My love affair with MAC makeup is basically over but I can never rid myself of my MAC brushes love. They are pricey to be sure and while I know you can find some decent dupes of some of their brushes, it seemed like one for the 272 hadn't been perfectly duped.
When I was at The Makeup Show LA in March, I saw that bdellium tools had a brush that looked like it might have been a viable candidate to replace the 272. I used it and was pretty satisfied for it but I wasn't able to get my hands on a 272 to compare it to (because it was discontinued a long while ago) until pretty recently. I thought it'd be handy to compare the two!
(I made sure to wash and dry both brushes with a brush guard so I could compare them both in the same condition)
Availability: welp the MAC 272 is discontinued so you can't get your hands on it (it retailed for $21.50 when it was still available) but the bdellium 765 is readily available at a few different vendors (listed on Bdellium's site) for $7.92 for either the Travel or Studio style or $9.68 for the Maestro on Bdellium's shop or $9.00 and $11 respectively at the other vendors. When I got it at The Makeup Show LA, it was $5.00 for the Travel style.
The width of the bdellium brush is just about the same as the MAC brush but it's slightly longer and rounder at the top. The 272 has a much more blunt cut, angular top.
The bdellium brush is much fluffier than the MAC brush, that combined with the longer bristles means that the bdellium brush is a touch more floppy than the MAC brush. It doesn't mean that the bdellium brush isn't controllable, you'll just get more precision in the crease with the MAC 272. The MAC 272 works much better as a shader brush because the sides are flatter compared to the bdellium brush.
Both brushes seem to be made out of goat hair and though the bdellium brush is soft, the MAC brush is much softer.
Though they are similar, I wouldn't call them dupes. I know that on bdellium's Amazon site, the description used it say it was comparable to the MAC 272 but it has since been removed. I think if you are looking for the 765 to replace the 272, it doesn't. I much prefer using the bdellium 765 for blending out transition colors between the crease and browbone or applying the browbone highlight. The 272 is very similar to the MAC 239 in width and density so it can work to pack color on with the flat side and be able to contour and shape the crease. The thinner profile means it suits my smaller eyes better.
I forgot to mention, I quite like the short handled option from bdellium tools. Some brands have gigantically long handles which can be difficult for me to control so I do appreciate the short handles of the Travel brushes!
Are you as into the MAC brushes as I am? I know that there are brands like Sigma and Crown Brush doing similar brushes so most of the time I'm cool with getting the cheaper option but sometimes I'm more willing to wait out for the original.