Thursday, September 5th, 2013

Hakuhodo J142 Eye Shadow Brush Round
Hakuhodo J142 Eye Shadow Brush Round

Hakuhodo J142 Eye Shadow Brush Round ($18.00) is a thin, rounded eye brush with a tapered edge. It is easily most recognized as a brush to apply and/or blend out eyeshadow into the crease. The brush head is 18mm long, 6mm wide, and 6mm thick. The brush has a total length of just under 6 inches / 15 centimeters, and it is made out of white goat hair with a glossy black handle made out of wood. The ferrule is open (no pinching at the top). It is also available in the S-series for $40 (yes, that’s correct, it is made using blue squirrel instead of goat).  The difference between the two is the handle; Hakuhodo has stated that the quality of the brush heads are the same across the series (read more here).

The brush is very well-shaped and works nicely to both deposit rich color into the crease as well as just for blending out the edges in the crease. I can definitely see this being a very practical brush and shape to have in one’s stash, and I imagine many would find use for it. It feels soft and silky against the eye, and even if you’re heavy-handed, it doesn’t feel rough or scratchy. The tip is just rounded enough so it doesn’t feel stiff or sharp but still defined enough to apply product precisely. Because these are natural fibers, this brush is best for powder products and will tend to pick up more pigmented than less. I didn’t have a lot of similar brushes to this (especially ones that were permanent!), because of how it tapers, and it was actually the least expensive ones in my stash. I usually reach for my MAC 226 when I want a brush like this, but I’ll be reaching for this instead.

If you’re a fan of the MAC 222 ($28, discontinued) or 226 ($24.50, limited edition), I think you’ll like it, as it is a combination of both of those for me–it has the more tapered shape and form of the 226 but with the some of the fluffiness of the 222; the 226 is more tapered and shorter, while the 222 is longer, less dense, and less shaped (with more of a rounded, domed edge than a tapered one). Tom Ford Eye Shadow Blend Brush (13) ($55) is very, very similar the J142 in shape and feel–the Tom Ford version is wider overall and as it has a wider opening. Hakuhodo’s brush handles are usually shorter than most other brands’ brushes (MAC, Make Up For Ever, NARS, OCC, Tom Ford). I don’t think the MAC 224 ($32) is comparable, as it is fluffier, larger, and flares outward, rather than tapering inward. OCC’s Tapered Blending Brush (004) ($22) is similar (and synthetic for those who prefer synthetic fibers) that rounds out more at the top in comparison. Sephora’s PRO Crease (10) ($20), NARS Large Dome Brush (13) ($33), Make Up For Ever #242 Large Blender, and Urban Decay Crease Brushes are all very similar to MAC 224: fluffier, larger, and flare outward.

J5529 Eye Shadow Brush Tapered ($16.00) is a tiny, thin brush with a rounded, very lightly tapered, edge. It’s like a shorter, narrower crease brush, but it is rounder and larger than a pencil brush. The brush head is 13mm long, 5mm wide, and 5mm thick with a total handle length of just under 6 inches / 15 centimeters. It has a round, open ferrule (no pinching at the top) and a glossy black, wooden handle. It is also available in the G-series ($21, blue squirrel hair).

The brush head had some splayed bristles upon arrival, and they’re still like that now, even after a few washes. The fibers are soft to the touch and feel nice against the skin when used to blend and apply product to the lid, but I did notice that if you pushed the tip against the lid (like a pushing or tapping motion, rather than a sweeping one), I could feel the fibers more. Not enough to be scratchy but not as “ooh, la la!” soft. This would work well for someone who had smaller eyes and normally finds crease brushes to be too large for them, as well as anyone who wants to do very precise color application. It also works well for softening color along the lower lash line. I don’t think it’s a must-have, relative to the shape of the J142.

The shape of the J5529 is one that I don’t have a slew of similar brushes for. I suspect that Make Up For Ever’s new 214 Small Precision Crease Brush ($25) or 218 Medium Blender Brush ($25) may be similar to this, but I don’t have them to compare. NARS also makes a Small Dome Eye Brush ($27) that appears similar but I don’t have that one.

