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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Review: Real Techniques Silicone Liner Brush

In honor of the Real Techniques sale at Ulta today (click here for details), I wanted to get my review of the new-for-2014 Silicone Liner Brush posted, in case you want to take advantage of that deal. I purchased this brush from Ulta a few weeks ago and I've been using it with various products ever since. Here are my thoughts!

Real Techniques Silicone Liner Brush
(retail: $5.99 at Ulta)

This brush is one solid unit--there are no bristles. Here's what it looks like when held up to light:

In these first photos, I used a traditional gel eyeliner (L'Oreal Infallible Gel Lacquer in Dark Slate):

I was able to create a thick line with this brush, and I was also able to create a "wing" on the outside corner of my eye.

For this next set of photos, I wanted to show you how this brush works with a Maybelline Color Tattoo, which has a thinner consistency than a traditional gel/cream liner. I used the Maybelline Limited Edition Color Tattoo in Stroke of Midnight:

I wanted to try and create the finest line possible with the Color Tattoo, and if you look toward the inside corner of my eye (above), you can see that the line is extremely fine.

What I love about this brush: 

Due to the extremely fine point on this brush, it enables you to get very deep down in between your lashes, in a way that some traditional liner brushes do not. I also love that you are able to create a very, very fine line with this brush, if you're going for a more subtle look. Another thing I love is that this brush is very easy to clean. I am able to use a makeup towelette and, after a few swipes, it's perfectly clean. Granted, if you're using a waterproof gel liner, you'll need to work the towelette on the brush a bit before it's perfectly clean, but I find that if you use your fingernail (covered by the towelette of course) to sort of "scrape" the gel liner off the tip of the brush, the product comes off easily. I haven't experienced any staining, and I've used this brush several times with black and very dark liners. 

What I don't love about this brush:

As many have said about this brush, you do need to go back and pick up more product a few times before you can create a full line on your upper lashline. On average, I have to make three "trips to the pot" before my upper line is complete. Due to its design, this brush simply cannot hold as much product as a traditional brush with bristles. So if you're the type of person who likes to load your brush up once and be done with it, this brush is probably not for you. Another thing I don't care for is that this brush is not very firm (it's soft and pliable), so it has a tendency to get a little "floppy." If you're trying to apply your liner quickly, the brush can flop a bit and cause some dragging, so you really need to take your time and go slowly. Also, when I go back and try to retrace my lines to build a thicker line, this brush sometimes takes a little of my existing liner with it, creating some bald spots. This doesn't happen with gel liners that have a more moist formula--it only happens with liners that are a bit on the drier side.

One more thing: I tried using this brush damp, with powder eyeshadows, because I know a lot of us like to use damp powder shadows as eyeliner. I had mixed results with that method, because the brush obviously can't hold a lot of water. It can hold a drop or two of water and if you work quickly, you can take those drops and pick up some powder eyeshadow, but I find that I need to keep getting more water (or mixing medium) and the line I'm able to achieve is a bit inconsistent and patchy. Therefore, I wouldn't recommend this one for powder eyeshadows.

FINAL VERDICT:  I don't think this brush is a gimmick by any means. It serves a very specific purpose, and it's quite wonderful at that purpose. If you're looking for a liner brush that can give you an extremely fine line, and you're willing to go slowly and carefully to achieve that line, this could be a great option for you. Is this brush for everyone? No. If you're the type who likes to load up on color once, line your eye and be done with it, this one's not for you. This brush requires some time and patience and a slow hand, but the results can be wonderful if you're looking for a very fine, precise line. I very much appreciate how easy this brush is to clean, which makes it great for spot cleaning in-between uses (something I think we can all appreciate when it come to liner brushes). I think that this brush is best for those who are already experienced with gel/cream liners. If you already have your technique down, I think you'll really be able to appreciate what this brush has to offer, but that's just my opinion, of course!

Do you own the Real Techniques Silicone Liner Brush? If so, I would absolutely love to hear how it's working for you!

The products featured in this post were purchased with personal funds. For more information, click here.


  1. I'm still trying to figure out how I feel about this brush. I am just not good with gel liner and a lot of it has to do with the brush. I havent found my holy grail eyeliner brush yet, but I'm not so sure this one is it. Again - still in the testing process. Great review! You and I seem to agree quite a bit :)

    1. Marlena from Makeup Geek uses a regular eyeliner pencil as a gel liner 'brush.' I tried it on my waterline, and I love it! I just use a 99c Wet 'n Wild one so I can sharpen it whenever I feel the need, and not feel bad about wasting a more expensive pencil. I never had any luck with a real eyeliner brush, but I love this method, so it might be worth a shot.

    2. Bare Escentuals "soft focus" liner brush is a little pricey, but the BEST liner brush!!!!!

  2. Thanks for the detailed review - this sounds worth it to me, as I do a verrrry thin line on my upper lashline most days for work.

  3. I was on the fence about this one.. but ended up buying the Core collection instead..thanks again for the heads up on the sale.. i was actually going through different brush websites trying to figure out the best deal.. I don't have any real technique brushes and have always wanted to try them so this was just perfect timing for me and my wallet. :-)

  4. the real technique fine liner brush do the same job n hold more product.

  5. Hmmm ... I am not sure how I feel about the tip design.

  6. This sounds like it will be prefect for me. I love a very thin line because I don't have much eyelid space. I think it will be worth the time re-dipping. I need to purchase this asap. Thanks for the review.

  7. until I read your review I really wanted this brush but since I am not one to want to take my time with liner, I load and go, I think I am going to pass! Thanks for being so thorough and honest G.!!

  8. Great review on it. I bought this after you first posted about it and find that I have to go over the line several times. I use it occasionally but now I know to save it for some of my "wetter" gel liners.

  9. Thank you for the honest, detailed review! The pictures are great, too. I think I'll be passing on this, since I tend to rush with my makeup in the morning. I've been loving the e.l.f. Bent Liner Brush lately!


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