These are my small round style eye shadow brushes from Hakuhodo and Chikuhodo, both Japanese brush makers of excellent quality brushes.
I’ll start with the top brush, Hakuhodo J5523. This is white goat hair, and very similar to the MAC 217 brush, only better quality for near the same price. It retails for $19. I use this mostly for blending. The hair is soft, and suitable for cream or powder.
Next is the Hakuhodo J146. This is a tapered round smaller crease brush. Hakuhodo also sells a larger and smaller version. The J146 retails for $18 and is white goat hair. This I use as a crease brush. The white goat hair is superb, it’s not scratchy, it can be used with cream or dry products. They’re also reasonably priced and the goat hair is better quality than the similar priced MAC brushes.
I have 3 pointed crease style eye shadow brushes. The largest and next in the picture above is the Hakuhodo G5527BkSL. This brush is made with Canadian squirrel and it pricey at $60. Canadian squirrel is rarer, hence the price. It has good spring and blends powders easily. Squirrel hair is for powder only, no creams. I use this brush to put the darker shades in my outer third of the eyelid and crease. It’s large and not precise, but good for laying down or being more diffuse in application.
The last 2 are pointed crease eye brushes made by Chikuhodo. Next down in the picture is the Z-10. Chikuhodo makes brushes that are a step above Hakuhodo in quality. They are very, very good brushes. The Z-10 retails for $36(now on Beautylish) and is made of gray squirrel hair. Gray squirrel is almost the softest hair there is, it’s only preceded by red squirrel. This is great for darker and more precise placement of crease and outer corner shadows. You can use it for under the eyelashes as well, it won’t be precise but can do a diffuse application. The Z Series is their top of the line quality brush series.
It used to be until recently you had to order Chikuhodo from one website and import it from Japan. Beautylish recently added Chikuhodo to their line up. However, Beautylish doesn’t carry all the Chikuhodo series brushes yet, such as the R series, among others. Which brings me to the last pointed crease brush in the photo, the Chikuhodo R-S4. You will have to get this off the Japanese website Visageusa.com for now. This brush is the smallest of the bunch. It retails for $21 and is made of gray squirrel and weasel. This has the same purpose as the Z-10, crease and outer corner detail. This brush is a bit stiffer and less soft than the Z-10, it also gives a more defined line. It’s soft and not scratchy by any means, it just doesn’t compare to the Z-10 in terms of softness.
L to R: Hakuhodo J5523, J146, G5527BkSL, Chikuhodo Z-10 & R-S4