MAC 217 Brush Dupes/Alternatives

The truth is I don’t think there is an absolute dupe for the MAC 217 Brush especially after using it consistently for a few weeks. There are many good alternatives and this post is mainly to show what other brushes are available to achieve similar results (read: not the same). There are so many touted dupes for MAC 217 Brush (review here) and I can understand why many brands will want to make similar brushes. It is by far one of the most popular MAC eye makeup brushes out there and the stunning results it delivers makes it stand out among the rest. I have quite a few alternative brushes I have been using for blending my eyeshadows before I purchased the MA|C 217 and I thought it would be useful to compare them against the infamous MAC 217 brush. Some of them are really fantastic and others are not great even though they have a close resemblance to the MAC 217. Let’s dive in....

Ebay Unbranded Eyeshadow Brush
I got this a little while ago and it was featured on here. It came in a set with other eye makeup brushes and they were dead cheap (less than £2) so I was not expecting the best quality out there. I actually really like all but two brushes in the set and I was really surprised that they have held up really well. However, one of the brushes I do not like is the MAC 217 dupe. Out of all the dupes in this post, I feel it shares the closest semblance to the MAC 217....until you touch and use it. The bristles feel scratchy on my eyes and that's the major reason why I use it sparignly. It surprisingly has some control to it but I don’t like the bristles at all and I don’t think it does a good job of blending eyeshadows especially in the crease. It can be used to blend out a smoky eye or the outer V and that’s really all I use it for. It’s such a shame because it really looks like the MAC 217 but truly, the taste of the pudding is in the eating.

No 7 Crease and Contour Brush
A lot of people either love or hate the No 7 Crease and Contour Brush which has been idenfitied as a dupe for the MAC 217. Unfortunately, I am not in the love camp and I don’t think it is much of a dupe except for how similar the bristles look. It is significantly shorter than the MAC 217  brush and I don’t know if that’s an advantage or disadvantage but I don't usually mind the length of brushes. The bristles are super soft and fluffy and they feel ever so gentle on the eye but they have no control at all. However, if you like really soft blending this brush may be ideal for you. It would have been a perfect dupe if it was a little less fluffy and had more control to it.

Sephora Multitasker Concealer Brush
Now, we are approaching the terrain of the dupes I actually like. I purchased the Sephora Multitasker Concealer Brush because I heard good things about it. I like it as a concealer brush but it’s not one I pick up every day. It’s quite small so it is ideal to travel with. However, it is actually rather lovely as an eyeshadow blending brush. Its bristles are synthetic which makes it really easy to wash/dry. It is not a very fluffy brush per say but it has a lot of control. Its tapered shape makes it really useful for blending and depositing colours especially on the outer v. I mainly use it for blending out eyeshadows and while it is not a perfect dupe for the MAC 217, it is a good alternative.

Nanshy Eyeshadow Crease Brush* and Blending Brush*
I have had these Nanshy brushes* (full review here) for almost two years and I always use them whenever I am applyign my eyeshadows. They have held up so well and I absolutely love them. They were actually my first proper eyeshadow set and I am yet to find any other affordable range that rivals it. The Nanshy Crease Brush and Blending Brush are my favourite brushes in the set I received as they are perfect for a variety of eyeshadow techniques. The crease brush is slightly shorter than the blending brush but its bristles are ever so soft. It also combines a good amount of control to balance out the fluffiness just like the MAC 217. Unlike the MAC 217, it is made from synthetic hairs only. I love using the Nanshy Crease Brush to apply colour to my crease and do some blending.

However, my favourite for heavy duty blending is the Nanshy Blending Brush which is larger than the crease brush. It also has a tapered dome tip and it is soft and fluffy. Its blending properties are very similar to the MAC 217 although they don’t look so much alike. If you are on a budget, then these two brushes are a good recommendation and deliver amazing results.

