Comparison: Flat Top Brush (MAC 187, MAC 130, Sonia Kashuk, EDM)

This is a comparison of the 4 Flat Top brushes that I own, as requested by a reader.  I will compare the Everyday Minerals Flat Top Kabuki, MAC 130 Short Duo Fiber Brush, Sonia Kashuk Synthetic Flat Blusher Brush, and MAC 187 Duo Fiber Brush.

From left: Everyday Minerals Flat Top Kabuki, MAC 130 Short Duo Fiber Brush, Sonia Kashuk Synthetic Flat Blusher Brush, MAC 187 Duo Fiber Brush

EDM: $11 (buy it here)
MAC130: $40 (buy it here)
SK: $15 (buy it here)
MAC187: $42 (buy it here)

As expected, the MAC brushes are much more expensive than the Everyday Minerals or Sonia Kashuk brushes.  EDM brushes are available on their website ($11 does not include shipping). Sonia Kashuk brushes are available at Target.

Comparison of handles
Length: EDM < MAC130 (16cm) < MAC187 (18cm) < SK (20cm) 
No major difference between the brushes, except for the EDM brush.  The EDM brush has a very short handle, similar to many kabuki brushes.

Thickness: SK < MAC130 < MAC187 < EDM
The Sonia Kashuk brush has a curved handle, which may or may not be comfortable for you.

Materials: EDM – Bamboo, MAC 130/187 – wood, SK – plastic

Comparison of bristles

Density: MAC187 < MAC 130 < SK < EDM
The EDM brush is very dense.  It may take more than one day for this brush to dry after washing it!  

Length of bristles: MAC 130 < SK < EDM < MAC187

Material of bristles: EDM & SK – Synthetic, MAC130/187 – Duo Fiber (Synthetic & Natural)

Softness of brush: EDM is the softest, followed by SK, MAC 187, and MAC130

These four brushes are not very similar.  I use each for a very different purpose.

EDM – great for applying and buffing mineral foundations, and will give full coverage.  I have heard of this being used for liquid foundations, but I’ve personally never tried it.

SK – LOVE this for applying and buffing in liquid foundations.  I could probably use this for mineral foundations for a medium coverage.  I’m not sure of how to use this as a blusher brush, which was the original intent of this brush.

MAC130great for cream blushes!  I could probably use this for liquid foundation, but I would imagine it would take a lot of time since the head is so small.

MAC187 – the famous dual fiber brush!  I use this for stippling on liquid foundation to get an airbrushed finish.  I also use this to lightly apply bright blushes.

Have you tried any of these brushes?  What do you think of them?

xoxo, K

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13 thoughts on “Comparison: Flat Top Brush (MAC 187, MAC 130, Sonia Kashuk, EDM)”

  1. I’m glad of this post! I bought the 130 thinking it would be great for foundations. It’s not, and yet it is. It allows for precision when applying foundations, but it is tedious because it is so small. I much prefer my 187, and will be buying another. The 130 is MUCH greater, IMO, for highlighting/contouring/blush. I haven’t used it like that yet, but next deep cleaning of the brushes I will be.

    Thanks for this post!

  2. Ive tried most of them besides the Mac 130 brush. I love the EDM brush and the Sk Brush ^__^ I use the EDM brush for liquid foundations only and it gives u the best flawless application ever, and its so affordable!! I love the Sk brush as well but because u cant buy sonia kashuk brushes here in Australia, I had to buy mine off ebay and it was expensive. But i think ill love it more if i could get my hands on them for a affordable price.
    I would love to try the MAC 130 brush =)

  3. Great comparison, Kay!
    I have the MAC 187 and MAC 130. I use the MAC 187 not so often lately, since I’m not a liquid foundation person.

    But I love the MAC 130 for applying the MAC Mineralize SPF 15 Foundation which is a cream type foundation. Works quite good, but yes I wished the head was a bit bigger though. 😉

  4. I only have the MAC 187 but it’s the special edition one that came in the Christmas brush set so the handle is shorter. While I really like the brush to be able to apply highly pigmented blushes lightly, this brush does shed. The quality is definitely not the same as the 187 from the regular line, even the MAC MUAs have told me that. I will probably buy the regular 187 in the near future–maybe while we’re out shopping together in a couple of weeks!


  5. Thanks for your review – it’s so detailed. I have been wondering about flat-top brushes and what they are for and how they are different.

    Btw, was intrigued when you talked about how China is not that cheap anymore…Hmmm….things are changing very quickly. I do agree that anything imported is very expensive…in fact, more so than other countries! Have a good trip to Hawaii!

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