I Hate Spending a Ton of Money on Makeup Brushes—These Are My Favorite Buys

We all have our budget hard-lines, even when it comes to beauty and skincare products. You might find no problem splurging on a pricey moisturizer or serum but gladly will reach for the drugstore lipsticks. Or you could prioritize designer foundations but won't spend money on any mascaras over $10.

For me, there are a couple of things I don't love splurging on. When it comes to eye shadows, I find the cheaper options are just as good for me as the spendy ones. I really don't mind hitting up the drugstore for bodycare products like bar soaps and body lotions. I also can't seem to drop a ton of cash on makeup brushes. One time, I spent $50 on a brush, and I still feel guilty about it to this day, years later.


(Image credit: @allisonmcnamara)

Look, I'm not shaming anyone who wants to treat themselves to an expensive makeup brush. A lot of times, there's a reason why they cost that much. They're often made with fancy materials and might even have a unique cutting-edge shape or design. We all have our splurge and save preferences—to each their own!

But for me, I'm okay with my under-$20 makeup brushes, especially since I tend to keep my makeup looks pretty minimal most days. I don't really do a ton of experimentation with intricate eye shadow looks or contouring techniques that might call for special brushes. Plus, it leaves me more money to spend on fancy lipsticks, mascaras, and foundations.

If you're in the market for some affordable brushes, take a look at some of my favorite sets and some highly rates ones below.


(Image credit: @eggcanvas)


(Image credit: @emmahoareau)

Other Cheap Skincare and Makeup Tools I Love

Managing Editor

Sarah is lifestyle writer and editor with over 10 years of experience covering health and wellness, interior design, food, beauty, and tech. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she attended New York University and lived in New York for 12 years before returning to L.A. in 2019. In addition to her work on THE/THIRTY and Who What Wear, she held editor roles at Apartment Therapy, Real Simple, House Beautiful, Elle Decor, and The Bump (sister site of The Knot). She has a passion for health and wellness, but she especially loves writing about mental health. Her self-care routine consists of five things: a good workout, “me” time on the regular, an intriguing book/podcast/playlist to unwind after a long day, naps, and decorating her home.