With the holiday season in full gear and gaining full speed before December when all engines will hit light speed, I thought it'd be a good time to do a quick review of the MAC Holiday Eye Brush Set from the Heirlooms Collection - especially since I get a lot of questions about eye brushes. I'm only reviewing the eye brushes since they are the ones I use the most (I've only recently started using my 190 brush again).
Personally I don't really like getting the holiday brush sets mainly because of the length of the handles and because the handles are made of plastic. I find that the shortened length does not give you as much control of the brush as the regular length brushes do. Becuase of this lack of control, you lose control of where the color gets placed. Also, I feel that because the handles are made of plastic, this gives the brushes a lighter feel, with there being less weight in your hand to balance the brush with, which once again leads to control. BUT if it's the first time you're using brushes, these two disadvantages could lead to an advantage for you in the future. You could buy these brushes and get used to the way they handle, and you could become familiar with how they work and also get used to how to control the brushes with the length and weight. With this in mind, say later on down the road, you decide you want to upgrade to the full-size brushes. In my opinion, you'd already be better at using the full-size brushes. Why? Because it should (in my world anyways) be easier for you to control the full-size brushes compared to the travel-size brushes. But that's just my mentality.
If you want to try the Holiday brush sets to see how you like the brushes, and to get familiar with what each of the brushes do, the holiday brush sets would be an affordable and convenient way to go. If you already have the regular brushes, the Holiday Brush set is also a convenient and easy way to carry brushes with you when you want to touch up your makeup throughout the day. Rather than carrying your full-size brushes, and risk damaging/breaking them, you can carry these handy-dandy little travel size ones with you.
Now, here's my break-down of what the eye brushes are and how I would/do use them (I don't have all of them). Something to keep in mind: Even though it seems like a lot of brushes have the same uses (lining/applying/blending), each of them creates a different effect. The same description plus the product does not always equal the same look.
|209SE - Eyeliner Brush|
A lot of people who have liquid eyeliners, or the fluidline eyeliners, prefer to use this brush to apply the liner with rather than the brush that comes on the cap with the product. It's relatively the same idea as what's on the cap, but some people prefer the longer bristles on this brush (which also seem stiffer, yet soft) than what comes on the cap of the product.
|212SE - Flat Definer Brush|
One of the main things to use this brush for is lining your eyes. A lot of people like to use MAC 266 brush when lining their eyes with powders or creams (think fluidline), however there are a lot of other people that don't like the look gained with using the 266, or can't get as close to the lashline while using the 209, so instead, they use a flat brush like the 212.
|217SE - Blending Brush|
This brush is, well, it is what it's called - a blending brush! This is a great brush to use for softening harsh lines and blending between colors, and shading. Even though there are other brushes that would be better suited, this is also a great brush to use for defining your crease and for adding depth to it as well. I wouldn't use this brush for applying eyeshadows, however.
|252SE - Large Shader Brush|
This was the first brush I purchased from MAC and has proven its worth. The 252 is a great brush to use for packing on that eyeshadow and getting a lot of color payback! It also comes in pretty handy when applying cream products like the paints or fluidlines all over your lid. The only reason this brush has fallen from the #1 spot is because it's little sister, the 242 (which is the same brush, just smaller, which makes it more functional) took over as #1.
|275SE - Medium Angle Shading Brush|
The medium angle brush is another great brush for blending. Because of its angular shape, it's useful for getting into corners for blending! If you're wanting to go for a more sheer look, this is the brush you'll want to use to apply your eyeshadow with.
If you're tight on cash, I have a couple of recommendations for you.
- You may want to check out www.crownbrush.com - especially the badger series. Crown Industries Inc. is a brush wholesaler BUT they do conduct business for personal needs. The badger series brushes are MAC quality without the MAC price. Brushes range anywhere from $1.49 to $15.95 USD. They accept all major credit cards as well as checks. Just email them at email@example.com, request to be sent a catalog, and you can look over the entire array of brushes that they sell (or you can simply view their catalog online). They also have a discount policy based upon the total amount that you purchase. The only drawback is that because they are a wholesaler company, they have an order minimum of $25.00.
- You may also want to check out your local craft store for good quality paint brushes. That's right. I said paint brushes! EnKoreMakeup has made a video comparing paint brushes to MAC brushes and also gives recommendations for what sort of paint brushes to look for. If you click on his name above, it will take you to his youtube channel, but if you click here, it will take you directly to the video I'm talking about.
I hope this helps you all in your debates of holiday brush sets or not! And as always with the holiday season, be safe and happy shopping!! :)