Monday Food for Thought: Brush Matters

Hi everybody,

Last night I could not sleep so I did what any makeup addict would do: I played with my makeup. During this time, I unearthed my once-upon-a-time favorite mineral blush called "Theme Park" from Everyday Minerals. The color is really gorgeous and suitable for everyday use but for the past year or so, I rarely wear "Theme Park" because it barely shows on my skin, even when I use my favorite Sonia Kashuk flat top blush brush.

However, as I was contouring my face, I thought it was convenient to use the same MAC 168 to apply blush as well (because I am lazy and don't want to clean an extra brush.) The result was quite stunning: not only did the blush showed, it looked almighty bright on my cheeks! I had to use my ELF powder brush, which is a big flat top brush, to blend it out so I did not look too clownish.

And this makes me think: do expensive brushes perform better?

For the earlier part of this blog, I have always defend the cheaper brushes and thought they did not make a difference, until I bought MAC 217 and 168 brushes. Although they cost me an arm and a leg (and I bought them during the FF sale), I use them everyday. The fibers are really soft and I feel joyful whenever I apply makeup. That feeling, by the way, only makeup addicts can understand. To me, they worth every cent I paid and then some because who can put a price tag on happiness, right?

However, as much as I love these brushes, I still stand corrected with my opinion. The MAC 239 is not much different from Loew-Cornell maxine's mop 3/4 inch, however, the Loew-Cornell one is a lot cheaper. In most cases, the cheap brushes work as good but you get to save a lot of money.

However, MAC does have a few brushes that I can't find good dupes, if they exist at all:
  • MAC 217: I would not have bought this brush if I found a dupe. Currently, the brush that they said to be a dupe of this one, the Loew-Cornell AMM 1/4 inch, is not a dupe. While it is a good brush and I enjoy using it, the L-C AMM does not look or perform anywhere near MAC 217.
  • MAC 268: this finally wows me after making "Theme Park" show on my cheeks. It is very soft and works very well as a contouring brush. The contouring lines are sharp and I don't need to spend a lot of time to go back and forth between the lines again.
  • MAC 275: I'm lemming this, I have an eye on it. Also, I've been looking for a painter's brush that's similar to 275. So far, no luck!
  • MAC 219: this is a strange brush, I've seen dupes but they are not as stiff as this pencil brush at all. I don't use 219 as much anymore but it is a good brush if you like to cut the crease.
To spend or to save, that is the question.

As I said earlier, I was very surprised at how well my MAC 168 brush performed. However, that doesn't mean I will switch all my brushes to MAC any time soon. That would cost me more than a month rent and some brushes I have, especially EcoTools, are really good. Nevertheless, if you want reliable brushes and have a few coins to toss around, please feel free to head toward MAC counter. This is very subjective and I can be equivocate to argue both sides.

But to answer the first question, I do think MAC 168 works better than the other cheap contouring brushes I have. Therefore, I don't need to use 2, 3 brushes to serve the same purpose anymore because the one I have works just fine.

That's all for today, folks! I hope you'll have a nice week ahead.


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