“ Brushes „
Mac is my go-to brand. It doesn't disappoint in terms of variety of products and colours. When it comes to brushes to cater for all my make up demands, I turn to Mac. Mac brushes are competitively priced compared to other high premium brands. It also has a huge selection. Also, the brushes last a long time and stay in tip top condition, even once the brushes have been washed a few times. I am an avid user of mac's eyeshadow brushes. Brush 217 is one of my favorite brushes. The brush blends and applies eyeshadow perfectly. In addition, I recommend the mac blusher brushes and the contour brush. I prefer to use the beauty blender sponge to apply foundation and do not believe Mac's sponges or foundation brushes achieve the same flawless effect as the beauty blender sponge. However, in all other departments, the Mac brushes do not disappoint in terms of price, choice and quality.
I bought a duo fibre brush I guess about 4 years ago now. It's true what people say: mac brushes shed ALOT but I over looked this as I always thought, it's mac, it does an amazing job, Before using these I used ones you could just buy in a drug store and these are seriously awfull looking back now... Anyway, after a years use of this brush, ok maybe 1-2, i noticed the brush started to get more, well i guess brushy.. it felt like i was using a brush on my face and it irritated my skin. The softness I would expect from this brush was completely gone and I was left with having to throw out the brush! Don't get me wrong, I washed these brushes all the time (not too much though) and i know others who have had the same experience. I now use costal scent brushes are these are SO cheap and SO amazing! I would never use mac brushes again... If you want good brushes then get some Crown ones!!
ABOUT MAC BRUSHES "M·A·C professional brushes are hand-sculpted and assembled using the finest quality materials. They feature birch, linden and ramin wood handles, nickel-plated brass ferrules." PRICE / APPEARANCE / AVAILABILITY As stated in my other MAC reviews, you can purchase MAC products (and brushes!) from MAC stores, MAC website, Debenhams (online or in a department store with a MAC counter) and Selfridges (online or in a department store with a MAC counter). Avoid ebay or unofficial MAC suppliers so you don't end up with a fake. There are many fake brush sets on ebay, and it is worth noting that MAC only sell their permanent range brushes individually. You can buy a whole (fake) set on ebay for as little as £25 but the quality will be poor. MAC sometimes have limited edition ranges of brushes, and these can often be in the form of a mini set in a nice brush roll or case. The limited edition brushes are factory produced, rather than handmade, so are cheaper in price. Though I haven't tried these, the quality is still meant to be good. The permanent range of MAC brushes are very sleek and professional in appearance. They have smooth black handles with MAC embossed on the side, along with the particular brush number. The brush is joined to the handle with silver metal, and the brushes themselves range in colours of black, white / cream and natural / tan, depending on the particular brush. Limited Edition brushes can vary in colour. My lip brush is limited edition and has a dark green handle. The prices of the brushes range from £7 for an eyelash brush to £37 for a large face brush. This is usual for high end makeup brushes, and provided you look after them and clean them well, they can last you 20+ years! MY BRUSH SET It would be crazy to list every single makeup brush and limited edition makeup set that MAC stock / have ever stocked. I'll keep the review relatively simple and review my own collection of MAC brushes... Also, it would be silly to copy and paste MAC's description for each brush, so I will just give my own thoughts. It's worth knowing that you can read up on each brush on their website though! 217 Blending Brush (eyes) - £16 219 Pencil Brush (eyes) - £19 222 Tapered Blending Brush (eyes) - £19 239 Eye Shader Brush - £19 266 Small Angle Brush (eyes) - £16 131 Duo Fibre Face Brush (ltd edition) - £32.50 109 Small Contour Brush - £26 168 Large Angled Contour Brush - £26 187 Duo Fibre Face Brush - £32.50 134 Large Powder Brush - £37 150 Large Powder Brush - £32.50 316 Lip Brush - £16 (Please note that I don't use MAC for concealor or foundation brushes - nothing against them - I just have perfectly good Bobbi Brown and Benefit versions of these brushes!) MY EYE BRUSHES 217 - Great for applying eyeshadows, especially all over base colours. This brush isn't great for precise definition, but picks up a lot of product, be it cream or powder, and blends evenly and feels soft against your skin. 219 - Great for more precise eyeshadow application. I use this to blend a darker shade into the crease of my eyelid after I've applied an all over base with the above brush. Again, works with cream or powder eyeshadow and blends well / feels nice and soft. Can be used to apply a nice, neat eyeshadow line instead of a thinner more definitely eyeliner. 