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MAC 249 Large Shader Brush Photos & Review

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 249 Large Shader Brush

MAC 249 Large Shader Brush ($27.00) is super flat brush with no real fluffiness to it. It is fairly firm, but it has enough give to work well on the eye lids. This tends to be my go-to brush for applying any creamy eyeshadow base, like paint pots, because it gives me the right firmness to apply it quickly and efficiently, and it doesn’t pack on too much or waste a lot of product in the bristles. The synthetic fibers makes it a better brush for creamy and more emollient products, but it can be used with powders if desired. This is similar to the 242, but it is larger and flatter with no fluffiness.

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MAC 242 Shader Brush Photos & Review

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 242 Shader Brush

MAC 242 Shader Brush ($23.00) is flat, slightly rounded at the tip, brush made out of firm fibers. This is one of my favorite brushes when using creamy products like paint pots, concealer, etc. I most often use it for paint pots, though I also use the 249, too. Even though I like it best for creamy products, it can be used with powder products like eyeshadow. It is particularly good at packing on color when you want a more intense look or have a finnicky shadow that just won’t go on right. For me, this is a great brush, because I use it regularly with my creamy products!

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MAC 239 Eye Shading Brush Photos & Review

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 239 Eye Shading Brush

MAC 239 Eye Shading Brush ($25.00) is flat, slightly dome-shaped goat-hair brush. The brush head is 11mm in width, 10mm in length, and 5mm in thickness. It had a total length of 6.6 inches / 17 centimeters. The handles are smooth, black in color, and have held up well over 5+ years of regular usage, though the brush numbering has worn down on some brushes within a few years. There is a silver, metal ferrule that is crimped just below the base of the brush head.

The 239 is best for packing and patting on eyeshadow to the lid, though the rounded edge works well to distribute color into the crease and along the lower lash line (if you want a more blown out look). For me, it’s long been my do-it-all eye brush; I really don’t need additional brushes to create a multi-colored look, as this works to apply color onto the lid, crease, and brow bone, as well as to blend and diffuse edges with little effort. It is dense without being too firm, and it has enough flexibility to maneuver around the curve of the eye socket with ease. Over the years, I have acquired new ones (I have at least five), and I haven’t found the quality to be any different today as it was 5 or 10 years ago.

Editor’s Note: This review was re-written August 1st, 2016.

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MAC 231 Small Shader Brush Photos & Review

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.

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MAC 228 Mini Shader Brush Photos & Review

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.

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MAC 227 Large Fluff Brush Photos & Review

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.

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