Product Review – Three MAC Eye Brushes to use with Fluidline Liner – 212, 209 and 316

Published in: MAC Makeup, Product Reviews

Good things comes in threes! MAC Makeup Week at Makeup and Beauty Blog continues with a review of three of my favorite brushes to use with Fluidline Liner!


Product: MAC 212 Flat Definer Brush
Use: To line eyes with powder, liquid or cream products
Price: $20.00 for a long handled, synthetic brush
Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: A-


Back in December, a lovely MAC Makeup Artist at the Bloomingdales in San Francisco first brought this brush to my attention. I asked her to recommend a brush to use with MAC Fluidlines and she suggested the 212 Flat Brush. It was the beginning of the holiday season, and MAC was rolling out the holiday palettes and brush kits for 2006.

I ended up buying the 212 with a bunch of other eye brushes in the 2006 Ruffle Holiday brush set. The brush I have is the travel version of the regular 212 – the handle is short and made of plastic, unlike other regular MAC brushes which have long handles and are usually made of wood.

Buying MAC Holiday Brush Kits versus buying MAC brushes separately
Initially I was really stoked to get several eye brushes in the kit. As a budget-minded brush junkie, I figured I was getting a really great deal, because in addition to the 212 I got several other travel versions of eye brushes – the 217, 209 and 252.

If I had to do it all over again, I would’ve just spent the extra money to get the long-handled 212 separately. In contrast to the other full-sized MAC brushes I own, the travel 212 seems to be a lesser quality brush. I don’t like how the light plastic handle feels – there’s no weight to it. When I first started using it I couldn’t control it at all. I’ve found I prefer longer handled brushes because they’re easier to control. The travel 212 brush head seems to be made out of cheaper material as well.

How I use the 212

I learned this trick from one of the MA’s at the MAC counter in nearby Corte Madera -it’s simple yet one of my favorites. I dip the 212 into the Fluidline pot, and then gently swipe the brush head against the inner part of the Fuildline lid (the white part) to take off the excess!

I then push the brush head into the top lashline to deposit the color. I do this on the lower lashes as well. I like to use this towards the outer part of the eye to deposit a thicker line of color.

I think the 212 brush I own is a good brush, but could be a great-out-of-this-world brush if I had the long handled version. I really like how it picks up a thick line of solid color and easily deposits it. I’ve read that this is an excellent tightlining brush, although I don’t really use it for that because I don’t put eyeliner on the inner rims of my eyes because they are so sensitive.

I’m not crazy about the travel version I have because of the short plastic handle and the quality of the brush head. I’m saving to buy a full-sized one. Also, when I wash my 212 sometimes the brush hairs in the brush head separate into big chunks. I have to take care to make sure I shape the brush hairs back into a compact shape before I lay it down to dry.


Product: MAC 209 Flat Definer Brush
Use: To line eyes with liquid or cream products
Price: $16.50 for a long handled, synthetic brush
Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: A-

This is another brush I got in the Holiday 2006 eye brush set, and the issues I have with the 212 travel version cross over to this brush. If I had the long handled version I think the 209 would be an awesome brush. However, the one I own is pretty darn good.

How I use the 209
I use the same swipe-onto-the-cap trick with this brush. I love this brush for its preciseness. You get a really thin, solid line and you are completely in control of how little or how much you apply. I like to use this brush to line the inner section of the lash line. I’ve also used it to make a cute lil’ upward flick at the end of the liner.

I like using this brush when doing a Gwen Stefani inspired look: a light, beige-y shadow (like MAC’s Ricepaper) on the lids topped with a solid black line (either Blacktrack Fluidline or Blitz & Glitz Fluidline) on the top lid and 2 coats of mascara. I pair this with a light cheek and red lips. It’s a classic, easy, put together look.


The brush head of the travel 209 is better quality than the brush head of the travel 212. Love the control you get with this brush. It’s fantastic.


Again, I hate the short, plastic handle. Blah.

mac 316

Product: MAC 316 Lip Brush/Covered Brush
Use: To line eyes with cream or liquid products
Price: $18.50 for a long handled, synthetic brush
Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: A+


I would give the 316 a hundred plusses if I could. I heart this brush.

The 316 is a covered lip brush that has a metal base and cap (the center is wood). When you put the cap on the end it extends the brush handle to 6 ½ inches. It’s an excellent lip brush, but I use it primarily for applying Fluidlines.

What makes the 316 different from the 212 and 209?
The 316 brush head is firm but has slightly more. The line is softer, thicker and less harsh.

I find the 316 brush extremely easy to use. The weight feels perfect in my hand and the brush tip is soft. The 316 makes a line that resembles soft charcoal, while the 209 and 212 make Sharpie-esque lines. Although the 316 line is thicker you can still control the width fairly easily. If I’m in a hurry this is my Fluidline brush of choice.

If you decide to get this brush for Fluidlines I would suggest buying one solely for that use. Being the cheap-ass that I am I actually tried using my 316 as a dual lip and eyeliner brush but had such a difficult time getting the brush squeaky clean after using it with lipstick. So, I don’t really think of this brush as a multi-tasker.


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