The one thing I wish these brushes (and all the Hakuhodo brushes that I have) had were the numbers printed on the brush, and I also wish that the lettering held up better. I can, quite literally, scratch off the silver lettering with my fingernail.

The Glossover

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J142 Eye Shadow Brush Round

The brush is very well-shaped and works nicely to both deposit rich color into the crease as well as just for blending out the edges in the crease. I can definitely see this being a very practical brush and shape to have in one's stash, and I imagine many would find use for it. It feels soft and silky against the eye, and even if you're heavy-handed, it doesn't feel rough or scratchy.
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J5529 Eye Shadow Brush Tapered

This would work well for someone who had smaller eyes and normally finds crease brushes to be too large for them, as well as anyone who wants to do very precise color application. It also works well for softening color along the lower lash line. I don't think it's a must-have, relative to the shape of the J142.
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Hakuhodo J142 Eye Shadow Brush Round
Hakuhodo J142 Eye Shadow Brush Round

Hakuhodo J142 Eye Shadow Brush Round
Hakuhodo J142 Eye Shadow Brush Round

Hakuhodo J142 Eye Shadow Brush Round
Hakuhodo J142 Eye Shadow Brush Round

Hakuhodo J142 Eye Shadow Brush Round
Hakuhodo J142 Eye Shadow Brush Round

Hakuhodo J142 Eye Shadow Brush Round
Hakuhodo J142 Eye Shadow Brush Round

Hakuhodo J142 Eye Shadow Brush Round
Hakuhodo J142 Eye Shadow Brush Round

Hakuhodo J142 Eye Shadow Brush Round
Hakuhodo J142 Eye Shadow Brush Round

Hakuhodo J5529 Eye Shadow Brush Tapered
Hakuhodo J5529 Eye Shadow Brush Tapered

Hakuhodo J5529 Eye Shadow Brush Tapered
Hakuhodo J5529 Eye Shadow Brush Tapered

Hakuhodo J5529 Eye Shadow Brush Tapered
Hakuhodo J5529 Eye Shadow Brush Tapered

Hakuhodo J5529 Eye Shadow Brush Tapered
Hakuhodo J5529 Eye Shadow Brush Tapered

Hakuhodo J5529 Eye Shadow Brush Tapered
Hakuhodo J5529 Eye Shadow Brush Tapered

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69 thoughts on “Hakuhodo J142 Eye Shadow Brush Round & J5529 Eye Shadow Brush Tapered Reviews, Photos, Swatches

  1. I really like the look of the J142. I wanted to get the MAC 222 and it was discontinued before I could get it. The price is really good too! Christine, are these brushes available at Sephora’s Nars display or are the Hakuhodu brushes separate from the ones they’ve done for Nars? I’m so confused! (g)

    • Hey Mariella,

      So Hakuhodo is basically online only for most people – they have a store in Southern California that you can call to make an appointment to see brushes I believe (it’s not 100% a store front) – it’s $9 USPS Priority in the U.S. and $14 USPS First Class for International. They’re totally separate from NARS – NARS uses them as a manufacturer, as they do OEM, but they also sell their own branded brushes.

      • b

        The hakuhodo show room is in Torrance CA and the brushes are available for viewing/ touching and purchase :) ( you don’t have to pay for shipping)

        • Hi B!

          I think this is what I said :) From what I understand, you need to call ahead, though, but I don’t live near them so I haven’t tried to do so – please let me know if it’s different (another reader advised me to call so I could come by).

          • I had no idea they had a “store” in California! I might have to try that out, I hate paying for shipping.

          • b

            Yes! Calling ahead to make an appointment is required. The reason I clarified was because before on the FB page it was not clear if the showroom was for purchasing also. It is so nice to be able to see and touch the brushes in person before making a decision and to skip the shipping fee if you live near by :)

  2. Huh interesting, never heard of this brush band. It looks pretty good!

  3. Have I mentioned I love you forever for providing the details on the brush measurements? This one sounds like it might fit in my crease, yay. :D

  4. I have smaller eyes and somewhat hooded lids and these two are definitely two of my favorite crease brushes! :D

  5. Lara

    So glad you’re trying these. I “only” have 5 or 6 Hakuhodo brushes but am a total convert. I find quality to be generally better than mac, at comparable prices, though of course there are many that are much pricier in hakuhodo’s lines.

