Real Techniques: Filtered Face Set

The post Christmas sales are a mixed bag: sometimes you luck out and find a gem but for the most part the sales tend to be full of crap. When I was younger I used to wait to buy things as I knew they would go into sale but now it can be hard to pick out the products you want to look for. Not everything goes on sale and many companies buy in products especially for sale season. These are the products which find their way into store at the start of December because legally stores have to have a product at a RRP for at least a month before they can discount it. You wouldn't necessarily notice these items as you would probably be too busy looking at gift sets and Christmas stock. In fairness a lot of Christmas sets do go in the sale but all the good ones are usually gone before the sales have even started. Not only are stock levels a problem but also pre-Christmas sales. If you are lucky and haven't spent all of your money on your loved ones, then you might have been able to treat yourself to something before Christmas but this was not the case for me. I had to wait until after Christmas when that Christmas money had come in so I could treat myself to some well deserved shopping. 



During sale season I like to take the opportunity to replace older items that have seen better days or I will occasionally treat myself to something I have been waiting to go on sale. This sale season there wasn't anything massively luxury that I treated myself to but you can read all about my Sales Shopping in my dedicated post. I decided this sales season was all about starting off a fresh year so I managed to replace some old underwear with newer, better underwear and I even managed to get some replacement makeup brushes. Sale season can be hard to survive and even harder to make it through with any money left but I have a tried and tested method of sales shopping; I try not to be sucked in by the saving, I look for things I genuinely need or that I will genuinely use. 

Even though I didn't particularly need new brushes, there is always room for change when the opportunity arises. I had seen the Real Techniques Filtered Face Set early on in the sale season and I had been thinking about it every since. I weighted up the cost to use ratio and after a lot of deliberation I made the executive decision that if I saw it in store I would buy it. However I would only buy it if it was in store I couldn't be bothered to order it online. I had been looking in my local store and they didn't have it out on the shelves but I had looked online at the stock levels and it said that they had some in my local store so I waited. Eventually last week they had them out on display. I had a good old think about it over a Nandos and ultimately made the decision to get a set. It was popular, as I was looking at the set another lady picked up as well. At £40 it isn't as cheap as some of the other sets in the Boots sale but that doesn't seem to have stopped people from buying it.  


I've had Real Techniques brushes before, in fact most of my brushes are Real Techniques. All of the brushes are good quality and affordable. Sam and Nic from Pixiwoo have created a remarkable brand. They have done something most Youtubers don't manage, they have separated the brand from who they are so it is a brand in its own right rather than being a bi-product of a Youtube channel. The packaging does hint that they are Youtubers but it isn't covered in self promotion. A lot of my friends use these brushes and not many of them would be aware of who Pixiwoo are. This means people buy the brushes because they are genuinely good rather than because they like the people who create it. Even thought I know who Pixiwoo are I don't feel compelled to buy the brushes to support them. I buy them because I like the brushes: they work well and they are affordable, simple as. 

All the Real Techniques brushes are synthetic. I prefer synthetic brushes as they are easier to clean and they take less time to apply make up. Plus they don't use real hair. I am not vegan or anything but for some reason a brush made of real hair makes me feel gross. As they are synthetic it is part of what keeps these brushes so cheap. 

Real Techniques really branched out this year and they created a lot of Christmas sets. I remember during December the Filtered Face set was one of the Star Buys in Boots. Boots reduce the price of some of their bigger sets to make them seem more affordable and it would be bloody bad luck to buy one of these sets full price. I did think about buying this set when it was the Star Buy but I couldn't justify spending that much on myself before Christmas. As I missed out on it then it was nice to see this in the sale.


This is such a great set as it has everything you could possibly need to do a full face of make up. If you are new to make up or looking to get a full set of brushes which are good quality and affordable, I couldn't recommend this set anymore. The set contains 8 brushes and the only brush which isn't included in this set is a brow brush. It is rare that I would go to the effort of applying a powder brow product so a brow brush is not my biggest concern. As well as the brushes you get a brush holder which is ok but not a selling point for me. I could have done without this as I didn't really need it but I know other people would love this. Other than that there is also three makeup sponges. Later on in the post I will be doing the mathematics and I will be able to tell you whether or not all of this was worth £40 or whether I should have bought a few individual brushes. For now I will take you through everything you get in the set in more detail. 


As you can probably imagine if you have read my blog before, the sponges did not factor into my buying of this set. I don't particularly like beauty sponges, as I have made clear on my blog many times. I find them more difficult to use and they are very time consuming. I did buy a Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge back in September last year but I am yet to use it. Now I have two which are going to sit in my beauty draw. The sponge that excited me the most out of this line up was actually the mini purple one. The only product that I like to apply with a sponge is a cream/liquid highlight and I think this mini size will be perfect for this. The pink sponge is a very odd looking sponge and looks like it should be stocked in Ann Summers not Boots. After reading about it this is designed for contour and highlight but I am just not sold on it. I am going to try and make myself use all of these sponges as I am still trying to find out why so many people like beauty sponges but this probably won't be happening anytime soon. 

The brushes were really what I wanted from this set which is probably a good thing as they make up the majority of the set. It contains 4 face brushes, 3 eye brushes and a lip brush. All of these brushes have been released by Real Techniques before but the thing that makes this set different is the brush handle. I completely love the ombre metallic packaging. It isn't overly festive, which is what you would expect from a Christmas set, instead it reminds me of a sunset. The pattern look like the sun fading into darkness. They have even changed the colour of the brissles and the bottom grip part of the handle, they are grey which softens the overall look of the brushes. At first I thought my brushes were all dirty or covered in chalk but I've cleaned them so they are just a lot lighter than the standard brushes. It is bizarre but at least it will make it easier to tell when my brushes are dirty. 

