Friday, 16 March 2012

Review: Real Techniques Brushes Core Collection

L-R: Contour Brush, Pointed Foundation Brush, Detailer Brush, Buffing Brush
Lead me not into temptation, I can find the way myself. And I did; in Boots.

I have been craving these brushes for so long that it really made the purchase that bit more gratifying. True, I may have purchased them during my self-imposed 'makeup-ban' (purchasing not wearing!), but I refuse to feel guilty. It was so worth it. 

For anyone unfamiliar with the makeup masterminds that are the sister team Pixiwoo; you need to educate yourself! These girls know their stuff and have experienced renowned success with both their blog and YouTube channel. In other words, once you discover them you will rue the hours (or seconds) wasted with me on my blog/YouTube channel (ha, ha)!*

Of the sister duo, it is Samantha Chapman who brought out this range of brushes. Described by the brand: 

Designed with pro makeup artist Samantha Chapman, Real Techniques brushes combine high-tech materials with innovative design to make creating a pixel-perfect look easier than ever:
  • Taklon bristles are ultra plush and smoother than the hair you'll find in other brushes. Since taklon is synthetic, it's 100% cruelty-free. The soft fibers help create a flawless, high-definition finish in any type of light – from sunlight to harsh indoor lighting.
  • The color-coded system corresponds to the key steps of makeup application so you can create a flawless base, enhanced eyes, and the perfect finish like a pro.
  • Each brush head is hand-cut to the perfect shape, allowing for precise application from dense coverage to a soft, delicate finish.
  • The collection is suitable for a wide range of products and every makeup need – from powders, creams, and liquids to mineral makeup, highlighter, and shimmer.
  • Brush names on the handles make for easy reference when creating your favorite look.

If you're a fan of the girls, like me, then you've probably been eyeing these up for quite a while. My heart leapt when they announced that Boots would now be stocking the range (see full list here), and I knew I could escape no longer. The particular ones I wanted to try were the core collection, containing:
  • a detailer brush: precision cut to effortlessly conceal problem areas; or, use with lipstick for long-lasting shape and definition
  • a pointed foundation brush: Use with liquid foundation to build custom coverage
  • a buffing brush: ideal for full coverage application of powder and mineral foundation
  • a contour brush: delicately applies highlighter to contour or create sheer, soft-focus finish which come in a panoramic brush case, which is a 2-in-1 case + stand!

I've been using the core collection for about two weeks now, and I don't regret the purchase even a little. The buffing brush and contour brush in particular were the two that had caught my attention. Although I swear by my Sigma angled top kabuki for applying my foundation; having seen these brushes in action during Pixiwoo tutorials I knew I had to have it! Much like the purchase of my Sigma angled top kabuki, I believed that these brushes might just revolutionise my foundation routine. I would emerge an airbrushed version of my former self, not a blemish or discolouration in sight! Or would I....? 

Well I do really like the buffing brush for applying my foundation. Currently I'm using Bourjois Healthy Mix (52) and this brush works marvelously for buffing it into the skin for a flawless finish. The key for me is to (more or less) blend until you can blend no more! I imagine it applies some foundations better than others, but I will know more when I have played around with it a few more weeks.

The contour brush is great for precision countouring. The brush is gorgeously soft and because of it's slightly tapered point allows you great control over your application. However, the flufiness of the brush also means that you buff it out as you apply, or you can go back over it with the buffing brush if you wish!

The detailer brush is great for pin-point concealing (or as a lip brush). It can also be used for highlighting under the brow bone or at the inner tear duct.

The pointed foundation brush is very nice too. It is about half the size of a regular foundation brush. Personally, I won't use it to apply foundation as it's so small and I just don't have the patience for it! Beyond that, I'm more into buffing/stippling brushes for my foundation these days anyways. I've been using it instead for applying a primer all over the eyelid and/or applying concealer under my eyes.

As the brushes are made with synthetic hair they are suited to use with a multitude of different product formulations (powder, liquid, cream). As well as that each brush is multipurpose. Although certain brushes may have been labelled as a 'contour brush' or a 'pointed foundation brush'; they are not limited in use because of this. They were probably given such names to give consumers some direction in how they can be used. Anyone who watches the girls regularly will know that they too have many uses for these brushes. As with most things makeup, personal preference is key! A number of videos by Sam are also available on the website to give you some ideas on how they can be used if you want to check them out.

The purchase for me was definitely worth it. I've been using the buffing and contour brush daily, and the other two almost daily. I didn't have anything in my current brush collection like them so they really are a great addition. The case they come in is nice for travel too, and as you can see in the picture can also be used as a kind of stand (which is nice). I've also washed them twice already and they've held up perfectly, I can imagine given the hair type that they will last and last if cared for properly.

I most definitely plan on picking up some more of their brushes. I have my eye on the deluxe crease brush for applying undereye concealer. Having watched the Pixiwoo girls and Pixi2woo (Tanya Burr) use it for doing this a lot I feel I must have it! Again, I imagine it will somehow revolutionise my makeup! 

My only complaint about these brushes is that they can't all be bought individually. The sets are great value if you're after all of them. But, for example, I will be buying the Starter Set just to gain that deluxe crease brush, even though I could do without the others! That's the way it is for now I suppose, perhaps they will expand the line further in the future. I live in hope! Would love to try out the stippling brush too, which thankfully can be bought singly! Essentially though, j'adore this kit and I imagine I will be slowly picking up the entire lot! 

All of these brushes really are great quality and reasonably priced; just think of the pinch you get buying one MAC brush, you'd nearly get two sets of Real Techniques brushes for the same price! The set cost me just under 30 from Boots but you can get them for €24.99 as well as the rest of the brushes in this fabulous collection from Cloud10Buy them at Boots, or online (see Cloud10, Love-Makeup)! 

*Apologies: Being Irish, self-depricating humour is in my blood.  

Phew! You made it to the end - congrats! Anyone else tried them or maybe want to? Let me know in the comments!:) 


  1. I have the stippling brush and crease brush. They are great! Get the stippling brush. I use it for make up base and it works perfectly. BTW, yes, the Pixiwoo girls are fantastic. However, if someone's seen all their videos and everything, then they would come here, just like myself.

    1. That's such a lovely comment - thank you! :) I definitely plan on getting the stippling brush too!

  2. I was really undecided on whether to get these brushes or not because I have read a lot of negative reviews about them but your review has changed my mind!

    1. Thanks! I hope that's a good thing and that you enjoy them as much as I do! :) I have read many negative reviews, but maybe people are expecting instant magic when sometimes you need to play around with brushes so they work for you. Thanks for reading! :)


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