Finally, the actual review of this brush! For all the talk about lemming it, then buying it, now I can review it and stop pining for this brush! I’ll cut to the chase: this brush is AWESOME! The true test for me was when I first touched it to my face to apply blush, and immediately thought, “I must get a back up of this!” 😀
Firstly, this brush was released as part of the “MAC is Beauty” collection, and MAC describes it as:
A long-haired blending brush for the face made of natural fibres. This ultra-soft and silky tapered brush allows for a light dusting of any powder, making it perfect for an all-over wash of colour. M∙A∙C professional brushes are hand-sculpted and assembled using the finest quality materials. They feature wood handles and nickel-plated brass ferrules.
Here it is in all its unwashed, unused glory:
The brush cost me $50.50 ($42 USD) and is made in Japan.
Tip: the country of origin information is no longer etched into the handles of MAC brushes, this information can now only be found on the clear wrapper / sleeve that brushes come in:
From brush tip to handle end, the brush measures 7.5″, with the bristle length just shy of 2″:
I’ve been on a quest for a loosely packed fluffy blush brush for ages. I have several high pigment, brightly coloured brushes, and needed something that would make application effortless. I had been told numerous times that a duo-fibre brush was the way to go, however, I do not find synthetic bristles to be good for blending out powder products.
The longer length of the bristles on the MAC 137, combined with the loosely packed hairs and pointed tip made it ideal for applying bright colours lightly, but in a precise manner. The brush looks very thin at first but it fluffs up after washing – here’s a top view of the brush:
I tested it out using an untried blush from my stash, the Milani Baked Blush in Bella Rose, a bright matte fuchsia shade:
The MAC 137 applied this highly pigmented blush to my cheeks like a champ! There were no harsh lines or clown cheeks using this brush – just a soft diffused application of colour, perfectly placed. See how loosely but evenly packed the bristles are on the brush:
Here are some other brushes from my collection which I acquired along the way while trying to find the perfect fluffy blush brush:
Prior to the MAC 137, the best fluffy blush brush I had was a random one-off find from a dusty salon supply shop (so dusty in fact, that it is now closed!). The brand is called “Magic Gold” and a googling investigation informs me that it is a beauty supply distributor, and they sell a similar set with a black handle. After realizing I had found The One, I went back to the store to inquire about getting more of them for back-ups but the owner could not get the exact same brush again!
The similarity between the MAC 137 and the Magic Gold (MG) is that they’re both very loosely packed, but the MAC 137 has the advantage of having a pointier tip versus the flatter top of the MG. The top view of the MG shows a rounded halo of bristles, perfect for applying an even layer of colour:
Others from my brush stash that are of similar shape to the MAC 137:
Nars Yachiyo Kabuki Brush – a great disappointment, if I’m honest with myself. I lemmed this brush hard for many years and finally took the plunge, only to discover that it is scratchy, sheds, and is quite flimsy. It does have an artisanal look about it though. I never use this thing!
Everyday Minerals Yachiyo Artisan Brush – the shape of this fits the bill but the bristles (synthetic) are too tightly packed to provide a light diffused application of blush. The bristles also do not have a lot of give. What results is a floppy brush that applies highly concentrated patches of colour. I hardly ever use this – the only thing I could see this being useful for would be to blend out sheer cream blushes.
I’ve also included a couple of the duo-fibre blush brushes for comparison in terms of size and shape, but they really don’t compare. They just don’t have enough of the longer hairs to create an even, diffused look – they apply high pigment blushes in splotches, and have difficulty blending out. The 2 shown are Ecotools Finishing Brush from the Touch-Up Set, and MAC 159 Duo Fiber Blush Brush – these are both good for medium pigmented powder blushes that are loosely packed.
Don’t get me wrong, the MAC 137 Long Blending Brush is fantastic, but it’s not going to be the brush for all blush finishes. I will mainly reserve it for my highly pigmented blushes or high sheen highlighters that require a light hand and precise application. It is quite unique in its shape, density and function.
I mentioned this in my lemming post, the only other similar brush that I’ve seen online is the Hakuhodo G5537BkSL Powder Brush pointed. I will probably not get a back-up of the MAC 137, but you know me – I just might have to check out the Hakuhodo eventually, you know, for research and comparison purposes. 😉
• Well constructed (did not shed one hair!)
• Unique and useful shape
• Natural bristles
• Made in Japan
• Limited edition (I think? It is still available at MAC online and in stores)
Stash worthiness: 9/10
Do you have this brush? What’s your favourite blush brush?