I often receive emails regarding Hakuhodo brushes and questions like “What first affordable Hakuhodo brushes can I purchase if I am just starting?” or “What would be the perfect and cheapest Hakuhodo eyeshadow starter kit?“, this little post is for you if you have the same type of questions. There is a lot to choose from and I understand those who tell me they end by getting a headache, specially if you are just starting I know it can really be overwhelming !
Here I have gathered what I think to be a nice set of eyeshadow brushes if you are just starting with Hakuhodo brushes, these will achieve great results at an affordable price :
I found a nice and clear picture that describes the eye area, if you need more information on where is the crease, the socket, etc and what kind of shadow to apply, please click here and have a look.
The great thing about the Hakuhodo J Series is that you can use powder, liquid or cream products with them, this makes them versatile and that’s what you need to be getting first, versatile brushes that can do many things with whatever products.
- K007 (eyeliner) 15$ : many eyeliners have already the applicator inside the pen or pot but if they don’t you may want to use a nice eyeliner brush, I find this one very easy to use, it allows a lot of control and precision but you may prefer a thicker one, it just depends on your own preferences. I use this one with Mac or Bobbi Brown gel liners or any other pot eyeliner and even if my liquid pen eyeliners come with an applicator I tend to transfer the color to this brush and then apply it from the brush, it’s just faster for me. It can also be used for concealing small spots.
- J220G (base/blending) 23$ : this brush will apply base color all over the lid area, it may just be a bit big if you have smaller eyes but I still think it’s the best option for base color.
- J5523 (crease/blending) 18$ : this is a great versatile brush, for base, crease, or blending. I think you should even get two of these and the reason is that you might need a clean one for the final blending. If you have already the Mac 217 this one is not a necessity, I do prefer the Hakuhodo since it’s softer but if you have already the Mac one and are on a budget maybe you can wait.
- J242G (lid) 17$: if you have the Mac 239 already you don’t need this, it serves the same purpose. I think you actually need two small lid eyeshadow brushes since you might be using two or three colors for the same look, or maybe just one brush and then you go from the sheerer color to the darkest. Having at least two can be very handy specially if you want to use one with cream products (paintpots or creamy shadows for example) and the other one with powder products. I even prefer the Mac 239 so if you have it, I don’t think you absolutely need this Hakuhodo one.
- G5513 (inner corner/smudge/precision) 16$ : can be useful for so many things. I use it for highlighting near the tearduct or the inner corner, I also transfer my pencil liner onto this brush and apply and smudge it from the brush directly, so much easy to measure the quantity and thickness of the application. I also use it for the brows (I don’t need much precision, it’s just to roughly fill them in where I need).
- J122R (cream shadows/concealer) 28$ : another multipurpose brush, either for concealer or cream shadows, this brush comes in two sizes, the smaller one is the J125R.
- G5528 (outer V) 29$: it’s sad that Hakuhodo don’t have this brush in white goat hair, I really would love that ! This thicker pencil brush will help to apply and blend the outer V, it’s dense and pointy so you can pack powder shadow more precisely than with a fluffy crease brush.
- G5520 (pencil) 21$ : if you prefer a white goat version of it there is the G5514, it’s my go-to pencil brush, just the perfect size for me. I use it for smudging shadow or pencil or applying shadow on the lashline.
- J5529 (16$), J146 (17$), J142 (18$), J5522 (20$) – (crease/blending) : these are all crease brushes, they will help you either to apply the eyeshadow on the crease area or to blend. You have to choose one that fits your crease area best, for me I prefer the J5529 for a more precise application and the J142 or the J5523 for a larger application and blending but it really depends on your own preferences.
I did not mention a specific brow brush because many products you can buy either come with their own brush or you may use a brow pencil, I spent many years using the cheapest eyebrow brush I could find and that was perfectly fine for me, if you want a Hakuhodo brush, you could get the B264 for example, it’s precise and does a fantastic job.
I hope this helps but if you have any questions or if you want to share what would be your perfect affordable Hakuhodo starter kit, don’t hesitate 🙂
EDIT 14th January 2013
I will give you a few options for two of the brushes above, the G5513 and the G5520, these brushes are made with horse hair, sometimes horse hair can be a bit stiffer than goat, if you have delicate skin like I do, you may prefer to spend a little bit more and get brushes that will be even more gentle with your delicate skin. When I first got these two G5513 and G5520 they weren’t what I call “soft” brushes at all, they got softer with washes but still, if I have the budget and if I can get the same result with softer brushes that is even better. The reason why I love them is not because they are stiffer than goat of course but because they are extremely efficient, I use them often to apply and blend waterproof eyepencils that are harder to blend, just to mention an example but also pigments are more easily handled with them.
When you are starting, getting the softest brushes is not that vital, you may just be looking for the most affordable and efficient brushes, that said, I can show you a few others that are similar and probably more gentle with your skin.
The Mac 228 is 20$, synthetic (no other info I could find) but feels like pony hair to me. It serves the same purpose as the G5513, it’s exactly the same size. I tend to reach more for the Hakuhodo than the Mac, but if you have the Mac already, there is no need to go Hakuhodo, you won’t get any additional benefit. The only thing I could say is that both feel about the same, if I “stab” my skin with both, the Mac hurts more but you wouldn’t stab your skin anyway, would you ?
The Rouge Bunny Rouge is an amazing brush and a great option, of course more expensive (18£). What I can add from my experience is that when I want to precisely blend or apply pencil (that I previously applied on the tip of brush), with the Hakuhodo I get a more precise application, but it’s only important if you really care about a very thin line, if you want a more mini-multipurpose brush the RBR is fantastic, doesn’t hurt but if you stab your skin, it will hurt. If you use it as a shader, it will feel slightly softer than the Hakuhodo G5513.
The Rae Morris 12 is one of my favorite brushes from Rae Morris, feels softer but it’s thinner. Costs 21.95$, I think it’s too expensive for what it is but that’s just my opinion. If you stab your skin it also hurts but why would you stab your skin anyway ??? 😀
I only found one brush that is so soft that it will not hurt you whatever you do with it, it’s the Koyudo BP039, so maybe for those of you who are looking for the softest option possible, that would be the best option.
Now for the Hakuhodo G5520, there is another Hakuhodo G5514 that is a bit softer and more precise than the G5520.
If you want better but slightly bigger, the Koyudo C011 is the one if you want the softest pencil brush but still with enough density and firmness for the job, actually the quality of this brush is outstanding and it keeps its original shape and quality as when I first got it.
Full size picture :