I’ve officially surpassed the ‘newbie’ stage in makeup so you can say I feel a bit more entitled to talk about the ins and outs of a brush brand that is so widely known; that I have used from the beginning of my makeup journey just over two years ago. If like me, you started with Real Techniques brushes, then you’re in for a trip down memory lane!
For the most part, they’re still going strong but which brushes do I really like and would recommend? And which are not so well-loved, falling a bit short?
Note: I don’t own a huge array of brushes (across different brands) so I won’t be able to compare these to others. However, that could be for the better! I mainly own Real Techniques and EcoTools.
Featured in this post:
The brushes are colour-coded which to my knowledge, is unique to the brand.
Gold: Flawless base brushes (Foundation, Powder, Concealer)
Pink: Finishing Brushes (Setting Powder, Blush/Bronzer, Highlight/Contour)
Purple: Eye & Detailing Brushes (Eyeliner, Concealer, Brows & Shadow Work)
Each brush is branded with the logo and brush name although these rub off over time.
This was actually the very first makeup brush I bought, along with the Blush Brush (see below). Naturally, I used this a lot when I first got it but now…not so much. It’s a densely-packed curved-headed brush that really gets into the crevices and contours of your face. It does a good blend all-in-one job without compromising on coverage due to its dense bristles. Unfortunately, that’s where the problems come in (for me). When you use this as a freshly cleansed brush, it’s great; but any more times after, it can leave brush marks and can feel a tad bit scratchy on the skin. (This often means that I end up having to use my beauty blender to save the day!)
I will say though – I really like using this brush for applying mineral foundation (i.e. Bare Minerals) – it works perfectly for that! It’s easy to work in small areas and build up the coverage gradually.
Frankly, one of my favourite brushes from RT! It’s a dome-shaped brush that picks up and dispenses the right amount of product. There are a few different ways to use this to apply blush. Either you can swipe your brush back and forth or you can bounce the brush sideways on the high points of your cheek. It’s very beginner-friendly, so I highly recommend this to all makeup users and enthusiasts. Often, applying blush can be a nightmare because no one wants an overly-blushed, seemingly flustered face but with the right tool (this one), it’s easy-peasy. Also, this brush can easily be interchangeable as a brush for bronzer or powder too!
Another favourite. Easily. There is something about fluffy brushes that is really satisfying, don’t you think? This was the 3rd instalment of my overall brush collection (which was all RT at this point if you didn’t realise…) and something I use in every makeup routine without fail. Similar to the blush brush, this picks up the right amount of product. Thinking about it, I really look forward to using this brush every time as I find it rather therapeutic because of its softness and ease to work with. I can’t say it’s the softest brush because it most definitely isn’t, but it’s soft enough to work with your skin and give you a flawless finish in seconds which makes me a happy chappy!
The Core Collection is a 4-piece brush set that assists in building the coverage and base of your makeup. Its original price is £20.99 but nowadays, you can get these for much cheaper. I got mine for half price on Amazon one Christmas!
Buffing Brush: I think my makeup game started to change when I started using this brush. Coverage-wise, I prefer this brush to the expert face brush even though the latter offers higher coverage. But I’m more about building layers and making the most out of something. Less is more. As it suggests, this really works well in buffing the product into your skin. It works with it and not against it so I’ve never had a mishap whilst using this brush. It melds with your skin in a way that your foundation…is your skin. Just better. It’s like magic.
I use this either for liquid foundation or mineral foundation (i.e. Bare Minerals) and it works great for either. You can really control the coverage with this brush, and as always, add more coverage in the areas you feel is necessary.
Pointed Foundation Brush: Honestly, I don’t use this brush at all and as such, don’t feel that I can give an in-depth review on this one. I will say though – for foundation, it’s not the most handy due to its small stature. You’d honestly be there for hours trying to apply your entire foundation flawlessly with this! Instead, I’d imagine this would be better suited for concealer or even a cream highlight.
