MAC Keepsakes/Brush Kits Review & Photos (Quick)

MAC Keepsakes/In Extra Dimension Brush Kit
MAC Keepsakes/In Extra Dimension Brush Kit

I thought the quality of the brushes in these sets seemed better than many of the other brush sets released over the last few years. Unlike past years’ brush sets, I didn’t instantly think, “Why bother?”  This is the first year in quite awhile where I’d say they’re worth considering if you really want MAC brushes but the cost of full-sized brushes is too high. I would, of course, also say that there are plenty of quality options to consider if your budget is $50 that may be better or more versatile, especially if you prefer or are indifferent to synthetic bristles.  I highly recommend looking at the brushes in each set and determining if those are the shapes you’ve been looking at or not.  Another aspect to consider is whether you like short handles or prefer longer ones, as these are all short.  Each comes with a glittery brush bag with “pearl” trim.  The bags use a finer glitter, so it doesn’t feel as rough, and though it does shed some glitter, I didn’t notice it much.  The Studio Brush Kit was the least comparable to their full-sized counterparts, and I don’t recommend it at all.

MAC Keepsakes/In Extra Dimension Brush Kit ($52.50) includes travel-sized versions of the 127SE, 128SE, 234SE, and 235SE brushes.  The brushes in this kit have semi-matte black handles with silver printing.  These are split brushes, so one side has black bristles and the other side has white bristles.  These felt quite comparable to the full-sized versions, but worth noting, I haven’t been overly impressed by the quality of more recently released MAC brushes, such as the In Extra Dimension Brushes.  The black side feels slightly rougher but not by much.

MAC Keepsakes/Mineralize Brush Kit ($52.50) includes travel-sized versions of the 187SE, 130SE, 286SE, and 287SE brushes.  These are all synthetic and natural fibre blends.  The 286SE was the only one that I felt had any scratchiness to it.  I think the most marked difference is that these just aren’t quite as dense as their full-sized counterparts, and they’re just not as well-made (the bristles aren’t cut as well, there are more scraggly ones hanging off the edge, and so on).  The shapes are often a little less precise as well (like the 187SE seems longer and less dense in particular).

MAC Keepsakes/Studio Brush Kit ($52.50) includes travel-sized versions of the 129SE, 190SE, 224SE, 213SE, and 209SE brushes.  These have cream-colored handles and the set comes with a cream-colored glittery bag to put them in.  Of the three sets, this one felt the most different compared to the full-sized versions.  The hair used here (presumably goat) is thicker, not as soft, and sweeping, rather than patting or stippling, motions will be best.  I don’t find that the bristles are cut well, which seems to only make them feel even scratchier.  The 129SE is the worst of the five, not that the full-sized 129 isn’t known for softness (it’s one of MAC’s scratchier face brushes).  I don’t think this one is worth the money, and I think you’re really better off getting full-sized versions or looking at another brand.

MAC Keepsakes/In Extra Dimension Brush Kit
MAC Keepsakes/In Extra Dimension Brush Kit

MAC Keepsakes/In Extra Dimension Brush Kit
MAC Keepsakes/In Extra Dimension Brush Kit

MAC Keepsakes/In Extra Dimension Brush Kit
MAC Keepsakes/In Extra Dimension Brush Kit

MAC Keepsakes/In Extra Dimension Brush Kit
MAC Keepsakes/In Extra Dimension Brush Kit

MAC Keepsakes/In Extra Dimension Brush Kit
MAC Keepsakes/In Extra Dimension Brush Kit

MAC Keepsakes/In Extra Dimension Brush Kit
MAC Keepsakes/In Extra Dimension Brush Kit

MAC Keepsakes/In Extra Dimension Brush Kit
MAC Keepsakes/In Extra Dimension Brush Kit

MAC Keepsakes/Mineralize Brush Kit
MAC Keepsakes/Mineralize Brush Kit

MAC Keepsakes/Mineralize Brush Kit
MAC Keepsakes/Mineralize Brush Kit

MAC Keepsakes/Mineralize Brush Kit
MAC Keepsakes/Mineralize Brush Kit

MAC Keepsakes/Mineralize Brush Kit
MAC Keepsakes/Mineralize Brush Kit

MAC Keepsakes/Mineralize Brush Kit
MAC Keepsakes/Mineralize Brush Kit

MAC Keepsakes/Mineralize Brush Kit
MAC Keepsakes/Mineralize Brush Kit

MAC Keepsakes/Studio Brush Kit

MAC Keepsakes/Studio Brush Kit

MAC Keepsakes/Studio Brush Kit
MAC Keepsakes/Studio Brush Kit

MAC Keepsakes/Studio Brush Kit
MAC Keepsakes/Studio Brush Kit

MAC Keepsakes/Studio Brush Kit
MAC Keepsakes/Studio Brush Kit

MAC Keepsakes/Studio Brush Kit
MAC Keepsakes/Studio Brush Kit

MAC Keepsakes/Studio Brush Kit
MAC Keepsakes/Studio Brush Kit

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About the Reviewer

Reviewer

Christine has normal-to-dry skin with areas of dryness (cheeks, nose, and under the eyes). She has a light-medium skintone with subtle, warmer yellow undertones. Her best foundation matches include: Tarte Rainforest of the Sea in Light-Medium Neutral (best match), Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup in Desert Beige 2N1, Giorgio Armani Maestro Glow in 4.0, Hourglass Warm Ivory Vanish Seamless Finish, Laura Mercier Candleglow Soft Luminous in Dusk, MAC NC20/NC25, Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Liquid in Y305 (140). For more matches, please read our full Foundation FAQ. For more information on our review process, please read our Review FAQ.

