Disclosure: PR sample
Royal and Langnickel manufacture a very wide range of brushes. Sarah's used their art range in the past, so when we were offered the chance to try out some of their beauty brushes, we jumped at the chance. I received this 18-piece Brush Essentials set, which contains (you guessed it) 18 brushes in a handy pleather roll.
First off, you'll find five face brushes. From left to right, a foundation brush, angled blush/contour brush, small blush brush, domed powder brush, and an extra large fluffy powder brush. Of these, I've become a real convert to the smallest blush brush (third from the left) and the big fluffy powder brush (at the end on the right) - both have dense, soft bristles and are very effective at both picking up powder and softly applying it to the face.
Next, you'll find seven eye brushes. From left to right, there's a small stiffly bristled pencil brush, an angled eyeliner brush, a flat brush for concealer or cream eye products, an tapered crease brush, an angled eyeshadow brush, and two sizes of fluffy eyeshadow brush. Of these, I've been most impressed by the smallest eyeshadow brush - I don't have one quite so small in my collection, and I've found it very useful when I'm trying to apply shadow precisely to a small area of my eyelid. All of these brushes are relatively soft, apart from the tapered crease brush - the hairs are rather stiff and quite scratchy. It's still plenty good at blending colours into the crease, but doing so isn't really particularly comfortable.
Lastly, a selection of miscellaneous brushes. From left to right, there's the ubiquitous mascara spoolie, eyebrow/eyelash comb, sponge applicator, fine eyeliner or detail brush, capped lip brush, and fan brush. Now, I'll readily admit that I have absolutely no idea what I'm supposed to do with the fan brush. The only time I've seen them used is in salons, where they're used to spread masks onto the skin. I've been using it for gently stippling highlighter onto my cheekbones, and it's soft and floppy, making me think it's used mostly for finishing. The fine eyeliner brush is excellent: it has that density of bristles and firmness that make it very effective for lining - I hate fine liner brushes that flex too much as you use them.
The whole package rolls up neatly into an easily transportable form which snaps closed to keep the brushes within nice and secure. I absolutely love the way that so many brushes are easily accesible from such a small package - my other brushes are arranged in glasses on my dressing table, and I've found myself reaching for this brush roll more often that I've searched through the glasses looking for a particular brush. The set is also fantastic for travel, and I've been slinging this into my weekend bag instead of choosing individual brushes since I received it.
The brush roll costs a mere £39.99 - which, given that one of my most expensive MAC brushes cost £30 on its own, is a bit of a bargain, working out at just £2.22 per brush. Granted, some of the brushes are a little bit scratchy, and I'm unlikely to use some of them (sponge applicator!), but given the number of brushes that I will use, and the very portable nature of the set, I'm pretty convinced that this brush roll provides a good balance of value for money, and decent quality.
Available exclusively on Amazon (for some reason this particular set isn't available on Royal and Langnickel's website) for just £39.99, I'd highly recommend this if you're looking for a travel friendly set of brushes, or are just starting out with your brush collection.