Tuesday, 10 September 2013

MAC 217 Brush Alternatives

The MAC 217 Brush is by far the most mentioned makeup brush in the beauty blogging world, except perhaps the Real Techniques Buffing Brush. As amazing as it sounds and no matter how many rave reviews I read, I just can't bring myself to spend £18 on one little eyeshadow brush. It just seems a bit ridiculous. I know many will claim that it is completely worth the money and they may be right, but for the time being I just can't afford it. But never say never eh?

In the meantime I have done a bit of research and purchased a couple of alternatives. I wouldn't be comfortable calling them dupes as I have not tried the 217 and couldn't guarantee but from other peoples recommendations they seem to be real possibilities.

The first that came up in my research was the Coastal Scents 250 Brush  (based on the recommendation of MyAbiGirl on Youtube - see video) which I bought for around £5. What surprised me most about this brush was how tough the goat hair was, not particularly soft, but I believe the tougher hairs are meant to make the blending of eyeshadows easier.

The second brush I bought as a 217 alternative is the No.7 Eye Contour Brush (based on a recommendation by The Makeup Gal - see post). This one is £7.95 but I bought it with a No.7 Voucher for £3 off so got it for a very reasonable £4.95. In comparison to the Coastal 250 this brush has much softer hairs (synthetic) and thus is more gentle on the eyes.

I actually think that the softer hairs of the No.7 work better than the coarser hairs of the Coastal Scents brush and the No.7 brush seems to blend the colours more evenly. I have found on a few occasions that the Coastal Scents brush moves the eyeshadow more than it blends it and can result in an uneven application. However, because of the tougher hairs the Coastal Scents brush is better at packing on colour than the No.7 one which doesn't pick up as much product.

The good thing about having two brushes is that when one is dirty I can use the other so both brushes do get used a lot. Annoyingly because both brushes have white hairs they do stain and are very difficult to get perfectly clean again, so I apologise for the state of the brushes in the photos, but at least you can see that I have given them a good testing!

If you're looking for a blending brush and can't justify the cost of the MAC favourite, I would recommend one of these brushes as an alternative. Both are good brushes but are ideal for different jobs. If you want a brush that can take on lots of product to apply directly to the eyelid and blend then the Coastal Scents 250 brush is a good choice, but if you want a brush that you can use clean simply for blending out the edges I would recommend the No.7 Eye Contour Brush.

Have you tried either of these brushes? Do you believe the MAC 217 is worth the extra money? Let me know by commenting below...

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