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 182 Buffer Brush

MAC 182 Buffer Brush ($45.00) is large, densely-packed dome-shaped brush with dyed-black goat hair bristles. My photos are of the limited edition release of the 182 brush from MAC’s Couture Collection (I believe these retailed around $54), and I fell absolutely in love with it so much so that I purchased a second one. I actually really love the square handle on it, but the round handle works just as well.

The brush is extremely dense and full, but the most amazing thing about it is how flawless it makes your face look. No matter what powders, liquids, or blushes you use, the 182 is always there to soften your look and eliminate any harsh edges or unevenness. I also LOVE it for applying liquid foundations like Studio Fix Fluid (moreso than the 109 and 187). I do find this is a high quality brush, so I personally believe it is well worth the cost.

This ranks amongst my top five must-have brushes if you’re on a tight budget! However, if this is just too expensive for you, I recommend putting it on your wishlist for birthdays/holidays. Everyone should have at least one buffer brush, though — MAC or another brand!

How do you like to use this brush?

See close-ups

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72 thoughts on “MAC 182 Buffer Brush Photos & Review


    I really want this brush but its so pricey x

  2. barbie

    Thats a wicked looking brush. Love it πŸ˜‰

  3. Sass

    Love, love it.

  4. Ria

    Those poor goats :( Guess their lives are only worth 45 bucks. I actually like Coastal Scent’s synthetic buffer; even though it’s cheap wholesale stuff, it feels and works great.

  5. Nicole15

    This was my first MAC brush I ever owned & I fell in love instantly. I couldn’t believe how soft it was. I justified the price by telling myself that if i took care of it, I would probably have it for like 10 years minimum. With other brushes I was having to buy new ones every year at like $15-$20 a pop cause they just fell apart so for me it was a well worth it purchase. Many people will complain about shedding & i do run into that issue especially after washing it but that’s what happens with man made brushes & it’s not so bad that it prevents me from getting my makeup done. Your look is still flawless when all is said & done. I use this brush for applying my MSF Natural or BE Mineral Foundation.

  6. isabella

    i use it for my msf natural
    its love <3

  7. Andrea

    I have the regular handle 182 and I love!!! I think though that seeing these pics makes me want the square handle!!!

  8. victoria

    of all mac’s kabuki, this is my favorite. i had the 182 and 180 but i prefer this one the most, it’s the absolute teddy bear brush. if i was into mac when the couture one was out, i too would’ve bought 2 of them.

  9. Ashley

    Like other natural hair brushes, this one irritated the hell out of my skin, as well as possibly broke me out (although I haven’t used it in a while so I’m not sure)
    From first use and after washes, every time it would make my face go red. Too bad they wouldn’t let me return it because I had already exchanged the 187 for that one.

  10. lisa

    I love this brush it is my go to brush when i want to achieve a flawless face look!

  11. tess

    i actually tried it with my foundation earlier today and i must say… it’s very impressive… i’ve always used this only as a powder brush until i read this… and wow… 8-9 hours later… my foundtion still looks flawless… love it… i am considering getting another one… hopefully soon…

  12. shangrila

    I have two of them! I use one for my foundation, and one i just keep on my vanity to look pretty! lol. I love that handle. I’d love to get another one for powders, though.

  13. Sue

    How do you use them for applying liquid foundation? I’ve always used Taklon-type brushes for that.

    • I first apply dabs of foundation to my cheeks, chin, and forehead. Then, I just spritz my 182 brush with water, and then I buff the foundation in.

  14. Jae

    I use the 182 for both foundation and bronzer application. I have the couture version and 2 of the rounded handled ones. Its definitely a fave brush of mine!! One of them is strictly for traveling use and the other two are dedicated to foundation and powders. I don’t like mixing! I think the bulk of my costs went to brushes (but I’ve been building my collection for a VERY long time)!

  15. This brush is awesome! I love the design of it! Leave it up to MAC to make a chic makeup brush. This would definitely be a fun addition to my makeup case. I may just have to go pick one up!

  16. I just got my 182 brush, the same one pictured here, and i super duper love it!

    good thing is i got it for 37USD from a local reseller here (Philippines), MAC Phils. sells a regular 182 for 52USD.

    I’m so happy!

  17. This will be my next b-day gift I guess LOL

  18. Anna

    I’ve been needing a new buffer brush and have been looking at this for so long. Maybe, I’ll add this as an anniversary gift from my bf or just splurge as soon as I hit the mall today. Haha :P.

  19. cherry

    hey Christina, can u tell me if u remember, whether this couture 182 brush came in the plastic sleeve like the regular one, or was the couture one in a box since its LE?

      • cherry

        Thanks a lot for taking the time to answer Christine.I am ur newest fan!

