Monday, June 22nd, 2009

Beauty Basics: MAC Eye 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 Eye Brushes.

Focus On: MAC 239 Eye Shading Brush

MAC 239 Eye Shading Brush ($24.50) is flat, slightly dome-shaped goat-hair brush. It is, quite possibly, my favorite eye brush ever. I love it and use it often enough to own five of them! I can do everything I need to do eyeshadow-wise with this brush — apply, blend, crease, highlight, lower lash line, smudge… you name it, I can do it. This was the only eye brush I had for well over a year, actually.

For anyone who has the SE version (from MAC’s brush sets), the full size is many times better. It’s extremely soft while it picks up color easily and deposits it perfectly. It’s a dense brush with just enough fluffiness to allow you to blend color while still being able to pack on color for a more intense look if desired. This is the first brush I’d personally recommend to anyone looking to buy their first eye brush!

How do you like to use this brush?

See close-ups

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46 thoughts on “MAC 239 Eye Shading Brush Photos & Review

  1. Nathalie

    I apply, blend and crease with it. The top of the brush is so thin that I can apply my eyeshadow on the bottom lid without problem. Really, my favorite brush.

  2. Sam

    I ordered this brush during F&F and I can’t wait to get it. This brush series never gets old! It’s so interesting!

  3. Natalia

    239 is my first eye brush, too!

  4. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Chantale Macaddict

    My fave too Christine! And, like you, I can do all my eye make-up with it (it’s very versatile). So far, I have 4 of them and working towards getting 2 more! For sure, it’s a MUST HAVE!!

    • Nice!! I love it SO much. When I am pressed for time, I just use it for everything. When I have more time, then I try to love my other brushes, too :P

  5. Nicole15

    The 239 is heaven on earth. I absolutely LOVE this brush…so much so that there are many times i just find myself staring at it as i run my finger back & forth across it. Think I’m in love?!?! It is so versatile but I definitely find myself using it most for color application & crease defining. I, too, own a 239SE as well & it is in no way comparable to the regular 239. You’ll never know the true capability of the 239 brush until you get the regular one.

    • Nathalie

      I only own the regular. Everyone says that the regular 239 and the 239LE are nothing comparable. What is the difference, Nicole?

      • Nicole15

        I first owned the 239SE & when I used it I was so unimpressed. Didn’t feel like it grabbed the color from the pot properly (kinda fell off brush isntantly) & it definitely did not pack it on the eyelid well at all. It was extremely flimsy, not dense & could not blend for anything. I kept wondering what the hype over this brush was all about. And then, I got the regular 239 & understood how it was so wondrous. Maybe some SE’s are better than others, but mine was the worst so I’m glad I persued purchasing the real deal.

        • Nathalie

          Thank you for sharing your experience, Nicole. :) I’ve never been tempted with a SE pack yet but I will remember (if so) that I should think twice before picking one!

          • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of aradhana aradhana

            i have an SE face brush set from a couple of years ago and i think it’s very good! i don’t think i would repurchase any of the brushes in full size (190, 168, 187, 194) unless i strike it rich…
            i prefer the SE 190 foundation brush to my full size armani foundation brush…which when i first bought i thought it was the best thing ever…

            • Some of the SEs are good — the 239SE is the one that sticks out most in mind to be such a terrible brush relative to the full size one.

        • That’s exactly how I feel, Nicole! The 239SE is just garbage compared to the full size 239. I’ve noticed SOME SEs are fine, but wow, WHAT a difference between 239SE and full size!

      • Rough, smaller, not nearly as dense/firm. IT JUST SUCKS in comparison, LOL.

    • Yes, yes! The best. It’s really my #1 and go-to brush.

  6. LoveCelebGossip

    I’m buying this brush! What is the SE version? “For anyone who has the SE version (from MAC’s brush sets), the full size is many times better.”

    • Nicole15

      See my comment above about the 239SE specifically. This was just my personal experience with it. Others may have more to say in response. In regards to SE’s in general, they usually are special edition versions of the brushes that come out in palettes & brush sets/collections. They are mass produced & not hand made like the regular brushes are.

    • SE is “Special Edition,” which are the brushes that come in the brush sets that are released in the summer with Nordstrom and the winter with holiday :)

  7. Radhika

    The 239 is my absolute favorite brush too! I don’t know how I did my makeup without this brush! @Nicole15, I find myself doing the same thing… just running my finger over it. It’s perfect for everything! It packs on color perfectly, adds color to the lower lashline, defines, blends, everything! I can go on for days!!!

  8. Natalie

    My favorite brush too! The bestest :)
    I love using it for the same reason as you listed, it is also excellent for picking up and applying pigments!

  9. IZzySA

    oh oh.. this is one of my favourite brushes but I note that since my last purchase of this brush (I have 7), it has gone up one USD.. lol… and prior to that another $ !! .. MAC keeps on raising prices!

  10. This is my favorite brush too. A must have. I wish I would have thought to buy more brushes on F&F since I am maxing out my credit card anyway, being unemployed, and spending $1500 between Mon-Wed for my cat, (the emergency night vet, ICU, the regular vet, ICU,) who was 14 but I had her for 13 years, who died on Wed at 134pm. RIP Shelby Mama loves you!!

    • I completely agree on this being a must-have!

      I’m so sorry to hear about your cat Shelby :(

    • Lynne

      So sorry to hear about Shelby…(I’ve “been there”)…and I know what emergency visits to ICU vets can do to wallets…it’s a sin. Again, sorry for your loss.

  11. Wilcoa

    Love this brush, use it daily and had to buy a second (possibly needing a third ;P)

  12. Jennifer

    My first as well. :) Definitely a keeper.

  13. Barbara

    I love this brush. It’s my favorite eyebrush that i currently own 3. Thanks to the sale. It’s very soft and pick up color like no other.

  14. Thank you so much for this review!
    I was looking to buy my first MAC brush. After I saw this, this seemed like the perfect brush to get.
    I just bought it today, and got a chance to use it for my fourth of july look, and it’s amazing!

  15. DEENA

    I have purchased the 217, 239,222 and 224 and was wondering if you could tell me which eye brush is great for applying pigments to the eyes? None of the brushes that i bought blend pigmented eye shadow well with other colours as the brushes just take the application off. Thank you

  16. Maria

    Can this apply paint pot as well?
    Or should I stick with the 242?
    Thanks Christine :)

  17. Mireya

    Recently bought the 239 and it works great, there is no comparison to the 239SE at all.

  18. Lily

    This is going to be my first eye brush too! I’m buying it for pigments and just overall shading and blending :D I’m so excited!