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The Mac 217 blending brush has become a must have for everyone who wears eye-shadow and at a steep price of £17.50 it isn't in the majority of peoples price ranges. I also find that the 217 can do that many things that one just isn't enough for a nighttime look as otherwise you end up washing your brush 5 times a day. However the other day I stumbled across a website called love-makeup that sells products that you can't get your hands on in UK stores such as Ben Nye.
The Zoeva 227 is identical to the 217 in size and shape. The only difference is that the Zoeva brush is a little bit denser which I find makes it easier to blend with. I've tried using both of them on different eyes so I could see if there's any difference in the amount of product that packs onto each brush and how well they soften eye-shadow and again they were identical. They also have a synthetic version called the 227V for vegans!.
The best thing about this brush is that it's a third of the price which means you can as many as you need without having to go on a spending ban for months after. Also the website I bought mine off are super efficient and I had my brushes 36 hours later