MAC 187 is a stippling brush, and I stipple it with both creamy and powder foundation onto my face and blend it in small circular motions. It makes a huge difference when compared to using a traditional brush or a sponge - more airbrushed, even, smooth without streaks, with very good coverage but still looking satin and sheer (I really don't know how it does that!) 187 is expensive, it costs me about $39 Euro (got it in Hong Kong) but it's worth the price considering how versatile and soft it is.
I was kind of afraid of the micro-exfoliation, as I have very sensitive and dry skin, and my 187SE has rough hair and a serious shedding problem. But after reading so many reviews, I decided to get myself a original 187, and indeed it still sheds a bit after washing, but nothing as annoying as the SE, maybe 2-3 pieces every time. The bristles are much much much (80%?) softer than SE and it flatters my flaky sensitive skin. The outcome is truly luminous and I'd recommend it to those who put on foundation every day. (and according to the MAC makeup artist, it can be used to apply blushes, 2 way cake, mineral makeup and bronzers!) One thing to note is we have to apply foundation in a completely different method from the traditional brushes to achieve the desired results (like I said, stipple, not sweep nor blend).
I heard that Real Techniques Stippling brush is also reputed for its amazing finish and it doesn't shed, I am yet to find out (have ordered it online). The reason of buying this particular MAC 187 for such a steep price is partly due to my personal obsession with collecting MAC brushes. :)
Expensive but worth it. I really didn't think I needed or wanted this brush. I was quite content with my sonia kashuk flat top brush and eco tools foundation brush. But I felt like my other MAC brushes perform so well that I needed this. I find that the 187 pick up less foundation, thus using less of the product and still having an excellent coverage. The finish, as most have mentioned, is great. It does shed a tiny bit but I love this brush so much I don't even care! I thought cleaning the 187 would be a pain and I was prepared to have it stained, but mine barely has any on it. The foundation just washes away with a mild liquid soap and cool water.
I never thought I'd be so disappointed by MAC product
At first , I'm in love with MAC
I use revlon foundation and Sephora #45 brush and I love them together , but yesterday I thought " no way , i MUST HAVE 187 , all that people from Make up Alley can't be wrong"
And that was mistake.
Sorry #187 , SEPHORA #45 do it so much better :(
This brush does nothing special, I mean it does leave a flawless look..but it is a look any other brush can give you. It leaves hair behind which suck and the hairs also spread. So for the amount of money this brush cost I wont buy it again.
I love this brush. It makes such a difference. Before I would use my fingers or a sponge. I bought this on a whim and I use it all the time in conjunction with usually my mac 190. it does shed some but it gives a flawless finish and I use less foundation.
I actually really like this brush. It makes my foundation so much easier to apply and just look more flawless. It is expensive but I think if you take care of it then it should last for a long time. My only annoyance with this is that after washing it I notice that the black part of it sheds a little bit. It sometimes even gets on my face when applying foundation. Other than that I have no issues with it. It dries quick too which is always convenient.
UPDATE 2014-04-12: I went to MAC and received a new brush, even without the receipt. Thumbs up. Though when I wash my new one, it kind of leaks black dye (?) to the white bristles, making them grey, and when I use it the first time after washing it transfers the grey to my face... Still my favourite brush though.
UPDATE 2013-08-23: The whole brush head fell off from the handle. I'm sad.
UPDATE 2013-03-26: It has now been one year since this review, and my brush is still going strong. No bristles are falling off, still like new. :)
Size/Quality of bristles:
This is the perfect size for me. The bristles are 4 cm (1.6 inches) and is like a bigger version of the 188. Mine doesn't shed every brush is hand made and some can be poorly made.
This is good for applying foundation all over the face and neck, the 188 will work too but with this it takes less time and work. It's not as easy to get into corners around the nose and eyes, the 188 or 130 is better for that, but it's not a must to get those two. It can be used to apply powder, cream and powder blush and highlighter too.
I can't use any other brush without the foundation streaking. Flat brushes, kabuki brushes, everything makes it streaky except sponges, and sponges are dirty, expensive and eats up all the foundation. This brush makes you use much less foundation.
The best way to use it, according to me, is to dip it in foundation (not too much at a time), dab it on your skin, then swirl - but don't press the brush against your skin, it should barely touch your skin.
5/5, it is expensive but you will never have to repurchase it if you take care of it!
One of my all-time favorite brushes. I love it for applying foundation as it doesn't look cakey and provides a flawless finish. Sometimes I like to mist it with fix+ so that too much product is not absorbed by the brush and to ensure that it applies nicely. This is also a great brush for applying cream blushes as it blends them on the cheek very nicely and doesn't deposit too much product. A must have brush, I love it!
It makes you feel good by spreading /buffing/stippling your foundation on your face, resulting in perfection. HOWEVER, it's high maintenance (hard to clean), and always is guilty of leaving a trail of brush hairs off your face. Kind of like that bad ex boyfriend who makes you feel good, does everything perfect, but leaves a mess behind every time. And you always go back, it's an endless cycle where you end up disappointed yet again. Everytime. When I am feeling patient, I use this. Most of the time, I use my LY super foundation. Still searching for the perfect brush....
This brush will give a nice finish if used correctly. Has minimal shedding once in awhile which is disappointing given the price point. I clean my brush every after use any laid flat or hanged upside down to help retain it's shape. I currently use Bioderma which is a make up remover - it may ot be the best brush cleanser but I have yet to research the best kinds. Given that I use a liquid form cleanser, it is essential that any brush not be dried with bristles pointing up as this will allow the solution to pool at the base of the bristles aside from splaying the bristles out.