Up until a few weeks ago I had sworn allegiance to the Sigma F80 Flat Top Kabuki Brush to apply my foundation. I had used it for the past 18 months, even brought a back up, and couldn’t imagine using anything else to smother foundation over my face every morning. Before that I painted my foundation on with what really was a glorified Superdrug paint brush, but at the time I didn’t know any different. It made my foundation look streaky, cakey and never really fully blended it into the skin fully, so when I discovered the Sigma F80 it was like a gift from God. However a few weeks ago I decided to purchase something that I thought may give the Sigma F80 a run for it’s money, and you know what it certainly did. In fact my new Real Techniques Stippling Brush has well and truly knocked it off the top spot! You may have seen me pick up the Real Techniques Stippling Brush in a recent haul where I expressed my upset at it’s awful shedding. Loads of you said that it must be a dodgy one so I sent it back for a replacement and I’m happy to say you guys were right – one hair has not shed from it yet and I’ve been using it constantly for the past 2 weeks. Seen as these are the 2 of the most popular foundation brushes on the market I thought I’d give them a little comparison.

The main difference between the 2 is in terms of bristle density, the bristles of the Sigma F80 are all the same length, much more tightly packed and there are more of them, whereas the real techniques is a typical duo-fibre brush with longer and shorter bristles and less of them. The dense bristles are the major downfall of the Sigma F80, it is an absolute beyatch to clean. They are both quite similar in terms of size although the Sigma F80 is slightly wider and the Real Techniques one has an uber annoying ‘stands on it’s own’ base, which makes it impossible to fit into my makeup brush cup. They are also pretty similar in price; both of these are stocked on the love-makeup website and I think the Sigma F80 usually retails for around £12 (although it is out of stock at the moment), and the Real Techniques Stippling Brush is £10.99. Good news though, from the 15th February, the Real Techniques brushes will be available in larger Boots stores – whoop! The real difference between them is the application of liquid foundation. I will always hold a special place in my heart for the Sigma F80, it has certainly helped me to perfect my foundation application, but compared to the Real Techniques Stippling Brush it now just feels a little heavy handed. As the brush is quite thick and dense, you have to use quite a stamping motion, whereas the Real Techniques brush is much more gentle and requires a more delicate technique. It’s like comparing a punch in the face, to a light tickle – I know which one I’d rather! My foundation once applied just looks much more airbrushed when I use the Real Techniques brush and I feel like I need to use less product as it doesn’t suck it up as much.

So I guess you could say I’m a Real Techniques convert. In fact I’ll let you in on a little secret – I went to IMAT’s on Saturday and purchased all 3 of the sets! Yep all 3, so I’m now the proud owner of the Eye Essentials, Base Essentials and Core Collection Real Techniques Brush sets.  There was quite a good discount – about 25%, so I decided to treat myself. I’m completely kitted out! I used them for the first time this morning and I’m liking them so far. As always I’ll keep you updated :)

  • Thebeautyspark

    I’m exactly the same, I was a complete Sigma f82 convert until I tried my RT buffing brush, so much more delicate! x

  • http://elsie-bells.blogspot.com/ Ellie

    oooh i’m jealous of the 3 brush sets! love the post xoxo

  • http://eeevc.blogspot.com/ Evie

    i literally just got this brush in the post today! immediately took off my foundation so i could try it and it’s so good! ashamed to say i’m pretty much in love with this brush right now.. xo

  • http://twitter.com/lilypebbles Lily Pebbles

    The buffing brush is EVEN BETTER than the stippling.. leaves less streaks. I now use the stippling for cream blush. LOVE the buffing brush for liquid foundation :-) xx

    • Anji

      hey hey, which one is the buffing brush? Can’t find it online. HELP! ( pretty please) x

  • Anonymous

    I’m so excited for them to be in Boots, I haven’t been happy with the f80 for a while! Glad to hear it’s good :)

  • http://twitter.com/essiebutton Essie

    Now I need it. I’ve wanted it for awhile now, but this just solidified it. DAMN YOU ANNA, haha! xx

  • salut sophie.

