Should I get full size brushes or a brush set?
It isn’t actually a question of which one to get, but which one will better suit your needs. There is often debate between brush set quality vs. full-size brush quality. In the case of MAC brush sets, they are machine made, while full-size brushes are handmade. These brushes contained in sets aren’t terrible, and they get you good value for the price. They just aren’t identical to full-sized brushes, and it makes sense, because you’re getting the brush set for much less than if you bought the full-sized brushes together.
Value is the number one reason to purchase a brush set over individual brushes. The MAC face brush set contains the SE 187 and the set retails for $49.50 (as of Holiday 2008)–and the full size version retails for $42.00! Say you rarely use the 187, then you really don’t need the full-size version, right? You just get more brushes for your money than you would buying individual brushes. Budget beauty addicts may find brush sets a way to invest in good brushes without breaking the bank.
Finally, those who are new to makeup might find this an excellent opportunity to take advantage of trying out multiple brushes at once. This way they can figure out what brushes they actually will use and how often will they be used. If you love eyeshadow, you might find you just need to have MAC’s 239 brush–and perhaps even a few of them.