Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman/pixiwoo Travel Essentials Makeup Brush Set Review and Photos

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
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 MAC #190 Foundation Brush. Just like the MAC, the bristles are very dense yet soft to the touch. It works beautifully with both liquid and cream foundations without soaking up too much product and always leaves behind a streakless finish.

Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman Foundation Brush
Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman Foundation Brush

Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman Foundation Brush and MAC #190 Foundation Brush comparison
Real Techniques Essential Foundation Brush vs MAC #190 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 does a brilliant job.

Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman Multi-task Brush
Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman 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 work great for applying both powder and cream eyeshadows on the eyelid.

Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman Domed Shadow Brush
Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman 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 do not shed or splay and still look brand new even after a few washes. Thumbs up overall!

Overall Rating:

Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman is available at Ulta stores and Ulta.com.

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.

Phyllis Li is the Founder and Editor-in-chief of Makeup For Life, one of the top 50 beauty blogs that focuses on celebrity makeup breakdowns, product reviews, makeup tutorials and all things beauty. Having lived and traveled in North America, Europe and Asia, she was exposed to different techniques and products at an early age and hopes to put a global perspective towards beauty. Phyllis won the Best Content Award by Total Beauty in 2008 and has been featured in various publications and websites including ELLE, Glamour.com, Yahoo Shine!, AOL Stylelist, Nylon Korea, VOGUE China, Ming Pao Daily (Canada) and Shanghai Weekly. In 2010, she was appointed one of the nine Real Women Ambassadors in the United States to take part in the Latisse® Wishes Challenge, working with Hollywood celebrity Kathy Ireland and raised over $400,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation to grant wishes for approximately 54 children. In 2012, she teamed up with luxury skincare brand TATCHA and released a limited-edition 3-Piece Set of her favorite beauty products. Phyllis currently lives in Chicago, US. She is the beauty editor for Shanghai Daily's StyleHai Magazine and a member of the Glam Beauty Network.

13 COMMENTS

  1. 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.

    • 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.

  2. 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! :)

  3. 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

  4. 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!

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