MAC 226 Small Tapered Blending 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 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?

See close-ups

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67 Comments

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i got this bush the other day and was so impresseed with how it fits into my crease area that i picked up a backup today πŸ™‚ this brush is ideal for asia or anyone with small eye space MAC make this perm πŸ™‚ X

oh fab! now i just want a back up of the 131 as i am using that brush & 226 every day i use the 131 for my mineralised skinfinish natural in medium pplus and the application is amazing but may need 2 wait till pay day next month πŸ™ X

i am anxiously awaiting the release of this brush. exactly how you described using it is how i have pictured using this brush myself. it is going to be amazing for more precise crease work. can’t wait!!

I think this brush should be permanent, it really is IMO the best crease brush MAC has, and it’s small enough to work on us with shallower creases. I bought 2 when BBR came out with it.

The 226
It’s more precise than the 224
the 224 the blending goes everywhere
u have to get this brush trust me my eye area it’s not that big too and i even like this brush more than the 217

I was lucky enough to snag one of the last ones at my counter when BBR was launched. I have Asian eyes, with not much lid space and I love this brush.

I’ve heard so many good things about this brush. Sad that I missed out the first time but I’m glad its coming out again! (:

I don’t own this brush yet but seems everyone loves it so I am going to give it a try. I just bit the bullet and purchased the 219 and I must admit…..I love it! Hope for the same experience with the 226.

Yea-I am so happy. I got my 226 today when I picked up some goodies from the Color Craft collection. I am so anxious to use it as I have been wanting the perfect crease brush. I have slowly been building up my Mac brushes and I am loving the results. I also bought the new 131- I think it will be great too- anxious to use them both. Sherry

Yay!! Congrats on the 226 πŸ™‚ I hope you love it as much as I do — so fantastic; I picked up two more, just to be sure. Talk about obsession!

What other goodies did you get from Colour Craft?

Oh yeah, let me know what you think of the 131 once you’ve tried it out!

I bought the 226 today! I can already tell I’m going to love it, but your review was really what made the decision for me. XD Thanks!

I bought the 226 yesterday. The last one!!! I absolutley love it! I have small lids and had a hard time finding the perfect brush. But, this one is amazing!

i have the 217 brush, and i feel it’s not the best crease brush for me as it gets color everywhere.

i’m thinking of getting the 222 or 226 brush. what wud u say is the main difference between the two?

The 217 is nice for blending, IMO, but it isn’t a crease brush. The 222 is longer, fluffier, and it is white (so it is a bit softer).

I’m so upset. Before I never thought MAC brushes were worth it. Now, I kick myself everyday practically to try and hunt this brush down. I REALLY HOPE MAC REPROMOTES IT!

I can’t wait for this brush to come out. pls let me know when it’s available. I miss out when it was first released. I have been wanting it for the longest time, it’s been very hard to find it.

Catherine, I searched high and low for this brush with no luck. However the gone but not forgotten folks found it for me recently! Call Gone But Not Forgotten @ 1-800-216-7173, if there are discountinued Estee Lauder/MAC proucts you’d like they can try to locate it.

I was watching youtube videos by pixi2woo and she says the louise young ly 38 brush is very similar to the mac 226 and in her oppinion better. I can’t find the exact video that is in but you can see it in the pixiwoo video “Smoky eyes using CHANEL Contraste de Chanel collection.”
I ordered it of the website and it arrived today and although I do not actually own the 226 I compared it to your photos and it is very similar. It is perfect for doing detailed crease work and is very soft. I would say from your description it is a tiny bit longer than the 226 but it is still very tapered and thin.

It’s not a dupe. The Nars one is smaller in shape,I think it’s good for very detailed crease-work. It’s like an elongated version of MAC’s 219.

Christine, I know this question has been asked a bajillion times, but have you any idea AT THIS POINT, when they might re-release this brush? I feel like it’s eluding me and I can’t be complete without it! Could you think of a good dupe? I’m desperate. Thanks :'(

My eyes are small so this brush is great at blending the crease. I also use the 224 brush to blend out harsh edges but this is definitely a brush I use everyday.

Just contacted mac via their chat option on their webpage. They said the following

“Brush # 226 is currently unavailable on our website, but you can call our Customer Service Departement, where you can order it through the phone. Please contact them at at (US) 1-800-588-0070 or (Canadian) at 1-800-387-6707 or via email from our contact us page. Our Representatives are available 24 hours a day to assist you.”

I only tested out the softness very briefly but I gave it to a friend right away – let me see if I can get her to show it to me again.

Same here!!! I’m in Mexico, in case anyone is interested in this brush and/or collection!! My MA said that just a few of the 226 were sent though…

Bad news- MAC confirmed to me today that this brush has been discontinued. Apparently you can get it by contacting them and you can order up to six through something called β€œgone but not forgotten”. This means that you can get it but it is going to be sold out soon. Take care of yours if you own it.

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