Reviews, Tools

Review: Hakuhodo J210 Cheek Brush

This little brush is an oldie but a goody. It was one of my very first Hakuhodo face brushes, and my introduction to the magic that is white goat hair. How much do I love it? Well, let me tell you about that.

Hakuhodo J210

The J210 is a smallish round brush that of course follows the aesthetic of the other J-series brushes – black handle, silver ferrule, silver holo stamp with the name on it. I’ve had this one for a good while so it doesn’t have the number stamped on the handle, but guess what? According to the Hakuhodo USA blog, new stock in the J and B series will now be numbered! The lack of numbers is essentially the only complaint I’ve seen about Hakuhodo brushes, so I think it’s great that they’re listening to their customer feedback. The announcement does note that existing stock don’t have the numbers (duh) so you may still get some without the new stamp.

As far as construction goes, this brush lives up to all my expectations for nice brushes. All the parts are attached firmly, and in the year-plus that I’ve had it, I don’t recall it shedding a single hair.

Hakuhodo J210

The hair is white (ie, un-dyed) goat, which is incredibly soft. I have a theory about that – in order to get uniform hairs throughout the brush head, I suspect they have to use a higher quality of hair. In any case, I also had the 210 before this, which is the black goat version (dyed) and it wasn’t nearly as soft. I actually ended up swapping that one because it made my skin flush a bit when I used it. I have no such issues with the J210.

Hakuhodo J210

This brush is listed on the Hakuhodo website as a blush brush – which is pretty narrow-minded if you ask me! It’s a bit on the small side, so aside from blush it’s also nice for contouring. I even have a friend who uses it for liquid foundation, though I personally think it’s just a little too flexible for that. That said, I do use this mostly for blush. Despite the multitude of products I’ve used with it – and I don’t always wash it right away either (I know, ew) – the bristles haven’t stained. The un-dyed hair means you can use it with cream or liquid products (I really like it for blending cream blushes) and it holds up well to washing. It’s nice and dense, so it can be a little bit of a double-edged sword with extremely pigmented products. On one hand you can get a seamless blended edge with it but you need to use a light hand. Of course if you have some products that don’t quite have the best-ever pigmentation, this is the brush you’ll want to reach for.

Hakuhodo J210 vs Real Techniques StipplingFor your size-reference pleasure, I’ve pictured the J210 above next to the Real Techniques Stippling Brush. Obviously they’re totally different in construction and function, but they’re a similar diameter and that’s all we really care about for this purpose. I’ve heard it’s also very similar in shape to the MAC 109, but I don’t have one of those to compare it with. And also, measurements:

  • Full length – 171mm
  • Bristle length – 28mm
  • Width of ferrule foot – 15.5mm
  • Width of brush head at the widest part – 29mm

In Short: It’s luxurious and versatile at the same time. Anytime someone asks for recommendations on what to get in their first Hakuhodo order, this is on my list.

The Hakuhodo J210 ($44) is available at


  1. Liz

    April 2, 2014 at 10:15 am

    This is such a nice and straight forward review with all the pertinent information. I find a lot of brush reviews to be either too long to hold my attention properly or weirdly grandiose for no apparent reason. I want to upgrade my makeup brushes this year and Hakuhodo is definitely on the radar!

    1. Nikki

      April 2, 2014 at 10:26 am

      Aww thanks Liz <3 For the price vs quality and easy access, Hakuhodo is definitely my favorite brush brand!

  2. Stephanie

    April 2, 2014 at 10:32 am

    Thank you for the comparison picture. You mentioned it was small but I didn’t realize how small until I saw it next to the RT stippling brush!

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