MAC Masterclass Oval 6 Brush

I was so excited in January when I finally got my grubby hands on this brush!
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The MAC Masterclass Oval 6 brush had been out of stock for over a year, no exaggeration!  It retails for $51 CAD (ouch).

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Despite wanting it for ages, I was quite skeptical about this brush, honestly! I already owned the other 2 brushes from the Masterclass range: Oval 3 (the medium size one meant for eyes), and Linear 1 (the thin one meant for lining). While I like Oval 3 for very specific things (like blending out eye shadow edges), I didn’t much care for the Linear 1 brush at all (in fact, it’s on a list of “Products I Regret” post in my draft folder!)  No doubt part of the reason why I wanted the Oval 6 brush was to round out my collection.  But more importantly, I’d read many rave reviews about how it was the best brush from the Masterclass brushes. And of course, it being out of stock for so long just fueled my lust for it! 😉
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Yes, it’s an odd concept, these Masterclass brushes. They basically turn the bristles sideways from a traditional makeup brush, making the brush head perpendicular to the handle – like a toothbrush!  This allows for a couple of things: ability to get really close to the mirror when doing your makeup.  And, by nature of how the brush handle is held in this configuration, it forces less direct pressure to be placed onto the head of the brush.  I definitely found that when using the Oval 6 brush, I applied less pressure onto my face when blending.
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I would not call the hairs soft in the sense that they are squishy – they’re more so super silky and the individual hairs are very, very fine, especially at the tips.  I compared the hairs against other synthetic brushes I own and they’re probably the finest I have in my collection.
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The fine hairs coupled with the fact that they’re packed so densely, makes the brush surface feel like velvet!
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I do have to say that I find the handle of the brush to feel somewhat cheap – a shiny plastic handle with a rubberized portion displaying the MAC logo. I would have loved to see it done in a lacquered wood or lucite or something to elevate it to the next level. It does come in a fancy schmancy box though. 😛
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I use this brush for only one purpose: to blend foundation. I tested it with several consistencies of foundations from super runny (MAC Face & Body) to more solid form (Vincent Longo Water Canvas). I found it worked best with ones that are less runny since the bristles would absorb too much of the product. It worked fine with the VL Water Canvas but for that foundation, I preferred a sponge. This brush, however, works amazingly well for all other foundations and BB creams I’ve tried it with.
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How I use this is similar to how I use other foundation brushes: I smooth foundation onto my face (forehead, both cheeks, chin, nose) in large splotches with my fingers. Then I use the Oval 6 brush to sweep across my face in outward motion to blend the foundation.  The result is almost an airbrushed look!  Compared to using a buffing type brush, the Oval 6 brush provides a smoother finish with a slightly more natural coverage. I would say Beauty Blender type sponges still create the most seamless, natural looking foundation finish, but the Oval 6 provides just slightly more coverage. I use the brush dry – I found that using it wet caused streaks. What I really like about the Oval 6 brush is how quickly it blends in foundation – much faster than a sponge.
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The above photo shows the brush right after using foundation – the brush washes up easily and dries very quickly.  MAC advises to clean the brush with a soft damp cloth and brush cleaner but I prefer to wet the whole thing and wash with dish detergent.  I place the brush on my dish rack with the bristles facing downward to ensure the water runs off the tips. I wish mine after every use and it’s completely dry by the next morning.  I haven’t experienced any shedding with this brush.
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The head shape of the Oval 6 brush is um… oval. 🙄 It measures approximately 23mm x 35mm. The bristle hair length is about 15mm tall – there is a slight dome shape to the arrangement of the bristles which helps to create a softer blend. From end to end, the whole brush is 16cm long. I do wish that the head was slightly larger to cover a broader surface area. And if I could make one tweak on the brush head shape, I’d make it slightly pointed at the end so it can get into crevices better.
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MAC also recommends using this to apply skincare, to contour and to apply powders. I’ve tried it with my face cream but I felt that I was wasting product. I’ve yet to try it with powders – I don’t typically like synthetic bristles for powders so likely I won’t be using it for that purpose.  Overall, I am very impressed with how this performed.  I’m a little bit obsessed actually. I find myself just stroking my face with the brush for no particular reason… 😛
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I do have to say though, this brush is made in China so that means cheap labour costs, and I imagine the material costs aren’t that high either. The price of $51 is a bit ridiculous for this brush.  There are actually a number of similar brushes on the market including inexpensive unbranded ones online. Recently, I’ve seen the Artis Oval 7 brush reviewed on Mascara in the City and Felicia mentioned that Artis, in fact, manufactures the MAC brushes – how neat is that? But price-wise, Artis is more expensive than MAC’s.  Artis does offer the massive Oval 10 brush, which looks to be the size of my whole face!
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Pros:
• No shedding
• Very smooth and silky bristles
• Blends foundation in seamlessly
• Multi-purpose
• Washes clean easily

Cons:
• Expensive

Stash worthiness: 8/10*

* I would have rated this 9/10 but I just received the AliExpress version of this brush and well, wait for that review coming up. 😉

Have you tried brushes like this? Are you interested in trying them?

62 thoughts on “MAC Masterclass Oval 6 Brush

  1. I’ve seen so many youtubers using this brush and I’ve been itching myself to get it but I don’t think i’m quiet ready to spend that much, so I’m actually really glad you did this review. it’s for sure going on my wish list

    ~Mea
    http://clairneriah.com/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was out of stock for so long I almost convinced myself that I didn’t need it. Then in January when I was in the MAC store, I randomly asked the MUA if this was back in stock and I decided to go for it. I hope to get the AliExpress review up next week.

