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June 27, 2021

The Best Affordable Makeup Brushes: A Top 5 Review

People often think that the more expensive makeup is, the higher the quality. There is a myth that you need to spend a lot of money on great makeup brushes for them to work well. Don’t be like the many who have spent hundreds of dollars before learning that this is a myth.

After doing thorough research, we found the best affordable makeup brushes. This buying guide compares each of the products and classifies which ones are the best according to categories, as well as explores the pros and cons of each set.

Ready to find the most affordable makeup brush sets? Keep reading.

Why you should invest in makeup brushes

You might find yourself wondering why you should even bother buying makeup brushes in the first place. We get it – if you’ve been using a beauty blender for years, you may not see the need for brushes. If a beauty blender can do the job, why fix something that’s not broken? But we promise that your makeup game will improve after using makeup brushes. Here’s why you should invest in quality makeup brushes.

Provide a flawless finish

Makeup brushes are better at setting the products into your skin. Blenders and sponges rub the product onto your skin, which sometimes doesn’t sit as well as it could. If you want a more blended look, brushes are the way to go.

For example, using a good foundation brush gives you fuller coverage. You can tell the difference between someone who just rubbed foundation onto their skin vs. someone who blended with a brush. Brushes are made to make sure that your skin looks flawless and that the makeup looks more natural.

Even application

Every makeup lover knows the nightmare of having an uneven application. You think that you’re doing great, and then you suddenly have different colored patches. Using your hands or blenders often ends in disappointment. Fortunately, brushes have bristles that prevent streaky makeup, leaving an even finish.

Even makeup application means that you spend less product trying to fix your mistakes. Another common problem with using your hands or a sponge is that you use more products than necessary. Makeup brushes are an essential expense that saves you money in the long run.

Target specific areas

Having one tool for everything never ends well. In the same way chefs have different knives for different ingredients and mechanics have various tools for different uses, a makeup enthusiast needs brushes to suit their needs.

If you want to create stunning eyeshadow looks, you’ll need at least three different eye brushes. If you want a great highlight and contour, you’ll need at least two brushes. For a great foundation, you need one brush. To total it up, a well-blended full face of makeup look requires at least eight brushes.

We went ahead and found some amazing brush sets that can fit within your budget. But first, here’s a list of some common brushes you might want in your set.

Which brushes should look for in a set

  • Powder brush
  • Foundation brush
  • Angled blush brush
  • Highlighter brush
  • Concealer brush
  • Face powder brush
  • Browline brush
  • Eyeshadow blending brush
  • Flat eyeshadow brush
  • Angled eyeshadow brush
  • Eyebrow brush
  • Tapered blending brush
  • Detailed eyeliner brush
  • Concealer brush
  • Bronzer brush
  • Kabuki brush
  • Duo-fiber brush
  • Pencil brush

1. BS-MALL18 Pcs Makeup Brush Set – The Best Overall

This is the best overall set because it ranks highly amongst beginners. These brushes are incredibly soft and well-priced.

With 18 different brushes, this set is classified as a makeup brush set. You’ll get concealer, foundation, blush, crease, eyeshadow, angled brushes, and so many more. You’ll also get a spoolie for your eyebrows. This set is perfect for both beginners and advanced makeup users.

The brushes are tastefully arranged for your convenience. Unlike other sets, these brushes are divided according to use. If you’re a beginner, you can quickly learn which brush to use at which stage. If you’re a professional makeup artist (MUA), you can work faster without having to look through your tools every time. Convenience and quality in a single purchase? It’s no surprise that these brushes made it to our list.

This makeup brush set is an elegant champagne gold color. In a world where most brushes are dull black or underwhelming gray, yours will stand out. The champagne gold color sets you apart without drawing too much attention to yourself. This is an excellent option for you if you like adding a pop of color to your makeup products.

The brushes are made from premium quality synthetic fibers. The bristles are made from nylon, and the handles are made of alloy and wood materials. The bristles provide a more finished look, while the handles are strong enough to endure frequent use.

Pros

  • The set is the most affordable amongst the Top 10 Amazon Bestsellers for Makeup Brush Sets and Kits.
  • It comes in a black case that’s easy to carry around or fit in your makeup set.
  • You’ll be buying it directly from a small brand that’s committed to making high-quality products.
  • The bristles are ultra-soft and suitable for sensitive skin.
  • The brushes are shaped according to use.
  • The kit has a wide range of brushes.
  • Handles are made of strong wood.

Cons

  • The foundation brush gives a dewy finish, so it might not be for you if you prefer matte looks.
  • The case is plastic, so it might not last as long as other makeup cases.

