Friday, February 8, 2013

Real Techniques Your Eyes/Enhanced Starter Set Review and Photos

If you're a regular reader of Beauty Squared you know I'm a big fan of make-up artist sisters Sam and Nicola Chapman of Pixiwoo. Sam has her own line of brushes called Real Techniques and as far as I know, they're only available online if you live in Canada.

So when I stopped by this new store (Designer Cosmetics Warehouse) in the underground shopping area along Bloor Street between Church Street and Bay Street in Toronto, to find a nail polish I wanted, I was so excited and so surprised to see the Real Techniques Starter Sets on display! Designer Cosmetics Warehouse is a great spot to get OPI, China Glaze, Essie and Colour Club nailpolishes (among others), they've got tonnes and tonnes and tonnes. They've also got what looks like it might be the full NYX line, and Scottish Fine Soaps among a lot of other stuff. It's worth checking out.

The Real Techniques sets were $29.95 CDN each at Designer Cosmetics Warehouse. They had the Travel Essentials set, the Core Essentials set and the Starter Set only, not the individual brushes. If I like the Starter Set brushes, I'll be back to get the Core Essentials set.
Packaging - front.
Packaging - back.
There are five brushes in the Starter Set - a base shadow brush, a deluxe crease brush, an accent brush, a pixel-point eyeliner brush and a brow bush. They come in a fabric-covered, black, velcro-closed case.

Closed case - front.

Closed case - side view.

The case can be collapsed into a stand for the brushes, if you want to keep them on display or while you're using them. Pretty perfect for travelling, in fact.

Instructions for creating the stand.
Opened case - inside.
The stand is created by opening the case and pulling the cord so the top half bends back. Tighten the toggle and voila, there's your brush stand! 

Opened case - outside.

Stand from the front.

Stand from the back.

Stand from the top.

Let's take a look at the brushes. The Real Techniques brushes are made of Taklon, a synthetic fiber used in high quality art and make-up brushes, so they're cruelty-free. The handles are aluminum, so they're light and they're colour coded so you know that all the purple ones are the enhanced eyes brushes, all the gold ones are meant for achieving a flawless face and the pink one are for a perfect finish.

Brow brush
Brow brush
The brow brush is meant for use on the brow, but it could also be used for apply eyeshadow. I like to use an angled brush for applying eyeshadow along the lashline. It seemed like it'd be a little too bushy for application to my brows but it did a good job, not picking up too much product and it was very easy to manipulate in application. 
Pixel-point eyeliner brush

Pixel-point eyeliner brush
The pixel-point eyeliner brush has a tapered cut and is meant for eyeliner application. It can be used for lining the eye with a gel/liquid liner or with powder.  I'm a little skeptical about how well you can use these with a liquid eyeliner. It seems pretty bushy for such a finely detailed technique. It does work pretty well with powder though. It smudges so beautifully.

Accent brush

Accent brush
The accent brush is a good all-around brush and can be used for precise application such as highlighting, spotlighting and smudging. I've only tried this to apply a highlight shade to the inside of my eye and it does a gorgeous job. The way it picks up and deposits product is fantastic.

Deluxe crease brush

Deluxe crease brush
The deluxe crease brush is meant for use in the crease. It's softly tapered so the deepest part of the crease receives the most intense application while the outsides of the brush blend it out. This and the base shadow brush can be used interchangably, 
Base shadow brush

Base shadow brush

The base shadow brush is the largest of the five and works well for blending and applying an all-over colour. I really like the base shadow brush and the deluxe crease brush. They apply product so beautifully. 

These brushes are great. They're super-soft and pick up product beautifully. I'm so happy! And the Core Essentials set will soon be mine. 

The cost ($29.95 CDN for five brushes) is great for the quality of these. It works out to $6 a brush. The case is great too, it'd be perfect for travelling or carrying in your purse.
You can watch Sam use the Enhanced Eyes brushes in a tutorial at the bottom of the page here. And definitely check out the Pixiwoo videos on YouTube.

Grade: A

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