Newbie Post: Cheap Brushes 101

| April 16, 2009 | 14 Comments


Ahh yes….it’a another post for “Newbie News”. Brushes!! One of the most common questions I get is, “Where can I get good and cheap brushes?”

Giiiirl, lemme tell you. I know some may say that MAC Cosmetics brushes are the best and that else nothing is comparable, but I don’t think that’s true. While I do love the quality and overall performance of MAC brushes, I think that there are other phenomenal brushes for half the price.

Say hello to my babies…
(from left to right)


-EcoTools retractable Kabuki brush ($7.99)
-Eyebrow grooming comb and brush (I don’t know where I got this from, hmmm…)
-Sonia Kashuk blending brush ($7.99 from Target. Get it HERE)
-Studio Tools concealer brush (around $3 from Target)
-Sonia Kashuk small eyeshadow brush ($9.99 from Target. Get it HERE)
-Studio Tools eyeshadow brush (around $3 from Target)
-The Body Shop lip brush (under $10 from The Body Shop)

First up….

Ecotools retractable Kabuki brush


EcoTools, the company and products will always have my heart. I have yet to be disappointed with any of their products. This Kabuki brush is absolutely wonderful. It works great for an all over face powder and if you squeeze the bristles, it functions well as a blush brush. Got sensitive skin? Don’t worry….these bristles are so amazingly soft. Using this brush is such a treat. And it’s under $10!!

Eyebrow grooming comb and brush

I don’t know where I got this baby from but I know it didn’t cost me an arm and a leg. For my naturally bushy brows, this is must! Yes, my comb lost a few teeth…lol, don’t yall laugh at me!

Sonia Kashuk blending brush

Oh yes! This blending brush rocks! It is super soft and does a good job at….blending. With a light hand you can get a nice distribution of color on the crease. With a heavier hand, you can bang out a sexy smokey eye. I also find that it is good at giving me a nice wash of color under the browbone.

Studio Tools concealer brush

Honestly….I don’t see why you would even need to spend an insane amount of money on a concealer brush. This is the only one that I have ever had and it works perfectly! I depend on concealer since I don’t wear foundation and I love that this brush applies smoothly. Rinse it out thoroughly and it can be good at foiling (used wet) shadows or pigments. Heyy!! Yall know I love multi-purpose products.

Studio Tools eyeshadow brush



Any time I wear eyeshadow, I am usually applying it with THIS brush. For it to be so cheap, it applies shadows flawlessly. I usually take this one with me on my travels.

Sonia Kashuk small eye shadow brush

I think this was one of my first brushes! And I’ve still got her around. This brush is perfect for ladies with smaller lids. Or perhaps you like applying shadows on the inner-V. This brush gets it done!

The Body Shop lip brush

This was my first (oh wait….it’s my only) lip brush and I got it on sale at The Body Shop for a good $5. I love it for when I really want to make lips the focus of a look. It allows me to blend my liner and lipstick as well as applying MAC Tendertone balms on the lippies.

There’s my little guide to cheap but amazing brushes. My entire stash of brushes?


The travel brushes are stashed in the traveling case. They apologized for not being able to make a guest appearance. HA! I don’t see myself investing in any more brushes…..at least not for awhile. If you have good and long-lasting ones, you won’t need to!

Do you have any of these brushes?

Do you normally spend a nice chunk of change on your brushes or do you like ‘em cheap?

[EDIT]
Readers/Twitter fam also suggest the following cheap brushes:

-E.L.F. brushes
-Coastal Scents
-Crown Brushes (co-sign!! I have some of these that I love…they are so cheap!)
-Sigma Brushes


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Comments (14)

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  1. Luxe Tips says:

    I love that Studio Tools eyeshadow brush. I use it all the time. It is perfect…and only 2 bucks!

  2. princessvalecia says:

    I bought some studio tools powder and blush brushes boy were they scratchy on my skin but Sonia Kashuk gets my vote all the way!

  3. Askmewhats says:

    so true B about MAC not being the only one who can make great brushes :) I own so many NON MAC brushes brand and they all work wonderfully! :)

  4. Connie De Alwis says:

    thanks for the suggestions! I’d love to try some Sonia Kashuk brushes.

    In my own personal brush collection, most of them are from non-high end brands. I have loads from Coastalscents and Crown Brushes. One of my favorite eyeshadow brush is from e.l.f (A WHOLE BUCK!) and e.l.f. Studio brushes are amazingly good quality (I’ve switched from my MAC187SE to the e.l.f. Studio powder brush for my liquid foundation application. Works so much better!). I also have some Eco Tools and Everday Minerals brushes :D

  5. Anonymous says:

    I totally, totally recommend the Elf shadow brush! It’s a dollar, so cheap! I have five of them, and have had them for a good few months now. None of them have shed, and they’re all just in perfect condition. I wash them all the time with my MAC brush cleanser, and they’re as soft as anything, even softer than my MAC brushes!

    I use these pretty much every single time I do makeup. The shape conforms perfectly to the lid for lid shadow, and is an awesome highlighter brush. It’s also really good for putting just a touch of black in the crease.

    Hey, can you tell I LOVE this brush? Hahaha! Definitely check it out, B!

    -Nora

  6. Miss Pretty says:

    I only own MAC gift set brushes the rest Ive picked up from target, walmart and walgreens

  7. Milan Angel says:

    I have that SK Blending brush and I love it! And I agree, once you get a good set of nice brushes…there’s really no need to keep buying them.

  8. rmcandlelight says:

    I have studio tool brushes..I use to use them than I bought some from Michaels the lowell cornell ones now I love these brushes. I use them and eco tools brushes. I bought a few of the mac brushes and believe it or not I haven’t used them yet. Don’t know what I am waiting on:)

  9. Umm Amirah says:

    Great post B. I will also co-sign on the ELF studio brushes (not the regular ones). They are great. I’m getting some MAC brushes for my birthday.
    My right now everyday is definately E.L.F and Sonia Kashuk.

  10. JENSMAKEUPBAG says:

    looove sonia kashuk brushes. thanks for this. great post for newbie’s

  11. Memeeflye says:

    Thank you! How do you clean the brushes & somebody PLEASE tell me what an angled brush is for? LOL

  12. Kris B. says:

    Thanks so much for this post! I need to upgrade my makeup brushes but didn’t want to spend a fortune at MAC! I agree that you can get cheaper but great brushes elsewhere. A sales rep at MAC may disagree, but hey – they are trying to make a sale, right? :)

  13. BeingStill says:

    I love the studio tools brushes from target! The concealer, crease & shadow brush are my faves. I recently picked up a powder & blush brush from E.L.F.'s studio line and I love Love LOVE them! They're super duper soft & once they stop shedding (ugh) they're awesome. I'm going to pick up some brushes from Michael's craft store soon because several make up artists said they're great dupes for popular MAC brushes. I can't wait to test them out :-)

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