This is one of my favorite MUST HAVE brushes from MAC ever. It's right up there with my love of the 239 and the 219. It's beyond me why this isn't a permanent brush.
I bought my first 226 during the original release which was with Blonde, Brunette, and Redhead (BBR)
The photos above are of the new release MAC 226 Small Tapered Blending Brush. While it's still amazing for blending I'm disappointed. It is nothing like my original release brush. The brush head is rounded rather than shaped to a point.
Comparison shots of the original 226, and the new release 226:
The difference is significant. I'm aware MAC brushes are handmade, so shapes will vary, but .... that just doesn't look "tapered" at all to me. It's rounded. My whole love of this brush was the little point at the end. For all intents and purposes it WORKS, but the tip helps me be more precise. I would not have purchased another 226 had I known that it would be rounded.
Maybe I got a dud? =(
This brush was not made available on the MACcosmetics.com website, however you can stop by Nordstrom to purchase.