My Real Techniques Brush Collection & Review!
Slowly but surely, I've been accumulating some of the brushes from Real Techniques. In case you're not familiar, it's a line by well known YouTuber & makeup artist, Samantha Chapman. I first ran into these brushes at Ulta, and as a whole, I've found them to be really high quality brushes for an affordable price. See how the bristles on these brushes have lighter tips? That's pretty much a consistent feature throughout the whole line. They have really soft, synthetic taklon bristles. The ferrule of the brush is a colored aluminum and is longer (the ferrule) than most other brushes. It seems most of the larger brushes that you can buy singularly can stand on their own, which is another unique feature. The specific name of each brush is actually written out on the brush, which is handy as well. I thought I'd just walk you through what I have, and my thoughts on them.
(And yes, they need to be cleaned! haha)
Stippling Brush: This is the first brush I got from the line and it has much shorter bristles compared to my Sigma stippling brush. I feel like the shortness also makes them a bit more stiff, and therefore able to apply a bit more pressure to the face & truly stipple on a product with ease. You could use this brush to stipple on a liquid or cream foundation, but the size also lends it to cream blushes or highlights as well. It's just slightly larger than my ELF Studio Small Stipple brush, which I also like to use for that purpose.
Blush Brush: This is one of my most recent Real Techniques purchases, and it's definitely the largest, most full brush that I have from this line. It has an extremely tapered egg shape, and while it can apply blush, I really feel like it's ample size for applying all over face powder or bronzer... as well as a highlight, for that matter. I think the degree to which this brush is tapered makes it a good multi-tasker for all of those products- and therefore it's also a great travel brush when you don't want to pack a whole lot.
Setting Brush: Another recent purchase, the setting brush is a terrific size for setting your under-eye concealer with a light amount of powder. A lot of flat concealer brushes have a tendency to pack too much on, and anytime you powder the under-eye area, it needs to be really lightweight. This brush is so nicely tapered that you can really get the perfect application in that area. It's also nice for highlighting targeted areas.
Expert Face Brush: After just trying a couple of brushes from the line and not being super wowed by them (the Stipple brush and the eye set), this was the first brush that I really, really enjoyed- and prompted more brush purchases from this line. Marnie a.k.a. MsGoldGirl on YouTube has raved about this one as a foundation brush, and I must say- it has definitely fallen into my "brush rotation" along with Sigma's SigMax synethic brush collection. I still feel like my Sigma F80 is my ultimate favorite for applying liquid or cream foundation because of the effortless circular motion it can perform. The shape and taper of this brush makes it a bit more stiff, but it's still awesome for a liquid foundation. As with all of the brushes from this line, it's extremely soft and just feels great on the face.
The Core Collection: This is a set of four face brushes, and while I explain the ways I use them- keep in mind this set can be really multipurpose depending on your needs. The top brush is the Buffing Brush. This isn't much larger than the expert face brush, but the bristles are slightly longer and not as tightly packed, making it a bit more flexible. I think this is a good brush for buffing in a mineral or powder foundation when you want maximum coverage. The Contour Brush is the second from the top. This is kind of like the baby version of the blush brush... it has that same egg shape and super tapered cut. I think it's great for both contouring and highlighting. The Pointed Foundation Brush is quite small, and so I'm not a big fan of using it for foundation, but it is rather nice for blending out concealer. The long bristles allow for light pressure, and keep you from totally wiping concealer away. The Detailer Brush is something I haven't reached for much, but I could see it being used to spot conceal some very small problems, or even as a smudgy eyeliner brush.
If you get any of the Real Techniques brushes in a kit, they come with a very innovative little holder. It has a toggle on it so you can fold it back and stand your brushes up like this. You'll notice there's additional elastic if you want to add in some other brushes.
You can also loosen the toggle and use the velcro closure to store or travel with your brushes like this. I'd never seen this kind of a holder sold with brushes before and thought it was really handy and user friendly!
The Starter Set: This set of eye brushes also came in one of those toggle/velcro fold over holders. This was one of the first Real Techniques products I purchased, and I really wasn't too thrilled with most of this collection. As a whole, I felt these eye brushes were just too large to give me much control. The top brush is the Deluxe Crease Brush. It seems really large for my crease, but I believe I'll start using this brush to buff in cream or liquid concealer. If may be hard to tell, but this is not a flat brush- it's totally rounded and the ferrule isn't pinched at all. The Base Shadow Brush is more flat, tapered, and cut to a slight point... it's like the baby version of the Setting brush, shown above. This one is ok for packing color on the lid, but it's not quite as firm as I prefer. The angled brush in the picture is the Brow Brush. No problem with that one! It's a pretty basic angled brush that's slightly thicker than a typical angled liner brush that you might use for eyeliner. Next is my favorite in the pack- the Accent Brush. Perfect for highlighting your inner corner or applying smudgy liner. Finally the Pixel-Point Eyeliner Brush is just way too big for eyeliner, in my opinion. I've used it with cream liners and I get a much thicker line than I want.
But don't worry, my Real Techniques liner woes were over once I found that they had a much smaller eyeliner brush sold individually called the Fine Liner Brush. It's pretty much the perfect size and cut for cream liners. I wonder why they didn't just put this brush in the Starter Set to begin with?
Here you can really see the size difference-- the thickness of the Pixel Point liner brush is 2 to 3 times the size of the fine liner brush. Wowza!
Shading Brush: Here's another really basic-seeming brush that's sold individually, but would've been nice in that Starter Kit. It's small and flat, and allows you to provide just the right amount of pressure for packing shadow on the lid or pulling it into the crease. As with all of the other eye and face brushes, it the bristles are really nice and soft.
Overall, I think Real Techniques brushes are really great quality. I was drawn to purchase several of these after watching the demonstrations on the Real Techniques website. I would highly suggest checking it out, not only to see all of the various brushes- but to also see them in action and learn about the multiple uses that some of them have.
My favorite brushes from this line are the Blush Brush, Setting Brush, Expert Face Brush, Fine Liner Brush, and Shading Brush. The Core Collection is good, but not really all that unique compared to brushes I already have, and the Starter Set for eyes was probably the product that I least enjoyed. And just so you know, I'm not affiliated with this brand and bought the brushes with my own money at Ulta or Ulta.com. What brushes have you tried from Real Techniques? What are your hits and misses?
- This morning I shot an "All Drugstore" Get Ready with Me video! I used a lot of the brushes I talked about in this blog post.
- Currently uploading a haul video!
- I am so excited for American Idol tonight! woohoo!!
- In yesterday's Daily Nuggets I mentioned that I didn't know what to do with my leftover Rotel/Velveeta dip. Well Molly was Johnny-on-the-spot with this comment about making it into a pasta bake. I didn't have quite all of the ingredients she mentioned, but basically did what she said and it was delish!! Tyler loved it too. Thanks Molly!
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