The Only Technique is ‘The Real Techniques’

Craig Lomas
Latest posts by Craig Lomas (see all)

For quite some time I have been a follower of all things Samantha Chapman. Through her fantastic YouTube make-up tutorials, with her equally talented sister Nicola, I have been enthralled by her work. With almost 1.5 million followers on YouTube alone, it’s quite easy to see that she is at the top of her game. From starting Pixiwoo with her sister Nicola, Sam has further branched out into her own range of make-up brushes respectively known as ‘Real Techniques’

The brushes themselves are all made from taklon bristles which mean they are multi-durable when applying both cream and powder products, and give that flawless finish. The bristles are so fantastic in fact, that unlike most natural hair brushes they won’t clog up with product, making these quite easily any professional or make-up lover’s dream. With natural bristles they tend to shed a lot quicker, whereas with these brushes, the likelihood of that is significantly reduced.

Recently I was lucky enough to be provided with a full ‘your eyes enhanced’ starter kit, a beautiful stippling foundation brush and a lighter than air setting brush. All of these were provided by Kilpatrick PR who represent Sam Chapman. The packaging is not only classic and simple, but also informative. On the back is an explanation for each brush and their uses and the effects that can be achieved. The starter kits are comprised of 3 gorgeous sets. The one I have is the eye starter set, but there is also the core collection kit and the essentials kit.

The beauty of the ‘Real Techniques’ brand is that they also offer online tutorials, which on review by myself are not only informative, but inspiring. Sam makes the make-up look effortless and with these tools, there’s no reason why you too can’t become a pro in your own right. With this in mind I would like to go over the brushes and the uses I feel they could be adapted for.

Your Eyes/Enhanced Starter Kit

real techniques

This set is a comprehensive collection of brushes to get the best out of your eye make-up with a pixel perfect end product. Again the packaging is simple and easy to understand with a breakdown of each brush on the back. The case included also doubles up as a rather handy stand, for the pro on the go, or simply to protect your brushes in-between usage. With its clever foldable, toggle fastening it really is an ingenious way for displaying and protecting your coveted brushes. The kit includes the below brushes:

Base Shadow Brush – This brush is unlike any base brush I have come across before. It is so lightweight and fluffy. Most base brushes have a paddle type quality that more often than not, doesn’t pick up much product and can lead to the dreaded fall out. This brush, with its generous size, allows the user to pick up just the right amount of product to pack it on in stages. With its slightly rounded top it really allows you to pack the shadow right into the crease of the eye. The key when applying a good base is not to apply too much product at once. With eye make-up you can build up the look but it’s much harder to take it away, without completely re-doing the make-up. This brush also lends itself to other uses such as contouring down the sides of the nose and the eye crease for a more precise line of colour. Always remember that the key is blending the product in.

Deluxe Crease Brush – This brush did seem somewhat on the large size for its suggested use, but actually using the brush shows it off to its full capacity. Densely packed with the mentioned taklon bristles and dome shaped tip, it is hands down the ideal tool to lay down some serious eye contouring. It exquisitely blends products when going for looks such as a classic Smokey eye or even simply contouring the crease to make the lid ‘pop’ on a more natural look. I also discovered that it is the perfect tool when applying concealer to the under eye area. It is often difficult for me when dealing with fall out, to get a brush that will work so closely to the lower lash line and still blend the product in well. With the anti-clog bristles, this brush is simply a pleasure to use. My tip is to let the brush do the work on the eye crease. You simply want to work in a wiper blade motion to really blend the shadows together. Too much pressure can lead to harsh lines on an already delicate area to work.

Accent Brush – Suggested for precision detailing this is also a very multi-functional brush, which has countless uses. As with the other brushes it is densely packed and very soft to touch. When working around the eye it is imperative that harsh bristles are eliminated and with these brushes that’s a thing of the past. The most use I have found from this brush is concealing pimples or other small areas of pigmentation. The brush, with its flat wide rounded tip, is also useful when filling in brows to achieve a much softer, less ‘scouse-brow’ look. The trick is to get the most out of your brushes and the more uses they have, the greater the chances are they will become your essentials. Highlighting the inner corner of the eyes is made effortless with this brush and indeed the precision element to it.

Pixel-Point Eyeliner Brush – This brush for me was a case of try before you comment. With the suggested use being for the eyeliners, at first thought I surmised that it looked too thick and not fine enough. However, if you use a liner such as black track by MAC, it actually glides on beautifully and the shape lends itself to getting a very precise flick. Once more this can also be used for other duties such as lining the lips with lipstick or adding a touch of concealer to the outer corners of the nose, a place I sometimes find it hard to cover without getting flakiness.

Brow Brush – This is by far my favourite brush when it comes to the eye area. This can be used for getting a sharp and precise brow but also great for lining the upper lash line. I also find the slanted point tip helpful when plotting where I want to put my eye liner flick. Not the steadiest of hands I need all the help I can get.

The other brushes I received were the below and were an absolute dream to use:

Stippling Brush – The key to any good make up look is to get the base as perfect as possible. The dual-fibre nature of this brush make it the best brush to buff in any liquid foundation. The flat end gives a great area of coverage. The key when using this is to pick up a small amount of product at a time. The darker bristles are what work the foundation into the skin, so you don’t want to load the brush up too much. Always begin from the centre of the face and work outwards to get a pixel perfect base. The brush is ergonomically designed to fit into the hand to get maximum use, which I found most helpful. Not only great for foundation, this can be used to buff in cream blushes and pigments into small areas of the face. It’s worth noting that this isn’t ideal for someone with dry skin as the constant circular motion can cause the skin to naturally exfoliate and flake. In this instance thus would be ideally used for gently blending in your cream blush.

Setting Brush – This micro setting brush is key when dusting over any cream product with a finishing powder. The soft bristles and tapered tip lends itself very well to the eye area. As you should be aware, every time you use a cream product on the eye, you must set it to stop creasing and product slippage. I also tried this brush out to get a concise and soft crease and it worked a treat.

As with all the above brushes, the key is mindful brush maintenance. If you are looking into using your brushes on clients, you should cleanse them after every client. The best way is to swirl the brushes into an alcohol free brush cleanser, making sure you don’t immerse the base of the bristles as this could likely corrode the glue that holds the bristles and cause shedding. If the brushes are intended for personal use then I would recommend sanitising them at least twice a week, or as and when you swap the product you’re using them for. The brushes were an absolute pleasure to work with and I have undoubtedly sparked my ever growing passion for the brand. For further tips, tricks and information please follow the links below:

YouTube: realtechniques & Pixiwoo

Twitter: @realtechniques & @Pixiwoos


About Craig Lomas

Well where do I start? At the very beginning, like Julie Andrews taught me.I graduated with a degree in Fashion Design in 2009 and have since set up my own bespoke clothing label.Currently working full time as a costume designer.My main passion is buying things I don't need... I WANT!