Hakuhodo B5521, G5545, B505 Face Brushes Reviews & Photos

Hakuhodo Brushes
Hakuhodo Brushes

Hakuhodo B5521BkSL Highlight Brush Tapered ($53.00) is a small-to-medium sized brush that flares out from the base and tapers to a rounded point. It is made with a mix of blue squirrel and goat hair. The brush head measured 18.00mm in width, 32.00mm in length, and 18.00mm in thickness, and the brush had a total length of 6.77 inches / 17.20 centimeters.

The shape is comparable to many highlighter brushes available, which isn’t a bad thing, as it is versatile and is a shape many may be familiar with. It does mean that there are other options available at lower price points, including in Hakuhodo’s J-series, where it is made solely of goat hair, for $38, for those who do not need the extra silkiness that blue squirrel offers. I like blue squirrel or the mix in this brush for more shimmery and frosted highlighters, as it builds them more gradually and seems to diffuse the shimmer more evenly (just by a bit). The tapered shape enabled the brush to sweep gently across the cheek bones to lay down highlighter more precisely, and the rounded tip applied highlighter nicely down the nose and on the cupid’s bow.

Hakuhodo G5545BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat ($63.00) is a medium-sized blush brush that is flatter in shape, so it is not as round and full, with a tapering, rounded edge. It is made with a mix of blue squirrel and goat hair. The brush head measured 33.90mm in width, 38.00mm in length, and 18.7mm in thickness, and the brush had a total length of 6.85 inches / 17.40 centimeters.

The brush seemed light-to-moderate in density, so I had some flexibility and give near the edge of the brush, but it didn’t flop around or splay too readily if I used greater pressure with it against my face. The flatter shape seemed to work best for someone who likes more sweeping motions and light circular motions, but it will not buff out color as well as a more rounded brush shape or a fuller brush head overall. The bristles felt incredibly smooth and silky against the face, and I didn’t feel any of the individual bristles despite heavy pressure and trying a variety of directions and motions. It is a bit larger than your typical highlighting brush, but I liked it for subtle to moderate highlighters as well as blush and bronzer (which is what it is designed for). The brush worked well for applying initial color and blending and diffusing the edges of the color. This brush does not seem to have a goat-hair only version in Hakuhodo’s range.

Hakuhodo B505BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat ($98.00) is a medium-to-large blush brush that is full, thick, and fairly dense with a rounded edge and tapering bristles. It is made out of blue squirrel and goat hairs. The brush head measured 34.20mm in width, 38.25mm in length, and 22.80mm in thickness, and the brush had a total length of 7.00 inches / 17.80 centimeters.

The fullness and greater density of this brush means it packs on a lot more pigment from the get-go, but it also can blend edges more readily. While it is a flatter blush brush, it is thicker and much denser compared to the G5545 (to me, it seems double the thickness, but it’s only ~5mm thicker). I can easily do sweeping and circular motions with it, so I can buff edges or diffuse color outward. The brush is, unsurprisingly, silky and smooth with nary a loose bristle or unpleasant sharpness regardless of the amount of pressure or the direction it was used in. I like it more for sheerer formulas or more powdery ones where the denser, larger surface area means I can get an even amount of color on the brush without a lot of product getting caught in the interior of the brush. It also works well when you want to apply color to a larger part of the face, like bronzer along the forehead and the like. This brush is also available in the J-series as a mix of goat and synthetic bristles for $72.

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See more photos & swatches!

Hakuhodo B5521BkSL Highlight Brush Tapered
Hakuhodo B5521BkSL Highlight Brush Tapered

Hakuhodo B5521BkSL Highlight Brush Tapered
Hakuhodo B5521BkSL Highlight Brush Tapered

Hakuhodo B5521BkSL Highlight Brush Tapered
Hakuhodo B5521BkSL Highlight Brush Tapered

Hakuhodo B5521BkSL Highlight Brush Tapered
Hakuhodo B5521BkSL Highlight Brush Tapered

Hakuhodo B5521BkSL Highlight Brush Tapered
Hakuhodo B5521BkSL Highlight Brush Tapered

Hakuhodo B5521BkSL Highlight Brush Tapered
Hakuhodo B5521BkSL Highlight Brush Tapered

Hakuhodo G5545BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat
Hakuhodo G5545BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat

Hakuhodo G5545BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat
Hakuhodo G5545BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat

