Sneak Peek: Real Techniques Bold Metals Brushes Photos & First Impressions

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, soΒ 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Real Techniques #101 Triangle Foundation Brush
Real Techniques #101 Triangle Foundation 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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95 Comments

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hmmmm don’t think I will be getting these. I am glad you are honest when it comes to ‘imperfections’ but then again, these brushes cost less than what you are comparing them to so apples to oranges? I’m wondering what your thoughts would be if you compared them to other brushes in the same price range? I only have the RT brushes that came out at Walmart and I really adore most of those.

Hi Meredith,

This isn’t a review – these are initial observations, e.g. some preliminary thoughts from using each brush maybe once, at most. First, I always compare brushes across price points, like I would makeup, so that you can decide what is or isn’t worth your money. Real Techniques did a massive up-charge on these, because they said they are a premium product. Since Make Up For Ever’s was handy (it’s the one I use all the time) and one of the more high-end synthetics I personally have, I thought it would be useful to at least weigh in on whether Real Techniques managed to get similar softness in their more expensive range, but that is a single comparison, not a comment on the entire line or that they aren’t soft. If I have comparable brushes to these (I don’t have as many synthetic brushes as I do natural ones), I’m certain to do more comparisons when I’m writing an actual review! Hope that helps!

They’re pretty, but I only really want a few of them (202, maybe 201 and 300 or 301). I am interested in hearing about how 101 performs, because it reminds me of the new-ish 3D brushes by Sigma.

To be honest, I’m not 100% sure. The ferrule definitely holds the majority of the weight, and I know that RT calls them out as brass ferrules on their site/marketing on ULTA – the ferrule feels more like metal, while the rest of the handle feels lighter and to me, feels like plastic. The metallic coloring will chip off, though I don’t know if it will do so with regular/normal use – I took scissors to the end and was able to start seeing underneath, but not enough to confirm (lol, I only wanted to see how readily it might chip, but I’ll probably slice my hand open if I did much more).

Probably most telling is that they call out the brass ferrule but don’t assign a specific material to the handle itself.

I’m most excited for the contour and blush brushes. Btw what’s your favorite brush for contouring? I’m still experimenting with different brushes and products for contouring. I haven’t found the dynamic duo yet! =P

i’m most intrigued by the finishing brushes (300 & 301) , so i’m looking forward to your thoughts .

i can’t lie , the packaging is really tempting me , but i’ll wait for your review to see if they’re worth the splurge .

Hi Ailyn,

I’ve only had them for a few days, so I’m not experienced enough with them to write a review as I’ve maybe used each brush once at this point. I have about 100 brushes that I am testing at the moment, as I like to test brushes for 2-4 months (six is better) so that I can use them as intended, wash them regularly, see which ones (if any) are game-changers, etc.

They are beautiful, that much is for sure! I’ve got my eyes on the triangle foundation brush and blush brush! People seem to have mixed feelings about them, excited about seeing your full review x

Even before looking at the close-ups, I could see some of those “rogue hairs” that weren’t evenly cut. Considering the good quality (especially considering the low prices) of the original brushes, at these higher prices, I was expecting absolute perfection. Personally, I’m not wild about the handles – they look a bit like lethal weapons – and because I am short-sighted, I much prefer brushes with shorter handles. As I said a while back, at these prices, I’m more likely to spring for more Sephora Professional brushes – I’ve found those to be SO excellent and I believe the prices are comparable. The only one of these that really interests me is the crease/pencil brush.

I was very surprised to see the unevenness in the cutting! It’s not often where it’s this obvious–it tends to me more just in practice because it’s rougher or doesn’t pick up product evenly that you can tell the cut could be improved.

They are softer than the regular line but not as drastic as you would think. The It Brushes for Ulta are still softer, the Live Beauty fully & Velvet Luxe lines that is (Airbrush line is too rouh). The live beauty fully line has the same long tapered handles. The down fall of the Velvet Luxe lines is they are not as good with cream and liquid products, too much of a mess and hard to clean. I just stick to powder product for those.

I was disappointed with the RT 100 Arched Powder brush. I just expected it to be a bit more dense than it is (glad I opened the box before buying). All the pictures and videos had me thinking it would be fuller.

I took the foundation brush out of the box as well and wasn’t impressed. It felt way too much like the regular RT foundation brushes that I already have. The angled and pointed foundation brushes do a fine job around the nose and eyes. The triangle foundation brushes just seems “trendy”. I really like the 300 and 301 brushes. They have the right density, but still able to blend product. I’m not sure if I want to try the eye brushes. I am more than happy with my Wayne Goss eye brushes.

