Real Techniques Bold Metals Brushes Reviews & Photos

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.

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See more photos!

Real Techniques Bold Metals Brushes
Real Techniques Bold Metals Brushes

Real Techniques Bold Metals Brushes
Real Techniques Bold Metals Brushes

Real Techniques #100 Arched Powder Brush
Real Techniques #100 Arched Powder Brush

Real Techniques #100 Arched Powder Brush
Real Techniques #100 Arched Powder Brush

Real Techniques #100 Arched Powder Brush
Real Techniques #100 Arched Powder Brush

Real Techniques #100 Arched Powder Brush
Real Techniques #100 Arched Powder Brush

Real Techniques #100 Arched Powder Brush
Real Techniques #100 Arched Powder Brush

Real Techniques #100 Arched Powder Brush
Real Techniques #100 Arched Powder Brush

Real Techniques #100 Arched Powder Brush
Real Techniques #100 Arched Powder Brush

Real Techniques #200 Oval Shadow Brush
Real Techniques #200 Oval Shadow Brush

Real Techniques #200 Oval Shadow Brush
Real Techniques #200 Oval Shadow Brush

Real Techniques #200 Oval Shadow Brush
Real Techniques #200 Oval Shadow Brush

Real Techniques #200 Oval Shadow Brush
Real Techniques #200 Oval Shadow Brush

Real Techniques #200 Oval Shadow Brush
Real Techniques #200 Oval Shadow Brush

Real Techniques #201 Pointed Crease Brush
Real Techniques #201 Pointed Crease Brush

Real Techniques #201 Pointed Crease Brush
Real Techniques #201 Pointed Crease Brush

Real Techniques #201 Pointed Crease Brush
Real Techniques #201 Pointed Crease Brush

Real Techniques #201 Pointed Crease Brush
Real Techniques #201 Pointed Crease Brush

Real Techniques #201 Pointed Crease Brush
Real Techniques #201 Pointed Crease Brush

Real Techniques #202 Angled Liner Brush
Real Techniques #202 Angled Liner Brush

Real Techniques #202 Angled Liner Brush
Real Techniques #202 Angled Liner Brush

Real Techniques #202 Angled Liner Brush
Real Techniques #202 Angled Liner Brush

Real Techniques #202 Angled Liner Brush
Real Techniques #202 Angled Liner Brush

Real Techniques #202 Angled Liner Brush
Real Techniques #202 Angled Liner Brush

Real Techniques #202 Angled Liner Brush
Real Techniques #202 Angled Liner Brush

Real Techniques #300 Tapered Blush Brush
Real Techniques #300 Tapered Blush Brush

Real Techniques #300 Tapered Blush Brush
Real Techniques #300 Tapered Blush Brush

Real Techniques #300 Tapered Blush Brush
Real Techniques #300 Tapered Blush Brush

Real Techniques #300 Tapered Blush Brush
Real Techniques #300 Tapered Blush Brush

Real Techniques #300 Tapered Blush Brush
Real Techniques #300 Tapered Blush Brush

Real Techniques #300 Tapered Blush Brush
Real Techniques #300 Tapered Blush Brush

Real Techniques #301 Flat Contour Brush
Real Techniques #301 Flat Contour Brush

Real Techniques #301 Flat Contour Brush
Real Techniques #301 Flat Contour Brush

Real Techniques #301 Flat Contour Brush
Real Techniques #301 Flat Contour Brush

Real Techniques #301 Flat Contour Brush
Real Techniques #301 Flat Contour Brush

Real Techniques #301 Flat Contour Brush
Real Techniques #301 Flat Contour Brush

Real Techniques #301 Flat Contour Brush
Real Techniques #301 Flat Contour Brush

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About the Reviewer

Reviewer

Christine has normal-to-dry skin with areas of dryness (cheeks, nose, and under the eyes). She has a light-medium skintone with subtle, warmer yellow undertones. Her best foundation matches include: Tarte Rainforest of the Sea in Light-Medium Neutral (best match), Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup in Desert Beige 2N1, Giorgio Armani Maestro Glow in 4.0, Hourglass Warm Ivory Vanish Seamless Finish, Laura Mercier Candleglow Soft Luminous in Dusk, MAC NC20/NC25, Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Liquid in Y305 (140). For more matches, please read our full Foundation FAQ. For more information on our review process, please read our Review FAQ.

