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MAC Define & Blend Brush Set

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1 Review

Type: Brushes / Brand: MAC / Set / Subcategory: Styling Brush

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      11.09.2011 17:03
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      Overall I would definitely recommend this brush set :)

      Mac Packed to go (travel collection) - Five define and blend brush set I went on holiday about a month ago now and before I went I was looking into MAC's range of travel exclusive sets, which are only available at airports and I found one particular set that I really liked. So I looked at the MAC counter at Manchester's terminal 2, Schiphol airport (Amsterdam) and Marco Polo (Venezia) airport and I could not find these sets anywhere - the sales assistant at the MAC counter in Schiphol airport said that the MAC travel sets are sold out until september. But a couple weeks later the travel sets were available to purchase on the MAC uk website and as it was my birthday in August I received this set as part of a present, which I was very happy about! - Packaging and make up case The packaging is really nice, it is just a simple box with images of make up being applied. The images on the box are very high quality and the box houses all of the items neatly inside. Along with the five travel size make up brushes that come with this set, you also get a make up case/bag, which is quite handy especially if you pick this set up as you are going to go on holiday. The make up case is a normal make up bag and it has a zip closing on the top of the bag. The bag is black with white stripes running parallel to the zip and it has "M.A.C" printed on the inside. The make up bag feels like it is composed of a cotton/canvas material which is fairly thick and it also feels really durable too. All of the travel size brushes fit in the bag with a lot of room to spare, so you could store other brushes or other items in the bag too. The only thing I don't like about the make up bag is the tassel thing on the end of the zipper as I don't think it is necessary. - Mac's description and the brushes in the set "The five essential short handled brushes needed to perfect the define-and-blend of makeup. Eyes, lips, face, these brushes have them covered." The brushes in the set are just the same as the normal brushes but they have shorter handles and they also have SE printed next to the brush number (the SE stands for special edition, but you can buy the full size versions of these travel sizes on the mac uk website). The brushes in the set for the eyes includes: the 266, the 224 and the 242. The two face brushes include: the 129 and the 190. The information on the MAC website for this brush set says that there are brushes for "eyes, lips and face" - but there are three brushes for the eyes and two brushes for the face. The 242 which could possibly be used as a lip brush but it is under the subheading "eyes" on the brushes section of the MAC website. - The 190: Foundation brush The 190 is a foundation brush and the full size brush on the mac uk site is described thusly: "A foundation brush designed to create even finish, flawless look." The brush has a short handle, as do all of the brushes in this set. I use this brush with my revlon colourstay liquid foundation and I just mix my foundation with my moisturiser on the back of my hand and I then take this brush to apply my foundation. I take a small amount of foundation on the brush and then I apply it to my skin with small stokes over one area at a time. I really like using this brush as the bristles are incredibly smooth, soft, gentle and they do not feel harsh on my skin while applying my foundation. The bristles are wider at the handle and the bristles become narrower at the opposite end of the brush - this makes the brush really good for applying foundation to small areas that my be difficult to reach using another brush. The narrower end of the brush is a great shape for applying foundation around my nose and under my eyes. The revlon colourstay foundation, in my opinion, is a medium coverage foundation and using this brush you get the most coverage you can out of the foundation, as you are just applying the foundation directly to the skin - not buffing the foundation in which would reduce the coverage of the foundation. I have been using this brush for about a week consistently now (I have used it a couple of times when I first received this set) and it has only shed one bristle that I can remember. Overall, I love this brush for applying my liquid foundation as the bristles are really smooth so this brush does not really create any foundation lines/streaks. Using this brush is very quick and easy and the short handle means that it is great for fitting in a small make up bag. The bristles do not irritate my skin, the brush is very light weight and the brush is also easy to clean. The full size version of this brush can be bought outside of