222 - I use this as an all over eyeshadow brush if I want a lighter look than I get with the 217. It's good for shimmery colours that you'd use to highlight the brow bone area in particular. It's not as 'structured' as the other brushes, so you loose a lot of the powder before it gets near your eyes. Which doesn't sound desirable, but is often a necessary requirement! 239 - I use this strictly for shading eyeshadow that I've already applied with the other brushes. It's quite structured, so if you were to pick the eyeshadow up with this directly you'd get quite a bold look. Which you may actually want of course! So I use this to really blend my eyeshadows together if I'm wearing two or more different ones. 266 - I use this for my eyebrows and for applying a block eyeliner in a precise line. It's probably my favourite eyebrush because it gives amazing shape to your brows (I use it with an Illamasqua eyebrow cake) and it great for quite a thick line of eyeliner. MY LIP BRUSH 316 - I find this just the right level of firmness for applying lipstick. I love using a lipbrush because some of the more expensive lipsticks can be highly pigmented. With a brush you're less likely to overdo it! This brush is just the right shape to apply a lovely 'cupid's bow'. You will find it hard to go wrong with this brush. Some other weaker lipbrushes lose their shape but not this one (so far anyway and I've had it about a year). MY FACE BRUSHES 131 - A great brush for applying a heavily pigmented blusher with. You can go really gently with this brush and not pick up too much product. Some matte blushes are so highly pigmented so this is ideal. I use this for less precise blusher application. I'll often use it to tone down / blend another blush that I've applied with my small blusher brush. You can use this for non blusher face powder products too, and for water based foundations. I personally just use it for blush. (This was an impulse buy. There aren't many differences between this ltd edition brush and the 187 duo fibre face brush. I like to have both because I can have two different colours of blush on the go without having to wash my brushes each time. Lazy I know!) 109 - Great for getting precise with your blushes and powder highlighters! I love this for a not too pigmented blusher. I apply in little circular motions over the apples of my cheeks for a really natural glow. You can use a firm or light touch for a natural or a less natural look. 168 - The tapered shape of this blusher brush makes it ideal for contouring and giving yourself supermodel cheek bones! If you use a darker bronzer / blush underneath your cheekbones, and then a lighter blush on your apples, a highlighter on your cheek bones, you'll look amazing :) This brush is perfect for helping you acheive the look! 187 - Pretty much the same as 131, but a slight variation on the shape. The same unusual black and white two tone bristle design. If you're interested in the 131 get the 187 (since the 131 is ltd edition and not available at the moment). 134 - I love this brush, I use it (or 150!) for all my all over face / body powder makeup! It's ideal for applying smooth, all over coverage. Great with powders and bronzers. You can't go too far wrong with this brush! Since purchasing this brush, I haven't used a puff or sponge for any powders as I might have done in the past. It has changed the way I feel about powder makeup in general actually! A must have! 150 - This powder brush is meant to be better at applying loose powder products, and the above (134) for blending them. I find they both work well for both though, and there's not much in it. They're both brilliant for applying and blending powder makeup. I don't think you need both so I'd recommend picking either one of the two (unless you're a professional and can tell the difference / need both). OVER ALL A good set of brushes will stand you in good stead. You can't go too far wrong, whatever makeup brands you're using, if you've got the right set of tools! These are expensive, so I'd recommend building up your collection bit by bit. MAC brushes are ideal for professionals and makeup lovers alike. There's a brush for every need and they're all so well thought out / designed and so well made. I can't rate these brushes with anything other than top marks!
