11 Mar 2013

Illamasqua Blush-Up Brush v MAC 163

T -> B: MAC 163, Illamasqua Blush-Up Brush

A relatively recent (ok, a month or so ago now) trip to London saw me at the I'mPerfection launch in the flagship store in Soho... where I got my caricature drawn (more on that later!) and purchased some items from the collection.  Some are LE (like the nailpolishes, more later) and some are permanent line - like the new Blush-Up Brush.

Being a brush junkie :-) I decided to purchase and bring home to compare with the MAC 163, which I bought from the Face & Body collection in 2012.  This is a quick-n-dirty compare post on the two...

Illamasqua Blush-Up Brush

Illamasqua Blush-Up Brush

Look here for more information on this brush.  This is a definite recommend in the same vein as my recommend of the 163 - but if you've got one you don't need the other.

MAC 163 Flat-Top Contour Brush

MAC 163

I've already written about this brush, look here for more information on the (LE) MAC equivalent, the 163, which was released in MAC's Face & Body Collection (2012).


L - > R: Illamasqua Blush-Up Brush, MAC 163
  • Both have synthetic bristles, the Illamasqua has slightly softer fibres
  • Both have the same shape, the Illamasqua brush is slightly smaller (width)
  • Both are about the same density, the Illamasqua is slightly more yielding (length of bristles is the tiniest fraction bigger) 
  • Both can be used for cream or powder products
  • Both are used the same way - to create a nice sharp contour, using a countouring product, or a blusher (à la 80's and coming back on trend for the last year or so)
  • Either can be used for contour and highlighter - they both hook nicely under the cheekbone, are wide enough to apply product to the tops of the cheekbones but narrow enough to do the centre of the nose or even the sides of the nose - you won't get a subtle finish with these brushes.
  • You will need a seperate blending brush when using either of these

I personally think that these work better for cream products.  They are extremely densely packed brushes so will pick up quite a lot of product, so you need to take care not to overload them and tap-off before application.  For the same reason, they are a pain in the proverbial to clean out afterwards.

Benefits of one over the other?  Illamasqua's offering is permanent, and at £28.50 slightly more expensive than the MAC 163 which retailed at £26 at the time - but the 163 was LE and is now long gone.

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