    • Which ones do you have? What’s your favorite?

      It’s definitely worth shopping around – by the end of all this, I know I will still reach for some MAC brushes, but I expect to see more diversity in my tools overall. Replacing SUCKS, but if you don’t have a lot of brushes, Hakuhodo is well worth considering if you’re planning to shell out MAC-level money (or more) for your brushes as they have many that are similar, cheaper, or slightly more expensive.

      • lara

        For eyes, I have J5523 (sim to mac 217); K005 (for tightlining); G5530 (eyeliner); B533bksl (sim to Mac pencil brush). For face, I have J110 (similar to Tom Ford #6 a bit, I think–I don’t have TF); J4003 (sim to mac angled brush) and the 210 (sim to Mac 209; or for $8 more, $44 vs $36, I’d highly recomend the J210–identical but softer hair). I love the face brushes and the eye blending and pencil brush. I use the 210 for powder and cream brushes (probably OK for foundation though I don’t use brushes for that). The site has an astoundingly confusing number of brushes… but I guess if you specialize in one thing, that’s what you do :) Rumored to be maker of Tom Ford brushes… but who knows how true that is.

        I got these b/c I have a few Mac and various brushes I’m not that thrilled with, and I’m a Japano-phile, having visited the country. But honestly, if people are already happy with what they have, no need to rush out and spend more money on these … not life changing or anything like that!

        Agree that it’s so annoying that there’s no number on the brushes ! (and that numbers can be complicatedly long)

        And re show room, yes, you should call ahead just to make sure b/c it’s their working office. They have everything set out in a small room, and there’s a table for you to take things you want to try and feel out (and they’ll give you a mirror if you really want to see how it “looks” when you’re applying). No return/ or tough return policy as I understand it (can’t open package that each brush is in/sealed). I think $9 shipping is actually not bad… I mean, gas cost is about that much or more, unless you’re right there).

        • Thanks, Lara! Glad you’re enjoying the ones you have :)

          $9 isn’t bad to a point – the only thing is when you start hitting say $200+ orders, I wish shipping was free, and obviously if you’re JUST buying one brush, then $9 on a $15 purchase is brutal. Like I want to try one of their Yachiyo brushes, but I don’t want to pay $9 for ONE brush!

          I totally agree with you – they are not going to change your life unless you aren’t happy with the brushes you have! Some of it is mind over matter, too… like I never thought XYZ brush wasn’t soft until I felt ABC brush – but was I ever unhappy with the other one? Nope, not at all.

        • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Naomi Naomi

          The J110 is way smaller than the Tom Ford 6, the best dupe I have seen of the TF 6 is the J5543.

  6. The J142 looks like exactly the brush I’ve been searching for. Do any of the other series have better lettering on the handles?

    • I only purchased the cheaper series’ (J & G) handles, as I actually don’t like (personally, this is just my taste/preference) the red handles, so I wasn’t going to spend an extra $20-40 for one! I don’t think any of them have numbering, but the lettering might be more engraved in the others vs. just printed on.

      • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Malia Malia

        The S Series are engraved on, but painted in gold.

        • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Malia Malia

          Yes the s series have the numbers. I have a few k series with numbers printed also.

          • Do they wear away easily? Or does it take sometime? All of my old, old brushes have definite fading – like many of my MAC brushes have 70% of the lettering intact – but that’s after 3-5 years of regular use.

            • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Malia Malia

              Well,I’ve had my s series for over 2years and they look almost new, the lettering is more durable than any of the others for sure but i dont know what else to compare it to since other brands i have seem to be stamped, and the handle materials are different. On one hakuhodo brush, I swear the name just wiped off the first time I washed it- it was for cream product so I couldn’t just brush it off like they suggest.

