FACE | The changing shape of brushes


It’s hard to believe these two brushes started out looking identical – although if you’ve owned a Real Techniques Blush Brush you might. It was only once I got my second one that I realised how much the bristles had changed shape over the time I’d owned it. Given most people buy the RT Blush Brush for its narrow shape and tapered tip, it can be a bit disappointing. (That being said, the blown-out version makes a great powder brush.)

I realised it was entirely stupid to replace my brushes when they did things like this, and set out to see what else I could do about it.

The solution comes in the form of brush guards. These little tubes are made from plastic bonded into a net similar to fruit bags. I slip them over the bristles of my brushes after I’ve washed them and then leave them to dry. (You can also use them over your brushes when travelling to protect the bristle shape.)


I bought a 1 metre strip of brush guard from eBay for a couple of dollars, which I then cut to size (I got about 20 guards out of it). You can buy authentic The Brush Guards from various beauty sites including Complexions in New Zealand, and I would actually endorse these. The Ebay tubes only came in one size, and that was too wide to make a difference on eye brushes.

Did they make a difference on my blown-out Real Techniques Blush Brush? Yes, actually! It wasn’t back to normal and as good as new, but definitely less fluffy than before I dried it with a guard on. That being said, if you’re accustomed to your fluffy brushes, the guards are so effective you might be surprised at their shape afterwards. The difference is especially noticeable on brushes with long bristles.

Has your RT Blush Brush blown out like mine did? Have you used brush guards, or can you not be bothered?

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  • Huh, that’s funny! I never noticed mine did this too. I think it slipped past me because I never really loved the shape of this brush for blush, I’ve always used it more often for powder. The Real Techniques brushes tend to be larger than I’d prefer for blush. It’s nice to know the brush guards helped, though.

    • Yeah to be honest, I much prefer smaller brushes for more precise blush application! This brush was one of my first brush purchases to be honest, but I probably use it more for powder now, like you.

  • Kezia Lynch

    Freaking love brush guards! I am keen to get my hands on some eye ones to keep my 217’s etc in ship-shape