Hakuhodo G511, B512, B116, S116 Face Brushes Reviews & Photos

Hakuhodo Brushes:  B5521, G511, B512, G5545, B505
Hakuhodo Brushes: B5521, G511, B512, G5545, B505

G511 Highlighter Brush Angled

Hakuhodo G511 Highlighter Brush Angled ($44.00) is a small, angled face brush that’s lightly fluffy, moderately dense, and thick enough to blend and apply color, and it was designed to be used with highlighters. It is shaped a lot like the traditional contour powder product, but this is smaller than average. It is 29.10mm in length, 21.75mm in width, and 13.90mm in thickness with a total handle length of inches / centimeters. It is made out of blue squirrel and goat hair, and I’m a huge fan of mixing the two types of hair, because you get a lot of the softness of blue squirrel with a little more durability and blendability of goat hair. It is, of course, incredibly soft, silky, and smooth, and I could never feel any individual hairs against my skin.

I’ve always liked the more angled brush head for really good sweeping motions and applications, as it really helps to diffuse the color across the skin. I think that’s why it is great for applying a soft, gradual, and luminous highlight. The softness of the blue squirrel helps apply more pigmented products in a more gradual way, though the smaller size can give one more precision as well. I particularly like using this size when I’m layering highlighter on top of blush or bronzer.

It’s large enough that it can still be used to contour cheeks and the jaw line with ease, but it is too large to contour the nose with any sense of precision. It will enable you to get a more precise contour under the cheek bone, but the smaller size works well for subtle, more diffused blending that doesn’t blur the contour product too much. If you tend to be more heavy handed with products, though, you might prefer something with less density and a slightly larger size. It worked well with all sorts of color products–blush, bronzer, contour, highlighter, setting powder–and is versatile.

B512BkSL Highlight Brush Angled

Hakuhodo B512BkSL Highlight Brush Angled ($65.00) is a medium-to-large sized angled face brush with moderate density, a little fluffiness as the bristles taper toward the edge. The brand says that it is supposed to be used to apply makeup around the eye and to use it with light strokes. It is 35.00mm in length, 35.40mm in width, and 22.30mm in thickness with a total length of inches / centimeters. It is a mix of goat and blue squirrel hair, which gives it the silkiness of blue squirrel with more durability and resilience of goat hair. I noticed that this one had several bristles that splayed from the edges after washing, which is a rarer issue with my Hakuhodo brushes, so you might find a brush shaper necessary with this one.

This brush works well when you want to apply sheerer coverage over a larger area or for blending out products after they’ve been applied. The larger shape is harder to work with when you have a very pigmented highlighter, blush, or bronzer, as it tends to over-apply color. Similarly, it’s too large to contour the hollows of my cheeks and will likely be too large for most (it is noticeably larger than the average-sized contour angled brush), but it will work well for blending and diffusing a contour in sweeping and light buffing motions where product has already been applied. In some ways, you might think of it as an angled buffing brush, as it blends out powders exceptionally well.

B116BkSL Highlight Brush Round & Flat

Hakuhodo B116BkSL Highlight Brush Round & Flat ($59.00) is a small, flat brush with a rounded edge that comes to a very gentle point that is designed for highlighting and achieving sheerer coverage. This brush uses blue squirrel hair, which makes it incredibly soft and airy on the skin. It is 28.50mm in length, 20.48mm in width, and 9.25mm in thickness with a total handle length of inches / centimeters.

The shape works well for patting and lightly sweeping illuminating powders on the high planes of the face, like cheek bones, as well as for applying powder underneath the eye. The softness of the blue squirrel makes it so the bristles do not disturb the under eye area, which gives a better finish and minimizes the chance for the area to look dry, over-powdered, or crepe-y. It can also be used to apply blush at sheer to medium coverage (as desired), blending out edges of various cheek color products, and so forth, but as it is a smaller brush, it may lay down too much color in one spot with more pigmented products or may feel like it takes too long to apply if the area is larger.

