I picked up the RiRi Hearts MAC double-ended brush in my haul when the collection was released in stores yesterday on December 12th.
I was attracted to the white and rose gold packaging of the RiRi Hearts MAC collection and was very excited about getting the double-ended brush because the two ends are the MAC 217 blending brush (left) and the MAC 239 eye shader brush (right), which are widely raved about as being must-have MAC brushes. I had never tried any MAC brushes before.
Given that the MAC 217 cost $28.50 CAD and the MAC 239 cost $30 CAD, I knew I had to have this double-ended brush especially since it looked beautiful, too. At $42 CAD it was definitely a great opportunity for me to try these brushes.
I have to say that I haven’t yet used these brushes to apply any eyeshadow yet. However, I did start playing with the brush and swept it across my eyelids. The brush ends were slightly scratchy, not as soft as what I’ve read in reviews.
I found that there were actually fibers from the 217 side that poked me in the eye. I found that odd and upon closer inspection, there were a few hairs that were longer on one side. I thought it might have been a manufacturing mistake so I started looking for pictures of the regular 217 and 239 brushes.
Here is the 217 RiRi brush end compared with the regular MAC 217 brush:
See how some of the bristles at the top of my RiRi 217 brush end are longer and sticking out? Those were the bristles that were poking me in the eye. The shape of the brushes are definitely different, too. The regular MAC 217 brush is more of a rounded paddle shape that reminds me of a concealer brush. The RiRi 217 brush end looks more bell-shaped to me. The bristles are almost the same length, whereas the regular MAC 217 brush has shorter bristles on the sides.
Here’s a side view comparison of the 217 RiRi brush end and the regular MAC 217 brush:
Again, the RiRi 217 brush end is more bell-shaped and the bristles are uneven with stray hairs sticking out. The regular MAC 217 brush looks like a crease brush from the side and again, the bristles get shorter around the sides.
Here is the 239 RiRi brush end compared with the regular MAC 239 brush:
The RiRi 239 brush end and the regular MAC 239 brush are also different shapes. I also found the RiRi 239 brush end to be slightly scratchy on my lids, not at all what I expected from MAC 239 brush reviews. Like the MAC 217 above, the MAC 239 shape reminds me of a concealer brush, whereas the RiRi 239 brush end is much more rounded.
Here’s a side view comparison of the 239 RiRi brush end and the regular MAC 239 brush:
I think the difference here is the most obvious. The RiRi 239 brush end has a rounded end while the regular MAC 239 brush is tapered from a side view. I wouldn’t have known that this was supposed to be the same brush if it weren’t for the fact that I was the one who took the picture of the RiRi 239 brush end, and I have looked at many regular MAC 239 brush pictures that look like the one shown here.
In conclusion, the RiRi Hearts MAC double-ended brush 217/239 was definitely not made equal to the regular MAC 217 and MAC 239 brushes. The shapes are different and the bristle lengths are inconsistent. I haven’t tried the regular brushes on my eyelids, but the RiRi Hearts MAC brush ends are slightly rough, whereas many reviews I’ve read rave about how soft the MAC 217 and MAC 239 brushes are.
Even though the RiRi Hearts MAC double-ended 217/239 brush was a bargain at $42 CAD (and a very aesthetically-pleasing one at that) compared to the total $58.50 CAD price of the regular brushes, I’m not sure it was worth it. I would have been willing to pay $50 CAD if the brush ends had been actual replicas of the regular brushes. Perhaps even $60 CAD just for the pretty white and rose gold colouring. But I feel that it was misleading to name the RiRi double-ended brush as 217/239 when the differences to the regular brushes are so obvious.
I am probably going to return the RiRi Hearts MAC double ended 217/239 brush, but I might try it out and give it a chance with some shadows. But I think that the different shape of the brush ends most likely would not give me the same experience of using regular MAC 217 and MAC 239 brushes, which is unfortunate because I had really wanted to try them.
Did you get the RiRi Hearts MAC Double-Ended Brush 217/239? What did you think of it? I would love to hear any suggestions you have.
(Image source: tanjalovesmakeup.blogspot.ca)