Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Hakuhodo 212 & B214BkSL Brush Reviews

Top: 212; Bottom: B214BkSL
By now I think that it safe to say that you are well aware of my Hakuhodo brush obsession! I thought that it would be helpful to do a side by side comparison of the 212 and the B214BkSL brushes since they are very similar, albeit differing in size. The B214BkSL is basically a smaller version of the 212, and both brushes are made of Ototsuho Goat hair. Hakuhodo describes the 212 as a Blush/Highlight brush and the B214BkSL as a Highlight/Eye Shadow brush. 

The 212, in my opinion, isn't big enough to function as a blush brush- the head is just too small. It is, however, perfect to apply highlighter (liquid or powder formulas alike), and it is exquisite for contouring. I also find it remarkably effective for applying and blending concealer as well as applying a large sweep of eye shadow. It also is a real performer when it comes to blending eye shadow as well.
Like the 212, the B214BkSL makes for a remarkably effective concealer brush. The smaller sized head makes it easier to get into hard to reach spaces of the face making it a better choice for concealing underneath the eyes and around the nose. The B214BkSL is also masterful at applying and blending eye shadow as well, and the rounded head makes it a perfect pick for liquid and powder highlighters as well. 
Both brushed have densely packed rounded dome shaped heads, but they are remarkably soft to the touch. I use them interchangeably for the most part, but if you are trying to choose one over the other then your decision will ultimately come down to which size you prefer. If you are looking for a brush that is adept at contouring, highlighting, blending, applying large sweeps of eye shadow,  and basic concealing then the 212 will likely be better suited to your needs since it is larger. If you are looking for a smaller brush that is perfect for applying under eye concealer,  large sweeps of eyeshadow, and for blending then you probably will prefer the smaller head of the B214BkSL.
Overall assessment: The 212 and the B214BkSL are phenomenal brushes. I am so happy that I have both in my stash. Hakuhodo simply doesn't disappoint! The price point on these brushes is also quite reasonable given their quality.

212 $30.00 from Hakuhodo
B214BkSL $26.00 from Hakuhodo


  1. Thanks Lola! These brushes are so cute :) I was really looking forward to this review. I think I'm going to get the 212 for it's versatility. My shopping list is ever-growing for these Hakuhodo brushes.

    Thanks again!

    1. You are so welcome, Meeko! I thought that I would speed up doing this review since I knew that you were waiting for it :-) They are really cute brushes. They are like mini versions of the 210 blush brush. I think that the 212 is a good choice because it's so versatile. Because it is larger it won't be quite as perfect as the B214BkSL for applying under eye concealer, but it does certainly work for that as well. Ah yes, how I understand all about the ever-growing list of Hakuhodo brushes!! I think that at some point someone is going to have to start some sort of Hakuhodo intervention!! Please keep me posted on what you end up ordering!

  2. Very nice! I have the 210 cheek brush, and for a while I didn't know what to do with it, as it is so dense. I realized it was nearly identical in shape and density to the MAC 109 small contour brush, and I don't contour. A friend suggested I use 210 as a mini kabuki, so I use it to either buff in foundation or for highlighting, but I prefer the S114 for highlighting because it's so silky.

    I agree that, even with the price hike (which was significant if you look at the change percentagewise), Hakuhodo brushes are still very reasonable, especially since many of them exceed the quality of similarly-priced brushes.

    1. Hi Zuzu*s Petals!

      Thank you! Yes, I think that the similarities between the 210 and the MAC 109 are astounding-- I think that the 109 mud the among the brushes that Hakuhodo makes for MAC. I don't contour either. I think that the 109 does an outstanding job with foundation buffing. I agree that the S114 is preferable for highlighting-- in my case, as you know, I use the S113 instead.

      Have you tried the 210 for blush? I have found it to be a fantastic blush brush for both powder and cream formulas. I reviewed here:


      You are so right that the price hike (percentage wise) was quite significant. Some of the brushes are now prohibitively expensive (for me at least), but so many remain quite reasonably priced-- especially, as you have pointed out, given that they exceed the quality of similarly priced brushes.

