If Only My Face Was My Hand : MAC 194 Concealer Brush
Feb 23, 2008
Pros: nice spring, unified bristles, blends well, great with creams & liquids
Cons: prickly bristles on sensitive skin
The Bottom Line: I thought I would love this brush until I tried to use it under the eye and on sensitive areas of the face- too prickly
Since finding MAC brushes, my makeup application has become much more polished and professional. I have some other brushes from other lines that I really like, but MAC seems to consistently make brushes that fit my needs perfectly.
Having said that, I was very excited to get the MAC concealer brush. It seemed like the perfect companion to their Foundation brush 190 which has allowed me to perfect the application of liquid/cake foundations.
WHAT IS THE 194 CONCEALER BRUSH LIKE?
The MAC 194 CONCEALER BRUSH is a small brush. About 7 inches long, the brush bristles are about 1.5 cm / 5/8 inches long. The shape is tapered, coming to a bit of a point.
The bristles are synthetic and two toned tan/brown. The edge of this brush is tapered again to a fine edge around the entire rounded upper edge. They are held into place by a metal ferrule, which is attached by pressing onto a black painted wooden base with silver writing on it. The silver writing says MAC and 194.
WHAT IS THE 194 CONCEALER BRUSH USED FOR AND DETAILS?
Here is what MAC says about this brush:
Specially styled for small-area coverage and precise application. Firm and flat, slightly tapered. Good for blending "undereye" and for "spot" touch-ups. If you want to conceal flawlessly, use this!
17 cm (about 7 in) PRICE: $18.50
The way that this brush is meant to be used is for under eye coverage- or around the eye in general. The bristles are supposed to be honed in such a way to make it easy to hit small areas easly.
This brush can be used for powdered products, but is superior in handling cream or liquids. It blends beautifully and is also excellent for spot coverage if you have blemishes or other tiny areas to cover flawlessly.
I love to run this brush on the back of my hand. It is soft, has a lovely spring (Which is important for accurate application of products), and the bristles stay unified- again, valuable for smooth application.
The problems happen with this brush when I attempt to use it under my eyes. For some reason, this brush has very prickly points on it that are not noticeable unless you use it on the sensitive areas of the face.
Imagine taking a straight pin and gently pushing the sharp end around the sensitive skin areas of the face- especially the eyes.
That is how this brush feels to me if I happen to catch the skin just right- and it happens too often for my enjoyment of the brush.
For other small blemish areas, the prickly feeling is tolerable, but frankly, I am finding myself grabbing this brush less and less often.
I have been reaching for the Bare Escentuals concealer brush more often, despite its clumsy size.
HOW TO CLEAN THIS BRUSH
This brush does not have to be washed constantly- only if you plan on using dark colors followed by light ones, or use many different colors with it at once. With this brush, if I use the same color product on it for me, then I tend to wash it a little more often than once a week. Cream or gel based products are best if washed out daily. In the case of foundations, a few times a week is usually sufficient.
Usually a quick windshield wiper motion back and forth on a paper towel will clean it well enough for the day- unless of course you are using it on clients which is an entirely different matter.
I usually clean this brush weekly if needed, but if I use it more often, I wash it as often as daily or a few times a week.
I do not like using baby shampoo as it has Sodium Lauryl Sulfate in it and that is a severe de-greaser. It will strip the life out of the bristles- as remember, they do not have oil from the animal to keep them nice.
Conditioners only gum them up further.
I use a dilution of Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap - 5 water to 1 part soap and I swirl the brush quickly in the palm of my hand, swish under WARM- NOT HOT- water and then lay flat to dry.
You do not want to stand this up on either end for drying- the wooden end will cause water to weaken the bristles, and the hair end will distort the bristles.