            • Thanks, Malia! :) Two years would be good for lettering – it’s certainly not bad!

  7. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Naomi Naomi

    Glad I saw your review of these two brushes. I think I would purchase the J5529 and the J146 which is a smaller version of the 142, since I have smaller eyes. This is a random and sort of weird question, but how do you keep your nails so clean!? I have this odd problem where mine get dirty very often and even when they are clean, they are no where near as white as yours are.

    • The J142 is definitely not a big brush – so I think it would still work for smaller eyes, but I agree that the J146 might be an even better fit :)

      When I wash my hands, I try to make sure I wash under the fingernails/along the fingertips, since I was told that we often miss these parts! I hateee getting sick, lol!

      • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Naomi Naomi

        I keep flip-flopping between the two (J142 and J146) and I don’t think I should get both. Now I am thinking I should get the J142 and the J5529; that way I get a “big” and a small blending brush.

  8. yellowlantern

    Ooooo I’m very intrigued by these. The prices are reasonable and these brush shapes are ones I’d definitely use. I don’t have an immediate need for a new eye brush right now but I’ll keep these in the back of my mind.

    • yellowlantern

      Also I’m grateful you show the scale of the brush by holding it in your hand. Obviously everyone’s hand size is slightly different, but this is way more helpful than showing it next to another brush (for me) which is what a lot of bloggers do.

      • I thought about a ruler, but when I see a ruler and a brush, it doesn’t translate for me. I give you measurements, but seeing it the hand seemed to be a better visual for me so I’m glad you think so, too :)

        When a brand, or multiple brands, have a lot of brushes and you’re trying to compare dupes or maybe say the J5529’s brush head relative to the J142, I like the side-by-side comparisons. I’m hoping to do some comp posts in a few months after I’ve gone through all of my brush reviews. I may have bitten off a lot to chew, LOL – I think I ended up with 50-100 new brushes to review in total (from multiple brands).

        • yellowlantern

          Wow, that is a LOT of brushes to test!

          I suppose the side by side comparisons are typically not helpful for me because I never seem to own whatever it is the brush is being compared to. All of my brushes are drugstore or Sephora brand. Usually when a blogger is reviewing a luxe brand like Hakuhodo they compare the brushes to Chanel and Tom Ford not the cheap brands I own. :P

    • Yes — if you go J or G, pricing is QUITE reasonable relative to other high-end brands if you’re already shopping MAC on many eye brushes. Some face brushes, too, but from what I’ve seen, there is definitely a bigger discrepancy/range for face brushes.

  9. This brush looks amazing!

  10. At this pricepoint, its sounds like a good deal for someone who needs to apply shadow in a smaller crease. I will am going to look into the J142. thanks for the review

  11. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Patricia patsyann

    I am so happy you are reviewing these amazing brushes. I bought a few at IMATS in LA in January. That was all I bought there as the crowds were a horrendous crush (but amazingly polite and patiently calm). I really went just to see the actual brushes themselves. The “retail” corner of their office had not been opened yet and I did not even know that they were planning to open one. I found that out at IMATS. It drives me crazy that there are no numbers on the actual brushes, just on the plastic sheath that covers each new brush. The k series does have numbers although how long they are going to last, I don’t know. I have mostly the j series which are the same, I think, as the g series except that the hair is not dyed. I actually like that as I can see more easily when the brush needs to be cleaned. I have small, hooded eyes with definite folds at the outer corners and Hakahudo makes perfect little eye brushes for my type of eye. I am not Asian but I have a similar type of eye shape and all the same issues with applying eye makeup. I love the softness of these brushes as well. The staff was extremely helpful to me in choosing brushes for my eye shape. I also have the J531 which is a wonderful bronzer blush.

  12. I have an Inglot brush that looks quite similar to the first one. It’s a great brush, though I don’t use it often. It’s best for creating quite a defined crease, which I only do once in a while

  13. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Sasha Sasha

    I have the J142 and use it for the crease. I’d really like to pick up the 5529 to add definition to the outer V. I’ve been using a pencil brush and the J5523 or Mac 217 to blend but it ends up making it look murky and doesn’t really show the color layering well. Further, looking at comparisons I think I’d like the J146 as the J142 can be a little too big sometimes, though it is nice not having to blend up so much, just blend out the edges.

