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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Product Review: MAC 188 Small Duo Fibre Face Brush

Here's my second installment on my brush reviews. I will be alternating between makeup/skin care reviews and brush reviews so it won't be all about brushes for my succeeding posts. Anyway, I've had this MAC 188 Small Duo Fibre Face Brush for almost two years now so I thought of giving it its much-deserved review. I initially purchased it last October 2009 during the height of my blush addiction for the sole purpose of using this on my blushes. But I found another use where this brush is excellent at and I'll share that on this review.

Description from MAC Cosmetics Website:

A flat-topped, full circular brush used for lightweight application and blending of any formula colour – fluid, cream, powder or pigment. Ideal for creating soft layers or adding textures. Made from a soft blend of goat and synthetic fibres.

17 cm


What I like:
- This works great in applying cream and/or highly pigmented blushes because it gets just the right amount of color and distributes it evenly on the cheeks.
- I like using this in blending my under eye concealer when I use something creamy like Laura Mercier Secret Concealer. It works so much better than my ring finger because it blends it better by swirling it around the eye area and that prevents the product from caking up (this is the other use I am talking about on the intro of this post. I use it more on concealers than I do on blushes).
- When used in applying cream or liquid foundations, it works great on the crevices like the sides of the nose, near the ears, and around the eyes and forehead as compared to MAC 187 due to its size (significantly smaller than 187 - see pictures below). If you plan to apply foundation using the stippling motion, it will take you a while if you use this on your entire face so I suggest leaving it to the 187 brush to do that and use this 188 on hard to reach areas instead. But if you're just going to buff it in, this brush will do.
- This applies highlighters and contouring products like a dream, its size is perfect.
- If you want to apply your eye creams without tugging on the under eyes, you may very well use this brush too.
- I experienced minimal shedding and it never bled every single time I wash it and it does not take long to dry.
- Locally available at MAC Counters and part of the permanent line.

What I don't like:
- Quite pricey for a single brush at Php 2050. Those on a budget may want to consider the Adorned with Grace Minerals Ingenue Dual Fiber Brush since the size is almost the same and works just as fine as the 188. But it sheds like crazy.
- I wouldn't use this on uber pigmented blushes and foundations and cheek tints because the white hairs might get stained just like what happened to my 187. :(
- The black goat hairs can be quite scratchy so make sure only the white hair touches your skin.

Overall rating: 4.5/5 Despite the price, the versatility of this brush got me - from eye creams to concealers to foundations, blushes, highlighters and bronzers. However, I don't think this is a must-have for everyone. If you already have brushes for different products, you can do away without this. :)

Will I buy again? I hope I won't have to since I take care of this brush but in case something unexpected and unfortunate happens to it, I will. :)

A closer look

Compared with MAC 187 size-wise

Do you have this brush?

Happy Wednesday, everyone! :)

Coming up: Alba Botanica Acne Dote Oil Control Lotion Review


  1. Thank you for the review pam. I'm thinking of buying the two duo fibers next! :) Can I ask whats the difference with applying the blush with the 188 compared to just using a regular blush brush?



  2. @Keesh I noticed that when I use the 188 on blushes, they look more airbrushed and the finish looks softer. In applying really pigmented blushes, it softens the color once on the cheeks. On shimmery blushes, it picks up less shimmers and more of the pigment instead. Hope this helps. :)

  3. It does! Thank you :) Does it stay as long though? Do you stipple or do it the normal way? :D

  4. @Keesh I just do it the normal way. I'm lazy to stipple blushes most of the time. :D

  5. sa lahat ng brushes, stippling brush lang ang di ko masyadong ginagamit, pero ang cute ng 188 ha!

  6. I use the 187 for foundation and the 188 for blush, especially cream or bright power blushes. Thanks for the review!

  7. I saw something similar at Etude House. But I think theirs is synthetic.

    I think this is good for Nars Exhibit A.

  8. Ohh i saw this mac website that's going to be discontinued! I think i would consider the 187 if i were to get a stippling brush... actually the SE version suffices. Great review!

