This MAC Oval 3 brush is the Bomb!


They are important to a building & for your makeup as well. Without a well-matched, well-blended foundation base, even the most neutral brown eyeliner or the best red lipstick don't really look good. Get a good foundation in place though, and even boring neutral makeup looks fabulous.

I, like most girls, struggled for a while to get the right shade & right formula of foundation. For a while I even gave up and took to the world of single-shade-fits-all tinted moisturizers & BB creams. Until I saw these tooth-brush like makeup brushes from the MAC Masterclass range making the rounds on Temptalia & other blogs. They looked like some black tooth-brushes that we were to use for makeup!

The Oval 3 resting in its Black Box!
MAC claims that these brushes were designed after studying how women apply makeup, and they found that the current painting like brushes work well for MUAs because they can get in really close up to the face they work on to perfect the skin. But when regular people use it, the handle increases the distance between the face & the mirror and makes it difficult to get in real close to notice blending mistakes. Additionally consumers who may not have as much time to blend every morning require much denser brushes to get the work done quickly to get good results.

I dunno if this was just "marketing story" but I was sold. I actually wanted to get Oval 6 as that is the one for foundation & blushes, but it never is in stock anywhere, ever!

So around 5 months ago I bought Oval 3. I didn't see the point of Linear 1 brush which is just for blending in eyeliner. MAC says this is best for eye-shadows and concealers. But I have used it mostly for foundation, concealing and blushes.

Price: Rs. 2100/- (yeah, it also cost me a bomb!)

Availability: all MAC Stores. It is supposed to be a permanent line, but I can never find Oval 6 ever! This one too seems to flit in and out of stock.

What I liked about it: 

1. It blends foundation like no brush ever before! How do I explain this. Somehow this gets foundation to really, really blend in very well. Even concealer sits so well around the eye area. But it never highlights pores or pushes foundation against the skin. Somehow the foundation looks air-brushed, and it doesn't take more than two minutes of blending to get the effect. I've never been able to get foundation to blend in so well before.
You can see it has been put through the pace in the last 5 months, but it still works well!

2. It is so super soft and so densely packed with bristles. It doesn't leave any streak marks during blending. When you go to MAC next, just run it on the back of your hand, you'll know what I mean. It feels really good against the eye, and the small head lets you get into crevices around the nose and eyes.

3. It comes with its own coffin, I mean box. The packaging is very Dracula like - a black coffin, but it is sturdy and I store it back in the box after every use. It does take up space during packing, but carrying this for vacations where you are gonna take a lot of pictures is a good idea. It is multi-purpose and works for foundation, concealer, blush & highlighting.

4. I have even used this to blend powder brushes & cream highlighters, and contour creams and it works really well with them too! It works well with both powder & cream.

5. Synthetic bristles. Good for those of you who are vegan or allergic to animal hair.

6. Easy to clean, does not leak color and doesn't shed. (see below)

What could be better:

1. Price & availability!

Also I should specify here that I'm comparing Oval 3's performance to my earlier kabuki brush & liquid foundation brush which were from ELF & Inglot respectively and they didn't work so well. The Inglot one tends to shed quite a bit when blending foundation. On the face!

I use this: I generally dot foundation all over my face and then use this to gently glide on the skin in small circular motions. I don't do large circles, just small localized circles of blending in. This video by Karen & a MAC MUA is a good one to get an understanding of how to use these brushes. It is long, but worth watching to see how to use these brushes:

To clean: I read online that deep-cleaning (aka dunking the entire brush head in liquid) was making the bristles fall out. To avoid that horror, I generally wet a cotton pad in MAC Brush Cleaning Solution and rub the brush head of this brush on the cotton pad back & forth. This generally pulls out all the foundation absorbed by the brush. I do this by changing the cotton with fresh cleaning solution till the brush stops leaving behind makeup. Air-dry it facing up.

I have been using these brushes since the last five months and clean them every weekend. Once they are clean, they look brand new and have not shed or lost even a bit of their softness.

Overall: I love it! I use it daily even if all I'm using Tinted moisturizer. If you like wearing makeup and are having trouble blending in foundation, this is a good brush to consider. It also blends powder blush really well and looks super-natural, I like that this brush is multi-functional - foundation, concealor, contour, highlighter, blush & eyeshadow - it works well with all and both powder & cream!

The good thing about MAC is that they will let you play with this at the store with foundation formulas before you drop money for it. So do try it out in the store.

Having said that this is really, really awesome and the best brush I have ever used, I would not call this an investment. I have come to realize that any kind of makeup is never an "investment". An investment is something  that you put money in and that pays off later by giving you some profit.

Makeup may provide benefits like confidence but at the end of the day makeup is a style component just like clothes & shoes & other accessories. With so many makeup brands, I would advice to play within your budget and lifestyle. If you are the kind of person who digs out the foundation only for parties & functions then this is really just going to be a waste of money.

However, if it fits your budget and you are looking for a good foundation brush, I would recommend you try this out!


  1. They keep it such beside the counter here so, I have been eyeing these for long :) Lovely review.

  2. Ooh, I haven't looked into these - will definitely do now! Great to see that you are blogging again : ) Happy new year! x


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