Credit: Wet n Wild /

I hate spending money on makeup brushes. Hear me out: I just think it’s so boring because you can’t swatch gorgeous, shiny colors like highlighters or blushes, and you can’t smell the sweet aroma that some lipsticks and bronzers give off. Sure, you might be able to feel the softness of a makeup brush, but, I mean, soft things aren’t exactly exciting, are they? Are they??

While some makeup brushes are beyond gorgeous — like the crazy cool unicorn set and the Harry Potter design of our dreams, brushes just don’t make me as excited as makeup does! The way I see it, brushes are a necessary evil, especially if you enjoy mad eye makeup as much as I do. You can hardly use a finger to seamlessly blend between two bold colors or apply any type of shadow. And tracing a perfect cut crease with one of the sponge-tipped sticks is a thankless task.

I’m a believer that an affordable brush can get the job done almost just as well as an expensive counterpart.


Maybe your $40 shader will last a bit longer, and feel a bit more luxurious, but maybe you’d rather buy a $2 alternative that will do the trick! Plus, you’ll have more money in the bank, which means you can go out for loads of drinks with your spare $38. Math!


Sure, these brushes aren’t the best. But a shoddy workman blames his tools, anyway. And when you factor in the price, these brushes are surprisingly good.


From Wet ‘N’ Wild: The Large Eyeshadow Brush, and The Small Eyeshadow Brush, do a fine job of placing the shadow on the mobile lid and blending its edges. The small brush works for more diffuse crease work, too. The actual Crease Brush, is fluffier and rounder, so not great for cut crease placement, but it’s an ace for blending. It can also be used for highlight (SCORE!) and precise face powdering, in a pinch.

Credit: Wet n Wild

All of these Wet ‘N’ Wild brushes cost a dollar. A dollar. As in money you probably wouldn’t even notice missing from your purse. They’re super soft, wash up nice, and don’t shed. Oh, and they’re pink. Not even tacky, garish, $1 pink. They’re a soft, whimsical wash on pink. Supes cute.


Another brand you want to check out if you want some affordable brushes, (in case you also want to spend your money on more exciting things) is E.L.F. The brand’s essential range costs $1, and while they’re not quite as soft or as pretty as the Wet ‘N’ Wild brushes, they have really great, useful, and unusual shapes.

Credit: E.L.F Cosmetics

Your Eye Shadow Brush is ideal for mobile lid placement and blending, plus some blended crease stuff. Your Blending Brush is unbelievable for blending, but it’s much smaller than a typical fluff ball. It’s great for crease placement and inner corner highlights, too.


The Smudge Brush is also a great blender, and the best thing I’ve found for a lower lash line smudging fun. Hello, smoky eye! And the Eyeliner Brush is really weird looking but surprisingly a handy number. This brush is great for any precise liner drawing, graphic shapes, and outlines for crisp flicks. I favor it for drawing a sharp cut crease and connecting it to my outer eye corner. It gives me major ~Edie Sedgwick~ vibes.

I almost exclusively use affordable brushes, and I find that there really isn’t a difference between using super cheap and very expensive brushes. To me, there’s more of a difference when I compare inexpensive makeup and high-end products. Thus: I will happily use my highest quality eye shadows with my cheap and cheerful brushes until something convinces me otherwise. And it will take a lot of convincing to be parted from these little saviors.