  9. Hi, thanks for the review! I don't have the 188 but I find that you can make the 188 out of the 187 by just using a brush guard to lift it up abit.As for the stains, I recommend using olive oil and anti bacterial soap as a brush cleanser, it'll make it look as good as new! :)

  10. @Shopcoholic (Khymm Lam) Yung 187 ang di ko nagagamit talaga even sa foundies since I like Sigma F80 for foundies better. Pero this 188, I use it sa concealer. Nakakatamad kasi mag-stipple stipple whereas mas madali mag-buff lang. Tamad much. :D

  11. @Jamilla Camel Have your tried using this to apply and blend your under eye concealers (especially cream and liquid)? It rocks! :D

  12. @Rae I had that one. I initially liked it but later on found it not as soft as the white bristles of the 188. I would have to agree that this'll be good for Exhibit A. I wanted that shade before but it wasn't available at that time so I got Taos instead which is also on the red family. This brush worked great. :D

  13. @Nic Nic It is? Oh no, then I better take care of this brush even more. Or just go for the 130 instead. :D Oh Nic, I had the 187 SE and the full size is soooooo much better than the SE one. :)

  14. @Diana Hello. Yes, I did that trick before with my 187SE before getting this. I used hair elastics instead and I had myself an improvised 188. The brush guard idea is also great! :D

    Re: removing stains. I've tried using olive oil, cleansing oil, anti bac soap and none worked. Even the MAC SA gave up on the stains on my 187. And even my trusty ol' Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap failed in removing the stains. :(

  15. it's definitely worth investing for!
    a brush that has multi-use!
    brushes like these are awesome!

    gaya ni kim hnd ako masyado gumagamit ng stippling brush...actually hnd ko na nga matandaan kung nagamit ko na yung stippling brush ko e

  16. Oh thank you for the concealer tip! I will try that using the duo fibre that I have from Etude House :)

  17. pricey is right :/ but it sounds so multifunctional D: why are MAC brushes so awesome ><

  18. @~tHiAmErE~ Agree. It's just a pain to keep the bristles white. :D I find stippling brushes not for tamad people and not busy to apply foundation. Hehe.

  19. @KariThe bristles of the Etude house stippling brush are kinda stiff and not as soft as those in MAC 188. I'm not sure I would recommend using the EH brush for the under eyes. :(

  20. @Michelle True. I think it's more on how you put the brushes to good use. But yeah, MAC brushes are already awesome to begin with. :)

  21. This is super unrelated abd randombut dual fiber brushes remind me of pepe le pew! Lol kbye! :-)

  22. This brush sounds like a great multipurpose brush~ I agree that it would be great for cream blushers and high pigmented pressed powder. Its pretty pricey but it definitely seems worth it~ ^__^

  23. @Michelle Haha! One reason why they're also called skunk brushes. :D Haha!

  24. you know what, i've always been unsure whether i need this brush or not!

  25. I love this brush! I use it with my cream blushes. Great review Pammytweet! ;)

  26. i don't have any mac brushes because i'm cheap. :P LOL!you really make me want to buy this brush pammy but i can't right now since i'm broke. LOL!

  27. @Crystal I honestly think this isn't a must-have. If your brushes already work great, pwede na. :)

  28. @sugar sugar Your Urban Decay palette isn't cheap either. :P Haha! Go get one if you must. But it's not a must-have if you ask me.

  29. @Rachel Emma (Daydream Frenzy) Just think of it as an investment if you really want it. Maybe save up for it? :)

  30. @PammyI don't own any brush na goat hair. Pero ang mahal kasi.:P

    Isip isip :)

  31. @Rae Have you tried the ELF Studio Stippling Brush? I think pwede na sya for blushes and/or foundies. Or maybe Charm stippling brush. ;D

  32. Sigh, super want! I remembered wanting this pero sa totoo lang I haven't been using Stippling brushes much even on gigs! kaya sayang lang if I buy! maglalaway na lang ako dito ! :P

  33. Pammy! :)

    Blog awards for you! :)


  34. @Askmewhats It's not a must have nga talaga, I guess. If other brushes work, pwede na skip this brush. :)

  35. i like the mac 188.. my first ever mac brush! hihi


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