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Over the past few months I’ve only been talking about my Tom Ford makeup brushes! But in many of my Instagram posts and in some of my blog posts as well, you saw a couple of my beloved Hakuhodo‘s too! So it was only fair to give them the same treatment! But if you want to delight yourself with some amazing makeup brushes first, read all about my Tom Ford ones here and here

annie's beauty... HAKUHODO eyeshadow brush

First, a couple more words to get to know the manufacturer!*

Hakuhodo started as a family business established on August 9, 1974 in Kumano, about 20 km east of Hiroshima. Kumano is renowned for having manufactured Japanese calligraphy brushes for about 200 years. There are more than 100 brush companies in Kumano, producing 80%  of the brushes made in Japan.

annie's beauty... HAKUHODO eyeshadow brush

My Hakuhodo “samurai army” of eyeshadow brushes is made of 8 “soldiers“, who help me do my makeup basically everyday.

Most of my favourites are from the J Series for several reasons: they are some of the cheapest and the quality is definitely amazing ( natural white hairs that are beyond soft and which clean effortlessly, sturdy but light classy black wooden handle adorned with a nickel brass in silver and with the same silver embossing of the brand, and lately with the brush model/number ).

The brushes in the J Series are made with carefully selected materials and designs for the brush shapes. The natural hair used in this range has not been dyed so keeps its original color. This means the bristles will not lose any color. The bristles in this brush range provide moderate resilience and produce great coloring and the bristle shapes available serve any need.

annie'a beauty... HAKUHODO eyeshadow brush

Here you have my tapered blending brushes! 

J5522 Eyeshadow Brush Tapered

A. Full Length: 156.0㎜ B. Hair Length: 21.0㎜
C. Thickness: 7.3㎜


This is a slightly larger brush than the MAC 224 and the Tom Ford #13 Blending Brush ( review here ). This brush is made with white, resilient yet soft goat hairs. Its hair length and shape enables you to achieve soft and natural coloring by placing your colour into the socket, but I find it is best suited to blending out crease shades – for this it works beautifully. It also can be used with all types of products – liquid or cream based makeup, and even powders.

J142 Eyeshadow Brush Round

A. Full Length: 153.0㎜ B. Hair Length: 18.0㎜
C. Thickness: 6.0㎜


This one is pretty similar to the J5523 and the MAC 217, but it’s slightly less dense – a smaller, baby version of those and building colour with it’s infinitely easier than buffing out over application, especially when using very pigmented eyeshadows or very dark, deep colours.

As with all my Hakuhodo brushes you’ll read about in this post the bristles are infinitely soft and never drag on the skin, creating perfectly diffused gradients of colour, no matter what your eye makeup choice is.

J146 Eyeshadow Brush Round

A. Full Length: 156.0㎜ B. Hair Length: 16.0㎜
C. Thickness: 5.0㎜


This is the perfect brush for precise crease work, for adding a dark shade to the outer v, deepening the socket. Despite a slender frame it provides a comfortable amount of resistance because of the bristles which are made from resilient yet soft goat that can produce great coloring. Smudging and blending colours can be easily achieved.

Also ideal for highlighting, which I’m mainly using it for.

J5529 Eyeshadow Brush Tapered

A. Full Length: 153.0㎜ B. Hair Length: 13.0㎜
C. Thickness: 5.0㎜


This is a tiny, thin brush with a rounded, very lightly tapered, edge. The baby version of all the tapered brushes I shown you before. It’s a shorter, narrower crease brush perfect for detailing and for smaller eyes with “difficult” characteristics, for those who normally find crease brushes to be too large for them. It also works well for softening colour along the lower lash line.

J5533 Eyeshadow Brush Tapered

A. Full Length: 153.0㎜ B. Hair Length: 18.0㎜
C. Thickness: 6.0㎜


This is a particular brush! It’s not tapered but it’s not flat either! Its a very fluffy brush with a round-ish head. The hair length and shape enables you to achieve soft and natural colouring because of its extremely soft and flexible bristles. With this eye shadow brush, you can naturally smudge and blend eye shadow. Since it’s not pointy you will have less precision and will cover more surface but I particularly like to use this slightly tapered brush to apply and blend out cream and mousse eyeshadows like my Chanel Illusion D’Ombres and my By Terry Ombre Blackstars.

