The world of beauty is a confusing place when you're first starting out, not only are there thousands of different products to bamboozle your brain but you also have tools and makeup brushes to contend with. Up until a few years ago my everyday look was just foundation, mascara and eyeliner and so I'd never felt the need to invest in any decent brushes, but once the wonderful world of eyeshadow and blushes started interesting me I decided I needed some proper tools for the job. Not really knowing what to go for I settled on a £15 bumper pack of unbranded brushes, at the time I felt pretttty pleased with myself- until I realised that half of them were strange and unusable shapes (and as you can probably imagine the quality left a lot to be desired too). I'm sure we've all experienced a rough and scratchy makeup brush at one time or another, and not only do they feel horrible on the skin but the application is generally rubbish as well. Once I started buying more expensive brushes in all their super-soft glory I assumed that cheaper brushes should be avoided at all costs, but a few of my recent finds have proved that this isn't always the case! While I'm not denying that decent but inexpensive brushes are hard to find they definitely are out there, here are a few of my favourites.
Primark Kabuki- £3
I had a kabuki brush from Primark years ago when I was at university, it was one of the only brushes I owned and I remember using it for bronzer when I went on nights out. This thing was enormous, the bristles were extremely scratchy and overall it was a complete fail of a product. I've been put off their brushes ever since, but I spotted this at the side of the queue in Primark the other week (not the first time they've suckered me in with little bits and pieces near the till- typical foolish consumer) but I had a quick feel of the bristles and was really impressed. They're nice and soft, quite dense and I think the design is cute with the pink tipped bristles and gems on the handle. I've washed this twice now and it hasn't shed at all, no annoying brush hairs have been left on my face after using it and all in all it's a great little brush! I'll be going back for another one to keep in my handbag too.eBay 'Real Techniques' dupe- £1.87
This looks and feels almost identical to a Real Techniques buffing brush, I compared them side by side in this post. I've had this brush for months now and I still stand by everything I said in that post, it doesn't shed at all, it's so soft and feels just like the original. I do love the Real Techniques brushes and would recommend them to anyone, but when you want a spare buffing brush and they dont sell them separately this little beauty comes in so handy. If you want a decent foundation brush for your handbag or travel bag or a few extra 'everyday' brushes without going out and buying the whole Real Techniques Core Collection again the ebay dupes are ideal.
eBay 'Mac 187' Dupe £3.99
This is a clear copy of the Mac 187 brush, I've compared it with pictures of the genuine Mac brush and they do look really similar (mine even has Mac 187 written on the side so technically it's a fake rather than a dupe, although they don't tend to show that in the ebay listing). The bristles are soft and it doesn't shed, I have a feeling the handle of the real brush would be slightly heavier but overall it's really nice. This is great for adding a light dusting of powder over your foundation, as with the real Mac 187 the bristles are less dense than regular powder brushes so there's less worry of ending up like cakey powder-face.
When it comes to eye blending brushes personally I think they're difficult to find. It seems as though there's the choice of cheap, nameless brushes or high end £20+ per piece from department stores. For some reason I always thought Crown brushes would be really expensive, but I ended up on their site a few weeks ago and couldn't believe how affordable they were. The ones I've shown above are the C138 (round contour) great for blending out any harsh lines, the IB119 (deluxe crease) an all-round nice crease/ blending brush and the C200 (deluxe crease) which is a little pencil brush perfect for applying eyeshadow below the lower lash line. They're all really soft and well made, you'd never know they were so inexpensive!
Have you tried any of these brushes?
, by Stacey