      • hedy

        hi christine,

        after looking at your photos of this limited edition 182, i really want one! i saw some for sale on ebay, but i am not sure if they are fake or not. should i get the one that is priced closest to the retail price? or do you recommend not getting them at all from ebay? thanks :)

        • Hi Hedy,

          I would look for a seller with a good reputation and lots of feedback. I think with a brush as customized as the 182 (and the fact that it’s several years old, and it wasn’t a really coveted item, e.g. Hello Kitty brushes), you are probably safe from fakes. I don’t know of any other way *to* get it other than eBay, to be honest! I am surprised at how cheap they are on eBay, because I think it retailed for like $48 or $52 (it was maybe $10-12 more than the regular 182).

        • a_cute_princess

          I just bought one of these, the LE at the Round Rock Premium Outlets. It was on sale for $39.50! Don’t know if that helps.

        • D

          Definitely check out ebay but with caution. I bought 2 from the same seller brand new in box for $35 each and free shipping. She had lots of feedback and was a top seller. I think this model brush was pretty hard to fake, I’m trying to find a MAC 150 but all the ones on ebay look suspicious, so I will probably get it from the store.

  20. Silvia

    Christine, I fell in love with this brush since you posted it, but I fought I would never find it. Well, ACW was selling it a couple of weeks ago, and of course I bought it.

    Now that I received it, I think that is so beautiful and soft, but mine has China inscribed on. I fought that just the SE brushes were made in China!! I’m afraid that is not an original product… Could you please tell me if your is made in China as well?


  21. Playet

    I know some of the brushes that come with collections are not made as high quality…do you think this brush is the same quality?(was it made the same way with same materials as the regular 182?)

  22. if you use your 182 for liquid foundation, do you have to have any extra care to mantain the shape of the brush??
    i know that syntethics bristels are better for liquids and cream, and natural bristels are more delicate and have a short time of life if you use liquids and creams products, thats why i ask the expert, hope you can help me i already have one 182 and i use for natural MSF but i dont know if it will ruin my 182 if i use it for foundation, i was thiking about get the 109 but here in mexico its almost the same expensive, waht you recomend
    sorry to many questions but im full of doubts
    thanks so much

  23. Mia

    How long does this brush take to dry when you have washed it?

    Mine is brand new and I just washed it. But it’s taking forever to dry – I’m on 40 hours now and still counting. I got it hanging in a glass to dry.

  24. seattle

    i am definately getting this brush next along with the 316. then my mac brush collection will be completed… for now! LOL!

    you’re so lucky to have this specific LE version of the 182. i would imagine having a square handle makes it easier to dry the brush on its side without the hair splay or having to fumble with kabuki “drying techniques”. but since i will be getting the regular version of this brush, i will practice enkore’s or dustyohunter’s kabuki drying techniques.

  25. so amazing… i want to buy them!! πŸ˜‰

  26. Raque

    I just got this brush yesterday, it is AMAZING!!! I originally purchased the too faced retractable kabuki, but after speaking with a store associate and finding out that all MAC does is give goats haircuts I returned the too faced and got this one. It really gives a beautiful airbrushed look! I use it with MAC studio fix powder plus, and my foundation looks natural and flawless. The brush is so soft, its hard to stop putting on the powder!

  27. Shu

    Hi Christine. please help! i recently got a MAC 182 and it sheds all over my face!! is that normal?? Thanks

  28. Lily

    So this brush vs. the 187 for liquid foundation, you found this one to be better? Is that for the stippling method or for a normal swirl/blend method? Because that’s how I used to apply my foundation (with just a normal foundation brush shaped like the 190) and just recently discovered the stippling method. I have yet to try the method out, and was debating whether I should purchase a 187 or this one =/

    I use Studio Fix Fluid by the way, but I have oily skin so I might consider switching to a powder foundation depending on what the MA’s say today when I go to the counter =/

  29. Hilary

    I don’t know if you answer questions on older post but-Would this be a good brush for applying mineral foundation? if not-could you reccomend one that would be better for that purpose? Thanks in advance:)!

  30. Nancy

    I own 2 of these and I Love them for MSFN and all other powder related products, both of mines however NEVER shedded on me.

  31. Kalei

    Hi! Just wondering…if you were on a budget and had to pick between getting the 182Β or the 134, which would you choose and why?

  32. Kalei

    I know I had commented earlier asking you to choose between the 182 and 134, but I wanted to add the 167SH to the mix…thoughts??

    • What are you looking to use the brush for? It really just depends on how you’d use it!

      • Kalei

        Sorry, should have been more specific! Looking for a multipurpose brush that can do it all…powder, blush, bronzer, etc. Which would you consider your “all star” brush?

        • None then – the 167SH can apply bronzer and all-over powder–possibly blush if it’s the right level of intensity, but the 134 is better at all-over powder and loose foundation though it’s too large to do well for blush or bronzer. The 182 is a huge brush, so again, not ideal for blush or bronzer, more for buffing out foundation or applying face powder into the skin.