I'm trying so hard to fault it but can't, and my only regret is not jumping on it sooner. The price put me off but now I understand the hype I'd buy more in a heartbeat. If you only ever purchase one brush in your life, make it this one. It's a great all-rounder. It's purpose is mainly to pat shadow on the lids which is does with excellence, but you can also blend with it. You could even contour with it in a pinch. The tapered end and flat surface area make it so versatile, then just swing it to the narrow side for crease and detail work. Honestly I use a minimum of 4 brushes on eye makeup alone but you could really just get away with this one for most looks. It cleans well, doesn't shed, isn't scratchy, is very durable and the light bristles mean you can easily spot when it's dirty, saving the muddy, smudgy mishaps you can experience by accidentally mixing colours on the same brush. The best part is my eyeshadow application is much quicker now due to the efficiency of this brush picking up and evenly distributing pigment exactly where you want it. I'm going to purchase another one and the 217 asap.
The #239 brush ranks up there with the #217 brush - versatile and a great staple in every woman's makeup brush collection.
I can see how it's possible to do my eye makeup completely with only this brush. The dense bristles are great for packing on colour and blending as needed and lining under the eyes too.
The size is perfect for my eyes as I don't have much lid space and the edge of the brush is fine enough for me to work in the crease.
Why didn't I discover this brush sooner?
I have bought duplicates of both the #217 and #239 for various eye looks and you bet I'll be using them frequently.
This brush is one I reach for every day to pack on color or sweep in specific areas. In particular, the 239 is ideal for highlights (inner corner, center lid, brow bone); it allows for very precise placement and gentle smudging. I also like using it to deepen the outer corner and crease before blending. It was a lot smaller than I was anticipating, but I actually like the size since I can get into corners very easily.
* perfect size for lid, inner corner, and brow bone
* you can see the amount of product picked up very clearly
* builds up opacity of pigment well
* durable (been washed and spot cleaned regularly)
* aesthetically pleasing
* easy to use
* needs frequent cleaning (unless you have multiple)
* effectiveness depends a lot on lid size
Sometimes I don't get the hype for Mac brushes, but I always end up buying them for eyeshadows because they work so much better than other brands I've tried. This one along with 242 and 217 are must haves. It's so soft and firm that the eyeshadows goes where I want it to go without fallout and it packs on the color a lot! With these three brushes I am done with eye makeup in half the time than when using other high or low end brushes, they just work very well, and the size is right for normal-sized eyelids.
My 2c, after looking into brushes intensively for the past two months..if your budget allows it get these three, esp 239. I looked into dupes (i.e., sigma) and other higher end brushes (okay, not the 80$ ones) and still these are the best.
Plus, I've had mac pencil and eyeliner brush for the past TEN years and they still work like new!!! They do last a life time (and I only started taking care of them well this year, imagine).
I need to buy 3 more of these. HG shadow brush. Dense and the perfect size. Love it.
This is a great brush! IMO this and the 217 are must have brushes, and every girl should have them. This brush is white, and has natural bristles. It is a great brush to pack on color, and that's what I mainly use it for. Over time this brush may stain, but if you clean it regularly (I recommend once a week) it won't get too bad. I use baby shampoo to clean, and rinse it with conditioner. I will repurchase.
Excellent for packing on eyeshadow. I love it and use it every day.
I formerly relied mainly on my 242 to apply my base eyeshadow colors, but I'm finding myself reaching for the 239 more frequently in recent times. Not to say I don't love the 242, it's a great synthetic brush, perfect for packing on powder or cream shadow, but the 242 is a tad fluffier and rounded at the tip, so it allows for a softer, more diffused application - if that makes sense. It is also quite excellent for laying down an opaque application of eyeshadow as well, just pat as opposed to sweep.
I typically use lighter or neutral-toned mattes with this brush as I've notice it is prone to staining. However, MAC Brush Cleaner seems to adequately clean the brush. I've had this brush for several years and it has held up well. Not sure that I would repurchase it as I can likely achieve the same results with other more inexpensive brushes, but it's a good brush and it's one of my currently favorites.
This is a beautiful brush. I have it in the regular size and the travel size. The regular size seems a little bigger and flatter, while the travel size seems slightly thicker and dense. Either way, I love them both for applying shadow on my lid. It works great to pat the shadow in and also to carry it up into the crease. I use this for my brow highlight. If you just use the tip, you can smudge liner on the bottom lashline or put shadow there, too. This is a multi-purpose brush and something worth the investment.