At some point last year I realized I could really use a backup for my Hakuhodo Kokutan T brush, but I was reluctant to spend over $40 for another T. It's not that I don't appreciate the beauty and function of the Kokutan series with their ebony handles, but I already have a nice small collection of them and just needed a second hard working tool. Enter Hakuhodo G5528, a brush that's just about identical (there's a teeny tiny 0.1mm difference in width)- same size and shape, same blues quirrel hair.
Hakuhodo G5528 Eye Shadow Brush is really a thing of beauty. A firm yet soft squirrel hair head that's packed unbelievably densely, making it an incredibly soft and efficient tool for smudging and smoking, as well as for crease work. At $29 I see it as a bargain, considering that MAC 219 pencil brush (goat hair) is priced at $25.
You can see how G5528 compares in size to other similarly shaped brushes: NARS 14 (small dome) is the closer, but the hair quality is obviously incomparable. Hakuhodo B533 is a smaller pencil brush made of horse hair (still great quality) that fits smaller spaces. Suqqu eye shadow M brush is significantly larger and fluffier (though still has a lot of bounce).
Bottom Line: hard to catch it on a clean day.
Hakuhodo G5528 Eye Shadow Brush ($29) is available from hakuhodousa.com.