MAC Brushstroke Liner

Posted by

Brushstroke Liner is one of MAC’s newest products for the eyes and it’s quickly become a favorite of mine. I feel like this is a basic, staple kind of product that’s been missing from MAC’s lineup for quite some time now, so I’m excited that they finally released this type of liquid liner.

To start off, here are the basics:

Brushstroke Liner comes in two colors… Brushblack (the one in the review) and Brushbrown, which is a rich, dark brown that works well for a softer type of look. It sells for $21 and is available from or from freestanding MAC stores and MAC counters in major retailers such as Dillard’s, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Saks, Bloomingdale’s, etc. You can also purchase this on the partner locations’ websites. It contains 0.67 g / 0.02 oz of product, which is not the greatest value based on comparisons to similar liners but a little bit does go a long way, so perhaps to some people, that makes up for the price/product ratio. This liner is permanent, not limited edition, so if you fall in love with it, it won’t disappear on you!



Brushstroke liner is a liquid that is packaged in a very user-friendly pen which has a brush tip, rather than a felt tip like most of MAC’s other liquid liners (Rapidblack, Boot Black, etc). To make for a quick summary and to be able to address or confirm/deny anything that MAC says about this liner, here are their key claims and benefits, as listed on their website:

  • Long-wearing, 24 hours
  • Features easy and precise lining
  • Features rich, intense colour
  • Smudge-proof
  • Transfer-resistant
  • Water-resistant
  • Sweat- and humidity-proof
  • Ophthalmologist tested
  • Safe for contact lens wearers
  • Removes easily with warm water

It’s certainly long wearing and while I haven’t worn it for 24 hours, I have worn it all day, up to about 18 hours and didn’t have any problems with my wing smudging or fading. I’ve tested this for almost two weeks now and it’s stayed in place through workouts, allergy attacks that can make my eyes water pretty heavily at times, and quite a few naps! The only time this liner came off before I intentionally removed it was when I had a brief cry over something very silly, but other than that, Brushstroke liner truly does not budge! I wear contact lenses most of the time too, and this liner hasn’t had any ill effects on them at all. Usually when my allergies act up, I can’t even pull off eye liner of any sort because they’re irritating to apply and to wear, so I was very impressed that the Brushstroke liner worked for me and didn’t cause any irritation or redness. If it works that well when my eyes are at their worst, it definitely gets my approval!






Brushblack:   This liquid liner is a bold black with an almost matte finish, but as you can see, at some angles and in some lighting, it’s more of a soft, natural finish rather than being a true matte. The formula itself is pretty liquidy and thin, but in a good way so it glides on evenly without being too goopy or too runny. The pigmentation and color payoff are good, but if you are using a very light hand, you may have to go over it again. I did find that applying it more slowly will make it more opaque, though, so that’s a trick you can use rather than having to layer your liner. Aside from what I just mentioned, application is a dream! It has such a fine tipped, smooth brush, you can get the tiniest little wing ever or go full-blown Amy Winehouse with it if you want! Brushblack wears very well for 14-18 hours before even the smallest amount of fading or smudging occurs.

Overall Rating:   4.5 / 5

Application:   5

Coverage:  3

Color Payoff:   4

Texture:   5

Wear Time:   5

Packaging:   5

Dupes:   As I mentioned, it’s VERY similar to Kat Von D’s Trooper and shares the same type of sleek pen and thin, precise brush tip. That’s about all they share, though. Kat Von D’s Trooper is waterproof, whereas MAC’s Brushstroke is only water-resistant. That said, they both wear equally well all day, so long as there’s no water or tears involved. Kat Von D’s Trooper is also much thicker and drier. In some ways and at times, that’s great, but Trooper has always given me trouble if I want to build up my liner or layer it. Once Trooper sets, the brush almost pulls off the liner you’ve just applied when you go back to add more, which makes it very patchy and uneven… MAC’s Brushstroke liner fortunately does NOT do that and layers very well with no dragging or patchiness!

Below are some comparison photos for you. You’ll notice that Trooper does look more matte and a little deeper in color/pigmentation, but you can layer Brushblack if you want to achieve the same look with it! I tried to make the swatches a decent size without applying much product so you could get a good feel for how it looks without going back and slapping on 5 layers of liner.



I hope you enjoyed this post! If you have any questions or comments about this product or just want to hello, leave me a comment below. Thanks for stopping by and reading!

*** This post expresses my own honest opinion. I purchased this out of pocket and did not receive any type of PR or compensation for this review ***



  1. I will definitely have to give this a try, ALWAYS on the look out for a new liquid liner – it’s when they dry out mid wing that grinds my gears! Fab post!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s