The 10 best cheap makeup brushes that are really good
In a perfect world, we’d all have an extensive array of pro-grade tools to help ace an absolutely flawless face of makeup each day. (In this perfect world we’d also know how to use each and every one of them, exactly as intended!)
But we all know the world isn't perfect, and life essentials have a (completely annoying) way of dominating our financial priorities. A new car battery, or meeting the rent on time is SO much less appealing than picking up the latest Anastasia palette, but alas, gotta be done.
Curating a great kit may be a life goal, and there are so many high-end brushes worthy of putting on your shopping list, but if they’re out of reach right now, fear not.
If you’re selective, cheap makeup brushes can do an amazing job of applying your makeup, and their quality is far better than ever before, when it comes to price.
While many brands used to use natural animal hair for their brushes, the majority are switching to synthetic bristles kinder-to-our furry friends. Which means often there’s not a huge amount of difference between spenny brushes and the ones you can pick up for half the price of your last Uber Eats order.
Things that suck when it comes to cheapies? Bristles shedding and sticking to your skin, bristles that are scratchy, bristles that are too sparse and fling colour all over your face, bristles that are too slippery and wont pick up a decent amount of colour, bristles that leave big streaks on your face.
So yes, in our book, it's all about the bristles. So below, may we present the brushes that wont break the bank but will serve you and your face very well.
E.l.f. Blush brush, $12
It might blow your mind that we’re suggesting you pick up a brush from Kmart, but let yourself be distracted from your next cane pot-plant basket or throw pillow for long enough to check out e.l.f. brand and you'll thank us. The brushes are super affordable and a great starting point. This blush brush picks up just enough colour, the dome shape helps with natural placement and it blends impressively well.
Real Techniques Foundation Brush, $24.99
Real Techniques is THE go-to brand for the best quality and performance at a great price. The Brit brand has a good selection of brushes that are well made and incredibly dense, serving that airbrushed finish we're all aiming for. The angled-tip on this foundation brush makes it easy to get good coverage around the eyes and nose as well as the rest of the face.
Wet n Wild Proline Large Powder Brush, $16.99
Plush and soft and the tapered handle of this powder brush makes it easier and more elegant to use somehow. Use to dust loose powder all over your face to set makeup.
Designer Brands Dual Ended Powder Brush, $17.99
Much as dual-ended brushes cause a conundrum for those of us that store brushes standing upright, this one deserves credit for its size options. The bigger end handles a full face with ease, while the smaller end is perfect for setting under the eyes with powder.
Glam by Manicare Precision Highlight/Contour Brush, $19.99
Chisel out cheekbones with a soft contour powder or skim the tops with a touch of radiant highlighter using this fan-shaped brush.
Chi Chi concealer brush, $14.99
All credit to this little one for its pointed head, perfect for precisely dotting concealer over blemishes or minimising redness around the base of the nose.
Sephora Collection Classic Eyeshadow brush, $26
Sephora Collection is great for all manner of affordable beauty bits, but the brushes are especially worth checking out. This is the perfect starter eye brush if you’re still working on your technique, but even if you’ve clocked beauty vlogger status, it still works great to get a decent coverage of shadow on your lids.
Zoeva Rose Golden 228 Luxe Crease Brush, $21
Another go-to brand when it comes to professional quality at great prices. It's worth invesitaging Zoeva's brush sets if you're starting out and want a good variety, but we particularly like this one for the way it adeptly blends shadow through the crease of your lid, essential if you're creating a smoky eye.
Mecca Max Cat Eye Definer Angled Liner brush, $26
Stiff and fine enough to create a sleek and slim line but easy to amp up the cat-eye flick too, this angle brush is perfect to use with pot gel eyeliner.
Dr Hauschka Lip Brush, $20
The rounded-tip on this brush makes applying bright and bold lip colours easy, giving a sharp lip line that can't be beat by applying straight from the bullet.
Are you happy to spend or do you prefer to save on makeup brushes?