Royal & Langnickel Make Up Brush Set review

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This regal set is fit for a queen

different makeup brush sizes inside a red interior makeup pouch

As someone who likes to spend the least amount of money possible on makeup brushes, I have spent the last few years lovingly admiring Royal & Langnickel brushes from afar. If you are unfamiliar with Royal & Langnickel, they got their start making art brushes (which they still make) and later branched out into brushes for the makeup industry.

black makeup pouch for makeup brushes

In fact, their homepage is divided into two sections. You can view their vast array of art brushes and supplies on one side, with their extensive collection of makeup brushes on the other.

When I first opened the Silk Synthetic Hair 12 Piece Set (retail: $119.99), I literally gasped at the array of gorgeous brushes splashed against a vivid red interior.

different makeup brushes and sizes inside a red interior makeup pouch

Before I get into specifics, let me take a moment to share some of the details about Royal & Langnickel’s Silk Pro line of brushes. All of the brushes in this line have have quality chrome-plated brass ferrules, kiln-dried hardwood barrel handles and this set features “synthetic hair that mimic[s] the look, feel and performance of natural hair brushes.”

I understand that, for some of you, $119.99 might seem steep for a set of brushes, but this set breaks down to $9.99 per brush, which I think is a great value. And considering the quality and performance of these brushes, the value becomes even better.

This kit contains every brush you could ever possibly conceive of needing for makeup application with the exception of a kabuki and stippler (R&L do make several varieties of kabukis and stipplers though, which you can purchase separately). The 12 brushes in this set are as follows:

different sizes of makeup brushes

Liner, Smudger, Medium eye shader, Angle fluff, Flat eyeliner

Different brush sizes with a lash or brow groomer

Concealer, Lip, Angled Brow, Brow/lash groomer

A powder, foundation and blush brush

Powder, Foundation, Blush

I have been using these brushes for several weeks now and I can tell you that these brushes are incredibly soft yet sturdy. The brushes that need to be firm (the flat eyeliner brush, foundation brush, etc.) are perfect for their specific uses, while the brushes that need to be more flexible (the powder and blush blushes for example) are soft and work wonderfully with the contours of my face.

The standout brushes for me are the smudger, angle fluff and blush brush. The smudger brush is firm, narrow and tapered, which makes it absolutely ideal for creating a smoky eye look. The angle fluff brush is firm and precise enough to get down into your crease, but soft and big enough to blend your crease shade with ease. The blush brush is silky-soft and I find it to be the perfect size for applying color to the apples of my cheeks.

A black lash or brow groomer

I’d also like to add that the brow/lash groomer contains a lash comb with metal teeth (fancy!) on one end, with a spoolie on the other end.

Like I said at the top of this review, I tend to spend the least amount possible on my makeup brushes, but please don’t let the price of this set deter you. If you’re looking for a thoughtfully-edited set of super-soft, quality brushes, I don’t think you can go wrong with the Royal & Langnickel Silk Synthetic Hair 12 Piece Set.

Different brush sizes with a red interior makeup pouch

If you’re already happy with most of your brushes and just need some specific tools to add to your collection, I would certainly take a look at their website – I’m positive you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for (and then some).

A carefully-edited set with brushes for most every need.
High-quality, well-crafted, very soft synthetic brushes.
Handy case zipper to keep brushes safe and clean.

Expensive initial investment (though each brush breaks down to a reasonable $9.99 each).
No kabuki or stippler in this set.

we heartsters – Do you own any Royal & Langnickel makeup or art brushes?
Testers – are you loving your Silk Synthetic Hair 12 Piece Set?

Disclosure: This review includes products that were provided by the manufacturer/PR firm for our consideration. For more info, or any questions, please see our disclosure policy.



  1. Lucky me, I got to test the Royal & Langnickel Make Up Brush Set and I am beyond impressed with everything about it: the quality of the brushes, the compact case that’s perfect for travel, and the bargain price for such an extensive array. I gasped, too, when I opened the case, @nouveaucheap !

