What Do You Use to Apply MAC Mineralize Skinfinish?

Published in: Just For Fun, MAC Makeup


I was digging through some unpacked boxes this morning when I came across a buried treasure — my beloved stash of MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Powders. ๐Ÿ™‚


They’d been MIA since the move last month, lost at the bottom of a dark cardboard prison.

But they’re finally free! Free to shine!

With their frosty metallic finish, these colorful pressed powders work great as highlighters for face and body.

While I was lining ’em all up on my dresser like little makeup soldiers (yes, I’m a weirdo), I remembered an e-mail from MBB reader Bernice.

Hi Karen,

I’ve been a silent reader of MBB for a few months now and recently hopped onto the MAC Mineralize Skinfinish bandwagon. Ohmygosh, they are soooo pretty! ๐Ÿ˜€

There’s just one thing — I have no idea what brush I should use to apply them.

I tried searching the ‘net, but it seems that views are generally rather divided, and I can’t quite decide which brush I should use.

Could I get some advice, please? Thank you!


Hi, Bernice. WOO HOO! Welcome to The Cult of MAC MSF-Loving Babes! ๐Ÿ™‚

I just love the soft candle-lit glow they give to my skin — when I get the application right, that is. With the wrong brush, they’re easy to over-apply.

So, how to get the right shimmery glow without looking greasier than a bucket of KFC?

I’ve tried using them with a bunch of different brushes (blush, powder, even a kabuki), and these are the ones I like best: the MAC 187 ($42) and 188 ($35) Duo Fibre Brushes.

Both deposit whisper sheer layers of powder, providing for a lot of control to build up color and shimmer slowly.

  • 187 Duo Fibre Brush: Often referred to as “the skunk brush,” this synthetic brush head feels wonderfully soft to the touch.
  • 188 Small Duo Fibre Brush: A smaller version of the 187, the 188 has a smaller brush head with a flatter top.

Neither one is cheap, but they are versatile. I also use my 187 to apply liquid foundations, cream blushes and even loose powders, so I think you get a lot of brush for your money.

Also, if you happen to have a fan brush at home, give it a try because they tend to lay down super sheer layers of color — perfect for MAC Mineralize Skinfinish.

Sometimes I use Shu Uemura’s 5.7EX ($35), another fabulous multitasker (it excels at applying bright/intensely pigmented blushes).

I hope these suggestions help. ๐Ÿ™‚

Keep me posted on your progress!

MACaholics, it’s time to pick your brain. What do you use to apply Mineralize Skinfinish Powders?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 42 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Madeleine says:

    Because I use my mineralize skin finishes more as blushes, I tend to use MAC168 brush, swirl, tap, and lightly put it on, if i need I can just add more till desire.
    I’ve tried with the 187 brush with fix+, it give you more of a BAM! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Hope that helps.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Madeleine,

      Good call on spritzing the 187 with Fix+ first! I haven’t done that in few months. Hmm, maybe I’ll try that tomorrow…

      • Batool says:

        Hey Karen!

        I had read a lot of places that you can use MSF wet without causing wet spots since the powder is baked. However, whenever I tried this, the water left wet spots.

        Do you know if that’ll hinder the powder/application in any way or be a magnet for germs? Any idea on how I can get rid of them?

        Thank you so much!

  2. Marce says:

    I’d have to agree with you, Karen! I usually apply my MSF with the small skunk brush, my beloved #188. It’s also great for blending foundation, applying brush and whispers of bronzer, for when you want to get a sun-kissed look. I also use my fingers, if I want to apply a wash of shimmer on my eyelids – on those lazy days, ya know? LOL
    Hope this helps! ๐Ÿ˜€
    .-= Marce’s last blog post… Tagged! – Part Cinq, Six, Sept, Huit =-.

