When it comes to my makeup brush collection, the vast majority contains Real Techniques brushes. I think Real Techniques are amazing quality and the value for money is unbelievable in comparison to higher end makeup brushes which can often come at a jaw-droppingly expensive cost. The only higher end brush I own to date is my MAC 239 brush, it was a brush that I had wanted for ages and finally picked it up this summer. Prior to MAC 239 I had been using an eyeshadow brush from The Body Shop and today I'm going to be talking about why I think this is the high street alternative to the 239 brush.
Visually the two brushes are pretty darn similar, both coming with smooth black handles and silver coloured brass towards the ends by the bristles. Although I love the vibrancy of my RT Brushes I do think that these black brushes do have that slightly more sophisticated, smart feel to them. I have read some reviews that claimed the MAC 239 signature comes off the brush, I'm not entirely sure but on mine it feels like it has been engraved in to the handle - possibly a new feature? So hopefully the MAC sign shouldn't wear off anytime soon whereas the wording on The Body Shop handle is beginning to wear away slightly on mine.
The Body Shop brush is slightly shorter in comparison to the Mac brush (about half an inch) but to be honest I would say that I prefer this about it as I do find it slightly easier to use for this reason. In terms of the bristles I'm not 100% on the individual materials used in the two brushes, however one obvious difference is that TBS brush has dark bristles compared to the lighter bristles in the Mac brush. I think this is something that comes down to personal preference but I do think I prefer the lighter coloured bristles on the Mac brush as you know when its time to give it a good cleaning, whereas you can't really tell when its wash time with darker bristles. Both the brushes have very similar shaped bristles with the tapered edges, however there are some differences as I will discuss below.
The Mac brush, in my opinion is the perfect shape for packing eyeshadow onto the lid quickly and effortlessly thanks to its wide, short bristles - it just fits so well onto the area of your eye. Because the bristles are firm its easy to build up a decent amount of colour, it applies eyeshadow like nothing I've used before and I'm constantly amazed at how this transfers the product onto the eyelid so well. You can also use the tapered edge to blend should you want to, but its best job is in its application of the eyeshadow product.
Moving on to TBS eyeshadow brush you may be able to tell that this is slightly thinner in comparison. The bristles are also that tiny bit longer than the Mac brush and although this is still a decent shape for applying eyeshadow it does mean that it doesn't cover as much area on the eyelid so you have to do a little more work with this brush. On saying that this is still more than efficient in getting a decent colour pay off onto the eyelids, see the swatches below for a comparison.
|Swatches taken in natural day light.|
At half the price of the MAC 239 brush (currently retailing £21) The Body Shop's eyeshadow brush (currently retailing £9) is definitely the high street answer and a good duplicate for its higher end Mac equivalent. In terms of preferance I do have to say I prefer the Mac brush because it does just give that slightly better application although I wouldn't say that the difference between the two is too huge - apart from the price perhaps?!
QOTD: Have you tried either of these eyeshadow brushes?