Why Three Eye Brushes are All You’ll Ever Need


Over the past year I’ve graduated from an occasional eyeshadow wearer to a daily lid wash kinda gal. This is due to my realisation that a touch of something swept over my sockets can make me look more awake, an understanding of formulas and finally finding the right shades that work for me, but mainly it’s down to tools. I’ve found that it’s just three brushes that I reach for daily and they might just surprise you…

First up there’s the classic, ‘been using this type of brush since I ditched sponge applicators’ brush – the MAC 242. If you haven’t got this exact model in your collection, then you’ve got a similar flat, synthetic, sorta square brush hanging around somewhere. Not only is this category of brush the one I go to when it comes to packing colour on the lid, they’re also handy with all formulas – Pigment? Cream? No problem – the top of the brush can smudge out liner like a pro or add somethin’ somethin’ on the lower lash line. You get the gist – it’s a fab multi-tasker.

A brush edit isn’t a brush edit without the MAC 217 getting a mention, is it? All-over lid depositor, crease colour extraordinaire, all-round eyeshadow good guy there’s not much that this brush won’t do. I’ve had mine for years and it still washes up well and gets the job done and when it comes to adding a touch of oomph in the outer corners there isn’t anything else that I even contemplate reaching for. If you pick up one brush from this trio, then make it this one. 

The final addition to my three eyeshadow amigos is a bit of a weird one, but hear me out. It’s the Bobbi Brown Eye Blender Brush. At about twice the height and width of the MAC 217 you might be wondering what exactly its use is; if the 217 takes care of the crease and the 242 does the same for the lids, then where does this fit in? Well it’s one of the those items that I can’t quite exactly put my finger on what it does or why it’s so awesome but it just works and does a move that makes it a game changer. Here it blends out colour to where even the naked eye can’t tell where it was first applied, it’s like taking your eye makeup from everyday to HD. Plus it may just be the softest thing ever and I can often be found swirling it over my eyes just for the very fun of it. And that’s enough justification to add it here, non?


  • The bobby brown brush looks so handy! I love the post 🙂

  • Candidly Catrin

    Great post! I get overwhelmed with the abundance of eyeshadow brushes available so this really is helpful! xo

  • Thank you for these suggestions~ ^ – ^
    I need to get some new eye makeup brushes! ^ w ^

  • Love this! I often find myself thinking that I need more 217s (I have two…), but now I might venture out and give that Bobbi Brown one a whirl.

  • Chantal

    You make me want to buy them all after reading this hahaha 🙂 x

  • Great post Anna! I feel like face brushes I can deal with but eye brushes confuse me!


    I might have to buy the 242 now. You’re right – I have others like it, but I don’t have THAT one! I’ve got the other two brushes mentioned and I totally agree! I always have room for more brushes…

  • I have the 217 but I have been lusting after that Bobbi Brown brush for so long. I might just have to take the plunge now! xx

  • Avanti

    The Bobbi Brown brush looks gorgeously soft! Hopefully I can find it in my local department store.


  • Katie Males

    They all sound perfect, I’m surprised at how good the Bobbi Brown brush sounds. I always assumed MAC are the brushes to go for. Great post 🙂 x

  • They all sound so lovely! I think I need the bobbi brown eye blender brush! x


  • Freida

    I am definitely convinced with the Bobbi Brown brush.

  • Why is the MAC 217 still absent from my life?!


  • Gem

    I’m so hopeless at applying eyeshadow, really need to invest in these to make application easier!

  • I have the MAC 217 and use it all the time! Its grey for blending concealer and eyeshadow, best purchase from MAC that I have made!

  • Clementine Buttercup

    Very tempted to try the Bobbi Brown Eye Blender brush. My Bobbi Brown brushes are my favourites.

  • Need the bobbi brown eye blender brush in my collection soon! It looks so fluffy and definitely a brush that I would make good use out of when creating different eye makeup looks.

    Thank you for posting, I hope you have a wonderful day! ♥


    X x X x X

  • Megan Roisin

    I really ought to get the MAC 217… clearly it’s a necessary beauty blogger tool with all the attention it gets!
    Megan x
    London Callings

  • I need a swirly fluffy brush so desperately! Both the 217 and the Bobbi Brown counter part sound so up my street. I need some more blending in my life!

  • I’ve still never tried the 217 brush, but it’s been on my list for so long now! Sometimes I like using the fluffy brushes I have to put eye shadow all over my lid, instead of using a flat brush.

  • Mandy Bajwa

    Love mac brushes! Such good quality x

  • I have not tried any of these brushes. The 217 sounds like it is a great multitasker.

