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I am currently in training to be a make up artist and due to this I thought it was time to overhaul some of my old make up and brushes and replace them with new, better quality ones. I noticed that one of the brushes I was missing from my collection was a decent blending brush and having received some MAC vouchers a couple of months ago I decided to pop there to see what they had available.
==~~What is it?~~==
MAC have a few blending brushes available and a choice of synthetic or non synthetic on offer. I decided to purchase the 217 brush which is mainly designed for blending eye shadow due to the fact it has very soft, yet tapered bristles with a slightly tapered edge. Despite mainly being used for blending eye shadow, it can also be used to apply eye shadow alone and on occasions I have even used it to conceal areas so it is very much a multi use brush.
==~~Price and Availability~~==
This is definitely not a cheap brush, though from MAC I wasn't really expecting anything different. It costs £17 and although this seems a lot, I do thoroughly believe it is worth this price and believe it will be a staple in my make up brush kit for a few years to come.
Due to this being a MAC product, it is only available in certain stores. This can be the freestanding MAC and MAC Pro stores, or Debenhams and MAC also has their online website in which you can purchase their items from.
The design of this brush makes it primarily very easy to use. It has a very long handle, which means that it sits comfortably in the hand and due to the smooth texture of the handle I do not feel the need to grip it, meaning a lighter hand when applying the makeup. When using this to blend eye shadow I was very pleased with the results. The soft bristles means that it is very easy to use both in backward and forward strokes, along with circular ones along the edge of the eye shadow to ensure that there are no harsh lines. The brush is fairly small, so when blending the edge of the eye shadow it does not affect the eye shadow over the lid of the eyeliner, meaning that you are left with a very neat, yet blended and soft eye shadow look. The bristles also all seem to stay in a much uniformed shape when using this brush, meaning that you can really focus on blending one section, rather than the bristles sticking out and ending up with a slightly rougher blended look.
It also works just as well when blending out cream or gel based eye shadows. I do find that it takes a little more work to blend out the cream based products, opposed to powder based, nonetheless it is still a very quick and easy process when using this brush. It enables the edge of these eye shadows to look softer and slightly 'fluffier', yet at the same time it does not look like the eye shadow had bled or feathered at all due to it being a cream based product.
When using this brush to apply base eye shadow this brush works just as well due its fairly dense bristles, this means that the eye shadow transfers well from the palette to the brush meaning that you end up with a decent amount to apply to the eyelid. I find that the 217 brush picks up enough eyes shadow to have an opaque layer across the eyelid, meaning that there is very little need to go back over it. Due to the bristles being very soft it is very delicate when applying the eye shadow to the lid of the eye and in no way does it pull on the eye.
On some occasions I have also used this to apply concealer and although this is not necessarily what this brush is used for it works just as well. Due to it being a very light brush to use I found it very easy to dab the concealer onto any imperfections without obstructing any make up previously applied underneath and neither does is remove this make up.
When using this brush as a blending brush I was very pleased with the results. It made the eye shadow look very soft on the eye, meaning that there were no harsh lines and in turn made the whole smokey eye look, look a lot softer. Despite the fact it blends outs the eye shadow well, it does in a way not to remove any of the eye make up applied and neither does it completely remove the pigmentation of the eye shadow, meaning that you are left with a very soft graduated look. I was really thoroughly impressed with the results and would rate this brush way higher than my previous blending brush which tended to remove the eye shadow rather than actually blending it out.
When using it as a base eye shadow brush I was also equally pleased with the results, it left a soft dusting of the eye shadow all over the lid and due to it being a blending brush it was as if it had blended out the edge of the eye shadow on its own due to their being no harsh lines when applying an eye shadow alone with this brush.
As a conceal brush this brush also works well, although the results do not equally match those of above it still does well to cover any imperfections and does not draw attention to them. I think this is due to the fact the brush is very light to use, meaning that you end up only using the bare minimum in order to conceal something, rather than over using product which can often draw more attention to it. Although I liked the results when using it as a conceal brush, I think this is more so when I cannot find another brush to use as it definitely works better as a base eye shadow/ blending brush, nonetheless it is still a very versatile brush.
