Should You Use Cheap Makeup Brushes?

Anyone who loves makeup and knows a thing or two about it knows that a good formula will only get you so far. You can own the best and most expensive makeup on the market, but if you don’t use a quality makeup brush, the difference will show all over your face.

A good makeup brush is made of densely packed bristles, a solid handle made of wood or plastic, and a shape that blends makeup smoothly and evenly. It must transfer makeup effectively, and the brush shouldn’t lose a lot of makeup while it transfers the product to your skin. Sturdy brushes will allow you to work makeup magic for years to come.

While the rule “good ain’t cheap, and cheap ain’t good” rings true for most things – thankfully, it isn’t with makeup brushes! Sure, there are cheap brushes that don’t deliver, but the good news is you don’t have to shell out more to get a quality one! Makeup is already pricey, and you don’t need to jack up the price of your beauty stash by also buying pricey makeup brushes. If you’re on a budget, looking for the best deal is practical, and spending more than $20 on one makeup brush might be out of the question. Cosmetic brushes have come a long way, and you can find a few great quality brushes that won’t break the bank yet can offer you professional results.

e.l.f. Cosmetics’ Makeup Brushes

Brushes from e.l.f. Cosmetics are the best example of cheap yet quality brushes with a professional, luxurious feel. All e.l.f. brushes are made with synthetic, tapered fibers, so they don’t feel rough or scratchy but are soft and feel really nice on my skin. They also don’t shed or leave hairs on your face- a huge annoyance for any makeup wearer. Another bonus: they’re cruelty-free and vegan friendly, which makes them the ultimate guilt-free beauty tool. Tons of positive user reviews would also convince you!

Where to Buy
e.l.f. Ultimate Blending Brush
e.l.f. Total Face Brush
e.l.f. Contouring Brush
e.l.f. Small Stipple Brush
e.l.f. Eyeshadow C Brush
e.l.f. Eyeshadow Brush for Precision Application
e.l.f. Angled Eyeliner Brush

1. e.l.f. Ultimate Blending Brush

This brush has a large, dome-shaped head with densely packed bristles that can pick up the perfect amount of foundation – whether it’s powder, cream, liquid, or mousse. It can seamlessly blend foundation with little effort, creating a professional-looking finish. Ditch the sponge and use this brush instead!

2. e.l.f. Total Face Brush

This total face brush is soft and fluffy, making it great for applying powder all over. Swirl the brush over the powder and apply it to your face in large, sweeping motions.

3. e.l.f. Contouring Brush

If you’re into highlighting and contouring, you would love this brush. Its short and structured shape plus dense bristles would be perfect for creating the much-needed dimension along the cheekbones, jawline, and forehead for contouring. Highlighting and contouring can seem intimidating, but this brush makes it easy. It’s the perfect beginner brush, too, if you’re new to contouring, so you can get to practice before actually shelling out a more professional contouring brush.

4. e.l.f. Small Stipple Brush

This brush allows effortless makeup application, creating soft layers and a natural airbrushed result. This brush design is ideal for buffing, stippling, and blending face products into the skin for a flawless finish. It can provide sheer to heavy coverage with foundation, cream, powder, or liquid makeup products. It also gives a really unique feel with its long and short bristle combination.

5. e.l.f. Eyeshadow C Brush

This is the eyeshadow brush that is a must-have. It’s soft and absorbent, so it can grab onto the product and give you a lot of control when applying color to the crease and eyelids. It can create stunning smokey eye effects, and it’s super blendable. Plus, the bristles are antibacterial and can be used with both dry and wet eyeshadow.

6. e.l.f. Eyeshadow Brush for Precision Application

This eyeshadow brush is your secret weapon to flawless makeup. With the help of this brush, you can expertly shade and contour your eyes. Its curved shape allows natural gliding strokes for easy and accurate application of eye shadow.

7. e.l.f. Angled Eyeliner Brush

This thin, soft, pointy brush is perfectly angled to get gel or cream liner right up against the lash line. Its design also allows you to create an amazing winged liner effect!

Cheap but Good Makeup Brushes

Besides e.l.f., there are also other cheap makeup brushes that you can find with rave reviews and promising packages. Here are some of the best affordable brushes you can find:

Where to Buy
BS-MALL Premium Synthetic Makeup Brushes
Wet n Wild Fan Brush
Keshima Duo Eyebrow Brush
Beauty Junkees Under Eye Concealer Brush
Wet n Wild Powder Brush 
Qivange Eye Makeup Brushes Set

1. BS-MALL Premium Synthetic Makeup Brushes

This set of 14 ultrasoft brushes have subtle curves that can mesh with the angles of your face flawlessly. It can deliver natural-looking blending that’s ideal for a luminescent look. It offers the perfect mix of firm and plush, and it can glide smoothly across your skin. These brushes are also very comparable to high-end brand brushes.

2. Wet n Wild Fan Brush

This large, flat fan brush is key for achieving your show-stopping highlighter. It allows for the light dusting application of powders or as a cleanup tool for removing excess powder fallout. It mimics the consistency of natural hair while offering total control and grip.

3. Keshima Duo Eyebrow Brush

Eyebrows hold serious power in making your facial features pop. Even if you don’t put on full makeup, simply doing your brows can make all the difference. This brow brush is dual-angled – allowing you to blend, shape, and brush your brows up with ease. It’s not too soft, and the bristles do not easily bend in, making it a worthy purchase.

4. Beauty Junkees Under Eye Concealer Brush

This brush may be small, but it’s a mighty one. Whether you’re covering dark circles, blemishes, or sun spots – this is the perfect pick. It has soft and short bristles and a flat shape that can give you full and even coverage. It’s great for hard-to-reach places around the face, and its sharp edge works well for defining brow arch. Its bristles are soft but have just the right density to pick up and distribute makeup effectively.

5. Wet n Wild Powder Brush 

If powder is a must-have for your makeup routine, this brush is a solid option. This is a budget-friendly brush that is large and plush and has curved bristles that can pick up just the right amount of makeup. It is soft and dense, its bristles don’t fall out, and it looks expensive.

6. Qivange Eye Makeup Brushes Set

This set comes with durable handles made of premium wood. This brush set can stand the test of time, and it can give you total control. Reviewers rave about how precise the brushes can be and how they can be comparable to high-end brushes. The bristles are soft and manageable, beautifully designed, and blends products well.