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 231 Small Shader Brush

MAC 231 Small Shader Brush ($17.50) is small, flat brush made out of synthetic fibers. The end is slightly domed/rounded, and the brush itself is pretty small and short. It kind of reminds me of a lip brush, actually! I find myself using this mostly to apply creamy products when I only want them on a specific area. The smallness of this brush allows me  to have control over where I want to place the product, and the flatness of the brush allows me to smooth out creamy products easily. I also like using it to apply concealer/foundation around lips when doing a bolder lip look. This is also a more specialized brush, so it is not a must-have for everyone.

How do you like to use this brush?

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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 228 Mini Shader Brush

MAC 228 Mini Shader Brush ($19.50) is super small, flat dome-shaped brush made out of synthetic bristles. The brush is fairly firm with a rounded edge. For those with smaller eyes or less eye space, this is a really great brush for packing on color when brushes like the 239 are too large. It’s stiffness also makes it good for applying color on the lower lash line or dragging or fading color outward. It is an excellent choice when you do more detailed work, particularly with small shapes or areas of colors, because it’s small size gives you more precision and control. I would consider it a more specialized brush, which means it is not necessary for everyone and depends more on your needs.

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 227 Large Fluff Brush

MAC 227 Large Fluff Brush ($30.00) is large, domed-shape brush. When I say large, I really do mean large. Like the 225, this brush is really beyond the size needed for the majority of the population–at least for eyes! If you’re particularly artistic with your makeup and like doing face masks or designs like that, you might find this a nice alternative to the smaller-sized eyeshadow brushes.

To me, this is a super-sized 239 brush. It is extremely dense, soft, and packs on the color well. I do feel it is a bit more rounded than the 239, but otherwise, they’re very similar in how they can be used (just think outside the eye, err, box!). The 227 is also nice for highlighting cheek bones and collar bones! If you were on a budget and could only choose a few brushes, this wouldn’t make the must-have list. It’s just a nice brush, but some may not find it useful enough to merit a purchase.

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 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!

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