Real Techniques Expert Face Brush vs Buffing Brush

When the initial hype began about Real Techniques brushes, the front runner was the Buffing Brush. Part of the (approx) £23 set, this brush was touted as the ultimate in foundation brushes. The beauty blogger in me meant that within a few days I'd given in, and the set landed in my Boots basket.

In hindsight, I was slightly underwhelmed. I'd been an avid user of the ELF Powder Brush, and then made the swap to the Sigma F80, and still loved the effect of both. I did like it, and with certain foundations like the Jemma Kidd Light as Air, it worked a dream. Others, like the Chanel Perfection Lumiere, were far more tricky to apply, I found that the bristles were not dense enough and just pulled the product in a streaky fashion around my face.

When the Expert Face Brush was released, I was undecided as to whether to purchase it. So many people had likened it to the Buffing brush, dubbing it as similar, or even identical, so I didn't really want another. I searched high and low for anyone who preferred or hated the newly released brush, but generally, the majority seemed to just say they were akin.

IMG_2057 IMG_2059 IMG_2061

I spotted it on the shelves of my local Boots, pulled one out of the packet (probably not recommended) and had a good feel.

So here are whats similar:
  • Bristles are equally as soft. Like a babies bottom!
  • Both have a tapered top, brilliant for applying foundation into all the nooks and crannies.
  •  Errrrrm, both have an orange handle?!

To be honest, that's probably where the similarities end for me. I definitely do not think they are twins, more like half sisters, in fact.

Here are the differences:
  • Expert Faces' bristles are far, far, more dense. I find it to work the product into the skin a lot better, and does not cause any streaking.
  • Expert Face does not eat up as much product. I think maybe its because the Buffing Brushes bristles are not as compact, that it tends to just suck up the product.
  • Expert face performs better between washes. I can't lie, I'm not one to wash my brushes every use. I think to get the optimum results from the Buffing, you need to. The more use it gets the less well it works the product in.
  • The shape of the Expert Face is different. The sides are flat. This isn't really a pro or a con, just a difference. Probably would make it less suitable for things such as bronzer and blush.

So to conclude, although I have fallen head over heels in love with the Expert Face Brush and am now proclaiming it my all time favourite holy grail foundation brush, there still is definitely a space in my collection for the Buffing Brush. I'd been meaning to purchase another set purely so I can have one for use with the Chanel Bronze Universal, so that's now going to be its job. It also works great for blending out cream blusher, and even a sheer application of setting powder.

Some have already asked, 'I already own the Buffing Brush, do I need the Expert Face?' So I would say my answer is, that if you are in love with your Buffing Brush and think it gives you the perfect finish, why bother? But if you always feel that the Buffing Brush was lacking a certain something, and a little bit hard work, the Expert Face Brush could be for you!

Hope this was helpful, and please let me know if you'd like to see more reviews like this!


  1. this was really helpful, I've been wanting to buy a real techniques brush for ages now so it's good to know that a recommended one is cheaper and can be bought individually. xx

  2. I've not tried either but I think I'll ask for some RT brushes for Christmas, now to decide which set! I love the booky background by the way :) x

  3. I love both brushes and definitely use them for different foundations! Not similar at all:)

  4. thanks so much for doing this review, I already have the buffing brush and I was debating whether or not to get the expert face brush too!:) I think I might have to get it now!;)xo

  5. so nice to see someone else who agrees with me, I felt the exact same with the buffing brush! expert face brush gets into every area of your face better too :) lovely review! xx

  6. Just found your blog dear. I love this post!

    Hope you'll come to visit me :))
    Kisses, The Spotted Cherry Pie

  7. i've never heard that they were the same but i definitely love the expert face brush more :) great review though

  8. I love the real techniques expert face brush, it is fantastic for my illamasqua light liquid foundation :)

  9. Hey,

    I'm so glad to hear that you use the Elf Powder Brush! I've been meaning to try some Read Techniques but the Elf brush is such a dream to use, super easy and fast and so affordable I've got multiples lying around in my brush cupboard! How does the Expert Face Brush compare to the Elf? Elf is super fast and doesn't take a lot of effort. Does the Expert Face Brush need more time to work the product in and get a flawless face? Please let me know :)

  10. This was really helpful thank you!! :)

  11. after reading as many reviews as possible, i purchased the expert face brush... and its really serves its purpose. Before using a brush, i used other foundation applicators and even my fingers, but the so called airbrushed finish, or " no streaks, no blotchy and even application was achieved with my Expert face brush. But i have ordered my core collection set , i am excited even more... each brush is one of a kind and i am even thinking of buying a stippling brush from the same series... If you are going to use the same brush round the month, obviously you will grow bored or even less found of it and not to forget the wear and tear it endures. I am collecting real technique brushes and i am excited to experience the finish it gives...each brush is one of a kind. prepared to be thrilled.

  12. Thank you for your review! I currently have the buffing brush, I originally bought it to use for powder on my face, then I tried using it for my liquid foundation.. But for some reason I felt like it was eating up all the product and not putting it on my face. I think you've convinced me to try the expert face brush.. Not sure if this is a good or bad thing! But nonetheless, thank you for the review! The best one I've read comparing the two thus far!