Wednesday, 22 February 2012

REVIEW: Real Techniques Brushes

As you may remember, I picked up some Real Techniques brushes at IMATS earlier this month and now that I've had a chance to use them all, I thought it was time for a review.

Designed to create a 'pixel-perfect' finish, Real Techniques brushes are made from hand-cut Taklon bristles, are cruelty free and labelled and colour coded for ease of use. Oh and they were designed by professional makeup artist Samantha Chapman (aka one half of YouTube sensation Pixiwoo).

I purchased the Core Collection and the much talked about Stippling brush. The Core collection includes: contour brush, pointed foundation brush, detailer brush and buffing brush.

Now I'll get into individual reviews of each brushes a little further down (it's going to be a long one so grab a creme egg and settle in [I've eaten two creme eggs since writing this - somebody save me from myself]) but I want to do a quick overview of the pros and cons first.

  • The bristles are good quality: they're sturdy but not scratchy as I've seen a few people say
  • They wash well: cleaning brushes is something I am very, very fussy about and the RT brushes wash and dry well and as yet, I have witnessed no shedding
  • They're a very reasonable price: the Core Collection retails for £21.99 (in Boots) for four brushes which is approximately £5.50 per brush whilst the Stippling Brush comes in at £10.99. Compare to other brushes on the market and you'll find RT are the best price for their quality
  • The labelling: not something that benefits me personally as a makeup artist (I'll get onto that at the end) but for someone starting to develop an interest in makeup it's a great idea.
  • They're synthetic: synthetic brushes are generally better at applying cream products.
  • The design: I find them bulky - they're not heavy or awkward to hold, they're just different and I don't prefer them to the slimline/tapered brush handles I'm used to. Also, the self-standing base comes across as gimmicky, I don't stand my brushes up nor do I wish to. The case is a good addition but the design means you wouldn't fit them in a standard brush roll.
  • They're in sets: if I had the choice, I would have just bought the Buffing brush from the Core collection as it would be the brush I'm more likely to use - this isn't an option however. Now more brushes is not something to complain about I know but I'd like the option to be able to buy them individually.

So there's my quick overview on the pros and cons, I have a few more general points to make at the end but for now, here are individual brush reviews.

Contour Brush: the contour brush is smaller than it looks so it provides more precision in application. It's brilliant for really getting into the hollow of the cheekbone to create a realistic looking contour and it also works well for highlighting.

Pointed Foundation Brush: probably the brush I'm least likely to use. It's tiny! For that reason I would only use it on certain areas of the face (around the nose for example) rather than the whole face.

Detailer Brush: a nice sturdy little brush that I will use for concealer rather than lips even though I think it would be a decent enough lip brush. It serves its purpose, would I have bought it on its own? Probably not. Was it an added bonus? I'd say yes.

Buffing Brush: my favourite of the set. I've used the buffing brush to apply my foundation and whilst I liked the finish it gave and how quick it made the application, I also found it used a bit too much product and sometimes looked a little too heavy as a result. Since then I've been using it just to buff foundation in (after I've applied it either with the stippling brush or my fingers) and it gives a flawless finish. Vice versa, if you apply your foundation with the buffing brush, using the stippling brush to buff the product into the skin creates an equally beautiful finish.

Stippling Brush: I personally love a stippling brush. The bristles are short and densely packed which I love, I prefer the tension this creates and therefore the finish you get with it as you're able to really work the product into the skin. The stippling brush beautifully applies both foundation and cream blush/bronzer/highlight. I've been using it to both apply my foundation or to blend foundation applied with the buffing brush and I love the finish, they two brushes are very complimentary to one another.

Overall, I do like the Real Techniques brushes and I would say that if you're looking for a set of brushes that are both good quality and affordable you can't go far wrong.

I hope this was somewhat helpful to anyone considering buying the Real Techniques brushes. If you have any questions about them or comments, please leave them below and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

Vicky xoxo


  1. Hi lovely! Just started following you! Really good review, I haven't seen a review for these brushes so it was interesting to see what you thought! :)

    Hope you have a good weekend :)

    1. Ah thank you for following Aoife! I love your blog!

      Hope you found it helpful xoxo

  2. Thanks This helped a lot!!! Just bought them from Ulta Online...Cant wait to try them out!!!!:D