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54 Comments

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How does the small angled brush work for eyebrows? I’ve bought a few different angled brushes and most of them are too thick for a clean eyebrow line!

For me, it’s too thin, but I have medium brows (I’d say — not really thin but not really thick). Have you tried MAC’s 266 or 263?

I haven’t! I should probably take the plunge!

I’ve used the Real Techniques brow brush which is way too thick. Also the EcoTools brush which is thin enough but the bristles are quite long so they bend a bit where they’d be better off being shorter and firmer. Finally, tried the GOSH thin angled liner brush but it doesn’t pick up product well.

266 is thicker than the 263 but both are the same shape — thin, angled. Not too long, not too stubby. I haven’t tried Anastasia’s brow brush, but if you apply a cream-based brow product, that might also be worth looking into πŸ™‚

I have thin (read: nearly nonexistent due to over-tweezing in the 90s), and I use the Sonia Kashuk angled eyeliner brush for gel & cream products. I absolutely hate it for eyeliner application, but on a whim I decided to try it for my brows, and it works wonders! Not only do I get a nice, crisp edge, but I can also use it to “mimic” hairs.

The best brush for drawing on individual ‘hair’ that I’ve tried is the Hakuhodo J521. It’s a teeny tiny flat eyeliner brush. Hakuhodo’s angled brushes are 2mm and up in thickness but this one is 1.3mm at the base. I use it with Anastasia Dipbrow. Wayne Goss’s line has a similar brush but the Hakuhodo brush was cheaper to order and I got another brush, the water badger B163 to try as well for eyebrows. That one does not draw super thin lines. It’s still great, dense and stiff, for filling in eyebrows but can’t be used to draw on individual hairs. I’ve heard that the Real Techniques brush above is too soft for eyebrows.

I like that Contour Brush, I might pick that one up. All the eye brushes look too big to big to use them easily.

I like the regular brushes more than these, as the shapes work better, and they are nice (not scratchy).

I’m so happy you reviewed these brushes! I was floored when I heard Real Techniques was releasing brushes at this price point. I think I will be sticking to my usual brushes and passing on these. I think they’re beautiful but not work the cost.

I really think RT’s quality has diminished. My old expert face is so much better than my new one. My new one sheds and is scratchy. I bought them both from their online store, too. I was hoping these would be good but I think I’ll pass. I need workhorses, I don’t care about looks. Lol.

I keep hearing this, and it makes me really sad! If that is the case, they’re really making a bad move in the long run, I think πŸ™

That was my experience too! I had to exchange brushes twice to get a non-scratchy blush brush (pink handle). Same with the expert face brush–and the only decent one I found is still nowhere as soft as my friend’s old version. I splurged on the IT LBD Foundation Brush and have not looked back.

While the design/aesthetic of these brushes is absolutely beautiful, the construction just looks horrible. I’ve seen these in-person in several locations, and they all looked really bad. There are some interesting/unique shapes-which *always* makes me want to buy a brush (I have more than enough, and am always looking for something “new”)-but I can’t justify the cost of these due to all the splayed bristles. I even have a set of knockoff RT brushes that look far better than these… Perhaps if these were in a full set, with a reasonable price reduction, I would be tempted, but these are just far too expensive for what they are. If anyone is looking for a flat contour brush, Sonia Kashuk has an awesome one for less than $15 USD.

I’d look elsewhere if you wanted to start getting into $15+ synthetic brushes (IT Cosmetics, for instance) for sure.

These are pretty. But what I like about the original ones were that they are soft, easy to maintain and almost fool proof. Unfortunately these don’t seem to really match up. Thank you for the honest review Christine!

When I saw these in Ulta, I was really surprised at how uneven the bristles were cut. I couldn’t imagine how scratcy they would be. Total pass for me!

