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Friday, 3 August 2012

Old and New -- MAC 217 brush

Lazy belated blogger that I am, this post will just confirm a very cold bit of news (olds?): that MAC have tampered with one of their very best products, the 217 brush. The new version is a rough, kinky [I realise I may be making this sound more appealing than it is] scratchy mess of a shapeless....messy thing.

Makeupalley rumours hinted at one point that the way to spot the old/new versions was to check whether the handle was engraved with Japan (old) or USA/France (new); this is not true as both my brushes are made in Japan and they could not be more manifestly different.

I'll let the pictures speak for themselves from here, but for reference, my old MAC 217 is about 5 years old (and identical to the one I had previously, from about 10 years back) and the new one was purchased in May 2012.

MAC 217 brush old vs new comparison
handles are essentially the same -- even at this angle you can tell the new brush head is bigger
MAC 217 brush old vs new comparison
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MAC 217 brush old vs new comparison
each individual hair in the new brush is thicker and rougher too compared to the old 
MAC 217 brush old vs new comparison
I'd washed the new brush twice by this point, and the old over a hundred times -- yet it's the new one that's shapeless 
MAC 217 brush old vs new comparison
the biggest variation is how much 'give' the two brushes have -- in practice the new 217 does not provide the directionality and precision of the old one; it doesn't even perform as well as the much cheaper Real Techniques Base Shadow brush.

All together now: (larghissimo and in generally dirge-like fashion) #Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes~

19 comments:

  1. Aw that sucks that they messed with something so great :( The new one looks terrible!

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  2. Dammit. I was going to pick up another one of these soon!

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  3. I just use them to powder under the eyes, no wonder I don't like them for eyeshadows.

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  4. I have had mine for years (maybe 3?) but I swear it is like the new one?

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  5. Oh this is such upsetting news. The 217 is my absolute favourite brush and I would be devastated if my next purchase of the 217 will be like this.

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  6. I bought one last year and its not the same as the one I'd bought over 3 years ago, I thought I'd just got a duff one that was just shaplesss and ineffective but now I can see that it seems like they have now change, poor form from MAC

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  7. I have two 217's, one 3 years old and another just a few months old. My new 217 is slightly larger and more domed on top but is similar in texture and 'give'. Feel and performance are similar.

    I'm wondering if these differences can be due to manufacturing issues such as outsourcing to different companies or quality of raw materials. I try to check brushes visually and also by brushing on my hand if salespersons allow but sometimes you can't tell how it will change after washing.

    I think the 217 is the best brush for blending especially for cream shadows, but it is a bit scratchy. I will be trying the new Hakuhodo J5523 to see if works as well or even better.

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  8. Boooo.... This is very bad news :(

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  9. That sucks :( However I hear that Lauren Luke's blending brush is exactly the same as the 217 as we knew it, for a fraction of the price, maybe we should all stock up on that one!

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  10. I love my 2-year-old 217, it's such a workhorse. I always meant to get a second one since it seems like mine's always dirty. Crap!
    Oh well, now I can join the search for a similar-but-hopefully-even-better brush to fill the same role.

    Maybe Hakuhodo has something?

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  11. Mine is about nine months old, and it's pretty scratchy. I don't use it much - I think it's the newer version. Really too bad.

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  12. I think I have the new version of it, since I can't love it as many MUAers do... I mostly keep it untouched. Too bad I didn't get it before :'(

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  13. Hm...yeah, this is why I prefer my cheaper brushes. I have a few MAC eye brushes that are ok, but nothing I couldn't find for less. I recently bought a 109 brush and almost immediately returned it. It was so hard and scratchy and shed all over the place--I have no idea why MAC brushes are so popular. My Sonia Kashuk brushes are even softer and do a great job. I still want to try the Real Techniques brushes too, I've heard a lot of good things.

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  14. It's a shame that the newer brush is not as good as the old one.

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  15. Arggghh...
    Can MAC do nothing right??

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  16. So can we assume Haku is no longer manufacturing the 217?

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  17. I guess I am a lucky one, I got a 217 in May and it looks just like the "old" in your pictures, firm and precise. I ordered it online so maybe it was one that had been in stock for a while.

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  18. What an absolute shame. Why would they change this? You can't slash the quality and expect people to pay the same amount.

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  19. No I get it. I was confused about how people admiring MAC 217 brushes when I couldn't feel the hype when I use MAC 217 I bought last year. It doesn't blend the eyeshadows that well. The worst part is that the ticker hair makes my eyemakeup looks messy

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