Thursday, March 29, 2012

Review: Real Techniques Brushes by Samantha Chapman

I've always been very curious with these brushes ever since Sam from one of my favorite makeup channels in YouTube, Pixiwoo, released them. I've read great reviews about the products, so I knew I have to have them. Actually, I've become skeptical with reviews before because I've had the worst experience with one popular brand of brushes (which I might write a review on later) that didn't work well despite the hype. Thankfully, these Real Techniques brushes lived up to my expectations.

I purchased two kits - the Travel Essentials and Core Collection - as well as five of the individual brushes they have - stippling brush, foundation brush, blush brush, powder brush, and kabuki brush. I checked Ulta again this morning and realized that they still have three individual brushes I've not seen before - setting brush, fine liner brush, and expert face brush. I might have to give them a try soon.
Real Techniques Travel Essentials and Real Techniques Core Collection

The first thing that really caught my eyes when I saw the photos of the brushes was the unique design. They didn't look like ripped-off designs from some other more popular brushes. At first, I actually thought they would be heavy, but they aren't. The aluminum handle is light and not as thick as it may seem. I like the choice of colors for the brushes, too. They are in pink, purple, or gold (and black for the kabuki brush). I just wished the panoramic brush case had a better design and color and not just like the standard black brush roll.
 Panoramic Brush Case
Travel Essentials Kit
Includes 3 full-size brushes + case:

Essential foundation brush: Build flawless custom coverage with liquid foundation or concealer
Multi-task brush: for effortless application of powder, blush, and bronzer
Domed shadow brush: tapered design smoothly shades and defines eyes
Panoramic brush case is a 2-in-1 case + stand
Core Collection Kit
Includes 4 full-size brushes + case:

Detailer brush: precision cut to effortlessly conceal problem areas; or, use with lipstick for long-lasting shape and definition
Pointed foundation brush: use with liquid foundation to build custom coverage
Buffing brush: ideal for full coverage application of powder and mineral foundation
Contour brush: delicately applies highlighter to contour or create sheer, soft-focus finish
Panoramic brush case is a 2-in-1 case + stand

Stippling Brush, Powder Blush, Foundation Brush, and Blush Brush
From L-R: Kabuki Brush (still inside the box), Blush Brush, Stippling Brush, 
Foundation Brush, and Powder Blush
Just like what Sam and Nic often say in their video tutorials, many of these brushes are actually multipurpose. The Multi-task Brush and the Buffing Brush are almost the same. Also, there are three different foundation brushes available. I prefer the Foundation Brush (sold separately) over the Pointed Foundation Brush (from Core Collection) since it's angled and wide enough. The latter is just too small for an entire face product application, so I'd rather use it for concealers.

All of the brushes have synthetic taklon bristles and are really soft and gentle on the face. The Stippling Brush is not as stiff as the other brushes I've tried (For example, the Coastal Scents one), so it worked well for me.

As for whether the hairs shed or not, out of all the brushes I purchased, the only one that shed a little bit was the Buffing Brush. The rest are still in perfect shape.

These brushes are a bit difficult to clean because the makeup products tend to stain the hairs. MAC brushes are definitely a lot easier to clean.

Kabuki Brush
 Real Techniques Kabuki Brush (unfolded)

This is a 2-in-1 brush which can be used closed for powder and unfolded for sweeping on blush color or highlighting powder.  I've actually first seen this type of design from the former Michelle Phan-owned IQQU brushes, specifically the mini red kabuki from IQQU's essential travel set. Now, I don't exactly know which one came out first, so I can't really tell if there is "anything else" behind it or not. Hehe. I actually prefer to use this brush opened instead of unfolded because I'm afraid I might break it from too much use. I also expected it to be quite big since it's supposed to be a full-sized brush, but it's teeny-weeny. While the bristles are soft just like the other brushes, the size was kind of a letdown. For that, this is probably my least favorite among all the Real Techniques brushes I have.
For size comparison
Sigma Kabuki Brush and Real Techniques Kabuki Brush

The one thing that may be a disadvantage to some is that the brushes from the kits are not sold individually, and the individual brushes they have are not included in any of the kits. Therefore, even if you only want to purchase, let's say, the Detailer Brush from the Core Collection, you have to buy the entire kit. However, I think it's more economical since one kit only costs $17.99 and you'll get 3-5 brushes (so at the least, one brush may cost $3.60), whereas an individual brush already ranges from $5.99-$9.99. Just be careful when choosing which ones you really need the most... or you can just get them all. Haha.

Also, the brushes are rather small for being full-sized ones. Before I purchased the products, I was surprised when I read that the Travel Essentials kit actually has 3 full-sized brushes. But when I finally saw the brushes, I realized that all of them have either short or middle handles. They're good for traveling as they fit nicely inside the purse, but I just think they're not that big to be called full-sized. 
For size comparison
From L-R: MAC 239, Real Techniques Buffing Brush, Sigma Powder Brush, Stila no. 24
I customized my own kit. Haha. I bring this around with me every day.
From L-R: Real Techniques Blush Brush, Powder Brush, Foundation Brush, 
Eyeshadow Brush, Detailer Brush, and Stippling Brush

Overall, I think these brushes are great for the price. I really like the cute design. I highly recommend these to those who are on a budget but still would not want to compromise the quality.

Non-Sponsored Post.
(c) All images belong to Ayra Blogs About Things


  1. Just bought the expert face brush a while ago, I'm so excited to try it! :)

    1. I don't have that one yet because it was released after I order this bunch. Haha. But I'm sure it's as great as the others. :)

  2. I want a customized kit also, hmmmn, I’m thinking what to include in my own kit.
    ~Pauline @Kallony

    1. Hi Pauline!

      Yeah, I suggest you create your own kit, too. It's better since you only need to bring the ones you'll actually use. :)




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