Are They Dupes? Makeup Brush MAC 217 vs. Paint Brush Loew-Cornell 1/4″ AMM Mini Mop


It’s really fun doing reviews and comparing dupes of famous (and famously expensive) makeup brushes. Previously I did a dupe review on whether the Loew-Cornell Maxine’s Mop 3/8” is a good substitute of the MAC 239 – Flat Eye Shader Brush.

MAC 239 and 217 are two must-have and much loved brushes of every makeup artist or junkie. There are many brush dupes out there but people (like me who bought a lot of dupes) ultimately succumb to the softness and precision of these two incredible MAC brushes.

Also, MAC brushes are more available internationally to the masses than some premium brushes (eg. Adesign, Royal & Langnickel) and others which one would otherwise probably only be exposed to at exclusive MUA events like IMATS (International Make-Up Artist Trade Show). I hope to attend IMATS one day. Please come to Singapore!

Some people say the Loew-Cornell 1/4″ AMM (Ann’s Mini Mop) Brush is a dupe for MAC 213 (Fluff Brush), some say it’s for MAC 217 (Blending Brush). I say it’s a combination of both. You have a little bit of both, but not in a good way.


Like the Loew-Cornell Maxine’s Mop 3/8”, it looks very much like a typical art brush and is lightweight. It is also longer than the 217. I prefer my makeup brushes to be fatter at the handle and weigh a little more.

The Loew-Cornell 1/4″ AMM Brush has brown natural bristles made from camel hair. The green handle is a little turn-off for me.


Compared to MAC 217, the bristles of the LC brush are less fluffy and much less dense. It picks up much less color than the 217 so I have to dip into the eyeshadow more times than I normally would with the 217. The LC brush feels kinda incomplete with insufficient bristles, like they made it half-way and stopped.

The bristles of the LC brush are less stiff, so I have less control over application. The 217 is stiffer but in a good way because you can maneuver with more control – it is fluffy but not flimsy.

The Loew-Cornell 1/4″ AMM Brush is more domed-shaped than the MAC 217 and with its less dense bristles and over-flexibility, I find that I have to work harder to blend with the former.

If I had to choose one thing I like about the Loew Cornell AMM brush, it’d be… its size. Maybe coz its bristles are shorter. I find the 217 slightly too big to apply on my crease and contour area so I use the Stage Shadow Smudger (which I got from the Stage Moving Out Sale!) to pack on color first, apply on the contour area, then blend out with the #217.

But overall, to be honest, I was most disappointed in this brush among the 3 LC brushes bought because I had the MAC 217 to compare with immediately.

Price of Loew-Cornell 1/4″ AMM Brush in Singapore

In my previous post I related my story on how I finally managed to attain the Loew Cornell brushes in Singapore, in a secluded part of Yio Chu Kang. Prices of the other two LC brushes are stated there as well.

Ann’s Mini Mops by Loew Cornell sells for U$3-4; I got it for S$6.80.

So is the Loew-Cornell 1/4″ AMM Brush a good substitute of the MAC 217?

See, I haven’t used it much at all. Compared to the Loew-Cornell Maxine’s Mop 3/8” which is a known dupe of the MAC 239, the wordings on the AMM brush handle still look as good as new.

So despite all that love for the Loew-Cornell 1/4″ AMM Brush in blogs and forums, I personally don’t think it is comparable to 217. The e.l.f Blending Brush doesn’t come close either (and mine has shed like mad).

I used to think that it was such an extravagance to pay an arm and leg for MAC brushes. U$22.50 is a lot to pay for one MAC 217 brush, especially for people who don’t have high disposable incomes or are just starting out on makeup. But honestly, if you use the brushes every day, and they last for YEARS under your care, they’re worth the investment.

It’s okie to use the Loew-Cornell 1/4″ AMM Brush as a temporary blending brush… and then SAVE UP FOR MAC 217!

On a side note…

The next picture I’mma show ya is kinda embarrassing. Look at what has become of my MAC 217.


I did what Enkore and many other gurus recommend to retain the silver coated brush names on MAC brushes – to paint over with nail polish top coat. Now my baby’s ugly.


Have you used Loew-Cornell or any paint brushes as makeup brushes?

Do you know of any dupes for MAC 217?


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About Bun Bun

Hello! My name is Juli and Bun Bun is my alter-ego. I blog to share my love for makeup, how to apply it, and what works or what doesn’t work, all from an Asian perspective.

My first makeup product was a shimmery light blue lipstick which I proudly wore all over my eyelids and lips. It cost $2.50, felt like $250, and made me feel like a million bucks.

  • a!kO

    You know I so envy you 😉 hehe, I don’t have a lot of brushes but I would love to try these, or the MAC one I guess. I would like to try the Sonia Kashuk one tho (if that how it’s spelled?) 😛


    • Bun Bun

      You don’t have to have A LOT of brushes, a!kO! If I’d known from the start, I’d have saved up and bought the better ones instead of buying dupes and brushes of less quality that spoil quickly. If I were to calculate all the nonsense brushes I have in my stash, I would be able to buy quite a number of good quality brushes that will last me many good years.

      But that’s not to say drugstore brushes aren’t any good! You just have to sniff around and do research to see which drugstore brushes can give the more expensive ones a run for their money!

      And yes, the Sonia Kashuk bent eyeliner brush is a very good example of a drugstore brand brush! You should get it! =)

  • Makeup Morsels

    Even though I suspect that these brushes have been hyped up a bit, I’m still really curious to try them, mostly because they’re paintbrushes haha. The only annoying thing is that I live in the US, but can never find these anywhere. I don’t know where people go to buy these, I’ve been all over the place and never see them anywhere!

    • Bun Bun

      Hi Makeup Morsels! I totally understand what you mean! It was the curiosity about these paint brushes being dupes that sent me on the hunt for a brand unheard of in Singapore too. I just had to get my paws on them to experience it for myself.

      I believe it is fairly easy to find them in the US. People said they sell them at Michael’s. Let me know what you think of them once you’ve tried them! =)

  • Emma

    I have this brush, and yeah, it’s an awful dupe for the 217. I don’t own the 217, but I know what it’s supposed to look like/do, and this brush doesn’t compete at all. It’s awful for shadow. I use it every day, though, to lightly pat/sweep setting powder under my eyes. I like it for that, but I can’t recommend it for anything else.

    • Emma

      Also, I just discovered your bog and I love it! Go Bun Bun!

      • Bun Bun

        You are so sweet Emma! Thanks a lot! =D

    • Bun Bun

      Yeah totally, the bristles are just……. limp. >.<" I use it when my 217 is completely stained with other colors and need a brush to diffuse a strong color. It's like my last resort brush.

      You use it to set foundation/concealer under your eyes? Sounds like a good idea to me. Maybe I should try it, otherwise it's just wasting away in my 'abandoned brushes' bag.

  • NorahLovesMakeup

    I am in the same boat !! Bought a Sigma dupe for the MAC 217 and it literally fell apart fast. Mind you I do makeup professionally but honestly was expecting a decent quality. The same applies for the Sigma angled contouring brush, the handle came apart and the bristles were always shedding hair.

    • Bun Bun

      Yeah, I’ve heard some bad reviews about Sigma brushes. But some people really them. Bad batch, maybe? The only Sigma brush I have and use is the Sigma F80 Synthetic Kabuki Brush, which I use for applying foundation and is my super favorite foundation brush.