this set for £26 (the handle for the full size version is about 12 cm longer than this brush). - The 129: Powder/blush brush The 129 is a powder brush - it is suitable for use with powders such as loose powders, setting powders, pressed powders, powder blush or powder bronzer. This brush is described by mac thusly: "All-purpose for blush or face powder. This brush is particularly good for blush application." I just use this with the lucidity pressed translucent powder (in the Estee Lauder Travel palette, previously reviewed). I don't wear blush at all, so I can not comment on that but I love this brush for applying and blending pressed powder. I have only used this brush with the pressed powder in the set stated above and it works really well with that powder. I just use a light amount of powder on certain areas of my face (such as my nose, chin and jaw line) just to prevent possible shine/oil. The best thing about this brush is that the bristles are incredibly smooth and very soft on my skin, which is great as it means that the brush blends the powder really well and the bristles also does not feel harsh or irritate my skin. The only thing I don't like about this brush is that the bristles tend to collect a lot of dust and out of all of the brushes in this set, this one has shed the most. Although it has probably only shed a few bristles and I have not washed this brush yet so I don't know how well it washes and if it stops shedding after being washed. This brush can be purchased outside of this set and you can actually buy a short version of the full size brush on the mac uk website. The full size brush is 19.5cm and the shorter version for individual sale is 12.7cm - which is only a few centimeters longer than the special edition travel brush that I have. The full size brush is priced at £26 and the shorter handled version is also £26. - The 242: Shader brush The 129 is a normal eyeshadow brush, on the mac website the full size version of this brush is described thusly: "For powder, concealer or emollient-based product application. This brush has firm fibres carefully shaped to form a rounded edge for a smooth, even finish." I use this with my normal powder eyeshadows and I do like the way this brush applies shadows as it is firm so you can pat the eyeshadows onto your lids and get a good colour pay off. This brush is also soft and smooth, like the other brushes, but as it is a lot firmer than the other two eye brushes it does feel less soft in comparison. I like this brush for eyeshadow but it is just like another other eyeshadow brush so I also use this for concealer. I use this brush with my liquid and cream concealers and I find that it makes a good concealer brush. So just because a brush is labeled as an eyeshadow brush, it does not mean that it can not be used else where. Overall, I like this brush for eyeshadow and concealer, as the bristles and smooth and soft but they are not as soft as the other two eye brushes in the set. This brush has shed a couple of bristles and I don't think I would buy the full size brush. This brush can be bought from the mac site for £19 (full size) but in my opinion it is not really worth it £19 - sure it is a good brush, but other brushes are of the same quality and they are also cheaper - such as the eco tools eyeshadow brush (I have a small eco tools brush set and it is really really good). - The 266: Small Angle brush This small angled brush is described on the mac website thusly: "For creating sharp, precise lines. This brush has fibres which are carefully arranged to form a perfect angle." I have been using this brush for three different things, firstly I have been using this brush to fill in my eyebrows with an eyeshadow. Secondly, I have been using this brush to line my upper lash line, either with my clinique cream eyeliner or an eyeshadow used an an eyeliner. Thirdly, I have been using this brush to line my lower lash line with an powder eyeshadow. I really like this brush as it is a multipurpose brush - it can be used for a variety of different looks and the bristles of this brush are quite firm so you can get a really clean precise line of colour/eyeliner. This brush is great for eyeliner and eyeshadows, if you want to create a straight line or a slight winged out liner look. The bristles are quite firm but they are flexible and they are also really smooth and soft on my skin. Overall I really like this brush, I find that with this brush it is very easy to control and it is very easy to create the look that I want. This brush is a great brush and it is multipurpose too. The brush is really thin, super light weight and small so it is a great size for fitting in a small make up bag. This brush can be bought outside of this set on the mac uk website for £16, which I think is the cheapest brush in the set to buy individually. I have used angled brushes before but this is the best angled brush I have used. - Don't worry this is the last brush in the set and I have saved the best till last! It is the 224: Tapered