I bought these brushes a few months ago to compare and contrast the Sephora PRO collaboration to the real deal. After use after use between the two lines, I have come to a conclusion about each of them.
Hakuhodo J Series
The J series line has been used amongst many professionals since it is more durable for commercial use. I would have to say this is mid-high range for the Hakuhodo line, but these are top of the line brushes in my opinion. I purchased about 9 brushes in various sizes, and I have to say they are all amazing.
The brushes I purchased are goat or horse hair fibers. For the eyebrow brush I purchased, it contains horse hair fibers. Those are a bit rougher in texture (still very soft) but work well for angled brow brushes and flat shader brushes. The white goat fibers are ridiculously soft for the rest of the brushes! It feels like a kitten is applying your makeup. Since the fibers are natural hair and tapered, this makes blending much easier.
When spot cleaned with Parian Spirit, the fibers of the brush still maintain their integrity and their shape. When deep cleaned, with Clean brush soap, the brushes dry extremely quick and stay amazingly soft. Proper cleaning is always a huge component in maintaining your brushes, but a quality brush will remain the same, if not better, after each wash!
hakuho-do + Sephora PRO
I purchased these limited edition brushes in a set of 6 from a recent Holiday collection. All of the brushes in this collaboration are 100% synthetic bristles. The brushes are absolutely beautiful and so is the packaging they came in, but I sadly was not too impressed with the performance of this set. Obviously, we can all assume that the original brushes were going to be better from the start! But I had higher hopes for these brushes.
I truly do like the Kusuriyubi Angled Concealer brush for applying and blending any sort of cream or liquid to the face. It is very versatile due to the flat back and slanted front, providing a stiff flat surface and a fluffy side for perfect blending. Typically, there will be some great synthetic brushes you come across every now and then, but for the price of these, they were not living up to the hype.
When spot cleaned with Parian Spirit, the brushes maintained their shape and cleaned off easily. When deep cleaned, with Clean brush soap, they took awhile to dry, but they didn't feel as nice once they completely dried. I still plan on using them, but they aren't what I'm reaching for every time.
In conclusion, the REAL DEAL is the way to go!