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51 Comments

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At first glace, the extra dimension brushes look wonderful, then I realized it was split fibre. I’ll be passing on these – however I still think its a nice holiday gift set for a beginner 🙂

I like the Studio Brush set the best! Few of those I’d love to get anyways.. this should be a good way to have them!

I’m so glad you put up the brush review so soon. I was waiting for your review before deciding purchase. I wanted to get the 187 for the longest time and was really glad to see it as a part of a kit. So, is the difference between the SE and the original really marked? I mean I’m not that excited about the other brushes aside from the bag, I’m not even sure what most of them do. So should I just get the original? Thanks

If you really want the 187, and don’t really think you’d use the others, I would just get the full-sized 187. The shape is a bit different — it is fuller and less dense — compared to the full-sized.

Sonia Kashuk, Real Techniques are good ones that are always available. Some of Sephora’s kits can be nice. In general, synthetic options will be better quality overall at a lower price point.

Also, Sonia Kashuk does mega brush sets this time of year, and the shapes/types are often unique! You can typically get 8-10 brushes for under $30.

Beautiful brushes! I love the MAC brushes, but they’re so expensive! Great deals, but they’re still quite high on price. They look very cute, especially the white and pink ones!

I was so keen to get the cream ones just because they’re pretty but I’m glad you’ve said they’re not worth it as it will save me the money!

I only own two MAC brushes – I find them to be so expensive. I’ve been considering a travel kit for a while now (instead of having to brink a set of random brushes from different brands withe me). I’ll keep this in mind, especially as you say the quality of this set is better than some kits have been in the past.

I kind of like the idea of these sets, but I think I’m more into the bags, LOL! I also have an (almost!) unhealthy obsession with brushes, particularly duo-fiber, so that Mineralized set is looking kind of interesting… That said, I’ll most likely skip on these, as my brush stash is overtaking the top of my dresser…

Really?? 😮 😮 😮

I’m not looking for brushes right now, but it makes me so happy to hear that the quality of these is better than usual! 😀

I was totally surprised… I was like, “I guess I’ll photograph these…” I stopped buying them in previous years, because it was like a broken record of, “Let me waste $50 just to tell you that they are, indeed, still a waste of $50!”

The white ones look nice but when it comes to brushes, “looks” don’t really matter. Some of the others look sort of long-bristled and not very precise to use. I suppose that for someone young, just getting into makeup, these might be a good purchase or certainly something that a teen might be thrilled to get as a gift (though, to be honest, I think a Real Techniques brush set or 2 would deliver much better quality and at a lower price).

Yes, that seems to be an area that changes – the brush loses some of the precision in shape, whether it gets fuller or longer.

I think so long as synthetic works for you, there are SO many better options! (Natural hair is pricier, and there is a threshold where price = quality – but only to a point, of course.)

Murphy’s law: the prettiest ones are the scratchiest 😛 (the white ones – although technically I like the grey bag best).

The split ones are interesting!

I will be passing on these as well. I find Mac’s brushes to be hit and miss and only 3-4 out of the 8-10 I own are worth the $ I paid. I agree, RT and SK are great for beginners. I use RT too. I was considering one of these for a couple of teen girls. But, I think i would rather buy a couple full size quality eye and a face from a quality brand. With all the holiday sets out, I don’t feel these compete. Thanks for the pictures and descriptions!

Availability: Online October 19th, in-stores October 23rd at all MAC locations (North America), November (International, except China)

I’ve never had a MAC brush. Should I invest on this brush kit (the extra dimension one), or should I wait for a better set to come?

If you think you’d use all of the brushes, then it might make sense, but if you only like one or two, then I wouldn’t!

I’m so happy to hear that the quality of these brushes is better than previous years. I’m excited that there is a set of split hair brushes. I always want to try them, but MAC brushes are so expensive. I’m definitely going to pick up the set 🙂

Thank you for reviewing these! 😀
Christine, can I ask you if you would recommend grabbing a kit like this for travelling? I have full size brushes, but they aren’t fun to carry around and I’m on the move a lot. Or is it definitely not worth the $50 ?
Thanks for continuing to be awesome!

I live in Australia, so buying singular MAC brushes is EXTREMELY expensive and the amount of time it takes to save up for one just doesn’t seem worth it. I’ll probably be getting the Mineralize and Studio brush kits when they’re released. It’s a shame about the quality but this is the only way I can afford to build up my brush collection and I NEED brushes!

Hello, I was thinking about getting the mineralize brush set because it includes the 130 and 287 and 286 which I previously wanted (I already have the full sized 187). I saw you said that the brushes just aren’t as well made, so I wondering if you think it’s worth it? I usually use the 187 for all over foundation application but I wanted the 130 to use when I want to put a little more foundation by my acne scars. I wanted the 287 for concealer and I wouldn’t mind having the 286 as an extra good blending brush. I would love you opinion, thank you!

Thanks a lot! I actually just bought the mineralize and I’m pretty please with it, the bristles are soft and I’m relieved that they don’t shed (like a lot of my other full sized mac brushes lol).

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