Brush Comparison: Hakuhodo vs. Shu Uemura 5r

Shu Uemura 5r, Hakuhodo G5529BkSL Eye Shadow Brush Round, MAC 219 Pencil Brush
– penny for size comparison

Since I have a small amount of lid space, I’m always interested in small and precise eyeshadow brushes.  I’ve also been upgrading my makeup brush collection gradually, and adding more natural-hair brushes to go along with my many synthetic brushes.   I bought some Hakuhodo brushes while at IMATs this year, and recently bought the Shu Uemura 5r, which I had long been coveting but was hesitant about the price (ebates – affiliate link – had a 20% sale, 5% back, plus a gift with purchase. It was time!)

One embarrassing thing; I’m actually not 100% sure which Hakuhodo brush I have. I’m fairly sure I have the G5529BkSL Eye Shadow Brush Round, but it is extremely similar to the G5534BkSL Eye Shadow Brush Pointed. Each brush is $21, and each is made of blue squirrel. The are each the same length, but the Round is a little wider than the Pointed. Without both to compare, I just cannot tell!

29 Round; 34 Pointed. Source.

Here are the Hakuhodo and the Shu brushes compared, full length; the Hakuhodo is smaller and slimmer overall.  The Hakuhodo says only the brand, while the Shu also says the brush type, hair type and (on the back), “made in Japan.”   Hakuhodo brushes are also made in Japan.

Close up on the brushes:

The Hakuhodo is more tapered, while the Shu is more rounded.  Both are quite dense, rather than fluffy.   I haven’t used the Shu extensively yet, but the Hakuhodo is great for doing a cut crease, for highlighting the inner corner of the eye, for laydown in the corners of the eyelid, for precision crease blending, and so much more.

I swatched a matte black eyeshadow with the MAC 219 Pencil Brush, the Hakuhodo probably- G5529BkSL Eye Shadow Brush Round, and the Shu 5r (in that order, from left to right).  You can see that the MAC 219 is the most dense and gives the most solid line. The Hakuhodo is the least dense, and  gives the softest line; the Shu 5r is somewhere in the middle.  I don’t think there is a best or worst; all three brushes have their individual merits.

MAC, Hakuhodo, Shu brush comparison

The Shu 5r sells for $60, but Shu regularly has 20% off sales, which brings the price down to $48.  I’m not sure if I consider the brush worth it yet.  In the US, Shu is only available at Shu’s US website.  The two Hakuhodo brushes are $21 each, and I would definitely recommend buying one or both of them.  In the US, they are only available on Hakuhodo’s US website.


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