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Good makeup brushes are truly essential items regardless of how much makeup you wear. Some people just need a simple powder brush to achieve even and light coverage.
Others need a full-fledged set of brushes for eyeshadow, contouring, brow shaping, and more. But whether you need two brushes or 20, there’s no reason to spend a fortune on them.
Finding a balance between quality and affordability is crucial. You certainly don’t want brushes that shed easily or scratch your skin. At the same time, you likely don’t want to pay $20 or $30 for a single brush.
Fortunately, this list has all of your bases covered. It features highly-rated and reputable makeup brushes that are all under $15 and average less than $8. Let’s start exploring your options!
The Best Foundation And Concealer Brushes
The Expert Face Brush is my go-to tool for applying foundation that looks totally seamless. The firm bristles hold product really well and applies it without looking streaky.
The shape of the brush and the bristles also makes it easy to buff out any lines around my jawline. Overall, I consider it a staple for making my skin look great when I’m sporting my favorite cosmetics.
This foundation brush has over 1,300 amazing Amazon ratings and it only costs about $5.
EcoTools is undoubtedly one of my favorite affordable makeup brush brands. This flat foundation brush is a great choice for applying liquid foundation.
The shape and style of the brush allow you to apply your chosen product in difficult spots – beneath your eyes, around your nose, and so on.
The bristles are soft, but they’re still quite firm and hold liquid product well. This is another brush that has fantastic Amazon feedback from makeup lovers, and it costs under $2.
e.l.f. Cosmetics has a nice selection of brushes, but I find their Studio line (the black brushes) to be the best ones. They are truly impressive in terms of quality, durability, and price.
This antibacterial concealer brush can be used with liquid or powder products to help conceal any problem areas. I’ve never needed to use it with powder, but it certainly applies liquid concealer very well.
This is another drugstore makeup brush that has pretty great feedback on Amazon, and it cost just over $6.
The Best Powder And Blush Brushes
This is another high-quality powder brush that features long fluffy bristles and the classic rounded style. Like other brushes from the Real Techniques line, this one holds product well.
You can use it to easily apply powdered makeup and get flawless-looking results. I’ve used this brush before, and I find that it pairs best with loose face powder.
It’s got more than 700 ratings from Amazon buyers, and they leave genuinely positive feedback. You can add this powder brush to your collection for less than $6.
I have a lot of powder brushes, but the Studio Kabuki Face Brush from e.l.f. is truly my favorite. The bristles are ultra soft but still firm. It’s very easy to create buildable coverage using this tool and the product of your choice.
I’ve used it for a light dusting of powder on bare skin and to get full coverage over foundation. I’ve also used it to apply blush, and I was surprised at how well it worked for that!
It creates a flawless look that’s about as close to airbrushed as you can get. The small, thick handle makes application a breeze, too. This brush has stellar ratings and it’s under $4.
The Real Techniques Sculpting Brush is certainly one of the most versatile brushes I have in my collection. It’s perfecting for contouring your cheekbones, nose, chin, and forehead.
I enjoy using it when I want my blush to look more eye-catching. It can even be used along your jawline to help buff out any excess foundation.
The bristles are very dense but soft, and they’re crafted into a sharp angle. This makes it easy to create the looks you desire with ultimate precision. You can get this truly valuable brush for less than $8.
The Best Lip Makeup Brushes
This is my go-to lip brush for a handful of different reasons. As I mentioned above, e.l.f. creates truly high-quality brushes that don’t cost a fortune. This brush is also perfect for traveling due to its compact size and retractable design.
I typically use it to touch up the edges of my lips or to define my cupid’s bow. The pointed tip of the brush is great for precise application and correction.
The bristles are firm and wipe clean very easily. This convenient and highly-rated lip makeup brush is less than $3.
JAPONESQUE is a mid-range to high-end makeup brand found in makeup stores like Ulta and Sephora. However, their brushes can be found on Amazon for pretty attractive prices!
The bristles of this lip brush are tapered but flat, so they pick up product very effectively. It is excellent for filling in every crevice of your lips to get smooth, flawless lip color.
In my experience rushes like this are particularly useful with liquid lipsticks. You can ensure every bit of your lips are covered evenly.
The brush features a retractable design and sturdy cap, so it makes a great addition to your purse or makeup bag. On Amazon, this brush is just under $11.