S116Bk Highlight Brush Round & Flat

Hakuhodo S116Bk Highlight Brush Round & Flat ($67.00) is a small, flat brush with a rounded edge that comes to a very gentle point and is meant for highlighting. It is exactly the same as the B116BkSL and the J116 ($35.00). I meant to get the S113 but inadvertently managed to get the same brush twice, the only difference between the B116BkSL and the S116Bk is a gold ferrule (24-karat gold plated brass vs. nickel brass/silver). It’s a lovely brush, and lucky enough, it is versatile for me. The J116 uses goat hair instead of blue squirrel, so the J116 is more resilient and durable and has white bristles.

Choosing the Type of Hair for Your Brushes

I often get asked what type of hair is best for what. There are a lot of preferences to take into account, but here is a quick primer on common hair types:

Synthetic is best for cream and liquid products, as it doesn’t absorb them and is very easy to clean without worrying about damaging natural fibers. I often find synthetics can kick up excessive powder in the pan and do not catch the powder as well in the fibers, so the application can be heavy and/or uneven. Most synthetics are pretty soft, but they can have sharp edges if not made well.

Horse and pony are more resilient and durable, so they require less care and can be washed regularly. The softness can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer but can be softer than you might expect.

Goat is the most common type of natural hair used, and it is usually white, though it can be dyed and is often dyed black when it is. There are different types of goat hair (based on where the hair was taken from), so softness can range from incredibly silky to mildly scratchy. In general, most of the Japanese brush brands I’ve used have very soft goat hair brushes, but the goat hair I find in more mainstream brands (like MAC) is noticeably less soft/silky. Goat offers good durability, moderate give and flex, and works particularly nicely with powders but can be used with liquids and creams as well. It can be washed more often and requires less babying over time.

Squirrel is very soft and silky, and it is often a little airier on the skin with more give. This type is better for sheerer applications of powder products (and manufacturers warn against using this hair with liquids and creams) or very, very sensitive skin that can’t handle the texture of even the softest goat hair. You are really not supposed to wash it more than a few times a year. (I do not adhere to that, and I accept that my brushes may need to be replaced in 10 years instead of in my next lifetime. I am okay with the cost of that decision, if it proves true!)

If you’re looking to try natural hair brushes, I would start with a quality goat hair brush to see how you like the texture and feel against the skin. Squirrel is undoubtedly soft and silky against the skin, but it is costly, higher maintenance, and is less versatile compared to goat hair. Synthetics are also a good option for more affordable brushes, particularly if you’re just getting to know your application style, size and shape preferences, and so forth.

Hakuhodo is my go-to for natural brushes, as they have a large variety of shapes and styles, but they also make shapes in different materials, so you have more choice in terms of hair type and price point–some of their natural hair eye brushes are much more affordable than you might expect but most medium and large face/cheek brushes will be pricey. If you need the comfort of a good return policy, opt for Wayne Goss or Chikuhodo, which can be purchased via Beautylish.

15
Product
15
Fitness
5
Durability
5
Construction
100%
Total
14
Product
13
Fitness
4.5
Durability
4.5
Construction
90%
Total
15
Product
15
Fitness
5
Durability
5
Construction
100%
Total
15
Product
15
Fitness
5
Durability
5
Construction
100%
Total
We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

Hakuhodo G511 Highlighter Brush Angled
Hakuhodo G511 Highlighter Brush Angled

Hakuhodo G511 Highlighter Brush Angled
Hakuhodo G511 Highlighter Brush Angled

Hakuhodo G511 Highlighter Brush Angled
Hakuhodo G511 Highlighter Brush Angled

Hakuhodo G511 Highlighter Brush Angled
Hakuhodo G511 Highlighter Brush Angled

Hakuhodo G511 Highlighter Brush Angled
Hakuhodo G511 Highlighter Brush Angled

Hakuhodo G511 Highlighter Brush Angled
Hakuhodo G511 Highlighter Brush Angled

Hakuhodo G511 Highlighter Brush Angled
Hakuhodo G511 Highlighter Brush Angled

Hakuhodo G511 Highlighter Brush Angled
Hakuhodo G511 Highlighter Brush Angled

Hakuhodo B512BkSL Highlighter Brush Angled
Hakuhodo B512BkSL Highlighter Brush Angled

Hakuhodo B512BkSL Highlighter Brush Angled
Hakuhodo B512BkSL Highlighter Brush Angled

Hakuhodo B512BkSL Highlighter Brush Angled
Hakuhodo B512BkSL Highlighter Brush Angled

