By now my anti-MAC feelings are probably quite well known amongst regulars. I make no apologies as I’ve had my run ins with the brand and the (lack of) service and there is very little from the brand that I’m attracted to. Yet, there is one item I own from MAC that I do like using.
Fortunately, it’s one item that I don’t have to go back and replenish so I can continue to avoid the stores LOL
The one item I have from MAC that I really enjoy and use almost every day is the MAC #239 Eye Shader Brush. I picked this one up many years ago as one of my first “high end” makeup brushes because at the time, I was really into loose pigments and loose powder eyeshadow, and the advise I got then, for the best brush to use those products with, was this one.
I bought it for about RM80 back then but it now retails for RM103 and from the very faded lettering on the handle, you can tell that I’ve had this for a very long time, and that it’s very well used!
The MAC 239 Eye Shader Brush is a natural hair brush, with short, rounded bristles that are densely packed. The bristles are, I believe, white goat hair, and very soft on skin.
I’ve had mine for so long (pre-blogging! That’s more than 7 years) that the constant use and washing has turned the bristles a shade of cream but I’m fine with it. I don’t have much of a problem getting it clean with just regular soap or baby shampoo and it cleans out quite easily.
What I use this brush for is to lay down colour for eyeshadow. The density and firmness of the bristles allow you to really pack on colour on your lid if you use a dabbing motion, which makes this useful for product that is loose like pigments or colours that aren’t as intense as you like. This is the upside – that you can get vibrant colours to look vibrant, and to get lots of colour on your lid.
The downside is that it can sometimes be easy to overdo if you aren’t careful. This is especially true if you’re working with dark colours. It always surprises me how intense dark colours look when I use this brush and this is one brush that works well with harder eyeshadow textures like those in the Narsissist eyeshadow palette. This is the reason why I didn’t hate the palette nor have a lot of problems getting colour to show. I just used a brush I knew would do the job, and it saved the day!
This brush really does make life a lot easier. I use it mostly for lid colour and shading, using one side for colour and the other side for a dark colour to shade. If I want a less intense look, I swipe on colour instead of dabbing. In between washes, I just run it on a piece of tissue paper to clean it, since I use it almost daily, but it works fine.
The short bristles mean however that it doesn’t blend out colour very well so you may need a blending brush to blend out the edges of colour. I usually use just 2 brushes everyday – this one to lay down colour and shade which I then blend together, and then I use the Sigma E25 or similar to apply highlight colour or a nude blending shade.
I really like this brush and it’s one I’m happy to walk back into the MAC store to repurchase should it ever happen. But it’s been years and it’s still going strong so I (thankfully) do not have to make that trip any time soon!
In a nutshell
The MAC 239 Eye Shader brush is a natural bristle brush with white goat hair, that has short dense, firm bristles. It works very well to pack on colour on lid and to blend out using the edge of the brush. The bristles are soft against the skin and it works very well if you want intense colour or have to work with hard textured eyeshadows that you find hard to pick colour up and to apply on skin. I love this brush and I don’t like many (or any) things from MAC
Brush Hair: Natural (white goat possibly)
Pros: Soft against skin, Picks up colour very well, Packs on colour on lid with little trouble, Very good for hard textured eyeshadows
Cons: None that I can see
Who will like this: Anyone who wants to apply intense vibrant colour on lids, Anyone who likes using loose pigments or loose powder eyeshadows and want an intense effect, Anyone who wants an all in one brush
MAC 239 Eye Shader Brush vs Hakuhodo J004G Eye Shadow Brush
Front View – Left: Hakuhodo J004G Right: MAC 239 Eye Shader brush
When I picked up some Hakuhodo brushes recently, I picked up one that I thought was similar to the MAC 239 on the basis that if it worked as well as the MAC 239 (It’s a wee bit cheaper) then I would have a winner or at least 2 brushes I could rotate.
However, I found that they weren’t quite as similar as I first expected. The Hakuhodo has longer bristles so there is a little more give and flexibility and it blends better. It also means that it doesn’t deposit colour as well as the MAC one does.
Side View – Left: Hakuhodo J004G Right: MAC 239 Eye Shader brush
From the side, you can see that the Hakuhodo isn’t as thick nor as dense as the MAC brush. Don’t get me wrong, I like it. It’s just that I actually found myself preferring the MAC 239 all said and done. It’s rare that you’d see me say this, but I’ve said it. Get the MAC 239 and save yourself looking for dupes
Do you own the MAC 239 Eye Shader brush? Do you like it as much as I do or do you know of similar ones?
I love this one. It really changed the way I saw eyeshadow application and with it, I have little trouble getting most colours or product to show up on my lids. So, if I complain, you can bet you that the quality of the product must be really crap! LOL
MAC 239 Eye Shader Brush Price: RM103 | US$25 Availability: MAC Cosmetics stores or online