MAC 242 Flat Shader Brush

MAC 242

Time for a short and sweet review of the MAC 242. After ages of…

  1. Not being able to work with loose shadows or pigments the way I wanted
  2. Reading, watching, hearing that the MAC 242 is the answer to my woes

…I picked up the 242 in my May haul. Lacking time to devote to fun eye makeup I’m only just getting around to working with it.

I don’t have any brushes quite like the MAC 242, so I don’t have much basis for comparison in my own collection. Most of my brushes are synthetic, but I lack a brush with a bristle layout quite like this. The closest in my kit are all from Urban Decay’s Good Karma line – their Shadow brush, and the dual-ended brush that accompanied Naked2. All three of the brush heads are all-synthetic. Frankly, for their price-point, I don’t love how the UD ones perform (glad they came with items I bought rather than buying them myself).


So far, it does a great job of picking up and placing:

  • All three of my NYX Ultra Pearl Mania pigments
  • My MAC Rushmetal glitter pigment
  • Urban Decay Moondust eyeshadow in Space Cowboy (pressed)

It does this with less fallout than any of my Urban Decay brushes. The bristles are more flexible than my comparable brushes, which allows it to conform to the contours of the area in which you are depositing the product.

MAC 242 does perform FAR better with loose powders and glitters than pressed ones; MAC 239 is better suited to packing on powder products. I’m able to build up opaque coverage with the loose product used both wet and dry, but it is far easier to reach opacity with press product with a moistened brush.

The Bottom Line

In all, it’s a good brush. Do I think it is worth $25? No. MAC 242 is closer to being worth its price tag than the Good Karma brushes are to being worth their price tag $26), but I would not repurchase this brush at this price. Reviews suggest that the Sigma E55 performs similarly. I would look to Crown or Coastal Scents to see if there were more economic, comparable options.