Saturday, 3 September 2011

My Makeup Brushes Part 3 - Eye Brushes

This is my final part of my makeup brush post. This one is mainly going to be about my MAC brushes but also a couple of other brands thrown in at the end. So without further ado...


In order of appearance:
MAC 195 Concealer Brush: £16
What they say: 'A flexible synthetic fibre flat brush with slight pointed tip for precision application and blending of all concealer formulas and other emollient products.'
What I say: I used to use this for concealer but found that it absorbed a lot of product. I also found that I preferred using my fingers to apply it. Now I use this as an eyeshadow brush which it works quite nicely for as it is good at packing on colour.

MAC 210 Precise Eyeliner Brush: £16
What they say: 'Graphically precise with a finely pointed, tapered tip. Provides a controlled, ultra-fine application of any powder, liquid or cream-based eye liner.'
What I say: I bought this because it said it was precise, when receiving it, I found it was very very thin. It is very good at getting such a precise line but I always have to go back to the product to get enough to make the line along my top lashes. I also tend to go for a thicker line but if you do want a very fine line, this would work well.

Read on for more...


MAC 213 Fluff Brush: £16
What they say: 'For application of eye shadow to the lid area. This brush has a thick bundle of fibres arranged in a rounded shape.'
What I say: This was one of my first MAC brushes and to be honest, I was never impressed. It applies shadow quite sheerly and doesn't often allow the colours to show their best. The reason for this is because it is so fluffy, therefore it works better to apply sheer colour to blending towards the crease.

MAC 217 Blending Brush: £16
What they say: 'For shading or blending of colour or creamy products. This brush has fine, densely packed fibres that are arranged in an oval shape.'
What I say: This is one of my favourite brushes from MAC, I have two of these (pictured right next to each other) It is a firm favourite among MAC brush users and I completely see why. It has a lovely shape and blends colours very well, even hard to blend shadows. If you are looking to buy some MAC brushes, this is one I would highly recommend.

MAC 222 Tapered Blending Brush: £19
What they say: 'Applying, contouring or highlighting powder-based products such as eye shadow, powder, or Pigment. Soft round brush tapers into a tip. Of natural fibres.'
What I say: This is another one of my favourite MAC brushes, due to it being tapered, it fits nicely into the crease area and can do more precise blending. It it softer than the 217 and creates softer blending.

MAC 224 Tapered Blending Brush £22
What they say: 'For controlled eye shadow application. This brush has soft fibres which taper to form a medium size dome shape.'
What I say: I like to use this for blending concealer over flaws and applying powder under my eyes. A lot of MAC brush fans use this brush for these purposes and it works very well, especially over spots where it is easy to cake concealer. This brush will stop that from happening but softly diffusing the edges so it blends seamlessly into the skin.

MAC 231 Small Shader Brush £16
What they say: 'For application and expert blending of eye shadow. Flat-tipped, a paddle- shaped brush that lets you fuse and move around colours with pro-style. Suitable for powder or cream products. Synthetic fibres.'
What I say: I bought this to use as a lip brush after a recommendation on Youtube. However I don't like it for this job personally. I like to use this to work along my lower lashes or applying small amounts of colour precisely into areas such as along the outer edge or putting a highlighting colour into the inner corner. It would also work well for applying small amounts of glitter, pressing the colour in exactly where wanted so not to get a lot of fallout.

MAC 239 Eye Shader Brush £19
What they say: 'Soft and dense to shade or blend eye shadow or emollient-based products. This brush has a tapered, rounded edge with smooth, firm, fine fibres. It can be used to build intense colour on the eyelid.'
What I say: This has got to be my favourite brush from MAC, I just love it. It applies eyeshadow so well, allowing me to pack the colour on intensely or to apply less for the softer look. It is firm so you only need to press the colour onto your lid. I love the shape and size of it as it fits well onto my lid and the rounded edge allows me to get a smooth shape. I have two of these, pictured next to each other.

MAC 242 Shader Brush £19
What they say: '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.'
What I say: Another nice shading brush from MAC, I prefer to use this for creamy products as it is a synthetic/natural blend so wont ruin like a natural brush might. I also like using it with powder eyeshadows, it is a nice shape although I prefer the 239. It is longer than the 239 and not quite as dense for packing on colour. It's density works nicely with creamy products as it can gently blend them towards the edges.

MAC 316 Lip Brush £16
What they say: 'For controlled lipstick or eye liner application and comes with a metal cover. This brush has small, flat, firm fibres and a tapered tip.'
What I say: Brilliant lip brush, nice length and it bends well to get around the lips. I like that it has a tapered tip for precise application. It comes with a metal cover which is brilliant for popping in your bag for touch ups so that it doesn't get stuck to your bag or anything stuck to it. MAC also make a retractable lip brush but I think this would be better (they are the same price) because nothing can get in the end so it is more hygienic.


These are my special edition MAC brushes, they are all from brush sets and are shorter than regular MAC brushes as well as being machine made apposed to hand made. A lot of people consider these to be a lower quality compared to MAC's full size brushes and I do agree with this to an extent but think they are fine in their own right, especially if someone wants to build their brush kit quickly. All of these brushes were limited edition and are no longer available although you might come across them in a CCO (Cosmetic Company Outlet) but MAC often bring out brush kits 2-3 times a year and there are some available on the UK website at present.

