For two years now (ever since I first saw them at The Makeup Show LA 2012), I've been hemming and hawing over Hakuhodo brushes. They are the creme de la creme of makeup brushes but each time I went to a show, I would end up chickening out. Well this year at PHAMExpo, I made a decision and got myself one Hakuhodo brush, the G5526BkSL.
The G5526BkSL is part of the G series, which contain brushes that are usually a mix of black blue-squirrel and goat hair (which is why it's denoted with BkSL) though the G5526BkS has horse hair bristles. The G5526BkSL was only $20.00 and in the grand scheme of brushes, it's actually not as expensive as you might think.
I was in between the G5526BkSL and the J242G (which looks similar to the MAC 239), but decided on the G5526BkSL because I couldn't pass up on a brush that looked so close to my beloved MAC 226. While I adore the shape of the MAC 226, it's just not as soft as MAC brushes usually are and I wanted the Hakuhodo version without the scratchiness. I do own both brushes so I'll review the G5526 first then compare it to the MAC 226.
The handle is black and sleek but unfortunately the name or number isn't embossed on the brush, just the brand's name.
The G5526's shape is unique because it's the result of crossing a pencil brush and a fluffy blending brush. The top of the bristles comes to a soft point which allows you to apply eyeshadow in the crease with precision or use the edges to widely blend out a crease color. I prefer using the tip of the brush for drawing out the beginning of a cut crease and using the sides of the brush to blend out the edges. I've also been able to use the sides of the brush to pack on eyeshadow onto my lid.
Here's a comparison to the original MAC 226. I say original because the rereleases of the brush have never quite lived up to the first release. The G5526BkSL has a similar shape but the MAC 226 comes to a sharper point and has a less rounded shape overall but the MAC bristles are much more scratchy. The Hakuhodo brush on the other hand is extremely soft, the bristles feel luxurious on my eyes and it makes for such a wonderful application.
In summation, I'm extremely pleased with the brush. The brand and the brush live up to the hype in my opinion. I've been able to use the brush in my crease and to apply eyeshadow on my eyelid. It's been brilliant for the smokey eyes I've been preferring lately and can be a great pick for anyone seeking the dual purposes of the precision of a pencil brush and the blendability of a fluffy brush.
Do you own any Hakuhodo brushes or any similar brushes? Do you think you might invest in one?
Disclaimer: I purchased this brush myself. All opinions are my own. I'm not being compensated for this post.