Sometimes I am just late to the party. There will be a huge discovery, like the Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadows, that somehow get past me while I live in oblivion about the amazing discovery I am missing. PixiWoo (Samantha Chapman) and her brushes are another perfect example. I rarely watch YouTube, and I had no idea who she was or what she did. And then my bestest friend Marcia gave me the Real Techniques Travel Set ($17.99) for my birthday. (She also got me a few other uh-mazing items that will be in future reviews…she is a great shopper!!!)
Little did Marcia know she was both enlightening me and creating a monster at the same time. I am now officially obsessed with PixiWoo videos. I adore her – she is beautiful, humble, and amazingly talented. I watch her YouTube videos and take furious notes, then run to my makeup vanity to try to duplicate the looks.
My fascination doesn’t stop with her videos. Thanks to Miss Marcia, I have PixiWoo’s brushes to obsess over and play with for hours. The set has a Panoramic Case and three makeup brushes. Do I love this set? Yes. Do I love some brushes more than others? For sure. Here are my thoughts:
One of the best parts of this set is the case. It’s truly versatile, and lets you store brushes in your own particular favorite way. Pictured above is my personal preference – with the brushes set like this, it’s easy to pull them out and put them back in, and the long side down keeps the set very stable so it doesn’t fall over.
Of course, there is also this way, which is nice because it’s easy to see the tops so there’s no fumbling for the right one. Notice how there’s space for more brushes? I like to add other brushes to make up my ‘arsenal’ for the day, and usually also include a flat eyeshadow brush, a highlighter brush, and a liner brush.
And there’s also this way, which is my least favorite because it’s easy to knock over – but it’s great if your space is limited.
This is a travel set, so PixiWoo included what she felt were ‘essentials’. I prefer a set of fewer full size brushes to a wider selection of smaller size brushes. Some travel sets, especially some past sets from MAC and Trish McEvoy, have small brushes of less quality than the regular ones. Plus I just feel like I can’t do as good of a job with mini-brushes.
Pictured above is the Essential Foundation Brush. It’s a flat brush with taklon bristles, so it handles liquid and cream products with ease.
Here is a side view. This is my least favorite of the three, not because it doesn’t work well, but because I prefer to buff my foundation and concealer in with a thicker, kabuki-style brush for an airbrushed look. However, for a flat foundation brush it’s pretty sweet. It blends foundation in very nicely, and the tapered shape makes it good for getting concealer into harder to reach areas like right under the eyelashes.
Pictured above is the Domed Shadow Brush. Oh my goodness, do I love this brush!!! It is a perfect crease brush. It’s just right amount of softness, and the domed top makes it fit exactly right in the crease.
In the picture above, you can see how the side is just a bit thinner so it doesn’t have a perfectly round circumference. This means you can easily use the sides to also lay down color on your lids and/or brow. Somehow it seems to pick up exactly the right amount of color, and it blends like a dream. I use this brush pretty much every day, and I think it’s worth more than the price of the entire set.
The last (and largest) brush in the set is the Multi-Task Brush. This is a beautifully soft brush that is perfect for powder application – loose or pressed powder, bronzer, or blush.
Again, you can see it’s slightly flat so you can use the top for blending and the sides for application. At first I was really excited because I thought it was dense enough for liquid and cream foundations — but it’s not. It’s really just for powder products and it does a wonderful job with them.
Overall, this is a great set at an unbelievable price. I’ve paid way more for one crap brush than it costs for these three brushes plus the case. Are the three brushes all you need for a trip? Um…not the way I do my makeup!! But as noted above, there are extra spaces to store other brushes, so it’s easy to make up a perfect travel set inside the carrying case. It’s a great set that is totally worth every penny…so thank you again Marcia!! – Lisa