The descriptions from MAC are for their full size brushes but the SE brushes can differentiate slightly in shape or density.

First up,
MAC 194SE Concealer Brush. From MAC Wonder Woman Face Brush Kit.
What they say: (for full size 194) 'Specially styled for small-area coverage and precise application. Firm and flat, slightly tapered. Good for blending under eye and for spot touch-ups. If you want to conceal flawlessly, use this!'
What I say: This allows you to get into specific areas such as around the nose or to precisely correct dark circles. I prefer this to the 195 because of this and it doesn't suck up as much product.

MAC 212SE Flat Definer Brush. From MAC Digipops Eye Brush Kit.
What they say: (for full size 212) 'Lines and defines the eye with colour. Firmly bristled, flat of shape; applies colour in a stroke to provide instant definition. Use with powder, liquid or cream products. Synthetic.'
What I say: I very rarely use this. I just don't really need to use it. It would work to press liner closely to the lashes to make them appear thicker without having a thick line or to gently blend the liner into the eyeshadow for softly blended definition. It could also be used for arty makeup to take advantage of it's squared tip.

MAC 219SE Pencil Brush. From MAC Digipops Eye Brush Kit.
What they say: (for full size 219) 'For precision shading on lid, in eye crease or along lash line. The soft, smooth fibres of this brush are gathered into a pencil-shaped tip. It is ideal for blending eyeliner into eye shadow to create a smoky looking eye.'
What I say: This is a brush I would like to get a full size version of, the full size it much pointier than the SE version. I use this for creating a smokey eye, putting the shadow directly into the crease to build up the depth or to define the lower lashes and create a smokey line at the same time.

MAC 227SE Large Fluff Brush. From MAC Digipops Eye Brush Kit.
What they say: (for full size 227) 'An extra large paddle-shaped brush with fluffed, rounded tip. Of soft natural fibre, this brush is versatile in function and can be used on either the face or eye. Use for applying, blending or highlighting any powder-based products.'
What I say: This is a great brush for days when you want a wash of colour across the lid. It is also great for applying a highlight to the cheek bones due to it's size.

MAC 266SE Small Angle Brush. From MAC Digipops Eye Brush Kit.
What they say: (for full size 266) 'For creating sharp, precise lines. This brush has fibres which are carefully arranged to form a perfect angle.'
What I say: This works nicely to create perfectly sculpted eyebrows. Like I said in my last post, I use a brow pencil so don't need to use this. However, when I used to use powder in my brows, this was my go to brush. It is stiff so doesn't splay out when in use and can give you nice sharp edges.

MAC 275SE Medium Angled Shading Brush. From MAC Digipops Eye Brush Kit.
What they say: (for full size 275) 'For applying and blending eye shadow. This brush has soft, smooth fibres and a full, angled design.'
What I say: I like using this brush to apply a highlight to my brow bones then I flip the brush to use the fluffy angled tip and blend the highlight with the lid colours to get a seamless finish.


Finally, my Bobbi Brown, E.L.F and random brushes.

The first three brushes are all the same, they are from Bobbi Brown.
Bobbi Brown Ultra Fine Eyeliner Brush £21
What they say: 'Easy to hold and control, this slim, tapered Ultra Fine Eyeliner Brush creates a flawless line. The brush hairs are finely pointed and tightly packed for precise application.'
What I say: This is an expensive brush! I didn't buy any of them, I got them from QVC in their Bobbi Brown Gel Liner duo kits where this brush along with a mini mascara comes for the price of the postage (around £5) so if you are in the market for trying gel liners and want a great brush (or vice versa), get these from QVC, the brush is basically free! I've had 3 kits in different colours now. I love this brush, the shape is perfect for me to apply my liner. It is short and very tapered, almost triangle in shape. It allows me to apply liner thinly or to flip the brush to the flat side to make the liner thicker. I can also use it along my lower lashes by using the very tip of the brush or along my waterline with the gel liner.

Next my E.L.F brushes.
E.L.F Small Angled Brush £3.50
What they say: 'Creates precise color application. Creates even, thin and straight lines every time. Use to apply lip color, eyebrow color, or to line eyes'
What I say: I bought this ages ago as a eyeliner brush but didn't like using it for that. It works better with powder than cream/gel liner. It is quite small so some people may like it for their brows too.

E.L.F Eyeshadow C Brush £3.50
What they say: 'Creates the perfect smokey eye. The medium size brush gives more control for more specific blending needs. Use with any powder eyeshadow product for color blending'
What I say: This is quite a short shader brush and very dense. It works nicely for highlighting accurately along the brows. It can pack the colour onto the lid too. However, from the E.L.F brushes I own, they are not very sturdy and the ferrules can come loose, causing the brush to wobble. Personally, I would save up for higher end/better quality brushes, such as Real Techniques to start out as they are far better made and will last a lot longer providing they are looked after.

The last two brushes are random cheap brushes I got so long ago which were given to me. I don't know why I've got them still because I don't use them. The eyeshadow brush is actually quite strong however, I think it came from Tesco. The other one is supposed to be a lip brush but it is terrible, bristles all over the place. These brushes made me realise how important good makeup brushes are to get your makeup looking good and make application easy.

Sorry for this being such a long post but hopefully some of you find it useful.

Jennifer xx

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