I should begin this post by stating I think and I say think (edit - after individually listing the brushes, I am missing one from Nik's Picks and the Duo Fibre brushes), I own the complete Real Techniques Core Collection of brushes - along with a few special editions. It was never my end goal to collect all the brushes but here we are. I genuinely do think they are some of the best I have bought, especially for the price and do tend to rush out and purchase any new launches. If you are on the fence about any particular brush or set, in the words of Lauryn Hill let me break it down for you...
Real Techniques Multi-Task Brush (part of the travel essentials kit) £20.99 via Feel Unique - link
Real Techniques Face Blush Brush £6.99 via Look Fantastic - link
Real Techniques Stippling Brush £10.99 via Feel Unique - link
Real Techniques Setting Brush £6.99 via Feel Unique - link
Let's begin with the Real Techniques Multi-Task Brush - a large, fluffy and slightly fanned brush that has been created with the intended use of being powder brush. This can be used with blush, setting powder or bronzer. I personally like it for covering large areas and have been using it with setting powder. As it is somewhat flat it doesn't offer all that much in terms of precision, I don't recommend it for contouring or highlighting but to dust on powder and buff into the skin you can not beat it. The Real Techniques Blush Brush is a big, fluffy yet tapered brush which makes blush application a breeze. I particularly like this brush as sometimes I like to use a matte blush in a browny pink shade, to not only add a hint of colour but to also contour my cheekbones slightly, and the tapered tip gives me the precision I crave. Another firm favourite of mine happens to be the Real Techniques Stippling Brush, initially I thought that the stippling brush was too small too be used to apply my foundation but I wrong, despite being petite it allows me to effectively and swiftly buff liquid foundation into my skin. Lastly we have the Real Techniques Setting Brush: a small, somewhat tapered blush that has been created for precision; be it dusting setting powder under the eye area or as a blush/contour brush this tool does it all.
Real Techniques Powder Brush £12.99 via Boots - link
Real Techniques Expert Face Brush £9.99 via Boots - link
Real Techniques Detailer Brush (part of the core collection kit) £20.99 - link
Real Techniques Contour Brush £9.99 via Boots - link
Real Techniques Buffing Brush (part of the core collection kit) £20.99 - link
Real Techniques Pointed Foundation Brush (part of the core collection kit) £20.99 - link
For all your setting powder needs there is very few brushes that can rival the Real Techniques Powder Brush - large, fluffy and ideal for sweeping on both loose and pressed powders. A brush I really need to get a duplicate of is the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush - yes it is a little on the large side but it lends itself to all my powder needs, be it setting powder, blush, bronzer or even contouring this does it all. In a pinch it even doubles up as a great foundation brush. The Real Techniques Detailer Brush: a small, rounded and flat brush that works well either used with concealer to target very specific areas or as a lip brush. In my opinion it works best with lipsticks but then again I forever have huge blemishes. If you enjoy highlighting and contouring then you need to pick up the Real Techniques Contour Brush - this angled brush allows you to apply a light dusting of powder to the contours of the face, or blend out cream products seamlessly. Next up is the Real Techniques Buffing Brush - in my eyes this is a foundation brush and what a brush at that. If you dream of an airbrush finish then this is the brush to go for. It truly makes light work of buffering foundation be it liquid, cream or powder form into the skin for a seamless finish. I tend to be a little heavy handed when it comes to foundation and I find that this brush prevents me from over applying yet doesn't alter the finish of my foundation. You can also use it to apply cream blushes for a soft, glowy finish - it works a dream with the Make-Up Forever Cream blushes as a side note. Real Techniques Pointed Foundation Brush - In my opinion this is too small to be a foundation brush unless using it for a touch up or something of that nature, other wise the small flat paddle style brush would take forever to cover an entire face. I have found this to better suited to concealer be it applying it to the under eye area, to highlight or to simply cover blemishes this has it all under control. It is soft yet firm so you can easily build up coverage in any areas you require it.
