Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

Real Techniques Bold Metals Brushes
Real Techniques Bold Metals Brushes

Real Techniques Bold Metals Brushes ($15.99 to $25.99) are intended to be a premium range above the standard range of brushes that made the brand so popular. I don’t know that they’re really softer or more usable than their original brushes, which are more affordable. I think that they tried to create some more unique/interesting shapes, and as a result, I find that whether the good brushes are worth picking up depends on your needs and preferences even more so than usual. The only brush that I anticipate using going forward (now that I’m done testing them) is the #202 Angled Liner brush, but if I did more contouring, I would also consider the #301 Flat Contour Brush.

Real Techniques #100 Arched Powder Brush ($25.99) is a large, dense, paddle-shaped powder brush that has a very rounded, curved edge. The brush carries a lot of its weight in the ferrule area, and I noticed with this one in particular (as it is one of the largest brushes in the collection), it wasn’t as comfortable to hold if you tend to hold it towards the tapered end, but if you tend to hold your brushes closer to the ferrule, you should be just fine. When swept across the face, the bristles feel very soft and silky, and when patted on the skin, they’re still soft but not quite as smooth. It’s a denser brush that has a longer drying time than average. The shape is flatter, less round and full compared to a traditional powder brush, which makes it ideal for those who tend to press or pat their powder into place, rather than swirl or buff it into place. I found it to work best for loose and pressed setting and finishing powders. The brush head is 50mm in length, 40mm in width, and 24mm in thickness. The brush is made out of synthetic fibers, and it has a total length of 8 inches / 21 centimeters.

Real Techniques #200 Oval Shadow Brush ($15.99) is a large, paddle-shaped eye brush with a domed edge. It is quite large, which makes it a more all-over kind of brush, whether you’re applying a layer of cream eyeshadow or a wash of powder eyeshadow. When using it flat against the lid, it works decently and feels soft enough, but the edge is poorly cut with uneven bristles noticeably felt against the skin. It does a poor job of really blending or diffusing edges, as it is quite a firm, dense brush without a lot of give. It doesn’t pick up a lot of color unless you use the edge, where it is more uneven, so it is only going to give lighter coverage. The brush head is 17mm in length, 15mm in width, and 6mm in thickness. The brush is made out of synthetic fibers, and it has a total length of just over 7 inches / 17.5 centimeters.

Real Techniques #201 Pointed Crease Brush ($15.99) is a pointed, large pencil brush. It’s very similar in concept to your traditional pencil-style eye brush, but it is three or so times larger. I would highly recommend washing the brush a few times, because initially, the point is very pronounced and sharp, but after a few washes, it shapes to a more gradual point that’s still pointed, but it is usable and much more comfortable on the skin. On that note, it is a more difficult brush to wash as there is a lot of open space between the bristles and the ferrule due to it being open. Occasionally (not every time I used it), it felt a little scratchy–like one or two bristles were out of place and therefore poked into the eye space). It’s nice for laying down color on the outer corner and slightly going into the outer V, though I prefer a more rounded crease brush for blending and diffusing that color, but this would work well for those who like a brush to apply stronger color initially and then tend to reach for a blending brush to polish the look. The brush head is 13mm in length, 9.5mm in width, and 9.5mm in thickness.The brush is made out of synthetic fibers, and it has a total length of just over 6.75 inches / 17 centimeters.

Real Techniques #202 Angled Liner Brush ($15.99) is a small, thin, angled brush. It’s very soft, smooth, and holds together nicely as it is pressed and dragged across the skin in a line, which gives you more opaque, more even eyeliner application. Despite its thinness, it doesn’t feel sharp against the skin, even along the lower lash line. The brush head is 6mm in length, 5mm in width, and 2mm in thickness. The brush is made out of synthetic fibers, and it has a total length of just over 6.5 inches / 16.5 centimeters.

Real Techniques #300 Tapered Blush Brush ($23.99) is a small, tapered, paddle-shaped blush brush. The smaller shape makes it a better brush for getting placement, but it’s not quite as effective for diffusing of bolder or more pigmented blushes. I actually felt like it was better for applying cream and liquid highlighters along the cheek bones, down the nose, or wherever you wanted to highlight. I could feel a lot of the fibers in the brush when used, and it felt like I was getting poked every other sweep or stroke across the face, which made it an uncomfortable brush to you use. The cut just didn’t feel as well-done here, and it seemed to give the bristles a rougher feel against the skin. The brush head was 30mm in length, 28mm in width, and 14mm in thickness. The brush is made out of synthetic fibers, and it has a total length of just over 7.75 inches / 19.5 centimeters.

