Thursday, 19 April 2012

Guest Post: MAC 286 and Laura Mercier Finishing Eye Brush Comparison by toto850

It's time for another brush comparison post by the lovely toto850 of makeupalley. Actually I requested this because having recently fallen for the MAC 286 brush (it replaced the 217 in my affections -- this is srs bidness), I was hmming and hawing over whether I still needed the Laura Mercier ponytail...

By toto850
MAC released a new brush not so long ago and it's called the 286, basically a duo fiber eye brush. It first came out with the Holiday 2011 collection in a SE brush set with short handles.
For those who don't know: the SE brush sets are mass produced by machines (m.a.w. not hand made!) so the quality is not the same as the full size MAC brushes (read: crap!). But to avoid any confusion, this the review for the full size MAC 286 which is permanent. :)

My first impression about this brush was that it's an exact dupe for the Laura Mercier Finishing Eye brush. But comparing and seeing them side by side they are not quite identical after all, although they look very much alike.
If you look at the pics: on the left is the LM Finishing Eye brush and on the right you'll see the MAC 286.
The LM Finishing Eye brush is definitely slimmer and more tapered at the end, while the MAC 286 is fluffier and wider at the side.
Both brushes have been washed and what I noticed is that the LM brush keeps its shape better than the MAC one. After washing the MAC 286 poofs out a little making the brush less dense.
The hairs of both brushes are quite densely packed together but I find the LM brush is a bit more firmer and therefore gives more resistance when you apply your e/s. This brush would be excellent for blending, crease color application or for a wash of color over the eyelid.
The MAC 286 is a bit softer but still good for blending colors in the crease or to soften the hard edges of your e/s application.
 All in all they are both great brushes but I do tend to grab more for the LM Finishing Eye brush since it's a little stiffer and makes blending a lot easier imo. Maybe in the future I will purge the MAC 286 but for now I'm quite happy with both of them. If one is dirty, I can easily just use the other brush instead. :)


The Driveller again: I currently use my MAC 286 mainly with cream products (eyeshadows or concealers) which means it needs washing daily.... very tempted indeed by the Laura Mercier now. If anyone else owns both brushes, I would love you to weigh in by leaving me a comment!


  1. Toto850 & Kate,
    Do you think either of these brushes are needed if I own both the Edward Bess and a Suqqu L eye? For some reason, I use the Mac 217 for creams all the time and would never use the EB or the Suqqu for creams. Hmmmm!

  2. I don't own the MAC brush, but I use my LM finishing brush to blend out my concealer under my eyes and up into the nook between eyes and bridge of nose. It gives an airbrushed finish and doesn't blend away the coverage. I wash it every other day or so.

    I use it with more "liquidy" concealers, like Ellis Faas, YSL Touche Eclat, and the newer illuminating one by Estee Lauder.

  3. I'd completely skipped this MAC brush! It must have been released while I was on my No Buy and I didn't even realised it existed. I'm very tempted now!

  4. I have both of these. I prefer the LM for very light blending work and the MAC 286 for more significant blending. I think I actually prefer the 286 because it's denser.