FYI: These Expert-Approved Makeup Brush Sets Will Transform Your Routine

Best Makeup Brush Sets



Fact: Makeup brushes are the dark horse of any makeup routine. Often underestimated or forgone altogether by so many of us, they're perhaps one of the most important components of a celebrity makeup artist's beauty kit. They're artists, after all, and the strategic tools they use to sweep and buff product are crucial to the final look.

We fully realize we live in a time when convenience takes priority above all else, especially when it comes to our beauty routine. In an effort to save time and money, and without giving it a second thought, we've resorted to our trusted fingers to smear on our foundation in an Uber and have haphazardly dabbed on cream formulas like blush and eye shadow too many times to count in the office bathroom. The catch is that the end result, sadly, isn't reaching its full potential.

Don't get us wrong. Using what evolution has blessed us with for an impromptu primp and accepting that the Beautyblender might very well take over the world by 2022 (just our super-scientific approximation) is totally fine. And beauty editors and makeup artists like both! However, after experiencing our own application trials and tribulations over the years and sneaking peeks into the kits of the industry's most sought-after makeup artists, we've learned top-notch makeup brushes should not be underestimated. Better yet, even high-quality sets need not be heart-stoppingly expensive.

The right brush sets can dramatically improve the way our foundation melts into our skin or the way we line and stain our lips. For proof, we gathered together 21 crème-de-la-crème makeup brush sets you can buy, regardless of your budget. Sorted into three different buckets—save, spend, and splurge—our expert-approved options are below. Keep scrolling!

Save: $30 and Under

Best Makeup Brush Sets



If you're on a bare-minimum budget or just don't feel like making a major investment before getting the hang of your brushes, we recommend E.l.f.'s impressive array of beauty tools above all others. This handy makeup brush set contains 12 strategic application pieces, which, for $12 total, equates to one dollar per brush.

Not only are these brushes chicly designed, but they're also easy to hold and maneuver and feature some harder-to-come-by brush styles like a deluxe fan brush and angled flat-top buffer brush. They're also cruelty-free, synthetic, and come with a handy pouch to pack them in.

We appreciate no-fuss, to-the-point beauty products, and this three-piece eye brush set from Laruce is exactly that. Each of the densely packed, soft, high-grade synthetic brushes gets the job done with a fast and professional finish.

Whenever we tap celebrity makeup artists for more affordable brush and sponge options, they've pointed us toward Real Techniques. To back their suggestion up, the brand consistently boasts impressively high ratings at retailers like Ulta, and it's also surpassed the mercilessly high standards of product-jaded beauty editors. We're partial to this three-piece sculpting set from the brand, which will give you Chrissy Teigen–esque cheekbones in about two seconds flat. The set's synthetic bristles are custom-cut, easy to clean, and 100% cruelty-free.

With the intention of simplifying our beauty routine (an always-welcome notion), this five-piecer from EcoTools boasts an angled foundation brush, blurring brush, defined crease brush, angle liner brush, full blush brush, and a storage tray to keep it all organized.

These black-and-rose-gold travel brushes are so chic and affordable. The set comes with all your face-blending essentials from a foundation brush to a blending crease brush.

A true Amazon steal, this set comes with seven different eye blending brushes. They also have almost a perfect five-star review from users. Not bad for a budget option if you ask us.

Spend: $30 to $70

Best Drugstore Makeup Brushes



As someone who has been applying makeup since middle school (yes, I chose my vocation wisely) and who has tried pretty much every brand of brushes under the sun, I can honestly say that a good portion (more than half) of my current brush collection is from Sephora Collection. They're high-quality and feel like professional-grade brushes. I recommend this five-piece set to cover all your bases and appreciate that the synthetic hairs can be used wet or dry, depending on your desired end result. 

Celebrity makeup artist Tobi Henney always keeps brushes from It Cosmetics in her makeup kit to perfect and create flawless foundation finishes. We love that this multitasking set from the brand is still relatively affordable. Technically, there are five brushes, but due to the handy duo ends, you're getting eight different tools. 

If you're familiar with Tarte, you know the majority of its brush sets are usually colorful and extremely whimsical in nature. This five-piece set is definitely a fun one. It features gold-and-rose-gold handles and a mix of both face and eye shadow brushes so you can easily go from bronzing the cheekbones to creating a sculpted eye look in no time.

Sigma Beauty is known as one of the holy-grail brush companies in the industry, so it's no surprise it has tons of great sets. That said, it's not often we come across a collection that caters so beautifully to attention to skincare. Plus, celebrity makeup artist Nam Vo is a known fan of the brand.

Who better to get an eye brush set from than the eye master herself, Jaclyn Hill? This set she dropped in partnership with Morphe comes with eight different blending and buffing powerhouses for only $39.

These Ulta-exclusive brushes are the perfect set to take on a vacay. The set includes a large domed powder brush, foundation brush, concealer brush, crease brush, shadow brush, and a liner-and-brow brush. The convenient case will even fit in any day bag.

The gorgeous red-velvet case is really the thing convincing us to snag this limited-edition mini brush set from Charlotte Tillbury.

Splurge: $70 and Up

Best Drugstore Makeup Brushes



Makeup artists love Trish McEvoy, and we've spotted an assortment of brushes from the brand in many expert makeup kits over the years. They're basically the only cheek and eye brushes you'll ever need. Each of them is also expertly crafted with synthetic hairs. 

Yes, this five-piece makeup brush set is expensive, but it provides one of the best (we promise) product applications you've ever experienced. Each brush really enhances your makeup's blendability and staying power. Oh yeah, and it comes with a luxe beauty bag.

This full-size yet travel-friendly set is ideal for on-the-go application. Made with synthetic hair, brushes include shapes for cheeks, concealer, eyes, and eyeliner. 

Celebrity makeup artists like Jenna Kristina are huge fans of makeup brushes from Japanese brush brand Hakuhodo. This holy-grail set features 10 different brushes for each and every one of your application needs.

If you're ready to invest in a complete brush set, you've come to the right place. This essential set stores innovative non-absorbing Sigmax bristle brushes in a sleek case, perfect for organization and effortless transportation. This epic brush set is makeup artist–approved and a top priority on every beauty editor's wish list.

This comprehensive collection includes a foundation brush, angled face brush for highlight, two eye shadow brushes, and an ultra-fine eyeliner brush for precise application of gel liners or wet powder formulas. 

Even though you might want to call in a bucket of cold water to revive you post–sticker shock, it's worth pointing out that Artis and this covetable collection of makeup brushes just might be the best in the business. The brand is known and loved by everyone in the beauty industry, and if you're truly looking for flawless results that mimic an airbrush finish, you've finally met your match. In total, you'll get 10 beautifully designed brushes, all featuring the brand's signature (and trademarked!) circular bundle of vegan fibers. 

Next up, The 13 Foundations Celebrity Makeup Artists Always Use on Women Over 40

This article was published at an earlier date and has since been updated.