5 Budget Brushes That Will Up Your Makeup Game

22 May 2016

I'm all for a beauty post, but something I haven't spoken about all that much on this blog is brushes. I do have quite a lot of brushes, yet I only really use a small handful out of my stereotypical blogger Ikea plant pot brush pot. I've found a set of brushes that really work, so I haven't felt the need to go out and spend money on new sets with rose gold handles (Zoeva) or those with mermaid-esque bristles, housed in a clamshell case (Spectrum). Don't get tempted. I repeat, don't get tempted! 

I pretty much stick to the drugstore offerings for my brushes, partly because why are high end brushes so expensive? And partly because RealTechniques are so damn good. I thought I'd run down my top 5 brushes for those on a budget. Or more like top 4 and then go and buy the MAC 217 because it is life. And that brings me on to number 1...

1) MAC 217 (£20 - link)

Okay, so I know I'm cheating on the whole budget vibe with this one, but the one brush that I could not be without is the MAC 217. The fluffy blending brush is something I had on my wishlist for so long, and when I bought it, it seriously changed my eyeshadow game. I use it every time I do my makeup, and it works so well at applying a wash of colour to the lids for an every day look, as well as blending out the edges. I use it with creams, powders, lid shades, crease shades, the lot!

2) REVLON CONCEALER BRUSH (£8.99 at Fragrance Direct - link)

I actually realised that I forgot to photograph this one, but just wanted to mention it anyway. As much as I love my MAC 217, I really wanted to pick up a dense flat brush for packing colour on to the lids. I looked at the MAC one but I thought it was pretty overpriced and didn't seem worth it. I was browsing in Superdrug and the one that fit the bill most was this one from Revlon. It is actually a concealer brush and is so fab for applying eyeshadow!

3) NANSHY EYE DETAILER (£5.95 - link)

I picked this Eye Detailer brush up from the Nanshy Stand when I went to the Clothes Show last winter (read all about that here). It is an angled brush with dense bristles, so is perfect for filling in my sparse brows. It works with both powder and pomade formulas, and I mostly use it with the Tanya Burr Cosmetics Perfect Brows Palette and the Freedom Pro Brow Pomade.

4) REAL TECHNIQUES DUO-FIBER FACE BRUSH (£19.99 part of the Duo-Fiber Set - link)

This is the first of two Real Techniques products in this edit. Part of the Duo-Fiber set, the Face Brush is the perfect tool for applying any powder product. The combination of the long and short fluffy bristles do this thing where they apply products is such a sheer, foolproof way. It's my go to for powder, bronzer and blush. I just wish it was available singularly.


This last one isn't technically a brush but, I make the rules so soz... Basically the drugstore answer to the Beauty Blender, I got into using the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge about a year ago. It's crazy how much I rely on it within my makeup routine now. Used damp, a sponge is the best tool I have found for blending in concealer. I also use it for sheering out a foundation, especially now that my skin is more dry, as well as blending in cream contour products.


The extra brush that is featured in the photograph where the Revlon concealer brush should have been is the Royal Soft Grip Angled Brush. This isn't actually a makeup brush, rather an actual artist brush which I managed to track down for about £1 from The Works. The angled head is absolutely tiny, which makes it perfect for applying my Maybelline Eye Studio Gel Liner, and the long handle and rubber grip give it stability for a precise wing. Note - I'm still crap at liquid liner.

I use all of these brushes nearly every time I do my makeup, and don't really have any desire to replace them with their high end counterparts other than the Real Techniques sponge. I've actually just ordered myself a proper Beauty Blender to compare the two and I'm so excited to try it! I also really want to get myself a fan brush to apply my highlighter so if you have any recommendations let me know! Aside from Zoeva and Spectrum Brushes, which I mentioned above, I also really want to try Morphe brushes as I've heard so much about them!


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