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8 MAC Face Brushes You Need In Your Arsenal
129 Powder/Blush Brush ($34.00) is your best bet for general blush application. Seriously, I’m constantly reaching for this brush whenever I go to apply colored blush. If you can only afford one face brush, this is the one I recommend getting first, because it can apply blush, highlighters, and do a little bit of buffing in a pinch. It’s thick, dense, and deliciously soft on the skin. (And don’t be fooled by the 129 in the brush sets–it is not at all the same in regards to quality.)
138 Tapered Face Brush ($52.00) is a domed-shaped brush, much more tapered than many powder brushes. It’s excellent for both highlighting, shaping, and contouring the face–whatever tickles your fancy!
165 Tapered Cheek/Highlight Brush ($34.00) is like a thinner, smaller version of the 138, and it’s $18 less–so if you’re on a tight budget, you might think about picking up this one instead. I love, love, LOVE this one for highlighting. The tapered end really makes placement of highlighting powders ridiculously easy.
168 Large Angled Contour Brush ($32.00) is THE brush to have handy if you ever want to sculpt and shape your face. The angled, slightly-fluffy-and-not-overly-dense brush is perfect for making cheekbones pop, jawlines thin instantaneously, and polish the face.
182 Buffer Brush ($45.00) is an essential face brush to have. I love it so much that I have two, because it is so phenomenal and perfect for a variety of jobs. Ultimately, buffer brushes are designed to finish your face, whether it’s blending contouring and blushing colors together, applying loose powder, or just blending all your face products together. You can buff out harsh blushes by moving this brush in small circles, so you can wear Frankly Scarlet blush without fear. I love it to apply foundation personally, as it gives a polished, streak-free result. Worth every single penny.
187 Duo Fibre Brush ($42.00) is a must-have brush if you love mineralize skinfinishes. Yes, it is indeed a fabulous brush for applying those delicious baked goodies MAC puts out from time to time. The way the brush is designed uses a blend of goat and synthetic fibers and it allows for softer, lighter application of product. It’s also known as a stippling brush (for those trying to find a dupe), and it works well with highlighting (if you don’t need so much precision).
188 Small Duo Fibre Face Brush ($34.00) is a smaller version of the 187 Duo Fibre Brush, and it works in similar ways. However, I do find that this brush is not a substitute for the 187, but more like a complement. This brush works best with creamy products, like MAC blushcremes and cream colour bases. In the summer, I love wearing blushcremes layered with a powder blush for more long-wearing color in the hotter months!
195 Concealer Brush ($22.00) recently debuted, and it is superior to the 194 Concealer Brush. It’s a thin, firm bristled brush that holds its shape and easily applies concealing products, but it is also great for dabbing liquid foundations onto the skin (to then be smoothed and spread out using a face brush like the 182, 187, or 190). I find using a concealer brush to apply liquids onto the face helps waste less product than directly applying liquid to a fluffier face brush or sponge.
Honorable Mentions: 109 (great if you do a lot of contouring), 134 (great for loose powder)
What are your must-have face brushes?
Do you re-apply your lipstick/gloss throughout the day? Or do you just let it fade and forget about it?
When I do “full makeup,” I do lipstick and a gloss, but I tend to only re-apply the gloss portion… if I bother at all. It mostly depends on on where I am; if it’s an event, I will definitely re-apply, though!
7 MAC Eye Brushes You Need In Your Arsenal
204 Lash Brush ($11.00) is perfect for grooming brows, grabbing mascara, and combing out lashes. It’s sturdier than disposal wands to boot!
208 Angled Brow Brush ($19.50) is my go-to brush for all my eyelining needs. It doesn’t matter that it’s labeled as a “brow brush,” because it’s excellent for thin, precise lining. It’s angled and stiff enough to use for upper lash lining and tightlining. Everyone raves about the 266, but I prefer this over the 266 when lining my upper lash line! (If you have the 263, it should be just about as good–though it’s $20).
219 Pencil Brush ($23.00) is a must-have if like to smudge your eyeshadow or wear eyeshadow as liner. It applies and deposits color easily on the lower lash line, but it can also smudge or smoke out liner (with or without shadow) in just a few seconds.
