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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Review: Real Techniques On Location Travel Essentials Brush Kit

If you read other beauty blogs aside from this one, then there's a very good chance that you've visited the fabulous blog Pixiwoo. So I probably don't have to tell you that Samantha Chapman, one of the beauties behind Pixiwoo, has her own line of makeup brushes which are available at Ulta. The name of the brand is Real Techniques, and recently I was sent the above kit for review. It's been a while since I've tried any brushes outside of my old standbys (EcoTools and e.l.f.) so I was excited to give these a whirl!

 Real Techniques On Location Travel Essentials
(retail: $15.99)

Looking on the Ulta website, this kit has an average rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars and 20 reviews.

As you can see, the brushes in this kit are made with taklon bristles (aka synthetic fibers). I love love love taklon brushes so I was really excited to see that. 

As per the photo above, you get three brushes and a "panoramic case" which doubles as a stand (more on that in a bit).

Here's what the kit looks like when open:

As you can see, the elastic band runs along the left side of the case as well, so there's room for additional brushes:


And here's what it looks like closed:

The case has a velcro closure (see above), and there's a little tag that tells you how you can convert the case into a stand.

Here's what the case looks like when folded into a stand (frontal view and aerial view):

On to the brushes!

Makeup brushes are so subjective, so I could never tell you whether or not I think you need any of these particular brushes. But what I can tell you is how they performed for me personally, so here's a quick summary:

Multi-Task Brush

The box states that the Multi-Task Brush can be used for powder, blush or bronzer. For me, it's too big for blush (the head of this brush is more than double the size of my e.l.f. blush brush) but I do love it for powder. The bristles are quite dense, and it's a very soft brush against my skin (comparable in softness to my EcoTools powder brush). I find that it picks up my loose powder easily and distributes is evenly as well. 

 Essential Foundation Brush

I have not used this brush for liquid foundation (as you know, I'm usually a powder foundation gal) but I HAVE used it to apply concealer and wow, I love it for that. I find that the head of this brush fits perfectly in the inside corner of my eye and under-eye area. It's just so easy to use, and I love how it blends my concealer. It's super soft as well.

Dome Shadow Brush

I love this brush for blending my shadow. I think it's a bit too fluffy for shadow application, but for blending? It's fantastic. So soft and effortless to use. 

I have washed all three of these brushes a total of three times now, and I have to tell you that I have not lost ONE bristle (well, at least not that I can see!). All three brushes wash easily and dry fairly quickly as well (obviously the powder brush is going to take a bit longer to dry than the other two, but if you wash your brushes at night, all three should be nice and dry by morning, no problem.)

FINAL VERDICT: For $15.99 at Ulta, I think this is a nice basic kit that contains brushes you could easily use every single day. My only gripe is that, for a travel kit, I'd like to see an actual blush brush included because a smaller blush brush is essential for me when I'm traveling. But other than that, I think these brushes are of fantastic quality and worth the price-tag.

Do you own any Real Techniques brushes? If so, how do you like them?

A sample of this product was given to Nouveau Cheap for editorial purposes, either directly from the manufacturer or from the agency that works on behalf of the manufacturer. All reviews on are the honest opinion of its author and editorial samples do not, in any way, affect the outcome of product reviews.


  1. It is a great affordable line.
    I wish all the brushes would be sold separately. Overall, a great job by Pixiwoo team!

  2. I have the powder brush sold alone and it awesome! I've been unable to see the whole stock of brushes available because my Ulta is always sold out of (at least) 50% of the display. For a good reason too. These brushes are so well made, have a purpose that they're actually good for, and are cruelty-free to boot. I will never purchase another animal hair cosmetic brush in my life. If I can't see that a brush is made with synthetic bristles on the package, then I just won't buy it. Taklon is so soft and sturdy and these brushes are proof that animal hair bristles are completely unnecessary.

    BTW, I definitely recommend the powder brush to everyone. It's *huge* but so great for sweeping a nice light layer of mineral foundation or, my personal favorite, finishing powder in a second. I've even started using it to sweep sparkly powder on my chest since it's so big and fluffy.

  3. I have all the brushes made by Real Techniques, and they are by far my favorite brushes. The best is the stippling brush that I use for my liquid foundation. Awesome!

  4. I was just at Nordstrom and they tried to sell me a 4 piece brush set from Smashbox which was nice....but I didn't really need it! I've bought brushes from Sephora, and that is my favorite line! This set looks nice, but I'll hold off for sthg better!

  5. I totally agree with Zombii regarding synthetic brushes. I will never buy another animal hair brush, synthetics are sooo much better and cruelty free. I have two of the real techniques brushes and LOVE them. They are way better quality than I expected and I want to buy more. Everyone, definitely check out their buffer brush--it's my fav to apply foundation.

  6. these are cute with those colorful handles! we don't have this down here but thanks for the review! :)

  7. Did you know that the same people that make the Ecotools brushes also make the Real Technique brushes!!

    I have the stippling and blush brush and I love them!

  8. I have the Core Collection and the Starter Set, and I absolutely love them both. And G, I can totally second what you said in regards to washing the brushes. I have washed them several times, and have not seen any leaking dyes, stray hairs, or bristles falling out...not-a-one. These are fantastic, affordable, and my favorite brushes actually. I actually use the dome shadow brush to blend out my undereye concealer, and it works perfectly. I plan on picking up the remaining few brushes that I don't have yet.

  9. I have the blush brush and I am in loveeeeee! I wanted to get more but they were sold out at Ulta everytime I went. I am def going to get the brush sets next time and more of the blush brush for sure. I am very satisfied with the quality and price of these brushes. Way to go SAM!

  10. Thank you for reviewing this brush set. I was tempted to purchase the set and some individual brushes but at the time, there was a dearth of reviews. Now I need to wait until Ulta has that 5 dollars off coupon so I can score a couple of brushes and brush set.


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