Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Review: Real Techniques Brushes by Samantha Chapman

If you're reading beauty blogs, you're probably already familiar with Samantha Chapman of Pixiwoo. You may also know that Sam has her own brush line, Real Techniques.  

The brushes are great quality. The bristles are super soft.  The whole line is synthetic, so they don't soak up product and are especially great at applying any creamy products. I wash mine 2-3 times per week and they don't shed at all and have kept their shapes beautifully, even without brush shapers like Brush Guards or the Sigma Dry ‘n Shape.  (Though I’m sure those products are fantastic for natural hair brushes.)

The official marketing materials from Real Techniques says of the brushes:

  • Ultra-plush taklon bristles for high-definition results
  • Extended aluminum ferrules for light, easy use
  • Brush names for quick reference
  • Self-standing bases for countertop display
  • Panoramic brush cases included with sets for travel or display
As for their claims, these brushes are light.  I have to admit that I’ve never picked up a brush to use and thought “Oh my god, this brush is so heavy I’m going to die!”.  The easily displayed names are good when you’re doing tutorials.  They do have flat bases, so they are “self standing”, which I really do like for the blush brush and foundation brush, but I never stand up the smaller brushes.

I have three different “sets”.  Two are individual brushes, so I suppose those don’t exactly quality as  “sets”.  Maybe I should say three different purchases?  Whatever.  I’m sure you can figure out what I mean. I have the Starter Kit Brush Set, the Blush Brush and the Foundation Brush.

  • Starter Kit Brush Set
    • base shadow brush
    • deluxe crease brush
    • accent brush
    • pixel point brush
    • brow brush

I purchased the Starter Kit Brush Set at Ulta more than six months ago and in all honesty, I use at least one of these brushes every single time I put on makeup (5-6 times per week).

The base shadow brush is similar to the MAC 217, but slightly smaller, which I love. It is so useful!

The crease brush I almost never use in my crease, but I do use it all the time. Most often, I use it to blend out the edges of darker shades.  I also use it to apply/blend cream products like cream eyeshadows, cream eye bases, eye primers, concealers, etc.

I find the base shadow and the crease brushes to be absolutely essential to my cosmetics routine.

I use the accent brush less often, but it is great for any type of detailed application.

When I do need and angled brush, I prefer the Real Techniques brush to far more expensive brushes from MAC and Sephora.

The pixel point brush is one that I use very rarely only because I use eye liners with built in applicators, but again, if you needed a precision brush, it would do nicely.

  • Blush Brush

I love this brush so much.  I cannot get over how soft it is.  It’s like buttah.  Seriously.  

This is a quality brush. It is super soft and does not shed at all. It's got a great shape, slightly more rounded than a tulip head brush, but still very multi-purpose. It's got a slightly pointed tip so you can definitely use it for blush, but also for contour and/or highlighting. Just apply product to the very tip and then the rest of the brush will work to blend it out.

It is a sizeable brush though, so if you wanted to use it for all over powder, it is great for that as well.


  • Foundation Brush

I think the type of foundation you use more than anything is going to dictate whether or not you love this brush.  Lately I’ve been using a lot of really dewey foundation and it’s not the greatest for them.

The shape is great through.  The angle really allows for precise application.  When I do need a foundation brush, this is always the one I reach for.

Overall, in case it isn’t obvious, I love these brushes.  I cannot get over the price.  They are so affordable for this quality.  My only complaint is that they can be hard to get in the U.S., but you can now order them direct from the Real Techniques website.

Overall:  10/10

(Please note: the images were borrowed from ulta.com. My excuse for not taking pictures of my own real techniques brushes is that I use them so much they're always in need of a cleaning.)