Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Hakuhodo G5523BkS and G5533BkSL Eye Shadow Brushes (E1536 & E1546)

I know that many of you are placing last minute orders from Hakuhodo before the January price increase. I did, too, but as always, I prefer to spend some serious quality time with my brushes before I review. Still, a quick look through my files shows that I have several more older Hakuhodo makeup brushes that need to be featured here. Also, I keep getting questions about possible similarities between MAC 217 and some Hakuhodo brushes.

First, let me say that if there is a MAC 217 twin in Hakuhodo's line I have yet to find it. I'm far from a MAC fan, but the 217 is unparalleled and irreplaceable and is my one exception to the rule of always choosing a Hakuhodo brush. With that out of the way, let's look more closely at these two eye brushes from the G series, G5523BkS (E1536) and G5533BkSL (E1546). Both are made of blue squirrel hair, but while the G5523BkS is flat and almost oblong, the G5533BkSL  is full and round. This makes the former better at packing color while the latter is more of a blending brush.

The thing is, at least in the case of my G5533BkSL, that it's not as exquisitely made as I'd expect. I baby my brushes and try not to abuse them, but you can see in the photos that this one shows some serious and annoying splaying. It still works, but when an eye brush has this amount of stray hairs it makes it less precise and prone to messing things up. I use it for all over washes and rough blending (very similar to how I use my MAC 217, now that I think of it), sometimes as a backup to Paula Dorf Eye Shadow brush (the one I have is years older than the Hakuhodo, yet it's like new). So, yes, in a way G5533BkSL  may work like the 217, but  it's not just softer, it's also floppier and not as firmly packed, so I don't use it with cream shadows, which is one of my preferred tasks for the MAC one.

G5523BkS is an excellent flat and precise brush. It's a multitasker and I use often interchangeably with Hakuhodo Kokutan WM (E0186). It can also blend, especially when I'm trying to do most of my eye makeup with just one brush. I tink I like the Kokutan a little better, but perhaps it's because it's prettier.

Bottom Line: you can easily skip the G5533BkSL. G5523BkS  is a solid and reliable tool that gets a lot of use.

G5523BkS (E1536) $24, and G5533BkSL (E1546) $23, are available from Prices will increase after the new year. The company offers worldwide shipping.


  1. the G5533 is one of my favorite brushes at the point I wanted to take a back up but it is sold out. In fact I don't use it for blending as it is too soft but to apply color on the orbital ridge.

  2. Timely! My first order just came today...based on your recs I got K005, G521 and B533BkSl. That last one isn't quite what I thought, as it looks just like something I already have. I'm an eyeshadow spaz and hardly ever do anything, but I'm hoping the other two will help me improve my lining technique..which is also spaz. The G521 is the tiniest thing I've ever seen.

    I really wanted a blush brush and was going to decide btw S103 and 210. Sadly both were sold out, such is your power. I hope by the time I'm ready to order again (waiting for your big eye brush and powder brush reviews)they will be back in stock.

  3. I have to say I don't love my G5533, which I don't find fluffy at all. It's rather thin and oblong, like the MAC 224. I use it to place color in the socket instead of as a blending brush. Your GG5522 looks similar to the S133, which I bought as an eye shader brush but learned it's better as a crease brush. That super-soft squirrel took some getting used to!


I love comments and appreciate the time you take to connect with me, but please do not insert links to your blog or store. Those will be deleted. The comment feature is not intended to provide an advertising venue for your blog or your commercial site.

Related Posts Widget