We’re Absolute Beginners: A Hakuhodo Starter Set

A lot of people feel overwhelmed when they’re about to take the plunge into Hakuhodo brushes – there are just so many of them. It’s difficult to define what’s necessary for a ‘starter set’ as everyone’s needs are different, but I decided to put together my idea of a reasonably priced Hakuhodo basics set.

Hakuhodo Essential Set

I tried to cover most bases here:

  • Powder and Blush: $30 – J5547 – Goat and Synthetic – I haven’t actually tried this brush yet, but after extensive research it seems the J range goat is super soft, and very versatile. I’ve marked this down as a powder and blush brush, but because its a goat synthetic mix, it will also lend itself to cream products, maybe even foundation.
  • Eyeshadow: $18 – J5523 – Goat – This is widely regarded as a dupe (in terms of size and shape) for the MAC 217, but apparently it is much softer and performs much better. This is a workhorse, good for applying and for blending.
  • Eyeliner: $15 – K007 – Weasel – This is a great little brush for applying eyeliner, if you prefer the ‘push’ shaped brushes, swap this one for the K005 ($18).
  • Concealer and Lips: $15 – 280 – Synthetic – This brush deposits colour nicely and does double the work as both a concealer and a lip brush (though wash it in between, don’t want to make your blemishes pinker!).

Total: $78

Go Luxe

I feel a bit iffy recommending the J5547 because I haven’t used it and there isn’t a lot of info available on it. Experience and research tells me that this brush will be a really good all-rounder, and it’s a great price. A blush and powder brush I can recommend is the B110BkSL. It’s pricier ($46) but it’s the same brush head as the S110 (which I’ve reviewed here), very soft but at the same time nice and elastic so it deposits colour and blends perfectly.B110BkSL

What’s your idea of a basic brush set? Have I missed out any brushes you think are essential?

12 comments on “We’re Absolute Beginners: A Hakuhodo Starter Set

    • You’re so retro! Do you think kids still play neopets? I was a master at that game, I had a shop and paintbrushes and stuff!

      And it’s not that each one of those brushes is absolutely necessary, more that if you’re just starting out in the world of brushes (or graduating from less good ones), this little kit kind of covers all your bases.

  1. I just made my first purchase of Hakuhodo brushes with the S100 powder brush and the 210 cheek brush. They’re incredibly handsome and apply makeup beautifully (I’m especially in love with the 210), but I’m wondering- what’s the best way to store Hakuhodo brushes, if you use them several times a week? I’ve just been keeping mine out, stood up in brush holders, like my much cheaper brushes, but I’m not sure if this is good or not…

    • Hi Emily,

      Sorry I took a while to get back to you! I’m glad you like your brushes, I’ve been so tempted by the 210 recently – I hear it’s excellent for contouring as well as blush.

      I store my face brushes in cups standing upright (I actually put a shower cap over them so dust doesn’t get on them – it looks…functional) and I store my eye brushes in a brush roll. I find brush rolls kind of change the shape of my face brushes, so that’s why I keep them in brush holders.

      At the Hakuhodo counters I’ve been to in Japan, they keep their brushes standing upright in containers, and a few in brush rolls. The Hakuhodo company says it’s fine to keep them in brush holders, and to make sure they’re in a dry place.

      Hope that helps,

  2. I agree on the James Bond 007 liner, saves time and is just amazing. I just wish they would have at least one stiffer brush, I sometimes ‘need’ a stiff 217, as much as I love my soft and dense Hakus/Chikus, for the 217 I haven’t found a dupe yet.

    • I love that you call this the James Bond liner, I always think of it like that too :p.
      I know what you mean, they tend to err towards the softer side, but I own a few stiff Haku eyeshadow brushes (though they’re not the same shape as the 217). For the ones that do double-duty and blend as well as apply, I find the stiffer ones are usually horse (I love the 238, for example).

  3. I think you did a good job in selecting some nice basics for a starter set!

    For those who fill in their brows, I would add an angled water badger brush. I prefer B163BkSL because it’s tiny and can draw thin lines. K015 and B264 BkSL are just a bit bigger and would also work for many. Prices are reasonable at $22- $24.

    In general, I find simple round and flat brushes like J5547 and J5523 are the most versatile for face/blush/eyeshadow. Odd shapes are okay if you know what you are looking for but they can be expensive luxuries as they often can only do one or two things well.

  4. Thank you this this guide. I have been wanting to try Hakuhodo brush but have no clue on which one I should try first. I might try the powder blush and blending brush first :)

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