I love these Mac brushes they are such good quality! each one is made very well with the best hair that is silky smooth on the face so does not pull at the skin, this is especially important for the eye shadow brushes as I do anything to prevent lines on my eyes! The big face powder brush leaves my face looking excellently smooth and enables me to blend powder well into my skin so leaves no tide lines, it even feels like a feather on your face its so soft. I've had my set about a year now and all have been very useful even the fan one that I did not have a clue how to use at first but I have since discovered it is great for brushing away stray eye shadow that falls below the eye and for applying bronzer without looking orange! They are great to hold as the handles are just the right length too, they enable you to create a good effect without being awkward, also they wash well and don't stain easily. They are all numbered too so when copying make up looks of the mac website you know exactly what brush to use.
I've always relied a lot on makeup, but tended to stick to the cheaper products, that's until my mum booked me a MAC makeover for one of my Christmas presents! I was a bit nervous actually because I didn't know what to ask for, but the woman there was great and in the end I looked fantastic compared to normal! I have very dry skin, and she'd managed to make my how face almost glow and I looked youthful again! Since then I've been converted to Mac products, and I especially love the brushes! I always just used to put some foundation on with my finger tips but with the MAC foundation brush my coverage always looks so much more even and I've noticed that I use less foundation when using the brush so I'm saving a bit of money that way. I bought a set of brushes in January now and they are still in tip top condition, and haven't malted at all, as long as you clean them regularly they should be good as new for a very long time! Also, the eye brushes make putting on your eye shadow a doddle!
I have the Mac foundation brush, blusher brusher and a huge powder brush and they're excellent. I have had all three for over three years now and they are still as good as new - so long as you clean them regularly (I use a natural soap) and let them air dry. The foundation brush This is excellent, you don't need to use as much foundation so that lasts longer. The foundation goes on much smoother than using your fingers, it sets better and looks more natural. Once you get use to putting your foundation on with a brush it is also very quick. The Powder Brush This brush is huge and could be used for a bronzer too. I really like this brush because it allows you to put a dusting a powder on - just enough to set your makeup and not too much so you get that caked in look! It's really nice and soft too. The blusher brush I choose the angled one and it is excellent for getting a nice look to your blusher, it's not too big so that it goes everywhere and not to small so that you get that streaky look. The angle means that it contours well - I have no real cheek bones and this helps. None of the brushes have ever left bristles on my skin either. Overall I really love each brush and am planning to purchase others in the range.
My boyfriend bought me a set of Mac make-up brushes for Christmas and my first thought was, what a waste of money! I already had numerous eye-shadow, concealor and blusher brushes, and I'd always applied my foundation with a sponge. Well... I have to say that the Mac brushes turned out to be one of the best presents I got! Putting foundation on is practically effortless with the foundation brush and it blends in so much better than with fingers or a sponge. The blusher brushes just seem to apply the colour exactly where you want it without having to concentrate too much at all. Overall, they definitely contribute to a flawless finish and you can tell they are professional tools! Obviously they are quite pricey but it's definitely worth investing in some as you'll save money in the long run by not having to replace them as often. The quality is so much better than cheaper versions, you really do get what you pay for with these brushes.
When i first started using foundation, i applied it using sponges.. When i went into the MAC store and got a makeover, the woman used brushes and recommended that i buy some. However, the price of the MAC brushes she brought out were a little daunting so i left them on the shelf. I bought some cheap, £3 brushes from a supermarket and thought i'd saved absolutely loads of money.. But no, i'd scrimped on quality! My make up would often go streaky with the brushes i'd purchased, so i went back into the store and asked if i could try out the brushes she'd used before. The difference was immense! I now have the opinion that investing in the more expensive, quality items really is more worthwhile if you know what you can do with them. Apart from a select few produts, such as pressed powders, quality really is key! I got a foundation brush and a contouring brush (the woman in-store showed me how to use this) for around £30. It sounds like a lot, but the results i get from using them really are worth it. The bristles are very well made and don't fall out with repeated use. They can be washed gently with ordinary shampoo to remove any make up on them. If i were you, i'd pop into your nearest MAC store and ask to try them out!
