MAC 217 versus MUG Stiff Dome Brush

I know there are plenty of people who have discussed the similarities and differences between these two brushes, but i would really want to share my two cents as well.

The MUG one is no longer in store on their site, if i'm not mistaken. When i purchased the brush, it was advertised as "MAC 217 dupe". I heard many great things about MAC 217, but the price made me put the brush on hold, and i got the MUG one instead. Let's break down this brush first.

MUG Stiff Dome Brush cost 7.99 USD, when converted, it's about RM 25. SUPER cheap. It has white bristles, silver ferrule and a black handle with 'makeupgeek' stamped on it - similar to MAC 217. Even the lengths are about the same. The bristles are more dome-shaped though. This brush is easy to use and for the low price, the quality is very, very good. There is only one con as far as i'm concerned: the bristles are now tougher and scratchier after many washes. For the record, i wash my brushes using a brush cleaner and baby shampoo. My other brushes haven't lost their softness, but for some reason this one has, slightly, which i think is a disappointment. But one for sure, i learned a lot in terms of how to apply makeup using this brush. And having this brush did NOT make me think "I don't need MAC 217 if i already have the dupe!", in fact it's the TOTAL opposite.

Moving on to MAC 217, i got this for free from Fiza my sister (hugeee thanks Fiza!) so i'm not completely quite sure how much this brush retails for in MAC stores. I got the MAC 219 recently for RM 85 so the price should be around there, maybe slightly more? RM100 or 110 maybe? Which makes this brush almost five time the price of the MUG one. Kerazee. But if i had purchased this brush myself, i would have to say it was worth every ringgit. The brush has a dome shape, but has a slightly flatter top than the MUG one. The bristles are also very slightly thicker, and much, much softer. My sister has had it for a while, so it's older than my MUG one. This brush is softer than the bristles of the MUG one when i first received it in the post. I definitely find myself reaching for this brush more often than the MUG one.

I've been conditioning my MUG Stiff Dome Brush everytime i wash it with my hair conditioner - now i have no idea if this is a good idea or not, i don't know it this would ruin the brush in the long run. However i find that the bristles get softer after i condition it, so i'm going to continue doing this until i know for sure its harming the brush. Even if it is, i still have my MAC 217 don't i? Marlena of Makeup Geek has suggested applying olive oil to makeup brushes to keep them soft, but i don't think i'll venture into that ever.

The MUG one is no longer in store, but i'm sure the MUG Crease Brush is similar to it, and just as affordable!

I am in love with my MAC 217 for sure! But for makeup beginners, i do think it's a good idea to start with cheaper brushes, so that you can learn which brush you reach often, and then just get the higher end version of that brush. But if you've got extra dollars, it does save to buy the expensive one straightaway.

Overall i think both are good to have in my kit. They're the perfect brush to apply a shadow in your crease, but i with MAC 217 shape, it does a better job at blending the shadow around.


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Hi, I'm Liyana

I'm a style & lifestyle blogger based in sunny (and ever humid) Malaysia. On The Good Weekender, you can find typed journals of my evolving modest personal style, travel adventures, skincare/beauty updates, home decor things, and stories of other bits and pieces of my everyday life. I hope you'll enjoy flipping through these pages of my virtual book!