This purchase comes with a bit of a backstory. Once upon a time, I got a wild hair and packed up the majority of my makeup brushes (some of which I’d had for 15 years and can never be purchased again) and shipped them off to my little sister. Don’t ask. Something about a ‘fresh start.’ Anyway, since that time, I’ve found ‘gaps’ in my brush collection… which I never actually notice until I’m looking for a particular brush and realize that I probably gave it away.
I had a tapered face brush… once. I’m sure it wasn’t the MAC #138, but it was close. To compensate, I bought the Hakuhodo version (J-Series), which… shockingly… doesn’t come close.
The thing that makes this brush awesome is the head. Although it’s tapered, it fans out nicely to pick up a significant amount of product, and distribute it over a larger space without losing the precision that is indicative of a tapered brush. The Hakuhodo version is less dense, and doesn’t fan out at all at the sides. It remains very pointed (even with fluffing), and covers only a small area at a time. While this is great for precision work, it takes away from the versatility of the brush. You can be both precision and ‘imprecise’ with the MAC version, as your particular makeup calls for it.
I like both, but I find myself increasingly reaching for the #138 because I can do more with it. The Hakuhodo version is much softer… but MAC managed to squeak out a much more practical brush for the money.
You can find out more about the MAC #138 brush HERE.