Recently, I upgraded my makeup storage; my makeup fripperies now live in two large Alex 9 Drawers from IKEA (I swear I’m going somewhere with this). After meticulously categorising every genre of my collection, every product type was given a drawer and alphabetised (no, I’m kidding…but I considered it).
As I beamed at my new unit
as only a makeup addict would, I kept coming back to the drawer designated to my Hakuhodo brushes. I firmly decided, it was my favourite drawer. Let me tell you why.
If you recall, I purchased an ample number of Hakuhodo brushes at IMATS Sydney 2012. It was my first legit encounter with the brand and I was like a child in a Willy Wonka factory. I’ve been using them incessantly since then and now that I’ve kinda not really wrapped my head around their preposterously large selection, I bring you my thoughts.
The lowdown on Hakuhodo Brushes
The head office and manufacturing plant lies just east of Hiroshima, Japan. With an emphasis on craftsmanship and quality, Hakuhodo brushes have been dubbed the Rolls Royce of makeup brushes. While I do believe there are other brushes of comparable quality, what sets Hakuhodo apart is that they are easily accessible (to a certain degree, you won’t find them at your local store but they are available online and have stands at makeup conventions). Despite providing brushes on a mass scale, all brushes are hand crafted, using carefully selected hairs from China and Europe.
This is my quick brief, you can find a full analysis of hair types and brush series at Diabolus In Cosmetica (run, don’t walk).
Why are Hakuhodo brushes awesome?
Fo real, every shape/size/application you could possibly imagine.
Brushes are not laser cut
If you think of an eyelash, the base of the individual strand is dense before it tapers to a very fine tip. Most of the natural hair brushes on the market are shaped by laser mechanisms, which slice off the tips of the hairs. On the contrary, Hakuhodo brushes are crafted by arranging the hairs to construct the shape while preserving the soft and tapered tips. Craftsmanship, people!
They are soft
I’m just going to say that they feel like a bunny. They are the softest brushes you will ever touch- I think that covers it. There lies a notion that soft brushes are not as functional as they don’t pick up much product. I politely disagree- I think it is more a (complex) function of density, resistance and softness of the brush head.
Incredible variety of hair types
For every application, a hair type is selected based on characteristics. For soft and sheer application, you may opt for Kazan Squirrel. For an eyebrow brush with a stiff and resilient form, Water Badger is the better option. You get the gist. Full explanation of each hair type here.
They do not shed
This is a bold statement, I haven’t tried every Hakuhodo brush (read: broke) but not one of the brushes I own have shed a single hair.
They’re reasonably priced
I say this with reservation, Hakuhodo brushes can range anywhere from $20 to $250. Bern poses a valid observation: MAC 109 currently retails for $35.00USD – its Hakuhodo counterpart, the Hakuhodo 210, is only $36.00USD. I can say with confidence that the Hakuhodo equivalent is far, far superior.
No, you cannot touch them in store (unless you frequent IMATS) and yes, you have to research thoroughly before ordering them online. Personally, the endeavor has been whole-heartedly worthwhile.
Onto my second Hakuhodo haul! I purchased these online and opted for the international shipping + tracking option. They arrived on my doorstep (in Australia) within 5 days.
Left to right:
J4004 (fan brush, highlighter perhaps?)
Kokutan Eyeshadow L (Imma try contour with this one)
B505 (blush brush)
Yachiyo Large Pointed (multi-purpose face brush)
J5523 (known as the MAC 217 dupe, but superior by ten fold)
J242G (flat shading brush, somewhat similar to a MAC 239)
G5515 (teeeenyyy tiny pencil brush for precise eye work)
J521-d1 (mebbe for tightlining? or lower lash shading? we shall find out)
A bit closer, shall we?
You may notice that I have labelled these- this is due to the fact that they have no markings to indicate brush name/number. Perhaps my only complaint.
Geeky reviews of my first Hakuhodo lot are in the making.
Tell me about your favourite Hakuhodo brushes! I need MOAR!
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