==~~Cleaning the brush~~==
The slightly downside I find to this brush is that it does need cleaning almost every day, due to the fact it can get dirty quickly. Also due to the fact it is a cream/ white coloured brush any eye shadows used previously show up on this brush meaning that if you use it two days in a row you run the risk of blending in the previous days eye shadows into the new look, meaning the look will not be as professional and the colours may not suit. Despite this, I find the brush is very easy to clean and washes very well when either using an anti-bacterial soap and water, or with an actual brush cleaner and with either of these the brush comes up as good as new. I have been washing mine everyday / every other day for around 2/3 months now and the bristles have remained very soft (as if they were new) and neither have the bristles began to shed.
Overall, I am very pleased with this brush and would not hesitate in buying another one should I lose or damage this one in anyway. The quality of it is far superior to any brushes I have used previously and this means that I can use it with ease to make lovely, soft eye looks. Due to the fact it is still in as new condition I can see this lasting for many years in my collection and it being a 'basic' brush that I will continue to use on a daily basis. There is no doubt as to whether I would recommend this brush, though I would recommend going to a MAC or Debenhams store if you decided upon purchasing them as there are many fakes around.
I received this as a gift at Christmas and am very grateful. I always hear good things about MAC brushes and couldn't wait to give them a try.
The MAC 217 is designed as a blending brush for both face and eyes, powder or creamy products.The oval shape of the brush makes it easy to apply product under your eyes, on your eyelid or outer corners easily and blend out colour.
Priced at £16, this brush is very overpriced, like the rest of the MAC brushes, but I do believe with make-up brushes - buy cheap, buy twice.
The brush is of excellent quality and " M·A·C professional brushes are hand-sculpted and assembled using the finest quality materials. They feature wood handles and nickel-plated brass ferrules". The bristles are soft and not all scratchy and will not irritate your skin. The only niggle I have with the brushes quality is ( fortunately I have prevented this by covering the name and number with clear nail polish) that the MAC 217 ( and numbers on all genuine brushes) will rub of if not protected.
I have spot cleaned ( using ELF BRUSH CLEANSER) and deep cleaned ( baby shampoo) multiple times and as of yet have not experienced and mis-shaping nor shedding.
I do feel that you could get brushes like this elsewhere ( No7 Blend and Contour) however I have had no problems with this brush and think that it is of excellent quality.
This is available from MAC stores or their website and also in department stores.
** Please be cautious if purchasing this brush online as fake mac brushes are very common**
I have always been a big believer in getting what you pay for. I have tried to be cheap with my makeup brushed in the past but it really doesn't work. With a few exceptions, always buy the most expensive brushes you can afford. And, if you have to make a choice between expensive brushes or expensive makeup, chose expensive brushes every time!
The mac 217 brush is a staple in makeup eye brushes. It can apply a wash of colour all over the eyelid, apply colour to the crease and blend out hard edges. It is made of white goat hair, which is quite a porous hair, which is means it picks up a lot of colour. The bristles are tightly packed and arranged into a dome shape. The hairs feel soft, which is very important on the delicate eye area.
Mac does a lot of blending and contouring brushes, but I feel the Mac 217 is the most versatile. At £14.50, is is quite expensive but it is one of the cheapest brushed Mac carry. If you are on a a budget, it will be one of the few brushes you will need.
I bought this MAC brush and it's the second brush I've purchased from them. I do really like MAC brushes and how it helps with the application of your make up. And what's the point in splashing out on good makeup and then using bad brushes to apply it!! if you buy expensive make up you want an professional look..right?? However I do think the prices of their brushes aren't affordable for everyone and I only bought this brush after a make over at a MAC store and she'd used this brush to apply my liquid concealer.
