I'm going to break this down into three parts: Brush construction, bristles and application.
The brush itself is solid. I love the fact that most of the brush is the ferrule. It feels light in my hand which makes it easy to move around and the size of the handle is certainly big enough. I find it cute that it stands on it's own. It's not a requirement for me but it's certainly nice that she had the consumer in mind rather than the makeup artist.
The bristles are a soft synthetic known as taklon. The shape is flat and dense and the shortness of the bristles makes it great for really buffing in product. It's not a typical stippling brush and is more along the lines of the MAC 130, but as I've not tried the MAC 130, I can't actually make the comparison.
This is great for liquids, creams and powers. I have used this for foundation, powder and blush and it performs beautifully with all mediums. I also love this for highlighters to prevent from applying too much product. Yet another winner from Real Techniques!
It took me forever to find this brush because it was sold out both in store and on the Ulta website, so when I finally got my hands on it I was very excited! I didn't expect to love this brush as much as I do, but I have been very pleasantly surprised. I use this to apply liquid foundations, and this brush makes it so easy to blend! I hardly have to put any effort into applying and blending liquid foundations using this brush, and it's a lot easier to clean than more densely packed brushes. I have used this with Maybelline SuperStay, Rimmel Clean Finish, Maybelline FitMe, Neutrogena Healthy Skin, and Almay Nearly Naked Makeup, and this brush worked phenomenally well with all of them. I find that it works better with the more liquid-y ones (Maybelline FitMe and Neutrogena Healthy Skin), but I've not had major problems using this brush at all. It applies my foundation lightly with no streaks, and I rarely need to go back with another brush to blend. I also use this to blend my concealer into my foundation, and it works really well for that as well. This brush was also really inexpensive, and for those who live near Ulta, it should be easily accessible. I will definitely be purchasing one or two more of this brush and more from the Real Techniques line because this one is so so good. The bristles are very, very soft and just stiff enough to blend product without being too stiff. The handle is nice as well: I like the weight of the brush, and I appreciate the thicker bottom, so I can stand this brush up on its own instead of sticking it in my overflowing brush holders! I have noticed though that the ferrule gets scratched and dented fairly easily, but I'm not one to be overly concerned about that as long as the brush itself works well and isn't falling apart. I also like the colored ferrules!
I LOVE this brush.. I got it for only $5 with my coupon and it's awesome for foundation application! I'm about to go buy another one..
The white bristles are longer and so i feel like it gently spreads the foundation better... totally buying again!
For the price it's a fantastic brush, plus it's vegan. This beats my MAC 187 short handle brush and that nasty coastal scent brush hands down. I've used it with liquid foundation and it applies really well. It's almost as good as the Sigma flat top kabuki brush. The bristles are good quality, but the Sigma one is more dense, that is the only difference and the only area of my face that I could tell a difference between the two brushes is my nose. The rest of my face looked the same (to be fair my nose is my problem area with redness). With the RT brush I had to stipple not swipe on my nose to get the same effect as the Sigma.
The RT brush is better priced, $9.99 vs $16, and I didn't pay full price since Ulta has buy 1 get 50% off (Sale ends May 8, 2011) and I used the Ulta $3.50 coupon. Before taxes that comes out to be $6.49. For a better deal combine this with another $9.99 brush and use the $3.50 coupon; that knocks it down to $5.74 each before taxes.
I have to admit, this brush has been getting more use then my MAC 188. The bristles are firm and not scratchy. It blends very smoothly, almost making my foundation disappear into my skin. I love the pink and black handle, and it feels solid.
Still loving this brush and its holding up well with daily use.
This is a great brush. I got this so I could try out the "stippling" effect with my foundation. I apply dots of foundation on my face (forehead, cheeks, nose, chin) and then just dab it with the stippling brush until it's blended. It gives a great airbrushed effect, and it doesn't look streaky like you can get if you use a regular foundation brush or a sponge.
I like this brush, I think the pink aluminum ferrule is sleek-looking, I love that it's synthetic hair. The bristles are the duo-fiber look. It can stand up by itself too, since the bottom of the handle is flat, which is neat.
I first heard about the Real Techniques brushes about a week and a half ago. I'm familiar with Pixiwoo and have seen a handful of their YouTube videos. I was curious though skeptical when I read that Sam Chapman had created her own line of makeup brushes, but the prices are so reasonable--especially with Ulta running specials on them right now--that I couldn't resist purchasing a number of them to try out.
For my eczematic, rosacea-prone, highly sensitive skin, these RT brushes have been love at first touch. This stippling brush is now one of my favorites--soooo soft and perfectly sized for a controlled application. And when I say that this brush is soft, you can bet it is, because brushes that are "soft" to others, are frequently too rough for my crazy skin. I can stipple and buff freely with this brush without irritation.
This stippling brush is wonderful for liquids, creams, and powders. It blends like a dream and I find myself reaching for it before all my other brushes. It's the perfect combination of softness and firmness. No shedding, washes well, and looks so cute with its pink and black handle.
I'm seriously thinking of getting a second one because I love this brush so much...that's *if* I can get my hands on one, since all three Ultas near me have been picked clean of their supplies.
UPDATE: I've now been using this brush for a number of weeks, and my initial infatuation has blossomed into true love! I just bought a second one because I use this brush every day and can not live without a backup. It's unlike any other stippling brush I've tried--not too big and not too small, stiff yet soft, so multi-purpose and effective. I can use a single brush for foundation, blush, powder, highlighter, bronzer. Out of all the Real Techniques brushes--and I've tried them all--this is my absolute favorite.
I'm a little torn on this brush, but only in terms of using it for what it is intended! First, I will say that I LOVE that this brush is a short bristled stippling brush. What has been forever turning me off to stippling brushes is that the bristles are too long!!! I feel like I have such little control of a brush when they are that long, and when it comes to applying your foundation with that brush, you want to be sure that you have control and that you're able to blend product in effectively. I've used this with my LORAC Natural Performance liquid foundation, and feel like I need to use more foundation to cover my face when working with this brush, than I do when I'm just using my fingers to apply. So, I don't know that I will continue to use this as my foundation brush. However, I feel that this would work brilliantly as a bronzer or bush brush (especially cream products). This brush is one of a kind, I think...in terms of the short stature of the bristles. It does buff nicely, and maybe that is why I feel like I am using more product, because it is being buffed into my skin so efficiently!
EDIT: while this does buff nicely, I feel like this really doesn't work well for foundation. This may work better at buffing in powder products.