Monday, May 24th, 2010

MAC 130 Brush

MAC 130 Brush: New Cream Blush Hero

The MAC 130 Brush ($38.00, supposed to be permanent now) is described as, “A short, round, flat-topped brush ideal for the smooth, easy application of foundations, creams, emulsions, and select powder products [and] features a blend of natural bristles and synthetic fibres.”

How does it work for…

FOUNDATION: I think those who normally use the 187 will find the 130 a welcome addition to the duo fibre line-up. Though the brush head is much, much smaller (think like a stumpy 188), the compact, dense brush head allows for greater control and blending as well as it’s small enough to get into the nooks and crannies (like around the nose). The shorter fibres also provide for significantly less streaking and clumping of the bristles (huge reason why I’m not a big fan of the 187 for foundation). If you liked the application of the 109 but found yours shed unbearably, I think you’ll also like the 130. I still prefer my 109 a little bit over the 130.

CREAM BLUSH: I’ve been finding that the 130 is better than the 188 for cream blushes lately. I like the firmer, stiffer brush head, rather than the more springy fibres of the 188. It gives me more control, precision, and helps to blend out the color in small, buffed circles. You can see me demonstrate how to applying cream blush using the 130 in this video (along with the 131).

POWDER BLUSH: Really not a big fan of this brush in powder products — I just don’t find that it delivers the soft, natural, and effortless color and finish that traditional blush brushes do, like the 116.  It’s better for buffing out blush than so much for applying it.

The 130 is definitely a must-have brush for those who wear cream blush or bronzer on a regular basis. The stiffness (it still has give, though!) makes it so easy to apply and the circular brush head makes it easy to buff into the skin. The bristles themselves are as soft as you would expect from MAC.

The only thing I noticed is the brush has a tendency to have some splayed bristles if you aren’t extra careful to reshape it perfectly after washing. (I re-washed the 130 brush last night, and it’s much tighter, with only 3-4 bristles pulling away.) It doesn’t affect the utility or the application of the brush, but it’s something I noticed when photographing.

What do you use the 130 for?  Is it a must-have for you?

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you’re in the market for a brush to apply liquid foundation or cream blush, the 130 excels at both tasks. It’s better than the 187, arguably as good as or better than the 109 (depends on who you talk to, ha!), and beats out the 188 for cream blush.

Availability: Nordstrom

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Monday, May 24th, 2010

MAC 131 Brush

MAC 131 Brush: A Duo-Fibre Multi-Tasker

The MAC 131 Brush ($40.00, limited edition and available with To the Beach) was originally released with Colour Craft (July ’09), and I’ve owned it since and used it once. I spent the past couple of weeks testing it out for the first time and seeing what it works best for. MAC describes it as, “Flat, tapered brush that contains a combination of short and long fibres … [i]deally suited for Mineralize Skinfinish Powders.”

How does it work for…

FOUNDATION: When it comes to liquid foundation, it does the job. I liked the application and finish better than the 187, because it seemed a lot less streaky (which is why I moved past the 187 to the 182 and now use the 109). The application with the 131 is quite a bit different, given that it’s a flatter, slightly tapered and angled brush–you don’t blend in a circular motion here. It’s more about soft sweeps and pulls to get the product blended on your face.

CREAM BLUSH: I prefer the 130 (also available with To the Beach but appears to be permanent) or the 188 (permanent) over the 131. The 131 is nice for blending out the color initially, but I find that being able to buff small circles is one thing I really find preferable in technique that the 131 doesn’t make so easy. You can see me demonstrate how to apply cream blush using a stippling brush like the 131 in this video (along with the 130). It is better with more emollient/thinner cream blushes than thicker consistencies.

MINERALIZE BLUSH/SKINFINISH: Like the 187, using the 131 to apply mineralize color products like the blushes, blush duos, and skinfinishes helps to soften the color and diffuse some of the glittery particles. It gives a very soft, subtle color and deposits a light layer of the sparkler/shimmer. I think it’s nice on some of the more pigmented, dirtier, or glitter-heavy shades, particularly for those with more visible pores. I think if you have the 187 or 188, you may not find the 131′s application far superior. I like the 131 a bit more, but it’s a close race. It’s also smaller than the 187, so it may be more manageable on cheeks in comparison.

MOISTURIZER: I actually found myself liking the 131 more to apply moisturizer than anything else. I spritz the brush with a little water, and then I apply my moisturizer–very clean, sanitary, and soothing. Of course, whether it’s vital to have a single brush for this purpose is debatable!

