The Best Makeup Brushes on a Budget

EcoTools five piece makeup brush set 5 min read

It is no secret that makeup can be very spendy, from $25 lipsticks to $40 liquid foundations. A full face of makeup can easily cost over $100 worth in products! I remember binge watching makeup tutorials on YouTube when I was in high school. I would get so excited over how talented YouTube makeup artists are, but when I would see how expensive the makeup they used really is, I would have a heart attack. The Beauty on a Budget blog series will focus on inexpensive, but effective makeup and makeup tools. For this post, we’re going to focus on budget makeup brushes.

Before we start, it is important to note that the focus is on the makeup brushes, not the makeup being used! In order to test the brushes properly, I wanted to use products I am familiar with so that I have something to go off of. If I were to use eyeshadows and foundation I have never used before, I would not have a good idea of how well the brushes work because the other products were also new to me.

With that said, I did share the rest of the products I used to create this look in case you wanted to try it out yourself! Let’s get started!

The Best Budget Makeup Brushes

My choice for budget makeup brushes was this five brush EcoTools set. I actually used a similar set when I was in high school. What I love about this set is that it comes with the essentials: a full blush brush, angled foundation brush, blurring brush, angled liner brush, and defined crease blush. What’s great is that all this is labeled on the brush in case you are new to makeup. The packaging also doubles as a storage tray, and the set also comes with three different makeup tutorial cards. For my look, I did my own thing.

This set cost me about $11 at my local Wal-mart. I live in Alaska, so chances are this set is probably a bit cheaper if you live in the lower 48!

First Thoughts

The brushes are very lightweight. The handles do feel a little cheap, but it did not feel like it would break easily. The bristles, however, were incredibly soft! My biggest turn off when it comes to makeup brushes are bristles that feel like it will scrape your skin off. No thank you!

Other than the handles feeling cheap, I had nothing to complain about so far. The bristles did not fall off when I would run my fingers through them (an issue I’ve had in the past with cheaper brushes), and the brushes looked sturdy overall.

The Foundation Brush

To test the brushes, I looked for the following things: how much product I had to use to get full coverage compared to my normal brushes, how it felt on my face, and how easy it was to get the brushes to do what I wanted to do.

As always, I started off with a clean face.

Selfie without makeup

I then put my foundation on using the angled foundation brush. My usual routine is to start off with the Smashbox photo finish primer and then use my Fenty Beauty foundation. I have to admit, I was a little bummed when the bristles on the angled foundation brush would poke and prod at my face every once and a while. However, the application was smooth other than that. I didn’t have to use more than my usual one pump of the foundation.

makeup brush, foundation, and primer side by side
Selfie with only foundation on

Other than the few stabs to the face by the bristles, the application was very smooth considering I prefer to use a blending sponge. I had no issues blending my foundation, and there no streaks left behind.

The Eye Brushes

Next in my routine is the eye makeup. For this, I used the angled liner brush, blurring brush, and defined crease brush. For my eyeshadows, I used the Moschino x Sephora makeup palette.

EcoTools makeup brushes
Photo of Moschino x Sephora Palette

This is one of my favorite palettes because the colors are super pigmented, and the packaging is really cute! Back to the brushes, the ease of use is comparable to my regular brushes. I did not have to swirl the brushes in the shadow any more than I usually would. The brushes were able to pick up a good amount of color and transfer it to my lids with ease.

To finish off my eyes and brows, I used the Benefit Cosmetics Roller Lash, Benefit Cosmetics Goof Proof Brow Pencil, and Tarte Precision Longwear Liner. These are what I usually use for my daily looks.

Benefit roller lash, benefit goof proof brow pencil, tarte precision longwear liner
Finished eye makeup look

The Blush Brush

Finally, the blush brush. This was my least favorite brush because it was hard to get my enough blush on the brush. On the other hand, this was the softest and most gentle brush on my skin. Despite the softness, however, I cannot get over the fact the brush couldn’t pick up as much product as my other brushes.

EcoTools blush brush and tarte amazonian clay brush

The Final Look and Thoughts

To finish off my look, I simply put on some Victoria’s Secret liquid lipstick.

Victoria's Secret Liquid Lipstick

Here is the final look.

Selfie of completed makeup look

Overall, for the price, I think this is a great set of budget makeup brushes for someone who is brand new to makeup or only uses makeup occasionally. Since this set has the essentials, it’s great to start with without having to commit to an expensive set that you might not even like. While the handles do feel a little cheap, the bristles are reliable and don’t fall off.

My favorite brushes were definitely the eye makeup brushes. They were comparable to my regular brushes. Next in line would be the angled foundation brush. If it weren’t for the randomly hard bristles that poked my face as I used it, I would have no complaints. Finally, I do not care much for the blush brush. It will do its job, but I am wary about using more product than I need to.

I definitely recommend this for anyone who is new to makeup or are on a budget.

For further research, check out the review by review.com for what set they think is the best brushes on a budget!

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Arianna Lynne
Arianna Lynne

Hey, it’s Arianna Lynne, the creator of Yoga With Mimosas. I am a certified POP Pilates and PIIT28 instructor with an obsession for learning kpop dances. I want to help others find balance between life and fitness. You can reach me at [email protected]

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