Sunday, June 21st, 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 226 Small Tapered Blending Brush

MAC 226 Small Tapered Blending Brush ($24.50) is small, slightly tapered, dome-shamed brush designed for crease-work. This is an absolute must-have brush for me, and while it was limited edition in MAC’s Brunette, Blonde, Redhead Collection, it will make a brief reappearance in the much anticipated Colour Craft Collection, due out July 9th. (I will be purchasing a second one–and perhaps even a third, when it does!) It reminds me of a mix of the 219 and the 222. It is about two-thirds the length of the 222 and 224 brushes. It is shaped more like an extended 219, but a bit fluffier and not quite as firm.

While you can certainly use this for the same things as other crease brushes like the 222 and 224 (highlighting, blending, etc.), I really love using this to apply color to the crease. I use it first to apply a “base” crease color, so it applies softly and more evenly from the get-go. I then follow up by defining it with more intensity using the 219, and I’ll go back with the 226 to blend everything together. Really fabulous brush, and I am hoping they will make it permanent someday!

How do you like to use this brush?

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Sunday, June 21st, 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 225 Large Tapered Blending Brush

MAC 225 Large Tapered Blending Brush ($36.00) is large, tapered blending brush with a dome-shaped end. Think the 224 but about three times larger. It really is huge relative to your eye and most other eye brushes. (If you own the 227, it’s in the same realm of size.) Even though it’s classified as an eye brush, I personally use it as anything but. The fluffiness of the bristles, yet the overall denseness of the brush, allows for great application of creamy products like concealer and blush cremes. It’s also incredibly soft with no scratchiness or harshness whatsoever. When using it with concealer, it helps me conceal problem areas/blemishes with a more natural result. I have also used this for highlighting when I want/need more precision – like the nose, right on the cheek bones, etc. If you want to do a soft wash of color all over the lid, this is up to that task. I just find it too large for any precise eyeshadow application, and I much prefer using many of MAC’s other smaller brushes like the 239, 217, 222, etc. for that purpose.

P.S. – I think this brush has been discontinued, but I found it at my local MAC store.  You might check yours or a CCO (if you are jonesin’ for this brush).

How do you like to use this brush?

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Saturday, June 20th, 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 224 Tapered Blending Brush

MAC 224 Tapered Blending Brush ($28.00) is a long, fluffy brush with a dome-shaped tip designed for assisting you with blending out color. It can also be used to deposit color more subtly for those who need softer application. I do like using this as a highlighter, both on the face or on the brow bone. It’s not a brush I reach for often, as I tend to favor other brushes, but for some, this brush outdoes brushes like the 217 and 222. The fluffiness of this brush also makes it good for applying creamier products, like concealer, in hard to reach places (e.g. around the nose). The 224 is one of those brushes that many people swear by, and others will say they prefer another brush (e.g. the 222), so it’s most definitely worth taking a peek at next time you’re at a MAC store. It will certainly help you out with blending if that’s ever been a problem for you!

How to decide between the 222 and 224?  Think about what you’re going to use it for.  If you’re looking for a brush primarily to help blend or deposit crease colors, you might opt for the 222 since it is narrower and thus allows for more control.  If you’re more concerned with blending crease colors, the 224 makes it a cinch!

How do you like to use this brush?

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Saturday, June 20th, 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 222 Tapered Blending Brush

MAC 222 Tapered Blending Brush ($28.00) is one of the longer eye brushes, and it is designed to be used to help apply softer color and blend out color. A lot of people find this brush great for blending crease colors without losing all of the definition. If you’ve felt like the 217 is a bit too fluffy or large for your crease area, you might find the 222 more up your alley.

The 222 is thinner and less fluffy than the 224, and it is also not as wide at the tip. The 224 spays out, getting large as it gets to the tip, whereas the 222 stays very much the same size throughout, but the bristles do come to a bit of a rounded edge like the 224. The 222 is also made out of goat hair, whereas then 224 is not, and I do feel the 222 is just a smidgen softer, too.

Even though I don’t find myself constantly reaching for this brush (I am all about the 226, personally), my girl Pursebuzz says, “I like how it is soft enough to blend yet dense enough to pack on the color for day and night looks. It’s like the 239 and 224 had a baby!”

How do you like to use this brush?

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Saturday, June 20th, 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 219 Pencil Brush

MAC 219 Pencil Brush ($23.00) is one of my very favorite brushes, and I definitely consider it a must-have in my brush stash. It was one of the first few full-sized eye brushes I purchased. It can be used for all sorts of things (don’t you love a multitasking tool?) from depositing color into the crease, defining shapes, tapping color on the lower lash line, or smudging color. I personally reach for this to apply eyeshadow to my lower lash line. It’s a soft, fairly firm brush (but not stiff), with densely packed bristles. I can get a good amount of color and have most of it deposit where I’m applying it (and not just sucked up by the brush). It also works well to blend colors on the lower lash line or even smudge out colors for a smokier effect. I’ve been considering picking up a second one of these, but I’m trying to resist!

How do you like to use this brush?

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Friday, June 19th, 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 213 Fluff Brush

MAC 213 Fluff Brush ($22.50) is small, fluffy dome-shaped brush. It’s kind of like a smaller version of the 239 (one of my must-haves!). First, I definitely recommend this as a great multi-purpose kind of brush. It can be used to apply eyeshadow, blend shades together, deposit color into the crease, or highlight the brow. If you’ve ever found the 239 to be too large, you’d probably adore the size of the 213! Soft when used against the skin, so it doesn’t feel scratchy or rough when swished across the lid. The denseness of the bristles allows for good application of color shadows without the brush eating up product. I do like this for highlighting the brow bone, because it gives a soft-focused kind of application with more natural colors like highlighters. I also like it for highlighting the cupid’s bow (above your lips)!

How do you like to use this brush?

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