The Best of Real Techniques

It’s not too often that I talk about the tools of the trade, but today, I have a few drugstore recommendations for your brush collection. I have found many inexpensive brush brands are just as good, if not better, than the popular MAC or Sephora type of brushes and these are no exception.

Real Techniques is one of my go-to brush brands because I trust in the quality. The brushes are cruelty-free, durable, soft, secure and reliable. Some of these brushes are here since I started my make up collection over 4 years ago and are still going strong. I have tried quite a number of their most popular brushes but found that these four brushes are the ones I consistently use and return to.


Contour Brush

When I do want some extra colour and reach for the bronzer, I find this brush is the perfect size. It diffuses my bronzer without making it look muddy or getting too dark. It fits perfectly along my hair line, on my temples, under my cheekbones and around my jawline. If you are paler or afraid to go overboard with your bronzer, I highly recommend giving this a try.

Detailer brush

This pointed, tiny brush is my go-to for detailed work. It is small enough to fit wherever I need it to go like my inner corners but large enough that it deposits all of the pigment you need. It is fantastic for smudging, or placing colour wherever  you need it.

These two brushes came in the Real Techniques Core Collection set.

Base Shadow Brush

The Base Shadow brush is my go to for blending out cream eyeshadow. In fact, this is the only brush I will use. It is both dense but fluffy making it fantastic at diffusing the colour without removing it. This is now available in this convenient eye shadow brush duo**.

Setting Brush

I am not sure how I used to apply highlighter without this. Most people use this to set their undereye concealer but I find that it doesn’t pack it on the way I prefer. For me, this is perfect for blending out highlighter. I like a strong highlight personally, but this small brush allows for a lot of colour to be placed on the skin, but keeps the glitter under control. This is sold separately but is worth every penny.


One final thing to mention: if you already had any of the brushes now available in the duo packages, the brushes are similar but with slightly redesigned packaging. They work just as well and feel just as lovely as they always have. I am excited to have a backup Base Shadow Brush and Deluxe Crease brush to use when mine are dirty. I recommend trying them out if you haven’t already!

Til next time, ttfn x

Battle of the Brands: Blending Brushes

Let me share with you my love affair with make up brushes. I don’t judge when it comes to price or brand or colour (though it kills me when a white bristle brush won’t clean back to its white and bright self again). To me, it is entirely about how it applies my make up which usually starts and ends with the question “How well does this brush blend?”

Eye shadow blending brushes are my number one. They always seem to work miracles. I just so happen to have 3 different ones here that I feel have gotten quite a bit of hype. Introducing the MAC 217 (special edition travel size from a few Christmas’ ago, but my full sized was dirty), Sigma E40 and my long time favourite, the Mirabella Eye Blending brush.

Up until my YouTube obsession, I had no idea that MAC made brushes. Forgive me, I was young. They were once THE brush you would buy. I am sure that’s where the popularity of the MAC 217 came in. As you can see, it is tapered to create an oval top, pretty compact but fluffy at the end, and unlike the other two I have here, it has two different sides to it. Having a thinner/thicker side as well as the softness of the bristles and fluffiness of the brush make it pretty easy to blend out even the harshest of shades. That being said, it is also my least favourite of the bunch. It takes longer to blend out colour and I don’t feel like it gives me as much of an even effect. This brush full size is $29.50.

The newest brush to my collection is the Sigma E40 tapered blending brush**. I have heard about this brush almost just as much as the MAC 217 but I hadn’t given it a try until it was sent to me a few weeks ago by I was thrilled when they asked me to try out a Sigma brush and had my eyes set on this beauty. It has very long, very soft black bristles perfect for blending. I feel like this blends things out very quickly and evenly and with how close the bristles are together, it gives pretty good precision. It is perfect for really getting into the crease. I do feel like it is a bit tight still and since I have only used it a handful of times, I am not sure if it will loosen yet. If it does, it will literally be perfect but as it stands, I would prefer it to be a little bit fluffier than it is. This brush is the least expensive and definitely worth the price at $20.

Finally, the Mirabella Eye Blender Brush. I happened to get this gem from ipsy, a bag that I have since cancelled. Ipsy has introduced me to some seriously fantastic products and brands but it also was starting to cost close to $20 for samples. But back to the brush, it is very fluffy and tapered which is perfect for getting an even blend and because it is also pretty large, it blends everything out effortlessly. You can tell it is a quality brush just by looking at it. I don’t know if this contributes to anything, but the handle is solid and long which might effect how I use the brush. It’s definitely cool looking and feeling. The one potential con is that the bristles on this brush are not nearly as soft as the other two. It doesn’t bother me but perhaps it would bother others. It is also the fluffiest brush of the three which I actually prefer. The price for this brush is $27.

I do use all of them, and I use each of them a little differently. The Mirabella is usually what I reach for when I am blending everything out at the end of my application for a flawless finish, however, it is the Sigma brush that I would use in the crease to lay the initial shadow, blend everything together and create different effects from a cut crease to a smokey eye. The Mac brush I prefer to use on the lid to blend or add a soft amount of colour. None of these have shed on me so far and I have given all of them a deep-clean. Check out the other Sigma brushes they offer at! I will be now that there is such a selection that is so easily accessible (plus, has free shipping). What is your favourite blending brush?

Til next time, ttfn x