Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Yummy411: Blending brushes- the amazing 222!

Here is the run down on the MAC brushes I'll be discussing. Mainly speaking of the star #222!:

#217- "For shading or blending of colour or creamy products. This brush has fine, densely packed fibers that are arranged in an oval shape. M·A·C professional brushes are hand-sculpted and assembled using the finest quality materials. They feature birch, linden and ramin wood handles, nickel-plated brass ferrules." ($22.50)

#222- "Applying, contouring or highlighting powder-based products such as eye shadow, powder, or Pigment. Soft round "brush" tapers into a tip. Of natural fibres." ($28)

#223 le- "Synthetic, tube-shaped with tapered tip, this brush is specially designed for the application/blending of face or eye product. " ($28)

#224- "For controlled eye shadow application. This brush has soft fibers which taper to form a medium size dome shape. M·A·C professional brushes are hand-sculpted and assembled using the finest quality materials. They feature birch, linden and ramin wood handles, nickel-plated brass ferrules." ($28)

Slvrlips and I have called and scoured town looking for the MAC #222 brush. I wanted the brush because I am absolutely in love with the 217, but the 222 looked like the 217, but better! It appears to be contoured to aid in better control when blending. It was so hard to find. Many of the MA's in the MAC stores told us it was just like the #223 LE brush, just different colors. One MA said they really are the same, especially since they are just one number apart.


I own the 217, 222 and 224. The hairs on the 222 are much softer, with a feather touch like it's cousin the 217. The 223, with the dark hairs, isn't as soft as the white hairs and shapes into a small dome when I tested it in the store. I would imagine that it blends like the 224, but is not as fluffy as the 224. Why do I like the 217 so much? The head on a 217 is dense so that it picks up color, but soft enough that it applies color with a light touch and blends beautifully. Here's why the 222 is a dream: The 222 is all of what the 217 is, but is contoured to give you more control with blending and placement- PERFECTION I TELL YOU! In comparison, the 224 picks up color, but doesn't spread or blends as softly as a 217. The 224 is a great blending brush, but still gives you an option for definition.

Slvrlips owns all four of the brushes, including the 223. Here's her take on the 222 (and our convo):

Slvrlips: "I FREAKING LOVE THE 222 brush. OMG it is the best brush. [Yes, this is how we talk about makeup, etc. daily lol] I can't explain it. It went right where I needed the color to be. The 223/224 are great for blending, but not always giving you a defined look. I think my makeup looked different. This was the first time I was pleased with my e/s application. [Refer to her All Done Up FOTD post.] I even did the look over this morning just to make sure I wasn't just having a good day with makeup and that darn 222 came through again. The 222 changed my life."

Me: "Ok, how would you compare the 223 to the 224?"

S: "Ok, I consider the 223 a smaller more stiff version of the 224. I really don't have a great comparison cause I'm kinda of biased to my 224."

M: "Lol what was your initial reaction when using the 223?"

S: "Oo nice and I think I liked the color of the hair more than anything." [Me too. I think I want it just for the collection.]

M: "Did you feel like it was just another brush or a tool that would aid you in application?"

S: "I thought that it was going to be an essential brush until I got the 222."

M: "Do you think you'll kick the 223 to the curb or return it now that you have a 222?"

S: "I will shelf it and use my 222 to death."

M: "Do you feel you will still get a lot of use out of the 224? How would you use the 224 differently than the 222?"

S:"Ok, I definitely will still use the 224 to apply color to my crease area, while the 222 will be used to apply the color and blend out my outer crease area and outer v."

M: "I like to place the color with a 219 [Thanks Mrs. Lynne!] blending it with the 219 a bit for definition, but using the 222 to soften it up in a controlled way. How do you feel about that?"

S: "I agree. I haven't really used the 219 brush alot, but when I tried it out, I used the 219 to place the color and at the time the 224 to blend the color out. The 222 would work better because it is controlled, but still moves just enough."