I got a set of these for part of my Christmas as well as a bundle of individual brushes and I have to say - I won't be going back to cheapy brushes again! the brushes I got were as follows: #239 Eye shading brush - £17.50 this is my favourite brush. I can't believe i did not buy this brush sooner. I would advise any make up fanatic to add this to their essential brush collection. it distributes shadow so evenly and holds onto pigment very well for blending outwards with. very little colour is left on the brush so you know that every drop of colour almost is being deposited onto your lid. #210 precise eye liner brush - £13.50 For anyone who is used to applying liner to their eyes will like this brush. i prefer using gel liner so this brush is perfect for applying that. the brush is very precise in the way which it applies the liner and makes a nice fine line. If you don't like the fineness of the tip, you can always switch this brush for an angled brush which makes it slightly easier to do cat eyes. *#224 tapered blending brush - £20.50 for getting a more subtle edge around your eye this brush is great at achieving this. this brush is very soft and is very handy for getting in at the crease of the eyes. *#194 concealer brush - £15.50 small soft brush which helps concealer cover those red problem areas on the face. i never used to use a concealer brush till i got this - now i use it all the time because its easier than using your fingers and getting covered in concealer! *#266 small angle brush - £14.50 for defining those eyebrows this brush is just the right shape to get those very nice looking brows. With a spot of shadow the brush holds onto the colour and evenly spreads the shadow along your brow creating a very natural brow look. *#275 medium angled brush - £17.50 like the blending brush this brush moves the shadow over your lids to create a soft blended look. this brush is also good for precise application of colour to the lids. I personally like this one because it makes lines in eye-shadow less prominent and allows for a subtle look when needed. *#204 lash brush - £6.50 Good little brush to have around if you are a person that wears plenty of mascara. This little brush gets rid of those nasty clumps when mascara is applied (this is what i use this particular brush for anyway) It is good for separating those lashes once mascara has been applied. This is not an essential brush but was part of a Christmas pack i was given. this brush can also be used for grooming your eyebrows although i prefer to use a hard brush rather than this. (*were part of a Christmas set meaning the brushes I own are miniature ones which came in a cosmetic bag) overall I would recommend mac brushes to anyone who has a love for make up and wants to get their hands on some good brushes. MAC cannot be faulted with their high quality of products. The only down side is that the brushes come at quite a price. Also, I would recommend that you get some brush cleaner in order to keep those brushes as clean as possible increasing their life.
Any make-up artist will tell you how important it is to use a good set of make up brushes. Although they can be expensive, having the right tools will give you amazing results and allow you to get the most out of your makeup. I have several eye shadow brushes from MAC and some of them are well over 8 years old and are still in excellent condition. I also have a large brush to apply mineral foundation, another for blusher and one to shape my eyebrows. One of my favourite brushes is the fluff brush which I use after a primer to apply a base colour eye shadow. Being made from high quality silky fibres it feels really soft on delicate skin. Its just the right size to cover the eyelid with product in just a few stokes, and the tip can be used to apply a darker colour to the outer corner of the eye. I also use MAC's blending brush to blend colours particularly around the eye socket. I tend to clean my brushes with a tissue, though i'm told you can clean them with soapy water. What I love about MAC products is the counter staff are really helpful in demonstrating how apply your makeup and which brushes to use for what. In my opinion you only need a few brushes in your kit and if bought separately they are excellent value for money as they last for ages. If your going to buy make up brushes then you cant really go wrong with MAC.
I am by no means any kind of make up expert or whizz. But finding that I just kept getting it wrong was reason enough for me to pop into MAC and see what all the fuss is about. After trying out the studio tech foundation, I was convinced into buying the rather expensive foundation brush, which at the time i felt was a little expensive, but I'm pleased to say that I did as after doing so, I have never looked back. The brush itself requires very little care, washing with just soap and leaving to dry. You can easily see the difference when applying foundation in evenness when you compare it with a cheaper alternative. I bought my brush over 3 years ago and it continues to serve me well. It can also be used for eye make up and really does help you to blend in foundation to your skin. Yes it is expensive, but is certainly a worthwhile investment if you are not terribly good at make up and need all the help you can get to get by. Excellent.
