June 13, 2011

Review: Real Techniques by Samatha Chapman Brushes

Samantha Chapman, first half of Pixiwoo and creator of these brushes

When Sam Chapman announced the launch of her brushes and the Real Techniques website, I was really excited.
First of all, because I was positive that a professional like Sam wouldn't be putting anything on the market that would be less than fabulous.
Secondly, because these brushes were very affordable.
And finally, because I heard that the manufacturers of these brushes are the same that make the EcoTools brushes and I absolutely love those. (Don't have any official information on that, though, so I could be wrong but I read that several times).

It took some times for those brushes to be available internationally but here we are: I was able to get some from Love-Makeup.co.uk - and I was really impressed by the fast shipping for a reasonable price, I must say.

So I got my brushes a week ago and have been using them every day since so I could review them for you. 
Generally speaking, all brushes are really soft, they don't shed at all, they're not smelly or anything and they kept their shape after I washed them with warm water and Marseille soap like I do for all my brushes. All brushes are made of Tacklon and are cruelty-free, which is great.
The color of the handle indicates the use of the brush: eye brushes are purple, yellow ones are for face and pink ones are 'finishing' brushes. The whole name of the brush is written on the handle, so it's really helpful for beginners.
I also like that all brushes have a flat end to their handles so they can stand on it.

The first set I got is the Starter Set for eyes. 

This one comes with a little poach that is very useful for travelling and can also double up as a holder. I think this is great for beginners, particularly as this whole set is excellent value for money at £18.99/ USD 15.99

The brushes coming in this set are: 
  • Base shadow brush: this one is a wide flat shader brush that works great to apply a wash of color on the whole lid. I find it takes less pigment than an Mac 239 but it's a very nice shader brush.
  • Deluxe crease brush: I love this one, it's round and quite big, I love it for applying crease color and blending it at the same time, or for blending the edges of my crease color into my brow-bone color. 
  • Accent brush: this one is very nice for detailed work like under the lower lash-line. I absolutely love it as I didn't own any kind of smudger brush before and I love how precise this one is.
  • Brow brush: is an angled brush to define the brows - probably too wide to be used as a liner brush I'd say, but it's not what it's meant to be
  • Pixel-point eyeliner brush: I must be honest I haven't tried this one with gel liner yet as I like my Mac 210 so much and this one is quite different. But if you want to use eyeshadow rather then liquid or gel liner, this is great.
For the face, I didn't pick a while set but got 2 brushes. The first is the Foundation Brush.

This brush has relatively firm bristles, a bit like the Mac 190. But its particularity is the angled shape, that allows you to apply foundation very easily around the nose and under the eyes. It seems so obvious that I can't believe there aren't more brands that offer this kind of foundation brush!
There's something you need to be cautious with, though: the brush being quite large, it feels easy to spread the foundation all over the face in just a few wide moves, but if you do that you might leave streaky marks. Make sure to use smaller motions to prevent that.
This one costs £8.99/ USD 9.99

Last but not least, I got the Stippling brush, and I must say it's the one I was the most excited about getting because I had a feeling it would perform well for foundation application.
I decided to put it on a hard test and try it with Illamasqua Rich Liquid Foundation. This one has the (quite deserved) reputation to be hard to apply, particularly if you don't have the right technique and obviously the right tools. Following the advice I had gotten at the Illamasqua counter, I used a very small amount of product and applied in very soft light strokes with the stippling brush. It worked like a dream, I was really impressed - and if this brush can apply this foundation perfectly, it will work with everything else.
This one also costs £8.99/ USD 9.99

My overall conclusion.
These brushes are very good quality and excellent value for money. Beginners could get along with getting a Starter Set for eyes and the Core Collection set for the face, and be ready to practice with good tools without having made a huge investment.

I'm a bit sad there's no real equivalent of a Mac 217 in the range, at least not that I know of, but I guess that's ok if that's the only pricey Mac brush you have to get on the side.

I'm probably going to get the other face brushes soon, and maybe an extra Stippling brush, so I can alternate when I wash them and let them dry - since synthetic brushes always take more time to dry, that's their only downside for me.

Real Techniques brushes are definitely a great addition to the makeup world!


  1. I love that these are cruelty free. More makeup companies need to get on that bandwagon. Great review as always. xx

  2. These brushes are great quality for the money. I love the stippling brush.

  3. Thanks for this, you've just made me want them more! I'm buying the stippling brush when it comes back in stock! They're very popular! x

  4. Like I needed more blushes.... Of course not.... Now you are making me to buy the Eco ones and the Real techniques ones.

    I hate you! :) In a good way of course.

  5. I wish we had that here in the Philippines :(

  6. I don't love the foundation brush, but I REALLY, REALLY love the blush brush. It is perhaps my all time favorite brush.

  7. For the price, their quite expensive, as for the quality, the brushes are great!
    ~Pauline @Kallony


I love getting comments, thanks for sharing your thoughts!