I love and adore my MAC #187 to bits. It does such a wonderful job of applying and buffing my BB cream and liquid foundations to an air-brushed finish, I want to marry it and have little skunk brush babies named Flower. (Don’t tell my boyfriend I said that)
Anyway, the point I am making here is that I really, really, really like my MAC skunk brush and was seriously thinking of getting a second #187 for my cream blushes. The idea of spending another AUD85 stopped me in my tracks though so I had a poke around Australia for other skunk brush alternatives (sadly, we don’t have an Etude House outlet or I would have got this) and ended up getting a dupe from Artiste Manicare instead.
As you can see, the Manicare version (top) is a slightly stubbier version of the #187. Both brush heads are about the same size in length and fluffiness – I can’t tell the which is which in the second picture but I think the Manicare brush is the one on the left as it looks whiter.
Let’s start with the cons of the Artiste Manicare stippling brush.
First off, the bristles bleed. It took me about 5 washes to make sure that all of the excess dye had run off and just to be doubly sure, I washed it twice more.
Secondly, the brush sheds like a sheepdog in the summer. It sheds when I wash it, it sheds when I dab the tips into my blush and it sheds when I apply blush to my cheeks. I am constantly picking black bristles off my cheeks and out of my cream blushers; it gets pretty darn annoying.
I tested this brush for softness on the back of my hand before I bought it but as it turns out, my facial skin is a lot more sensitive than I thought. This brush is scratchy! It makes me wince a little each time I use it on my cheeks. I haven’t dared to try and use this brush for applying BB cream as I bet my skin would start making banshee-like wails if I did.
The slightly shorter handle makes this brush a lot more travel-friendly and the price tag of AUD17.95 – about a fifth of a MAC #187 so you will still have change for gum from a twenty – makes me a lot less paranoid about throwing this little guy around my travel bag or worrying that I am going to drop it down the loo by mistake.
As this dupe is made with synthetic bristles, it thankfully does not smell like goat. My only grouse with the original #187 was the strong goat smell – it reminded me of childhood weekends spent getting into trouble on my grandparents’ farm.
(Yes, I had a typical budak kampung upbringing where my cousins and I chased chickens, flew kites, played in paddy fields, splashed around in rivers and on one occasion, got chased by water buffaloes. I still have no idea how I went from playing in the mud to playing with lipstick)
Despite the scratchiness, this brush does get the job done. It picks up blushes well – both cream and powder – and does a pretty good job of stippling and blending. As the synthetic bristles are a little stiffer than the #187, I dare say it does a slightly better job at picking up cream blushers as there is less “give”.
I guess this isn’t too shabby if you want a stippling brush and can’t afford or justify spending so much money on a MAC #187. The Manicare option is very much more affordable (think of what you can do with the remaining AUD64.05!) and it does do a pretty decent job. The only bones I have to pick with this brush is the scratchiness and the continuous shedding; both of which you can live with if you have slightly tougher skin than me and are a lot less grouchy.
You can buy Artiste Manicare brushes from most Priceline, Myers and Target outlets. I have not checked David Jones so I am not sure about that. Does anyone know where else you can pick up Manicare brushes in Australia?
Btw, photo credits for that unbearably adorable baby skunk picture at the start of my post goes to LadiesWhoKill.