Whenever somebody asks me what are my top recommended eyeshadow brushes, I tell them: "MAC 187, 129, 217, and 239." There are other MAC brushes that I use and like (such as the 219 and 209 brush), but if I had to choose my top 4 brushes, those would be it.
The 239 Eye Shader Brush, honestly, really isn't that special. The concept isn't new; it's actually pretty traditional. But out of all the regular eyeshadow brushes, this one of best.
The bristles are white, soft, packed, and dense. The density allows for easy eyeshadow application. But please note that this isn't a multi-purpose brush. This brush is made exclusively for packing eyeshadow onto the lid. I also use this brush to apply MAC Pigment (which is a loose, concentrated powder that can be used as basically anything. I use it as eyeshadow though) onto the lid. Although, who knows? There might be other undiscovered uses that I don't know of.
The price, which is about $25, is rather expensive, but that's the kind of price tag you expect from MAC. I'm not sure if it's worth that much though (more like $15-$20).
Would I repurchase? Yes, but I doubt I'll need to.
Here's what I love about this brush - the application is so smooth. Yes, it can be a bit shy with some colors, but even when you layer, the application is so smooth and even. It's slightly large for my crease area, but I angle it a bit, and it works great. I love it for my lid above the lashes, and have two - one for light and one for dark colors. I've had mine for over 20 years, and they're still fantastic. While some people like the 242, because it's smaller and more generous with the depositing of color, the application to me is grainy.
This is a versatile brush. I can use it on the eyelid, in the crease, under the eye for smudging. I have even used it as a concealer brush. I thoroughly recommend it, the bristles are very soft and they dry fast after cleansing.
I love this in applying lid colors. Very soft. Doesn't bleed or shed. Dries very fast. Will purchase again if I lost my current one.
Ah, 239, where would I be without you?
I have a lot of make-up brushes and tonnes of applicator brushes and (unless I'm using creams) the 239 is the one I always reach for.
Packing colour onto the lid
Going under the eye
Doing a soft brow
Smudging the crease colour (if going for quite a defined crease look).
Have had this for years and it's never shed and it hasn't lost its shape. It's easy to clean (one caveat, see below) and dries quickly following a deep clean. It's dense. It's stiff, but not too stiff so you can smudge with it.
The single complaint. White hair?? It looks classy when it's new but it can stain. I have serious OCD when it comes to stuff like staining so I have spent the hours to get mine clean again. I wasn't going to bother but when I dipped my green stained brush into a pale champagne eyeshadow guess what happened..? Yep, puke green eyes. I guess my experience shows that it can be cleaned again - mine look white as new now - but the upshot is that I now don't use the brush with some highly pigmented eyeshadows or bright pigments that it should be fine for.
There is no doubt that this is a truly great eye shadow brush. It applies colour really well - if you are into "packing on" eye colour, this is really the brush for you. It sweeps and blends shadows beautifully too, even the less than ideal shadows - the 239 will help them apply more evenly. When I first bought this brush, I wondered why anyone would make a brush with WHITE hairs but this brush comes back to its pristine shade with a simple washing with baby shampoo, no matter what colours you've used or how "dirty" it looks. There is no "package" to speak of or to rate (sorry but at these prices, MAC could include some sort of reusable "package" that would keep this brush clean in your purse/makeup bag). And the brush ain't cheap....and it seems to me that MAC has really jacked up its prices for brushes (which was already pretty steep) in the last year or so.
So, while this is a great brush, whether it's worth the price or not is, I guess, an individual decision. I'd love to own a 2nd one of these but at these prices, I think I'll pass, though this is certainly "repurchase worthy". I have a Sonia Kashuk eye shadow brush (the one with the white handle) that I've had for several years that is almost every bit as good as the 239 (maybe not quite so perfect but pretty close), and it cost under 10 dollars.
I like this brush its perfect for my lids, however its costly and I think Sigma brushes are just as good. Im not a huge MAC fan I feel like they are overratted in many ways. However I think the quility is good. The lettering on the brush fades really fast my sigma brushes still have the name on them and I got them before my mac brush but I do like it.
This brush is not really that worth it to me. It only works on my lid, and is probably too big for my lid. I can use it for an all over wash of color, but for anything else, I have to blend blend blend blend to get it to look right. I'd rather just use a smaller lid brush or the 219for more concentrated colors or my 217 for an all over wash.
This is my first and only MAC brush. I hope to get more, but this one is definitely a great start! It's not itchy like most brushes, and it blends eyeshadow so nicely. It's pretty pricey at 30 dollars, although there are definitely way more expensive. I'd say it's definitely worth the price though, although my boyfriend seems to think I'm absolutely insane for thinking so haha.
I have two of these because I like to do multiple colors for many of my looks, and this brush is a perfect lay down brush and in a pinch you can also use just the tip for smudging, etc.
I sometimes wish it werent white just because I get residual colors left there even after washing it with brush shampoo!