I was so thrilled in January when I finally got my grubby hands on this brush!
The MAC Masterclass Oval 6 brush had been out of stock for over a year, no exaggeration! It retails for $51 CAD (ouch).
Despite wanting it for ages, I was quite skeptical about this brush, honestly! I already owned the other 2 brushes from the Masterclass range: Oval 3 (the medium size one implied for eyes), and Linear 1 (the thin one implied for lining). While I like Oval 3 for very particular things (like blending out eye shadow edges), I didn’t much care for the Linear 1 brush whatsoever (in fact, it’s on a list of “Products I Regret” post in my draft folder!) No doubt part of the reason why I wanted the Oval 6 brush was to round out my collection. But much more importantly, I’d read numerous rave reviews about how it was the best brush from the Masterclass brushes. and of course, it being out of stock for so long just fueled my lust for it!
Yes, it’s an odd concept, these Masterclass brushes. They essentially turn the bristles sideways from a conventional makeup brush, making the brush head perpendicular to the deal with – like a toothbrush! This allows for a couple of things: ability to get really close to the mirror when doing your makeup. And, by nature of how the brush deal with is held in this configuration, it forces less direct pressure to be placed onto the head of the brush. I certainly found that when using the Oval 6 brush, I applied less pressure onto my face when blending.
I would not call the hairs soft in the sense that they are squishy – they’re much more so very silky and the individual hairs are very, very fine, especially at the tips. I compared the hairs against other synthetic brushes I own and they’re probably the finest I have in my collection.
The fine hairs coupled with the fact that they’re packed so densely, makes the brush surface feel like velvet!
I do have to say that I find the deal with of the brush to feel somewhat cheap – a shiny plastic deal with with a rubberized portion displaying the MAC logo. I would have loved to see it done in a lacquered wood or lucite or something to elevate it to the next level. It does come in a fancy schmancy box though.
I use this brush for only one purpose: to blend foundation. I evaluated it with several consistencies of foundations from very runny (MAC face & Body) to much more solid form (Vincent Longo Water Canvas). I found it worked best with ones that are less runny because the bristles would absorb too much of the product. It worked fine with the VL Water Canvas but for that foundation, I preferred a sponge. This brush, however, works amazingly well for all other foundations and BB creams I’ve tried it with.
How I use this is similar to how I use other foundation brushes: I smooth foundation onto my face (forehead, both cheeks, chin, nose) in large splotches with my fingers. then I use the Oval 6 brush to sweep across my face in outside motion to blend the foundation. The result is practically an airbrushed look! Compared to using a buffing type brush, the Oval 6 brush offers a smoother finish with a slightly much more natural coverage. I would say charm Blender type sponges still create the most seamless, natural looking foundation finish, but the Oval 6 offers just slightly more coverage. I use the brush dry – I found that using it wet caused streaks. What I really like about the Oval 6 brush is how rapidly it blends in foundation – much faster than a sponge.
The above photo shows the brush right after using foundation – the brush washes up easily and dries very quickly. MAC advises to clean the brush with a soft damp cloth and brush cleaner but I choose to wet the whole thing and wash with dish detergent. I place the brush on my dish rack with the bristles facing downward to guarantee the water runs off the tips. I wish mine after every use and it’s completely dry by the next morning. I haven’t experienced any shedding with this brush.
The head shape of the Oval 6 brush is um… oval. It steps roughly 23mm x 35mm. The bristle hair length is about 15mm tall – there is a small dome shape to the arrangement of the bristles which helps to create a softer blend. From end to end, the whole brush is 16cm long. I do wish that the head was slightly larger to cover a broader surface area. and if I could make one tweak on the brush head shape, I’d make it slightly pointed at the end so it can get into crevices better.
MAC also recommends using this to apply skincare, to contour and to apply powders. I’ve tried it with my face cream but I felt that I was wasting product. I’ve yet to try it with powders – I don’t typically like synthetic bristles for powders so likely I won’t be using it for that purpose. Overall, I am very amazed with how this performed. I’m a little bit obsessed actually. I find myself just stroking my face with the brush for no particular reason…
I do have to say though, this brush is made in China so that implies cheap labour costs, and I imagine the material costs aren’t that high either. The price of $51 is a bit outrageous for this brush. There are actually a number of similar brushes on the market including inexpensive unbranded ones online. Recently, I’ve seen the Artis Oval 7 brush evaluated on Mascara in the City and Felicia mentioned that Artis, in fact, manufactures the MAC brushes – how neat is that? But price-wise, Artis is much more expensive than MAC’s. Artis does offer the massive Oval 10 brush, which looks to be the size of my whole face!
• No shedding
• very smooth and silky bristles
• blends foundation in seamlessly
• washes clean easily
Stash worthiness: 8/10*
* I would have rated this 9/10 but I just received the AliExpress version of this brush and well, wait for that review coming up.
Have you tried brushes like this? Are you interested in trying them?
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