Hakuhodo J5523 Review and a MAC 217 Comparison.

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Hi everyone!

I thought it was time to introduce you to probably one of my all time favourite eye brushes, the Hakuhodo J5523. It’s available on the Hakuhodo USA website and retails for $18.

It’s made of super soft goat hair which can be used for a variety of purposes such as the laying down of product and blending with a variety of textures whether powder, cream or liquid. I use it for applying a light wash of colour on the lid, placing colour in the crease or brow bone as well as blending out colours. I haven’t used it for concealer but I wouldn’t be surprised if it excelled in that aspect as well.


The brush has a slightly tapered point and a goat hair smell which does fade after a few washes. Its shape is easily maintained by combing through the bristles with a wide toothed comb and shaping it with your fingers when it’s damp. It dries quite quickly and I have had zero fall out since I’ve had this which is always a pleasant surprise. Don’t you hate it when brushes seem to think you need facial hair?

On my sensitive eyes this baby is ridiculously soft. I’ve never had an issue with it scratching my skin or pulling at it violently just to blend out harsh lines. I don’t think I can sing enough praises for this brush, my words won’t do any justice to the sensory experience that is Hakuhodo.

Anyway, this is the right size for my small eyes since it’s not too fluffy that it disperses colour into unwanted areas. It fits perfectly into the socket to place and blend colour as well as on the lid.

I probably should buy some backups.

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Thanks to glue tack for keeping these brushes in place!

The J5523 seems to be compared with the MAC 217 a lot when I was conducting research on it a few months back and with good reason. They’re both made of natural haired bristles and are blending brushes that excel in packing on colour as well as blending everything.

It was only fitting that I did a ‘VS’ battle between the two. I seem to love doing these.

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The J5523 has a shorter handle which is much appreciated by this glasses wearer.

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hak vs mac

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The MAC 217 has a noticeably more tapered head which allows for better accuracy when placing colours in the crease unlike the J5523 which is more rounded. The MAC 217 also does an excellent job placing colour on the lid since it packs it on quite opaquely. Blending wise it can be a bit labourious because the tip isn’t as fluffy and is more tapered than the J5523. As a result it doesn’t cover a large surface area like its Hakuhodo counterpart. 

Bristle wise, I find that the J5523 is much softer. I don’t know what’s wrong with MAC brushes but the quality seems to deteriorate after a while of owning it. The bristles are much harsher on my skin which was one of the reasons why I bought the J5523. Even my face brushes are harsh now which I didn’t have a problem with when I first bought them.

Maybe my sensitivity levels have increased as I’ve gotten older but it’s an unpleasant experience using the 217 to blend, it’s like hearing nails on a whiteboard unpleasant. I don’t know what to compare it to from a tactile perspective, but it’s uncomfortable when blending. 

So laying down product with the 217 is no problem but blending is where it starts to become one. 

Such a shame.

Oh well, a legitimate excuse for more Hakuhodo brushes! 

I would not hesitate to recommend the Hakuhodo J5523 over the MAC 217. At US$18 over the AUD$37 MAC Australia charges, the J5223 is a much better performer and is so much softer, on your eyes and wallet. 

Hopefully this was helpful to you!

Do any of you have this brush or the MAC 217? What are your thoughts on them?

Let me know in the comments!



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