blending brush This brush is described by on the mac website thusly: "For controlled eye shadow application. This brush has soft fibres which taper to form a medium size dome shape." I adore this brush and I have been using it to blend out eyeshadow and I have also been using it for blending my uder eye concealer and it is amazing. I love this brush as the bristles are literally the softest bristles ever! The brush is so soft and smooth which makes it just amazing for blending my eyeshadows. I also use this brush from blending the concealer under my eyes which can look a bit cakey as my skin is really dry. This brush is also fantastic for blending concealer and foundation onto small areas. I also use this brush to apply and blend pressed powder onto my skin as it is quite small it is great for applying powder around the makeup I have already applied. This brush by far is my favorite brush in this set and I think it is safe to say that this is my favorite makeup brush ever! The bristles are incredibly smooth and soft, the brush is very easy to control and is it amazing at blending - whether it is powder eyeshadow, liquid concealer, cream concealer, pressed powder or foundation. Overall, I will definitely be buying this brush as a full size version as it is amazing. Although this brush is amazing, the price certainly is not! This brush, full size, is priced at £22 on the mac uk site - which I would have never bought before but having used the travel size version, I will definitely be buying the full size when this one has been worn out! - Additional information The mac brush handles are made from a range of birch, linden and ramin wood and the ferrules (the metal section between the bristles and the handle) are made of nickel-plated brass. "M·A·C professional brushes are hand-sculpted and assembled using the finest quality materials." In regards to cleaning the brushes, I have only cleaned the 190 foundation brush and the 266 angled eyeliner/eyeshadow brush and they were both quick and easy to clean - although the foundation brush did take longer to clean and the foundation brush gets dirty quite easily. I used the MAC brush cleaner to clean the brushes. - Overall positives of the set The overall positives of this set include: the brushes have short handles, which makes them fantastic for traveling as they can fit into a small make up bag. Another positive is the quality of the brushes, as they are really well made and they feel really durable and long lasting. The bristles on all of the brushes are very smooth, soft and gentle on my skin. My favorite brush from the set is the 224 by far as it is the best makeup brush I have used and I also love the 190, the 266 and the 129 - basically all of the brushes except the 242 shader brush. - Overall negatives of the set The only negative point really about this set is the averageness of the 242. The 242 is the only average brush in the set as it is just like a lot of normal eyeshadow brushes I have used, it is just more expensive - but it is still a fairly good brush and I will continue to use it, I just won't buy the full size version. Another negative point for some people may be the price but in my opinion the set is really good value and the quality of the brushes is amazing (well the quality of the 242 is good, not amazing unfortunately). - Price and availability I received these brushes as a present for my birthday and they were purchased from the MAC uk website (link at the end of the review) for £39.50. While this may seem expensive, it is a lot cheaper to buy the brushes in a set like this than buying them individually. The total price for all five of the full size brushes would be £109! So this brush set is amazing value - and the only difference is the shorter handles (and SE is printed next to the numbers on the handles). You can still buy this set on the mac website but this set may not last for very long as it is a 2011 airport special edition and these sets change every year, if I am not mistaken. So overall I would definitely recommend this brush set! Conclusions Positives *Short handles - good for traveling or keeping in a small make up bag on a night out *The quality of 4/5 brushes is amazing! *The bristles of all of the brushes are really smooth, soft and gentle on my skin *The 224 is a fantastic brush and I will definitely be buying this brush as a full size (although full size prices are not fantastic!)
*An amazing value set *All of the brushes are great at what they do and some of them are great multipurpose brushes too *Easy to use and clean Negatives *The 242 is not a fantastic brush, it is fairly average in my opinion and there are other brushes such as the eco tools eyeshadow brush that work just as well as this brush For more information: http://www.maccosmetics.co.uk/ (go to the heading "shop products", then "whats new" and scroll down). Thank you for reading my review - my review is also posted on ciao under my username labellavita1992 x

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