Real Techniques have recently revamped their range, at least a lot of the sets, so there are a lot available at TK Maxx for a discounted price. This set is the Eyes Starter Set and cost £14.99 so you save £6, over 25%, and it has five brushes in a case that doubles as a stand. If that link doesn’t work then search as it has it listed three times separately. I have to admit that when I first saw these sets when they were first released I was a bit unsure about how useful the stand would actually be but I can see it working now I’ve actually tried it.
The brushes included in the set are all for eye products and it includes a mix of eyeshadow, liner and brow brushes so you really do have everything covered. The five brushes are: Base Shadow Brush, Deluxe Crease Brush, Accent Brush, Fine Liner Brush and Brow Brush. They’re all in the standard style of the Real Techniques brushes, the matte ferrule takes up a lot of the brush and they colour coordinate the eye brushes with purple so they stand out.
Before I start I am sorry about the lighting, the weather here in the UK does not seem to want to cooperate for long so these are coming up very blue for some reason. It doesn’t seem to matter how much I fiddle with the settings it does not want to work. This is the colour they actually are, I just couldn’t do all the photos there.
If you’re not aware of Real Techniques as a brand, they are designed by YouTubers Pixiwoo, Sam and Nic, who do tutorials and other beauty related content on their YouTube channel they’re all synthetic and cruelty free brushes. Everything I’ve tried from them has been great quality and I’d recommend checking out the brand if you want makeup brushes as they’re not overly expensive and easy to find here in the UK in Boots. I think they’re fairly easy to find in a lot of other countries too but I don’t know stockists.
The actual plastic packaging for all Real Techniques brushes is nice and sturdy, they survive the post even when the cardboard outer box hasn’t done so well so I can see them getting through international post in one piece. It has all the information you want on what’s inside but, unlike the eyeliner set I bought at the same time, it doesn’t have any information on what the individual brushes are good for. Some of them it’s obvious, like the liner and brow brushes, but the eyeshadow brushes don’t really say if they’re best for blending or packing colour on. This isn’t a big thing but, especially considering this is a starter set, I think it would be helpful for people just starting out with makeup or who aren’t as confident with trying brushes for different things.
The stand in this set is quite a large part of the set, at least it always felt like it was to me in all of the ones that included them. It feels well made and the one side, I’ll call it the outside, is an off white fake leather that looks like it will mark easily but it does wipe clean. I’ve had a few kinds of makeup on there, intentionally and not, and they all came off including mascara and liquid liner. It folds closed around the brushes so it’d be great for travel and has a strong velcro fasten on the side.
The inside us a dark blue grey, again an easy to clean material, with the grey elastic along the middle to hold the brushes. It does hold a variety of smaller brushes in the one side, I tired a few brands and they all fit when it came to eyeshadow and similar sized brushes, and the left side that has nothing in when you buy it for have elastic but only two spaces for brushes so will hold larger ones. You do need to be careful where you put hen and it doesn’t necessarily close very neatly with them in but the velcro fasten is good and it’s quite long so you can adjust the size a bit.
Onto the actual stand mechanism, if that’s the right word, and it surprisingly easy to use. There’s a cord that runs through the spine that you just pull the top half along so it folds in half. There’s a toggle (I think that’s the word), like you get on waterproof jackets, that you hold the button in to move and let it go and it holds the stand in place. It does hold well and it actually makes it easier to access the brushes so, again, I think this is good for travel more than everyday use. I just keep mine in a jar everyday so I don’t think I’ll be using it then by it will keep brushes safe and any residue off everything else in your bag as well as making them easy to access and use so I might give it a go next time I go away for any time.
Onto the brushes themselves and, as I said before, they are the standard format for Real Techniques brushes and a style that I really like and find easy to use. They’re well made, the matte rubber feel plastic at the end means they don’t slip out of your hand and the weight and size of the handle is so easy to hold and control, even on days when my hands are slightly shaky. The colour for these is slightly different from the standard eye brushes, it’s more of a royal purple than the bluer tone my single brushes have, which might annoy some but Just do prefer this Matt finish over the shinier look of the eyeliner set.
The Deluxe Crease Brush seems huge and very fluffy. It does blend out really well if you have a larger area to cover but if you have a smaller eyelid or want more precision blending it’s a bit over the top. It does work well for blending out the edges and I did try it with powder to set my under eye concealer and it works really well for that so it works for the slightly larger surface areas like under your brow bone too but not one for the crease for me. It is a round brush when you look from the top so can hold a lot of product in there and I did feel like I lost more in the brush than I’d want to when I tried to use it to apply eyeshadow.
The Base Shadow Brush is also larger than I’d need it to be and I was surprised at how fluffy this one was too, though it is slightly flatter than the other. Considering their other eyeshadow brushes I have are pretty dense and great at packing on the colour this one looks more like another blending brush to me. It does do ok at applying colour but doesn’t pack it on like some of their others, it is good for a nice all over the lid light colour though and does seem to reduce fallout on some of the glittery shadows. I’m not sure if that’s because it works better at applying them or the glitter just gets stuck in the brush though. As I said before though this one does work well at blending and I needed a good new blending brush, it does a similar job to the Elf one I just got rid of so if you like fluffy brushes then this is actually a pretty good one for that. I did have to compare both of the fluffier brushes in this set to my previous eyeshadow brushes from Real Techniques that I use all the time and it does show the size of these.
The Accent Brush is pretty dense and quite a firm brush but it does pack on the colour well and it’s small enough that you didn’t get quite a good amount of precision when applying he shadow. It is very similar to the Pointed Liner Brush in the Eyeliner Set I have, this is wider and I’d say this is slightly firmer. I was already using that eyeliner one to apply the darker colour to my outer corner with my shadows so this one works well for that too. It also works well for concealer and lip products too as it’s a flat brush so this is a pretty good multipurpose brush really
The Fine Liner Brush in this is surprisingly flexible for an eyeliner brush, at least in my experience, and the bristles are a lot longer than the similar Precision Liner brush I already have. This one is a lot softer and works better when it comes to using powder shadows as it doesn’t dig into the pan as much. It does work for liquids too but the fact it’s so flexible makes it harder to keep a fine line for me. It does glide on really nicely though and no dragging your skin.
The Brow Brush is an angled brush with very stiff bristles. I don’t often do anything with my brows, the most I normally do is a bit of clear gel, so I was also learning in that way when trying this out. This brush does give a nice, natural look when you use brow powder, or an eyeshadow works quite well with it, but I found that the gel or cream products did end up going on very thick and bold. As I prefer the more natural look anyway I was happy with the way my brows looked with t powder, they didn’t look too painted on as the finer tip of the brush worked well for the more precise bits but you got a good coverage when using the whole length of the end.
Overall the quality of these brushes is great. There are no stray hairs, the ferrules are well stuck and the ends are cut neatly so you don’t have an odd shape when using them. I was a bit surprised at the size of the two, they don’t necessarily work for the jobs they are intended to for me but they do well for other things and are pretty good multitasking brushes really. I would definitely recommend this set if you want an all round eye look but think you would probably need one or two more for applying the eyeshadow so it doesn’t really do the job as a starter kit for me even with them being some very nice bushes and, surprisingly, a nice stand and travel case for the bushes too that doesn’t feel like an afterthought like some cases that come in brush sets feel like. Even if this set isn’t what you’re looking for it’s worth checking out Real Techniques, especially with the amount on the TK Maxx site at the moment.