We always thought of professional-grade makeup brushes as something we would acquire as full-on adults, like fine China or an investment portfolio. And yet, years after college graduation, we’re still using whatever random brushes remain from sets we don't even remember buying. (And for the record, we still haven't purchased a full set of "fancy" dishes, either.)
But in a rare case of procrastination paying off, it seems we've dodged a budget-denting bullet, because there are plenty of quality brushes to be had for just a few bucks a wand. Some feature bells and whistles (like silicone applicators, rose gold accents, and mermaid motifs), while others are a minimalist's dream, but every single one of them is a steal. Check them out, ahead.
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EcoTools Start the Day Beautifully Kit 5pc Brush Kit
This set of vegan brushes is PETA-certified, made with recycled aluminum, and contains everything you need to bust out a full face of makeup. Bonus: This set comes bundled with its own storage tray.
EcoTools Start the Day Beautifully Kit 5pc Brush Kit, $, available at Target
e.l.f. Cosmetics Set Of 12 Brushes
Looking for a no-fuss, no-brainer brush set to cover all your bases? Look no further than this $12 bundle (that's $1 a brush), which has all the basics to do a complete face.
e.l.f Professional Set of 12 Brushes, $, available at e.l.f
Flower Beauty Ultimate Travel Brush Set
If you're in the market for a travel set, then this chic assortment — which comes in its own carrying case — was made for you.
Flower Beauty Ultimate Travel Brush Set, $, available at Flower Beauty
Sephora Collection Ready To Roll Brush Set
If you have some extra coins to invest, this set of 10 brushes looks and feels professional enough to be found backstage at any fashion show, but it cost far less than you might expect.
Sephora Collection Ready To Roll Brush Set , $, available at Sephora
Tarte Minutes To Mermaid Brush Set
Give your makeup brush collection a fun revamp with these bright, mermaid-inspired brushes.
Tarte minutes to mermaid brush set, $, available at Tarte
Morphe Eye Stunners Brush Collection
Whether you're going for a cut crease or a simple cat-eye, this set has everything you need for any eye look.
Morphe Eye Stunners Brush Collection, $, available at Morphe
Real Techniques Flawless Base Set
Real Techniques is a go-to brand for a reason. Not only does it offer wallet-friendly prices with packaging that's worthy of vanity space, but the brushes are also known to be effective and long-lasting.
Real Techniques Flawless Base Set, $, available at Ulta Beauty
Inglot Cosmetics Travel Brush Set
This set offers quality that will last, but at an affordable price. What’s more, the double-ended wands help make the most of precious suitcase real estate.
Inglot Cosmetics Travel Brush Set (4 PCS) , $, available at Inglot Cosmetics
PÜR Pillow Blend Collection
For those who are pained by the idea of brushes that absorb makeup, this one's for you. Like silicone makeup sponges, these tools seamlessly apply makeup and are super easy to clean. But unlike sponges, these diamond-shaped tips allow for more precise application.
Pür Pillow Blend Collection, $, available at Ulta Beauty
Real Techniques Rebel Edge Trio
Although the shape remains consistent throughout this trio, it's the size that really matters. You can use the tiniest brush in this set for inner corner strobing, the medium to really dig into creamy bronzers, and the biggest for a dewy glow.
Real Techniques Rebel Edge Trio, $, available at Ulta Beauty
BH Cosmetics Lavender Luxe
This simple, yet dreamy, 11-piece set is a solid investment for anyone who needs to upgrade their kit.
BH Cosmetics Lavender Luxe, $, available at BH Cosmetics
e.l.f. Cosmetics x Nabela Noor Beautifully You Brush Set
Bangladeshi-American content creator Nabela Noor teamed up with e.l.f. Cosmetics last year for her first makeup collaboration, which included this bold coral set.
e.l.f. Cosmetics x Nabela Noor Beautifully You Brush Set, $, available at Ulta Beauty
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