If you spend much time with MAC-a-holics, the subject of convo routinely turns to 217s and 224s, and you know, I get it. I do. Both are fantastic must-have makeup brushes. They’re workhorses. But there’s another bad gal, the MAC 221, and it’s… Oh! Once you get a taste of this blending beauty, nothing else compares. It’s my favorite MAC eye brush of all time!
What’s an unsung makeup hero? For me, it’s an oftentimes underrated makeup morsel, a permanent collection product that scoots under the radar screen of many makeup lovers but regularly rocks my world. The long-running Unsung Heroes series features some of my favorites.
It looks a little like a cross between the 224 Tapered Blending Brush and the 217 Tapered Blending Brush. The brush head has the same tapered, elongated shape of the 224, but it’s thinner, and the tip has the domed shape of the 217, only pointier. Essentially, you get the best of both worlds with it. It’s thinner and pointier than the average crease blending brush.
So what does this mean for you? Well, if you don’t have a lot of lid space from your lash line to your brow bone, like, if you have smaller eyes, or a crease (like mine) that isn’t very deep, as is the case with hooded eyes, you probably have to be very precise when you place your crease color, and the 221 allows you to place shadows exactly where you want them.
Because the brush head is also fairly fluffy, you won’t end up with areas on your lids where the shadow is dark and overly concentrated — which is a problem I have when I use precision brushes, like pencil brushes, to work in the crease or the outer V.
And did I mention that it blends and buffs edges with preternatural pretty power?
The 221 is also great for applying and smudging eyeshadow and liner along the lower lash line. Most brushes scratch at my lower lash line, but the 221 is softer than a Ragdoll kitty’s paw. The thin tip also means that I probably won’t take my shadow or liner too far down.
How ’bout using it to highlight the inner corner? Yeah, it’s bomb for that. I like the 221 more than typical pencil brushes for highlighting the inner corners because, even though pencil brushes are super precise, they’re also super dense, so if I’m using them with a shiny shadow, you can see that inner corner highlight from all the way up at the International Space Station. The 221, however, lays down sheerer shimmer than a pencil brush does, and the resulting spotlight is softer.
The 221 is a natural fiber brush, so it’s particularly fab for working with powder products. But it also handles creams like the MAC Paint Pots well, too.
It’s a terrific tool, and I adore it.
I was doing squats yesterday in HIIT class when I glanced over in the mirror and saw some dude in the back wearing this shirt. I started cracking up! I almost dropped a weight on my toe.
Basically, this shirt is how I feel when I exercise, in general. 🙂
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,
The MAC Unsung Heroes series (a subset of my regular Unsung Makeup Heroes series) features some of my all-time favorite products from MAC’s permanent collection
If you’re looking for permanent collection ideas or inspiration, there are literally hundreds of unsung makeup heroes posts in the MBB archives. These 20 are just the tip of the iceberg.