The second I spotted these beautiful, shiny Real Techniques Bold Metals brushes on Sam Chapman's Instagram, I developed a bit of an obsession. I originally thought it was a collection of three brushes in a choice of different metal colourways and obviously intended to snap up the rose gold ones a-s.a.p. But, after a few more sneaky peeks were released, it became clear that it was a collection of seven different brushes, colour-coded based on their intended use. The rose gold brushes are for finishing, the golds are for base and the silver brushes are for eyes.
After a few battles with stock on the Boots website soon after the release, I got my hands on three brushes from the collection. Rather than just opting for the pretty rose gold ones, I made sensible decisions and chose the brushes I thought I needed and would use the most. I went for 300 - tapered blush (rose gold), 100 - arched powder (gold) and 200 - oval shadow (silver).
The Bold Metals collection is a new direction for Real Techniques. It's not just their usual brushes updated with fancy, sleek and shiny handles, they're a complete re-design with enhanced features, and they're considered to be more of a pro collection as opposed to their previous brushes which are referred to as their core collection. Along with the improvements comes a price hike too - the core collection are excellent value for money, whereas the Bold Metals collection has more of a high-end price tag ranging from £12 up to £25 per brush.
Having oily-combination skin, setting my makeup with powder is not optional, and I usually go for big, fluffy powder brushes to give me a generous and liberal dusting. In comparison to my huge powder brush from the Real techniques core collection, this one's smaller and flatter with really densely packed bristles. With this brush I find myself taking a little more time to apply in a more precise manner, and it makes me think more about what sort of technique I should be using and which areas of my face need more or less product. It gives me a more considered and concentrated finish, whereas with a bigger brush I do tend to just throw the powder on all over.
Similar to the arched powder brush, the tapered blush is a smaller and more refined version of its core collection counterpart. I'm very attached to my fluffy pink blush brush from the core collection, but again, it's larger size means I do tend to just slap product on without a huge amount of care. This brush simply doesn't work like that and I've found myself looking more carefully
for at my cheekbones and thinking about where I'm applying blush, because this brush gives a much more precise application. I also have to keep reminding myself to use a lighter hand, as the denser bristles pick up a lot of colour - holding the brush further down toward the tip of the handle helps with this, and as with the whole Bold Metals collection, the handles are weighted and tapered to make them easier to work with.
I spent quite some time deciding which brushes from the collection I wanted to get, and as a result, the powder and blush brush I chose matched up with what I was expecting. However, with the oval shadow brush, I'd imagined it would be a fluffy blending brush akin to a MAC 217 and I really got that wrong. It's a much bigger brush than I thought it would be - maybe 50% wider than a 217, so I've had the opposite to my experience with the other two brushes, which are smaller than what I'm used to. The oval shadow brush is really soft, but not super fluffy in the way a 217 would is - think it's a little too flat and stiff to blend out a crease with the spinning window-wiper motion I've grown to love. I'm not saying it can't be used to blend out shadow - it certainly can - but it requires a different, more advanced technique I think. So far I've only got as far as using it to pack on one colour all over the lid, which works well, but I want to get more out of this brush than that, so I'll be needing to up my makeup application game.
Overall, I'm pretty impressed with these brushes and am happy with the ones I bought. They look absolutely stunning and are without a doubt the prettiest brushes I own. They feel amazingly soft and luxurious on the face as well as weighty and durable in the hand, and they offer the sort of precision that makes me want to learn more about makeup application in order to do them justice! I'll still buy from the Real Techniques core collection too, as there are some brushes there that I just can't live without, but there was definitely a gap in my beauty arsenal for these.