  3. amy says:

    It depends on what look I am going for. When I want a sheerer, dewier look I would use the skunk brush except mine is a MAC 187 knockoff. The skunk brush I use is the Quo Bronze brush. If I want to pick up more colour I would use my MAC 129. I actually prefer the 129 over the skunk brush as it picks up more colour and less glitter for me. I would use a kabuki if I need extra blending.
    .-= amy’s last blog post… Can you be รขโ‚ฌล“That Gal?รขโ‚ฌย with Benefit That Gal Brightening Face Primer Product Pictures, Swatch and Review =-.

  4. Jasmine says:

    I use my MAC 165 brush (LE), I have a heavy hand and it forces me to apply lightly ๐Ÿ™‚

    I looooove MAC MSF’s so much, I have three and they will probably last forever.

  5. Tiffany says:

    I LOOOVE me some MSF’s! I use MAC 187 or 165. I also have a knock-off of the 187 from kohl’s (flirt brand) that is smaller and works well! and it’s cheaper!

  6. Christy says:

    I use a MAC 225, 187, 188 or 129. (Sorry, long list!) It really depends on what I’m doing. If for highlighting small areas (eg. tip of nose or cupid’s bow) I use the 225. For larger area’s to highlight, 187 or 188. For blush, a 129 or 188. For bronzer, 187 or 188.
    .-= Christy’s last blog post… More MAC Magic, Mirth, and Mischief! =-.

  7. Glosslizard says:

    I use a fan brush most of the time, but for a more concentrated highlighter effect I like any super-soft, small blush brush (I use one from an old Smashbox collection). The only MSF I have so far is one from the Blonde Brunette Redhead collection and I luuuuurve it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Tiffany says:

    Hey Karen! I think petticoat is my fave. You are so sweet to ask about my test! It was ok – I guess it could’ve been worse! Speaking of school, once I sold my pleasureflush msf on eBay for over 100 bucks when I needed money for books, lol. My hubby (then bf) was in absolute shock that it sold fir that much ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Karen says:

      Hi Tiffany,

      LOL! Dudes, gawd bless ’em, can be SO CLUELESS!!! I bought some drugstore moisturizer once and El Hub was shocked — SHOCKED! — that it cost $10.

      Good to hear your test went okay. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Connie says:

    My brush of choice is either the MAC187 or MAC188 but I have one brush in particular which I reserve for MSFs. It’s a duo fiber brush from Etude House that’s between the size of 188 and 187
    .-= Connie’s last blog post… Review: Shu Uemura UV Under Base Fluid SPF20++ =-.

  10. Tiffany says:

    What?! Did he think $10 was a lot?!

    Men are so cute when it comes to products. I don’t think mine would ever buy cologne if I didn’t get it for him b/c he thinks it’s so expensive ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Karen says:

      Hi Tiffany,

      Yes he did! He has a completely skewed notion of how much it costs to be a semi-high maintenance girl. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Be thankful you can get your boy to wear cologne! El Hub won’t touch any boy grooming products… He says crazy stuff like “My body repels soap!” and “I hate lotion — it burns!”

  11. Julie says:

    I really am eyeing the holiday mac with their mineralize kit “Fun in the sun” and I’m thinking of ordering it this week and it will be my first MAC mineralized purchase. The swatches I’ve seen are so pretty!
    .-= Julie’s last blog post… My little sisterรขโ‚ฌโ„ขs Halloween =-.

  12. Vonvon says:

    Hi Karen,

    Thanks for doing this post. I have always wonder which is the more suitable brush to use to apply MSF.

    This post really helps a lot.
    .-= Vonvon’s last blog post… EOTD: MAC Magic Mirth & Mischief – Devil-May-Dare Eye Palette =-.

  13. Tiffany says:

    That is hilarious! My man is appalled by sephora prices, but he thinks drugstore stuff is a good deal.

    The good thing is that you don’t have to worry about him using all your stuff! My aveda hand creme is constantly missing!

  14. Elle says:

    I love the 165 for the MSFs, and the 188. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m embarassed to admit how many MSFs I have. Definitely bought a few of those with my big bag in tow.