    The Silk Synthetic Hair 12 Piece Set contains the softest brushes I’ve ever used, yet they are dense enough to give great control of whatever product I’m applying. The handles are sturdy, well constructed, and feel great in my hand.

    The large powder brush in particular feels like silk (ha!) against my skin. Talk about value, I would gladly pay $50 for this brush alone.

    The Smudger is another of my favorites. As Gianna said, it’s the perfect brush for a smoky eye, and it’s made me abandon my old, expensive yet inferior smudger brush. I’ve been using the eye brushes daily and don’t have a single negative thing to report about their performance.

    And these brushes are extremely durable, too. I haven’t noticed any shedding of fibers, not even after I wash them.

    5 stars for this bargain set of top quality brushes!

    1. Thanks, Melissa, for mentioning the shedding (or lack thereof). I completely forgot to include in my review that I haven’t seen a single bristle fall out of these yet. Whoo hoo!

      PS: Totally agree about that powder brush. Oooh la la.

  2. I was a makeup artist for many years and tried to ‘sell’ people on the idea of investing in a great set of brushes. If you buy the right set and take care of the brushes, they can last for years and years.
    This set seems very comprehensive.
    Great review @nouveaucheap!

  3. @nouveaucheap this was a perfect review! I couldn’t have said it better myself! I felt like I was the luckiest girl in the world when I received the Royal & Langnickel set. Without even touching it I could see what a high end luxurious set this was. It just oozes with class!But then when I touched the brushes I was floored. These brushes feel even better then they look. They are so unbelievably soft and sturdy. And they perform even better then they look and feel. Every brush does exactly what it should. And they wash like a dream! These are well made brushes my friend! My favorites are the medium eye shader, the blush brush, and the liner brush. Perfection!! You guys know that I am a cheapskate. But I fully endorse this set regardless of the price. You can not go wrong with this one!! It has practically every brush that you will ever need. 5 HUGE STARS from me!! I am in love!!!!!!

    1. Yay! So glad you feel the same way, Kellie. And I agree–these brushes look great, but FEEL even better. Every time I open that case, I just think to myself, “Ooooh, look at all that POTENTIAL!” :)

  4. G. is absolutely spot-on. This set is too fabulous, it has put the rest of my brushes to SHAME. (Seriously. They’ve been banished to the drawer.)
    This is pricey, but it’s definitely something to treat yourself on. I adore every brush, though the Medium eye shader and Flat eyeliner are my favorites. I can’t add anything that @nouveaucheap didn’t already say, but I do have to reiterate how soft but sturdy these are. I normally prefer a stiff foundation brush, but R&L’s soft brush with shorter bristles gets it done and done well. And there’s not fallout, which I HATE. (So embarrassing to walk around with makeup brush hairs on your face…)
    The ONLY bad thing I can say is that I didn’t clean my eyeliner brush well enough before I put it back in the brush case and got black eyeliner on my pretty red satin. That is the only time this brush set made me sad. :-)

    This was a massive 5 stars from me, it’s possibly one of my absolute favorite products I’ve tested for WHT.

    1. Alyssa, I’m so glad you agree with my assessment of this set. And you are right about no shedding–it’s pretty amazing, huh?

      And I had to giggle at the stain on your case–I would be so bummed and have taken every precaution to avoid it but I KNOW it’s coming. One day I’m going to open that case and there will be a huge peach smudge from my blush.

  5. Wow ladies, now I want this set! I just bought for the first time ever a foundation brush from Sephora and was glad I did.. using your fingers or my little egg sponge can get old. But seeing and reading this post has me honestly jonesing over this set. Very impressive and does look like it is made very well. Great post @nouveaucheap!

    1. Pamela, it’s a worthy splurge, especially if you’re looking for an all-in-one set that’s going to last you a good long time. With the exception of a kabuki and stippler, I really can’t think of another brush you’d need in order to get the job done!

      And yay for foundation brushes. They rock, huh?