224 Tapered Blending Brush ($28.00) makes crease-work a breeze. Blend out harsh lines with a soft, wispy motion with this fluffy, blending brush. Add ultra-rich, pigmented shadows in smoother, subtler layers–and never worry about going too heavy. (By the by, the limited edition 226 is even better, but the 224 will do if you can’t get your hands on the 226.) I find the 226/224 works better for me than the 217 (too fluffy).
239 Eye Shader Brush ($24.50) should be the first eye brush you purchase. It is beyond phenomenal, and if you really want to, this is one brush that can do it all. It is up to the challenge of replacing every single other eye brush you own. Soft to the touch with a nice density of bristles, it’s has enough fluff to easily pick up eyeshadow color, but enough density to pack on the color on the lid. The size is ideal for applying eyeshadow from the lid to the crease to the lower lash line. In fact, you may want to think about owning multiple 239s. (I have five–yes, five!)
249 Large Shader Brush ($27.00) is the best brush for applying creamy products to your eyes. I am always using this whenever I’m applying paints, paint pots, fluidlines, etc. as a base. It’s flat, firm, and holds its shape while still picking up plenty of product. What I love is it picks up product, and it doesn’t all get stuck in the bristles.
266 Small Angle Brush ($19.50) is an oft-raved about brush, usually when speaking about fluidline and lining, but it is also excellent for filling in brows. It’s thicker than both the 208 and 263 (my choices for lining), but if you’re going for thicker liner, this will definitely be a must-have. Talk about making cat-eyes easier!
* Please note that these are my picks for essential brushes based on my experience, brushes not included may be valuable, but they are not brushes I find myself using often enough to call them essential.
What eye brushes would you deem as your essential set?
Four Ways to Wear Carbon Eyeshadow
Lightly above the crease to add just a little drama to any look without looking over done.
All over the lid for a deliciously rich and dark smoky eye in pure black.
To add depth to color by enriching the intensity and darkness. And matte texture always adds something special, too.
On the outer V, just to add smoke where there’s already fire…
What are your favorite ways to wear Carbon?
Just a simple look for the weekend. I felt like wearing something a little spring-y, so I wanted to use yellow in the look somewhere, and this is what came out. I was originally thinking more Easter-egg-y (yellow, pink, purple), but maybe next time.
You will need the following…
- Eyes: Soft Ochre paint pot (neutral base), Sugarshot eyeshadow (frosty off white), Going Bananas eyeshadow (frosty lemon-yellow), Flip eyeshadow (peachy-gold), Beauty Burst eyeshadow (reddish brown), Urban Decay Underground 24/7 Liner (dark brown), Femme-fi eyeshadow (soft neutral highlighter), Zoomlash mascara (black)
- Cheeks: Don’t Be Shy blush (soft cool pink), Dior Rose Diamond Skin Shimmer (pink highlighter)
- Lips: Saint Germain lipstick (cool pink with purple undertones), Tartlette liglass (coral)
- Brushes: 266 (firm, angled brush), 226 (fluffy crease brush), 214 (smudge brush), 249 (flat, firm brush), 239 (fluffy shadow brush), 129 (dense blush brush)
- Substitutes: Sugarshot = Phloof!; Going Bananas = Bright Sunshine; Flip = Romp; Beauty Burst = Twinks; Don’t Be Shy = Well Dressed; Saint Germain = Pink Nouveau; Tartlette = Lychee Luxe
Directions: Define brows using a coordinating powder shadow applied with the 266 brush. Apply Soft Ochre paint pot all over the lid as the base with the 249. On the inner lid, apply Sugarshot eyeshadow using the 239. Apply Going Bananas eyeshadow to the middle of the lid. Darken the outer lid using Flip eyeshadow using the 239. Darken crease with Beauty Burst eyeshadow using the 226. Sweep Femme-fi eyeshadow underneath the brow bone to highlight. Finish with Urban Decay Underground Liner on lower lash line, and Zoomlash mascara on lashes. Sweep apples of cheeks with Don’t Be Shy blush using the 129, then highlight with Dior Rose Diamond Skin Shimmer with the 188. Apply Saint Germain lipstick to lips, and then top with Tartlette lipglass for color and shine.
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What’s the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of makeup? Have you waited in a ridiculously long line? Trekked a hundred miles to a MAC store?
Probably buy entire collections or buy $50 lipglosses… LOL. Perhaps swatching everything from a MAC collection and driving home with one hand so as to not mess them up! (Solved that problem by bringing my camera WITH me, duh!)