I was very hesitant about spending such an alarming amount just on some make up brushes, for the full set (blusher brush, eyeliner brush, eye shadow brush and foundation brush) i spent around £80, which is definately not a nice amount, however in the long run I think it might be worth it. These brushes make applying make up effortless, easy, and clean. Each brush is perfectly shaped to give the best possible finish, and they last for a very long time. As with other, cheaper brushes, i found that the brushes began to fray or became clumped together and worn out after a couple of months, but these MAC brushes really do live up to £80 of usage. They're very soft and easy to clean which means that old make up doesn't get caught up and harden the brushes. I know that they are very expensive just for a few brushes, but they really do make a difference when applying make up, and they make any make up bag look luxurious. If you can afford it, i seriously recommend them.
I am a big fan of all things MAC but when it comes to brushes i really cannot believe the prices are actually worth the product especially when you can get brushes of great quality for much cheaper. The great thing about these brushes though is the versatility and the range. You can get the same brush in many sizes which is great as everyone has different shapes and sized features so it is almost guaranteed that you will find something that suits you very well. Just because a brush is called a 'lip liner brush' doesnt mean you have to use it as one, I use mine as a eye liner brush as its so thin and works very well! It is important to clean the brushes each time you use them. The MAC brush cleaner is the best for spot cleaning. Cleaning regularly keeps the brushes looking new. These brushes hardly ever lose hairs, shape and I havent noticed any discolouration which is always a plus. So, although it is possible to get cheaper brushes of good quality, with MAC you know what youre getting every time - a great lasting product with guaranteed quality
MAC make up brushes are my absolute favourite brand of make up brushes because I've tried so many ranging from cheap to other quite pricey ones but these are just the best! I've had some brushes for over 10 years now and they are still in excellent condition, the key is to clean them regularly. You don't need to clean them with shampoo/ detergent and water every single time but if you spot clean them with brush cleanser after using them, they will stay in such good shape, they'll look pretty much the same as the day you bought them. MAC have professional make up brushes that are such good quality and are so versatile, they are well worth the investment. They make all the difference to the application of your make up. Even if you happen to be using cheaper make up that day, these brushes will make it look like it was more expensive as the blending and application of the make up will look so smooth and flawless. These can make just about any type of make up look airbrushed and professional. You can get face, as well as eye and lip brushes, but you don't necessarily have to use each brush for exactly their description (i.e. you can use a lip for eye make up and visa versa, it just depends on what type of application you want). The quality of these brushes are wonderful; they're very durable and sturdy, the hairs won't fall out and there won't be any dye bleeding into your water when you wash them. I know many cheaper brushes either moult or bleed when you wash them. They have loads of innovative brushes that make application of make up effortless and give an air-brushed result. I love their duo fibre brush for liquid foundation and cream blush application as it gives a sheer, even foundation application (I don't like to wear thick make up) and spreads the cream blush so much better than fingers would, it doesn't tug or hurt the skin and makes it look perfectly smooth and blended. There are so many brushes to choose from and you can create so many different looks with them, it would best to have a chat with a make up artist to see which brushes would be best for you. As a starter kit, I would recommend one good foundation brush (yes it makes such a great difference), a good powder/ blush brush, one or two eye brushes (as blending eye make up is essential to a professional looking finish) and lip brushes are optional. (I do have a lip brush but only use it when I want a sheer or precise application but mainly use my lippy out of the tube or rub in with my fingers.) They might look pricey at first but I'm positive that you'll soon discover that they're well worth investing in.
