Home Brushes HAKUHODO S5521B


by Sonia G.

I always keep an eye open for new designs on Hakuhodo’s website and recently saw some new S100 brushes that looked really interesting.

When I saw this S5521B I thought what a weird combination of bristles… first the salt and pepper, and now that? Had to try!

“Salt and pepper” are actually blue squirrel and white goat. These new “brown and white” brushes are horse and white goat bristles. I am not sure what the ratio is but on the cheeks it feels like a 50/50.

Horse and Goat VS Blue Squirrel and Goat

Horse bristles tend to be really rough around my eyes, for the face it depends on the technique and the brush shape. I had some face products applied by a teacher who was using something that felt like horse bristles and I had tears in my eyes caused by the irritation she was causing, honestly I never saw or endured such an abrasive technique, probably the issue was not only the brush, but also her very very brutal technique.

If the quality of the bristles is good enough, even if it’s more durable horse bristles, they may very well work and do a damn good job.

I ordered this brush one week ago and received it yesterday, I am so excited that I have to quickly share! It looks sooo pretty, and with that handle it’s simply the ultimate combination.


It doesn’t poke at all, it’s not soft as saikoho goat, you definitely feel that there are some “stronger/rougher” bristles in there but IMHO it’s totally acceptable and feels soft if you come from the MAC or CHANEL big powder brushes’ world.

It has a medium density and feels airy, when I used it this morning, I tried with a bright but hard blush pan, it was able to get the perfect amount of product from the pan, the application appeared blended and did not require any effort at all at any moment.

Since it’s fluffier than usual sized brushes, it fulfils more roles, I used it for blush, highlight and contour this morning but I totally will use it with bronzer and highlight or powder.


It costs 63 $, horse bristles are often used to increase the resilience, durability of a brush or decrease its price… Since horse bristles pick products really very well it can also increase the efficiency, you will compromise a bit on softness compared to other softer materials but sometimes that combination can be just perfect, which I think it is with this brush.


If you want to browse for other brushes with this material, go to Advanced Search on Hakuhodo Website, and select “Limit to Manufacturer : Goat and Horse” to have all the brush categories displayed, enter values in the price range (for example a 0 and 200).

Hakuhodo has several brushes with that same size and shape but with different materials.


Top to bottom: G5521 – J5521 – S5521B – S5521A

G5521 Blue Squirrel and Goat – 53$

In functionality and behaviour it works like the J5521, feels just a bit softer. Since this brush has squirrel bristles it can’t be used with creams or liquids.

J5521 Goat – 38$

Offers more strength than the G5521, more blending power and can be used also with creams and liquids.

S5521B – Goat and horse – 63$

This combination can be used with creams and liquids too. Compared to the J5521 it feels more airy, the distribution of powder/blush/contour is easier, the placement is more controllable and will diffuse it on a wider zone compared to the J5521.

S5521A – Blue Squirrel – 98$

Really very very soft, doesn’t feel full or dense, I will use this brush with highlight and to set my concealer with powder. It doesn’t offer high blending capabilities so if you want to use it with hard pans this won’t pick up a lot of product. Cannot be used with creams or liquids and is higher maintenance, delicate bristles require more care.


These are just first impressions as I need to use it more, and I definitely will, and probably will order a second, this is something I don’t tend to do anymore so it means a lot. I love it because of how it looks and how it performs.

It doesn’t feel as soft as the S5521A, or even the J5521 or the G5521, but there is something truly effortless that just makes me want to reach for it, over and over again.

Link for the brush here.

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Tatjana 22 March, 2017 - 1:34 pm

Now I want to buy this brush! 🙂

Sonia G. 1 April, 2017 - 12:18 am

well, tell me if you do and I hope you will love it, definitely something different!!!

Maria 20 April, 2017 - 1:38 am

Lovely!! This isn’t Hakuhodo related, but definitely brush related. Rae Morris is soon to launch her new jishakuxRaeMorris brushes , is there a possibility you will be reviewing this new brush line of hers soon? 🙂

Sonia G. 20 April, 2017 - 8:25 am

Hi Maria,

yes I will actually 🙂 I have already some of them and will be receiving the rest soon so I will do my best to post asap 🙂

Jo 19 August, 2017 - 9:25 am

Just picked this one up on a whim (with way too many other Hakuhodos) while on business in Singapore – it’s softer than I expected for a horse/goat brush and I’m looking forward to using it in my daily routine. The size should be perfect for setting under eye concealer with pressed powder or using with a stiffer highlighter.

Hadn’t realized it was a new addition to their line, but definitely drew me in when playing with them in person at Takashimaya.

Sonia G. 4 September, 2017 - 7:47 pm

It is tempting for sure, there is something that just is pleasant about it, the increased durability, shape and the firmness make this a daily brush, still enjoying mine I hope you are still using yours 😉
I think that this would also be the one that would stand out for me if I was browsing at the counter.

Stephanie 4 August, 2023 - 10:18 pm

Hi Sonia, great article. I’m late for the brush party… do you have an article for beginners brushes to buy?

I do not own a single fude and would like to start a collection. I’m looking for lots of eye brushes and maybe 2 blush brushes. I am heading to Japan in two weeks and am wanting to buy a set. Would you have any advice?

Skin type: sensitive combination skin. I’m light skin Asian – not sure if that’s important.

Stephanie 10 August, 2023 - 10:25 am

Hi Sonia,

I was just wondering if you have a post for someone completely new to fude- preferably a guide on what you recommend? I’m very interested in Hakuhodo line but am not sure what to get. I’m heading to Japan in 2 weeks and thought buying it there might be cheaper than getting them on their US website. And hopefully get some tax refund as well ( I read that Hakuhodo does not do refunds but some say they do???). I need lots of eye brushes in different styles and maybe a good blush brush or two. I mostly use powders and I have normal skin type. I suspect goat hair would be my best best but I’d really like to hear from you as I heard that you are the expert!

Thank you so much for taking the time and I appreciate your hard work on your posts

Sonia G. 22 August, 2023 - 9:06 am

Hi Stephanie, Thank you for your question and welcome to the Fude world!
I asked Hakuhodo for you, they said that unfortunately, their stores in Aoyama (Omotesando), Kyoto, and Hiroshima HQ showroom do not have tax refund service.
Only stores at department store have that service.
When you go to a shopping mall that has a Hakuhodo counter, then you can do the tax refund.

I don’t have a post specific per brand but what you could do is have a look at this:
and then find similar alternatives with Hakuhodo as the same thoughts to find good starting brushes apply also to brushes from other brands.

I think it’s great to start with natural goat brushes, they will cover your basic needs and be more versatile and easy to maintain. It’s a fun process to discover Fude, in Japan you will be in brush paradise!
Let me know how it goes and safe trip to you and your family!

Stephanie 4 September, 2023 - 5:41 pm

Thank you so much Sonia this helps a lot!!!!!!


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