  15. Patty says:

    I actually use the Sonia Kashuk synthetic flat top brush tapped off really well. I have a small face, so it fits perfectly and blends great.

  16. Ani says:

    My Coastal Scents fan brush. I tend to overdo my blush and bronzer, so fan brush is a great way to help.

  17. Megan **** says:

    I don use them very often but when I do, I use my 187.

    Today is my birthday (Beginning my glorious 20s now..!) So I got a few things from MACs holiday collection as well as a giftcard. I’ve always just used the Studiofix powders over concealer but I’m becoming quite curious about the foundations. I’m planning to use this giftcard to try a new coverup – Which would you suggest? I’ve never been one to use liquid foundations as my skin is usually pretty clear, however I want a more flawless, airbrush look to my face. I’d like a matte finish as well; I’ve read some good reviews on your blog about a MAC face product that was said to give a matte, dewey finish. Do you know what I’m talkin about off the top of your head? I don’t exactly want the liquid foundation, but if you suggest it as my best bet, maybe I’ll try it out. Thanks in advance, Karen! ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Rita says:

    I use MAC 187 (I don’t have MAC 188), and sometimes another brush, like the kabuki one, to blend. MAC 131 (LE) is good for highlight.

  19. Jenna says:

    I have the 187 but I haven’t tried it with my MSF, I’m curious to see how it’ll work. I actually use my ELF Studio Blush Brush. The head of the brush is too small for blush in my opinion, but is perfect for my MSF (I was able to score the discontinued but beloved Perfect Topping at a Cosmetics Company Outlet).

  20. Sylvie says:

    I use the MAC 181 (which is the smaller version of 182 kabuki) or Shu Uemura 18R (a fluffy powder brush) to put on blush or to sweep on for all-over glow, MAC 131 or MAC 109 (I think I’m kind of duplicating their purposes, I use them to highlight/contour) and MAC 217 to highlight smaller areas.

  21. Sheila says:

    I’ve always found that they’re too shimmery, and having an oily T-zone, it makes me look even oilier. But I’m hoping with your technique it’ll turn out better. Thanks!!
    .-= Sheila’s last blog post… Spring 2010: Dior Lacy Beauty =-.

  22. Vanessa H says:

    The skunk brush all the way! Just make sure it’s clean or it wont carry the color as well!

  23. Kristen says:

    I know I am completely in the minority on this one, but a MAC pro used Mineralize Skinfinish on me a few weeks ago, and it felt so awful on my skin, I literally couldn’t wait to get home and wash it off. It felt so uncomfortable, it made me cranky! It felt like pancake batter on my face, and as the day wore on, it felt heavier and thicker.

    I am literally the only person I know who doesn’t adore this stuff!
    .-= Kristen’s last blog post… The Webรขโ‚ฌโ„ขs Best Beauty How-To Guides =-.

  24. Heidi says:

    I use either the MAC 131 or MAC 165 to apply MSF! ๐Ÿ™‚ a little goes a long way and these brushes pick up the best amount. The 165 picks up more than the 131. And sorry, they’re both LE brushes but your local MAC counter should still have the 165 since it just came out with the Dsquared collection (I got it at my local CCO). The 131 came out with the Color Craft collection back in May? June? I forget.

  25. Ling says:

    187 and tap off excess so i don’t look like a disco ball. this is especially true with the very shimmery ones.

  26. Diane says:

    Oh wow! This is so helpful! I’ve just got my first Mac MSF Natural… and i wanna know what i can use to apply it on!!
    .-= Diane’s last blog post… jimmy choo for h&m =-.

  27. Marisol says:

    I use the MAC 187 to apply my MSFs. But before I apply it, I spritz some Fix + on the brush, get some product and the apply. The Fix + makes the application look like the color is glazed. I like the effect it gives it.
    .-= Marisol’s last blog post… Catching up =-.

  28. Marisol says:

    Let me know how it works for you. I find that the color lasts longer too.
    .-= Marisol’s last blog post… Catching up =-.

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