One of the brush brands of the moment is of course Real Techniques, the beauty tool brand founded and championed by professional make up artists and You Tubers Sam and Nic aka Pixiwoos. As much as I love watching their tutorials up until recently I only owned a couple of their brushes, a stippling brush and an eyeliner brush. I'd heard a lot of great things about their brush sets but if I'm being honest I couldn't really justify buying a full brush set. I didn't desperately need any more brushes, and even though I view Real Techniques as being a made range brand I couldn't really justify the cost.
You know how it goes though, you stay strong for so long and then you just say sod it and buy it anyways. Well that's exactly what happened when I saw this set, the Real Techniques By Sam & Nic Your Picks Berlin Brush Set.
Comprising of 5 brushes for the face and eyes, this limited edition set is Real Techniques first ever fan voted kit. Way back in April, Real Techniques gave their fans the opportunity to vote via their Instagram and social media pages for which brush design they liked the best. All of the brushes were themed around cities, and the designs reflected local landmarks, art and culture. I'm going to be honest and say that I preferred the brighter Sydney or Shanghai designs, but this set Berlin was the clear winner.
The inspiration for this design came from the multi cultural Berlin street art scene, with the brushes reflecting abstract paintings, street murals and graffiti. All of the brushes are cruelty free and are made from 100% synthetic duo fibres so they can be used with liquids, creams and powders. The main metal section of the brush handle features an abstract black and white, which depending on how you look at it could be a cow print, or even brush strokes. The name of each brush is also printed on the side in hot pink / purple colour. In direct contrast to the black and white design, and the monochrome brush hairs, the end of the brush handle is also in a bright pink / purple plastic which has a slightly rubberised feel for easy grip.
As I say this kit contains 5 full sized brushes, for both the face, and the eyes. It's a real essentials kit, and it's perfecting for trying out Real Techniques for the first time, or for expanding you make up brush collection
If you're a loose or pressed powder fan or if like so many of us, you love the look and ease of mineral foundation, then this is the brush for you. It's super soft and fluffy, but it isn't too big so you can apply the powder exactly where you need it.
I've been mainly using this brush with both loose and pressed powder and I've found it a really easy brush to use. It picks up powder with ease, and it feels gentle on the skin but at the same time it's firm enough to do the job.
When I first used this brush I notice a little bit of shedding and as you probably see in the photos above some of the hairs were slight splayed. I do think that this was probably down to the packaging though rather than down to any manufacturing issue. The brushes are quite tightly packed it a piece of foam so I think that may be why some of the hairs were slightly displaced.
One of the key beauty trend of 2016 was contouring, or using powders and creams to re shape your face. As well as needing the right bronzers, concealers and highlighters you also need the right brushes to apply you make up.
This smaller slightly domed brush is perfect for applying a bit of highlighter to your cheekbones or even for popping a bit of colour into the hollows of your cheeks. I've mainly been using this brush with a powder highlighter, and again I was really impressed with the softness of the brush, and with how easy it was to use.
I already have quite a few similar brushes in my collection, and whilst I do sometimes mix it up and apply my foundation with a different type of brush or sponge, I always end up coming back to the classic stippling brush.
This duo fibre brush not only features two different types of hairs, but the hairs themselves are actually different lengths for a more natural, feathery finish. The brush hairs again are super soft but at the same time the brush is substantial enough to hold it's shape even when it covered in liquid. I've been using this brush mainly with a liquid foundation, but I've also tried it with a cream foundation and I was equally impressed.
I did notice a little bit of shedding the first time I used it but it was a very easy brush to work with and unlike some brushes that I've used in the past it blended out the product very easily and I didn't really get any streaks, or uneven patches.
Deluxe Crease Brush
The last two brushes in the kit are both eye brushes and this one is the Deluxe Crease Brush which is specifically designed to contour and shape the eyelid.
This is quite an over sized fluffy crease brush, personally because I don't have a lot of lid space, I prefer a smaller more precise crease brush but I still think that I'll get a lot of use out of this brush. With a very steady hand I can use this brush to apply colour to my crease but I think I'm mainly going to be using this brush to blend and soften my eyeshadow, and maybe to apply a highlight colour to my brow bone, where I have a bit more space.
Like all of the other brushes in this kit this one was super soft, but it was substantial enough to the job. Again some of the hairs did look a bit splayed and I did actually notice a few loose hairs in this brush that came out when I first used it.
Base Shadow Brush
The final brush in the kit is the Base Shadow Brush. This brush is still pretty soft and fluffy but it's a lot smaller and as a result I think it's something that I will definitely be using on pretty much a daily basis.
As the name would suggest this brush is perfect for applying your base shadow colour all over your lid, personally though I would also use this brush for crease work and even for applying an eyeshadow primer. This is a super versatile brush and I think that it's one that most people would get a lot of use out of.
In fact I think that most people would get a lot of use out of this entire kit. This set contains 5 of the most useful essential brushes that everybody needs in their collection. These brushes look great and bar a couple of minor blips, the quality is excellent. All of the brushes were really easy to wash with minimal shedding and they were quick drying.
I think that this kit would be perfect for someone who is new to make up or for anyone who wants to expand their make up brush collection in one easy step.
The Real Techniques Your Picks Berlin, is a limited edition set with a recommended retail price of around £25 and is available from all of the usual Real Techniques stockists including Boots, Superdrug and the Real Techniques website. This was a limited edition holiday kit though so you better get your skates on if you want to grab it before it disappears.
If you're having trouble finding it though, don't despair, in celebrating of the new year and LouLouLand reaching, 1,000,000 all time blog views, I've managed to track down an extra set, which I'm going to be giving away to one of my lucky readers.
All you need to do is make sure you're following my blog and fill in the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open internationally and will end on Saturday 4th February x
If you've any questions on this post then please leave me a comment x Thanks for reading and good luck x