Saturday, July 4th, 2009

Beauty Basics: MAC Face Brushes

Beauty Basics is a series covering basic products and tools that help to make applying your makeup easier. To view the entire series to date, be sure to visit the beauty basics, or you can view posts within the series about MAC Face Brushes.

Focus On: MAC 168 Large Angled Contour Brush

MAC 168 Large Angled Contour Brush ($32.00) is a goat-haired bristled rounded, angled brush with a bit of fluffiness. It’s famous as a contouring brush, particularly for larger areas — like the hollow of the cheeks, forehead, and jaw line. It’s a bit oversized for smaller areas like the nose. It’s an incredibly soft brush with minimal shedding (at least, in my experience). Despite being touted as a contour brush, the 168 works well for applying thicker foundatoins like Studio Sculpt, applying blush more precisely, and blending out product. I definitely consider this one of those classic, basic brushes that you can never go wrong purchasing.

How do you like to use this brush?

See close-ups

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.

Comments that include advertisements, self-promotion, insults, etc. may be in violation of our comment policy and subject to deletion. Please see our comment policy for more information.

32 thoughts on “MAC 168 Large Angled Contour Brush Photos & Review

  1. I’ve been lemming for this but I bought the MAC169 instead..I wonder if it’s similar

  2. Brooke

    I adore this brush. I use it for blush and MSF’s… it left my 129 in the dust! It’s so much softer and easier to control where the color goes. I love it to bits!

  3. barbie

    This is totally irelevant with the 168 but maybe one of you guys could answer my question. I bought a 190 brush from mac online due to the sale. But the brush doesn’t look right. It doesn’t have the usual stamp of country where its manufactured and the bristle feels different from my SE. I have several mac brush and this is the only one that’s different. Is this normal? Does any of you guys bought a brush from mac without the stamp? I appreciate any ideas you could give me thanks

    • Charde

      hello barbie, I am a former MAC employee and unless you purchace the brushes from a MAC store or you will never know if your product is real from what you described Im not absolutely sure it’s real. Does it have the number listed? I would just take it into the store and have it checked out and report the website you got them from

    • brandy

      i got the 208 and thought it was alittle off the hairs werent as tight as i thought they should be, but i used my nail to find the stamp cuz i couldnt see mine eighter after i read yours.but it was there

      • barbie

        I guess ill just bring it to the store. I really can’t find the stamp that says JAPAN or FRANCE on it. I even have my hubby double check it for me just in case. Thanks guys. I appreciate your help.

        • Melissa

          hi there, i just wanted to say that i went into mac the other day to exchange a brush because it was shedding unbelievably, and i noticed that my new brush did not have the country stamp like the old one and like other brushes that i have. i was a little surprised but obviously this is the case because i bought it from an official mac store. so i wouldn’t be too worried if u bought it from the authentic mac online store! hope this makes you feel better

    • If you bought it from MAC, you should have no problems with authenticity. If you bought it in-store, you shouldn’t have any issues, but there are incidents when you buy returned brushes in-store that are fake (they aren’t supposed to put them back on the shelves, though), so I’d exchange if you bought it in-store and suspect fakeness.

    • Nancy

      YES, it’s real. The MAC 190 doesn’t have the country of origin stamped on the end of the handle. The plastic sleeve however should say “Assembled in the USA” I just bought 3 from the MAC counter in Macy’s yesterday and they are all like that.

  4. margot

    I love love love love love the 68. I use it everyday for highlighting, contouring and blush (I own 3 of them). It’s so soft and perfect for everything (well maybe not powdering your entire face like the 129 can do but well). It’s my favorite MAC face brush and I couldn’t live without it !!!

  5. Sass

    This one is too wide and not precise enough for me. I just use my 109 for contouring and blush.

  6. I love this brush! I only has the SE, but I will purchase the full size someday.

  7. Lisa

    I use it to apply creme and/or powder blushes.

  8. Angela

    i love this brush its so pretty tho so i hate to get it dirty, i never really saw why it was called a “large” brush though, it seems pretty average if not smaller sized to me, but i love it! :)

  9. how can u use this brush 168 for foundatoins like Studio Sculpt??
    i have both i never tough use for thaht, but i still havent found the perfect brush for a nice finish with my studio sculpt
    what you recommend
    thnks for everything

    • Similarly to other powder brushes – you just use it to feather it on. I think maybe the 187 or 109. Studio Sculpt is really thick, so spray the brush with water first.

  10. Jazmine

    Would this work for cream blushes?

  11. sam

    I was wondering whether I should buy this brush, and I wanna know if I can use this brush on cream/liquid blushes as well, like the MUFE HD Definition blush?

  12. hey christine,
    what’s the best way to hold this brush for contouring purposes? i just can’t seem to get the hang of it! (longest bristles towards your mouth?) and a back and forth motion or circles? i really want to make this work, as the 109 seems to make to severe a contour and the 138 is so pricey! Thanks!

  13. Andrea

    I really want to buy a good contouring brush from MAc is that the one that you would recommend ? :)

  14. Abby

    Hi Christine! (:
    I have the SE version of this and was wondering whether should I purchase the FS version of this or the 116 or 109?
    Thanks in advance!