2. FEIYAN 15 pcs Makeup Brush Set – The Best Runner-Up

This 15-piece is the best runner-up because it is vegan-friendly, and the brushes don’t shed. Even though it doesn’t have as many brushes as the BS-MALL set, it makes makeup application much more manageable.

These makeup brushes are a rare combination of dense and soft. When brushes are soft, it usually means that they shed quickly. The brushes may become less dense as time passes. The FEIYAN brushes are different because they retain their density. The bulk doesn’t make the brushes clumpy but makes them better equipped to hold make-up.

This assortment of make-up brushes is vegan-friendly. Unlike some other natural hair brushes, no animals are harmed in making these brushes. The soft synthetic hairs make the application process so much easier. You can enjoy applying makeup knowing that your products are cruelty-free.

On top of getting premium quality brushes, you also get a brush cleaner when you buy this set. A brush cleaner is a convenient tool that is often sold separately. This product beats out the others in this guide because it makes upkeep more manageable. Plus, the set comes with a lovely bag for storage. Even though it’s already affordable, buying this set means getting more than your money’s worth.

Pros

  • The set comes with an instructional booklet for beginners or professional artists that want to brush up on their knowledge.
  • The set comes in a vegan-friendly case.
  • Each brush is protected with a net to protect the bristles while in transit.
  • The makeup brushes come with a brush cleaner for easy upkeep.
  • You also get a beauty blender when you buy the set.
  • Black handles with gold accents give the brushes an elegant and refined look.
  • Unlike other sellers, the company offers a full refund and a satisfaction guarantee backs the brushes.
  • The brushes are cruelty-free.
  • Each brush is regular-sized so that you can hold them easily.

Cons

  • A recent Amazon buyer complained that they only received 14 brushes. However, if this happens to you, you can quickly contact Amazon and the seller.
  • Some people complained about a chemical smell when the brushes first arrived. The smell goes away after the first one or two washes.

3. SHANY Artisan’s Easel

This premium brush set has 18 pieces. Each brush is made from the most delicate bristles and has curved micro-tips. The smooth bristles pick up makeup well and make for even better blending. Whether you need an eyeshadow brush or a kabuki brush – this set has you well covered.

The shining star of this set is how it comes with a pouch that doubles as an easel. You can carry the pouch around with the rest of your makeup, then use it as an easel when you’re applying your makeup. Having your brushes stand upright is helpful because it makes it easier to choose which brush to use at which point, making the whole process go by faster.

These brushes are generally packed down more than the other makeup brush sets. The other sets have pouches, but the brushes are not held down, increasing the chances of damage during transit. However, SHANY’s set holds down each brush with two elastics. Once you slip the brush through the elastic, you know that it’s secure and stabilized.

This makeup brush set is cruelty-free. Some beauty bloggers encourage natural hair brushes, but we disagree. Natural hair brushes are unethical because they are made from animal hair. It’s better to invest in synthetic brushes that you can use without anything weighing on your conscience. SHANY is a PETA-approved company and great for those who care about cruelty-free beauty.

Pros

  • The set contains the top 18 most essential brushes. You can get a professional’s entire collection at an affordable price.
  • The makeup pouch doubles as a brush stand. Using it as an easel makes the makeup application process easier.
  • The brushes have stylish and elegant black handles.
  • The soft bristles pick up the perfect amount of product. You only get the powder you require – nothing more and nothing less.
  • The pouch is dustproof and easy to clean. It protects your brushes from leftover makeup powder. If it gets dirty while using it, you can wipe it down using wet wipes or a paper towel.
  • Like the FEIYAN set, these brushes come with codes and instructions for use.
  • They don’t shed easily. You can use and wash them multiple times, and they won’t lose any density.
  • Each brush is labeled, so they’re great for makeup novices.

Cons

  • A verified Amazon customer complained that the kabuki brush doesn’t pick up the foundation as well as brushes from other sets.
  • Some customers complained about a strong chemical smell when they opened the brushes.

4. Docolor Eye Makeup Brushes

This unique brush set comes in beautiful colors inspired by brightly-colored macarons. The brush handles come in varying hues of blue, yellow, pink, and purple. Buying colorful brushes is an easy way of brightening your day and adding a pop of color to your makeup collection.

Docolor’s makeup brush set has essential eye makeup brushes. The collection has 16 pieces, including eyeshadow brushes, eyebrow brushes, concealer brushes, blending brushes, and many more. However, this is more of a luxury purchase because it only has eye makeup brushes. As a beginner, we suggest that you have a more comprehensive set before buying target-specific makeup brush sets.

