Makeup brushes can be muddy territory. They run the gamut from incredibly pricey to incredibly cheap. While I’m sure $400 dollar makeup brushes are #worthit, they do not seem practical from a budget perspective. I’ve tried a lot of brushes in my quest to improve my makeup game. I’ve even tried no brushes and just applying makeup with my fingers. I found that to be messy and did not give me the level of control that I crave (as I get older, the need for control in my life becomes a bigger and bigger part of my life…hmmm I should probably talk to someone about that). If more of a free spirit paint-like approach is what you like about makeup, then you do you. For me brushes are the way to go. The best ones I’ve found are the Real Techniques brushes done by Pixiwoo (Pixiwoo are the two British makeup artists with fantastic makeup tutorials that I mentioned here). They have both a “professional” line and an everyday line. While I love their Bold Metals collection purely for the aesthetics, I don’t own any, so I’m not going to be talking about those today. But their core lineup of brushes are the best I’ve used and are in fact pretty reasonably priced.
I tend to think of makeup brushes in two categories; eyes and face. Not to say those lines can’t be crossed, but for the sake of ease and clarity let’s break it down by those two categories.
We will start with the eyes, they are the windows to the soul after all. The Real Techniques starter set which you can find here is $18.00.
These brushes are legit. First off they are really high quality for the cost. I don’t think I’ve had a single brush shed any bristles since I’ve owned them, and I’ve had my set for about two years. I’ve had Sephora brushes that started shedding after the first cleaning (stay tuned for a makeup brush maintenance post). They are really soft, which is nice because my skin is sensitive. That means they don’t hurt when I’m blending makeup into the delicate soft skin area around my eyes. They blend both creams and powders excellently and with ease. Even as a relative newbie to the blending craze, I can master blending my shadow till it is #flawless. Their eyelash comb/eyebrow brush combo has solid metal tips that actually separate eyelashes that are clumped together. It’s totally worth it to buy these for a slightly higher price, rather then continually cycling through $1-$2 brushes from e.l.f or other similarly priced brands. This is definitely the set I recommend if you are starting from scratch or looking to elevate your eye makeup game. 5/5 stars.
If you are also looking for a set of face brushes check out the Real Techniques Core Collection, which you can find here.
This collection also costs only $18. Until about 2 years ago I didn’t realize you could use brushes to apply cream foundations or concealers. This seems fairly obvious now, but it was a blind spot in my makeup education. Before I was just using those little triangle sponges which were okay, but I’d have to throw them away after only a few uses. It just felt wasteful. Unless you are a professional makeup artist, you can probably reliably just have your own set of brushes lying around. Once I figured out how to use brushes with cream foundation, thanks in large part to Pixiwoo, my whole face routine changed for the better. These brushes are crafted with the same high quality of their eye counterparts and I cannot recommend them enough. The Core Collection comes with a tiny detail brush for getting concealer into small creases around your nose and under eye area. You can use the bigger brushes for all sorts of fun face makeup techniques. The Real Techniques website also has a bunch of tutorials and tips to help you. I still use them on any given week. 5/5 stars.
I would 100%, without hesitation; recommend these to any of my friends or anyone on the internet (hence this blog post). I should also mention that I’m not getting paid by anyone to say these things (unfortunately) so this is 100% my opinion. Pro-tip: Ulta will often have a buy one get one 50% off sale on Real Techniques products, keep your eyes open for those sales!
Makeup brushes can certainly be and intimidating; with all the different options and reviews out there. You really can’t go wrong with the Real Techniques brushes. I recommend starting with the eye collection and then core collection. These should be enough to get you started.
Do any of you use Real Techniques? Or have any other recommendations on brushes you use?