Review: MAC 137 Long Blending Brush

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:
MAC137brush8
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:
MAC137brush9
From brush tip to handle end, the brush measures 7.5″, with the bristle length just shy of 2″:
MAC137brush10
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.

MAC137brush16
Freshly washed & dried, unused brush.

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:
MAC137brush11
I tested it out using an untried blush from my stash, the Milani Baked Blush in Bella Rose, a bright matte fuchsia shade:
MAC137brush12
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:
MAC137brush13
Here are some other brushes from my collection which I acquired along the way while trying to find the perfect fluffy blush brush:
MAC137brush14
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!
MAC137brush17
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:
MAC137brush15
Others from my brush stash that are of similar shape to the MAC 137:
MAC137brush18
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!
MAC137brush19
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.

MAC137brush20
Post washing, after Milani Bella Rose trial – not much staining from the blush.

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.
HakuhodoG5537BkSL
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. 😉

Pros:
• Well constructed (did not shed one hair!)
• Unique and useful shape
• Natural bristles
• Made in Japan

Cons:
• Expensive
• 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?

39 thoughts on “Review: MAC 137 Long Blending Brush

  1. I just use the MAC 129, having gone through a few other shapes and sizes that I haven’t liked as much (angled). I’ve had it forever; maybe it’s just the comfort level that’s keeping me from branching out more 🙂 This shape is really interesting, though. I’m tempted!

    Shame about the NARS. It definitely looks cool.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve always liked the look of the MAC 129 – it has a bit of a pinch to the base making it more flat than completely round. But, what’s stopped me is that it feels a bit scratchy. I don’t own a lot of MAC face brushes for that reason – I find the brushes with the black bristles from them are a bit scratchy. Shockingly, the Sonia Kashuk equivalent ones I got for $20 are MUCH softer and are fantastic quality. I’ll do a review on those eventually!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, 129 is a bit scratchy. It ALSO sheds. But it’s been shedding for 10+ years and it’s still OK, so….

        Yeah, shame about SK/Target no longer being in Canada. I’ve always heard great things about her products. I think I swapped for some of her m/u back in the day, and it was always nice.

        God, now I feel I need to get a new blush brush. Thanks. 😥

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This brush looks so lovely!! I also love the color of the Milani Baked Blush..I will have to pick that one up lol. Too bad it’s so expensive though! Or I would gladly buy it too. Great review though! 🙂 xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Yes, you have to get the matte ones from Milani, I have the 2 they released – Bella Rose and Delizioso Pink – both very pigmented and pretty! I want them to release more matte shades esp a peachy shade. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. YES! Don’t bother with the Nars. I had it on my wish list for AGES! I was SO excited to finally buy it and upon the first application, I knew that it was a dud. Very scratchy, and it sheds a lot. Very pretty looking brush but not a good quality one. Definitely check out the MAC 137 if you get the chance!

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    1. I have the RT one too and I almost put it in with the others for comparison but it is so MASSIVE, it makes the MAC 137 look like an eye shadow brush! lol. The RT is a nice brush for the price point – I like it for when I want a nice flush look since it deposits product on such a large surface area!

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  3. Thanks for the review!
    I’ve had this on my wish list since it came out and when I found out it was limited edition I immediately ordered it. I hate it when things are limited edition… I was on a no-buy, just like you. I thought that if I don’t buy it I will regret it. So I had to buy it. I guess that’s what they want us to think… While I was at it, I added the 221 to my bag, just in case that was limited edition too. Typical me. I just ordered it, so I haven’t received it yet. I’m super-excited!!
    (btw, please excuse my English, I’m from Sweden)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you were able to order it! It’s still not confirmed if the 137 is a limited edition or not but I just couldn’t take a chance. I have read online that the 221 is not limited edition, it’s just a new brush they’re introduced and added to their regular line. I hope you will like both when they arrive! I myself am on a no-buy as well, but when these limited edition things come along, it’s really difficult to resist! 😉
      Your English is very good! 🙂

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  4. This brush looks so amazing 🙂 Just wondering, as I have some Zoeva brushes that are also white. When using vibrant blushes, do the eventually slightly stain the brush even after washed? I’m finding that even after i wash my Zoeva ones they are not perfectly white anymore 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I find my white ones not pure snow white anymore but they’re not too bad. What do you use to wash your brushes? I normally use baby shampoo but for some stubborn stains I’ve been using the Daiso makeup brush and sponge cleaner which is like MAGIC! Here’s a review on it:
      http://www.bunbunmakeuptips.com/how-to-get-squeaky-clean-makeup-brushes-with-the-daiso-detergent-for-puff-and-sponge
      Another tip is to use diluted dish detergent, but only once in a while or else it will dry out your natural bristle hairs.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Very well review, i have this brush. Could you please tell me difference between this and 129, I’m planning to buy 129, it would be great if you guide me. If it’s almost similar to 129 then no point to buy that. I am a beginner but willing to become a pro.😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi there – I’m glad you found this review helpful!
      The MAC 129 is much more dense and has a pinched base rather than a rounded base of the 137. I don’t think they’re too similar – the 129 is for blushes that aren’t as pigmented as it has a more hairs. The 137 is best for very high pigmented blushes or highlighting. Personally, I find the 129 hairs to be rougher – I typically find white goat hairs to be softer.

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      1. Thanks so much for giving information, is 109 a synthetic brush, and what about 129, I heard that’s natural fibre, do you have any idea, of which animal fibre these are made of. Actually I am a strict vegetarian, though not vegan so I’m a little bit concerned about.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. They’re both natural hairs. They are both goat hairs but the 137 is softer (I find all of MAC’s brushes with white hairs to be softer) and the 129 is courser (the hairs are thicker). I also own the 109 brush and it is actually natural bristles, not synthetic. It has the same hairs as 129. 🙂 MAC often states if the bristles are synthetic or natural on their site in the product descriptions.

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          1. Do you mean they use both White and Black goat hairs, Actually i’m in India and there is only one website where we can shop MAC and when any Synthetic brush is sold they mention it- like for 196 brush:
            DESCRIPTION
            “The brush is made of soft synthetic fibres giving it a luxurious, silky yet supple feel. Its shortened, dense bristles allow for the highly controlled, quick and even application of a range of formulas including liquid, cream, gel and powder. The result is a smooth, buffed-out finish.”

            but incase of natural hair brush like 217 it is mentioned as
            “For the shading or blending of powdery or creamy products. This brush has luxuriously soft, densely packed fibres that are arranged in an oval shape. MAC professional brushes are hand-sculpted and assembled using the finest quality materials. They feature wood handles and nickel-plated brass ferrules.”

            As you can see it was only mentioned as “finest quality materials”, So it is difficult to get the idea in case of natural fibre brushes. Luckily they mentioned about 137 only that it’s made of natural hairs.

            It’s you only who informed me that 137 has goat hairs. And it was only then i went to the website to see the information on other brushes
            ha ha.. Sorry for my long post

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