    Thanks for the great review! The comparison between the ‘punch in the face to a light tickle’ made me snort very unattractively. I can’t wait to get my hands on the RT brushes once they hit Boots! Even though it’s going to be absolute hell on my bank account… x

  • Rebecca Warriner

    The brushes are now stocked in boots I picked the stippling brush up yesterday :) and they are on the boots website and are marked in stock. Such a good post really interesting, glad I didnt choose the f80 over this one now x

  • Laura Howard

    I can’t wait to purchase in Boots, I have the F84 and my god, it is horrible to clean and when it gets clogged it makes foundation yucky. I do think its best for my chanel bronze universal, and when I purchase some RT brushes, it will go back to that sole purpose :)

    Great post anna :) xxx

  • http://twitter.com/laurzraah Laura Hollier

    I got some real technique brushes at Imats too, in brush love right now :) xx

  • Boscy

    Can’t wait to hear what you think of the other Real Techniques brushes. I’m dying to try them and definitely going to pick up a few when they’re released in Boots xx


  • Hayley

    Ohh so glad you have posted this as I was looking for a new foundation brush and was so close to going for the sigma f80! Always trust your reviews so I will be stockig up on real techniques xxx

  • Sarah S.

    This was in my January favorites! I gave it a try thanks to your vid, and now I have no desire to haul the Sigma sets I wanted before ($99 and $109 each!) and I instead bought the travel brush set and two more of the stippling brush for $50. I do like that it stands up, though, because I keep all my brushes on my vanity and the stippling brush next to the sink in my bathroom because it’s one of the few brushes I use daily.

  • http://theblackpearl2012.blogspot.com/ sandra

    I need to try them.

  • missshopblog

    Great review! I am just about to purchase some brushes and I thimk its going to  be the real techniques one! x

  • Cristina

    For my foundation I use the elf stipple brush, that looks a little bit like the real tecnique one. it is good for me, but I’m thinking about trying a new one. maybe one of those two you reviwed so well!
    love your blog, it’s great!!!!

  • IreneH

    glittering review, i have to get my hands on this when it goes into boots stores! i have the core collection but none of the brushes really stood out but i agree they are really good quality! xx

  • Westwoodxo

    omg i was just going to buy this but as you said it was going to be stocked in large boots stores I’ll wait, I work at a flagship Boots store so I might aswell wait so I can use my staff discount! x

  • Maria

    I love the Real Technique, I just wish it was wider….I feel like I’m doing a lot of work just to cover my entire face. I was actually considering investing in the Sigma (in the states the Real Technique brush is only $10 at Ulta where as the Sigma is $18 and you have to order online) so thanks for saving me from a potential mistake!!

    P.S. Love you blog and videos!

  • Gréte T

    I have even better brushes for you! My favourites for foundation are the E.L.F. flat top powder brush  and Real Techniques buffer brush. They are incredible! I am a young make-up artist and I have also tried the Sigma F80 and those 2 are my HG brushes!

  • Nicola

    I have been wanting a RT brush forever and this seems perfect as im looking for something that will flawlessly apply my foundation. But is there any shops i can buy it from, not a website? 


  • charlotte_queen

    Wow, I’m sold! Will be checking out Real Techniques in Boots soon

  • Anonymous

    I am dying to try the RT stippling brush-can’t wait until they’re stocked in Boots. I currently use the RT buffer brush and it’s amazing-best foundation brush I’ve used to date, would definitely recommend giving it a go now you have the core set. My poor F80 is now redundant (although thinking of giving it a go with my Soleil Tan de Chanel). XX

  • Anonymous

    Cool! So glad i read this before going for the sigma, go Sam chapman!

