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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Review + Comparison: Mac & Marcel Wanders 187 Duo Fiber Brush (2012 Limited Edition Version)

MAC collaborated with Dutch designer Marcel Wanders in 2010 and they're back together again for Spring 2012. I wasn't going to get anything from this collection because the packaging didn't really interest me. Moreover, I've tried the 187 brush that came out in the first Marcel Wanders collection (full review) and it was not as dense as my original 187 brush (full review). However, someone mentioned on a beauty forum that the bristles of the 187 brush in this collection is dyed with a special coloring and I was immediately sold. Yes, I always fall victim to marketing ploys, especially when products have pretty packaging and are limited edition.

MAC & Marcel Wanders 187 Duo Fiber Brush 
(2012 Limited Edition Version)

  • bristles are dense, firm and soft
  • does not shed when used with powder products or when stippling liquid products
  • no dye bleeding
  • no funky smell after a few washes
  • dries within 7 hours
  • ideal for stippling liquid foundation
  • great for applying highly pigmented powder products
  • easy to wash when used with powder products

  • price may not be in everyone's range
  • takes at least 2 washes for all the liquid/cream product to get out
  • head is a little bit wide to work around the small crevices of the face
  • handle is a little bit long

Sephora Professionnel Platinum #44 Stippling Brush $35 (full review): The bristles do not feel scratchy and are slightly more densely packed, but not as wide or as soft as the 2012 Marcel Wanders brush. In terms of performance, I prefer the Sephora brush for stippling liquid foundation because it's firmer and has a smaller head, which gives me better control during application.

MAC 187 Duo Fibre Brush $42 (full review): The 2012 Marcel Wanders brush is a little bit softer, denser and firmer than the permanent version of the MAC 187 brush. However, the permanent version has a shorter handle and a smaller head, which makes it easier to reach the small crevices of the face when stippling liquid foundation. (The Mac 187 brush that I'm referring to is the old version. The new version from the permanent line (review) is flimsier and not ideal for stippling liquid foundation.) Regardless, I still prefer the 2012 Marcel Wanders version because it's firmer, which gives me better control during application .  

The density of the brush is the most important factor when choosing a stippling brush. The firmer the brush, the better control you'll have when applying foundation. Therefore, I was really disappointed with the 2010 Marcel Wanders brush (full review). It was just too flimsy for stippling liquid foundation.  

Marcel Wanders revamped the brush and came back with a denser version for the MAC Spring 2012 collection. The duo fiber brush is a mix of white synthetic bristles and natural bristles that are dyed grey, which reminds me of a Siberian Husky. (The stock photo on MAC's website is incorrect and shows the natural bristles to be black.) The design of the handle is the same as the 2010 version, except the 2012 version has a chrome-finished wooden handle and does not look cheap.

The 2012 Marcel Wanders brush is soft, but dense and firm, which makes stippling liquid foundation a breeze. I love that it gives me an airbrushed finish. However, because the head of the brush is a little bit wide, it's difficult to work around the small crevices of the face. Therefore, I recommend stippling your foundation first before applying your eye makeup. (Also, do not stipple and swirl any liquid product, such as foundation with a duo fiber brush because the foundation will come in contact with the bottom part of the bristles where the natural fibers are, and that will cause the brush to shed. If you only stipple with a duo fiber brush, which is its intended use, then it will give you an airbrush finish & there will be no shedding whatsoever because the foundation will only be in contact with the white synthetic fibers.)

This brush is also ideal for applying highly pigmented blushes because the white synthetic bristles lightly pick up product and disperse evenly onto the cheek area. I only wish that the length of the handle was a little bit shorter because it tends to hit the mirror when I get too close to it. As for maintenance, it's super easy to clean when used with powder products. However, when used with liquid/cream products, it takes at least 2 washes to get all the product out. It is important to note that I have to do this with all my other foundation brushes 

Bottom Line: The Sephora #44 brush costs $35 and performs just as well as the 2012 Marcel Wanders brush, which costs an arm and a leg $80. However, the pretty packaging and the special dyed goat hairs are well worth the price tag for me, personally. (I could just dye the hairs of my original 187 brush and save $80, but it's just not the same!)

Note: The 2012 MAC & Marcel Wanders 187 brush (limited edition) measures 8.5 inches in total length and is available at Nordstrom for $80.

Did you grab anything from the MAC & Marcel Wanders 2012 Collection?

*This post contains affiliate links. None of the products mentioned are sponsored.


  1. So glad you posted this!

    I remember your review of the first Marcel Wanders 187 brush. I still might not get this one due to the high price tag, but I must admit it is very tempting!

  2. No problem =), but Yikes! I was reading my review of the 1st Marcel Wanders brush and I sounded like a monster.

  3. MAC & Marcel Wanders 187 looks stunning, I want to buy it as it looks soo pretty, but yikes the price!!! xx


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