This is my favorite MAC brush, hands down!
It's probably the most multi functional brush from MAC, as well.
I mainly use it to apply gel liner.
And if you're a gel liner fan, get this brush because you're missing out!!
It applies the liner like a DREAM. Much, much better than the angled brush or the thin, pointy eyeliner brush.
It can also be used for the inner corners, under the brows, filling the eyebrows, dragging shadow to the lash line, setting liner with power, etc etc
I also heard it can be used as a lip brush, I haven't tried it for that purpose however.
The mentioned brush is similar in size to the Laura Mercier smudge brush.I mainly brought this brush for pigments and that is what I use it for.I use mainly the Shu Uemura brushes however they do not have a brush for pigments.The Mac 231 applies the pigments precisely where you want the colour,it blends and fuses and you can move the brush in either direction.I do not use this brush for any thing else though,I am weary of hygiene/cross infection.For Laura Mercier users who are reading this review you will find that the LM smudge brush will work efficiently for eye product application/blending,fantastically well.
I originally got this from my friend to pair with my studio finish concealer. I tried it once for my gel eyeliner, and I got hooked. Right size, right shape, right softness and so easy to use for different types of liners. Can't imagine anything better!
I use the 231 for my Studio Finish concealer and it works great. It picks up and applies just enough product without it being cakey or overdone. It's easy to clean, and holds up great to washings, just like all of my other MAC brushes. Overall it's a great purchase, and I'd consider purchasing multiples for detailing shadow, etc.
I'm not a fan of Mac brushes. I prefer Laura Mercier brushes as they are consistently of good quality. This Mac brush actually surprised me as the quality is somewhat amazing. The design is great. Exactly what I was looking for. I used this to apply paint pot bare study in the inner corner of my eyes and my brow bone. This brush allows me to precisely put the product where I want and then blend for a natural look. LOVE THIS!
I have nearly all of the MAC brushes for eyes & I can say that this is the most versitile brush. It lines my eyes & I also use it for my brows.The tip are the white bristles aswell so it's soft on your skin & doesn't pull.
I have to echo most of the reviews below and say that this is an amazingly versatile brush. I use it mostly for lining my lower lashline with shadow, and highlighting the inner corners of my eyes. I used to use the 219 for this, but now I much prefer the 231. I haven't tried it with cream liners because I love the Lise Watier brush I use for that, but I can imagine that the 231 would work really well because it's super thin and the perfect balance of stiffness and softness. This also works well for detailed shadow work, and for concealer. I'm pretty sure everyone could find a use for this brush. A word of caution though - it really is tiny. I bought it sight unseen, and I was expecting something just a bit bigger.
I bought this brush for my eyes and I HATED it! It's too small and awkward. I mainly used it for the innereye and maybe if it were lucky, under my bottem lashes.
However, being brave like I am, I tried it when applying studio fix concealer to a scar I have. I LOVE IT and that's that.
The controll and precision is amazing. You can build up, or pat just a bit of the product on! You waste nothing. It's so simple it should be illegal!
This is by far one of the worst brushes I have ever tried. I was so excited to get this brush, I admit it was an impulse buy- but hey, some of those tend to work out well. When I first received it I put it right into my brush roll, I kept it there for a few days since I had a cold and wasn't putting any makeup on. A few days later, I took it out- the 3 had already smudged making it look like a 2 which was surprising. I then began using it, I only used it twice and knew it was just not going to work. Firstly for lining my upper lashline it was just awful- it poked my eye and didn't apply color evenly. I then tried it on my lower lashline, again it hurt my skin and applied the color horribly. For crease cutting, this brush was just a joke. I was not at all impressed with this brush in the least. I am swapping it away, and hoping that if I ever to buy another MAC brush again- it does what it claims to do, I have POSH brushes that cost me $4 for a travel set that worked better then this.
This is a seriously underhyped brush. More people should use this and rave about it. I was recommended this by a lovely MUAer when I was just getting into make up and eyeliner with a gel liner.
It is called the small shader brush by MAC. It is a stiff, flat tipped, paddle shaped brush made from synthetic fibers. It is really not for just shadows, it is very multipurpose and is one of my HG brushes.
I use this mostly for lining my eyes. Its flat tip ends up very thing, so you can easily draw a thin line with this brush. It has a rounded head, so I'm thinking it is better than normal flat square headed lining brushes because you don't have to deal with the corners as much. This makes it THE BEST for lining the upper waterline (which is what I *always* do) and nice for tightlinging (I'm not sure if it is the best at it). Also, it is definitely not hard to create a winged look with this because you can easily make the thin tip you need on your wing.
2. Lips: Some youtube gurus hail this as the ultimate brush for lips, even better than normal lip brushes. It's dense bristles and fine tip makes it easy to create a precise line on your lips. However, it may not be the best for packing on color because it is dense so it may be a little hard to work with when layering lip products on thickly.
3. Blending creams, gels, paint pots and greasepaints:
Because it is a dense brush, it is also good a blending out thicker, sticker cream substances. It works fine to smudge or spread out my liners, especially greasepaints, although its denseness and small head makes it hard to perfectly and smoothly blend out everything.
4. Shadow/Pigments/Solar Bits:
It can definitely be use to pack color on the eyes because of it's dense head. Which also makes it great for putting light shadows, creams, or liners on the tear duct. Used flat, it can also apply shadow to the lower lid. Its dense and strong brush can easily smoosh the balls of pigments in Solar Bits and pack them on with minimal fallout.
It costs $17.50US, so it is not an expensive brush at all. Since it is so multipurpose, one can even consider getting multiples of this. It's value is definitely good!
It comes in that flimsy plastic bag every MAC crush comes in. I really wish this brush had a hard pencil cap like cover so it can be more portable. MAC, if you are reading this, how about a retractable one? I would totally fall head over heels for it!
This is one of my HG brushes, I cannot think of living a day of applying eye makeup without it. It is indispensable. I wish it was more portable, so I took a lippy off for that. Other than that, absolutely no complaints! Everyone should have one in their stash!