Tools of the Trade: Real Techniques


When it comes to beauty tools of the trade, I’ve always been loyal to Real Techniques makeup brushes. They’re easy to use, affordable and most of all, effective. I have only a few high-end makeup brushes and if I’m totally honest, they’re collecting dust under my bathroom sink as I type this.

I recently had the opportunity to interview the founders of Real Techniques. Being the busy working girl I am, the questions I had for sisters Sam and Nicola Chapman were mostly centered around quick tips for getting ready without all the fuss.

What do you recommend as the essential brushes for girls on the go?

Sam & Nic: “With all of us batting busy schedules and full social calendars, a quick beauty routine is so important. So especially for girls on the go, we love makeup brush sets that offer a mix of tools to cover all the basics: base, eyes and finish. The travel essentials set from the Real Techniques line does the trick. Plus you can store the brushes in the panoramic case, and toss the whole kit in your purse or work bag and keep it with you on the go.”

What brushes do you recommend that work double duty or can be used for multiple applications/products? 

“We love the versatility of our new brow set. While the tools are designed to shape, define and fill the brows, they can be used throughout your makeup routine. For example, the Slanted Arched Definer helps to map out the correct shape of your brows, but is also perfect for smudging eyeliner. As for the Slanted Brow Brush, is can work double duty to fill the brows, but also achieve the perfect eyeliner flick for a flirty cat eye.”

What’s the #1 mistake women are making when it comes to cleaning their brushes?

“The most common mistake when it comes to cleaning and maintaining your brushes is basic routine – many of us don’t clean our brushes as often as we need to. We really recommend a weekly clean for any brushes you use regularly and at least monthly for your full collection of brushes. Also, once you have cleaned your brushes, it is so important to let them dry completely – either upside down or lying on their side (just not upright!). That will keep the brushes fresh and like new!”

What are some good brushes to keep in the office/cubicle for touch-ups?

“When it comes to a back-up stash of makeup essentials, we love using mini-versions as they are compact but can still do it all. We have a Real Techniques mini brush trio, which offers all the essentials, just miniature. The foundation brush is perfect for concealer touch ups, the face brush is lovely for blush and bronzer, or a little powder to cover shiny spots, and the shading brush is best for eye shadow refreshes. Throw in your favorite lip gloss and an extra mascara in your drawer too and you can keep it fresh all day.”