  • Arch beauty

    Loveeee all those three brushes ! And a very big congrats for you Anna , Bloglovin Best Beauty Blogger!!! You sure earn that title my girl , keep on doing what you’ve been doing. Love from Istanbul xx

  • Lux Veritatis

    The Bobbi Brown one is absolutely amazing! 🙂
    By the way, I’m also new to this world of blogging, so it would mean a world to me if anyone checked out my blog. Thanks!
    Luxveritatis.| Beauty.Fashion.Crafts

  • I must get my hands on the 217 one of these days! xx

  • Lauren Y

    MAC 217 is my fave! I used to not wear eyeshadow so much because I wasn’t good at applying it but when you put the Clinique Chubby sticks for eyes with this brush it’s pretty foolproof…

  • The MAC 217 is a definite must-have for me! And I also can’t live without my Sigma E55 brush.

  • the mac 217 is such a great brush 🙂

  • Thebeautyspot

    Lol after reading this i feel like i need all these three brushes in my life!:)

  • I was so lucky and won Mac 217. I absoluely loooove it!

  • The Bobbi Brown brush sounds pretty amazing….I have a feeling it might make its way into my collection very, very soon!

  • Paige K

    My MAC 242 shreds nearly every time I use it, much prefer the Real Techniques brushes, although I’d love to get my hands on any sort of Bobbi Brown brush!

  • Emmerliejay

    I think I need the Bobbi Brown brush in my collection, I’m definitely missing an incredible blending brush. I find myself always returning to similar brushes though, I’m the worst for buying new brushes but always sticking to my old faithfuls…

    emmerliejay x

  • I need to go brush shopping hehe

    BLOG SALE | The little things in life

  • I’m minimal when it comes to eye brushes as well- these are some great staple picks! xo

  • Now I need all these brushes!


    I so want some new brushes but always get scared away last minute by the price! Also, Anna I think you might be my favourite blogger but it really bothers me that I can’t read the whole of your posts from the bloglovin app and the huge adverts that pop up on the browser version. I love reading your posts, but only ever read blogs from my phone so would love if you could fix it! xxx

  • I agree with you on this one. I use the same tools for my daily makeup (Sigma E55, Mac 217 and Sigma E35). Everything else I save for when I want to fancy it up a little bit more.

  • If I had to narrow it down to 3, I’d pick the MAC 217, 239 (honourable mention to the Sigma E55?)! But for bases like a MAC paint pot, I like using my Real Techniques base shadow brush.

  • Up to this point I’ve only used cheapy drugstore brushes (or a finger), but I definitely plan on branching out and investing in a couple of Mac brushes in the near future. The 217 is for sure on my list!

  • I recently bought Real Technique ones, they’re pretty good but I hardly ever wear make-up to be honest hahaha x

  • I’ve been wanting to add more eye brushes to my collection and have been eyeing the Mac 217 because you’ve talked about it so much! I think I HAVE to get it now!

  • 217 is one of my FAVES!!!

  • Great picks! I’m a three eye brush girl myself 🙂 For some reason, I’ve NEVER bought a MAC brush….maybe it’s time to take the plunge and buy some! I love the Sephora Pro brushes, they’re my favs at the moment.

  • The MAC 217 and Bobbi Brown brushes look sooooo fluffy – I love a soft a brush!

    Lauren x

    Britton Loves | Fashion Lifestyle + Photography –

  • Really interested to try the Bobbi Brown brush. I have a million and one eye brushes but this one looks quite unusual and I don’t think I’ve got one like it. x

  • ClariceForsters02

    Do you have a pay_pal account, because if you have you can create an additional 600 every week in your pay check just working on the internet a few hours a day, look at

  • I love the MAC 17 brush and now I’m so tempted to try to Bobbi Brown one
    Kelsey |

  • I couldn’t agree more! These are my three most reached for brushes as well and I find that I can create any eye look with just these lovelies. Great post Anna 🙂

  • I only use 2-3 eye brushes as well! I do want ALL THE BRUSHES, but I find that I apply my eye makeup just fine with what I already have 🙂

  • MacandCheese Antonia M

    On point as always Anna!

  • I have the first two mach brushes but bobbi browns brush looks wonderful as well as her face blending brush! | fashion, beauty, music, lifestyle and more x

  • PeonyandPeach

    Great edit! I don’t think I could do without my pencil brush though!

  • Rachel Neill

    for everyday makeup I stick to just two brushes on my eyes… unless it’s a gel eyeliner day! I will own mac brushes one day though, great post although it’s only gone and made me jealous!