Hakuhodo B512BkSL Highlighter Brush Angled
Hakuhodo B512BkSL Highlighter Brush Angled

Hakuhodo B512BkSL Highlighter Brush Angled
Hakuhodo B512BkSL Highlighter Brush Angled

Hakuhodo B512BkSL Highlighter Brush Angled
Hakuhodo B512BkSL Highlighter Brush Angled

Hakuhodo B512BkSL Highlighter Brush Angled
Hakuhodo G511 vs. B512BkSL Highlighter Brush Angled

Hakuhodo B116BkSL Highlight Brush Round & Flat
Hakuhodo B116BkSL Highlight Brush Round & Flat

Hakuhodo B116BkSL Highlight Brush Round & Flat
Hakuhodo B116BkSL Highlight Brush Round & Flat

Hakuhodo B116BkSL Highlight Brush Round & Flat
Hakuhodo B116BkSL Highlight Brush Round & Flat

Hakuhodo B116BkSL Highlight Brush Round & Flat
Hakuhodo B116BkSL Highlight Brush Round & Flat

Hakuhodo B116BkSL Highlight Brush Round & Flat
Hakuhodo B116BkSL Highlight Brush Round & Flat

Hakuhodo S116Bk Highlight Brush Round & Flat
Hakuhodo S116Bk Highlight Brush Round & Flat

Hakuhodo S116Bk Highlight Brush Round & Flat
Hakuhodo S116Bk Highlight Brush Round & Flat

Hakuhodo S116Bk Highlight Brush Round & Flat
Hakuhodo S116Bk Highlight Brush Round & Flat

Hakuhodo S116Bk Highlight Brush Round & Flat
Hakuhodo S116Bk Highlight Brush Round & Flat

Hakuhodo S116Bk Highlight Brush Round & Flat
Hakuhodo S116Bk Highlight Brush Round & Flat

Hakuhodo S116Bk Highlight Brush Round & Flat
Hakuhodo S116Bk Highlight Brush Round & Flat

Hakuhodo S116Bk Highlight Brush Round & Flat
Hakuhodo B116BkSL vs. S116Bk Highlight Brush Round & Flat

We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

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.

Compare Any Two Swatches

Curious how two shades compare to each other? Type in the shades below to get instant side-by-side swatches!

30 Comments

Comments that do not adhere to our comment policy may be removed. Discussion and debate are highly encouraged but we expect community members to participate respectfully. Please keep discussion on-topic, and if you have general feedback, a product review request, an off-topic question, or need technical support, please contact us!

Please help us streamline the comments' section and be more efficient: double-check the post above for more basic information like pricing, availability, and so on to make sure your question wasn't answered already. Comments alerting us to typos or small errors in the post are appreciated (!) but will typically be removed after errors are fixed (unless a response is needed).

We appreciate enthusiasm for new releases but ask readers to please hold questions regarding if/when a review will be posted as we can't commit to or guarantee product reviews. We don't want to set expectations and then disappoint readers as even products that are swatched don't always end up being reviewed due to time constraints and changes in priorities! Thank you for understanding!

Comments on this post are closed.

Incredible review with very exacting photos. Commendations to you! Comprehensive, and every possible question is answered, even a caveat as to return policy. Another example of how you are acknowledged to be the best in the biz.

The answer you will get from just about every company is that they are “cruelty-free” because the hair is either shaved or a “by-product” – e.g. they are not raised or killed for their hair.

Oh my goodness – just when I started the hunt for a new small soft angled face brush that would play along nicely with my more heavily pigmented fall/winter blushes! I’ve got a small face, so rounded pom-pom style brushes tend to deposit way too much color on my already round cheeks. I love these slim angled blush brushes and paddle shapes! They definitely help with precision and putting color just where you want especially if you have klutzy hands like me. What perfect timing! I’m so glad that you gave these a good score Christine, definitely looking forward to checking out the G511 and the various versions of the 116 (especially the version with the vermilion handle – so pretty!)

The G511 might just be the size you need! 🙂 I know it can be hard to judge size, even seeing measurements, so one thing I like to do is try to find a brush with at least a similar width/length/thickness, so that might help you figure out if the G511 is small enough!

I have been looking forward to reading your Hakuhodo reviews, thank you!

