Product Reviews

Real Techniques Travel Essentials Makeup Brush Set Review

June 2, 2011

British makeup artist Samantha Chapman, aka YouTube guru pixiwoo to most of us, has launched Real Techniques, a 10-piece makeup brush collection that claims to help you look pixel-perfect even in harsh light.

Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman Travel Essentials Makeup Brush Set

I have the Travel Essentials Set, which comes with an Essential Foundation Brush, Multi-task Brush, Domed Shadow Brush – all made with 100% cruelty-free, hand-cut synthetic taklon bristles- along with a panoramic black brush case that doubles as a stand.

The Essential Foundation Brush is about the same size as my favorite M·A·C 190 Foundation Brush. Just like the M·A·C, the bristles are very dense yet soft to the touch. It worked beautifully with both liquid and cream foundations without soaking up too much product and always left behind a streak-less finish.

Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman Foundation Brush

Real Techniques Essential Foundation Brush

The Multi-task Brush is a medium-sized fluffy brush, again with really soft bristles. Since I prefer a smaller brush for the cheeks, I save this for applying powder/bronzer all over and to sweep off excess product and it did a brilliant job.

Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman Multi-task Brush

Real Techniques Multi-task Brush

The Domed Shadow Brush is a medium-sized brush with a tapered design to smoothly shade and define the eyes. The bristles are similar to that of the foundation brush – dense yet gentle on the skin – and worked great for applying both powder and cream eyeshadows on the eyelid.

Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman Domed Shadow Brush

Real Techniques Domed Shadow Brush

Another cool thing about these brushes is their extended aluminum handles. Not only do they feel light and rest nicely on my hand, they are color-coded to correspond to the key steps of makeup application. Orange is for creating a flawless base, purple is for enhancing the eyes and pink is for adding the perfect finish. You can also find the name of each brush printed on the back of the handle, making them perfect for newbies as well.

Finally, despite the super affordable price tag (everything is under $18!), these brushes are very durable. They did not shed or splay and still looked brand new even after a few washes. Thumbs up overall!

Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman is available at Ulta stores and

Disclosure: This review includes products that were provided by the manufacturer/PR firm for consideration only. It may also contain an affiliate link, which gives us a small commission if you purchase the item. Please see our Disclosure for more information.

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  • Reply Aaryn June 2, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    A friend is mailing me these from the States. Your review makes me even more excited!! 🙂

    • Reply Phyllis June 8, 2011 at 6:07 pm

      Yay you will not be disappointed!

  • Reply Linda June 3, 2011 at 5:11 am

    Thanks so much for reviewing these, Phyllis! I’ve been looking for affordable cruelty-free vegan brushes. Between Real Technique and EcoTools, which do you prefer? While I love the softness of EcoTools, I find they don’t always pick up a lot of pigment.

    • Reply Phyllis June 8, 2011 at 7:43 pm

      I haven’t tried enough brushes from Real Techniques to make a fair comparison between the two but I don’t have a problem with them not picking up enough pigment.

      • Reply Linda June 8, 2011 at 7:48 pm

        I couldn’t wait — they were so inexpensive so I ordered the eye set and a stippling from from! Will let you know if they pick up color and blend well 🙂

        • Reply Phyllis June 9, 2011 at 9:41 pm

          Awesome thanks =)

  • Reply Lisa June 4, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    Thanks for this review, Phyllis!

    Also just wondering whether you could recommend me some good quality, no-brainer neutral eyeshadows for every day wear? I have the Nars Cordura which I love, but was looking for some lighter shades for all over the lid.

    Thanks so much! 🙂

    • Reply Phyllis June 8, 2011 at 7:14 pm

      Sure I will do a post on this.

  • Reply Eileen June 6, 2011 at 12:36 am

    I have the blush brush. It is amaaaazing <3

  • Reply Maria Diaz June 6, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    I absolutely love these two majical artists. Learning new styles and techniques is always evolving and they are real people with real methods that can be used on all of us. Camera lights action my makeup looks good because they always look so good!

    The N.Y. Newbie

  • Reply Reena June 8, 2011 at 5:55 am

    This review makes me want to get my own brush set. lol… Thank you so much for the review.

  • Reply Audrey April 20, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    Thanks for the review! Just got a new MAC foundation and they recommended the 190 brush- I was looking for an affordable alternative and was debating the foundation brush in this set. Since you compared it favorably to the 190 I will go back to ulta soon and pick up this set!

    • Reply Phyllis Li April 21, 2013 at 3:44 pm

      No problem! Hope the brush works out for you 🙂

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