I posted about these I the Boots.com post on Tuesday though now I’ve had a play around with them a bit more I thought I’d do a review. I’ve wanted to try the Real Techniques brushes since I saw a video on them on the Pixiwoo youtube channel. As I mainly use eyeshadow I thought I’d try two of the eyeshadow brushes; one of the originals in the shading brush and one of the new bold metals collection with the 201 pointed crease brush.
At the time these first came out I wasn’t using much makeup at all. I was using elf brushes and even the first EcoTools set I got seemed expensive so paying £6.99 for one brush seemed a lot to me. I’ve ended up mainly using eyeshadow as makeup rather than foundation or blush so decided that now my elf brushes have finally got to the point where the bristles are falling out it’d be a good idea to try a couple of these. I’ve been saving up Boots points for a while without even realising how many I had so I bought these two with them as a bit of a treat.
One of the things I love about the brand itself is the fact that all of the brushes are cruelty free, I’ve found it hard in the past to find cruelty free brushes on the high street though it does seem to be getting easier. Another is the fact that they’re designed by makeup artists (at least partially, I’m not sure how involved they are) so they’re made to work well and work for techniques they would use them for rather than being designed how someone thinks makeup artists and users want them to be which is what seems to happen with some makeup, focussing too much on the look rather than the way the product works.
The first one I chose was the shading brush as I like having a flatter brush to apply the eyeshadow and sometimes use the same one to blend, especially if I’m travelling and keeping brushes to a minimum. The packaging it came in is nice looking, it shows the brush and protects it so if these were ordered online I think they’d arrive undamaged even if the box itself wasn’t.
The brush itself is 14cm long so not huge and a nice size to fit in your hand without it hanging far over the end and knocking into things. The end is a matte black and feels almost soft, it seems like it’d have a good grip though you don’t actually grip this bit. The metal part that normally just holds the bristles is a lot longer with the different colours to show which collection they’re from, in this case purple for eye brushes. It’s nice and smooth and there isn’t an obvious join that could be uncomfortable when holding. One side says the type of brush it is in a darker purple and the other side has ‘real Techniques by Sam and Nic Chapman’. This is pretty subtle and as it’s only a darker shade of the same colour it blends in well with the metal.
The bristles have the appearance of duo fibre brushes though I don’t think they are as it doesn’t say anything about it on their site or Boots. It is very densely packed and nicely shaped, it says the bristles are hand cut and they do seem to have been cut very well, there are no stray bristles poking off in different directions or longer than others. When I used it it worked really well at applying eyeshadow, both pressed and loose pigment, and moved the eyeshadow well. It seemed to pick up a good amount of the product without too much of it getting stuck on the bristles themselves which I have found a problem with loose eyeshadows and some brushes. I also tried blending with it and it was relatively successful, more so with the pressed shadows than the loose but that has happened with other brushes I’ve tried. I would say it isn’t as good at blending as my elf blending brush but it’s good enough to give a nice finish especially when you’re using a pressed eyeshadow. After reading a review on the Boots website I also tried it for under eye concealer and was pleasantly surprised. You do have to make sure you either do this before the eyeshadow or thoroughly wipe any glitter/shimmer off the brush before using it for this but it applied it nicely and it seems like a very good multipurpose brush which would work well as a do it all eye brush when traveling.
The Bold Metals collection caught my eye on the Boots website when they launched it and it was on the front page. I love how the brushes have the shape of more classic paint brushes and the metallic finish definitely makes them stand out. The packaging is nice enough, it’s clear all around which lets you see the product from all angles but I prefer the original collection packaging, for some reason it just feels better quality and makes the product seem more expensive.
After getting the brush out it took me a few days to realise there was a bit of plastic around the middle of the handle, it’s very thin and not in an area my hand really rests naturally, which meant the sticky residue from the packaging came off when I removed this. I like the idea, it didn’t leave any mess on the brush afterwards. I was a bit annoyed when I originally opened the brush to find that mark the sticky blob always leaves but this fixes that. The overall shape of the brush reminds me of chopsticks for some reason, there’s probably a hundred other things it looks like too but that image stood out to me, not in a good or bad way.
The brush itself is longer than the other at just over 17cm and I think I prefer the shorter brush personally, this one seems a bit long and like I’ll hit things with it when I’m getting the eyeshadow, probably just me thinking that though. The finish is also not as good to me, it may appear striking but it’s the same problem I have with the No7 under eye concealer; the silver just shows all the finger prints. I do like the fact that the RT logo is smaller as I think it fits this design better and one side has RT in a matte greyish silver while the other has 201. I prefer it when brushes say what they’re intended for on them as I sometimes get them mixed up but this is fairly easy to recognise so I’m not that bothered that it’s missing, I might be if I had a few of these brushes in different styles though. I was surprised at how heavy this brush is, the weigh is all in that last inch or so near the bristles, the rest feels like a light plastic though it might be metal. I like the idea of the weight at that end but it seems a bit over weighted to me and doesn’t balance very well, I guess I’ll just have to get used to holding it a bit differently or ignore it.
The bristles on this brush are all white and, like the other brush, hand cut without any strays. I think this brush is more densely packed than the other and the tip is less flexibly but then it probably needs to be to do the job of blending and the more precision work of applying colour to the crease. The bristles feel really nice, I think they may be even softer than the other one, and pack a lot of colour on there so I definitely had to tap more off with the darker colours than I’m used to doing. It blended well and did add a nice amount of blending out when I used it without dragging a lot of the eyshadow off as it moved, leaving a nice smooth finish. I don’t think this is such a multipurpose brush as the other but I will see if it works for other things, I wouldn’t use it under my eyes as the bristles are a bit firm for that, but if I use concealer anywhere else I might give that a go.
I bought them both from Boots, the shading brush cost £6.99 and can be found here, the pointed crease brush cost £12.99 and can be found here. I did look on their own site and the shading brush is just 6$ (£3.99) here though it appears to be aimed at people in America so I’m not sure about what the shipping would cost though they do ship to a lot of countries, the other brush is only available in stores at the moment. I might look on their site in the future as the original collection prices are so different, they also have a couple of makeup sets that look interesting.
Overall I am impressed with both of the brushes, they are definitely a step up from my previous ones and I do like the look of them. I would say of the two the original collection brush was better for me, the shape and style of it suits me more. I’m sure the other probably has better bristles given the price difference but as this is a lot softer and better than what I’m used to there doesn’t seem to be much of a difference to me, people with more experience would probably be able to tell though. The main thing letting that brush down to me is the handle design, the bristles and the way it works are really good, if it had the handle of the other brush I think I’d love this as much as that, I just don’t get on with the bold metals collection handle design.
I wanted to love them both and the original collection one I do love, the other one I just like. So for me I’d say in the future I’ll stick with the original collection though I will definitely be buying more, maybe the eye set when I have more Boots points to spend or want to treat myself. I’m sure to others the bold metals collection are worth the extra money, but to me they aren’t.