Product Review: MAC 219 Pencil Brush

Name: 219 pencil brush
Brand: MAC
Price: €24,00

From MAC’s website:
For precision shading on lid, in eye crease or along lash line. The soft, smooth fibers of this brush are gathered into a pencil-shaped tip. It is ideal for blending eyeliner into eye shadow to create a smoky looking eye.

What I liked:
– soft and dense bristles
– picks up a lot of color
– can be used to place color everywhere
– perfect for precise work, to create eyes shape and to work in small areas
– can be used to place the color, blend it and smudge it
– doesn’t shed
– doesn’t lose its shape after washing

What I didn’t like:
– white bristles get stained easily and they are hard to clean
– if you don’t like using brushes with natural bristles, this is not for you
– the price

As you know, I’m not a big fan of MAC these days but I have to admit they make some of the best brushes around. One of my absolute favourites that I use in almost every look I do is the 219 Pencil Brush. It’s a must have for me and I have never regretted buying it. I actually wondered how I could have lived without it!

The 219 pencil brush has a pointed tip, just like that of a pencil as the name suggests. The bristles are soft so they don’t scratch skin but dense and pick up a lot of product, so be careful or you might end up with too much powder on your brush. Also, its size and shape ensure precise application in small areas and make this a very versatile brush that can be used for lots of things.

This brush can be used to apply color on the lower lashline effortlessly and blending it too or to apply highlighting shades in the corner of your eyes to brighten them up. It can also be used to place colors in the crease easily and painlessly so that then you can blend them with a crease brush, or to create a defined line. But that’s not all. If you’re into smokey eyes, this brush makes your life so much easier as it can be used to smudge eyeshadow and eyeliner. Because of its shape, the results are very precise and achieved in a jiffy.

It is also useful to blend shades in the outer corners and to create every eye shape you want. You could even use it to apply colors on the lid if you wanted to. Seriously you can place the color everywhere with this brush and it deposits a good amount of it too so that, whether you want to create a defined shape or blend out the edges, you can do so very easily. In addition, the bristles don’t shed and reshape very well after washing, which is something I was worried about.

However, there are a couple of things I don’t like about this brush. First off, the white bristles get stained easily and are hard to clean. Most of the times, after I wash it with baby shampoo and water, they are still stained and look like they’re dirty even though they’re not. I really wish the bristles were darker but considering how amazing this brush is, I can put up with it.

The other downside is the price: €24 is a lot of money for an eyeshadow brush. Still, this is one of the very few cases when I didn’t mind splurging because not only this brushes has so many uses and I can do pretty much anything with it, but if taken proper care of, it can last for years and years and you won’t have to repurchase it ever again. Considering the quality, I consider it to be a really good investment.

Also, some people may not like that the bristles are natural. They are made of goat hair, so if you have a problem with that, you should avoid this and choose a pencil brush with synthetic bristles instead.

Available at:, macy’s and nordstrom

Overall, I adore MAC 219 pencil brush. The soft but dense bristles place color effortlessly everywhere: crease, inner and outer corners, crease, lower lashline and even lid. The pointed tip is perfect for precise work in small areas, to create defined lines and shapes and to smudge colors. Also, the bristles don’t shed but are hard to clean and natural. And the price is steep for an eye brush too.

Rating: 5/5

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    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Anastacia, it is a great brush indeed. It is expensive but you can do everything you want with it. :)

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Nikki, you’re welcome. I’m glad the dupe’s working well for you. I think having a pencil brush, not necessarily this one, in your stash is very important as they can be so useful for precise work and applying color in small areas. :)

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Trisha, I hate those cheap black plastic bristles too, they’re horrible! I don’t really care if the bristles of my brushes are natural or synthetic as long as they do their job without scratching my skin. :)

  1. says

    love your review! now, all i need is a pencil brush to my brush collection. will try to see if there is a dupe that works as fine as this

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Xin, a pencil brush is a must, you can do so many things with it! I hope you manage to find a good dupe. I have a pencil brush from Gosh that is a fairly good dupe for this. The point is smaller than the MAC ones but it still works very well. I’m not sure if Gosh is available where you live though.

  2. says

    I love this brush too! And I had the same thoughts, “what did I ever do without this one?” It’s so versatile and helpful. I’ve the Sigma SS219 too, and it’s very different, if anyone’s looking for dupes =)
    Pinch´s last blog post ..Nails: OPI Do you Lilac it?My Profile

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Pinch, I’m glad you love it! It’s a great quality brush and you can practially everything with it. It made my life a lot easier. It’s good to hear the Sigma brush is a cheaper but good dupe for it, thanks for sharing. :)

  3. says

    I’ve got the same brush…I made photos a few days ago and I was thinking about reviewing it soon. I agree with u on the color and price. I’m not running to clean my brushes after I use them so I’m sure it will get stained…with a deep pink color or MAC fuchsia pigment. I’ve paid 23 Eur for it..but I still think it too much, I just hope it will last years to make the price worth it.

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Tavia, I cna’t wait to read your review of this brush. I really dislike white bristles as they get stained so easily but I only clean my brushes at weekends. But I can’t be bothered to wash it more often to avoid staines lol. And I agree about the price being very expensive. €23/24 is a lot for a brush but considering how versatile it is and how long it lasts I still think it’s a good investement.

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