The quality of your makeup brushes and tools is just as important as the makeup itself. Luckily, there are so many options for budget friendly makeup brushes to help you with every step of your routine.
Keep reading to discover my four favorite budget makeup brush brands, listed in no particular order. Wondering which brushes you need in your collection? Check out my Essential Makeup Brush Guide for Beginners for more suggestions.
1. Real Techniques
Available at many drugstores, Target, and Ulta Beauty, Real Techniques has a large variety of makeup tools that won’t break the bank. I’ve owned many Real Techniques makeup brushes throughout the years, and they are all still going strong with proper care (regular washing). Founded by two OG YouTube beauty gurus, Sam and Nic Chapman, the brushes are made with ease of use in mind— lightweight, easy to clean, while having close to high-end quality bristles. They are cruelty-free and vegan, as well as PETA certified.
I highly suggest trying out the Real Techniques Everyday Essentials Set ($19.99), which includes tools for blush, foundation, shadow, highlighter and concealer. It also includes the cult favorite Miracle Complexion Sponge ($4.89), which is hands down the best affordable blending sponge. The flat edge makes it easy to spread product over the entire face, and the pointed end works well to blend in tight spaces like the under-eye area.
My one complaint with Real Techniques is that most of their brushes have very thick handles. They’re bulky to store and travel with.
2. Practk by Sigma Beauty
Sigma Beauty has been well known for their prestige brushes for years— but recently, they started a more affordable line called Practk (think of the first part of the word practical to help with pronunciation) Sold on both the Sigma Beauty website as well as Amazon, the range includes single brushes, brush sets, sponges, and brush cleaning tools. Having tried both Sigma’s standard quality and these budget brushes, the quality is almost indiscernible. The bristles are so soft, and blend product beautifully. The synthetic, vegan and cruelty free brushes are also hypoallergenic, and their brushes are backed by a 1 year warranty. I enjoy using all of their brushes, though my favorites are the Large Blend Eye Brush ($7) which diffuses eyeshadow effortlessly, and their Fan Highlighter Brush ($9) which has a tapered point for precise highlighting. Check out my more in-depth review of their brushes and tools in this post.
3. e.l.f. Precision Brush Collection
Along with their great budget-friendly makeup, e.l.f. has many brush options in stores and online. However, I’ve found each collection to be hit-or-miss in terms of performance. My absolute favorite brush collection from the brand is the Precision Brush Collection (formerly known as the Beautifully Precise brush collection). The brushes are sold both individually and as a full set. The bristles of this brush line are the softest I’ve felt from e.l.f., and I love the shapes offered in this collection. The slim handles also make for easy storage, and as with the rest of the brand, the brushes are vegan and cruelty free. You really can’t go wrong with anything from this collection, but I particularly love the huge Precision Powder Brush ($10) and the Precision Airbrush Stipple Brush ($10).
4. BH Cosmetics
This post wouldn’t be complete without mentioning BH Cosmetics. My first ever brush set was from this brand, and they’ve only gotten bigger and better since then. Affordable brush sets are their claim to fame, and they’ve got so many that will have every step of your routine covered. Many of their brush sets also come with either a stand or carrying case for easy storage. While you can also buy single brushes, the sets are where the value is at… as long as you choose the right one for you. Some of my favorite sets of theirs that I think are very well-rounded for a realistic makeup routine include the Crystal Quartz 12 Piece Brush Set ($29), the White Marble 9 Piece Brush Set ($27) and the Poolside Chic 12 Piece Brush Set ($26). All of BH Cosmetics’ brushes are cruelty free, though not all of them are vegan. If you’re specifically looking for their vegan options, click here. HOT TIP: If you use the code SlashedBeauty at checkout, you can score 10% off!