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My Favorite Bargain Makeup Brushes

By Sheila Arkee

Now that we’re only a handful of days away from February I think it’s a tad bit late for a Best of ’11 post, but I wanted to share some of my favorite makeup brushes.

If there’s one thing that I learned in 2011, it’s that you absolutely do not need to spend an arm and a leg for good quality makeup brushes. Of course I have a serious lemming for Shiseido’s foundation brush, but that’s another story.

The biggest difference between bargain brushes and their higher-priced relatives is the material. Lower priced brushes use synthetic materials instead of natural, animal hair. Brush technology has come a long way!

Real Techniques Brushes

First and foremost, let’s all give a standing round of applause for the Real Techniques brushes by the Pixiwoo sisters. Luxurious amazement, both the face and eye core sets are a MUST at under $20 per set. I’m gaga over the angled brow brush and the buffer brush. 

Up and Up Crease Brush 

I find myself constantly reaching for this $2 brush over MAC’s 217 brush, which  was my previous favorite that I couldn’t imagine living without. I never thought the day would come, but this Target brand brush is a definite contender.

e.l.f Studio Foundation Brush

Who knew synthetic fibers could feel so luxe? This Taklon brush is amazing for applying liquid foundation and also mineral powder foundation. At $3, it is a steal and you need at least 2 – one for liquids, one for powders.

EcoTools Concealer Brush

Stop the presses, because I really almost forgot to the include this brush which should really cost $30. At $4 it is the best concealer brush I’ve ever used, helping to blend away those pesky under eye discolorations.

Thu also wrote a great post with her bargain brush favorites that I highly recommend reading.

What are some of your favorite bargain makeup brushes?

Need help washing your brushes? Check out this Breaking Down Beauty that shows you just how to take care of your artistry tools.

  • ShannoninBC

    I do like some of the ELF brushes but not all. LOVE Ecotools, they are fab. However, the Real Techniques are not availabled in Canada *sigh* and they are high on my list for when I next travel into the states. Thanks for sharing :)

  • http://projectswatch.blogspot.com/ Emi at Project Swatch

    I agree with a lot of your choices – I use a variety of brushes both high and low end. Some of my favorites are the ELF $1 concealer brush (which I use as a lip brush) the ELF $3 eyeshadow brush, the Eco Tools bronzer brush (which I use as a powder brush), and the Sigma F80 (not super cheap, but a bargain for what it does).

  • Sheila – Painted Ladies

    Lemming for sigma f80: officially created.

  • http://www.beautyinfozone.com MarciaF (beauty info zone)

    I just gave my blog partner a set of Real Techniques for her birthday. One can never have too many brushes!!

  • http://www.jennstaz.com Jenn Staz

    I’ve been preaching the awesomeness of the Target crease brush for-EVER. It’s seriously the best. I think I own 3 now… excessive? ;)

    I am also in love with the real techniques brushes. I own the eye kit, the powder brush and the blush brush. I def have my eyes on the face kit. Everyone raves about that buffer brush.

  • Sheila – Painted Ladies

    Now that you mention it, I must get a couple more!

  • http://joydreamerstravels.blogspot.com Heather

    So glad you posted about the Up&Up brush since I bought it a few hours before I read this! Reconfirms my decision to buy it :) I can’t wait to use it! :) xx

  • http://thosegraces.com Courtney

    My favorite of all time, hands down has to be E.L.F.’s Powder brush.