When I started on my brush collection from MAC, I liked the 217 and the MA said it was a good choice for starters. I used it primarily for blending in concealer, but learned the power it had with shadows.. duh! LOL The next one was a 224. I think those two are decent starter brushes for blending, but I think the 217 and 222 are fab when you are getting into using more than 2 colors. They are great all around, but will add a bit more of precision to your blending when using multiple colors. I didn't put up a picture of the 219, but that is a must have brush if you are learning about the outer v and want to add that great shadow color on your bottom lid. Other brushes can do the trick to place your outer v color, but the white hairs on the ultra defined pencil tip of the 219 adds color, but blends it with definition- KEY! Before using the 219, I would take whatever other brush, make an outer v and then try to blend. I wouldn't get the defined, but nicely blended 'v' shape that I wanted.

If you are doing fine without these brushes, great! If you are interested in purchasing them try these tips first: Wait for the annual holiday brush sets that MAC offers and see if they are included or go to your nearest CCO and find them!


Divine Blackness said...

Ohhh, I love brush talk, Yums! The 222 was my first MAC brush. I got it when I was first getting into MAC make-up and copped it at a CCO for like $11. I never really used it until recently. It's absolutely fab on the crease.

And I only have the 224 and 217 in the SE. I'm seriously thinking about getting the real 217 because I loooove it. But I get very little control with the 224, when applying eyeshadow. Any tricks to keep it from washing out my color? I don't think I'm usually it correctly. Hmmm....

yummy411 said...

@ divine blackness: hmmm are you dipping the 224 in the color and then using it? are you using a base through your crease? sounds funny, but i used to only blend with brush, no color and only put a base on the lid area....

slvrlips said...

I loved talking brushes today!
what's our next topic?
Chat tomorrow

Anonymous said...

I have 3 217s (I buy 3 of every brush) and I have to say: for applying MAC pigments and applying powder under the eyes (to set concealer), they're brilliant. I've heard they're also great for subtle contouring, but I haven't tried them for that use yet.

yummy411 said...

wow!!! you buy 3 of every brush! i'm envious! i have never used my 217 for pigments. i'll give that a try! i too use the 217 for blending concealer and to nicely top it with setting powder. thanks for the tip to use the brush for contouring! i've only used other brushes, but i'll try the 217 and see what i come up with =)

nilla cookie said...

Love the brush reviews, Kia! This is one area that I think I need help on and this is so helpful!! Can't wait for more brush talk ;)

Miss you girl, get those DSL people to man up and fix your shizz already!!!

MACa6325xi said...

I don't have the 217, but if you ladies think it's the "bomb," well I guess I'm going to have to locate one ASAP. I have to admit that the white hairs on some of the brushes turns me off because I would have to wash them immediately. I don't like dirty brushes, especially if I can see the dirt. LOL Keep the brush discussion going. I'm loving it. Maybe the next topic can be the best blush and powder blushes and why. Peace and Blessings

yummy411 said...

@ nilla cookie: i'm glad the brush post could be helpful! i took a step back realized how much we discuss and thought to share =) ahoy mate! i'm back in biz!

@ maca6325xi: thanks for chiming in! i used to be afraid of the white hairs and didn't want to dip them in color, but they are worth the wash! besides, cheat like Slvrlips and use wipes =)

thank you so much for the topic for the next discussion! i love when people make recommendations, but they fail to tell us why. their answer is always.. "it's great or fabulous"... okay why???? LOL

Mrs. Lynne said...

Hi yums! I was planning on doing a brush section on my blog too! Yay for us!

Welcome to the world of the wonderful 222. I am always using it to blend out my colors but I do love the precision in placing shadows. Not nearly 219 precision, but nicely dense and controllable. I like the 217, and prefer that to a 224 (I can get no control with this brush so it is strictly my wash or clean-up brush) but only really use it to blend, hardly for color placement.

Hope you're having a great week love!

MakeupByRenRen said...

that was an awesome post! I love the 222 b/c it fits into my smaller eyes better...i can really get in that crease...and the 217 is my go to for smoking out the colors on my outer v...and 219, uhhh to die for, it's my savior for adding defintion...i kinda got the 224 b/c everyone else did but it's too big for me to apply color with, like mrs. lynne i just use it usually with little or no shadow just to blend...i love brush talk too!

yummy411 said...

@ mrs. lynne: thank you! thanks for your input! i agree with you. when i went shopping for my 224 i was disappointed at how large it was. i had heard so much about it and how great it was so i got it anyway. i guess we live and learn.

here's to hump day and on to the weekend!

@ makeupbyrenren: thanks for chiming in! i agree with you! i guess we all got suckered into buying the 224 huh?