Tool Thursday: MAC 224 Tapered Blending Brush Review

MAC 224 Tapered Blending Brush
MAC 224 Tapered Blending Brush
MAC 224 Tapered Blending Brush
MAC 224 Tapered Blending Brush
MAC 224 Tapered Blending Brush
MAC 224 Tapered Blending Brush
MAC 224 Tapered Blending Brush
MAC 224 Tapered Blending Brush
MAC 224 Tapered Blending Brush
MAC 224 Tapered Blending Brush

Measurement

  • Head: 2 cm H x 1.2 cm W x 1.2 cm D (0.8 in H x 0.5 in W x 0.5 in D)
  • Handle: 15.5 cm L (6.1 in L)

Review & Usage

MAC 224 Tapered Blending Brush is a medium-sized, dome-shaped natural fibre brush designed for, according to the brand, “controlled” eyeshadow application. It is one of the brushes favorited by many for blending purposes. The tapered tip is supposedly the perfect size to fit in the crease area so one can use it as a crease brush also. As you can see in the photos above, the bristles are loosely-packed and each hair is slightly wavy so it makes for a really good fluffy brush. It's not too dense or too firm so it picks up and lays down the right amount of pigment on the eye.

Now I believe this is a great brush for those who have medium or big-sized eyes. However, speaking from a person who has small eyes, here are a few problems I encounter with this brush:

  • It's simply too big to use as a blending brush. Whenever I use it to blend my eyeshadow, it always overblends. All the colors get mushed together and basically become one muddy application as a result.
  • It's too wide to use as a crease brush. First of all, I do not have a prominent crease line so this brush does not do me any good in placing the color in the crease. The head is too wide to use in a controlled manner.

So what do I use this brush for?

  • Blending out under eye concealer. Oh it is great for blending out concealer! The fluffy bristles buff out the pigment to a soft, natural-looking and even finish with such minimal effort. No harsh lines, no heavy or streaky appearance!
  • Contouring the nose. The shape of the brush fits perfectly on the side of my nose! It picks up just the right amount of the contouring powder so I rarely overdose on the color. The hairs fan out so perfectly that it pretty much blends itself to a diffused look. Love it!
  • Blending out concealer over blemishes and scarring. I have some serious scarring on my cheeks so this brush is great for blending out concealer in wider area to a non-cakey finish.
  • Laying down a wash of color. On days that I only want just a soft wash of one color on the lid, this is the brush I grab. It places the color all over the lid lightly and blends out to a soft smokey finish in no time! Good for morning rush!
  • Highlighting the very top of cheek bones. Highlighters that are super pigmented/sparkly are best applied with a smaller brush for more precision! You don't want to end up with sparkly bits all over the face. :D

The brush feels soft for the most part but sometimes it can be a bit scratchy in certain angles. I noticed that if I use this brush to blend lightly and slowly with zero pressure on the skin, it will not feel scratchy at all. However, if I blend too fast and accidentally put a little too much pressure on the skin, then it becomes prickly. I have washed it numerous times with olive oil which normally helps soften bristles but it has not softened this brush at all. Those who have sensitive eye area may want to test this brush in store prior to purchase. I have also experienced some shedding here and there both during application and after wash. At least it holds up its shape well throughout the time I have had it which is about 4 years now.

Purchase

US$32 at NordstromMacy'sAmazon

At MAC counters

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14 Comments

  • The last pic just took my breath away and I literally kept staring at for couple of minutes. :-P
    I agree with you on this brush being scratchy at certain angles and on applying more pressure. However, I like this brush for blending purposes in crease and also for contouring my nose. :-)

    • Hehe thanks, Eesha! Pretty cool shot yeah? :D Thank goodness I’m not alone in thinking that this brush is a little scratchy!!

  • Hey Jaa, thanks for the review! I also had a suspicion that it wouldn’t work that well as a blending brush for me, so I opted for 217. Glad to hear you can use it for so many other things though!

  • I let go of my 224. I found it way too scratchy for my taste, and it’s just a little too big for my eyes. I prefer something smaller for more precision. 217’s shape is better and makes blending less messy. I guess 224 will be great for someone with bigger eyes!

  • I agree with your use. I don’t have small eyes but I have very deep set eyes and it’s only good for lid blending on me. I echo the sentiment that it’s not as soft as a 217.

  • It’s one of my favorite brushes in my collection, but I could see it as being too big for smaller eyes. I still love using this brush as a general blending brush, but not when I’m trying to be too precise with my eyeshadows.

    xx Alyson

  • I came across your blog seeking reviews on the MAC 138 and I am so glad I bumped into this. For the longest, I have been trying to figure out where I was going wrong with the 224, as it pertained to eyeshadow. You hit the nail on the head. It is simply to large for my small lid. I have a 217 as well, but had convinced myself that it had more to do with my tecnhique vs the brush…since for many, it is the holy grail of blending brushes.

    • 224 has such dividing reviews! It took me a while to figure out why it isn’t a good blending brush for me when everyone else says it is! It’s also a little scratchy and I thought mine was a bad batch! 217 on the other hand, is one of the best MAC brushes I own. Perfect size, perfect shape, and the bristles are so soft and pristine. :D

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