When it comes to applying makeup, I truly believe that it's all in the tools and the technique will follow. If you don't have good quality tools, then you can't expect a flawless application and that's just the way it is. I seem to tell everyone I know about this brush, so I thought I'd finally get round to reviewing it on dooyoo. The brush I'll be reviewing today is the MAC Small Contour Brush, otherwise known as the 109.
MAC brushes have a fantastic reputation and I'm yet to find anyone who doesn't think they are worth the money. I've always said that makeup brushes are an investment, because if you take care of them then they will last you a lifetime and prove fantastic value for money.
The MAC 109 brush comes packaged just like any other MAC makeup brush, in a clear plastic cover that can easily be slipped off. The brush inside is maybe 10 inches long and has a long black handle for ease of use. The brush has absolutely no detail on it, aside from the small 'MAC 109' printed in silver just below the ferrule (the metal band that holds the bristles to the handle). The ferrule itself is roughly 2 inches long and is very sturdy, therefore there will be no wiggling or looseness while you apply your makeup. The bristles are around an inch in length and packed quite tightly, producing quite a dense, slightly domed brush.
MAC recommend that this brush is used for contouring, and while I believe that this is a great brush for contouring, I'll actually be reviewing it as a foundation brush. I use Revlon Colorstay Liquid Foundation (previously reviewed) and struggled to find the perfect way to apply it. I was recommended sponges, fingers, stippling brushes, paddle brushes and everything else you can imagine, but when I finally got round to applying it with this brush, I never looked back. Those of you who use liquid foundation will know that it's very easy to waste, especially if you're using one without a pump. You either get far too much on your brush, or your sponge soaks most of it up and you end up going through a bottle every month! With the MAC 109 brush you only need a tiny amount of foundation to cover your face and provide you with full coverage (this obviously depends on your foundation, but the coverage is always better when using this brush than it would be if I used a sponge, I also use around a third of the foundation I would use with a sponge). To apply your foundation with this brush you simply get a teeny tiny amount of foundation onto the tips of the bristles and start stippling it into your skin, following that with a buffing motion. This will ensure that there are no bristle marks left on your face and that you have been left with an airbrush finish.
Here's where the problem starts, when you first use this brush you will experience a lot of shedding. I don't mean one or two hairs, but nearer 8-15 hairs. The shedding stops after you've washed your brush a few times, but can be very frustrating when you're applying your foundation. I've found the easiest way to remove the shed hairs on your skin is to just apply your full face of foundation and then remove the hairs with tweezers at the end. This will stop you from smudging your foundation with your fingers.
Washing the brush couldn't be easier, simply pop the bristles under some warm running water and then swirl the bristles into some baby shampoo in the palm of your hand. Repeat this until the water squeezed out of the brush head runs clear.
To dry the brush, simply shape it back into the original shape and lay it flat on a towel. Do NOT stand your brush up to dry it as the water will run back into the ferrule, and eventually will damage the glue inside, which will effect the lifespan of the brush. You also don't want to get water into the ferrule where it meets the handle, as again this will damage the glue inside.
I recommend that you wash your brush at least twice a week if you are using it with a liquid foundation as it will quickly harbour bacteria that can cause skin irritation and breakouts. Not very cute!
To keep the brush shape and to stop it from fanning out like some brushes do, I keep mine in the plastic packaging it came in. You can also use a brush guard to protect the brush shape, but I find the plastic packaging works fine for me.
Here's the scary bit. This brush will set you back £22. That sounds like a lot for something that you'll be using to apply your makeup, but like I previously mentioned, think of it as an investment. As someone who wears makeup every day (give or take a few days, but we'll say that I've worn makeup maybe 330 days out of the past year) and has used this brush for a year now, that works out at less than 6p per application. My brush is still in perfect condition and I can see it sticking with me for another 5 years at the very least! Now try and tell me that isn't good value for money.
MAC brushes are available from all MAC stores and counters, but as these seem to be pretty hard to find here in Scotland, I buy mine online at maccosmetics.co.uk.
I 100% recommend this brush to anyone looking for a foundation brush. The finish that you get brush using this brush is flawless and you will even save money on your foundation because you only have to use a teeny bit! I will remove 1 star for the initial shedding, although that stopped within two weeks so I feel like I'm kind of cheating it out of a star - it is a bit of a problem though, so there we go. 4 stars!
Thanks for reading!
Number: 10 / MAC 109 Small Contour Brush / Use on the face to apply / blend or contour powder products / Softly rounded dome tip delivers just enough colour; smoothly blends colour into the face / Of natural fibres.