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Makeup Brushes - MAC - 188 Small Duo Fibre Face brush

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rated 4.3(214 reviews)

  • Average Rating: 4.3
  • 80% would buy again
  • Package Quality: 3.9
  • Price: $$$

  • Ingredients
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rated 5 of 5 on 10/24/2012 11:08:00 AM More reviews by peacelovepatchouli

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Fair, Cool Hair: Brown, Wavy, Medium Eyes: Hazel

This is undoubtedly my HG brush. I don't think there will ever be a fair comparison or dupe.

I went to my nearest MAC freestanding store and told the MUA that although I love my Studio Fix Powder, it always looks cakey after I apply it. I just want a light dusting of powder to set it on top of my liquid foundation, but I don't want a translucent setting powder. I had tried MAC's transparent setting powder, and I just couldn't figure out how to make it work for me.

She recommended the MAC 188 brush for me. It's a small version of the 187, a mini stippling brush, essentially. She instructed me to apply the powder to my face and buff it into my skin with the 188 brush.

I apply the powder as she told me, and I couldn't be happier with the results! It leaves the perfect amount of powder on my face. It cost me $35, but it was worth every penny. Sometimes, especially in the case of MAC products, you really do get what you pay for.

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rated 1 of 5 on 8/20/2012 1:30:00 AM More reviews by AsianDiva123

Age: 36-43 Skin: Combination, Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brown, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

I saw so many good feedbacks on MAC make up brushes so I thought I'd try one. I asked an SA to recommend a brush for my cream bronzer. She was so confident this would work well. It turned out to be a big mistake. The brush doesn't pick up the product well. When I apply it on my face, either I'm getting no product or too much. So using it with my cream bronzer was out of the question, I then tried it with foundation, powder, blush and it didn't work well with any of the product. I have no idea how anyone would use this for. Also the brush shreds like heck and was leaving little hair all over my hair. I'll never buy it again!

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rated 2 of 5 on 7/27/2012 8:57:00 PM More reviews by Blueologist

Age: 18 & Under Skin: Oily, Fair, Cool Hair: Blond, Curly, Coarse Eyes: Blue

The salesperson talked me into buying this product to go with the Studio Moisture Tint I was picking up. When I used this with the tinted moisturizer it made it it look streaky and I found that it went on less streaky with just my fingers. It is not worth the money.

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rated 5 of 5 on 7/15/2012 12:08:00 AM More reviews by HelloDear

Age: 18 & Under Skin: Oily, Olive, Not Sure Hair: Black, Wavy, Other Eyes: Brown

This brush is great. I love how flawless my foundation looks after I use this brush. And it can be used for many other things as well like highlighting. When I was at the mac counter I wasn't sure whether I should get the 188 or 187 brush but one of the workers at the store recommended the 188 since it smaller and it can get to more places easier without messing up. The only negative thing I have to say about this is that after I wash the brush with baby shampoo it starts to splay while drying so I have to wrap it around in paper to maintain the shape.

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rated 4 of 5 on 7/3/2012 9:48:00 AM More reviews by feveragnes

Age: 25-29 Skin: Very Dry, Fair-Medium, Cool Hair: Black, Straight, Fine Eyes: Brown

Made by natural hair (black) and synthetic fibres (white), MAC 188 is suitable for applying emoillent, creamy and powdery products. It's the smaller sister of the loved MAC 187, with a flat top you can use with circular motions. Swirling it with creamy/powder blushes onto the apples of the cheeks provide light weight application, and so it is great for pigmented blushes like NARS Gilda and MAC Fleur Power. However, beware that since it softens up all colours, applying nude blushes may take up extra time. I suggest sticking to the typical blush brush MAC 116 or any other brushes of your choice if you wish more colour to show up. The bristles are soft, but this brush does shed a bit, but nothing too annoying.

A stippling brush is always perfect for creating soft layers and this is the brush for your apple or hollow of your cheeks. If you use it for building up your foundation, it takes up too much time and effort, yet using it to blend concealers is amazing as it can get into the nooks and crannies, and it gives a lighter coverage than MAC 130 which is denser.

At the price of Ä31, it is certainly an expensive investment, but as long as you take care of it, it will last you for quite some years. But is it a must-have? I doubt. There are many other options out there costing a lot less (name Real Techniques Stippling Brush), and many other brushes by other names can do the same thing.

Bristles: 3.5/5 (shed a bit)
Shape: 5/5
Versatility: 5/5 (Applying blush, blending concealer, contouring and so on, with liquid, creamy and powder products)
Application: 4/5 (creates soft layers by dipping colours on but it takes extra time for less pigmented blushes)
Price: 3/5
Overall: 4.1/5

For more makeup and beauty products reviews:
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rated 2 of 5 on 4/4/2012 4:40:00 PM More reviews by SharonT14

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Medium, Neutral Hair: Brown, Straight, Medium Eyes: Brown

I use it only to apply my highly pigmented blushes like Tarte, otherwise I cant see how this would work with foundation? Its SO light in application and so small that I can only see this for a light dusting of highlighter or blush - or am I missing something here?

I wouldn't recommend this brush at all. Not my favorite...May put it up for swap since some people seem to like it and because its almost brand new, just purchased it a month or two ago (brand new from

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rated 4 of 5 on 3/30/2012 11:07:00 PM More reviews by juicy415

Age: 19-24 Skin: Very Oily, Olive, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium Eyes: Brown

its soft and works well for mineralize products. i like this to use for liquid foundation and shimmery products to dust it on my face. its a good brush but quite expensive, but works wonder! i wouldnt repurchase because a brush last forever!

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rated 3 of 5 on 3/29/2012 3:55:00 PM More reviews by blua

Age: 19-24 Skin: Acne-prone, Medium, Warm Hair: Black, Straight, Medium Eyes: Black

I thought long and hard about buying this brush, one because of the price, and two because I was sure there would be a dupe for it somewhere. Well, I took the plunge and put down the $50+ to buy it. At first, I loved it...then somewhere down the road it sucked. I don't know if it's the cleanser I used or the way I washed it...but it just had bent hairs and everytime I used it, I would take an extra couple minutes to pick at the little black hairs that shed. I was crushed cause I spent so much on it, and that the brush cleanser I used NEVER did that to any of my other brushes. Anyway, the performance wasn't that great at that time also.Then a couple weeks ago, I was watching gossmakeupartist on youtube, and he had a video up on how to use a stippling brush. The way he explained it gave me a new light on using it again. So yesterday, I did it the way he explained it to me...and...for the first time...I really had that 'airbrush' look. AND It wasn't shedding anymore! When I do clean it now, I just swirl it in little circles in the palm of my hand and gently squeeze out extra water when I wash it out. I form it into a tip and let it dry for 2 days. I'm really loving it! But because of the shedding and crap I had to put up with before, I'm only giving this a 3 out of 5. continued >>

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rated 3 of 5 on 2/26/2012 6:12:00 AM More reviews by Huda90

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Red, Other, Other Eyes: Hazel

I use it mostly to apply foundation and sometimes to apply shimmer and highlights. I found that after a few washes the bristles started to come out while I was applying my foundation, leaving them on my face. Iím really disappointed; it just doesn't worth the price.

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rated 5 of 5 on 2/1/2012 8:34:00 PM More reviews by pritha

Age: 25-29 Skin: Normal, Other, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

UPDATE: I have a lot to say about this concealer so much so that there's no room in MU's review window, please go here to check out my thoughts on this product:

I was making changes to this posting before so I apologize if anyone wasn't able to get to my review, try again, thanks :)

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