MAC brushes, 217 vs. 224

17 Dec

The other day one of my fellow make up geek friends and I were having a conversation about MAC brushes.  She asked, “Have you seen that brush that’s like the 217, but it’s a little bit longer and is black?”  Without hesitation, I said “The 224!”  After finding myself trying to explain to her how the two brushes are different, I remember that I had asked that same question to the MAC employee from whom I had purchased this brush from.  So, if us two have that question, I figured others probably are asking the same thing.  Without further adieu, I give you:

Are they really that different?

Lets start with their similarities:

  • Both dome-shaped blending brushes
  • Both are made from natural fibres (as opposed to synthetic)
  • Both have wood handles with nickel-plated brass ferrules

The 217:

Website descriptionFor shading or blending of colour or creamy products. This brush has fine, densely packed fibers that are arranged in an oval shape.

The 224:

Website descprtion: For controlled eye shadow application. This brush has soft fibers which taper to form a medium size dome shape.


The 217 bristles are more densely packed, therefore this brush is able to pick up a lot of product.  The bristles are a bit stiffer than the 224 so it also works better if you are using any sort of cream eyeshadow.  It’s great for applying eyeshadow into the crease and blending colors.

The 224 has softer bristles and since they aren’t so densely packed the brush doesn’t pick up as much product as the 217.  You could view that as a good thing or a bad thing, depending on what look you’re going for.  It works well for putting a bit of color into your crease and blending out.  My personal favorite use for this one is for concealer.  I works GREAT for putting it under my eyes,  the perfect size and the bristles are soft enough that it doesn’t tug at my skin.

217 left, 224 right

The 224 is a little bit longer

Side by side comparison, 224 on top 217 on bottom

217 right, 224 left, Eyeshadow: Urban Decay Blackout

As you can see, the brushes apply color in a completely different way.  It was really hard to choose a winner in this one, just because I LOVE both brushes and use them in different ways… but if I had to choose.. life or death… I choose:

The 217.  Why?  Since my favorite use for the 224 is for concealer, at the end of the day, the 217 could do the same thing.  I prefer this one for doing my eye make up, and if I need it to blend something without adding color, I just use the brush without any eye shadow on it.  There is also a price difference, the 217 is $22.50, and the 224 is $30.00.

Glitter rating for the 217: 4.5 / 5

Glitter rating for the 224: 4 / 5

You can purchase these brushes at any MAC store or counter.  You can purchase the 217 here online.  You can purchase the 224 here online.



8 Responses to “MAC brushes, 217 vs. 224”

  1. Kristy from Nebraska! December 18, 2011 at 9:42 am #

    Fantastic use of the word “adieu”.

    • ShoeGalKayla December 18, 2011 at 9:44 am #

      See? 5 years of college did pay off…

  2. CANDICE June 3, 2012 at 11:18 pm #

    Great breakdown it was VERY helpful!!!


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