  • Hannah Marie

    I love eye make up brushes! I have so many!

  • Yolila Rose

    Congrats for your award Anna! You deserve it!

  • NC Jules

    Congratulations Anna! I’m so happy you won Beauty Blogger of the Year. Your blogs are engaging, informative, spot on and fun. I look forward to every posting!

  • My mum has (and never bloomin’ uses) the Bobbi Brown eye blender brush too, it’s so fluffy I love it! I’m hopeful that a few more “ooohhh this is a nice brush’ hints and it’s mine…
    Molly x (

  • The Bobbi Brown brushes look so, so amazing! I love a super fluffy crease brush so that one looks perfect.

  • That bobbi brown brush looks so fluffy and soft!

    Sophia |

  • Great picks! I should really get the Mac 217 one.

  • Amena A

    I love your makeup brush picks – just bought the Louise Young LY34 on your recommendation!

    P.S check out my blog if you like:

  • Abz Kellett

    2 out of 3 isn’t bad! Now I have an excuse to get the Bobbi Brown one, can’t leave one out!

  • I’ll have to complete the set and get the other two in this that I’m missing (I’ve already got the 217!) then I’ll be sorted fa’life!

    Megan xo
    Thumbelina Lillie | UK Beauty & Fashion Blog

  • My eye trio is MAC 239, 217 and a fluffy blending brush from Koh I Noor. Definitely must haves! 😉 xx

    Gyudy’s Notes Of Beauty

  • Andrea Collante

    I’ve never tried any mac brush but I do want to get on that hype wagon ! I’ve used the bobbi brown brush since my mom has it and no words can describe how incredible it is, like you said, its HD.

    Andrea //

  • Chloe

    Thank you so much for these suggestions! I am loving eye shadow at the moment but lacking the right tools. I think I will definitely be investing in these.

    Chloe The Redhead |
    Beauty, Fashion & Lifestyle

  • I couldn’t agree more! All one ever needs are 3 eye brushes in a decent quality. I do have many more but for my eyes 3 are quite enough.

    ||Ljepota au naturel||

  • Hope Richardson

    Such a great post, especially for those who are just starting out their collection! These are basically my staples too!

  • Looks like I’ll be getting my hands on the Mac 217! Haha x

  • Thank you! Finally a place that doesn’t advocate 10 eye brushes as “necessary”. The Mac 217 is an all-time favourite of ours!

    The Sorted Hats

  • Ella

    CANNOT WAIT to try that Bobbi Brown Brush- it looks amazing. My favorite brush in my (very large!) collection is one I got for $3 about 5 years ago from the drugstore. It’s the exact same shape and density as the Mac 242, doesn’t shed, and doesn’t have a brand name on it. It’s my little secret powerhouse!

  • Ive been growing my brush collection and love other peoples input and suggestions, great post! Also i just found your blog and love it!

    Kaitlyn xo

  • I’ve been hearing consistently about the Mac 217 for years now, I think it’s about time to try this brush and see what all the fuss is about!
    I really enjoy reading your posts!

  • The MAC 217 is my FAVORITE!

  • I really need to step up my eye makeup brushes game! I have some terrible ones from sephora that I got a good while ago – 3 years – and they stink, but I’ve been investing more in face brushes!

    These look so good…. damn internet! XD

    My Blog: Blueberry segmentS

    My Youtube Channel: Blueberry segmentS

  • rebekka

    Great post! Allthough I must say in addition I wouldn’t be able to live without my mac 263 and 219 brushes!

  • Allison

    I don’t have a single one of these brushes, I use an urban decay one for placing color then some real techniques ones to blend but I think I’ll graduate to a 217 soon
    Allison from

  • When will I have 217 in my life?

  • The Queen of Dreaming

    Supergreat post, thanks! 🙂

  • I needed this. It’s so tricky when you’re new to the whole -I’m going to wear makeup more regularly- thing, to know which tools to buy. You often end up overdoing it I find. But this is great, thank you.

  • Margery Ho
  • This is a great post! I definitely need that MAC 217!

    Check out my beauty and travel blog!

  • Great post, I love this! I’m always at a loss when it comes to makeup brushes, especially eye brushes!

  • I love my 217 brush but you’ve seriously got me tempted to try out that Bobbi Brown now! I feel a shopping trip coming on today x

  • Awesome post Vivianna! Eye brushes always confuse me

  • ruby lily

    I’m nearly 42 and can only do the bare minimum with makeup. I saw a couple of your videos and decided to try out these three brushes. Total game changer for me, I can’t thank you enough!