  6. I am giving this a very enthusiastic five stars as well!

    I am delighted to hear that you other lovely reviewers share the same opinion of this set. It takes a lot to get me excited about something with a price tag like this, but man are these worth the investment. Every time I use one of these brushes it makes me give the stink-eye to all of my other ones. Ha!

  7. @nouveaucheap –Great Review!!! For me great tools like these are sometimes very under appreciated. Personally, I believe that good brushes are as good beauty products. Good application tools are at the foundation of all good makeup looks.

  8. Wow, I’m having a major case of brush envy right now. I dream of owning a brush set like this, but for now I’ll have to settle for mini sets. My husband would probably leave me if I tried to spend that much on makeup brushes. He still doesn’t understand why I can’t just use my fingers or the applicators that come with a product. Bless his heart :)

  9. This set is AMAZING. I feel so lucky that I got to try out the Royal Langnickel brush set. It is very expensive, but per brush, very affordable, especially for the quality. These are wonderfully soft and incredibly well made. I absolutely love using them. They are just a treat! And I love the brush case. What impressed me the most was that it has a METAL lash comb. These can be dangerous if you’re clumsy but they are the BEST for clumpy lashes. My only qualm about these products is the price… again, while totally worth it and per brush, such a steal–it can be hard to plunk down this much money all at once. It’s definitely a good investment though. Four stars!

  10. Okay, I’m drooling. And not over the makeup brushes….over the art stuff. The minute you wrote down art brushes, I headed over the there and I’m sort of lost there. (Drawing sets! Watercolour sets! Brushes! Origami! Pastels! I’m sorry, you wanted me to at what?)

  11. Gorgeous brush set. Super jelly of those who got to try them out ;) My old brushes are jealous too. This sounds like a great investment for brushes. Broken down, the prices are pretty amazing for great quality brushes! Thanks for the awesome review, @nouveaucheap !!

  12. When I opened up my mail and saw this set of brushes I was THRILLED. @NouveauCheap is spot on. My favorite brush is probably the concealer brush- it’s the perfect size and sturdiness, fitting perfectly under my lash line and getting right into the corner.
    The price may make you balk at first, but when I think about what I’ve spent of brushes when buying piecemeal over time I’ve EASILY spent 3 times that amount. Buying this set is a deal when you really think about it, and you get the beautiful carrying case.
    Embarrassing time (not for me)- while I’m browsing the cosmetics store my husband will gravitate towards the brushes and start twirling them around on his hands. Since I received this set I’ve caught him MORE THAN ONCE swirling the (clean) brushes on his face or arms. He loves how soft they are, hahah!
    5 Stars for Royal & Langnickel, over and over again. Investment brushes are worth it every time.

  13. @mtiny- absolutely worth it to pick up a few on their own! I especially love their liner and smudge brushes.
    Thanks for your comment!

  14. I didn’t take this set for review, and only because I received a very similar set (but limited edition set, oh la la!) at a Royal and Langnickel event I attended during IMATS. My brushes themselves are nearly identical in selection, but mine have rubber handles (which I love, they don’t roll off surfaces!) and the case is completely different. But still I feel I can speak on behalf of the quality of these – which is AMAZING. The rival every MAC brush in my collection. Soft when they need to be, and sturdy when they need to be that. I’ve also noticed zero bristle loss.

    My favorites are their small, detail application brushes: the small smudge may be my favorite, followed closely by the angled brow (which I use for liner).

    Highly recommend this line. Even of you can’t make the splurge for a whole set, pick up a couple! You’ll be happy you did.

  15. I was sooo lucky in receiving this set to try out! I was awe struck when I opened the case because I tend to spend the least amount on brushes too. I have never upgraded from the set I got years ago and this was quite the upgrade! I have been using them for weeks and they are just perfect. The quality of the brush is great for the price! What I loved most was that they say what the brush is supposed to be used for on the handle – as a girl who has spent more time buying paint brushes than make-up brushes, this was a serious discovery for me! I probably use the Medium Eye Shader and Concealer brush the most, but I’m trying to experiment with all of them to become an expert!

    I recommend these for anyone! They are so worth it!

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