Are They Dupes? MAC 219 Pencil Brush VS Gosh Round Eyeshadow Brush

Although I briefly mentioned in its own review how Gosh Round Eyeshadow Brush compares to MAC 219 Pencil Brush, I thought the topic deserved its own post. So, how do they compare and which one is better?


Both MAC 219 Pencil Brush and Gosh Round Eyeshadow Brush have black handles, but that’s where the similarities end. The MAC brush has a silver ferrule (Gosh brush’s is black) and a longer handle, but overall both are easy to control and use. Unlike MAC brush, Gosh Round Eyeshadow brush has only the name of the brand, nor its own name or number too, printed on the handle, but this remains intact even after numerous washes. The printing on the MAC brushes instead fades overtime.


Both brushes have natural bristles. MAC brush is made with goat hair while Gosh brush is made with pony hair. Goat hair is the coarsest hair type used to make makeup brushes and is considered to be the best to pick up and deposit colour on the lid, and is also good at blending it. Pony hair is instead slightly less coarse, very fine and works very well at blending. Both brushes have dense and very soft bristles (MAC brush’s a bit softer maybe) that don’t scratch skin and don’t shed either. They are both domed-shaped, although the size of the MAC brush head is bigger and larger. Its bristles are also white which means that they stain very easily. After a while, it will start to look a bit dirty even when it’s perfectly clean.


Both brushes pick up a good amount of product and are very versatile. Because their small heads are shaped like pencils, they can easily be used to create shapes or deposit and blend colour on smaller areas like the outer V or the lower lashline. They can also be used to blend eyeshadows on the crease and even to apply them on the lid, although, because of their small size, this will take a little while. I would say the quality of the MAC brush is slightly better, but they perform pretty much the same. However, because Gosh has a smaller brush head, it is more precise when working in really small areas and is more suitable for those with small eyes.

Price and availability

MAC 219 Pencil Brush retails at a whopping €27.00, while Gosh Brush is only €8,30. However, I believe that for most people MAC is more easily accessible. The MAC brush can be bought in all MAC stores, on their website and on nordstrom. Gosh brush can be purchased at Superdrug stores throughout the UK, on and I believe it’s also available in Drug Mart stores throughout the US, but not in most European countries.

So, which one is better?

As far as the quality of the bristles is concerned, MAC wins, but only slightly. However, its bristles also stain easily and the printing on the brush fades fast. They perform pretty much the same, but because Gosh has a smaller brush head, it allows more precision when working in small areas. If you have small eyes or money is a concern for you, definitely go for Gosh Round Eyeshadow Brush. I can guarantee you you won’t ever feel the need to get the MAC Pencil Brush. Otherwise, it doesn’t really matter which one you pick, they are both excellent brushes.

Have you tried these brushes or planning to? And also, would you like to see this type of posts more often?

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    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Trisha, if you can find it, go for it. It’s one of the best brushes I’ve ever tried: soft, multitasking and inexpensive.

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Teri, I agree that a good dupe is hard to find and I was over the moon when I came across this. I was planning to get a backup of the MAC brush, but this works just as well at a fraction of the price!

  1. Janessa says

    I am adding GOSH’s round eyeshadow brush to my wishlist now :] since I don’t have the 219. Great review, thanks Gio!

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