Even when you have good products, you won’t get a perfect application with crappy tools. A good set of brushes is a must have when it comes to flawless makeup. While most of the popular brands for brushes are Sephora, MAC, MUFE, Tom Ford and Hakuhodo, you don’t need to spend a fortune on brushes. Some good drugstore options are EcoTools and Real Technique. I’ve always hate foundation since they look streaky no matter what I do…..until I finally bought Real Technique Expert Face Brush. OMG! The foundation actually looks good now! It is my cheapest but most necessary item in my makeup arsenal. When I saw the new luxe line of brushes came out from Real Technique, I just have to get at least one, so I figure this is as good time as any to rave about Real Technique brushes.
The images are that of washed and dried brushes, because I always wash my brushes before first use, and I couldn’t wait to take a picture before playing with them. The brush head shape didn’t really change after washing so it doesn’t matter. Here is another image for size comparison.
If you would like a detailed explanation of the design for the Luxe line, click here for explanation from pixiewoo. All Real Technique brushes are synthetic I believe, the basic line with thick handle and black rubber bottom are all under $10 per brush while the luxe/premium line with sleek metal looking handles are ~$20-$25.
Now, onto the brushes! I am very picky about the shape, size and softness for eye brushes so I prefer to go higher end for those instead of Real Technique brushes. But when it comes to face brushes, especially where I might need to work with liquid or cream, I’m a big fan of Real Technique. I’ve had the Expert Face Brush for a year now so the bristle is a tad yellow from foundation stain. I’ve been pretty hard on it, with usage and cleaning, but it’s still soft and I have not had any hair fallout.
Stippling brush: It consist of a shorter dense layer of black bristles with longer and more sparse white bristles. The bristles are firm, but not scratchy even after use/washing. Because of the firmness, it’s great for picking up cream products and really work it into the skin. I actually don’t use to apply things but to sheer out makeup. Sometimes when I accidentally applied too much blush or foundation, I take the clean stippling brush to buff it out and picks up/take away some of the product.
Setting brush: It is a small face brush with somewhat pointed end, so it’s great to work around the smaller areas. You can use it to contour side of the nose, blend out edges of concealer or use for touch ups. I like to use it to blend out the eye shadows a bit more as the final step for a softer look, or to apply/set powder under the eye etc.
Expert Face Brush: It is my goto, my only and my musthave for foundation brush. It works with all the TM/BB/foundation that I tried with it. The bristle is firm/stiff enough to pick up even cream and really buff it in, but the tips are soft enough it’s a pleasure to use (I had a mini Guerlain Meteorites brush, it was scratchy and I hated it). The other foundation brush that’s got just as much rave review was Urban Decay Good Karma Optical Blurring brush, which I’ve shown below for comparison.
The UD brush is much more dense and round, while RT brush is more of oval shape and slightly smaller. Because of that, the UD brush is great for buffing in thicker foundations while the RT brush is better at really applying the foundations to the more curvey area of the face where it’s needed, like around the nose, under the chin etc. The UD works fine but because it’s so dense, it’s a pain to wash! You can never really get to the center and it takes forever to rinse the soap out of the center and to dry. I do wish the RT Expert Face have a thinner stem so it’s easier to store/travel with, so I suppose Urban Decay or Sephora brushes triumphs in that aspect, but you can’t beat the price of $9 and it delivers. But enough about that! Let’s move onto prettier (and more expensive) brush, the blush brush from the Bold Metals/premium collection!
It is as beautiful and elegant as I expected! The cute brush head have a bit of pink in the root, like the center/bottom of a flower petal, growing from the handle. The ferrule is metal I think, it is round then lengthens into a sleek angular tip. The brush head is small, so it’s more for targeted blush or contouring. It is definitely softer than the RT basic line of ~$10 brushes, have a good density and didn’t shed or bleed. Is it x2 softer to justify the x2 price? hmmm, well, it’s not x2 softer but you have to admit the shape is more convenient and it is more beautiful than the basic line. In terms of softness it feels almost the same as IT Cosmetic, but this is the only Bold Metal/premium brush I have and I didn’t buy a comparable one in IT so it’s only an approximate. I suppose the price is not bad. My only worry is that since the ferrule is brass and the actual handle feels like plastic and it’s shiny…..the oily/dirty on my hand is going to tarnish and make it all icky over time. I like the softness of the tip and the shape/density, but the bristles are a bit too firm for my taste when blending the blush, which is more of personal preference I suppose.
In short, I will forever be using Expert Face Brush but am not attached to the other brushes from Real Technique basic line. I can buy several $10 brushes I don’t care for, or one $30 brush that I love and use everyday, I chose the latter. As for the Bold Metal/premium line, it is softer, prettier, with a better handle and I like the density of the brush. I just bought some IT Cosmetic brushes so they seem to be comparable in quality.