Real Techniques Base Shadow Brush £6.99 via Feel Unique - link
Real Techniques Deluxe Crease Brush (part of the starter kit) £21.99 via Boots - link
Real Techniques Accent Brush (part of the starter kit) £21.99 via Boots - link
Real Techniques Fine Liner Brush £6.99 via Boots - link
Real Techniques Brow Brush (part of the starter kit) £21.99 via Boots - link
Real Techniques Silicone Liner Brush £5.99 via Feel Unique - link
Real Techniques Eye Lash and and Brow Groomer £6.99 via Superdrug - link
The Real Techniques Base Shadow Brush - large, domed, soft and great for applying both primer and cream eyeshadow - I find this too large for powder eyeshadows but that boils down to preference. The Real Techniques Deluxe Crease Brush - perfect not only for blending out harsh lines but also contouring in small areas. The Real Techniques Accent Brush - a teeny tiny brush that has been created for precision detailing (eye liner) , highlighting, you can also use it to smudge out product. I like to use it to apply eyeshadow to my lower lash line. The Real Techniques Fine Liner Brush is a super fine, pencil style brush that is ideal for applying liquid and cream eye liner. You can also use this in place of a lip brush. The Real Techniques Brow Brush does just what you'd imagine to, the firmness of the bristles is ideal for both powder and wax formulations. The latest addition is the the rather genius The Real Techniques Silicone Liner Brush, technically not r a brush due to the fact it has no brush bristles, rather a soft silicone nib that can be used to line both the eyes and lips. Despite not being a traditional brush it is just as soft and dare I say it a whole lot easier to use when it comes to eye liner as it is so streamlined and sturdy - simply dip in your chosen make up product and drag alone the skin and let it do all the work for you. As this is silicone it is so much easier to clean and it doesn't stain like a typical brush. There is of course the Real Techniques Eye Lash and and Brow Groomer - one side for combing the lashes the other for slicking down brows. If like myself you enjoy layering on mascara the metal lash comb is one of the best de-clumpers (not a real word, of course) you will find.
Real Techniques Fan Brush (exclusive to the sculpting set) £20.99 via Superdrug - link
Real Techniques Sculpting Brush £9.99 via Look Fantastic - link
Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge (around £5.99 but sold out everywhere?)
The Real Techniques Fan Brush is a large, duo fibre fan brush that picks up powder product surprisingly well. I use fan brushes (this one included) to highlight as they help to create a soft, diffused finish but they can be used with any powder product. Fan brushes in general and this is no exception are great for sweeping off any excess powder products too! One of my favourite Real Techniques Brushes full stop has to be the Sculpting Brush - a wide, angled brush head that has been designed to easily slot into the contours of the face. It is a soft yet dense and pairs well with liquid, powder and cream products. Despite being intended for contour products this doubles up as a wonderful foundation/buffing brush. As mentioned above the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge is a tricky one to source online, the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge is rather well made and thought out not to mention rather reasonably priced. This orange foam sponge has three separate surfaces/angles for ease of use: a pointed tip to blend foundation in and around the nose, a bevelled edge for precise application/contouring and a large round surface to roll on any product to cover large areas at any one time. To use you run the sponge under water until it expands (it should double in size), squeeze out any excess water and then sandwich the sponge in-between a towel and again squeeze to soak up any remaining water. You are aiming for a damp sponge that is not dripping wet. An odd concept yes but it somehow works.
Real Techniques Nik's Picks Kit
£26.99 via Look Fantastic - link
As mentioned somewhere along the way I have lost the Real Techniques Angled Shadow Brush - don't ask as frankly I don't know. Anyway this is a kit in which most of the brushes can not be purchased separately - unlike the other Real Technique kits this covers all make-up bases. A rounder, softer version of the Expert Face Brush - great for powder and liquid products. Next we have the Real Techniques Cheek Brush - a larger sized blush brush that is soft yet picks up just the right amount of product each and every time. This is a great brush to use with blushes you find to be a little too pigmented as it creates a diffused, soft look each and every time. The Real Techniques Base Shadow Brush is a flat yet fluffy brush which can be used to both pack on eye colour as well as blending - a brush I use almost daily. Lastly within the kit there is the eye liner brush - a small, angled, firm brush which is ideal for using with gel or liquid liners. The angled tip allows you to really get into the root of the eyelashes for the illusion of extra length.
Retractable Bronzer Brush £13.99 via Boots - link
Retractable Kabuki Brush £11.99 via Boots - link
Retractable Lip Brush £7.99 via Boots - link
To end this monster post (it literally took me all day), I want to say that all of my Real Techniques brushes not only wash well - no splaying, shedding or breaking but also last the test of time. Some of the above brushes are two years old and still going strong, there is a reason just about everyone owns at least one Real Techniques brush - they deliver.