No matter how large or expensive your makeup collection is, in my opinion without a decent set of good quality brushes you won't be achieving it's full potential. Although clean fingertips do a great job at blending liquid / cream foundations, tapping on cream blush and applying a light wash of shadow to the eyelid, if you're after a more detailed, professional finish then you should definately invest in some brushes. As usual, MAC is my brand of choice for brushes. High performance, each brush is hand assembled using only the finest materials. Although some can be a little expensive, they are of artist quality and will last you years and years if cared for properly. The brush heads are either made from high quality synthetic materials, cruelty free natural fibres or a mixture of both depending on which types and formulas of products they will be used with and wether it needs to pick up or 'grab' a lot of product or be able to lay it down smoothly on the skin. Here I'm reviewing the entire, current range of MAC's face brushes, but by no means does that mean you need them all. I will pick out my favourites, most used and those I would recommend for a small, yet comprehensive collection :-) ~ #109 Small Contour Fibre: Soft natural Price: £19.00 This contour brush has a small (about 1" across), round head that is perfect for applying a dense amount of product to the cheekbones, temples, jawline and anywhere else you want to create definition. Although it is not marketed as a foundation brush, the #109 works well with heavier, creamier formulas as the densely packed brush makes buffing the product into the skin virtually effortless. (Though it may shed a little as it is not designed for this use). *MUST HAVE!* ~ #116 Blush Brush Fibre: Soft natural Price: £21.00 My favourite all round blush brush that MAC currently sell. The perfect size and shape for applying a light flush of colour to the cheeks. The soft, natural bristles do not scratch or irritate the face as some cheaper brands can. The flat paddle shape of the #116 means you can easily turn it on it's side, using the slimmer edge to sculpt your cheekbones. Definately a must have in my opinion, this brush does everything a blush brush should! ~ #129 Powder / Blush Fibre: Soft natural with grab Price: £25.00 Although this brush isn't quite as soft as some of the others, if you're on a budget or can't be bothered with too many brushes I still highly recommend it. It's medium size and dense fluffy shape means it can be used for both blush and face powder alike, therefore eliminating your need for two seperate brushes - although you would need to wash it, or at least wipe it clean more often to avoid mixing colours. The #129 is also available in a short handled version that is stored in a small, plastic, zip-lock case - perfect for your handbag or touch ups on the go. ~ #134 Large Powder Fibre: Ultra soft natural Price: £35.00 Firstly, this brush is huge! With a shorter handle than most and a wide, flat head I rarely find a use for this brush. The shape makes it fairly hard to reach into the smaller areas of the face - around the eyes and nose etc. It is very, very soft though and therefore perfect for sensitive skins. The few times I do use this brush is simply for setting my makeup with a light amount of finishing or illuminating powder. Definately not a must have in my opinion. ~ #136 Large Powder Fibre: Extra soft natural with grab Price: £40.00 Despite it being the most expensive of MAC's current brushes, the #136 is probably my favourite powder brush out of all the ones I own. It's long, flat and loose paddle shape applies powder lighter and smoother than their rounder brushes (such as the #150). The flat, soft, chiseled top makes it easy to apply ppowder to the undereye area without smudging or dislodging your concealer. If you're looking for a brush that will apply a dense amount of powder then this one is probably not for you, but for those wanting a soft, easy to use brush that gives a blended, diffused effect then look into this one - if you can look past the price tag that is! ;-) ~ #138 Tapered Face Fibre: Ultra soft natural Price: £35.00 This brush was originally released with MAC's 'Sculpt and Shape' collection and was marketed as a contour brush but I personally find it a bit large to be used for this purpose. It has a pointed tip and domed, chiseled sides (sort of like a diamond shape) that lends itself readily to blending face powder around the eyes and sides of nose etc. Definately not a must have in my opinion, I rarely use this and wouldn't repurchase. *MUST HAVE!* ~ #150 Large Powder Fibre: Soft natural with grab Price: £30.00 Although this isn't my favourite powder brush, I have marked it as a must have simply because it is the most versatile of them all and is slightly cheaper than the others too. Large, dense and fluffy it can apply powder foundations both heavily and sheerly depending on the products you are using and the effect / finish you want to gain. Perfect for a light dusting of bronzer too and in a pinch - although a little large - it could be used for blush too. Definately the one to purchase if you need a decent, versatile powder brush. ~ #168 Large Angled Contour Fibre: Soft natural firmly bundled Price: £21.50 The #168 was the first contour brush I bought and it was my favourite for a while before being firmly replaced by the #109. The white bristles are extremely soft and shaped into an angle that fits easily into the hollows of your cheeks. Although I rarely use this for contouring anymore, it works well for highlighting, cream blushes and blending powder around the nose and eyes. Not really a must have but a nice brush to own none the less. *MUST HAVE!