I’ve always believed that your makeup application is only as good as your tools. I’ve said this to many friends and family members who’ve asked me for tips and tricks on makeup. Being the owner of 75 makeup brushes (yes, this is what addition looks like), I guess it’s not too hard to see the extent to which I live by this tip. I have quite an assortment of brushes from all different brands, both high end and affordable, and from owning such a diverse collection, I feel that I can really pick out some of my favorite more inexpensive brushes. Quick disclaimer, I by no means think that more affordable brushes are inferior to fancy brand name expensive ones. To be honest, I often choose some of my “drugstore” brushes over my high end ones; I have favorites in both categories. So in terms of less expensive brushes to help build your collection, I have a few favorite brands: Real Techniques and BH Cosmetics.
Starting off with Real Techniques, these are some of the first brushes I ever purchased. These synthetic brushes are amazing quality and at a pretty fair price. Although I haven’t tried out their entire range, I mostly have their face brushes, if their quality is consistently this good throughout their collection, then these are hard to beat. My favorite brush from Real Techniques has to be their Blush Brush ($8.99). This brush was my holy grail blush brush for years. I only recently started using it for bronzer, but wow, it just applies powder products like a dream. It’s great for applying even and perfectly blended cheek colors and it can really do no wrong. I highly recommend this brush. Their standard Powder Brush ($9.99) is also really wonderful. It has great density, so you can really work powder into the skin to build up coverage or just tap the brush gently into the product and apply a light dusting to set foundation. My favorite way to use this brush is for blotting powder touch ups because it doesn’t disturb your foundation as it applies. The next brush I have and love from Real Techniques is their Expert Face Brush ($8.99). This short and dense foundation brush is an amazing multi-tasker. It’s great for applying and blending out foundation to create beautiful coverage without absorbing too much product. It’s also great for blending out cream bronzer and contour products because of its narrow shape. Cream blush is a breeze to apply with this brush as well. Those are my three favorites from Real Techniques. They also make amazing kits such as their Starter Brush Kit ($17.99), their Cheek and Lip Set ($19.99), and their Travel Essentials ($18.99) and I’ve heard amazing things about their Setting Brush ($7.99) for both blending out concealer and setting it. Another thing that Real Techniques does well, is blending sponges. If you don’t want to splash out on the Beauty Blender, definitely check out their Miracle Complexion Sponge ($6.99).
Moving on to BH Cosmetics, these brushes are some of my favorite synthetic foundation brushes. I gravitate to these ones, often over my higher end brushes, to bend out foundation, concealer, or any other cream products. I purchased 2 sets of brushes from BH Cosmetics, the Sculpt and Blend 10 piece set and the Eye Essential 7 piece brush set ($10). These sets really are an amazing bang for your buck. My personal favorite kit, the Sculpt and Blend kit is currently on sale for $20 from $32! I love the The #124 Tapered Face Blending brush for foundation. It’s not super dense which is really great when you’re working with more liquid formulas of foundation and it applies product beautifully. I love the #125 Tapered Contour brush for cream bronzer and contour products such as my Soleil Tan de Chanel cream bronzer (video here). The #126 Precision Blush brush is perfect for cream blush and blending out contour products because it’s so narrow. I also like the #128 Small Deluxe Blending Brush for a really precise contour, especially with the Smashbox Contour Sticks. The #129 Small Round Blending Brush is good for concealer. Overall this kit is awesome! The Eye Essential kit is good, not as good as the Sculpt and Blend set, but I still enjoy it. This is definitely something to pick up if you’re an absolute beginner in the makeup brush department because it’s so inexpensive and it’s a nice starter eye kit. I like the #101 Blending Brush for applying transition shades in the crease, #103 Small Shader Brush for all over lid colors and brow bone highlighting, and the #105 Pencil brush for the lower lash line. Those are my favorites in the set. The #107 Small Angled brush is also good for brow pomades. Overall, from what I’ve seen, BH Cosmetics does a great job of producing quality brushes at a really amazing price. Definitely check these out if you’re on a budget.
Although I think it’s really important to have the right tools to get the best makeup application, it doesn’t mean you have to shell out your life’s savings to build your brush collection. There are some amazing inexpensive brush options that can really add to your collection and make an incredible difference in the way your makeup applies. From what I’ve tried, both Real Techniques and BH Cosmetics are great brands that sell high quality brushes at a low price. If you’re on a budget or if you’ve just started building your collection, definitely look to these two brands to help start you off at an affordable price.
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