As a blending obsessive, I am always wishing I had more blending brushes. Up until a few weeks ago I only owned a MAC 217. I can get by with the one, but really, you need more than on blending brush for a perfect smoky eye.
In a world where money grows on trees, I would probably like to have ten 217s to hand. That is excessive I suppose, and 4 would probably be a perfect amount.
Anyhoo, I'd heard lots about the No. 7 blending brush. It retails for £7.25, but if you have a voucher (and when don't you have a voucher?) it will set you back just £2.25. This is a much nicer price than the £16 for a 217. I wasn't expecting that it would surpass my 217 and that I would be able to stock up on a couple of these for under £10 and be done, but I thought it would be a useful addition to my brush set.
|Shown in comparison to a vaseline tin for a good idea of scale|
So, how do they compare? Firstly, the MAC 217 is a lot longer than the No. 7 brush. This means the No. 7 brush is easier to use closer to the mirror and more handy to travel with/throw in your bag. The length of the 217 has never bothered me though. So I think length is just a personal preference, if you prefer shorter brushes, the No. 7 brush will probably appeal to you.
In terms of weight, the MAC 217 is considerably "weightier." I can't really say it's heavier, because these brushes barely weigh a thing. But the 217 is certainly more substantial. I quite like that feeling when I'm paying £16 for a brush, but I can let it go if I'm paying less than £3.
|L-R: MAC 217, No. 7. The 217 is considerably wider|
Finally, how does the blending compare? Well, unfortunately the 217 is my winner. The hairs are a lot denser and the No. 7 brush seems quite flimsy in comparison. However, the No. 7 brush still does an OK job. Just not as well as the 217. OMG, SO MANY NUMBERS!! Confusing. After using the two side-by-side for about two weeks now, I always reach for the 217. And sometimes after I've used the No. 7 brush, I go over it with the 217. This might just be me thinking that the 217 can do it better, I can't say.
|Unfortunately this is a crappy photo, but it shows that the 217|
is considerably thicker and denser than the No. 7 brush
I would say that the No. 7 brush is worth getting if a) you can't afford the 217, or simply don't want to spend that amount of money on a brush or b) want to add a couple of extra blending brushes to your set.
Because these are so cheap with a No. 7 voucher, I'm definitely going to pick up a couple of more, because it is so handy to have clean blending brushes. A clean No. 7 blending brush is going to be of more use than a dirty 217. One day I might splash out a couple more 217s, but until then I am happy with this cheaper alternative to rely on.