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MAC Makeup Brushes - Essential Beauty Tools!
MAC Makeup Brushes in General
Member Name: debbie41176
MAC Makeup Brushes in General
Date: 04/08/11, updated on 04/08/11 (93 review reads)
Advantages: A brush for every need, all well designed and hand made!
Disadvantages: Expensive if you were to buy many at once!
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).
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!
Summary: Good quality brushes that'll last forever. An essential for a professional or a makeup lover!