I was already set on buying the 209 for fluidlines, after reading the raves and seeing the great pics here on the forum! However, the makeup artist actually recommended the 208; so I bought both of them because I couldn't decide! Anyway, my one month trial period with these two have come to an end:
209 - Since I really suck with liquid eyeliner, and the point of this brush is similar to the applicators, I expected this to require a really long conditioning period. The first thing I did after buying this was to do one eye with 208 and one with 209. Surprisingly, the 209 felt much easier to control, and I used this almost exclusively for the first couple of weeks... Nowadays I hardly use the 209 anymore. It just feels flimsier (maybe because I don't wash it too often) and not stiff enough. It could have been shorter and stiffer (like the 311 lip brush). I will try and reintroduce it to my Blitz & Glitz after washing...
208 - Interestingly enough this brush required more practice to get used to. I had a hard time making a thin line at first, probably because I held it perpendicular to my lashline. It works much better if you tilt it a little bit - you can then easily adjust to get the kind of line you want. It also works fabulously for tightlining, whereas the 209 is more difficult to control! Also great for winging, or making cat eyes. Holds its shape despite regular use and little cleaning! Seems to make a straighter line than 209 when I tried both on my hand, just for the purpose of testing.
Other alternatives from MAC would be the previously mentioned lip liner brush 311, the angled brushes 263 and 266 (both of which are longer than the 208), the flat definer 212 (an artist told me this one makes very thick lines), and the synthetic 231 (which I plan on getting for eye shadow anyway). Summa: I would recommend the 208 over the 209, as it is more convenient in terms of making a thick or thin line, making a straight line, tightlining and requires less effort to perform.
After all the hype on this brush, I thought it would be a bit more thick. Don't get me wrong, it's a good brush for eyeliner, but I think I could buy one just as good at the craft store for a lot less.
The packaging was somewhat lame, too. Nothing to protect the bristles after they dry. Maybe I'm picky, but it came with only a clear sleeve. Is that normal for makeup brushes. Maybe.
I will try a couple other brushes next time. This is a good first one (new to gel eye liners), but I've yet to find my HG.
This brush does a pretty decent job with my Fluidlines or other gel liners. Clean, smooth lines. When this one falls apart I would consider repurchasing though I don't think that will be for a while, the brush is well made.
EW, this brush sucked. Shame too, because this is my first brush I bought from MAC. I thought it'd be perfect for fluidlines and BB gel liners, but it's just so weak and soft. I can barely push any color onto it from the fluidline, and on my eye it just goes all soft and not precise at all. I hate it! I couldn't get it to go stiff either, tried a couple times. It's going back to MAC. I thought I could find a better version of the Bobbi Brown fine liner brush but I was wrong. That one is SO MUCH BETTER.
I got the SE version of this, and it was recommended for the fluidlines. There is a technique for making this brush stiff (rolling it in the gel until it gets stiff), but with my carpal tunnel it was a bit too much. Had to return. I got the 208, and I am in love.
not a very nice eyeliner brush. mine seems to be missing some hairs, considering it's so thin already. i use this with mac fluidline, but it doesn't seem to pick up and deposit enough color to my eyes. will not repurchase.
Wonderful brush! If you're trying to decide on the best brush to use with Fluidlines, this one gets my vote. I've tried the 311 lip liner brush and the 266 angle brush but the 209 gives the most precise, fine line. If you like the line a little thicker toward the outer corners of your eye, you can easily do that, too with this brush. The line goes exactly where you want it, giving you perfect control. You'll feel like an expert make-up artist. The 311 is still great to use as a liner brush with wet or dry shadows (same goes for the 266 brush, which I find a bit too long -- I've heard the 208 is a better angle brush for if you like to line with that type of brush) but, in my opinion, the 209 is the best one I've used with Fluidlines.
I don't get the rave for this brush. It works ok with some Mac Fluidliners but not all. It all depends on the consistancy of the fluidliner. Some Mac fluidliner colors are smoother than others and this brush seems to work ok when the fluidline is smooth and creamy. But if you try to use this brush with a thicker fluidline, (and believe me some colors are a bit thicker than others), it makes it difficult to use. I have to constantly keep applying the fluidline over and over my eyelid to get it looked right. I guess if the fluidline is thick this brush may be too soft to apply the color on the lid, and makes it difficult to apply. I practically have all the the fluidline colors and some are easier to apply than others with this brush. I have the BB liner brush and it works better than this brush.
I just discovered MAC fluidlines and now Im hooked on them, so I had to have this awesome brush- its so easy to use, and firm enough to draw a nice precise line. So glad I bought this!