  • Jeni

    I recently purchased the Sigman Flat Kabuki after hearing you rave about it, so I am now intrigued to try the RT one. I was pleased to see that my local Boots will be one of the ones stocking the brushes so I’m sure I’ll be investing soon xx


    • Jeni

      Sigma!! Obvs cant spell xx

  • jadesmagical_island

    Im certainly going to purchase some real techniques brushes when i come across them in Boots. I need some in my life!! Great post x


  • Rob-wheeler

    Great post. :) After hearing you rave about the Sigma F80 brus i went and purchased. Now after hearing about the Real Technique brush i want to try this one too!! Can’t wait for them to be on sale in boots!!!

    Love your blog and videos xxhttp://makeupandme-robyn.blogspot.com/

  • http://dollyfaces7.blogspot.com/ dollyfaces7

    I can’t wait to get these in boots! x

  • belinda

    I’m so excited for the real techniques to come to Boots :) Although I’ve just bought the Sigma Synthetic brush kit, and a lot of reviews have said that the Real Techniques is a lot better than the F80 Sigma :S


  • Clay

    Very useful post ! Looking forward to pick them in Boots on my next trip to the UK ! xx


  • Lucy

    was looking at investing in some good brushes, would you recommend any of the kits more highly than others?X


  • Anonymous

    I haven´t use the Real Techniques brushes yet but I am so looking forward to have the change of purchase them, so I appreciate very much your opinion! I love my F80 too! and also the F86 that has become my Sigma favorite brush! thanks for sharing

  • jessicafrench

    I could never get on with the f80! So glad I discovered the RT brush as it is amazing! xoxo

  • Alice Byers

    Looking forward to hearing your opinions on the others – can’t wait for them to come into Boots stores. I really would like a brush similar to this to apply my foundation with


  • niks_123

    Need to get myself down to Boots and buy the Core Collection!

  • anca.lb90

    I love my Sigma, I honestly can’t see anything beat it…but again I haven’t tried the Real Techniques one :)


  • http://thislovegame.blogspot.com Diane

    Ah I’m so glad you did this review :) Wanted a Real Techniques brush for ages and I think I’m going to finally buy it xx 

  • Mariana R.

    Thanks for the comparison I’ve been on the fence about which type of brushes to get when I treat myself next. I think I just may have to give Real Techniques a try!


  • Anonymous

    I’ve gotta say that my Real Techniques brushes have kicked my MAC & Sigma brushes to the curb. I can’t stop using them. They are the softest, best brushes, I’ve ever had which is suprising considering my MAC brushes are worth a few hundred dollars and the Real Techniques weren’t more than $35 for all the ones I have (Stippling, Blush & Core Collection).

  • Anonymous

    i must try this, so jealous you managed to get them on offer :D x

  • Anji

    I love your blog  and everything about you. I can relate to you alot!
    I went to IMATS on Saturday, gutted didn’t get to see you ( I kept my eyes wide open). 
    I initially picked up some brushes from Crown and the other place Royal ( it’s on the IMATS bag), in order to complete my brush collection  ( MAC just doesn’t do it for me any more)…Anyway, when I noticed a Real Tech stand, I leaped and screamed ( yes yes) in joy! I bought the travel essential when it first came out, and OMG I am in love with them. I was tempted to buy many of the Real Tech brushes at IMATS but could not justify the splurge. I bought the foundation stippling brush ( like you) and Oh Lord, it’s so heavenly. I also bought the kabuki brush- wish it was a bit larger. But I love the multi-purpose use of it. It opens up- and can be used for blush/bronze. 
    Oh if you are wondering, I returned the other brushed to crown etc..I told them- ‘I am no longer a any brush will do user’ 

  • Anju

    By the way, which one is the Base Essentials set? Is it the travel set one with 3 brushes? Please let me know- I am not sure how I failed to miss that. 

  • JoJo

    You can order the real techniques brushes online at boots now, and it’s only about £1 more than love-makeup. And you can get them delivered to your local boots for free! Can’t wait to try these brushes!! xx

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Beautyincrisis-Ili/100003263588933 Beautyincrisis Ili

    Oh I’m soooo jealous…I’ve heard so many things about Sigma F80 Flat Top Kabuki Brush !!! I want to try it so much!!! http://beautyincrisis.blogspot.com/

  • Anonymous

    I couldn’t agree more! I haven’t tried the Sigma but adore my Real Techniques Stippling Brush & the finish it gives. 