Real Techniques #301 Flat Contour Brush ($25.99) is a medium-sized, extremely dense, stubby brush that’s mostly rectangular in shape with flat edge. From the name as well as the shape, it is ideal for placing contouring products into the hollows of the cheeks. The bristles are soft enough to allow for patting and tapping the product into place, as well as skimming, sweeping, and blending motions. It does a decent to good job blending out a contour powder, but it is better for initial placement or getting a more precise contour in place, but I liked it for blending out of cream-based products. If you prefer a very subtle contour, though, this may over-apply product for your liking as it is quite dense and flat, which makes it excellent at picking up product, but it may be more coverage than desired. The brush head was 21mm in length, 30mm in width, and 17mm in thickness. The brush is made out of synthetic fibers, and it has a total length of just over 7 inches / 18 centimeters.

The Glossover

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#100 Arched Powder Brush

The shape is flatter, less round and full compared to a traditional powder brush, which makes it ideal for those who tend to press or pat their powder into place, rather than swirl or buff it into place. I found it to work best for loose and pressed setting and finishing powders.
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#200 Oval Shadow Brush

When using it flat against the lid, it works decently and feels soft enough, but the edge is poorly cut with uneven bristles noticeably felt against the skin. It does a poor job of really blending or diffusing edges, as it is quite a firm, dense brush without a lot of give.
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#201 Pointed Crease Brush

Occasionally (not every time I used it), it felt a little scratchy--like one or two bristles were out of place and therefore poked into the eye space). It's nice for laying down color on the outer corner and slightly going into the outer V, though I prefer a more rounded crease brush for blending and diffusing that color, but this would work well for those who like a brush to apply stronger color initially and then tend to reach for a blending brush to polish the look.
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Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

Real Techniques #101 Triangle Foundation Brush
Real Techniques #101 Triangle Foundation Brush

Real Techniques #101 Triangle Foundation Brush ($23.99) is supposed to “revolutionize your foundation application” to give you “flawless coverage.” It is three-sided such that you can more easily maneuver underneath the eye and around the nose. The brush head is in 42 length, 25mm in width, and 13mm in thickness. It has a total length of just over 21 centimeters with an open ferrule.

In theory, I like the concept of a three-sided, tapered brush to get into the nooks and crannies. In practice, it didn’t apply foundation well, was uncomfortable to use, and I have no idea what I could use this for, because it feels unusable. This is one of the scratchiest, most painful brushes I’ve used in years. The bristles just seem sharp and seem to stab at the skin, so you need to use it incredibly lightly and drag it across the skin in a downwards motion to minimize the bristles poking the skin. Unfortunately, that technique leaves the skin covered in visible strokes of liquid foundation–lines everywhere–and this brush is incapable of smoothing out those lines. I couldn’t believe how uncomfortable it was to use, and if you’re prone to reddening if your skin gets irritated, stay far away from this. I looked like I threw myself into a rose bush after using this.

The Glossover

product

#101 Triangle Foundation Brush

In theory, I like the concept of a three-sided, tapered brush to get into the nooks and crannies. In practice, it didn't apply foundation well, was uncomfortable to use, and I have no idea what I could use this for, because it feels unusable.
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Sunday, January 11th, 2015

Real Techniques Bold Metals Brushes
Real Techniques Bold Metals Brushes

Real Techniques Bold Metals Brushes ($15.99 to $25.99) is a new, permanent collection of synthetic brushes. There are seven brushes in all–three for eyes, four for face–and they come with either silver, rose gold, and gold-hued handles. The brush heads are primarily white that fades to color at the base. I haven’t played with these for more than a couple of days, so I don’t have too many thoughts to share, but here are some initial impressions:

