MAC 224 and Friends.

Marketed as an eyeshadow blending brush, the versatile MAC 224 also makes for a fantastic concealer-buffer-inner brush. The idea for such a versatile brush is pretty genius, if you ask me, so it's no wonder that plenty of other makeup brush brands also make similar versions.

Top to bottom:
MAC 224
Illamasqua Blending Brush 1
Sigma E40
Inglot 6SS

The Inglot 6SS and Sigma E40 brushes are identical in both shape and density of the bristles. They'd both be fantastic concealer buffing brushes except for one huge issue: the Sigma E40 sheds like a mofo; the Inglot 6SS does not. 

As for eyeshadow blending, they're really good but since they're quite a bit larger than other blending brushes like the MAC 217, they're better when you're not looking to blend a very precise area; in those cases and in cases where I need a lot of blending (i.e. a really harsh line), I prefer to use my MAC 217 because the brush is smaller and the bristles are denser.

The Illamasqua Blending Brush 1 is the most like the MAC 224 because the brush is smaller and skinnier than the Inglot and Sigma ones, but the shape is still not exactly like the MAC 224. The Illamasqua brush is the densest of the four blending brushes and compared to the MAC 224, it has a flatter top while the MAC one is tapered at the end.

When used for concealer buffing, neither my Illamasqua or MAC brushes shed at all, but I much prefer to use the Illamasqua one because it's denser and buffs the concealer in faster. It may just be that I'm not used to it's smaller size yet, but I sometimes wish the Illamasqua brush was a bit bigger like the Sigma or Inglot brushes because I was able to cover more area in less time that way. However, that's something I'm more than willing to overlook since apart from that, it's the best brush for applying concealer over the other three brushes by a long shot.

The MAC 224 is a fantastic brush for blending in eyeshadows, which is to be expected since it's primarily supposed to be a blending brush anyway. I haven't felt any desire to utilize my Illamasqua brush for eyeshadow blending yet since I have 3 others for that, but due to the relatively high density of its bristles (it's even denser than the MAC 217), I don't think it would blend in eyeshadows as effortlessly or as seamlessly as the other three fluffier brushes.

L to R:

In order from largest to smallest brush:
Sigma + Inglot (same)

In order from densest to fluffiest:
Sigma + Inglot (same)

In order from best to worst (more like least best) for buffing in concealer:
Illamasqua - dense and doesn't shed but a bit small for my liking.
Inglot - doesn't shed but a bit too fluffy.
MAC - doesn't shed but a bit small and a bit too fluffy.
Sigma - a bit too fluffy and sheds way too much.

In order from best to worst (more like least best) for blending eyeshadow:
MAC - great but I usually prefer a slightly denser one like the MAC 217.
Inglot - a bit too big and fluffy.
Sigma - sheds and a bit too big and fluffy.
Illamasqua - a bit too dense for my personal preference.

It kind of makes me laugh how similar all of these brushes appear and yet how different they are when you actually go to use them for different purposes. If you're like me and you really like the Sigma E40 but the excessive shedding makes you want to pull your hair out, try the Inglot 6SS - it's basically the same brush minus the shedding!

Who else is a blending brush hoarder?

Disclaimer: The Sigma brush was sent to me free of charge for review purposes only. I am not affiliated with this company, nor am I getting paid for featuring it on my blog. The opinions expressed in this post are honest and based solely on my own experience with the product(s).


  1. I love blending brushes too! The MAC 224 sheds alot and is not as soft as people make it to be, especially for the undereye...but oh well, i use it anyway. I have a great one from Sephora for my as well.

  2. the sonia kashuk large blending brush is very similar to these as well. It's kinda prickly, but it doesn't shed.

  3. Thank you so much for comparing all of these brushes! I like my Sigma E40 for blending shadows out, (you are right about the shedding, can't use for cream products really) but the Sigma E25 (MAC 217 dupe) works very well for getting rid of harsh edges--it is my godsend for darker/smokey shades and looks.
    I need to try that Inglot one! The Illamasqua looks like my Too Faced blending bush. I will twitpic it to you later tonight. Dense, smaller, super soft, doesn't shed. Same shape too!

  4. I sooo am..I have the SK from the treasure collection at target, sigma, mac, rock and republic and a few no name ones..lol..my favorite one is the rock and republic, SK and THEN the mac..I never thought that would happen, but it did AND I just don't like my sigma one..

  5. great review. so true how th brushes are the "same same .. but different" ^_^
    thanks for sharing love x

  6. Mmmmm blending brushes... I have a great appreciation for them :) haha

  7. @EllysMakeupbag: I disagree actually - my MAC 224 hardly ever sheds and I honestly think it's really soft!

    @MaviDeniz: I don't have that one but I do have a few other SK brushes that I like a lot - they're such good quality considering the price!

    @Danielle: I didn't even know Too Faced made brushes! Apparently I've been living under a rock...

    @Jess: I don't have anything by rock and republic but I imagine that brush is probably very pretty! They always have the best designs. Does your Sigma ones shed a lot too?

    @faye: No problem :)


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