  3. Order's been placed! :) I ended up ordering the 212, G543, G5523, K005, and G5529. Hakuhodo sent me a picture comparing the G5507, G5523, and the B133.

    The G5507 is the shortest among the three brushes. I think that the G5523 will be able to do the same thing that the G5507 and the G5533(or any large crease brush) can do. The G5507 appears to be the most dense and more appropriate for heavier shadow application. I have the B133 which is also good for packing on the color. The G5523 is longer and less dense, but just as fluffy as the G5507. I'll be using it for brow highlight, blending and sheer washes of shadow. I'll see if I can try to send you the pictures.

    I'm replacing my NARS #12 with the G5529 in hopes that the G5529 is way softer than the NARS brush. That thing is so pokey.

    Alright, I will stop here. Just wanted to share the excitement. Thanks so much for posting this early! I'll keep you posted on my sentiments after I receive them.


    1. CONGRATULATIONS, Meeko! I am so excited for you! What a fantastic selection of brushes that you chose! You really thought it through very carefully and chose so wisely. I don't think that you will find the G5529 to be pokey like the NARS #12. You are going to be so excited when your shipment arrives. I just saw the email you sent with the pictures-- those brushes are beautiful!

      You are very welcome-- I definitely wanted to get the post up before you placed your order so that you would have an easier time selecting the right brush.

      I can't wait for your update!!!


  4. Lola! I love the brushes from my most recent order. The most fabulous brushes have to be the G543 and the G5523.

    G543 is the best for buffing in my tinted moisturizer or liquid foundation. I have never had such great results. Before the G543, I was using the Sephora I.T. Natural foundation brush, but it kept shedding and application was slightly streaky. I still love it though for its size and softness. I've been using it to apply liquid highlighters and powder products. I don't think it is supposed to be used for buffing.

    The G5523 is so soft and has the perfect size/shape/stiffness for applying and blending color. I love how evenly it applies loose pigments or powder eyeshadows. No eyeshadow is left behind on the brush after application.

    G5529 beats the NARS #12 for sure - definitely softer, like you said. It is a little smaller than most crease brushes, which makes it perfect for smaller eyes. It is stiff enough to blend out color if I need to.

    Hakuhodo accidentally sent me the G5522 instead of the G5523 and the B214BkSL instead of the 212, so that's why it has taken a while for me to try them out. :( I'm still waiting on the 212. Although the G5522 is really soft, it wasn't very good for blending or for applying eyeshadows, mostly due to the lack of stiffness. When I tried using it to apply color, it didn't grab or apply the eyeshadow as evenly as the G5529. After receiving the B214BkSL, it has confirmed my decision on getting the 212. I think that the B214BkSL is a little too stiff for applying under-eye concealer. However, it is great at spot concealing anywhere else on the face and especially great around the nose. I tried using it for contouring and it worked pretty well.

    I wasn't going to get the K005 before I saw the NonBlonde's blog post on it, but I got it upon impulse. I do not regret getting it at all. When I apply eyeliner to the lashlines/waterline, it is so soft that I barely feel the bristles on my eye. I am able to create a fine line and able to wing it out as well. I'll have to admit that I was also tempted to purchase the G5512BkSL after seeing your blog post, but it is sold out at the moment.

    Thanks for all your help! I'm so glad that I found your blog. I've been really enjoying your current blog entries.

    Have a great week!

    1. Hi Meeko!

      I'm so happy that you are so happy with your recent Hakuhodo order. I knew you would fall in love with the G543- it is probably one of the most unique and amazing brushes ever!

      It seems to me that the mix up in the order was ultimately a good thing in a way-- because it certainly strengthened your resolve in which brushes you ultimately preferred!

      I'm so glad that you got the K005- it is an amazing brush. I would definitely pick up the G5512BkSL when it is back in stock- since it is smaller/shorter it can negotiate certain things with more precision than the K005 (like a really precise wing). I am madly in love with both of those brushes!!

      You are very welcome-- it absolutely my pleasure to help in any way! I'm so glad that you found my blog as well, and I am so pleased that you have been enjoying my current posts.

      I love interacting with you!

      Have a great week as well!


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