I was browsing through CareFreeShopper‘s website for the first time since they moved off of Mutiply when I saw that they had the Real Techniques Duo-Fiber Collection (1, 150 Php) available. I got pretty excited because I didn’t see this set when I was in London in May, even though that’s when it was supposed to have been released. The marked up price on CareFreeShopper wasn’t so bad (in my opinion. This normally sells for 20 USD, so if you can get it at that price, do it!) and I’ve had only great experiences with the RT brushes that I already own, so I went ahead an ordered it.
The brushes came in standard RT plastic box packaging but did not include the “panoramic brush case” like the permanent sets do. Those are pretty cool and I would have appreciated another one, but it’s no biggie! I was most excited about the black and white motif and the lower density in the bristles anyway.
The permanent line of Real Techniques brushes are colour coded according to general function. Yellow for base brushes, purple for eye brushes, and pink for finishing brushes. I own at least one from every colour category and I even own three blush brushes because I love them so much. I don’t dislike the colour-coding idea, but I do think that this black and white theme in the duo-fiber collection is so much prettier and it makes the brushes look a lot more professional. The black and white handles just flow beautifully into the black and white bristles. As for the ferrules, they are made of aluminium as usual, so they are very light. The white colour seems to be a coating, so I am wondering if it will eventually scratch or flake off. Only time will tell. The butt ends of the brushes are rubberized to provide easy grip. What I find most amusing about these “duo-fiber” brushes is that they are called just that. When I think of duo-fiber, I think of brushes that are made using a blend of animal hair (usually the darker hair) and synthetic bristles (white and soft part). These, as with all other RT brushes, are made using only Taklon (a synthetic fiber) through and through. Which is great, really, because Taklon happens to be anti-microbial and it also means that the brushes are cruelty free. I just find it funny that they stuck with the name. It is still accurate though because there is a blend of two different types of Taklon in these brushes.
Like all other RT brushes, these are as soft as a silk and super fun to brush against your face. I seriously just played with the powder brush when I first got it by stroking it against my cheek for a good 10 minutes. I wasn’t in public though, don’t worry. The main difference between these and the regular brushes is that these duo-fiber brushes are a lot less dense. You can use them to lightly apply whatever it is you want to apply. They’re ideal for use with super pigmented powder products or for blending out harsh lines. The three brushes in the set aren’t limited to their labeled uses, which are very loosely described anyway. You have the duo-fiber face brush, the duo-fiber contour brush, and the duo-fiber eye brush. The names stamped on the brushes match the colour categories of the permanent line. A nice detail that ensures that entire line is still cohesive to an extent.
The collection has been getting mixed reviews, and I can sort of see why. I don’t think these are brushes that you could rely on solely. They’re sort of… accessory brushes. Handy for certain functions but not absolutely essential to every look you might want to create. Still, I have taken a liking to them and have found a use for each brush. Detailed (or not so) explanation follows:
The duo-fiber face brush is the largest in the set and is the perfect size for applying blush. I pick this up when I’m feeling lazy because it makes it very difficult to go overboard with any blush, even the most pigmented. Of course you still have to pay attention to where you place the colour, but it makes blending sooo easy. I also like to use this brush to dust my Guerlain meteorites all over my face when I want/need that extra glow in my skin. The duo-fiber contour brush is the brush I reach for the least. It’s not much of a contour brush… you’d have to use an unadvisable amount of pressure to get a proper contour with this–even a light contour. Instead I use this when applying highlighter and for that it does a pretty decent job. It’s small enough for the tops of my cheekbones and for the bridge of my nose. The duo-fiber eye brush has already wiggled its way into my everyday routine. It’s probably my favourite of the three brushes. I use it to contour the crease and outer-v area of my eyes with a matte brown. I blend, blend, blend and am left with a soft, natural look that I adore. It reminds me of a Laura Mercier brush I got as a part of a set– the pony tail brush— the best blending brush I have ever tried. This RT eye brush comes in a close second. I use it more often than my LM pony tail brush because that one is a double-ended travel version. I was planning to buy the full sized brush when this one came along. My appetite is satisfied for now, but one can never have too many good blending brushes. I wish they sold this separately. Still, one RT duo-fiber set is cheaper than an LM single brush!
And now for some comparison shots:Duo-fiber face brush beside the Real Techniques blush brush. The heads of these brushes are about the same size but they differ greatly when it comes to density. I mentioned that I love the blush brush so much that I have three of them. That’s how good they are and I tell you, having three is not as insane as it might seem! Duo-fiber contour brush beside the Real Techniques contour brush. These are both designed for contouring, but as I mentioned earlier I only use the duo-fibre version for highlighting. They make a lovely couple as the regular contour brush does its designated job superbly. It’s not too large and it’s got just enough density. I can use it under my cheekbones, on my temples, and even down the sides of my nose if I pinch the bristles together.
There is no regular Real Techniques brush that compares to the duo-fiber eye brush and for that reason I think it really makes the collection. Real Techniques needed a good blending brush in its range and the duo-fiber eye brush was better than I could have imagined. I wonder if they’ll add it to the permanent range or make a slightly more dense version. Hope they do either or both!
Overall this is a set that I’m glad I got. Again, it isn’t a must-have but it sure is nice to have. Are any of you Real Techniques fans? Would you like to see reviews of the regular brushes? :)