  14. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Malia Malia

    The lack of numbers really bothers me, I even tried printing labels but it doesnt work! Almost none of mine have names on them anymore either. I have the S142, and it says “Beverly Hills”, its one of my favourite brushes.

  15. Kim

    can you tell us which Kakuhado brush can compare with MAC 239 ?

    • None of the ones I have compare, IMO. There are plenty of brushes by Hakuhodo that I do not have, so I can only base it on what I do have. I have heard others recommend the J242G, but I would disagree that it is really comparable.

  16. Tori

    I love Hakuhodo brushes and I could spend all day (and all my money) on their website. :) My only problem with them is that they don’t label their brushes so I often find myself trying to figure out which brush I’m using. Looking them up on the website can be confusing because Hakuhodo offers the same brush shape and size in different finishes and hair types. Plus I then want to buy more brushes. LOL…

  17. I’ve recently purchased a Mac 217 and I LOVE IT. So much so that I want to find an equivalent, only smaller, for more detailed gestures. Do you think the J142 might do the trick, Christine?

  18. Judith

    I own 4 Hakuhodo brushes – 2 eye brushes and 2 Yachiyos – and I love them. Especially the Yachiyo ones. I’m from Germany and e.g. MAC brushes are incredibly expensive here. So Hakuhodo is much cheaper for me but of course it only makes sense to order when you want to get a number of brushes. For my next order I will consider the J142.

  19. Gemma

    J142 is really good. But mine is S142, which is made of Blue Squirrel hairs.
    ‘coz I got Tom Ford Eye Shadow Blend Brush which is similar to J142, so i picked S142 as TF is made from Hakuhodo too..
    But the white goat hairs from J series is softer than the Tom Ford’s….!!!!!

  20. Gemma

    Hello Christine,

    How do you store your brushes? I got too many brushes and don’t know how to store them.
    Now I use 3 brush rolls to store then…like 3 sets of brushes..

    Thank you

    • Hi Gemma,

      I keep mine in glass vases with small glass beads, as I use them every day. I go through them frequently enough that dust isn’t an issue, and whatever brushes I don’t use often I store in plastic bins and store them elsewhere.

  21. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Malia Malia

    Actually I just checked and I do have Nars small dome #12. Comparing it toj5529, they are more similar than I thought. The j5529 brush hairs are a smidgen longer and a lot better, and the handle is almost an inch shorter.

  22. Nicole

    I have several Hakuhodo brushes, including one S Series. Best way to keep any brush’s numbering/lettering from wearing off is to apply a couple of thin coats of clear nail polish over the lettering. It really helps! Love the review – really helps – since there is a mind boggling array of brushes on the Hakuhodo web site.

    • Hey Nicole!

      I’ve heard that before, but then I’ve heard of people having the whole thing chip off later on in a whole piece. Have you had that happen? If these had the numbers on them, I’d care more (personally), but the label is less so (I’ll know who makes these, lol). I hate the way labels look, but I think I might have to do that to keep track.

      • Nicole

        No, I haven’t had that problem at all. Weird! I’m not exactly careful about the way I store them either. I keep them in a lucite container on my bathroom counter, and I tend to just drop them in the container – handle down – when I’m done.

  23. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Alison Alison

    Hi Christine!

    Do you prefer these to the Tom Ford?

  24. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Donna Donna

    Hi Christine
    I saw your comment about the lack of numbering on the handles for the brushes you own. I have Hakuhodo’s K007 and K005 brushes and they both have the numbering in gold print at the end of the handle. The other side of the handle just has Hakuhodo printed in gold lettering.

    FYI

  25. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Katya Katy

    Hi Christine, I’m wondering if I need this brush or if I can skip it, as, I have the Sigma E45 tapered blending brush. This appears to be longer, but I’m not sure if this is a necessary addition to my collection or not. Please share your thoughts, I always trust your opinion! Thank you :)