Pros: well-made, easy to control, picks up just the right amount of product
This brush is perfection!
This style of brush is sometimes called a stippling brush for how it is handled, or a skunk brush because of its appearance. MAC makes two similar stippling brushes: 187 Large Duo Fibre Brush and this 188 Small Duo Fibre Brush. Both have long white hairs that are fine, soft, and gentle, with darker hairs that are a bit stiffer and more densely packed, holding the white ones in place.
The 187 is a bit too big for my face. The 188, with its smaller circumference, is perfect for precise application, and is THE brush i use for powder blush, highlighter, or contour (bronzer).
I am fair (neutral, between 15 & 20) and i have rosacea on the apples of my cheeks. So before i wear any cheek product, i neutralize the color. I don't wear product all over my cheeks, rather i put blush on my cheek BONES, highlighter on or above them, and contouring below (I never wear "bronzer" to look tan).
I generally do not like too much strong color and this brush makes it easy not to overdo application. It is especially good with really bright MAC blushes and mineralize skin finishes, as well as with NARS blushes which tend to be highly colored. Yet when i want a more intense look, i can get more product on the brush or build up the color without wasting any.
The 188 and 187 are recommended for both powder and cream (emollient) products. I only use the 188 for powders, however. For cream blush, particularly my fav MAC Casual Colour Lip & Cheek Colour, i use MAC 130, a duo fibre brush with shorter, more densely packed hairs.
I spot clean with MAC Brush Cleanser, and wash with gentle soap or shampoo every week. So far in nearly 2 years of frequent use and much travel it has held up beautifully. The white hairs are even still white. And it has NEVER shed a hair. When i travel i protect the bristles with a net brush cover i got made by The Brush Guard, made in my home town
but sephora also sells similar products, although they are harder and stiffer.