Makeup Brushes on a Budget

Hey friends!

Hope your Wednesday finds you well! Things in my little space of the world are bananas as always, but they are also very good.

Today’s topic is not exactly exciting, but it’s fairly essential in the world of makeup. That’s right, I’m here today to speak to you about makeup brushes. (I assume this is not super exciting, but there could be a person out there who adores collecting makeup brushes-who am I to judge.)

However we all need makeup brushes, so I’m here to help you find the best cheap ones. Also I have inserted the free stock photo to below to make this post more glamorous.

This is what comes up when you search for "glamorous". Photo Courtesy of: Imagerymajestic

This is what comes up when you search for “glamorous”. Photo Courtesy of: Imagerymajestic

You’re welcome.

Now on to the business.

Makeup Brushes on a Budget


So many of the items I feature on these budget posts, I feel are great, cheaper alternatives to their expensive counterparts. (For example, I do not believe in paying $23 for lipstick, not my jam, sorry.)

I personally don’t mind shelling out a few extra dollars here and there for quality brushes. I have a few Sigma and Bare Minerals brushes that I really like, and I do think their quality is worth the money. Brushes are an item I am actually okay splurging on from time to time.

However, I know not everyone can or wants to spend their hard earned cash on a brush. Especially when there are so many beautiful lipsticks and craft beers in the world.

So my minor disclaimer aside, all of the brushes mentioned below I do own and use, and hopefully you can find something that works in your budget, too.

Eye Brushes:

Real Techniques Kit, $17 at Ulta

Real Techniques Kit, $17 at Ulta

I have this Real Techniques Kit I got from Ulta that I think has a great value. I only really use the first two brushes featured, but I use them almost daily for blending on my brow bone and in  my crease.

Sonia Kashuk Core Tools Medium Eye Shadow Brush, $6

Sonia Kashuk Core Tools Medium Eye Shadow Brush, $6

I use the Sonia Kashuk Core Tools Medium Eye Shadow Brush for applying eye shadow all over my lids. I also like the Small Eye Shadow Brush for just doing inner and outer corners of the eye lid.

e.l.f. Crease Brush, $1 (This was the only photo I could find really showing the brush)

e.l.f. Crease Brush, $1 (This was the only photo I could find really showing the brush)

I use this $1 crease brush by e.l.f. for putting color on to my crease. (Then I go back with the Real Techniques brush mentioned above and blend out.)

Essence of Beauty Eye Shadow Brush Duo, $3 at Walgreens

Essence of Beauty Eye Shadow Brush Duo, $3 at Walgreens

I got this Essence of Beauty duo of eye shadow brushes from Walgreens for $3. I use them almost exclusively for putting color onto my Outer-V and also when I need a small area blended out.

e.l.f. Small Angled Brush, $3

e.l.f. Small Angled Brush, $3

Moving onto eyeliner, I love the $3 e.l.f. Small Angled Brush from their studio line for applying gel and cream liners. I have a couple of these because they are so cheap!

e.l.f. Brow Comb

e.l.f. Brow Comb, $1

I’m going to be honest, I use this guy solely for fixing my clumpy mascara mistakes. But hey-it’s a buck and it works!

Face Brushes:

Real Techniques, Expert Face Brush, $9

Real Techniques, Expert Face Brush, $9

I use this Real Techniques Expert Face Brush for applying liquid foundation. I think it does a great job of smoothly and evenly applying foundation, and the $9 price tag is not too bad for a quality brush.

Eco Tools Mineral Brush Set, $13 at Ulta

Eco Tools Mineral Brush Set, $13 at Ulta

When I decide to venture into mineral face makeup, I like to use this Eco Tools Brush set. The brushes are mini size so they are also nice for traveling. I still like my Bare Minerals brushes better, but these are a much cheaper alternative.

e.l.f. Angled Blush Brush, $3

e.l.f. Angled Blush Brush, $3

Even with the other face brushes I mentioned, I specifically like to use the e.l.f. Angled Blush Brush  for my blush. I like that the angle makes it easy to apply my blush in a flattering way (instead of having red cheeks, which I am prone to with my heavy-handedness).

I also keep one of these bad boys handy for contouring, whenever that rare urge strikes. Again, the angle makes it easier for me to control where the powder goes.

Eco Tools Fan Brush, $8

Eco Tools Fan Brush, $8

When I remember to use a brush for highlighting, I like this Eco Tools Fan Brush. The bristles are very soft, but I feel like they do a nice job blending in the powder.

Bonus Lip Brush:

e.l.f. Small Precision Brush, $3

e.l.f. Small Precision Brush, $3

To be honest, I have no idea what this brush’s intended use is, I just like to use it for lipstick application. This is especially handy for my indie lip products that come in clam shell jars.

Overall, even though I’m a fancy brush lady, (HA. NO.), I use and like all of the brushes above. Most of them are cheap enough that you can take a chance with them and see if they also work in your beer budget beauty routine.

Questions of the Day:
-What are your thoughts on expensive makeup brushes? Do you splurge or save?
-What’s one makeup brush you can’t live without?
-Is staring at a disco ball really glamorous?





5 thoughts on “Makeup Brushes on a Budget

  1. awesome post! I definitely save on brushes. Save the money for the makeup!

    unrelated question – what do you use for images like the one at the top with the title and photos of brushes? and when you use product photos- do you take them from a site where they are sold?

    • Hi Rachel,
      I usually use Picasa to make my collages and PicMonkey or Pixlr to do my editing. I try to take as many of my own pictures as I can using a cheap light box set up I got from Amazon, but in the case of this post all of the pictures are taken from Target, Ulta or e.l.f.’s website. (And the picture of the disco ball girl was from a royalty-free photo website). I never use another blogger’s pictures.

      Hope that helps!

  2. Makeup brushes are definitely not boring! I really don’t need any more than I already have…but that doesn’t stop me from ogling new ones. I love the Real Techniques face brush you featured, as well as their blush brush. As for the rest of my collection, I splurged on a giant Sephora set that was on uber clearance in their sale section online. I’ve found that that’s a great place to snag quality brushes on a budget.

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