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  2. I know these brushes are much raved about in the market like any other. I love the dense packaging of the silky soft bristles on the brush but as you’ve said, it is hovering around the high end price tag which is one reason that is a little hesitant albeit.

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  3. I was waiting for you to review this. It is an interesting concept to turn the bristles this way and it does sound very soft and velvety. It does seem a little expensive (even considering the fancy box 😉
    Can’t wait to see how the AliExpress one compares.
    xo Anne – Doves & Roses

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yeah, that box really “makes” this brush! 😆 I hope I’m not building the AliExpress one up too much – it’s just to make the point that there are viable alternatives out there and no one really needs to pay $51 for this particular brush from MAC!

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  4. I’m very intrigue by this type of brushes ! I do think that 51$ is deep, but than again I want to buy the Marc Jacobs Face 1 (58$) & 2 (60$) foundation brushes !!!
    I guess I’ll be waiting for the AliExpress version 😛

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Just tell yourself that it’s hard to achieve a great look without a great 94$ brush ! 😉
        I should prioritize brushes over a gazillion eyeshadow palettes 😛

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  5. Your review makes me really want this $51 brush now…:P
    I can see why it would be good for blending out foundation, though! The hairs and the dome shape seem like they would be perfect for that job.
    The Linear 1 though…how the heck are you supposed to apply eye liner with that thing? The hairs seem way too soft to use for lining the eyes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That Linear 1 brush is absolutely USELESS. I tried it for liner – too floppy and thick. I then tried it for eye brows – way too long and cumbersome to get the shape I need. A waste of money! I can’t even think of a way to use it at ALL.
      Wait until I review the AliExpress one before you splurge on the MAC!

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  6. Oooh Im so interested in trying these types of brushes. I recently got the sephora pro brush #66 which has the traditional handle (not toothbrush style) but is similarily dense and I really like it so far. I also picked up one from amazon for $2- we will see if that one even works ^_^

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    1. I just looked up the Sephora #66 – oh yes, I remember feeling this up in the store! Very similar bristle head – just turned the other way around. I think holding the brush in this manner gives a softer blending – it’s hard to explain, it’s like holding a pencil sideways. I’m interested to hear about this $2 Amazon brush!

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    1. Haha, yes tooth brushing face! Even in traditional painting, artists do use brushes in this configuration – it paints in a large surface area and provides a very even coverage. I suppose that’s where they gleaned this idea!

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  7. Never tried brushes like these but I do want to! I can’t believe mac manufactures these wow! I was thisssssss close to purchasing an artis brush last month but I just couldn’t go through with paying so much for one brush lol! I can just imagine how silky soft they feel! Ugh I want one so bad! 😛 thanks for the tease lol! The box looks quite nice too .. bummer that the handle isn’t as great considering the price.. do you think in the long run because of the material the handle will go bad and brake or unglue???

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the handle will be ok – it’s plastic but not flimsy. And you don’t really use a lot of pressure to hold or apply makeup so it should ok. As for un-gluing – I read some comments that it’s best to not submerge the head into water for too long or else it will melt the glue. I don’t know about that. I haven’t experienced any issues. I guess only time will tell! I’ve only been using mine for about 2 months. Try to find a cheaper no name version on ebay first to see how you like the style. I’ll be reviewing the $2 AliExpress one next week so you can decide if you can live with the cheaper version!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good to hear!! Yeah I’m guilty of submerging some of my brushes too lazy to just went the bristles lol. Luckily only some of my elf and Sedona lace ones have suffered 😛 not the actual brushes that matter lol! Hmm I think I will order the cheaper alternative one!:) Hope I don’t get addicted cause my wallet won’t be too happy lol!

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  8. I can’t remember what site I was on the other day and a similar version to this was there and I remember wondering how they perform (in general). So I kinda feel like you read my mind here (haha). My skin hates it when I apply foundation with a brush, it always looks super dry for some reason, which is why I usually stick with a beauty blender. I kind want to try one of these out now though….🤔

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It could be that the brush is kicking up loose dead skin making your face look drier. I’ve heard that can happen especially if you’re using a circular motion. It’s recommended that you only brush in 1 direction and then lift the brush and start again (a bit tedious though). I say stick with what works for you! If you’re at the MAC counter, maybe ask a MUA for a demo of this brush!

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  9. I always wanted to try this brush or should I say “similar and cheaper version” of this brush.. I have it in my amazon cart for awhile now but I’m still enjoying my BH Cosmetics brushes so I guess this will be my next goal? HAHA.. love this review a lot!

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  10. I’m so glad you did a review on this brush! I haven’t been able to decide if these brushes are just a gimmick or if there is merit to the whole strange structure. I trust your opinion on these things though! 🙂
    One thing I think would be an advantage is that you might not have to be as concerned about water getting into the ferule during washing. Right? It seems like it would be more structurally sound with this configuration.
    I kind of wish that they had done this collection with silver handles and embellishment. Like old fashioned vanity pieces. I would have purchased them in a heart beat! 😀
    Excellent review as always!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I THINK it’s more structurally sound vs the metal ferrule but who knows – it all depends on the type of glue they used. OR, it could possibly be heat sealed right into the plastic since the bristles are synthetic, they can be melted right in. I ain’t no brush making expert (hrm, mental note, need to learn more about brush manufacturing) so I could be talking out of my ass. I guess time will tell how well this will hold up to repeat washings! So far, I’ve washed it no less than 20 times and it is still fine!

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    1. Yeah it’s expensive for what it is. I’m glad I tried this new way of applying foundation though – it definitely made it much faster to blend. I’ll post a cheaper alternative soon!

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