The Laura Mercier Pony Tail Brush ($29; lauramercier.com) is a fluffy eyeshadow brush made from natural hair (squirrel). Its an ideal brush for sheer washes of eyeshadow, buffing concealer under the eyes and for highlighters.
Its a soft brush that diffuses color well, not the most softest, but definitely gentle enough on the skin not too feel to scratchy. I haven’t used the MAC 224 very extensively to compare it with since the shape seems a tad similar, but I do feel that this is a bit more denser than that one. Its easy to wash, dries super quickly and has not shed much - probably a hair or two the first couple of washes. While not something as versatile as the MAC 217 or the Hakuhodo J5523, both of which do laying and blending eyeshadow, this one is solely a blending brush. If you like sheer washes of colors, this one is great to have, works with cream and powders and is quite the right size for a blending brush too.