As before, the short gold-handled Hakuhodos I purchased in Japan; I've linked to the brushes with exactly the same heads and numbers currently available on the international Hakuhodo webshop. The Chikuhodo Artist series brushes also come in black (long-handled) versions.
2. Chikuhodo Artist Red 6-1 kolinsky curved push brush
3. MAC 266 angled ox/synthetic blend brush
4. Hakuhodo 162 angled weasel brush (see S162)
5. Shu Uemura Natural 6OB angled badger brush (mine is travel-sized; they also make a long-handled version)
6. Shu Uemura Natural 4F sable flat brush
7. Maybelline gel eyeliner synthetic tapered flat brush
8. KATE gel eyeliner synthetic tapered flat brush
9. Hakuhodo 5531, synthetic script brush
10. Sonia Kashuk Bent Eyeliner sable/nylon blend brush
11. Hakuhodo 007 fine pointed weasel brush (see K007)
Curved Push Brushes
I purchased the Chikuhodo Artist 6-1 (#2) as a short-handled travel version of the 231. And it actually blows the MAC brush out of the water in every single way. Its slightly smaller dimensions translate to a huge increase in precision, and the kolinsky hair outperforms MAC's synthetics with all textures. A must-have, if you like this shape.
Hakuhodo 162 is the densest and thickest of the three and works best for smokey, smudgy lining. It is also the softest as well as the firmest, and works excellently for working eyeliner right into the base of the lashes. Also marketed as a brow brush, but only recommended for those "more hairless" than me (nice euphemism courtesy of the Osaka Hakuhodo counter manager, who would only sell this to me when I solemnly swore never to let it approach my were-brows.)
Shu 6OB is another staple of mine, used with brow powders and gels, and with powder eyeshadow to line my eyes (almost daily). More angled than the Hakuhodo 162, it draws thinner, less smokey lines with powders, but works less well with gels/creams because it's more loosely packed.
Flat liner brushes
Pointy liner brushes
I've had two months with Hakuhodo 007 and it's officially time to call Holy Grail. Makes more graphic liner (flicks, angles etc.) absoutely effortless. In the past I've worn out many a MAC 209 and 210 and Louise Young 24 and 25, not to mention dozens of Japanese pen liners with attached brushes (KMHM, Rose of Versailles and KATE, for example). At the Hakuhodo counter, I also had a play with several other script brushes, all of which were too long or too rounded; the 007 is simply perfection.