June 16, 2012

Chic Shopaholic: Real Techniques

I needed to buy a some extra brushes to use on clients since I didn't always want to use my own personal brushes all the time. I also wanted to try Real Techniques brushes since I've heard great things  about them and wanted to review them on my blog. The brand was created by one-half of the the well-known YouTube beauty gurus and Makeup Artist sisters, Samantha Chapman. I didn't have any stores near me that carry the brand so I ordered online via Amazon.com.

The line is 100% cruelty-free, the bristles being made of synthetic taklon hair. Each brush is labeled for what its purpose is and held by color-coded aluminum ferrules - orange for the skin, purple for the eyes, and pink for finishing the makeup. The ends of the handles are covered in black with the larger brushes having a flat base so you can stand them upright on your vanity. I bought three sets plus a few individual brushes.
  • Core Collection: This set consists of four brushes to create flawless base for the skin.
    • Contour Brush: Medium, rounded-domed shape. Fits right under the cheekbones, around the hairline and under the jaw to create shadow around the face. Defines but is easy to blend so the contour doesn't look like a harsh line. Can also be used for  cream and powder blushes, highlighters and powdering small areas of the face.
    • Pointed Foundation Brush: Medium, traditional flat foundation brush with a slight rounded-point at the tip. The point helps to get within the crevices around the face like the nose and mouth. Can also be used for cream blushes and highlighters.
    • Detailer Brush: Small, flat brush for concealing under the eyes and blemishes/spots on the face. Can also be used for applying eyeshadows and as a lip brush.
    • Buffing Brush: Large, fluffy brush with a slightly flat. domed top. Can be used for loose or pressed powders, powder or mineral foundation, and bronzer. It has enough density to build coverage but with enough movement to buff and blend.

  • Starter Set: This set consists of five brushes for the eyes.
    • Deluxe Crease Brush: Large, dense rounded domed-shape brush. It gives a soft definition in the crease and can also be used to apply concealer.
    • Base Shadow Brush: Large, fluffy domed-shape brush for applying color all over the eye. Can also be used to apply colors in the crease and blend eyeshadows.
    • Accent Brush: Small, short dense brush. Can be used to apply details of color,  highlighting, smudging and creating a defined line in the socket of the crease for a "cut-crease" look. 
    • Pixel-point Eyeliner Brush: Small, tapered eyeliner brush to work with cream or gel liners. The brush is a bit thick but once you have product on it, the tip of the brush becomes a little finer so it's easier to create thinner lines.
    • Brow Brush: Flat, slanted brush to fill in brows. The density is a bit thick and a bit wide but works to give a soft definition in the brows. Can also be used for emollient and powder eyeliner.

  • Travel Essentials: This set consists of three brushes for traveling.
    • Essential Foundation Brush: Medium, traditional flat foundation brush. Can also be used for cream blushes and highlighters.
    • Domed Shadow Brush: Medium, dense, rounded brush for applying eyeshadows. Can be used to apply  base all-over color, in the crease, blend, as well as applying concealer.
    • Multi-task Brush: Large, fluffy tapered brush. Can be used to apply powder, bronzer and blush.
All sets come with a black panoramic brush case. As shown in the photos, it can be folded to become a brush stand so you'll have easier access to see what brush you need as you're using it. You fold it the middle and adjust the toggle until you like the position of the stand. The stand is very sturdy, I don't worry about it getting knocked over or collapsing.

For the individual brushes, I bought:
  • Blush Brush: Large, fluffy round domed-shape brush. In my opinion, the size of the brush is a bit too big for the cheeks and you aren't able apply the color in small areas like the apple of the cheeks. The color ends up being spread throughout the face. The brush is dense but still has movement to blend. I prefer to use this brush for powdering the face or for bronzer.
  • Stippling Brush: Medium, flat top dual-fiber brush. Can be used for foundations, powders, bronzer and blush. The black hairs are dense and stiff enough to buff the product and the white hairs help move the product around.

  • Shading Brush: Small, flat, brush for the eyes. Can be used to apply color on the lid, crease, to highlight and smudge liner. This order actually came with a pack of two which is great because it's one of my most used brushes so it's good to have an extra one on hand.
Overall, I think the quality of the brushes are really nice for the price. I was surprised at how soft the bristles were for being synthetic. The only downside I have to them is that some of them are a little too fluffy and don't apply a concentration of color, particularly for the eyes. The crease brushes spread the eyeshadows a little too out for my taste and I'm not able to create a more defined, intense look. I think these brushes are great for people who just want a basic set for everyday looks. I was able to work with them just fine though on my recent clients, which were the bride and her party for her wedding, as well as for Hidemi's prom. If you're looking for affordable, cruelty-free, well made brushes, defnitely check these out.

Have you tried these brushes? What do you think of them? What are your favorite brands for synthetic brushes?

Glamour Girl

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