15/01/2015

The best affordable makeup brushes

Decent tools can make all the difference when it come to applying makeup, but you shouldn't have to spend a small fortune on them in order to get good quality. Over the past few years, there's been a massive increase in the number of purse-friendly brands that have created makeup brushes that really perform. I've put together a list of some of my favourites, along with a few brush recommendations from each. 

the best affordable makeup brushes

Crownbrush - I know a lot of makeup artists that use Crownbrush brushes as they have a massive range to choose from, are great quality and incredibly affordable. If you're looking for a starter kit, they have pre-selected brush bags already put together, or for something specific, there are over 100 different styles to choose from. I have a lot of their eyeshadow brushes in my collection - the C325 Large Pro Angle Blender is fantastic for blending, while the BK15 Oval Fluff is a bit stiffer and good for packing on the pigment. Crownbrush offer a range of synthetic and natural brushes, with prices ranging from £1.69 to £123 (for a fifty piece brush set).

Real Techniques - created by the Sam and Nic Chapman, Real Techniques are a drugstore favourite as they can be easily found on the shelves of Boots and Superdrug. The range is all made out of synthetic taklon fibres, so a great option if you're not a fan of natural hair brushes. They offer a small range of brush sets (for face or eyes) that are around the £22 mark, plus some solo brushes which range from between £6 to £12. My absolute favourite from them has to be the Buffing Brush, which comes as part of the face collection - I've not found anything quite like it when it comes to blending out creams and powder foundations. 

The Body Shop - now, brushes probably aren't the first thing you think of when you head into a Body Shop store, but these are really great quality and pretty affordably priced. The range is a little smaller than the other brands listed here, but each brush  in the range is made out of cruelty-free synthetic fibres and they feel incredibly soft against the skin. I have about 3 of their eye shadow brushes at home as they're so good for packing on pigment with minimal effort, and the large powder brush is also great for translucent powder or a wash of bronzer across the skin. £9 to £16 (but look out for value kits in store which usually have extra brushes in for a lower price).

Zoeva - Zoeva hit the UK shores in 2014 and their infamous Rose Gold brush kit has become a bit of a blogger favourite. Zoeva focus on creating excellent quality brushes at an affordable price point and offer a massive selection of single brushes, plus a range of brush kits which have everything you need to get you started. I'm loving their Pink Elements kit (full review here) - the Face Paint brush is an odd shape, but great for contouring! Prices start from £6 for a single eye brush, up to £55 for a 12 piece brush kit.

Nanshy - Nanshy are a small, less well-known brand, but they make seriously good brushes! They've created some great value brush sets - face, eyes etc as well as making certain brushes available to buy singly. All of their brushes are made from synthetic, cruelty-free fibres and are a certified member of PETA. The brushes are incredible value - a 7 piece eye brush collection is less than £30, but the quality rivals much more expensive brands. Prices range from £5.95 to £49.95.

Ecotools - another great value brand, Ecotools have a small range of eco-friendly brushes that feature bamboo handles and cruelty-free bristles with bargain prices. I've found their eye brushes to be great for blending and eye shadow application and the Large Powder Brush is amazing for bronzer/setting powders. Prices range from £4.99 for 6 mini brushes, up to £19.99 for a five piece brush kit.

What are your favourite bargain brush brands? Have you tried any of these before? 
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27 comments

  1. LOVE LOVE LOVE this post :D totes not biased toward Crownbrush or anything but they are the best ;)

    Zoe Newlove Beauty Blogger & MUA

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  2. Good review. Cant wait to get some Zoeva brushes

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  3. I bought a set of Real Techniques brushes after seeing them recommended by so many bloggers. I only recently started getting serious about my makeup and have rediscovered a set of Ecotools brushes I bought a couple of years ago which I now completely love.

    As an eye shadow addict, are you able to help me out with an issue I have? Despite using primer and/or "Stay Don't Stray" from Benefit, my eye shadow always abandons the centre of my eyelid within minutes me applying it. Do you have any advice please?

    Thanks,
    Jen

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jen, it sounds like you have oily eye lids - have you tried to use a primer, then a skin coloured eye shadow before adding the rest of your makeup? I find that using a powder first helps absorb any oil and makes your eye shadow last longer x

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  4. I do love eco-tools, especially as they are sustainable AND good quality!

    Bethan, Audacity of Food

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  5. I've tried most of these apart from Zoeva and definitely agree about Nanshy! Such an under appreciated brand, lovely post.

    Mel x

    www.justmelkate.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi Mel, that's so nice of you:)

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    2. Yes! I think more people need to hear about Nanshy :)

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  6. Thanks for this post, was looking for some affordable brushes :)
    http://whattaylorbuys.blogspot.co.uk/

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  7. Real Techniques are the only ones I've tried out of these (love the powder, expert face and base shadow brush). The rest of my (very) affordable collection are GOSH and Elf.

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    Replies
    1. I need to try more elf brushes, I hear good things about them x

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  8. Great post!! I love Nanshy brushes, I think they are really great, specially the eye brushes!

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  9. All of my fave brush brands. I've just discovered ecotools but I loveeee them.

    Sophie x

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  10. In Poland we have two great brush brands, Hakuro and GlamBrush. They're way better than Ecotools and Real Techniques, while the prices are pretty comparable, or even lower :)

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    Replies
    1. Evelinn, we are launching in Poland this year. We already had great response from leading makeup artists. We're very excited xx

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    2. They sound like really interesting brands - I'd love to hear more about Polish beauty brands!

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  11. I have been really liking ELF brushes, I find they are so soft and really good at applying makeup as well as being rather affordable. I feel Real Techniques even though they are good brushes they have went up in price and the new releases are almost the same price as MAC brushes.

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    1. the elf ones sound great! I must give them a try x

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  12. Great post! I haven't tried any brushes from TBS, Nanshy or Zoeva, though I definitely am going to get some from Zoeva this year! I have a dupe for the MAC 217 from Crownbrush, which I really like, though it has gone a little bristly. xx

    Ramblings of a Beauty Bird | Beauty Blog

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    1. I think I have the same one from Crownbrush! x

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  13. Thank you Kat for including Nanshy in your post. It means alot to us xx

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    1. no problem at all, i'm a big fan x

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  14. Will have to check out the body shop ones. I didn't realise they sold some x
    http://charlottesophiaroberts.blogspot.co.uk

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  15. Finally an affordable make-up brush post *cheers*. I really need to try Zoeva brushes!
    Great post!
    Jessica x

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