MAC 184 Duo Fibre Fan Brush Review



Hello everyone,

After my review on MAC Small contour brush #109, today I have for you another brush review; again, a face brush from MAC – this one is from their “Pro” line. I have a few fan brushes, distinctly different. I have been wanting to discuss different types / brands / uses of brushes in-depth – hopefully, soon. In the interim, let’s get on with this one.

MAC 184 Duo Fibre Fan Brush

Product Description:
A flat, fan-shaped brush for featherweight application and excess product removal. A flat, fan-shaped brush made from a blend of soft synthetic fibres and goat hair that work especially well with Mineralize products. Can be used for featherweight application and blending of pigments and powders or as a tool to gently clear the skin of any excess product. M·A·C professional brushes are hand-sculpted and assembled using the finest quality materials. They feature wood handles and nickel-plated brass ferrules.

USD 25/INR 1584
The product comes packaged in a clear cellophane pouch. Considering the price point of the product, the packaging is a bit of a bummer, but if you take into account that MAC is actually a “makeup artist” brand and the packaging of the brush would be of little interest to the professional makeup artist, I guess it makes sense.

My Experience with MAC 184 Duo Fibre Fan Brush:

A quick brief on MAC brushes: Most of the MAC brushes from their permanent line are made of natural hair and are handmade in Japan – except for the ones in Holiday Collections, which are mostly machine0produced in China. The quality of the two lines is not comparable.

MAC 184 Duo Fibre Fan Brush handle

The 100 series brushes are face brushes, while the 200 series are for eyes.

Hair: The brush in question is a dual fibre brush – it has both natural goat hair and synthetic bristles. The shorter black hair are dyed goat hair while the longer white bristles are synthetic. This allows one to use the brush with powder as well as liquid/cream products. The synthetic bristle ensures that the brush does not pick up too much product. The natural goat hair at the base gives it structure and allows for controlled and efficient blending. The synthetic bristles are fairly soft, so they ensure a comfortable application on your face and also do not end up lifting your base makeup (while you are applying something on top).

Shape: The brush is a regular fan brush but flat. If you look at the side view of the brush, you will understand how thin and flat this is – quite unlike the Wayne Goss fan brush, which has a similar-sized head but is thicker and fluffier (apart from being pure natural hair brush). It has a wooden handle and nickel-plated brass ferrules.

MAC 184 Duo Fibre Fan Brush full

Identified Purpose: The brand has identified the brush to fit the following purpose:
Works especially well with Mineralize products. Can be used for featherweight application and blending of pigments and powders or as a tool to gently clear the skin of any excess product.

My Experience with MAC 184 Duo Fibre Fan Brush:

I have had this brush for years, at least 3 years, if not more. I remember picking it up for application of blushes. I used to love NARS blushes but had a difficult time with application as I would get too heavy handed. The result would be clownish. So, I picked this brush since it was touted to be perfect for lighter application of heavier blushes. This coupled with NARS Taj Mahal is a perfect match. Over time, I think I got better with blush application and also moved to using softer/better made brushes and ended up using less and less of this.

MAC 184 Duo Fibre Fan Brush head

As time moved on, and the whole highlighter trend exploded in the market, the fan brush became relevant again. So, out came #184, but the thing with #184 is how wispy thin it is on top. So, if the highlighter had a more natural sheen or it was a baked gelee product (as are a lot of highlighters nowadays), the wispy synthetic bristled top would not pick up sufficient product to create the desired effect. So, I ended up upgrading to the Wayne Goss brush and it is so funny that I say upgraded (and I totally mean “upgraded”) – even though it is the same price in USD.

I have also used the brush for removing fall out from under my eye area, the wispy head does the job effectively without smearing the shadow onto the cheek. It is also quite effective.

The brush can actually be used for removing excess powder from the face when you bake. I used to do that earlier till I realized that baking was just not for me. I’m totally into baking chocolate cup cakes, but baking on my face – Nope! That ain’t happening!! 😛

MAC 184 Duo Fibre Fan Brush bristles

Maintenance: This is a duo fibre brush – mix of natural and synthetic bristle – it would need more care than other synthetic brushes. However, if you switch between different products – like if you want to use it with a loose powder, and then a blush and then with say a bronzer – you will need to ensure one product is effectively off the bristles – either by spot cleaning or wiping it on a micro-fibre cloth. Do ensure that you deep clean your brushes regularly and maintain hygiene. Since it is a thin and flat brush, it does not take very long to dry.

Pros of MAC 184 Duo Fibre Fan Brush:

  • Well made, balanced brush.
  • Duo fiber, dyed goat hair mixed with synthetic bristles.
  • Effective for its identified jobs – and then some.
  • Does not shed on washing.
  • Gives a soft, diffused application thanks to its wispy soft head.
  • Made in Japan.
  • Long handled.
  • The bristles which touch the skin are extremely soft.
  • The bristles do not disturb the layer of makeup underneath.

Cons of MAC 184 Duo Fibre Fan Brush:

  • Since the top of the head is soft synthetic bristles, it may not pick up certain gelee products too effectively.

IMBB Rating:

It is a well thought-out and a well-made brush and can be used effectively for more than one job. Actually, it is quite a multi-tasker. This may be great for someone who has a limited brush inventory because you can use the same brush for a multitude of applications. However, sometimes I feel it is a case of – “Jack of all trades and master of none.” I feel it is a good brush to have in your kit, but not an essential brush to have.

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