Hakuhodo has just released a new brush to join their J series, the J004G :
I started to look for a Mac 239’s dupe a long time ago, just looking for a cheaper version or even a better quality one but not because I wasn’t happy with the original Mac 239. It was more out of curiosity, you know me… always involved in a brush mission.
Here in Switzerland Mac brushes are very expensive, the Mac 239 costs 40 chf (approx 40 usd). In the USA, the Mac 239 is sold at 25 usd (before taxes). The J004G is 20 usd on the Hakuhodo website, it’s cheaper even if I include the shipping costs, it will depend what prices are applied on Mac products where you live. I think in Australia and Europe Mac could nearly reach the double of the USA price tag so this J004G may be of great interest to you.
Everyone who loves Mac brushes knows that they are manufactured by Hakuhodo, we are in the same nest here. They are hand made too therefore the shape and thickness could slightly change even within the same brush, this is why I decided to take pictures of the Hakuhodo J004G together with all my Mac 239’s just for you to get a better idea of how sometimes they can differ from each other. The way you use or wash your brushes can also change how they age and how the shape evolves. You can see in this sideways picture a small but very obvious difference in mine but all remain absolutely fine and efficient :
Once in a while I have a look at the Hakuhodo New products section (I admit I am pretty scared because if I see something interesting it’s for sure that I’ll have to order it…). Some days ago, I found this J004G and it made me think of the shape of the 239. I know that many of you love the very famous 239 and wouldn’t mind finding a cheaper or better dupe…
The J004G is slightly longer (1mm) and rounded at the top, the base of the ferrule is same width, it is softer and it has more flexibility than the Mac 239 but it’s not as thickly bundled, still thick enough to achieve a perfect layering. It’s also a bit more tapered at the top, it will just allow you to place or smudge shadow with the top more precisely than with the Mac 239 but not with as much pressure. The layers start a bit more closer to the ferrule but the final application doesn’t change much, there is nothing that I do with the Mac 239 that I cannot do with the Hakuhodo J004G. The Mac 239 will eventually allow you to scrape hard products with more strength since it’s firmer but other than that for me it’s a very close dupe.
I took a pic with other similar or less similar brushes, the point is that you get a better idea of the size :
Don’t even ask me how the Piccasso 239 differs from the Mac 239, they look similar, they are not. The bristles of the Piccasso poke, they aren’t evenly layered and you won’t have a nice control with uneven layers like that. It doesn’t mean your application will not be ok because it will apply your product, just not as well as with the others and you won’t feel the application pleasant if you have delicate eyelids. The Piccasso costs 28.60 usd and it’s made of goat hair but I really don’t get how they could name it 239… if at least they were offering a cheaper version of the 239 I would understand better but here I don’t.
The big question is … do I still need the Mac 239 or can I order the J004G instead ?
You can order the J004G and you won’t miss the Mac 239, unless you want a firmer version of it. I can manage all that I did with the Mac 239 and it will be slightly more pleasant, in terms of softness they aren’t that different but they still are enough for me to notice it.
If you want a bit more control and precision you can use the J242G, in this case you will have something for general application (J004G) and the smaller J242G for the lid or for the outer corner. It’s very useful to have at least two laydown brushes but that’s just my personal preference, not a necessity but a comfort.
I am here if you have questions about any of these brushes 🙂
I hope you had a wonderful weekend 🙂