The bristles are made from a premium mixture of synthetic and natural fibers. Even though we discourage the use of natural fibers, they are great when mixed with synthetic bristles. Sometimes synthetic products hold too much product or they are too soft, so they leave streaky marks behind. Mixing the synthetic materials with natural hair balances this disadvantage out. Plus, natural hair bristles are gentler on your skin.

The brushes have an aluminum tube which makes them more resistant to wear and tear so they will last longer. Brushes are an investment that you don’t want to buy regularly, so we suggest that you buy brushes that will last a long time. It’s annoying and expensive when brushes periodically break, and you’re forced to buy more.

Pros

  • Each brush is labeled with a number that tells you what you’re supposed to use it for. For example, 01 is an eyeshadow blending brush.
  • The bright colors are beautiful, and they’ll lift your mood.
  • According to an Amazon customer, the brushes are soft, and they blend very well.
  • The brushes are lightweight.
  • The bristles are really dense, so they easily catch your makeup.
  • The handles are made from durable resin material, so they are easy to clean and will last a long time.
  • The brushes have a medium thickness, making them easy to pick up and use at challenging angles.
  • They are a great investment for anyone who wants to do detailed eye makeup looks.

Cons

  • It’s not a comprehensive set. The brushes only cater to eye and lip makeup.
  • The brushes don’t come in a pouch or bag.

5. BESTOPE Makeup Brushes

This 16-piece makeup set has five big kabuki brushes and 11 precision brushes. It also comes with extra makeup sponges and a spoolie. You can use the kabuki brushes for foundation and concealers and the precision brushes for highlight, contour, and eyeshadows. The makeup sponges are extra helpful because you can use them to clean up any streaky marks and improve blending.

The face brushes are tapered, while the powder brushes are soft and fluffy. Tapered face brushes are more effective because they have precise tips. If you want to create sharp angles, you’ll require sharp precision. The fluffy powder brushes make flat sides, which is terrific for contouring and applying powder.

The brushes are made from premium synthetic fibers. Like most of the other brush sets, this set is made from high-quality synthetic hair. The fibers are soft and dense and work well with liquid, cream, powder, and matte products. It is disappointing when you buy brushes only to learn that they don’t work with liquid foundation or cream blushes and highlighters. You can avoid disappointment by purchasing these makeup brushes.

The handles are made from ferrule and wood material. The jury is still out on whether aluminum or wooden handles are best. Aluminum handles are more durable, but wood handles have a better grip. If you care more about grip, these affordable makeup brushes are an ideal choice for you.

Pros

  • You receive extra makeup sponges and a brush cleaner when you buy this set.
  • The soft synthetic fibers provide a high-definition finish.
  • The makeup sponges are made from non-latex fibers.
  • The brushes are easy to clean. All you need is shampoo, running water, and the brush cleaner.
  • The copper and black handles are elegant.
  • The bristles are firm around the copper base, so they don’t shed easily.

Cons

  • The brushes don’t come in a pouch, so you’ll have to find your own storage method.
  • Some customers complained that the brushes had a strong chemical smell even though they were individually wrapped.
  • They aren’t labeled for beginners, so it would be hard for beginners to know which brush is which.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About the Best Affordable Makeup Brushes

Is buying an affordable set worth it?

Some people might tell you that buying affordable sets isn’t worth it because they break easily. There are reports that the brushes either shed too quickly or they break with regular use. There are also questions about the quality of the fibers and how well they pick up product.

We disagree because the same concerns can apply to expensive brushes. As a beginner, it’s better to invest in higher-end products and not brushes. You can build a brush collection as you get better, but there’s nothing much you can do about cheap makeup. Regardless, these brush sets are amazing for what you get. They might have their pros and cons, but they are definitely worthy purchases.

Does it matter how many pieces are in each set?

Not really. The most important thing is what you want to use the brushes for. We encourage you to buy 18-piece sets so that you have the most options. If you have a brush set that rivals that of a professional makeup artist, the easier it is for you to pull off professional looks.

The answer also depends on whether you want to target specific areas. If you’re more interested in setting a good base, you’ll want to opt for a set with many kabuki brushes, like the BESTOPE brush set. If you’re interested in eye looks, you can buy a collection geared toward eye makeup, like the Docolor set.

Final Word

Choosing the right brush collection can be stressful. It’s easy to get lost in the number of brushes needed and how each one has a specific use. It’s even more difficult for makeup novices who are just trying to get a leg up. However, we are here to help.

The list above compiles the best affordable brushes. Each set has its own pros and cons, and the choice is in your hands to decide which one will work best for the makeup looks you’re wanting to accomplish.

We hope that this article was informative and has made it easier to find the best affordable makeup brushes. If you have any other makeup-related questions feel free to message us or explore the rest of our site.

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