The fibers are soft to the touch and feel nice against the skin, but that’s redundant now!

annie's beauty... HAKUHODO eyeshadow brush

Now my round and flat eyeshadow brushes!

J5523 Eyeshadow Brush Round & Flat

A. Full Length: 151.0㎜ B. Hair Length: 16.0㎜
C. Thickness: 4.5㎜


This is the brush that is the closest to MACs infamous 217, just a tiny bit smaller which I personally prefer, 1) because I have small eyes and 2) because it offers a more precise application. It’s a round but flattened headed brush, made from goat hairs that feel so soft on your skin and provide moderate resilience. This brush can be used for the upper eyelid area and produces great colouring, and also can be used with all types of products – liquid or cream-based makeup and even powder.

If you ask me, the Hakuhodo J5523 excels MAC’s 217 in every aspect: it’s definitely way, way, WAY softer, retains shape even after multiple washes, never frays, doesn’t shed… And it’s also cheaper than the 217. Costs 19$ on www.hakuhodousa.com.

J242G Eyeshadow Brush Round & Flat

A. Full Length: 146.0㎜ B. Hair Length: 11.0㎜
C. Thickness: 3.0㎜


This is a small yet very versatile, flat eyeshadow brush with a slightly tapered edge. The bristles, made from a mix of goat and synthetic fiber, provide moderate resilience and does a great job at packing and patting on eyeshadow on the inner portion of the lid, or for more precise colour application if you’re applying more than two shades on the eyelid and want them to be more distinct, and also for for adding colour along the lower lash line using the edge. This brush can be used with all types of products – liquid or cream-based makeup, and even powder.

G5513 Eyeshadow Brush Round Flat

A. Full Length: 147㎜  B. Hair Length:7.0㎜
C. Thickness: 2.5㎜


This last eyeshadow brush I have for you is from the Hakuhodo G Series.

The G5513BkSL Eyeshadow Round Flat Brush is a small, flatter eyeshadow brush with domed edge. It’s not the smallest brush I own though and I find that this brush is somewhat similar to my Tom Ford # 15 Eyeliner & Definer Brush. The bristles on this brush are a bit longer than those on my Tom Ford brush, which makes them not as stiff or as firm. Maybe because they’re made from horse hair too! Nevertheless, they are elastic, durable and produce great color. The hair length is relatively short, which provides good control and creates great colouring.

image – here you have a better view of the actual shape and form of the brushes

image – my little “samurai army” ready to assist me in the mornings, when I do my makeup

Next post I intent to write is a “how I clean my brushes” type of post. So what do you think? Would you like to see how I keep my brushes clean? Please let me know in the comments below!

See you soon, beautiful!

xx, Annie




  • Hakuhodo is one of the leading makeup brush manufacturers in Kumano, producing 500,000 brushes monthly. It also has been producing and providing high quality makeup brushes for many leading cosmetic companies and makeup artist brands worldwide as an OEM (Original Equipment Manufaturer) supplier.

  • they produce: – makeup brushes 95%

  • traditional brushes (calligraphy, menso, nihonga, etc.) 2%
  • painting brushes (oil painting, design, etc.) 2%
  • industrial brushes 1%

  • a few highlights of their history : 1974 Hakuhodo was incorporated as a private limited company. 1982 Kazuo Takamoto became president of Hakuhodo and started to develop Hakuhodo ‘s original brand. 1993 Awarded an Order of Friendship by Mongolia for offering expertise in brush making. 1995 Founded an affiliate factory in Shenzhen, China. After starting an OEM deal with M.A.C., a Canadian cosmetic company (under the umbrella of Estee Lauder at present) in 1995, Hakuhodo began making direct OEM agreements with many world-famous cosmetics companies. 2003 Awarded Japan Culture Design Award. 2005 Selected Top Companies Using IT Management President Kazuo Takamoto, won the Prime Minister’s Prize of Monodzukuri Nippon Grand Award in the field of the Application of Traditional Technology. 2006 Selected as one of the 300 Japan’s Dynamic Monozukuri SEMs from Ministry of Economy,Trade and Industry.