I lust after professional grade makeup brushes. Affording them, however, is another matter. I will give you some ideas of how you can find quality brushes at a budget price. Before you even think about purchasing brushes, you should ask yourself which ones you will actually USE. If the brushes are going to sit in a drawer and go unused, just save your money.
The best tool you have is absolutely free and readily available: your hands. According to Bobbi Brown’s Makeup Manual: For Everyone from Beginner to Pro, your fingers warm your makeup to body temperature thus making it easier to blend during application. Your makeup will also look less mask-like and more natural. Wash your hands first before you apply makeup and be aware of what you touch during makeup application. That means no petting Fido between foundation and concealer! I personally use my hands when applying foundation as I find I use less in comparison to brush application.
Brushes, however, can make all difference in makeup application.
When purchasing brushes, you want to consider what the bristles are comprised of and what that blend works better with. Natural hair brushes (pony, goat, sable) work better with powder based products like eye shadows or blush. Synthetic brushes, on the other hand, work best with cream products like concealer, eye liner and lip color.
It may surprise you to learn that the art store is one of the best places to find high quality/low cost brushes. For under $10 you can purchase a brush that would cost $30 at a high end beauty store. How out for a buy one, get one half sale or 40% off and you can find yourself with six brushes for half the cost of one designer brush. Sounds good, right?
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been building my budget brush collection. One thing I did to assess what I actually need was to analyze which makeup I enjoyed applying the most. A few months ago, I tended to use heavy foundation leading me to purchase foundation brushes and concealer brushes. While I use my concealer brush daily, my foundation brush has been retired for the past few months especially as the weather grew hotter.
Studio Tools Concealer Brush (similar)
Don’t worry about purchasing something and then not using it after a few months (like me and my foundation brush). Your brushes are the foundation of your makeup and you will most likely need that tool again in the future. Lately I’ve been into eyeshadow and have been scoping out possible brush options at the local Michaels. I found most brushes ran anywhere from $3-$10, which seemed very affordable to me. These craft stores are great because you can often hold out for deals or easily buy coupons. Large chain craft stores have weekly coupons that can save you 40%-50%.
One thing I will mention, however, is that it’s worth purchasing professional quality brushes, which will mean paying double a beginner’s brush. What you have to consider is that you are using these brushes on your body’s most sensitive and delicate skin. Have some sense and don’t beat your face up with some throw-away brush made for a third art class. If you are not sure about a brush’s quality, you may discretely test it on your face or hand in the store. Key word: discretely.
You may laugh and think these brushes all look the same, but I assure you they do perform a variety of tasks. The largest one serves as an all-over shadow brush where as the middle one allows me a medium level of coverage. The smallest one I will use to apply shadow underneath my lower eyelid as well as brow bone area. They are all made from natural goat hair, making their bristles soft and suitable for your face. How much these brushes would’ve cost me in the store? I do not even want to know!
I’ve also been using more blush lately, so I purchase a larger version of the brushes above. I especially love this blush because it allows for a more controlled application my cream blush.
Last, but certainly not least, two weeks ago I was on the hunt for a brush suitable to use with loose powder. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to use an art brush for this, as I wanted something really fluffy and soft. I stopped at Target to check out Sonia Kashuk’s brushes, but found them to be out of my price range ($10+). I looked around some more and found the same brush by the same brand on clearance for half the cost. The only difference? A completely ridiculous handle. Hey, when a designer makes a bad decision, the budget beauty hunter is the one who benefits!
I love this brush despite how funny it looks. It blends powder super well and provides lineless coverage.I hope this post provided you with some ideas about how to save money when it comes to makeup brushes. Budget doesn’t always mean cheap–there are ways to find quality products that won’t hurt your pocketbook whether that means shopping at the art supply store or purchasing a wackily designed product.
*Sources of information for this post came from Bobbi Brown’s Makeup Manual. Inspiration came from this video by Koren.