The brushes looks good but those stray hair broke the deal for me.. Also I would have loved them to be a little heavy but will wait for your reviews to decide ! πŸ™‚

I got an expert face brush recently and I had the same problem with the hairs. I had three of them that were extending quite a bit past the brush head that I had to trim. Not a huge deal, and I’m willing to let it pass for that price point. However, I would not be so forgiving for a more expensive brush. It shows poor workmanship and quality control IMO. If something so obvious can get past, what else is wrong with the line of brushes?

Yes, I was surprised to see it here, since this is being marketed as a premium line (and my takeaway from watching their intro video was really that these are supposed to compete with high-end, more luxury-price point brush ranges BUT that the price is reflecting their philosophy of giving you the best for your money), so I didn’t expect that. I don’t even remember having issues with it in their original range. Same with the few nicks in the metal finish.

I didn’t have any issues with RT brushes that I have had for awhile. In fact, the buffing brush is still something I use daily. I love it. It was only on the brush I got in December that the hair issue was there. In addition to the three long hairs, the overall shape of the brush isn’t even. It is slightly lower on one side compared to the other. I wonder if quality is already slipping for them.

Very interesting! I bought a second Expert Face brush, though probably six months ago or even further back, but I haven’t opened it. I am going to try to find it sometime (I have to remember where I stashed it, lol) to see if it’s different.

Oh my… I know lots of people love real techniques as they are good quality, affordable brushes that perform really well, but seriously the bristles on these look like they were cissors-cut πŸ™

I passed on these last week because the bristles looked sooo bad. These photos actually look *better* than the ones I saw in-store, LOL! I also passed on the last LE set (Nic’s Picks) for the same reason… I absolutely adore my RT brushes, and I have nearly all of them, but these more “luxurious” brushes leave a lot to be desired.

I was insanely excited over these when they first released previews (and also bummed, since they’re not so easily available in Canada) but after seeing reviews and real life photos, I’m content being able to skip them. Regular Real Technique brushes do the job for me. The metal still look beautiful though. πŸ™‚

I’m hopeful they’ll perform nicely as brushes once I get to use them more, despite some of the packaging/initial concerns.

These will look pretty in beginning, but the white hairs will get stained, and the handles will get more fingerprints and nicks, AND they cost a lot more than the reg line. No thanks. Like I said before, nothing wrong with the reg brushes

I have a lot of brushes with white bristles, and as long as you wash frequently/have a good cleanser, they shouldn’t stain much, if at all, from my experience. I’ll be sure to report back if they do, though!

I am really interested in this review. I am not too intriqued in these after reading you initial thoughts and seeing the photos.They look to scratchy for me. I looked for them when I was at Ulta last week and they did not have them. I have too many brushes as is though. So, I am picky.The #301 is really interesting. I own nothing like tha! I am glad RT slimmed the handles for these for sure. Their regular line is really good. But, those darn handles..so bulky,lol. Do you know if these are going to be sold individually or only in a set?

So far, none of them have felt scratchy to me, but more application will tell if there are any methods/techniques where the bristles can be felt more (or less) πŸ™‚ They are only sold individually!

Thank you for the tip Xamyx!! I at one point had a Sephora brush similar,but a little large just from eyeing this. It was marketed as a foundation brush. But,clearly a contour brush. I found it too stiff and scratchy. I returned it. It applied too streaky and I could feel it scuffing my skin. How is the SK for more sensitive skin? am not really in “need”of a contour brush. But,a good find is always nice

I was already on the fence about these (I’d rather invest in some more Hakuhodo brushes) but the “metal” handles and smudges would drive me nuts! Don’t get me wrong I love my normal RT brushes, but these don’t seem worth the price hike. I can’t wait for your full review Christine!

I like the handles of the regular line more myself, but that’s certainly more personal preference (they seem sturdier, and how visible the fingerprints are on these drives me nuts, lol).

Very helpful post. I was on the verge of buying these as the coloring alone is gorgeous, but had reservations because these aren’t including in Ulta’s Buy One Get One promotions for Real Techniques. Might as well invest in some tried and true higher end brushes at the same prices! (I’m reading your must-have brush post right now for reference πŸ™‚

I’m really looking forward to your thoughts on these. I’ve been reading a lot of mixed reviews lately. Some people say they’re not as soft as the original line while others love them. My local Ulta is always late (and lame) so I can’t try them myself yet but I’d like to. Especially considering the price hike

Thanks for the sneak peek. Looking forward to the full review. I ooohh ahhh’d over the initial pictures when RT made the announcement because they look very fancy. But I think I’m over it…I was surprised at the price point. I get that it’s supposed to compete with high end luxury brushes but considering how affordable their regular line is, this seems high. Why spend more than double for shiny handles? The stray hairs are very disappointing…like others said, I’d expected perfect brushes given the advertising. I also think I’d go nuts trying to keep fingerprints off the handles. LOL Good thing these aren’t available where I am! No temptation. I’ll stick with my regular RT brushes!