Looking at the specs of the brushes I can clearly compare my brushes to these and I use a highlighter brush very similar to G511 its Tanseido WH 14 made out of goat hair and may be less dense, making up for the softness of the G511 goat and squirrel hair mix. I prefer my highlight subtle and for me it does exactly what I want it to, even including formulas like MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish.

the 116 is a beautiful brush, I use the S111Bk Blush brush and i haven’t used any other blush brush since.

How do you like your Tanseido brushes, Kris? I don’t know if you have any Hakuhodo brushes in your stash, but if you do, how do they compare?

I’ve heard good things about Tanseido, but it is not quite as accessible as Hakuhodo/Chikuhodo!

The Tanseidos work pretty well although their selection is not as extensive as Hakuhodo, they have a lot of angled and detail brushes.
Tanseidos goat hair is very much comparable to Hakuhodo, springy, resilient but never pokey.
I have one pony hair from Tanseido and I could say that it is not as scratchy as Chanel’s old blending brush.
I know that they can ship directly from Japan through EMS if you’re really interested, but I feel like Hakuhodo and Chikuhodo does from fill a lot of the US demand.

Thank you, Kris! I haven’t tried Chanel brushes in years, but I remember the last ones I tried, I was not impressed by at all.

Chikuhodo in particular now that they are sold through Beautylish, which has become a reputable retailer over the years, and has a better return policy than most brush manufacturers!

Great review Christine. I bought a few brush from this line last April when I was in Japan. I went to the flagship store of hakuhodo in Tokyo. I have the the short handled/silver version. I should have bought the angled brush too. I love this combination of blue squirrel and goat hair. Soooooo soft! I should have bought more since it’s cheaper in Japan compared when you buy it here but I’m way over my budget coz I also bought some chickuhodo and koyudo brushes that I’ve been meaning to buy for so long. I might have to bug my brother again to get me some more before he leaves Japan.

This might sound funny, but I’ve found differences in eyeshadow application between squirrel and goat hair brushes – for me, it’s not as simple as “goat picks up more pigment, while squirrel is softer and diffuses and blends while it applies” – though I do think that’s a great general rule. I’ve found that squirrel brushes (Suqqu, Hakuhodo, Chikuhodo) apply my Suqqu and Cle de Peau shadows better, whereas my goat brushes apply my Burberry, RBR, or MAC eyeshadows better. By “better” I mean it picks up pigment the way I want it; for some reason, goat haired brushes don’t do well with my higher-end shadows. No idea why, but I just thought I’d share in case it helps anyone!

I would say it depends on the eyeshadow formula, shape of the brush, how the hairs taper (or don’t), your pressure, density of the brush, the give of the brush, and your overall preference for application. My guess is that the formulas you are referring to are a bit softer, so the squirrel brushes would kick up less product and result in less dustiness/fall out when appyling but wouldn’t have enough texture and firmness to work as well with a firmer formula like MAC eyeshadow. That is just based on my experience, though, with using the various hair types with eyeshadows you’ve listed! I think the same is true with even the types of goat hair.

As an example, I notice differences between my MAC 239 and Chikuhodo GSN-09, both of which have similar shapes, but how they apply and pick-up product can depend on the firmness and intensity of the eyeshadow itself! I find that the GSN-09 being flatter seems to make it more comparable in application than wildly different than the 239, but the 239 can cause more kick up in a very soft formulas like CdP!

My cheeks eat blush and highlighters alive, so I usually have to pack them on with a dense brush, almost like clown cheeks, then 1 hour later, they fade to look pretty normal. My cheeks aren’t oily, but I think the type of oil it secretes just eats pigment up. But my under eye is a different story, I need to be very careful in applying powder there, as it’s dry, so the B116 sounds interesting!

I have the 511 – was lucky enough to visit Japan last year and bought it there. I love it. It’s so soft on the skin, yet firm enough to pick up and distribute product beautifully!

I love it with my Cle de Peau highlighter. Infact, when I was brush shopping, the SA used that very highlighter with the brush and I loved it so much that I had to stop at the CdP counter to get the highlighter too. It works well with my other powder highlighters too.

I’ve also used it for blusher when I don’t want to put too much on. I love how soft it is, and it blends the colour beautifully.

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!