The makeup brush choices in the market today are quite overwhelming. Most people would like a professional quality set of makeup brushes, but a restrictive budget usually gets in the way. But at the end of the day, the best makeup brushes are those that meet your unique needs. And that means that there are affordable makeup brushes that can do a pretty good job of making you look your best as you step out of the house. You don’t need brush sets costing hundreds of dollars to look good. In fact, if you are keen on getting true value for your money, getting affordable makeup brushes is your best option. These are the best cheap makeup brushes and best makeup brush sets on a budget you could buy right now.
Best makeup brush sets on a budget
Get set with this lot.
Zoeva Pro Brush Belt, £165
We’ll start with a belter, quite literally. This 25 piece brush set has all the brushes you could legitimately need and you can even strap them on and wear them around the house for extra hands-free efficiency (a genuine requirement on jobs if you are a makeup artist, of course – for the rest of us we can just play at being at being pros). The ‘duty’ of each brush is labelled on the handle for ease of use and the kit covers everything from contouring to stippling to buffing and precise detailing brushes, alongside your regular blusher and eye blender options. If you’re approach to makeup application is a little DIY SOS, you’ll love this. Just note that this isn’t a vegan option – the brushes are a mixture of synthetic and natural bristles.
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Beauty Bay Rose Gold 18 Piece Brush Set with Brush Stand, £39
A real stand up for the books (SORRY), this synthetic brush set incorporates eye, complexion and lip brushes in an upright case that doubles up as a travel pouch. The brush selection is well thought out – there’s everything from fluffy powder options that don’t shed to ultra precise brow brushes, all with sturdy wooden handles. As value for money and convenience goes, this set is a good-un.
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Real Techniques Flawless Base Set, £19.99
Pixiwoo’s ever reliable base brushes have had a millennial pink redesign and they’re better than ever. Housed in a transparent cup to keep them upright, you’ll find four staples to take care of most of your complexion needs, from a square headed foundation brush that makes light work of liquid formulas to a buffing brush that’s ideal for pressed and loose powder formulations. The contouring brush picks up just the right amount of product so you’re never stripy while a detailer is handy for concealer. Basically, the whole base package for under twenty quid and they’re all synthetic and cruelty-free.
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Sigma Essential Kit, £124.80
12 synthetic brushes that’ll equip without overwhelming, this soft stash offer pro-level quality and last for ages. The angled brushes are particularly impressive for detailing and ensuring you get liner and highlighter exactly where you want it, but you’ve got your essential flat foundation and full powder brushes here too to take care of business all over.
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Ecotools Start The Day Beautifully, £12.99
If this were the bare bones of your kit, it’d do nicely. All of these five brushes are cruelty-free, feature recycled aluminum ferrules and bamboo handles and come in a neat mint green tin for storage and to avoid waste. The angled foundation brush blends liquid and cream base quickly and efficiently without soaking up product, the full blush brush is nicely slanted so that powder hits the apples of your cheeks and both the crease and blurring brush serve multiple makeup purposes, from stippling on concealer to blurring out eyeshadow. Lastly, an angled eyeliner brush takes care of your cat’s eye. A starter for ten (*five).
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Trish McEvoy The Power of Brushes Carpe Diem, £125
The clutch is cool alone, but what sits in the silky red interior will take your makeup from 0 to 100 in no time – Trish’s brushes are luxe, without doubt, but as a makeup artist she knows what you really need and has curated this six brush set accordingly. They’re handmade and designed to fulfil all of the blending, blushing, finishing and lining within your routine. There’s a ‘soft liner’ that’s ideal for smoky eye looks, a ‘tight liner’ for razor sharp definition, an eye blending brush for shadow, a rounded powder brush for blusher and bronzer, a blender brush for finishing powder and a depth and dimension brush that takes care of everything from highlighter to eye colour. If you’re off on your travels and need a space saver that’s genuinely stylish, Trish is on it.
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Morphe Complexion Crew, £25
Five blenders and buffers that are quite the bargain, whether you prefer cream, liquid, powder or to layer all three, this synthetic crew has you covered. The round buffer brush helps with speedy foundation application, a diffused powder brush does just that (namely, evenly diffuses powder), the angled contour and blusher brush applies colour just where you want it and the highlight blending brush ensures you won’t look like tin man after a go with the glow. Finally, the contour brush allows you create shadow effectively, but it’s also a handy multitasker for blending out any powder product. It’s not all you need, but just about.
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Iconic London Complete Face Set, £60
With nine classic face brushes and a few wildcards (the chunky fan brush is an unusual one), this durable makeup brush collection fulfils most briefs seamlessly. The collection is cruelty free and vegan and takes in a satisfyingly dense foundation brush, plus a flat foundation brush if you prefer a smoother ‘glide on’ situation, a concealer blending brush, a large powder brush, an angled blusher brush, an angled contouring brush (it’s all about the angles), a contour buffer to really work colour into skin without the dreaded tidelines and a fluffy tapered highlighter brush to softly disperse product. Finally, the fan brush sweeps in to clear away fall out and set makeup under the eyes in particular.