The Mac 217 eyeshadow brush is a cult classic. It is spoken about by everyone from professional make up artists to beauty bloggers. It has been proclaimedfrom high that it does the smokey eye for you and takes the mystery out of blended eyeshadow looks. All of that is certainly true. The No 7 eyeshadow blend and contour brush is apparently a dupe for the beloved 217. So is it?
The Mac 217 is made up of soft densely packed fibres. It is oval in shape and is quite fluffy. It has a long wooden handle. It feels sturdy and well made. The No 7 is less dense and has less fibres making it thinner than the 217. However maybe because of this it feels softer than the 217. It has a shorter handle, which I like as I feel it allows better control and is good for blending specific areas/colours into one another. I find the 217 is too big (or else I just have small eyes) to blend out just one area, so I generally tend to use it to blend all over the eyelid. The Mac 217 I find is too large and fluffy to apply eyeshadow. The No 7 applies eyeshadow and blends, so cuts down the number of brushes required. They both wash well and retain their shape. This is vital as they do tend to get dirty looking quite easily due to their white fibres.
Below: left No 7 & right Mac 217
The 217 is €23.00 and the No 7 is €9.50. Try the No 7 and see if it does what you desire. It did for me. If my curiosity (and make up obsession) had not got the better of me, I would still happily be using the No 7. I even bought another one (again make up obsessed). I realise what I'm about to say is as controversial as a make up statement can get (thank goodness!) but I do reach for the No 7 more. Therefore I'm proclaiming I like it more.