The #217 is a blending brush, which should be used for shading and blending of colour. However as I said when searching for some concealer the MAC assistant used this brush to apply and blend in the concealer and it really worked. The brush has very soft white bristles, formed in an oval shape. The handle is wooden, black, and has a metal tube keeping the bristles in place at the end and joining to the handle. The brush feels natural to hold and use and blends really well (well my concealer anyway). I haven't used it for eyeshadow but from the ease of blending in a liquid I think a powder or cream would blend really well with this brush. When the brush needs a clean I've found the best thing is baby shampoo. It is a soft delicate cleaner and leaves the brush clean, white and super soft again and smelling gorgeous. Leave out to dry and the brush is as new.
Well this brush cost me about £13-£14 I think as I've had it a while. They aren't cheap but are great quality and their brushes will last you a long time!!
This brush seems quite expensive at first - it is around £13, however, it is like 3 or 4 brushes combined into one and is very high quality so I think its worth it.
This brush has white bristles which I do not like as they can look unattractive if stained by dark eyeshadows. The bristles also splay out when drying and I origionally found it hard to keep it in good shape. I now create a tube using a tissue around the brush once I have washed it and leave it to dry in its tube. This keeps the brush in PERFECT shape!
This brush can be used to apply eyeshadow all over the lid, or to blend out colour. I like to use it in my crease to create a more defined eye socket, but I also use it to apply my Studio Finish Concealer as it blends and buffs it to perfection! This brush can also be used for detailed contouring such as the nose or temples.
This is a very high quality brush and I do not regret buying it one bit! It dries quickly once cleaned with MAC brush cleanser and I love love love it! :)
This review is for the MAC #217 blending brush. It is not however, the only blending brush that MAC currently sell (others include the #222, #224 and #226).
The #217 is made from natural, cruelty free white goat hair. The bristles are very soft and arranged into a full oval with a fluffed tip. The brush head measures just over 15mm high by about 11mm wide. These mearsurements are taken when the brush is new / freshly washed, during use it can fluff out a little more.
It retails for £13.70 and can be purchased online at maccosmetics.co.uk and both pro, freestanding and counters within department stores.
~ Although it is marketed as a blending brush, it also works incredibly well when used simply for a wash of colour along the lid. The size of the #217 makes it quick and easy to apply your shadow as just a few strokes is enough to cover the eyelid. It can apply light or dark colours, lightly or heavily and can achieve many different effects. The soft bristles and tapered shape means that it blends as it applies, creating soft, diffused edges. Perfect if you don't have much time :)
~ Turn the #217 it on it's side and it also works well as a crease brush, to give depth and defintion to the eyesocket. By shading the crease using the "windscreen wiper" technique (aka relatively fast backwards and forwards motions) you can achieve contoured, professional results in no time. Again the arrangement of the bristles blends at the same time.
~ It doesn't only work with powder products. Although synthetic fibres are usually used with cream / emolient formulas, the #217 works just as well if not better and is my brush of choice. It applies a fine layer of MAC Paintpots, Fluidlines (when used all over the lid as a base) and other creamy bases etc effortlessly. You will need to buff the product into the skin a little to ensure it is streak free, but personally I find it gives a much more natural finish than synthetics.
~ Here's where the blending comes in! If used clean and free of product it will blend away any harsh lines left by your eyeshadow quickly and easily. Simply buff the brush over the edges in quick, small, circular movements. You can use a shadow that is a similar colour to your skintone when doing so if you like. It will give a slightly more polished look :-)
~ Can also be used to apply waterbased concealers under the eye for a soft, diffused effect that is harder to achieve if using your fingertips or a flat concealer brush.
Overall, this is my most used brush. If you only want one brush that has many uses then I would recommend you pick up this one. It's probably the most versatile of all MAC's eye brushes and will last you an incredibly long time if cared for / washed correctly. (I have a review for MAC's Brush Cleanser if that helps).
Number: 21 / MAC Brushes / For shading or blending of colour or creamy products / This brush has fine / densely packed fibres that are arranged in an oval shape / M?A?C professional brushes are hand-sculpted and assembled using the finest quality materials / They feature birch / linden and ramin wood handles / nickel-plate