This brush is one of the first from MAC that has let me down. There are brushes that I have no use for, but rarely do I need a certain type of brush and be dissapointed by MAC's version.
The #214 is a flat shader brush, the type you would use to smudge and blend eyeliner below the lashes for a easy smokey look. It is designed to be used with liners and shadows and claims to be effective shading lids. It is hand assembled using cruelty free goat hair. The brush head measures 10mm wide by only 6mm high. It retails for £15.17 and is available from MAC freestanding / pro stores or via the website only, counters within department stores will not be stocking this brush for much longer.
~ Firstly, as I mentioned previously I bought this brush to smudge liner below and above my lower and upper lashes, however I find the brush too dense and thin to do so effectively. Instead of softly smudging the liner, this brush moves it around the lid even with the lightest hand. I also find that as the brush is so dense it gets a little scratchy and irritating as it reaches the inner corners of the eyes. Not good!
~ It will apply shadows as liners quite effectively though. As you can simply 'press' rather than having to smudge with powders, it deposits much easier. By dabbing the tip of the brush into the product then pushing it right into the lashline, you are left with a sultry, smokey look that is incredibly easy and quick. Looks great if you use a colour that brings out your eyes and a quick coat of mascara :-)
~ It can also be used to densely shade the entire lid with colour. If you want an incredibly dark or vibrant colour on your lids and find softer, fluffier brushes tend to apply too sheerly then a brush like this might be for you. (Though personally I wouldn't recommend you get this brush just to do that - something like the #239 can do that and more).
~ The main way I have been using this brush is to apply or smudge my brow highlight. I either apply my Benefit "High Brow" and smudge it downwards slightly using the #214 or I will pick up a small amount of shadow - shimmery or matte - with the brush before pushing it right under the brow and blending it a little from size to size. The short size of this brush means it really defines right below the brow effortlessly without applying too much product below.
~ A little trivial perhaps, but I wish this brush was white. With black bristles that show very little 'dirt' it's easy to forget you have used it earlier with a darker colour and before you know it you've drawn a black line through a pale makeup look. But that's more of a problem with my memory / common sense so I won't fault it for that! ;-)
Overall I'm not entirely pleased with this brush. Although it has a few uses, despite it's namesake it's not all that great at smudging. I'd prefer it if it were slightly broader and a little softer. I'll continue to use it for other uses but the search for the perfect smudge brush continues.
Model: Brush #214 / Can be used with shadow to line and smudge around the lash line and very effective for densely shading lids /