Yes, I know, as a beauty blogger, it’s almost criminal to put this title… Beauty bloggers across the world are raving about Real Techniques makeup brushes, everybody knows that!
I tried hard to love them, really. And to be very sincere, I really appreciate some of them and I use them almost every day. But in general, I’m quite disappointed…
Let’s just say that, for a slightly higher price, you can really find better deals, and a lot better quality.
It was when I was chatting with a friend of mine that I realized that I was not the only one thinking that way. It was something like: “I thought I was using them the wrong way, I thought I was the problem…”
And it was especially when I tried other “cheaper” makeup brushes that I noticed the difference regarding the quality.
This blog post is not a rant against Real Techniques. I really think that, for a makeup beginner, it’s still a nice deal.
But if you are like me, a real makeup brush lover/junkie (I really am, I just love everything about them, and read about them all the time, it is one of my guilty pleasures. Oh and watching YouTube videos about them feels so good! ), you’ll find Real techniques makeup brushes not bad… but you can find way better, and without even paying that much more.
Why are makeup brushes so important in the makeup application process?
Many moons ago, when I was studying at beauty school, I really understood that, even if having the right tools will never replace the talent, it really helps.
A good makeup brush will really make a big difference regarding the makeup products application: the quantity you use is way better than if you are using your finger tips or worse, the sponge applicators.
And of course, it will provide a better precision. Makeup looks better, even if you’re not a proper makeup artist.
At the time, the beauty school had this partnership with a professional makeup brand that I really hated. But they had very cheap and complete makeup and brush sets. (if you want to go to a beauty school, be aware that you will have to pay for your own stuff, and it’s quite expensive)(you work with your own makeup during the exam)(so you’d better have the good stuff)
I knew that I was not going to a makeup school after I graduated, but I really wanted to have some good makeup brushes. Just to be able to use them on myself, really!
So I did my research, and unfortunately, it was quite clear: if you want good makeup brushes, it comes at a (high) price!
So I decided to go for a few MAC makeup brushes (40% student discount: yee-haw!) and I found the rest at Sephora.
Sephora has always been great for makeup brushes. But I was so lucky at the time, because they were getting rid of their old makeup brush collection (“Sephora Artist”), so I managed to buy an entire set for a ridiculous price. I still have them today (even though I bought them more than 10 years ago), and still use them/love them.
That said, I absolutely love the current Sephora makeup brushes range. Of course, it’s way more expensive than Real techniques brushes, but if you compare to MAC or Bobbi Brown brushes for example, it’s a great deal. And the quality is just insane.
What’s a good makeup brush?
A good makeup brush is supposed to help you to apply your makeup. The brush will take the right amount of product, applying makeup is flawless, not streaky, it’s basically a time ‘savior’ (OK saver).
It is a high-quality product. What I mean here, is that it’s very well done: it doesn’t loose bristles as soon as it touches your face, you can wash it without destroying it, the ferrule (=the metallic part) doesn’t rust, it dries quickly (without rotting).
The bristles can be synthetic or natural, I don’t really mind. A lot of ‘synthetic bristle’ makeup brushes are great (and some people are allergic to the natural ones). The good thing about them is that you can apply both liquid and powdery products with them.
*Warning: don’t use your natural bristles makeup brushes to apply you liquid foundation! You’ll end up with a very pretty “bearded lady” effect (it leaves bristles all over your face) and your brush will be bald in no time!*
If the handle is pretty, that’s always a bonus, but everyone has a different opinion about that, so it’s great that there are so many different options out there! For example, I’m not a big fan of colored handles, I prefer the classic black or even better, the wooden handle (aaaaah, Bobbi Brown makeup brushes…so pretty…but so expensive…but so pretty…but so expen…).
My Real Techniques makeup brush collection:
After having heard all the beauty bloggers of the whole world raving about them, and having seen the great makeup tutorials by the Chapman sisters aka Pixiwoo (famous makeup artists, founders of Real Techniques Beauty), obviously, I wanted to try their makeup brushes.
So I invested in 3 sets: face, eyes and travel. I also added the Blush Brush, the Stippling Brush, the Setting Brush, the Powder Brush and finally the Expert Face Brush. Yes, I wanted to have a FULL Real Techniques overview. wink
Fortunately for me, I have invested more in the face makeup brushes (because I know now that I really prefer the face brushes to the eyes ones).
So, why am I not a fan of Real Techniques makeup brushes?
For this review to be constructive, I will start by giving the positives points, so let’s start with the pro’s:
- – the brushes are pretty good for applying makeup products: it makes the process of makeup application easier, without brush stroke traces everywhere, which is great.
- – the bristles are rather soft/gentle on the skin (they’re synthetic), it’s a nice feeling.
- – the sets are really quite good, the brushes selection is OK (well of course, you always have flat brushes which are a bit useless and the liner brush is 10 times too thick).
- – the price, obviously. It’s a real BARGAIN. A full set of 4 makeup brushes for the face which costs less than 20$, it’s very cheap.
So now, the con’s:
- – I really don’t like some of the brushes / feel some have no real purpose: the flat foundation brushes (OK, it’s not only about Real Techniques, it’s in general) and I find that a lot of eyes brushes are way too big and not practical to use. They’re not precise. I know I have a small face, with small features but still! wink
- – they lose their bristles. Not much at first, but more and more, and that’s really the kind of detail that makes me doubt the overall quality… If you run your fingers through the brush and bristles (even 2 or 3) drop out or start detaching from the brush every single time, it becomes a real problem, as you can imagine.
- – and the biggest issue for me is that some of them don’t resist the washing process. After only a few weeks, a lot of my Real Techniques eye brushes had lots of bristles that were no longer attached to the handle. I cannot use my Deluxe Crease Brush, and my Base Shadow Brush anymore. Even if I didn’t pay a lot of money for them, it’s still very annoying, especially when I’ve heard so many bloggers say how sturdy and tough they are!
As you can see from the photo above the brushes are in a pretty bad state and I only wash them with water and soap (actually a really soft baby shampoo). Bristles are coming out left right and center and are starting to detach from the handle (especially you can see the top one in photo above).
In summary, I would say that the quality of Real Techniques makeup brushes is really uneven. In the end, I’d much rather pay double and have a set of brushes that last me for years. In the end, it will probably end up being cheaper!
Of course, for someone who is just starting to put together their first makeup tools, with a small budget, it’s a good starter set. But if you want to keep your makeup brushes for a long time, it won’t be the case with these brushes, I’m afraid.
In general, I did find that the quality of the face brushes was better than the quality of eye brushes. They are just too fragile, even for this price.
I’m currently trying some Zoeva makeup brushes. They are also cheap makeup brushes. They’re a bit more expensive than the Real techniques ones, but it’s still a very affordable option. I’ll certainly do a more detailed review of the Zoeva set if you’re interested! wink
You can find the Real Techniques makeup brushes on their website.
And you, are you a fan of Real Techniques makeup brushes? Did you have any problem when you washed them (or maybe I was really unlucky with my set)? Tell me in the comments section! wink
Photos credits: Real Techniques, bonnie-garner.com
Cet article existe aussi en français: Pourquoi je ne suis pas fan des pinceaux Real Techniques