I heard MAC is discontinuing all their natural hair brushes and replacing with synthetic hair. If it's true, it's a huge mistake in my opinion, because I have three "holy grail" MAC brushes, and 239 is one of them. I have a few backups, because I am so serious about this brush. I'm also a brush snob, most of mine are Hakuhodo, with a handful of Tom Ford, Koyudo, and Wayne Goss in the mix. The 239 is most similar to Hakuhodo J004, but it's a bit less wide and the bristles are a bit shorter, while the 239 handle is longer (there is a short handle version of the 239 if that's your preference. I have both and they perform the same). The bristle density is the same between the two, as is the softness. Neither brush sheds in my experience. I prefer the slightly more compact head of the 239. I have hooded eyelids, so not much lid space and the 239 is amazing for packing on color, wet or dry. If MAC is actually discontinuing this brush, do yourself a favor and grab one!