This is their premium range – specifically designed to compete more with a higher-end price point πŸ™‚

These are pretty to look at, but I’ll stick with their regular brushes – they work fine, aren’t scratchy, are cheaper, and I don’t have to worry about fingerprints, or the handle tarnishing

I really want the powder and contour brush but I’ll wait to catch them on sale lol. I wanted the blush brush too but I can’t deal with scratchy bushes that poke. That sounds terrible! And weird considering the brushes in the regular line are so soft and much cheaper

The only brush I would be really into is the Flat Contour brush, BUT e.l.f. recently released an extremely similar style brush that’s about $6. For the price of these RT brushes, I could pick up some other e.l.f. products to try out instead and get free shipping. πŸ˜‰

And reading the comments about the quality? That’s worrisomeβ€”my favorite brush is their big Powder Brush, which I also use for occasional blush application (if I don’t have my stippling brush) and for blending out blush if it looks like it’s too much. I also still have yet to buy the brush Dustin raves over, or any of the others that have caught my eye. Man, if the quality really is going down, that bites. πŸ™

I keep hearing from readers about quality declining… and it has been going on for at least a year, if not longer πŸ™

So far, I have passed on these. I think they are very pretty. However, I don’t really like the tapered handle, and I can see the handle showing fingerprints and the lovely white bristles getting discolored in a short time. That said, if they were gifted to me, I’d be happy!

So far, the bristles have stayed quite white for me, but the handles do hold fingerprints like nobody’s business.

I saw these brushes in person at Boots here in the UK. I could tell that they were of mediochre quality and was shocked at how much was being charged for each one! One of them worked out to the equivalent of $40. No wonder that literally, every time I went to Boots for something, not ONE brush had been purchased from the display. That is not a good price point to charge here in the UK, as a lot of people don’t have that kind of disposable income. I thought it was a bit of a slap in the face considering the “makers” of the brushes are from here!

Pretty to look at, but after reading your review I’ll not buy any of them. Some money saved for a rainy day πŸ™‚

I was so excited when news of these first appeared; they are really lovely looking and I love quite a few of the standard RT brushes. So I bought 201, 300, and 301 right off. Sooooo disappointed. πŸ™ The pointed crease brush actually hurts to use. I do note your advice to wash it several times before trying to use it, which I’ll do and see if that helps any. As is, it’s genuinely not usable for me. The blush brush is okay. It works reasonably well with the Max Factor Creme Puff blushes (the Ambient dupes) as those need very little blending. I actually use the contour brush mostly for liquid foundation application when I’m in a hurry!

Also, neither my blush nor contour brush is scratchy, just the eye brush. I’ve heard of scratchy and soft versions for a lot of the Bold Metal ones, which seems to indicate that their quality control is somewhat lacking.

It’s gotten better, but it’s still not a great brush – there are still some poky areas that I’ll feel every so often. I don’t know what went on with the QC here, but they really should take a look at it – reviews are all over the place!

I own some of the new Real Techniques brushes, and they are stunning and beautiful to look at. Specifically the #301 Flat Contour Brush, which I own, I found to be somewhat awkward to use due to the heaviness of the handle. I purchased it with the intention of using it for contouring, but it is VERY dense and difficult to work with. I like my brushes to be lighter in the handle, thus making application easier. I don’t find myself reaching for them often at all. However, I do like the smaller brushes for detailed precision work, but again, I have to say the handles are heavy.

I bought 4 out of 7 on impulse… and I really really regret purchasing these. Let me start by saying that I have quite an extensive collection of brushes that span from very cheap to extremely rare. The one brush that I didn’t buy the 301 flat contour is probably the one I should have got – I say that based on the fibres these brushes are made with. I find these brushes more “Eye Cjandy” than anything… the bristles are extremely stiff with a lot of spring… do not like anything about them. They will probably work reasonable with cream products but I’m not even sure about that. I also am so miffed on the overkill of packaging, I had to destroy every box to get into it and then I had to use a glue remover to get all the sticky crap that was attached to each one… this really ticked me off because otherwise I would have returned these as soon as I felt them. I feel really ripped off with these… Here in Canada they cost between $30.00 and $40.00 each and for the $200.00 + I spent I could have purchased many other brushes that I’ve been eyeing. I really liked their previous lines and actually bought multiples of the Expert Face and the Stipple brush and I think I assumed mistakenly these would be good. It’s rare that I really dislike a brush but these are awful… HUGE REGRET!!!

We try to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind and appreciate your patience! πŸ™‚ If you have general feedback, product review requests, off-topic questions, or need technical support, please contact us directly. Thank you for your patience!