* ~ #182 Buffer Fibre: Ultra soft natural Price: £30.00 One of my all time favourites and most used brushes - the #182 kabuki brush is luxuriously full and soft and has a rounded, domed tip. Perfect for using with mineral foundations or regular powders too. By buffing in small circular motions this brush ensures that the products are blended effortlessly into the skin for a flawless finish. Also works well for buffing out heavy liquid or cream foundations, applying bronzers or body powders. A great all round brush that I highly recommend. ~ #184 Duo Fibre Fan Fibre: Soft natural / synthetic blend Price: £16.50 This fan brush renders fairly useless in my collection. Designed for the lightest application of powder and emolient / water based cheek and eye products, I find it applies *too* lightly in my opinion, barely making any difference to the appearance of the face. Due to it's shape I also do not find it applies powder products very evenly and therefore when I do use it, it is simply to brush away fallout from my eyeshadow. Definately not a must have! *MUST HAVE!* ~ #187 Duo Fibre Face Fibre: Soft natural / synthetic blend Price: £29.00 A cult favourite, the #187 duo fibre brush is a must have for so many reasons. It applies liquid and cream foundations like a dream, giving you a smooth, almost airbrushed finish. Whilst a regular, flat paddle foundation brush can leave streaks, the flat top of this brush buffs as it applies giving a much smoother result. It can also be used for powder products, toning down bright, highly pigmented blushes and seamlessly applying highlighters. I love this brush so much that I own two - one for foundation and the other for powders - so I definately recommend that you buy at least one! :-) ~ #188 Small Duo Fibre Face Fibre: Soft natural / synthetic blend Price: £25.00 This is a smaller version of the #187 and does pretty much the same things, although I find that due to its smaller size it applies products slightly denser and often requires extra blending to achieve a soft finish. For that reason alone I always recommend the #187 over this, though those with smaller features may find this one more useful... Take a trip to the MAC counter to compare both and see which size would be best for you, but when in doubt - I say pay the extra £4 and get the large one. ~ #190 Foundation Fibre: Synthetic with grab Price: £25.00 Regular paddle shaped foundation brush. You use this as you do any other, nothing overly special here. The synthetic bristles apply foundation smoothly but I find I have to blend for a while with this brush for a truly flawless finish, hence why I much prefer the #187. That said, it's still a great quality brush and if you like using these types then I'd recommend it :-) I do however use the #190 for applying my primer and sometimes my undereye concealer. ~ #191 Square Foundation Fibre: Firm, yet flexible synthetic Price: £25.00 This is another brush I rarely touch. Designed to apply and blend emolient and water based foundation and cheek products, this brush has a flat, square head that I find difficult to reach into the contours and curves of the face with. Although MAC boast about it's flexibility, I actually find that another downside as in order to achieve the smoothest finish possible with a brush like this you have to apply a fair amount of pressure, and in this case, the brush simply bends back towards itself. Not a fan of this at all! ~ #192 Cheek / Face Brush Fibre: Synthetic with grab Price: £22.00 Similar in shape and style to the #109 (just a bit slimmer and firmer) the #192 is designed to apply any emolient based cheek product such as creme or liquid blushes and concealers too. I like using this brush for my undereye concealer - I simply press down onto the eye area gently and pat until blended. I find it a little hard to blend cream blushes etc with it, but it can be done with a little patience ;-) Not a brush you need to have by all means, there are much more useful ones available. ~ #194 Concealer Brush Fibre: Synthetic with slip Price: £15.00 This concealer brush is designed to apply and blend emolient and water based concealers. It is too small to be used successfully under the eyes, but for spot concealing it is heaven sent. Simply tap the concealer onto the tip of the pimple before blending gently in downward motions - it's like the spot never existed, believe me! I'm not marking this as a must have, as if you have clear skin then you obviously don't need it... But if you don't, look into it :-) Phew! Overall, I definately recommend MAC brushes as a whole. They really do last an incredibly long time if looked after and cleansed correctly. If the prices are putting you off a little then A) Fair enough! and B) MAC usually release limited edition sets around Christmas that feature shorter handled brushes in sets of five essentials so maybe wait until then to try them out.