This thing, ahhh! *_* I’m a little distraught nobody ever told me this exists or that this is a thing. Erm, in fairness, Real Techniques has only become recently convenient for me to purchase (thank you Luxola!), and so I’d mostly pined from afar for the wonder of easy to clean, non-shedding synthetic brushes that are very good to use and like kittens on the eye rather than sandpaper. This one though isn’t a conventional brush – there are no bristles. It’s a tapered silicone thing, in the same shape as conventional eyeliner brushes like the MAC 209. But silicone rather than bristles, that is.
I can’t overemphasize how wonderful this is. It is genius. Life-changing. o(*ﾟ▽ﾟ*)o With no bristles, it doesn’t splay and cream or gel products don’t get stuck in it. No splaying means… the most perfect tightline with gel liners ever. The most perfect wings! (I also use it for precise cream eyeshadow application; would say it’s not good for smudging cream though, I would still use my finger for that… having said that, MAC Fluidline dries and sets so fast smudging seems futile).
Cleaning it is the easiest thing in the world, I swirl it in baby shampoo and water like most brushes, and everything comes off; spot cleaning can be done dry. And… I can just blot it dry with a kitchen towel! I don’t have to leave it out to dry, like normal brushes. It’s flexible enough to bend but firm enough to make super-precise line work super-easy. I don’t know about its durability (and I worry that if I wipe it too hard with a tissue it might come off?), but I imagine as long as I clean it gently it should last me a long while. The handle is relatively short though – I didn’t measure it, but compared to my MAC brushes, Real Techniques eye brushes tend to be about half an inch less. This makes them more travel-friendly, but storage can get annoying.
My next Real Techniques purchase was the Complexion Sponge, also known as ‘the dupe for Beauty Blender except less than half the price’. It’s a different shape, though! While the Beauty Blender is a teardrop, this one is more… a teardrop with one side of the bottom cut off? It feels less firm than the BB and seems to bend more easily, though this doesn’t impede application. Like the BB, you soak it in water before use. I tend to daub foundation or BB cream on my face then use this to blend and spread, as pumping foundation on the sponge directly would just make it absorb most product. The finish I get is perfect, and even with thick foundation it doesn’t catch on dry patches.
Cleaning it is a little tricky – I’m inclined to invest in a solid Beauty Blender cleanser, though I hear it’s just normal soap? Sponges *always* absorb a lot of product by definition, though right now rubbing it against a bar soap then rinsing in warm water does the trick.