  • Some of the shapes seem more specific, so if you prefer brushes that can be used for a variety of things, or are only building your collection, you may want to shop in person.
  • The #200 and #201 brushes are quite large (almost covering my entire eyelid), so they are better for looks that only consist of one or two eyeshadows.
  • The handles hold fingerprints easily, and they always look dirty to me as a result (smudges everywhere). The handles are also very long and taper towards the tip, and they are faceted, to prevent rolling off tables and counter tops.
  • I noticed some very small nicks and dents throughout the collection, and the brushes themselves could have been cut better–there were a few obvious fibers that extended past the general shape of the brush. The handles don’t feel as weighty as I would have expected, though they don’t feel so lightweight that they feel cheap, but I’ll have to play and hold them more to get a better sense of weight as well as balance.
  • They seem soft enough, but once I’m able to use more of them and for longer, I’ll have a better grasp on how soft, relative to the type of application, and things of that nature. I did compare the large powder brush to Make Up For Ever’s #128 (which is a go-to powder brush for me and also synthetic), and the Make Up For Ever bristles were noticeably softer–I was curious if these would be some of the softest/smoothest synthetics on the market.
  • I look forward to seeing how the contour brush works with cream contours (I’ve only used it with powder so far), as well as trying out the triangle foundation brush to see how it fits in the nooks and crannies of the face.

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Monday, December 29th, 2014

Real Techniques Bold Metals Collection
Real Techniques Bold Metals Collection

The Bold Metals Collection by Real Techniques pairs unbelievably soft bristles with striking metallic detail. Handles are weighted for optimal control and comfort. Refined artistry cuts offer high performance and mastery of any look. Let your brush do the work of perfect makeup application. Color-coded system corresponds to the key steps of makeup application: Gold = Base; ; Platinum = Eye; Rose Gold = Finish. Exclusively at ULTA

Bold Metals 301 Flat Contour Brush ($25.99)

Real Techniques Bold Metals 301 Flat Contour Brush has a dense, flattop head that creates shadows and highlights on targeted areas of face to play up your favorite features. Ideal for contouring and sculpting.

Bold Metals 300 Tapered Blush Brush ($23.99)

Real Techniques Bold Metals 300 Tapered Blush Brush has an expert-designed bristle shape which provides focused application of cheek color. Highlights and sculpts across cheeks for a seamless finish. Bristles are perfectly spaced for an air-brushed, buildable application. Easily apply color to apples of the cheeks, and blend to your personal preference.

Bold Metals 200 Oval Shadow Brush ($15.99)

Real Techniques Bold Metals 200 Oval Shadow Brush offers the one-sweep brush with a full, round shape for all-over eyelid application, and seamless blending of powder and cream eyeshadows. It can also be used for detailed highlighting of the brow bone.

Bold Metals 201 Pointed Crease Brush ($15.99)

Real Techniques Bold Metals 201 Pointed Crease Brush has densely packed, tapered bristles which helps to apply eye color into the crease for a more dimensional look. The firm tip is ideal for blending color along the lash line.

Bold Metals 202 Angled Liner Brush ($15.99)

Real Techniques Bold Metals 202 Angled Liner Brush has firm, slanted bristles that hug the lash line for smooth, even application of eyeliner. This tool is ideal for precision application.

Bold Metals 100 Arched Powder Brush ($25.99)

Real Techniques Bold Metals 100 Arched Powder Brush domed-cut, powder brush sweeps perfectly across the face for flawless application of pressed or loose powders. Bristle tips start low on the brush head to optimize product pickup, allowing you to blend flawlessly.

Bold Metals 101 Triangle Foundation Brush ($23.99)

Real Techniques Bold Metals 101 Triangle Foundation Brush was uniquely designed with 3 different sides for a flawless coverage. This never-before-seen design will revolutionize your foundation application. The largest of the three sides is ideal to cover large areas of the face. Use the cross-hatching technique to blend the product into the skin for full coverage. The 2 angled sides can be used for full coverage under eye, and for blending seamlessly around the nose. The pointed tip is an added bonus for spot coverage. Since the brush has 3 sides you can use 3 colors, and still blend flawlessly.

Availability: Exclusively at ULTA

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Thursday, February 27th, 2014


ULTA’s beauty steal today is 25% off Real Techniques brushes, while supplies last, today (2/27) only! :) Happy hauling!  (You can read my review of some of their brushes here.)

Sunday, December 29th, 2013

After reflecting on reviews I’ve done over the past year that are more budget-friendly, I definitely need to spend a little more time on cheek color in the upcoming year. Good thing I’ve already gotten a great start on that with some of the upcoming products for spring! :) (So stay tuned!) Here is a mix of cheek colors, face tools, and a few polishes to round-out our last top ten for budget-friendly products.

What are your favorite budget-friendly cheek/face and/or nail products from this past year?