Hakuhodo G5545BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat
Hakuhodo G5545BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat

Hakuhodo G5545BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat
Hakuhodo G5545BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat

Hakuhodo G5545BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat
Hakuhodo G5545BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat

Hakuhodo G5545BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat
Hakuhodo G5545BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat

Hakuhodo G5545BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat
Hakuhodo G5545BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat

Hakuhodo G5545BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat
Hakuhodo G5545BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat

Hakuhodo B505BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat
Hakuhodo B505BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat

Hakuhodo B505BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat
Hakuhodo B505BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat

Hakuhodo B505BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat
Hakuhodo B505BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat

Hakuhodo B505BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat
Hakuhodo B505BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat

Hakuhodo B505BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat
Hakuhodo B505BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat

Hakuhodo B505BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat
Hakuhodo B505BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat

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About the Reviewer

Reviewer

Christine has normal-to-dry skin with areas of dryness (cheeks, nose, and under the eyes). She has a light-medium skintone with subtle, warmer yellow undertones. Her best foundation matches include: Tarte Rainforest of the Sea in Light-Medium Neutral (best match), Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup in Desert Beige 2N1, Giorgio Armani Maestro Glow in 4.0, Hourglass Warm Ivory Vanish Seamless Finish, Laura Mercier Candleglow Soft Luminous in Dusk, MAC NC20/NC25, Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Liquid in Y305 (140). For more matches, please read our full Foundation FAQ. For more information on our review process, please read our Review FAQ.

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28 Comments

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This post just might be the push I needed to enter the Hakuhodo world. ? I have some Chikuhodo, Goss, and Tom Ford brushes, but I’ve been holding out not know which Hakuhodo brushes to pick up. I love the idea of the blended hairs because my squirrel hair brushes are like air and BEAUTIFUL with soft powders, but they just don’t pick up enough product with stiffer powder products. This looks like the best of both worlds!

Thank you for these brush reviews! So helpful!

I love the pics but wish you had included your hand in one of them (I think you’ve done it with prior brush reviews) — it helps so much to see at a glance the scale of the brush in relation to the hand. Otherwise, i’ve got to convert mm to inches and then try to envision! 😉

I had complaints that it wasn’t useful, because my hand is not the same size as theirs etc. (and that my hand size is very large) so I stopped taking that type of photo!

wow these brushes look amazing! I love the simplicity of the look & the blend of hairs which might work better with stiffer products. I just picked up the beautylish sakura brush set which is super soft! did you get it?

Hi I’ve been searching about the squirrel and goat mix and sooo happy I came across your blog. Wich brush do you think will work best with loose and mineral powder. I like buffing the powder into my skin in a circular motion without disturbing my foundation and the mixture of hair seems to be just right. Soft but with some density. It seems to be a little more forgiving. Will this series also be good for blending eyeshadow and highlighting cheeks but be able to build color. I’m soooo sorry for such a long paragraph?. I just want to make sure I’m able to order and get what I’m looking for cause i’m unable to touch and see it myself. This is sooo exciting. I did order the Wayne Goss anniversary set and should receive it Tuesday, but I want to add a few more pieces to my collection. Thank you. I really hope to hear from you.

I use my B505 (the old version, also blue squirrel/goat but all black vs. with grey bristles like the new edition) for bronzer every day and it’s the best and just a perfect density bronzer brush for my preference – highly recommend. I wouldn’t reach for it for blush placement though, as I prefer smaller, rounder, less dense, all-squirrel brushes for a light wash of color (e.g., Chikuhodo Z4). Christine, do you know what the difference is between the old discontinued B505 and the new one (other than that the new brush appears to have some undyed hairs and retails for $10 more)?

Christine, how do you think the 5521 compares to the Wayne Goss 02 brush?
They look very similar, but I’m curious to know if they would apply product in the same way.
Which do you prefer?

Happy New Year!!
The blog looks incredible. I’m excited for what 2017 brings.

They have a similar shape (I mentioned the 02 being similar to the J5521 in my review of the 02, which is the same shape as the B5521, just different hair) with the 5521 being a little more tapered overall. I use them similarly (mostly for highlighting) 🙂

We try to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind and appreciate your patience! 🙂 If you have general feedback, product review requests, off-topic questions, or need technical support, please contact us directly. Thank you for your patience!