Hakuhodo G series holds some of their more interesting brushes. G543 Powder DR round is a great example as it's unlike any other brush I've come across. It's a short kabuki-ish tool with a flat head that's incredibly dense. Seriously, the white goat hair of G543 is the packed so heavily the head is an almost solid mass. It's relatively small (full length is about 2", hair length 2/3 of an inch and 1.2" wide) but it means business.
I usually follow Hakuhodo's guidelines to a T. After all, these people know their brushes. They designated G543 for powder. From their website (obviously the blurb is a translation from Japanese, hence the awkward wording. I'm willing to forgive it because the awesomeness of their products and impeccable Hakuhodo customer service):
This powder brush gives you ideal glossy skin look. It may feel hard to the touch because of the high density and short hair. But you should be able to notice a soft and comfortable feeling when you let it slide smoothly on your face. This strong and gentle harmony will make elasticity and gloss.However, while G543 is as good as a velour puff (or even better) for pushing powder into the skin, I find this brush better for stippling and buffing liquid and cream foundation. There's a strong possibility the reason is my application technique, but Hakuhodo's G527M is my preferred powder brush, while G543 is in my top 3 foundation brushes. It gives me picture-perfect finish and requires absolutely no effort.
I'm probably in the minority for enjoying the way Hakuhodo natural brushes smell. The faint goatiness pleases me. The odor is more noticeable when you wash the brush and slowly fades over time and use. I have no idea how many times I've washed this brush at this point, but it's been in constant use since last year, and I no longer detect a smell. It's just something to take into account if you're particularly sensitive.
Bottom Line: to call it a favorite would be an understatement. Worth every last cent.
Hakuhodo G543 Powder DR Round ($81) is available from hakuhodousa.com.
All photos are mine.