Monday, 29 December 2014

Review: Real Techniques Brush Sets

I've spoken before about my love of Real Techniques' brushes - they're fantastic value for money - & today I'll be sharing my thoughts on a couple of new sets which I recently picked up.

Now, I won't lie, Zoeva's Rose Gold Brush Set did make it on to my Christmas wishlist, & when Santa didn't deliver I did contemplate buying them as a gift for myself, but I just couldn't justify the cost. I like to think I take pretty good care of my makeup brushes, but I'm definitely not as consistent as I should be with washing them, & with the Zoeva brushes I'd be so worried about ruining them that I'd end up never using them.

So, instead I picked up a couple of brush sets from Real Techniques & I thought I'd share my thoughts with you.

The first set is the Nic's Picks collection which contains 5 brushes & retails for £29.99. This is a limited edition set, & currently out of stock on the Boots website, although it does say that more stock is coming soon. Three of the brush shapes are exclusive to the kit, the exceptions being the Duo Fibre Powder Brush & the Base Shadow Brush.

However, the colouring is completely unique to the set: the usual Real Techniques orange & purple have been replaced with a metallic silver, which I actually really like - it definitely makes the brushes feel more expensive.

The set is also presented beautifully in a foam block with gap for each brush, covered in a colourful smoke design. The downside of this is that - realistically - you're probably not going to want to store your brushes in here permanently, but there's no carry case provided, which is a bit of a pain if you travel frequently.

As I said, there are five brushes in the set & front to back in the photo above they are:
  • Duo Fibre Powder Brush - This is super soft & fluffy, great for applying a light dusting of setting powder but could also work well as a blush brush.
  • Cheek Brush - This is a denser, oval shaped brush with slightly tapered bristles & I've been really enjoying using it to contour with; it's not as precise as a smaller brush but it's great for softly giving your face shape.
  • Angled Shadow Brush - This is a fantastic crease brush; nice & fluffy, but still dense enough to get good pigmentation & perfect for winging out colour.
  • Base Shadow Brush - This is designed for applying shadow all over the lid, but I also think it works well as a crease brush.
  • Eyeliner Brush - This is a small angled brush, & although I haven't used it for liner yet, I can confirm that it's great for applying colour along your lower lash line.

When I first bought this set I was a little unsure about the price, after all, for only another £20 I could get the Zoeva set which contained another three brushes. However, I've since been converted - this is one of the best brush sets I've ever bought, every brush is genuinely useful & great quality. Definitely pick this up if you have a chance.

The second set I bought was the Your Eyes Enhanced Starter Set, which again contains 5 brushes & retails for £21.99. This set is not limited edition, & is part of Real Techniques main range, meaning it shouldn't be hard to hunt down.

One of my favourite things about the Real Techniques sets - & why I think they're perfect for beginners - is that they list the uses for the brushes on the back of the pack, as well as having lots of video tutorials available online. This may sound silly, but when I was first getting into makeup I bought one of those huge brush kits off EBay & was completely bewildered by all the shapes & sizes, so having a guide is definitely handy.

Because this is a standard set, it comes with a little black carry case which also doubles as a stand. This may seem a bit OTT for eyeshadow brushes, but it's the best way to protect them while travelling & you can always switch out brushes you don't use as much to create your perfect on the go brush set.

The five brushes in this set are:
  • Base Shadow Brush - The same as in the Nic's Picks kit, although you can never have too many of these basic shadow brushes. I've also found this to be good for applying concealer around the eyes & on blemishes.
  • Deluxe Crease Brush - Another perfect crease brush, this one is more tapered than the angled brush making it better for precise application.
  • Accent Brush - This little nubby brush is perfect for applying highlight to the corner of your eye, but could also work well when applying touches of colour to a more complex eye look.
  • Pixel Point Eyeliner Brush - This is a super fine brush, & even though I'm not someone who uses gel eyeliner regularly, I also think this is great for applying pops of colour along the lash line.
  • Brow Brush - Although similar to the angled brush in the Nic's Pick's set, this one is slightly larger meaning it's better suited to applying product to the brows, whether it's powder or cream.

I think this is a great starter kit if - like me - you're moving on from cheap brushes to something a bit higher quality; it gives you everything you'll need to create most basic eye looks & can easily be supplemented by buying additional brushes like this Shading Brush. Like all the Real Techniques kits, this is great value for money, considering most of these brushes retail for around £8 individually & if you're wearing makeup regularly it shouldn't be hard to find a use for them.

So, that's my review of these two brush sets from Real Techniques. I'd love to hear your thoughts on their products, & if you've tried more expensive brands, whether you think they're worth the money - leave me a comment below.

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