I owe this one to Dain from Ars Aromatica. I didn't know or think about using brushes of this shape and size as an eyeliner brush and/or to tightline until Dane mentioned these two brushes just as I was planning a(nother) Hakuhodo order. The K005 and Kokutan Eye Shadow Brush SL (E0189) are basically the same brush with different handles. I have a thing for the beautiful Kokutan brushes with their ebony handle that gets a nice patina with constant use. Gel and cream eyeliners are my most used makeup items, so I go through several eyeliner brushes a week (they're among the few brushes I insist on washing after every use). That's why I got both the Kokutan and its basic sibling. K005 ( a longer and slim black handle).
Dain was right. The soft but dense natural weasel hair picks up all the product you need to tightline and deposits it gently and accurately without irritating the eye. I also use them when drawing a thicker line (which I often do) and for smudging the color at the lash line. The brushes perform beautifully and never scratch or irritate my eyes, which is a major concern when tightlining.
I only put the NARS #15 Smudge Brush here for size comparison. The NARS is great on the lid but it is not an eyeliner brush and is way too big and thick for tightlining. Paula Dorf's Smudge brush is excellent but is rounder and a smidgen thicker, so not really an eyeliner brush, either. The Louise Young LY16 is one I do use for the same purpose and I like it a lot (so, yes, reviews coming soon).
Bottom Line: a must-have, in either version.
Hakuhodo K005 ($15) & Kokutan Eye Shadow Brush SL ($32) are available from hakuhodousa.com.
All photos are mine. My lovely assistant is Josephine.