    Nic x


  • Bebe

    Hmmm I love both these brushes but I actually prefer he sigma one! I find it to be way less streaky than the RT brush and way way quicker……interesting isn’t it? Maybe it’s the type of foundation I use……usually heavier foundations that are long lasting…..

  • http://makeuploverconfessions.blogspot.com/ Sophia

    yay! so glad you send back the dodgey one :P and got a new one! As soon as I come into some money I might purchase the sets as well :) loooove the stippling brush so much! xxx

  • http://misslaurenalicephelan.blogspot.com/ lauren_alice

    I have the Sigma one and I’ve honestly used it every day since I got it.  Couldn’t go back to the regular foundation brush now. But I’ve got a feeling a Real Techniques brush may make it into my collection soon!

  • Hannah Wood

    I’m addicted to my Sigma F80 too! I’m waiting for real techniques to come to my Boots so I can stock up on them, wasn’t going to buy this one,although after reading this I’ll definitely be getting my hands it! Thank you for another great post! 
    Hannah xxhannah-wood.blogspot.com

  • Mel

    Hello! Absolutely love your blog… because of you I am beyond broke! Was reading below comments and just wondering if you tried the RT buffing brush for liquid foundation? Thoughts… stipple or buffing?!!! X

  • Beckysmakeupandbeautyblogs

    I love my RT stippling brush which I got months ago! Have used it religiously since! Can’t wait for these to be available in boots as already have my eye on several others ;-)

  • Nicky

    Just as I was about to buy the Sigma F80 I read your review… Time to go for a think again ;)


  • http://twitter.com/xxFlair Kristin Bennellick

    Ive always liked the look if Real Technique brushes but always held on till I knew I was certain I wanted to try them. Well after reading and watching so many reviews I have decided to go for it. These little gems have been added to my wish list and after my paycheck should be sitting soundly in my room. Thank you for a great review hun =)

  • http://www.handmadereviews.net Katherine

    While I like both brushes, I don’t think they’re quite equivalent. Sigma also has a stippling brush, the Duo Fibre F50. It sounds to me like that’s what you are looking for in terms of density, not the F80. That RT brush is more similar to MAC 187 or Sigma F50. Have you tried those ones?

  • Anna Elisabeth

    Shipping Sigma to Estonia is quite expensive, but we do have a couple of their sets available here… But they’re so massive, I wish the handle was thinner.


  • http://twitter.com/Hardisteee Rebecca Hardisty

    What brush do you recommend apply the Soleil Tan de Chanel with? Thanks x


  • Anonymous

    I can’t wait to try the Real Techniques brushes when they become available at Boots!


  • Aliceparkinson 28

    I’ve just brought the real techniques brush and I was wondering do you wash a make up brush as soon as you get it? I know you wash it when you it use it, I’ve read your cleaning brushes post but I just wanted to know what do you do with a brush when you first get it.. wash it before first use or just go straight ahead and use it?

    • http://www.handmadereviews.net Katherine

      Hey, I always wash mine before using. It helps reduce the shedding on your face – plus you never know what happens at a manufacturing company! It’s better to be safe and wash it before use. If you order brushes from Sigma I think it comes with washing instructions and tells you to wash before using.

  • http://obsess-with-jess.blogspot.com/ Jessica

    I LOVE this stippling brush from Real Techniques! I always go back to it over my F84 and RT Buffing brush! 

  • http://twitter.com/ylimeballard Emily Brooke Ballard

    Are either of these brushes good to use for applying liquid foundation to dry skin?

  • Kassie lee

    god I need to get this brush

  • http://smitazzworld.blogspot.in/ Smita Singh

    i m new to professional brushes…n Rt is my first one..just placed order on amazon…

  • immi

    just so everybody knows if they want to buy them – they are cheaper in superdrug than boots!!!