The Best Makeup Brushes for Every Budget
Makeup brushes are must-haves for beauty lovers looking for seamless makeup application. "A good brush is going to be an investment," says Rachel Spurgin, makeup artist at MAC Cosmetics. "If you actually take good care of your brushes, they can last you up to 10 years." We've rounded up 22 of the best makeup brushes —at various price points—for a flawless makeup routine.
Eye Contour Brush: Save, $1.99
Coming in under $2, the Round Contour Brush by Morphe Brushes is an inexpensive option for those looking for the perfect brush to apply eye shadows to the crease.
Eye Contour Brush: Splurge, $30
“From highlighting the brow bone to adding contour in the crease and corner of the eye, this brush blends lines beautifully,” says Jess Arnaudin, makeup artist for VMV Hypoallergenics. This Eye Contour Brush‘s bristles are super-soft, so they won’t cause irritation to the sensitive skin around the eyes.
Blush Brush: Save, $10.99
Finding the right blush brush makes a huge difference in getting a flawless flushed look. The Sonia Kashuk Blusher Brush works well for shading and blending blush colors or powders.
Blush Brush: Splurge, $35
This duo-fiber brush by MAC Cosmetics works for applying blush or liquid foundation. It’s made of synthetic and natural fibers, so you reap the benefits of both. “It’s probably the best foundation brush to give you an airbrushed look without being airbrushed,” Spurgin says.
Bronzer Brush: Save, $7.99
This kabuki-style brush by Up & Up is super-dense, which is a great quality to have in a bronzer brush. It allows you to apply product evenly and avoid a streaking.
Bronzer Brush: Splurge, $26
The It Cosmetics Airbrush Essential Bronzer Brush is part of the prestige brand exclusively made for Ulta Stores, says Jessi McKellip, associate manager of operations at Ulta Beauty. It features a large domed brush head that’s perfect for contouring with bronzer.
Fan Brush: Save, $6.99
EcoTools offers brushes at a lower price point, but McKellip says the brand’s products still perform well. The Deluxe Fan Brush can be used for applying highlighting powders to the top of the cheekbones.
Fan Brush: Splurge, $27
Along with dusting on powders during your makeup routine, fan brushes, like the Sephora Collection Pro Fan Brush, can serve another important purpose. Use one to fan away excess powder from the face—for instance, eye shadow that has made its way onto your cheekbone.
All-Over Brush: Save, $4.45
The BH Cosmetics All-Over Brush has many practical uses. With its combination of natural and synthetic bristles, this multi-purpose brush can be used for applying blush, highlight colors, powders, or eye shadows.
All-Over Brush: Splurge, $25
This vegan brush was designed to complement the Urban Decay’s Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup, but the Good Karma Optical Blurring Brush also works with any liquid, cream, or powder foundation. Its densely packed hairs allow you to evenly apply face makeup to the skin, “blurring” imperfections.
Liquid Foundation Brush: Save, $9
For less expensive options, McKellip says Real Techniques is one of her favorite lines. This Expert Face Brush is perfect for blending cream or liquid foundation; plus, it’s made of 100 percent cruelty-free synthetic bristles.
Liquid Foundation Brush: Splurge, $45
Something that makes the Chanel Foundation Brush worth the extra cash is the brand’s extreme attention to detail. This brush was shaped without using scissors or razors, something the brand says delivers more precise results when applying makeup.
Concealer Brush: Save, $6.99
A concealer brush is a must for masking problem areas. The Boots No. 7 Concealer Brush is ideal for working with anything from blemishes to broken capillaries to hyperpigmentation.
Concealer Brush: Splurge, $24
This multi-purpose tool acts as two brushes in one, making it worth the money. Use one end of the It Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Dual Airbrush Concealer brush to conceal the delicate under-eye area, and then use the fluffier side to dust setting powder on hard-to-reach areas, like under the eyes or on the sides of the nose.
Shading Brush: Save, $5.99
A blending brush is a must-have for creating eye-makeup looks. The Real Techniques Shading Brush is made of synthetic bristles and is 100 percent cruelty-free. It works well for creating high-definition eye makeup.
Shading Brush: Splurge, $16
This Sigma E35 Tapered Blending Brush is made with long, firm fibers that allow you to easily blend and soften dark eye shadows. You can also use this brush to apply highlight colors to the brow bone.
Lip Brush: Save, $3
With its unique two-in-one design, the e.l.f. Studio Lip Liner and Blending Brush serves two important purposes at a low price. One end features a lip pencil, while the other end is a brush you can use to apply lip color evenly.
Lip Brush: Splurge, $15
All VMV Hypoallergenics brushes are patch-tested to ensure they do not cause irritation or allergic reactions to the skin, says CC Verallo-Rowell, director at VMV Hypoallergenics. This Skintelligent Beauty Lip Brush provides expert control for lining lips, filling in color, and blending.
Large Powder Brush: Save, $7.99
This inexpensive powder brush by EcoTools is perfect for applying setting powder atop face makeup. Its large brush head allows for even, all-over coverage for under $10.
Large Powder Brush: Splurge, $32
The VMV Hypoallergenics Large Bamboo Powder brush applies loose or pressed powder to the face smoothly and evenly. A brush like this works well for setting liquid foundation with a powder.
Brush Set: Save, $39.95
This brush kit by BH Cosmetics will blow you away. The 24-piece Noir Brush Set includes brushes for face and eye makeup and comes with a black quilted case.
Brush Set: Splurge, $60
For those looking for a one-stop shop, this seven-piece brush set (valued at $145) does it all. Plus, it’s antimicrobial, which is great for sensitive skin. From a concealer brush to an angled eye brush, Sephora Collection Deluxe Antibacterial Brush Set gives you the tools you need for a full-face makeup look.