of goat hair, feels slighlty softer, and are not as densely packed as the G506, but it is by no means flimsy. It is also slightly wider at the top and I love using it to apply blush and bronzer. It just has the right amount of density that allows it to buff and blend products into your skin effortlessly. This is my favorite out of the bunch!
Hakuhodo G5519BkSL ($138) - This one is more flexible compared to the other 3 paddle brushes. The bristles are made of blue squirrel, which do not blend products as effortlessly as goat hair. However, they feel ultra soft and has a slight "waxy" feel to it, similar to those that are made with synthetic material. When using it to apply highly pigmented blushes, it lays down a concentrated amount of product and is difficult to blend out. Also, this type of hair does not disperse product as evenly as goat hairs do. So, I prefer to use this when I need to apply setting powder to a concentrated area of my face.
Hakuhodo B505BkSL ($88) - This is the long handle version, which is only available in the US. The bristles are made of blue squirrel and goat hair. It's not as soft as the G5519BkSL, but is softer than both the G506 and B110BkSL. It's also slightly denser and firmer than both the G506 and B110BkSL. So it works best with powder products that are not highly pigmented. I use it the same way as the G5519BkSL. The main difference is that it's slightly bigger than the G5519BkSL and therefore, covers a bigger portion of the face.
Hakuhodo G5556-4mm ($72) - The bristles are made of goat hair and polyester (synthetic). The synthetic hair extends 4 millimeter beyond the natural hair. Every time I use it to apply liquid foundation, it sheds. So, I prefer to use it on my cheeks in a light patting motion when I apply cream bronzer in order to minimize the amount of shedding. When compared to the Real Techniques one ($9.99), the G5556-4mm is bigger and denser.
Hakuhodo G5554-4mm ($57) - The bristles are made of the same material as the G5556-4mm. The main difference is that it's smaller and offers more precision. It works best for patting on cream blushers on the apple of the cheeks or cream highlight on the top of the cheekbones. When compared to the Real Techniques one, the G5554-4mm is slightly smaller and firmer.
Hakuhodo 210 ($38) - The bristles are made of goat hair and feel like the MAC 109 ($35). The 210 is slightly denser, firmer and bigger. I love using it to buff out harsh contour lines or over applied blush. It also fits nicely on the cheek area, but because of its density, I recommend using it to apply blushers or bronzers that are sheer.
Bottom Line: Hakuhodo offers a wide range of brushes with different types of bristles, handles, brush shapes, and application purposes. I'm sure you'll find some that are suitable for you. Price may be the only obstacle in your way.
Note: Hakuhodo brushes can be purchased on their online store. The Real Techniques Stippling brush is available at Target, drugstore.com and Ulta. The MAC 109 can be purchased at Nordstrom.
Have you splurged on any of the Hakuhodo brushes?
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