Monday, July 20th, 2009

Beauty Basics: MAC Face Brushes

Considering investing in brushes for your face? Trying to figure out which brushes you need? Look no further — here’s our guide to MAC Face Brushes! Plus, seasoned MAC Artists weigh in with their must-haves!

MAC Face Brushes — Our Reviews

Temptalia’s Recommendations

5 Basics to Begin With: 109, 129, 150, 188, 194
5 More to Add Down the Road: 116, 138, 182, 187, 189
5 Great Multi-Taskers: 109, 129, 150, 182, 188
Best for Highlighting: 116, 165, 184
Best for Liquid Foundation: 109, 182, 187
Best for Cream Foundation: 109, 187, 190
Best for Powder Foundation: 150, 189
Best for Cream Blush: 188, 192
Best for Powder Blush: 116, 129
Best for Contouring: 109, 168
Best for Powder: 134, 150

What the PROS Say

MAC Senior Artist John Stapleton says, “Cannot live without the 187. It’s a two speed brush. It has the density at the base needed to provide more coverage and the softness of the fibres at the tip to give sheer light coverage.”

On the other hand, Senior Artist Luc Bouchard thinks, “188 [is a must-have]; it’s the perfect foundation brush if you use it in circular motion you get even coverage instantly,” and Senior Artist Keri Blair agrees, “This two-toned beauty is great for blending out foundation to create an airbrushed quality to the finish of your foundation. The synthetic white bristle can also be misted with MAC Fix + to help sheer out products to create a lighter more modern finish.”

Share your favorites with fellow Temptalia readers, just copy and paste the form below and write-in your own answers…

5 Basics to Begin With:
5 More to Add Down the Road:
5 Great Multi-Taskers:
Best for Highlighting:
Best for Foundation:
Best for Blush:
Best for Contouring:
Best for Powder:

P.S. – Looking for reviews on MAC eye brushes? Check out our brush review round-up!

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

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34 thoughts on “Beauty Basics: MAC Face Brushes

  1. Virginia

    I just love the 109! It’s the perfect multi-tasking brush for me. I use it for applying powder under my eyes, on and around the nose and on the chin, and also for contouring, blush and highlighter. If I could just have one face brush, it would be the 109.

  2. Since the Studio Sculpt Foundation has a gel consistency, what brush do you recommend?

    • kerry

      the 130 is really really good for studio sculpt. its small and very dense so it spreads the product nicely. just make sure to use a tiny amount of foundation to avoid cakey-ness

  3. baybee415

    5 Basics to Begin With: 116, 188, 168, 194, 182
    5 More to Add Down the Road: 187, 150, 190, 134, 187
    5 Great Multi-Taskers: 116, 188, 109, 168, 182
    Best for Highlighting: 116, 168, 188, 138
    Best for Foundation: 188, 168, 109, 190
    Best for Blush: 168, 116, 187, 109
    Best for Contouring: 168, 109, 188
    Best for Powder: 150, 134, 129

    This brushes are all permanent.

  4. binnie215

    i would say that the 187 could be a multi tasker brush as personally i use it for foundation, and blush and have used it for powder and its not bad :) !also the 131 its amazing for moisturisor,creams msf, blush :) ahhh my new fav brush!excellent post chrisitne ! :) yeahh x

  5. Cristalle

    5 Basics to Begin With: 187,109,195,129,182
    5 More to Add Down the Road: 116,150,190,168,165
    5 Great Multi-Taskers: 187,109,129,168,188
    Best for Highlighting: 165,168
    Best for Foundation: 190,187,109
    Best for Blush: 129, 116, 187
    Best for Contouring: 168, 109
    Best for Powder: 150, 134

  6. Hannah

    It stinks that the 109 is so good for a lot of things, but people hate it because it sheds so much! lol

  7. 5 Basics to Begin With: 109, 187, 182, 168, 116
    5 More to Add Down the Road: 188, extra 109, extra 187, extra 182, 131
    5 Great Multi-Taskers: 109 and 187 does it all!!!
    Best for Highlighting: 109
    Best for Foundation: 187 (liquid foundation)
    Best for Blush: 116 and maybe also 131…
    Best for Contouring: 109 and 168
    Best for Powder: 182 (for all round face powder)

  8. Waruta

    5 Basics to Begin With: 187, 188, 138, 129SH, 150
    5 More to Add Down the Road: 109, 195, 156, 184, 189
    5 Great Multi-Taskers:187, 189, 195, 162, 184
    Best for Highlighting: 162, 184
    Best for Foundation:187, 190
    Best for Blush:129
    Best for Contouring:169, 189
    Best for Powder:134

  9. Tracy

    5 Basics to Begin With: 129,150,187,182,195
    5 More to Add Down the Road:109,138,116,188,134
    5 Great Multi-Taskers:109 & 187
    Best for Highlighting:109 & 138
    Best for Foundation:187,109,189
    Best for Blush:129,116,187
    Best for Contouring:138
    Best for Powder:150,134,182,189

  10. cherry

    Christine, is the 188 better than the 187 for applying liquid foundations? I know u have recommended the 109 for this, but i cant find that brush anywhere. So between the 187 or 188 wat shud i go for? or shud i skip both for liquid foundation usage and wait for the 109 until i find it?

  11. Leliforever

    Going tomorrow to buy my first brush!do I get the 109 for my studio sculpt foundation or the 129 for blush?

  12. Andrea

    Hey Christine, I was just wondering if you are going to be posting the review for the 134 anytime soon? I have been considering it for awhile and wasn’t sure if I should get that or the 150 (to use to powder my entire face).

    Thanks! Andrea

  13. steph

    Hi. What brush would you recommend to get for loose & pressed powders? I can’t decide to get 134, 150 or 182! Btw, I’m using the prep + prime transparent finishing powder and MSF Natural.

  14. Jumper

    Hi Christine,
    I was wondering if you could put a link to these “Beauty Basics” posts (I believe there is an eye brush post and a must-have brush post in addition to this face brush post) on your homepage. I have found these posts very useful and an excellent resource and I think that many other readers, especially new readers, would find these posts helpful. It’s really convenient to refer back to these posts whenever considering purchasing a new MAC brush.

  15. Olivia

    Hi! Where are MAC brushes usually made?! I have one that says France and one that says Japan, I got them both at a free standing MAC store. Just wondering!

  16. Linda

    If I were to get one brush for liquid foundation and powder, which one would you recommend?
    I’m debating between a 182, 109, 187, and 188. I’m leaning towards a 109 though.
    Thank you.