L-R:Setting Brush, Contour Brush, Stippling Brush, Buffing Brush
I was quite excited to see that the Buffing Brush was included in this set. When Real Techniques first became popular, everyone would always talk about the Buffing Brush and how well it blended in foundation. At the time, the only way to buy the Buffing Brush was as part of a set that was sold exclusively in Superdrug. I wasn't too fussed about the other brushes in the set so I never bought it, I got the Expert Face Brush instead but I have always wanted to know how different they are. If I think there are enough differences, I will probably write a post about it but just by looking at them, the Buffing brush is a lot wider and not quite as dense so I will see how differently it applies foundation.

The next brush is a Stippling Brush. I did think about buying this before but then I realised I probably wouldn't use it that much. This brush is the perfect shape for applying cream/liquid products, most likely a blush. I never really use cream products so I couldn't see the point in having this but you never know when a cream product is going to appear in your life. Now if I do somehow acquire a cream blush, I have the brush for it. As this is a dual length brush it applies the product very lightly which is what you need for a cream product and it helps to diffuse/blend it out.  

The Contour Brush is the same shape as the Morphe R13 brush I bought in the sales last Summer. This is a good size for really chiseling my cheek bones which was what I wanted the R13 for. I am currently using the Morphe brush to remove excess powder and that is it as I really didn't like it. I found the Morphe brush didn't blend out the product enough and it was slightly too stiff.  The Real Techniques brush seems like it is going to be better than the Morphe brush for contour. The Real Techniques brush is much softer and slightly bigger so I'm hoping this won't apply a streak of contour to my face but it will subtly define instead.

The final face brush is one I own already and I actually have two of them, it is the Setting Brush. Even though I already own two, I don't think you can have enough of these brushes because they can be used for pretty much everything. I've used mine for highlight, applying powder, setting my under eye, blending concealer, to touch up my contour and I've even used it to blend out eye shadow in desperate times. This is one of the most versatile brushes I own and it is possibly one of my favourites. If you don't have one of these in your collection then you need one! You can buy this brush individually and it is only £7.99 or it also comes as part of the Sculpting Set so you have options. The Setting brush in the Filtered Face set is more round than the standard one you buy individually. It was the only brush that looked quite different to the one you usually get. This version looks a bit more like a cross between the standard Real Techniques Setting Brush and the Morphe R36, just a little shorter, so I think this is going to be perfect for highlight. 

L-R: Lip Brush, Duo Fiber Eye Brush, Domed Shadow Brush, Shading Brush
Moving on to the eye brushes. I've only ever had one of the Real Techniques eye brushes before and it actually features in this set. I was always reluctant to buy anything other than the MAC 217 as it is my ultimate favourite eye shadow brush. However I do really like the size and shape of two of the brushes in this set. The brush I already own is the Duo Fiber Eye Brush which I got in the Duo Fibre Brush Set. I don't think you can buy that set any more. I remember Estee Lalonde spoke about the Duo Fibre set in one of her 5 minute drugstore dashes she did back in the day when she was Essiebutton. She inspired me to buy the Duo Fibre set. I use the other two brushes but I actually hate this eye brush, it is a blending brush but I have other brushes that work better than this one. I do use this brush when I am desperate but I could do without it.

The bigger of the two eye shadow brushes is the Domed Shadow Brush and this works great for my crease. It blends well and is good for general application of the initial shades used to create any eye look. The Shading Brush is a lot smaller than my other brushes so it is good for detail work. It is quite a dense brush but it still has movement so it blends, as well as applying product. I think I will like this most for detailed crease work and to define the outer corner of my eye. As I have only just started to use these brushes, I have only used them to apply my work make up which is quite basic but I really do like these brushes so far.

The final brush in this set is a Lip Brush which is actually pretty useful. If you read my review of the Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint then you will know I need a lip brush for that lipstick so this will definitely come in handy. The brissles are pretty hard and the brush has a good point on it which will make it really good for applying lipstick.

Now it is time to consider whether or not this set was worth £40. The first thing I need to point out is that I only own two of these brushes already: one I do not like and the other is probably one of my favourite brushes ever so only one brush in this set is a waste. The only way to get the majority of these brushes would be through some of their standard sets. By buying the Flawless Base Set and the Enhanced Eye Set, you would get 4 of the brushes in this set and you would be able to do a full face of make up. Both of these sets are £19.99 so they are basically £40 all together, so it is the same price. The only thing missing would be the sponges and they tip the cost of this boxset to make it worth the money. For each sponge you would spend £5.99 each so at £40 this set is a bargain. If I had spend £80 on this set I would have been livid.
Image from Amazon UK
If you are no longer able to buy the Filtered Face set, there is another way of getting some of the better brushes in this set. Five of these brushes make up the Real Techniques Your Pick Set which is £24.99 and I saw it online on the Boots website. The set contains the Buffing Brush, the Stippling Brush, the Contour Brush and two brushes which look very similar to the two eye brushes in the Filtered Face set. These brushes would be some of my top picks from the Filtered Face set so if you can get your hands on the Your Pick set, it is slightly cheaper. The only brush which you can no longer get, other than in the Filtered Face set, is the Duo Fiber Eye Brush and trust me you are not missing out.

I am pleased that I bought this even though I wasn't sure that I needed more brushes. I used them all this morning and it is surprising how much difference a new brush can make to the application of your make up. After adding up the cost of buying these brushes individually I feel justified in buying this set. Plus £40 would probably only get me one brush from MAC these days. The pattern on the brushes livens up my vanity and I know I am going to get a lot of use out of these brushes. This set is actually still available online on Boots, here is a link if you want to look at the set Boots - Real Techniques Filtered Face Set

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