Our Favorite Affordable Makeup Brushes

There are so many brushes out there, ranging from affordable to this-is-insane-get-me-out-of-here. We’ve sifted through the options for the very best value.

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Here at CF, we’ve been discussing makeup essentials for college girls, along with our favorite products for each beauty category. This week, we’re going back to basics and discussing our favorite affordable makeup brushes.

To be honest, I’ve never been one for using a bunch of brushes in my daily routine— they’re fussy to clean and store, which can be a hassle. However, brushes are undeniably the best way to get an airbrushed, flawless blend on a variety of makeup techniques, especially for events and special occasions. 

Some of these brushes can get pricey quick, though, and I’m a firm believer that with certain makeup items, drugstore products can be just as good, if not better. I also wouldn’t personally feel comfortable recommending (or buying) $60 brushes – use that money for greater things, girl – so here are my favorite makeup brushes, from affordable to less-than-your-morning-coffee.

For base products:

revlon brush

For those of you who like traditional flat foundation brushes, this one from Revlon ($8.75) is just as soft and dense as other more expensive brushes and will give you a high-coverage, high-impact look.

elf brush

And if you like a more diffused finish, the Ultimate Blending Brush from ELF ($6) is a wildly popular, multi-use option. This brush is so soft and cruelty-free! You’ll see a lot of ELF brushes on this list.

elf brush

My favorite concealer brushes are ones that are small enough to just cover those little spots and points of discoloration for a more natural finish. This concealer brush by ELF ($1) gets the job done and is actually decent quality for the price! It doesn’t get better than this, folks.

real techniques brush

Pretty much all of Real Techniques’ brushes are quality, and this setting brush ($3.14) is no exception. It can be used for powder, highlight, gently brushing across your face to soothe yourself during the stressful semester— a multipurpose tool indeed. 

Another affordable powder brush you can try is from Wet n Wild ($2.99), a drugstore brand whose brush line became an instant hit as soon as they released.

For blush, contour, highlight:

elf stipple brush

This ELF Small Stipple Brush ($3) is so good and so versatile, I have three of them. I use this for blush, contour, and highlight, and it works so well for all of those products. It picks up and evenly disperses just the right amount of pigment on the face, and I seriously swear by it.

elf brush

ELF also has a brush specifically for contouring ($6), which has received rave reviews, not only from consumers but also from makeup artists. 

colourpop brush

The Small Fluff Brush from Colourpop ($7) is perfect for highlighting and so, so soft.

For eye products:

Since there are so many eye brushes out there, I’m just going to recommend some of my favorite brands. I received the Luxie eye brushes ($10-$36) in a Boxycharm and have not been able to stop using them. They’re soft, dense, never shed, and distribute pigment smoothly and perfectly over the eyes. A definite go-to in my makeup bag.

wet n wild brushes

These Wet n Wild Crease Brushes ($2.99 for three) are hands down the best deal of this whole list. They’re amazing value as well as simply great brushes. For less than three bucks, who could refuse?

colourpop brushes

The eye brushes from Colourpop ($5-$6) are also a steal and pretty good quality for the price. My personal favorite is their Tapered Blending Brush.

A few extras:

nyx brow brush

This double-ended brow brush from NYX ($9.99) is a winner on every front. It’s widely loved and very precise for those perfect brows!

maybelline lip brush

And lastly, for extra precision, use this Maybelline lip brush ($4.90), which will give you that flawless pout hassle-free. You can also use this tool to smudge or blur your lipstick, which is currently a super-trendy look!

And that’s it!

A masterpost of great, affordable brushes. Check them out and let me know what you think!

1 thought on “Our Favorite Affordable Makeup Brushes”

  1. Kind of sad so ecotools brushes made it on the list! Their blush brush is my FAVORITE, and their eyeshadow brushes are really great too


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