Happy Friday! We’ve all heard the fuss over Mac 217 blending brush.. It’s known to be a great brush for not only applying color but also for blending out the eye shadows.. I personally adore this brush and is perfect in size and shape for its purpose.. The bristles are dense enough to pick up enough eye shadow to give good intensity and color payoff.. Also, the shape of the brush is great for blending out eye shadows.. However, it’s the price that doesn’t fit well with me..
Here, I am presenting a cheaper alternative to the MAC 217 brush.. It’s the E25 from Sigma… For price comparison, the Mac 217 costs $24 whereas the Sigma E25 costs only $12 – 50% less!
Top to bottom: Sigma E25, MAC 217
The funny part is that I’ve had the E25 for a much longer time (3-4 years) compared to MAC 217 that I got last month! However, I couldn’t imagine them to be dupes because each time I would wash the E25 it would lose its original shape (which was identical to Mac 217 upon purchase) and become more splayed resulting in a larger surface area.. It still worked well for blending out colors over a larger area on the eye but not for applying crease color..
What changed my mind about the E25 is the brush guard which costs under $10.. It is probably the best $10 I have spent for a set of brush guards.. After washing, all you have to do is insert a brush guard onto the brush and it makes them go back to their original shape! So each time I wash the E25 and use a brush guard, it comes out looking like the Mac 217 and functioning like one.. Visually, the only difference I can see between the two brushes is that E25 is a bit slimmer at the base compared to MAC 217..
L to R: MAC 217, Sigma E25
L to R: MAC 217, Sigma E25 side view
L to R: MAC 217, Sigma E25 Front view
Today I am reviewing the very well known MAC 217 blending brush.. It is quite pricey at $24.00 USD but I finally gave in and purchased it.. I have wanted it forever (well, atleast for 4-5 years now)!
Here’s what MAC website has to say about this brush.. “For shading or blending of colour or creamy products. This brush has fine, densely packed fibers that are arranged in an oval shape. M·A·C professional brushes are hand-sculpted and assembled using the finest quality materials. They feature wood handles and nickel-plated brass ferrules.”
The brush is as described.. It is oval in shape and is quite dense despite being made up of very fine hairs.. This makes it great for blending both concealer and eyeshadows alike.. The shape of the brush makes it great for depositing color into the crease of the eye or for applying concealer under the eye.. If the brush is turned onto its side, it makes for great blending.. Overall, I feel this brush is very versatile and can be used for various purposes.. Will I pay another $24 for this brush? hmmm… Maybe not.. but its a good addition to my existing brush collection.. I feel it can be replaced by the Real Techniques base shadow brush or the Sigma E25 brush (although this one has more splayed/spread out brush fibres)..
The Real Techniques Core collection brush set is one the best face brush sets offered by Real Techniques.. It comes with 4 synthetic brushes along with a travel friendly ‘panoramic case’ (brush roll & stand).. The Core collection set of brushes retail for $17.99…
The Core collection brush set includes the following brushes: (L to R)
- Contour brush – The tip of the brush makes it excellent for applying cream/powder contour/bronzing product… It can also be used to apply highlighter to the high points of the face..
- Pointed foundation brush – This brush is recommended for use with liquid foundation.. However, I find it too small for that.. I find it more appropriate to use this brush for applying concealer to large areas of the face such as under the eye (triangle area), around the nose & mouth, applying cream highlighter..
- Detailer brush – It can be used as a concealer brush or as a brush for applying lipstick.. I predominantly use this brush to apply concealer around my lips after applying lipstick, for applying eye shadows on my lower eyelid and for adding highlight to the inner corners of my eye (tear duct area)..
- Buffing brush – Recommended for powder/mineral foundation.. However, I absolutely love it for buffing on liquid foundation..It gives the most flattering, blended look no matter how thick the foundation is..
All the brushes are made of soft, synthetic taklon bristles and are 100% cruelty free..
My favorite brushes from this kit are the contour brush & the buffing brush.. I have purchased two of this set just for these brushes! This set is well worth the price..
Here is what the brush case looks like.. standing upright.. and how the brushes can be kept inside…
The kit comes with this practical travel friendly case that I often use for travel since the Real techniques brush handles can get quite bulky to fit into regular brush rolls.. So, this makes for a good travel companion… But I have never used this case for holding my brushes.. primarily because the elastic on these is so tight that each time I need a brush, I would need one hand to hold down the case and the other to pull the brush out! So, while the tight elastic is a boon for travel, I do not see myself using this case as a stand..
The brush case on its side to form a brush stand.. just gotta tighten that string to hold it in place..
Again, I have never found any of these brushes to shed while washing.. Overall, I really enjoy these brushes – especially the contour brush which I use on a daily basis.. Great quality brushes.. highly recommend them.. 🙂
A setting brush, especially the one to set under eye concealer has to be really soft and small enough to reach the corners of the eye.. The Real techniques setting brush is perfect for that.. It retails for $7.99 and is available on their website and at Ulta.com..
