MAC 168 SE vs MAC 168 Regular
The Brush Bristles: The bristles are white, made of Goat hair. They are incredibly soft and not at all pokey. The tip is rounded and it is a perfect brush for contouring the cheeks, jaw line, forhead and giving defination to the face. The brush is fluffy enough to cover the large areas for contouring. The fibres are bundled firmly and that just keeps every hair in place.
Note the bristles
The full size brush is handmade and they retail for $32 USD. The handle is black, made of wood and the ferrules are nickel plated made of brass. This is high quality. Even after regular cleaning or water contact the metal does not 'rusts'.
Now, I had a SE MAC 168 brush, which usually comes in Holiday kits anad sets. Those are machine made. Many make-up lover say the quality of SE brushes are not good. I would say that is not the case with this one. (for me personally)
As you can see the SE brush is more fluffy and wide spread than the full size. I personally use 168 brush for contouring the hollows of my cheek and due to the fluffiness of SE 168, it gives me a more flawless and natural blended look, rather than a 'streak'.
I didn't notice much difference in the softness of the bristles either. I would say these two brushes perform the same task for me. For someone who needs to contour the face to give a 'chisled' effect, I guess 168 full size is a better choice. It would not work for contouring nose, as its too big for that job.
MAC brushes though expensive are an investment. I have seen many good quality brushes from various brands. Brushes like MAC 168 are pretty much found in every brand. Its not a unique brush, but a pretty helpful one.