The Sephora Pro Contour Brush #74 looks similar to the MAC 109 Small Contour Brush; however, they are not dupes. The MAC 109 is slightly bigger, rounder and denser. Both brushes are made from natural hair and feel really soft. I have not experienced any shedding with them when used with powder products. (I don't recommend using them to apply liquid foundation since they are made from natural hair, which tend to absorb alot of product and shed when used with liquid or cream products.)
Because the MAC 109 is denser and firmer, it's more suitable for contouring and for buffing out over-applied products, such as blush. I find that the Sephora #74 is more appropriate for applying setting powder under the eye area, since the bristles are not as densely packed. Also, it won't pack on too much product or leave a cakey finish.
It may seem like the Sephora #74 is too small for applying blush. However, it actually fits nicely on the cheek area because the bristles flare out a little bit when you apply the product onto the skin. It's also great for applying bronzer. You could also use the side of the brush to highlight the top of the cheekbones and to contour, but I prefer the MAC 109 for that type of application because it's firmer and gives me more control. Keep in mind that although the Sephora #74 is not as dense as the MAC 109, it is by no means floppy or flimsy.
Packaging: Sephora recently revamped their professional brush line and released over 30 new brushes with a black glossy handle. The handle of the old version was platinum. The MAC 109 has a matte black handle.
The ferrule of the Sephora brush is embossed with their logo on one side and the number of the brush on the other side. Also, it comes with a thick plastic brush guard that snaps open and shut and it's suppose to protect the brush during travel. The brush fluffed out a bit after the initial wash, so it no longer fits in the case without it pinching the bristles. However, it's not a big deal for me because I usually store my brushes in a brush roll or my Sigma Brush Cup Holder when I'm travelling.
Note: The Sephora Pro Contour Brush #74 measures 8 inches in total length and is available at Sephora for $30. The MAC 109 Small Contour Brush measures 7.25 inches in total length and is available at Nordstrom for $34.
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Have you tried any of Sephora's new professional black handle brushes?