This signature Real Techniques brush features their high-quality bristles, but they’re a bit different in order to work perfectly with lip products. The brush’s bristles are super firm and packed tightly together to pick up color and apply it with superb precision.
This brush features a semi-tapered tip so you can get even coverage while also correcting any smudges or mishaps. Now in a convenient retractable design, this brush is easier to use and carry than ever before. You can snag it for just about $3.
The Best Eye Makeup Brushes
Smokey eye makeup is all the rage, and this Revlon smokey eye brush is excellent for achieving this trendy look. However, this double-ended brush can do so much more than create one trendy style.
One end of the tool features a small slanted brush that can be used for eyeliner, eyebrows, and to define your lash line with shadow. It even works as a crease brush for extra definition.
The smudge dome helps minimize harsh lines and creates professional looking results. This all-in-one tool with a stellar star rating is a true steal for just under $7.
Taming your brows is an essential part of looking put together. I make sure to groom mine whether I’m sporting full makeup or a light BB cream and chapstick.
This Real Technique brow groomer is a must-have with nearly 400 exceptional reviews. One side of the brush features non-porous bristles that seamlessly brush your brows into place.
The comb side can be used for fine grooming when you’re looking to fully style your eyebrows. I use the comb side along with brow pomade to get a super-sleek look.
You can run the comb through your lashes to instantly remove mascara clumps! This is a truly crucial tool to have and it’s less than $5.
I recently invested in this cheap eyeshadow brush set, and I can honestly say it beats out some higher-end tools I’ve used. Each tool is double-ended, so you basically get four eyeshadow brushes for a super low price.
The shading brush is for applying your base shadow and the define brush is for lining and adding definition.
The blending brush is for seamlessly blending shadows together and enhancing your crease, and the smudge brush is for lining your eyelid and lash line with shadow or eyeliner. You can get these tools, which have over 250 great Amazon ratings, for just about $4.
The Best Makeup Brush Sets
The Real Techniques Core Collection Set features several different tools that are must-haves for your makeup collection. Each brush features the truly signature bristles found on Real Techniques brushes.
The non-porous design is highly resistant to bacteria, dead skin cells, and excess makeup. The Pointed Foundation Brush and Buffing Brush are perfect for creating a flawless base using foundation and powder.
The Contour Brush can be used for creating definition all over your face using your products of choice. It also works well with blush and bronzer for sculpting your cheekbones.
The Buffing Brush can be used for all over smoothing to finish up your makeup look. This set, which has over 2,000 impressive ratings, can be yours for about $7 (current sale price).
As far as value goes, I think this EcoTools set truly has a lot to offer. It comes equipped with five diverse brushes that cover all of your potential needs.
The set includes one powder/blush brush, one lightly tapered foundation brush, one rounded eyeshadow brush, one flat eyeliner brush, and one lip brush. You can create a full face look using this single set.
The brushes can be used with wet or dry products. They’re made from EcoTools signature soft, hand-cut bristles and sleek wooden handles. If you’re a minimalist or just want a nice starter set, this is a truly great choice.
This EcoTools set has very positive reviews on Amazon and other sites, and it’s available for just under $12.
You can see that this isn’t quite a brush set, but it’s a noteworthy sponge set that’s incredibly versatile. This Amazon bestseller features two makeup sponges that are contoured on one end and feature a fine tip on the other end.
The precision tip is an excellent option for covering acne, small blotches, and other problem areas like this. The flat contoured edge is used for creating definition anywhere you’d like while applying makeup.
The body of the sponge is designed to blend in your foundation to create a perfectly smooth base. I recommend using the sponges damp to create the most natural looking results.
This is a true steal of a deal; you can get this Real Techniques set for just over $8.
The Best Brushes Without Breaking The Bank
As you can tell from buyer feedback and my personal reviews, these brushes for makeup are truly exceptional. They’re durable, high-quality, and incredibly affordable.
This certainly defeats the notion that cheap makeup brushes must be cheap in design. The options on this list are far from that. Why pay as much as $30 per brush just for a brand name that works the same? There’s simply no need to do so.
You can get exactly what you need for $3 to $15! For more posts about saving money while looking great, check out Top 36 Drugstore Makeup Deals On Amazon Under $20 and 20 Fashion And Beauty Sites That Offer Free Shipping. Thanks for reading and happy frugaling!