The setting brush not at all scratchy on the delicate skin under the eye.. Its gentle enough to set the concealer with a setting powder without moving the concealer around.. One may also use this brush to set concealer around the corners of the nose or around the mouth..
I have two of these that I rotate once one of them gets dirty and is being washed.. This brush is made of synthetic fibres, which make them very easy to wash & clean.. I have had these brushes for most of 2013 and have never found them to shed..
I absolutely adore this brush and it has replaced all other setting brushes in my collection.. It’ll be a staple in my brush collection or until I find something better for a similar price.. 🙂
Happy Friday guys.. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend..
I finally gave in and purchased some much wanted Louise Young (LY) brushes! One of those many things I convinced myself of as a wedding gift to self.. 😉
LY brushes are not easily accessible in the US, atleast not in stores.. I purchased mine off of nordstrom.com.. Typically, LY brushes are handmade of natural sable hair and the brush handles are made of kiln dried birch or beech.. The brushes feel quite luxurious, are quite light & comfortable to hold..
So, I purchased four brushes – two eyeliner brushes and two crease/definer brushes..
LY manufactures three of crease brushes in the LY38 series comprising of LY38, LY38A and LY38B.. with each one made slimmer than the prior.. I decide to purchase the largest (LY38) and the slimmest (LY38B) of the series.. These costed $28 and $24 respectively..
Top to bottom : LY38, LY38B
L to R : LY38B, LY38
I did the same for the eyeliner brushes… LY24 series.. purchased LY24 and LY24B.. These costed $20 and $17 respectively..
Top to bottom : LY24, LY24B
L to R : LY24B, LY24
Here’s a comparison of these new LY brushes with my existing brushes in the same category..
Top to bottom : Sigma E45, LY38 & LY38B
Amongst all the brushes I have for defining the crease of the eye, the Sigma E45 was the closest to LY brushes in terms of shape of the brush.. However, it is in no way the same as LY brushes.. LY brushes are way softer and have a much tapered tip which makes for precise application.. Applying color to the crease and defining it is so much easier with these brushes! It has made my makeup life so much easier.. 😉
I really enjoy these two brushes and definitely used them on my wedding day.. If I had to pick one amongst these two, I would highly recommend LY38.. You won’t be disappointed… LY38B is a great add on for precise color application and detailed crease work..
Top to bottom : Real techniques fine liner brush, Sigma E10, LY24 & LY24B
So, of course I compared my favorite cream/gel liner brushes.. From the images above, you can appreciate how thin the LY24 and LY24B are.. These come to a fine tip unlike the other two brushes.. LY24 is really comfortable to use and makes for a great addition to my other eyeliner brushes… Something about the lightness of the brush or the cut or angle makes applying eyeliner really easy.. I would reserve LY24B for really detailed eyeliner effects.. and if I had to recommend one amongst these two, I would recommend the LY24..
I have used all the brushes quite a bit in the last two months and have also subjected them to both spot washes and soap water washes.. These haven’t shed yet.. 🙂
Sorry about not posting anything sooner – But I am half way around the world… in India… For those who don’t know, I am here for my sisters’ wedding, my wedding and will have very limited time to post here until the weekend of 20/21st of December.. The no. of posts per week may go down to one.. Just wanted to give you all a heads up..
Back to the review.. Here are my thoughts on the fine liner brush by Real Techniques… If you’ve been following my posts, you would know that I absolutely love my gel eyeliners and use them on a daily basis.. Having a good eye liner brush is key to a defined eyeliner look.. I own brushes from MAC, Sigma, drugstore brands, etc.. but I really enjoy the fine liner brush by Samantha Chapman.. The brush is a good brush at drugstore price range (about $6) and is made of synthetic fibres.. this makes it convenient for cleaning and washes the color right off…
The brush is not bulky and is quite thin.. This enables drawing on a precise, thin line for cat eye effect… I own three of these and really love it and will continue to purchase it..
I had purchased these brushes by Sonia Kashuk a while back and wanted to use them for a while before I could review them.. The brushes are:
1. Sonia Kashuk Tools No. 20 LARGE DOMED EYE SHADOW BRUSH – This is a round, fluffy eye brush.. I use it most for blending, not so much for applying the eyeshadow.. It is quite soft and comfortable to use around the delicate eye area.. Made from all natural 100% cruelty free goat hair.. costs $9.59-$12.19 at Target.
2. Sonia Kashuk SYNTHETIC CREASE SHADOW BRUSH – This is a smaller, stiffer, round edged brush.. I use this most for applying concealer around my eyes, nose and mouth.. It can also be used to apply eyeshadow to demarcate the crease of the eye..
It is not the softest brush I have ever used but it does not poke the skin around the eyes.. Made of synthetic nylon – cost around $9.49-$10.79 at Target… I would pass on this and spend that money on a Real Techniques brush instead..
Overall, these make a decent addition to my growing brush collection.. I much prefer the Real Techniques brushes, especially considering they are around the same price range.. 🙂