Real Techniques Essential Crease Brush
I already featured this brush on this post here and I think it is definitely one of my top three favourite RT brushes. Sadly, it is not sold separately and I even think it is exclusive to the Sam’s Pick Set which I picked up from Jasmine’s Blog Sale. I have never used any brush like this and I think it is truly unique. As the name suggests, it is made from the crease and it fits perfectly into the crease (even if you have small eyes or hooded lids). It also combines the right fluffiness with a lot of control which I absolutely love. It does not physically look like the MAC 217 (it is much smaller) but it produces very similar results. It is perfect for depositing colours on the crease, blending it out and applying/blending eyeshadows on the outer v. If it were sold separately, it would have been the best drug store dupe. However, the other brushes in Sam’s Pick set are amazing so it is so worth picking the set up (the set also has the Buffing Brush).

Other Brushes worth mentioning but not included in this post...
Sigma E25 Blending Brush: I have heard so many good things about this brush and I think it looks so much like the MAC 217. Many people have also said it produces really similar results so it is worth checking out.
Zoeva 227  Luxe Soft Defining Brush: This is another lovely dupe and I dare say a very popular one. Zoeva brushes are amazing and I have heard this brush does not disappoint. It also bears a close resemblance to the MAC 217 and you can tell it is super fluffy from the picture.
Crown C433 Pro Blending Brush: I have seen a lot of lovely pictures of this brush and I really want to try it out. It also looks similar to the MAC 217 with comparable results
Hakuhodo J5523: I only came across this brush when I was doing some research for this post and I think it looks really similar to the MAC 217. I am not sure if it is easily available but it looks like it can be found in countries in Asia (maybe Japan).

Overall Thoughts
As mentioned earlier, I think the MAC 217 Brush is so unique that it is very difficult to make an exact dupe. Although I have it now in my stash, I still use some of these alternatives/dupes in this post because they are really useful brushes. If you are on a budget, I would recommend the Real Techniques Essential Crease Brush, the Nanshy Crease Brush and Blending Brush. They are all amazing alternatives. That's it folks and I hope you enjoyed this post...have a fabulous weekend...xx
*PR Samples


  1. Ah you forgot to mention Coastal Scents Pro Blending Fluff ;) It's cheap and yet has similar shape to MAC 217. Say, the cheaper version :D

    Here's my review about the brush: :)

    1. You are right; I forgot it but I am sure people can check out your review which was spot on!! Thanks for stopping by!!...xx

  2. I just found your blog today, I can only say I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! I kept clicking on older posts, older posts, I liked it even more, I reached your yt channel so I can see how gorgeous you are :) Keep going, the pics are amazingly qualitative and well done, and the content is extremely useful!

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    1. Awwww you are so sweet and thank you for your lovely comment!!! It absolutely made my day and I love to hear such good feedback on my blog and it encourages me to continue!!!....I will check out your blog (which I am sure it's lovely) and I will leave you comments on there!!!!.....xx

    2. Liv, I was just saying something that I'm sure everyone says :) Is there anyone out there that dislikes you? Don't think so! :) xxxxx

    3. Hahahha, thank you so much sweet!!...have a lovely week ahead!!!...xx

  3. I really love the Real Techniques brush too :) I agree about the No7 Brush - I just use it to blend out harsh lines as it's way too soft to do much else! xx

    Magpie Jasmine

    1. The Real Techniques is my absolute favourite too!! The No 7 Brush slightly annoys me as it's so soft!!!...xx

  4. This is such a great post and so useful! I've been struggling over whether to invest in the MAC 217 as it's so expensive. I might now look out for the Real Techniques version and if I can't find it, may just bite the bullet and get the MAC. It seems to be worth the investment! xx

    1. Awww thanks a lot for your lovely feedback and i am glad you found it useful!! You are right; MAC brushes including the 217 are expensive but I can assure you that it's worth an investment. The Real Techniques one is a good alternative although smaller (and it only comes in a set-Sam's Picks). ..xx


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