Something I’ve learned about make up over the last number of years is that your tools are the key! Good make up brushes and knowing how to use them properly are as important as the make up you use. When I was young and first started experimenting with my mam’s make up, my fingers were about as advanced as it got. When I got older and started to learn more about make up, I bought my first set of brushes. I remember it was a brush set I bought in Sam McCauleys.
To this day they still sell them there! In an all girls school, my friends and I would do our make up in the bathroom before leaving school in the afternoon or get ready together for a disco at the weekend. There was one brand of make up brushes that everyone used and wanted – that’s when I bought my first couple of brushes by Real Techniques.
Sam and Nic Chapman are sisters, make up artists and the brains behind Real Techniques. They started a YouTube channel in 2008 and by 2010, the channel had 30,000 subscribers. They launched Real Techniques in 2011, when I was in Transition Year at school. I’ve seen the brand grow as my own knowledge of make up has grown too.
I suppose their collection of brushes appealed to us all at that age because of the vibrant colours; orange, purple and pink. Because they originated in the U.K, they were so popular here too. There was nothing like that in Ireland at the time. They are self-explanatory too, with the use for each brush printed on the handle. This is great for anyone that’s only starting to use make up or isn’t confident on which brush is right for them. There are so many nowadays, it can be overwhelming – kabuki brushes, detail brushes, fluffy blending brushes and tapered contour brushes – like how are some people meant to know what one to use?!
Simplicity is Key
Real Techniques break it down simply. The brushes and sets are colour coded. Orange represents tools for the base, i.e. foundation, contouring, concealer and powders. Purple is for the eyes, i.e. eyeshadows, liners and brows. Finally, pink denotes the finishing tools like your setting brushes, highlighters, powders and lip brushes too. They even branched into beauty sponges and now have a huge selection of them in a variety of colours, shapes and finishes.
This summer they have launched some exclusive brush sets. The ‘Ready Set Glow!’ and ‘Fresh Face Favourites!’ are limited edition sets featuring brushes and beauty sponges.
Fresh Face Favourites!
‘Fresh Face Favourites!’ orange packaging means the tools are for your base make up. On the front, it even recommends YouTube videos to watch on Sam and Nic’s infamous channel. The first brush in this set is a new one for RT; the BB/CC brush. For summer time especially, I do favour a BB cream as it’s lighter on the skin compared to foundation in the heat. This angled kabuki brush has a large surface area and would be ideal for applying creams or foundation in a flash.
Next is the Contour brush which I find amazing for powder contour. I already have one of these brushes and it’s well loved. The bristles on this new one are much softer and not so tightly packed, meaning you get a softer blend. It’s the perfect shape and size to sit in under your cheekbone and chisel it out.
It also contains..
The last brush is a teeny, tiny Detailer brush which is used for concealer. It could be used to apply a creamy concealer to cover blemishes; to apply a lighter colour concealer to highlight; or to apply concealer to the eyes in a half cut crease eye look. It really is so small and tapered nicely at the top for precision.
There are 6 Wedge Sponges in this set also. They can be used damp or dry but I always prefer to use mine damp. They almost double in size when they’re damp and they are much softer on your make up. Beauty sponges are used to blend and blur harsh lines, especially for cream contour/highlight and foundation. I actually use this wedge shape of sponge to apply a translucent powder underneath my contour. I let the powder sit there while I finish doing my make up and then dust it away for the baked effect. It also makes the contour look more sharp and defined.
Ready, Set, Glow!
This pink set, ‘Ready Set Glow!’, contains all the tools you’ll need to finish your make up perfectly. The 3 brushes in this pack are new and exclusive so it’s a really good one to buy for a Real Techniques fan. The Multitask Cheek brush is similar in shape to the Contour brush from the first set. The main difference would be that this brush is a little more dome shaped making it ideal for powders. Whether it’s a blush, bronzer, setting powder or highlight, this brush will do it all.
Nowadays, no make up look is complete with out some, (or a lot of), highlighter. The Strobing Fan brush is the perfect shape for dusting a powder highlight across the highest points of your face, i.e. top of the cheekbones, cupids bow, the bridge and tip of your nose and the points on your forehead that the sun reflects off of.
The bristles in the Targeted Blending brush are short and tightly packed. It can be used to blend cream highlighters and liquids. You could use it to blend your nose contour and highlight too as it’s a small, neater size brush.
The Holy Grail!
Finally, this beauty sponge has literally CHANGED my life, no joke! I got one of the Miracle Sculpting Sponges in a set at the Beauty Show this year and I’ve fallen in love with it. The shape of it is just perfect for a number of reasons. The wider angled flat end is perfect for applying foundation or blending cream products on the skin. The round side of the wide end is what I use to apply cream highlighters and to blend around the forehead. Then you can flip to the narrower end which I mainly focus on the eye area. Again, this end has round side which I use to blend under-eye concealers and eyeshadow primers. It’s the right size and shape to work in the eye area. The angled side is great for patting cream products on the eyes and to ensure that nothing creases.
These are honestly two great sets and I can stand over the Real Techniques products 100% having used them for years now. The sets are available for a limited time only in pharmacies nationwide and online at www.realtechniques.com. They each retail for €19.99. This is brilliant value as it works out at roughly €5 per tool. You save massively by buying these sets. Finally, a huge thanks to BrandShapers for such a lovely gift!