It would probably make more sense to compare the Real Techniques Stippling Brush with the original e.l.f Studio Stipple Brush instead of the Small Stipple Brush but unfortunately I got rid of it a long time ago.
I had planned on using the e.l.f. Studio Stipple Brush for cream blush but I thought that the bristles were a little too long for that purpose. In addition, it wasn’t dense enough and didn’t provide the necessary control, I felt, for stippling blush. It was simply too flimsy.
Fast forward a couple of years. I purchased the Real Techniques Stipple Brush ($9.99) out of curiosity not expecting much. In my opinion, this brush is far superior to the regular e.l.f. Studio Stipple Brush. It’s a lot denser than the e.l.f. Studio Stipple Brush which means that the bristles don’t splay outwards like crazy when I bounce the brush against my cheeks. In my experience, it offers much more control and precision in the application of cream blush.
Although I really enjoyed the Real Techniques Stippling Brush I still wasn’t totally satisfied. You see, I have rather small cheeks and while the Stippling Brush possesses the density and control I’d been looking for in a cream blush brush, the diameter was a little to big for me. I needed something a little smaller that would apply blush only onto the apples of my cheeks.
Earlier this month I bought the e.l.f. Studio Small Stipple Brush ($3), the little sister of the Studio Stipple Brush. The diameter of the Studio Small Stipple Brush is approximately that of a nickel whereas the larger Real Techniques Stippling Brush has the diameter of a quarter. The bristles are surprisingly about the same length in both brushes.
In my opinion, while the bristle length works for the Real Techniques brush, the same bristle length doesn’t work as well in the smaller e.l.f. brush. I think that the e.l.f. Studio Small Stipple Brush’s bristles are disproportionately long compared its smaller brush head which makes it feel a little flimsy and causes it to splay very easily if too much pressure is applied.
My ideal stippling brush would have the density of the Real Techniques Stippling Brush but the diameter of the e.l.f. Studio Small Stipple Brush at a drugstore price point. If such a brush exists, I haven’t found it yet. I’m hoping that Real Techniques comes out with a smaller version of their Stippling Brush one day but if I have to choose between the RT Stippling Brush and the e.l.f Small Stipple I’ll choose the latter. It may not offer as much density and control but in the end size trumps all else for me. As long as I make sure not to apply too much pressure when I stipple, I can control my blush placement easily enough.