Friday, October 14, 2011

The Real Techniques Starter Set + Comparisons to Other Brushes!

A couple of weeks ago, I realized that I had a serious need for a synthetic version of the MAC 217 brush. Maybe it was when I bought all of those new MAC Paintpots. Anyway, I know that most people use the MAC 217 for cream eyeshadows, but I find that the bristles get too “gunky” and end up applying cream shadows in a patchy manner. Bleh. 

I asked everyone I could think of for a recommendation that would suit my needs: synthetic, shaped like the 217, and relatively inexpensive. Nobody could think of a brush, though, and I thought I was doomed to an unobtainable lemming until I stumbled upon an old review on Le Gothique (hi Grey!) of the Real Techniques Starter Set for eyes

As I’m certain you know, the Real Techniques brushes were designed with the input of Samantha Chapman - she’s one half of the very pretty and extremely talented Pixiwoo duo on Youtube

Grey gave the set a glowing review, and mentioned that the Base Shadow Brush was perfect for blending cream eyeshadows. WIN! I ordered it from Ulta as soon as it was back in stock on the Ulta website. I paid $17.99USD for the set of five brushes + the cool panoramic brush holder.

Now, I’ll be quick about this: the brushes are fabulous and exceeded my expectations. They are multi-functional, soft, easy to hold, and a phenomenal deal. There are countless reviews on these brushes. What I wanted to do instead was compare each brush to similar brushes in my collection; I felt that’d be more interesting and more helpful. So, here we go!

Real Techniques Deluxe Crease Brush

From L to R, we have: Real Techniques Deluxe Crease Brush, Sonia Kashuk Synthetic Crease Shadow Brush, Urban Decay 24/7 Blending Brush, Everyday Minerals Eye Kabuki, and the Sonia Kashuk Large Domed Eye Shadow Brush.
The RT Deluxe Crease Brush is a medium-sized rounded crease brush that appears to be a much larger UD Blending Brush, or a smaller EDM Eye Kabuki. It is not quite as flared and rounded as the SK Large Domed Eye Shadow Brush (this SK brush has a unique shape, I must say), and despite being synthetic, it is much softer than the SK Synthetic Crease Shadow Brush (which is so stiff that I find it unusable for pressed shadows - I only use this brush for applying loose shadows like Fyrinnae’s since it’s stiff enough to not muddle the unique colors). The RT Deluxe Crease Brush will be useful for  blending out creases as well as applying highlight colors under the brows, or applying a quick wash of color on the lids.
Real Techniques Base Shadow Brush

From L to R, we have: Real Techniques Base Shadow Brush and the MAC 217. 

My pictures aren’t the best, but let me assure you: these two brushes have the SAME SHAPE. I am thrilled. Fluffy but tapered, stiff but with enough give: the RT Base Shadow Brush is exactly what I was looking for. It is perfect for applying cream shadows. I am in love!
Real Techniques Accent Brush

From L to R, we have: Real Techniques Accent Brush and the old version of the Urban Decay Multi-Tasker brush.
This is an adorably tiny brush, similar to the UD Multi-Tasker. The UD brush has a pointed tip, though, which makes it perfect for very sharp lip lines and very thin eyeliner. The Real Techniques brush has a rounded tip, which will make for a lovely brush for adding small accent colors or smudging eyeliner. Basically, this is a brush for detail work.
Real Techniques Pixel-Point Eyeliner Brush

From L to R, we have: Real Techniques Pixel-Point Eyeliner Brush, my freshly-used MAC 210 (sorry!), and the Sonia Kashuk Bent Eye Liner Brush. 
Now, I’m sure you’re thinking exactly what I thought when I saw the Pixel-Point Eyeliner Brush: “THAT IS WAY TOO BIG FOR EYELINER!” And I really thought it was. This brush is massive, and thick. How the bloody hell is anyone supposed to get a thin, precise line with this thing? Or winged liner?! Ok, here’s the genius of the brush: it’s thick enough for a thick line, but the thickness also somehow helped me to get extremely close to my lashes and make a thin line. The best part - the very tip of this brush is tapered thin. To get in the inner corner of my eye and to make my wing, what I did was dip my brush into my cream eyeliner (Clinique True Black Brush-On Cream liner, of course!) and then press both sides of the brush against the jar, flattening it. This made the brush completely flat and perfect for fine lines. Whoa, colored me impressed! 

Real Techniques Brow Brush

From L to R, we have: Real Techniques Brow Brush and the Sephora Professional #10 Brow Brush (the only other angled brow brush I have, surprisingly!).
Again, here’s another instance of “THAT BRUSH IS WAY TOO BIG TO DO ITS JOB!” - this brush is huge. I’m lucky I have pretty thick brows, because I’m just not sure how this brush would work for thinner brows. Maybe someone can tell me. Also, I’m usually skeptical about using synthetic brushes for brows, since I find that the bristles can be too floppy. However, this brush is firmly packed which gives it added stiffness. As you can see in the above picture, my brows are nicely filled in. This brush could also be useful for applying eyeshadow. Not bad!
So, have you tried the Real Techniques brushes before? 

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18 love notes:

lexi920 said...

oooh I'll have to check this out - I usually use my fingers to apply my paint pots on my lids! Yeah I hate what it does to my brushes, if and when I do choose to use one!

Happy Friday mama!

Anonymous said...

I actually JUST got a third set of these for the blending brush! I'm glad you like them!

MarciaF (Beauty Info Zone) said...

I have the set of brushes and love them. My eyebrows aren't thick at all but the brow brush is just fine as long as I don't overload it with pigment. I didn't find the eyeliner brush to be useful and I gave it away which is too bad since your technique sounds real (sorry I couldn't help it!).
Real Techniques are great brushes and even better because of the prices.

Ava said...

Great review! Thanks. I'm going to look at these this weekend. The price is just right.

Anonymous said...

I love these brushes and what a steal! *squals*

Joey said...

Happy weekend, Lexi! I sometimes use my fingers for my cream eyeshadows but if I want a more even and opaque layer, I have to use a brush!

Joey said...

Grey, a third set? Wow! I love these brushes, so thank you again for your awesome review! xoxoxo

Joey said...

Marcia, I swear my trick with the eyeliner brush works ;) these brushes are lovely and now I want to try the Face set.

Joey said...

Ava, do let me know what you think!

Joey said...


makeup merriment said...

I guess I will have to break down and get this set! Ulta is opening up their first boutique in Fargo, ND soon! I guess a road trip will be in order. Thanks for the review xx jeanie

Shannon (Lipstick Musings) said...

I'm so glad you posted this, although I just bought this kit myself and fully intended to review it this week! Guess I'll hold off on that for a bit, lol! Anyhow, I agree with you on just about everything. The only brush I haven't tried is the liner, which I, too, thought looked far to large to be useful. Now, it sounds like I'll have to give it a shot!

Also, the brow brush is fine for medium-to-thin brows (at least mine).


Joey said...

Hi Jeanie! It's such a lovely set of brushes =) I hope you enjoy them xoxo

Joey said...

Shannon!! =D

Don't hold off on your review just because I reviewed them, please? Also, let me know how the liner brush works for you =) xoxoxo

Phyrra said...

Yay! So glad you got these! Love them!

Joey said...

Thanks Phyrra! <33333

mary said...

I have lots of brushes but these look so nice, I feel like I need them.

Joey said...

Mary, hello! I have an obscene number of brushes but these get a lot of love. Highly recommended!