I was definitely expecting the cutting job to be better since it is double the price and billed as a luxury/premium range (even if it isn’t being sold at true luxury price point).

It is possible! When I tried to scrape off the metal coloring with scissors, it didn’t just chip off easily – I was able to get the paint off, but I couldn’t get it off with my fingernail, you know?

I think that tried so hard to make them look expensive, but reached the opposite – they look even cheaper than regular line. I would like pro and luxe brushes to be clean and professional, so they can fit to the range of brushes I already have, but not that golden-glittery.

I used them a bit more this morning, and the weighting seems balanced – they don’t have a really lightweight/cheap feel from that perspective, but as you get towards the tapered tip, it does start to feel “cheap.”

I have to admit I’m really curious about that contour brush, but at that price I’d probably rather pick up the Zoeva version! Those handles look nice on display but probably not very practical for me! Have you tried any of Zoeva’s brushes? I can’t remember if you’ve posted them before or not, but a comparison between the contour brushes would be interesting… didn’t Illamasqua and MUFE also have similarly shaped brushes? Seems to be a bit of a trend at the moment!

My Ulta had a couple of these left when I went and I got to feel the fluffy gold one. Honestly, it wasn’t too soft. I wasn’t very impressed. The price increase doesn’t seem worth if for metallic painted plastic.

These are gorgeous (sans fingerprints perhaps, hah!), and I will be interested to hear what you think of this triangular foundation brush thing that they’re doing. This post reminds me how much I wish I owned a brush in the vein of that pointed crease one, but I think I can probably get that from the usual line, or EcoTools or something. πŸ™‚

Dear Christine,
Thanks for the honest remarks. I spotted these in Ulta and was not sure if they were worth the price .. I don’t think that I am ready to spend so much on brushes that don’t really justify the price .. I would rather save and buy a more high end and tried and tested brush set .. Thanks so much for sharing !!

I bought the foundation brush and the powder brush and used them once. I also returned them to Ulta the same week. I was not very happy that the foundation brush put brush marks into my foundation and I ended up having to go back over it with a Beauty Blender to smooth out the lines, For a $26 brush I don’t want to have to do that. Also, with my OCD issues I am not happy with a brush that constantly looks grubby and loaded with finger prints.

If they were around $10 to $15 I would not be so pissed that I would return them, but at this price point forget it. I shall stick with my Wayne Goss brushes thank you.

I actually just bought the powder one yesterday. I had been hoping you’d do a review but figured it probably wouldn’t happen so I’m beyond thrilled you’re doing one! I kept the packaging in case I don’t like it, but I’m hoping I do. I was really torn between these brushes and IT’s new Velvet luxe line. I’ll probably still buy some of those but still wanted to give these a shot. What’s funny is that I feel like the way I’d get the IT brushes dirty puts me off them. But I don’t mind the idea of smudges on these. It’s weird, but it is what it is. I think if the brush itself is good enough it’s probably still worth smudges and such. Cause it’s about the application, not the look of the tool.

Now if you’re looking to review other brushes I wouldn’t mind your take on those new IT Velvet ones…

I am testing some brushes from IT’s range (both some from Luxe as well as throughout their ranges). I’m basically testing 100 or so brushes at any given time, lol.

I like the original line, but after 6months of use my big powder brush has hairs that look SHORTER than others. It’s so weird. For the price point though I would re-purchase. Thanks for the brief review, I’ll probably pass on these and get some sephora pro brushes which are great.

I bought the contour brush immediately after it came out and I like it so far, though it’s not really on par with higher end brushes. I do like the size of the brush head though. I guess I’m the odd one out of this but I don’t really care if my fingerprints are all over a brush’s handle? I guess I haven’t the experience or collection to think that was a problem!

Visible fingerprints is just something that bothers me, but equally likely it doesn’t bother someone else πŸ™‚ I don’t like them on packaging in general, but these seemed to attract/make them very visible more so than the average metal/metallic packaging.

For the price there should not be this many imperfections and lack of quality control. I’ll spend a tiny bit more and go with Chanel brushes. Thank you for the honest reviews, I can always count on you to know what’s up!

I was really interested in these until I saw the prices! Real techniques was known for being affordable and great quality but now they’re the same prices as other brands. I was hoping I could afford them.

Does anyone know where these will be sold in North America? Specifically Canada? I’ve just been hearing that these will be sold in Boots, but I don’t live in the UK!

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!