October 06, 2013

Real Techniques Starter Set | Review

base shadow - accent - pixel-point eyeliner - deluxe crease - brow

This versatile brush set by Real Techniques was designed by Pixiwoo half Samantha Chapman, and it retails for $18. It is relatively affordable and it's great quality! Included is 5 brushes (base shadow, accent, pixel-point eyeliner, deluxe crease, and brow) and a case for travel or for display. This isn't the best eye brush set, especially for smaller eyes, but the brushes can be re-purposed in multiple ways into your makeup routine, specifically concealer. Read on for a detailed review or skip to the bottom for a list of pros and cons!

Composition: As stated above, this comes with a case that can be transformed into a stand through a toggle. There are 5 slots for the brushes that come in this and an additional 2 large slots for face brushes. Only problem with this is that the face brushes will get smashed against the eye brushes when the case is closed, so it's not the all-in-one for travel (perhaps brush guards will solve this problem). I don't really use the case at home though, because it's easier to access brushes in a cup. Instead, I can put art supplies in the case. Really, an eraser and a sharpener can in the face brush slots and the Sakura micron pens I just ordered can fit in the eye brush slots. It's hilariously perfect.

The brushes have hollow purple aluminum ferrules, so it's light-weight, but also susceptible to being dented and scratched. Because the ferrules are long and closed off by the rubber end, water won't make the entire top of the brush pop off, making these more durable. The brushes also aren't ridiculously long, so I can get up close to the mirror since I can't rely on my myopia-stricken eyes. The brush head is made up of super-soft synthetic taklon with a black base and white tips. The white tips make it really easy to see how much product is on the brush and when it needs to be washed. Plus the contrast is cute. The synthetic hair allows the brushes to be used on a variety of consistencies -- powders, liquids, creams -- without being damaged. Drying time and chance of staining the hairs is also reduced.

front - side - size comparison with a penny
Base shadow brush: This brush is tapered, fluffy, and somewhat flat. Because it is not dense, I don't like to use it to pack color on my lids (I really love the Real Techniques shading brush for shading). I do use it to place a flesh colored eyeshadow base to make blending easier and whatnot. It's just not precise enough since it's large, and it doesn't place the most color since it's fluffy. It's not fluffy enough for blending eyeshadow though, since it's also flat. 

However, this is my favorite brush in this kit, because this brush is perfect for concealer, especially under the eye since its tapered shape easily reaches the area right under the lashline! It blends the concealer great and doesn't soak up all the product. I also blend my concealer up to the brow bone with this brush since the tapered shape really sharpens and cleans up my brows. The same idea can be applied to reverse lining the lips.

Accent brush: This brush is small, dense, flat, and arc shaped. It pretty much perfect for inner corner highlighting since it is precise, and its density picks up and packs on the color well. This could also be suitable for pinpoint concealing and filling in the lips. This is also the only brush in this set that is appropriately sized for its intended purpose. If you have the Real Techniques shading brush, this is a miniature version of that.

Pixel-point eyeliner brush: This is a round, long, and firm brush (uh). For its intended purpose, this brush is too thick. It can work to create the average thickness of eyeliner, but it takes more work to do so. Instead, I sometimes use this to apply eyeshadow to the lower lashline. But it creates a sharper line rather than a soft and smudgy line, so I don't really use it that much. I tried using it to tightline (fill eyeshadow/eyeliner in between top lashes) but I'd mess up and get it on my lid since it's long. I'd imagine that this would probably work for lining the lips with lipstick and also for people who like thick liner.

Deluxe crease brush: This is stubby, round, massive, and incredibly dense (hey it's your uncle, what--). Because it is so compact, it blends and softens eyeshadow very well. If I ever apply and excessive amount of color, I use this to dilute and soften it. It sucks at applying eyeshadow though, especially in the crease, because it is so large and too dense. Many people like to use this for concealer too since it blends effortlessly. It would work great for larger problem areas, plus it soaks up the excess, avoiding cakey-ness. If you have the Real Techniques powder brush, this is like the miniature version of that except it's not pinched.

Brow brush: This is an angled brush that is also massive. It's not that firm so it's not the best for very defined brows. Instead, this creates soft brows. If you have a lot of sparse areas or need to completely restructure your brows, this brush isn't sparse enough. I still use it, but I find that is doesn't quite fill my sparse areas well enough because it actually softens my brow powder too much. This is also too thick for lining the top lid. Might work for the lowerlashline. This would work for cleaning up/sharpening the brows or lips with concealer.

  • Great quality
  • Affordable 
  • Easy to clean, dries quickly
  • Soft
  • Versatile
  • Comes with a travel case
  • Light-weight
  • Shorter handles
  • Majority of brushes too large for the average eye
  • Light-weight (some like brushes with some weight to it)
  • Aluminum ferrule can become dented/scratched

Overall, this is a nice brush set, just not the best for its suggested purpose as an eye brush set. Alternatively, it can be the ultimate concealer brush set. If you're interested in Real Techniques eye brushes, check out the shading brush first.

Available at Real Techniques' website, Ulta, and Amazon.

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