Lowdown | Real Techniques Brushes

Aside from their very affordable price point, Real Techniques brushes stand out in my collection because as synthetic brushes, they can be used with either cream or powder makeup. 

For the longest time I've wanted to do a seriously in-depth post on all of my Real Techniques brushes  – I have quite a few, as you can see. I've spoken about the best makeup basics for beginners before, and hopefully this post will also help anyone who is new to makeup, or it will inspire some of you to change up how you use your brushes.

Foundation is a personal thing. Cream, powder, liquid, mineral... warm, cool, neutral... nearly endless options are multiplied by all of the choices for how to actually apply the stuff. Traditionalists might like to reach for the pointed foundation brush or the essential foundation brush – these thin, flat brushes are used to "paint" on liquid makeup in downward strokes to give a full coverage finish. I prefer to reach for either the buffing brush or the expert face brush to dab on and "buff" in small circular circles around the face. It's practically foolproof, because these dense brushes quickly blend the makeup into the the contours of the face.

The deluxe crease brush is hands down the best brush to apply concealer with that I've ever used. It's a mini buffing brush that perfectly fits in the corners of the eyes and around the sides of the nose. It holds onto the right amount of product, too. Taking the time to add pinpoints of concealer over imperfections is one way to go the "extra mile" with your makeup and create a truly flawless look. I always use the detailer brush when I do this technique, which is a favourite of makeup artists like Lisa Eldridge.

The stippling brush is perfect for applying cream or liquid blushes with. This duo fiber brush has longer white bristles and shorter, more dense black bristles. The idea is to stipple product on with this brush (think of a tapping or dabbing motion) to give a light, diffused application.

For bronzer I use the blush brush (top), which is fluffy and slightly tapered, perfect for the "3" method. The larger powder brush (bottom) is great for blending in any powder products, or for bringing bronzer down onto the décolletage.

I've switched things around since the blush brush is actually quite large on my face. The slightly smaller multitask brush is what I use to apply blush or other cheek powders.

I talk enough about contouring as it is, but Real Techniques delivers with two great brushes for the technique. The contour brush (bottom) hits into the hollows of the cheeks perfectly, and then I'll go over to blend with the larger sculpting brush (top). I also really love using the contour brush to apply the Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel along the tops of my cheekbones and forehead for a natural, bronzed look, so don't forget that synthetic brushes work just as well for cream products!

Depending on the colour and formula, lipstick can be demanding. In those cases I reach for the accent brush for precise application and to get really close to the lip line. I'll also use this tiny brush to clean up around my lips after applying an intense lip colour (anything you can't apply blindly, like this Tom Ford red). Using a small amount of concealer creates more defined lips and erases any mistakes.

For eyes I reach for the base shadow brush (left and right) and domed shadow brush (center) to apply and blend out shadows. The base shadow brushes are more flat and fluffy. These work nicely with cream shadows and pigments too!

The brow brush (two on the left) is too large for my brows so I use this to blend out eyeshadows or liners along the lash line. If you use gel eyeliner the fine liner brush (far right) will come in handy.

Do you have any RT brushes?