Detailer Brush: Again, not really a brush I use all that often but when I have, it’s been helpful. My skin is generally quite clear now but even when I do breakout, I don’t actually conceal any spots or blemishes. (If anything, I find foundation is enough for that but each to their own.) Some users utilise this for concealing problem spots but I sometimes use this to apply lipstick if I want a more natural lip. Other times, I use this for smudging eyeliner, or detailed eye work or even just to apply a highlight shade in the corner of my eyes! So you see, this is a multi-tasker brush that you think you won’t need, but comes in rather handy.
Contour Brush: Oh how I wish they sold this brush separately! I’d happily buy another one in a heartbeat as spare. I don’t actually use this brush for contour. (In fact, I don’t contour at all!) Instead, I use this to lightly set powder underneath my eyes after I’ve concealed it. It took me a while to start using this brush after purchase, but once I figured it out, it’s been my favourite! I sometimes pop this in my makeup bag to go with me so that I can touch up on my makeup with powder and it’s been so useful. I think of this as a mini, fluffy blush brush, and due to its similar dome-shape, it makes a good fit underneath the eyes – the contour if you will. The nose bridge, sides of your nose, your T-zone? It’s all covered with this brush!
I don’t highlight or contour, but I’m so sure this would work for that, as well as blush if you wanted a more precise application!
The Starter Set is a 5-piece eye-makeup brush set that assists in defining your eyes and the areas surrounding. Its original price is £20.99 but again, you can currently get these for much cheaper. I also got these on half price offer on Amazon. (I know. I am a bargain hunter!)
Brow Brush: I wasn’t particularly keen on this brush when I finally started using it with brow pomade. For a brow brush it’s quite thick and dense, so it’s not very beginner-friendly. If you use the wrong technique and become a bit heavy-handed, it’s quite easy for your brows to look too ‘blocky’ and flat. Even when you start using the right technique, I think there’s still room for error simply because the brush doesn’t offer precise application. If you have small brows as I do, I think this could be a real problem.
Of course, when using brushes, I think it’s 50% technique and 50% brush potential but as it stands, this isn’t the brow brush that I reach for, although it can give natural looking brows (but note – not necessarily sharp, neat brows).
Fine Liner Brush: Sadly, I don’t think this brush is beginner-friendly either! But this may be my problem as I still haven’t mastered applying eyeliner well. Despite its name, the brush can benefit a bit more from being finer and shorter. What’s really funny is, I purchased the Maybelline Gel Eyeliner some months ago and I actually prefer the brush that comes with that! I just find this difficult to use and due to its long flimsiness, you are open to errors which just makes me frustrated. It’s near impossible to get the line and shape that I want… (most of the time, it comes out thicker than I want) so I’m afraid this is a miss for me too!
Base Shadow Brush: For a base brush, this is rather different because it resembles a fluffy blending brush compared to your typical flat, short brush. For a light sweep of colour on your lid as a base, it’s okay but if you wanted to pack colour on with little to no fallout, look elsewhere. If anything, this works better as a crease brush.
Deluxe Crease Brush: I don’t have a lot of lid space, so it’s personal. But I would also like to know – those who do, does this brush work for you? Because I wouldn’t think so. It’s so oversized. Ridiculously oversized. It’s a round and densely-packed brush which is quite hard to control without messing up your eye work. It’s impossible to be precise with it because it’s a round brush after all. At first I thought it was my technique but after playing around with a MAC 239 and 217 I decided, no. This brush is just wrong. Funnily enough, this works better as an under-eye concealer brush. Is the pattern getting familiar now?
Overall, I believe you can’t go wrong with the Real Techniques base application and finish brushes. Each one is a multi-tasking brush so even if you find it’s not great for its intended use on yourself, it will be good for something else! However, I’m really not a fan of the eye brushes so will be looking out for other ones. Any suggestions?
Much love! 🙂 ❤