My personal feeling about the brush is that it’s a nice, high-quality brush that certainly is useful and can be used with different products, but if you are an avid brush collector, it may not be a must-have brush. I just didn’t and still don’t find myself reaching for it very often. I just want to repeat that there is nothing wrong with this brush–it has the same excellent standard of quality from the softness to the construction to the ability to multi-task as MAC brushes. It hasn’t reinvented the wheel for me, since I already own the 187 and 188.

I did an entire series of reviews on all of MAC’s Face Brushes, so definitely check that out if you’re looking for a particular brush.

What do you use the 131 for? Is it a must-have for you?

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you already own the 187 and 188, you may not find this brush revolutionary. You may not even find it’s worth it, if you’re on a budget, and you own those two. It’s better suited for blush and mineralize products from the testing I did.

Availability: May 25th online at maccosmetics.com, May 27th in-stores

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Monday, July 27th, 2009

Just four months ago, I wrote about what my seven must-have eye brushes were.. and they’ve already changed a bit! In this video, I talk about six brushes I think are really excellent for building up your eye makeup brush stash, plus a little talk on two extra brushes that you might want to consider as well (or in place of one of the six).

Reviews & Photos

Monday, July 20th, 2009

Beauty Basics: MAC Face Brushes

Considering investing in brushes for your face? Trying to figure out which brushes you need? Look no further — here’s our guide to MAC Face Brushes! Plus, seasoned MAC Artists weigh in with their must-haves!

MAC Face Brushes — Our Reviews

Temptalia’s Recommendations

5 Basics to Begin With: 109, 129, 150, 188, 194
5 More to Add Down the Road: 116, 138, 182, 187, 189
5 Great Multi-Taskers: 109, 129, 150, 182, 188
Best for Highlighting: 116, 165, 184
Best for Liquid Foundation: 109, 182, 187
Best for Cream Foundation: 109, 187, 190
Best for Powder Foundation: 150, 189
Best for Cream Blush: 188, 192
Best for Powder Blush: 116, 129
Best for Contouring: 109, 168
Best for Powder: 134, 150

What the PROS Say

MAC Senior Artist John Stapleton says, “Cannot live without the 187. It’s a two speed brush. It has the density at the base needed to provide more coverage and the softness of the fibres at the tip to give sheer light coverage.”

On the other hand, Senior Artist Luc Bouchard thinks, “188 [is a must-have]; it’s the perfect foundation brush if you use it in circular motion you get even coverage instantly,” and Senior Artist Keri Blair agrees, “This two-toned beauty is great for blending out foundation to create an airbrushed quality to the finish of your foundation. The synthetic white bristle can also be misted with MAC Fix + to help sheer out products to create a lighter more modern finish.”

Share your favorites with fellow Temptalia readers, just copy and paste the form below and write-in your own answers…

5 Basics to Begin With:
5 More to Add Down the Road:
5 Great Multi-Taskers:
Best for Highlighting:
Best for Foundation:
Best for Blush:
Best for Contouring:
Best for Powder:

P.S. – Looking for reviews on MAC eye brushes? Check out our brush review round-up!

Sunday, July 19th, 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 195 Concealer Brush

MAC 195 Concealer Brush ($22.00) is a small, flat brush with synthetic fibers. It’s shaped like a severe, tapered dome. It was launched with Studio Sculpt, so it is designed to work with concealer products, but it can be used with any emollient product as well. I’m not a huge fan of this brush, just because I don’t feel it does a stellar job of applying or blending concealer. It’s flat and firm, though the bristles have give so they can bend easily. It picks up product and places it well, I just find that it can leave some streaks behind if you’re not careful. The best way to use this brush when applying concealer is using a tapping method rather than a pulling/blending method. I know some have complained about this brush being scratchy, though I have not personally found mine is like that. If anything, I prefer this brush for applying eyeshadow bases (paints, paint pots, what-have-you) over concealer.

How do you like to use this brush?

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Sunday, July 19th, 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 194 Concealer Brush

MAC 194 Concealer Brush ($19.00) is a small, flat brush with a paddle-shape that’s slightly tapered. It’s a good brush for initially applying product. I use this to dab on foundation from pumps/bottles, concealers that squeeze out or come in liquid form, etc. I find it makes it easy to simply get the product onto my face without too much getting caught in fluffier brushes’ bristles. After I’ve used the 194 to dab on the product, then I’ll go to whatever brush is actually going to blend it in/apply it fully. I prefer fluffier brushes like the 217 or 275 for blending out concealer personally. This brush, however, is good for applying concealer if you need a bit more precision — say around your brows — but if you don’t need strong lines, then it’s not as necessary.

How do you like to use this brush?

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