Makeup brushes are among the most popular products in the cosmetics industry, and brands like Morphe, Real Techniques, Spectrum and Zoeva have set the bar high with their quality. But it's difficult to know whether to stick to an affordable basic set or if it's worth investing in a rose gold professional kit complete with a case.
We're here to show you that you can get cheap makeup brush sets on a budget on UK sites like Amazon and ASOS, as well as showcasing a few higher-end products like the Oscar Charles and Spectrum full, luxury sets. We're sure you'll love our top ten recommendations. Moreover, we have partnered with Makeup Artist Marie Dancer for reviewing and fact-checking the article so that we can deliver you the best information.
As a professional make-up artist of ten years, Marie's job has taken her all over the UK working at top events, on TV shows and making up beautiful brides. For all her clients she loves emphasising their natural beauty by creating a flawless base that still looks like skin.
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As a professional makeup artist of ten years, Marie's job has taken her all over the UK, working at top events, on TV shows and making up beautiful brides. For all of her clients, she loves emphasising their natural beauty by creating a flawless base that still looks like skin.
Find out more about Marie and what her favourite makeup products are through her Instagram! She even shares some industry tips on makeup application too. And if you're interested in getting your makeup done by Marie, you can contact her via her email found at the top of her page.
When shopping for makeup brushes, you first need to decide on the type of brush you are looking for and how you plan to use it. If you're looking for a set that you can use for your whole face, buy one that includes the appropriate brushes for your cheeks, eyes, and base. These often represent better value for money and will give you a wider variety of brushes to experiment with.
You'll also find brush sets dedicated to certain areas of the face, which will appeal to those who have a favourite area they usually focus on, such as the eyes. These will be a little more limiting, of course, but are probably a better buy if you don't think you'll end up using more than a few from a complete set.
Another thing you'll need to check is how many brushes come in each set. For example, if you're buying a set for your eyes and tend to use 4 brushes for each look, you'll want to make sure that you have at least that many, so you don't have to clean them in the middle of application. You'll also want to ensure the set contains everything you need to apply your most-used products.
Pick up an eyeshadow palette to experiment with different shades and styles!
Next, you'll need to take note of the bristle material. If you want something cruelty-free, you should choose a set that uses synthetic hairs, such as nylon. Synthetic brushes can be used for creams, liquids, and powders making them the most versatile. Think about which formula of products you mainly use to determine which type of bristles to buy.
Natural hair brushes are often derived from animal hair such as sable and mink, meaning they're not suitable for those who are vegan or against the fur trade. Most brushes are heading in the synthetic direction as modern technology has improved the quality and efficiency of make-up brushes without the need for animal hair.
Natural bristles perform better with powders due to their texture and ability to pick up product. However, two popular animal hairs used in cosmetic brushes come from sable and mink, which are from the fur industry, so you may want to look for cruelty-free natural bristles (which do exist!) if you would prefer not to support these industries.
When choosing a brush set, seeing that a bag is included, and perhaps even an extra applicator sponge, can immediately improve your buying experience and save you some money, too. Bags will store everything together neatly, which is excellent for travel or taking on the go, as well as keeping your brushes organised at home.
Luckily, some brands add extras into their brush sets to ensure you have everything you need and more. Not to mention, when your set comes in a stylish bag, it's automatically a great gift that you can give to a friend or a family member!
Why not throw a liquid lipstick into that new makeup bag?
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Makeup Brush Set｜15 Pieces
The Ultimate Brush Set in a Beautiful Gift Box
Everyday Essentials Makeup Brush Complete Face Set｜5 Pieces
An Essential Addition to Anyone's Makeup Drawer
Everyday Eye Essentials｜8 Pieces
Precision and Perfection to Level up Your Cat Eye
Professional Makeup Brush Set｜18 Pieces
Everything You'll Ever Need in One Brush Set
Makeup Brushes Set｜20 Pieces
A Bargain Full Set for Mermaid Wannabes
Eye Makeup Brush Set｜7 Pieces
Make Those Eyes Shine!
Luxury Rose Gold Make Up Brushes Set｜15 Pieces
A Rose Gold Luxurious Full Set
Makeup Brushes in Neon Green｜15 Pieces
Add a Dash of Colour to Your Makeup Routine
Essential Makeup Set｜10 Pieces
Complete Two-Toned Funky Brush Set
Contour Brush Nose Makeup Brushes｜3 Pieces
Brushes to Make Those Cheekbones Pop
Welcome to the ultimate brush collection that has everything that you need and more! With 15 vegan-friendly brushes to choose from, an application sponge and case, and a standing brush box all for just under £40, this is probably the best deal on the market.
The rose gold accents make this an elegant addition to any dressing table or bathroom, as well as an excellent gift for makeup fanatics. Plus, the space-saving packaging is ideal for when you're travelling or away from home. Perfect!
This popular face set, by UK bestsellers Real Techniques, is a classic, thanks to the long-lasting, synthetic bristles that are easy to clean and care for. With this daily essentials set, beginners and experts alike can blush and blend your cheeks to perfection and soon become a pro at contour.
Not to mention, there's also a complexion sponge included, and the lightweight aluminium brushes are colour coded, too – so you'll never grab the wrong one and accidentally ruin your whole look!
Not only does this 8-piece brush set, also from popular UK brand Real Techniques, look sleek and professional but you'll be hard pressed to find another comprehensive, eye-focused, set for the price.
Featuring a definer brush, smudge, lash separator, medium shadow brush, and fine liner brush, among others, you can use this set on any eyeliner product you have to get the 'fleekiest' cat-eye around.
These high-quality makeup brushes are made with soft, dense synthetic fibers that retain powder, and easily and evenly apply creams like foundation and eye makeup. They also look fantastic!
This stylish collection features foundation brushes, eyeliner brushes, flat brushes, brow brushes, and more, so you're sure to find a tool for every product in your kit. And, it all comes in a gorgeous white bag, making it a perfect gift idea for any occasion to surprise someone you care about – or maybe just yourself!
Add a splash of colour to your makeup table with these gorgeous mermaid-themed brushes. Made from synthetic hairs and featuring sturdy metal handles, they're a real bargain considering their durability. We also love that the brand includes a detailed description of specific uses for each brush to help beginners identify them all.
Makeup fans who love to spend their time trying out new looks will also appreciate the wide variety of brushes included, whether you use the fan brush for your highlighting or perfect your eyeliner with the thin eye brush.
This brush set is focused solely on the eyes and will allow you to smudge, blend, and line your eyes to look runway-ready come Friday night. Plus, one of the brushes is a multifunctional brush with two working heads on either end, featuring a spoolie that can be used for the lashes or brows, too.
This was one of our favourite things about this product as it's a unique addition compared to other eye sets on the market! They also feature the brand's exclusive LuxePro vegan fibers alongside comfortable ergonomic handles and arrive in a sweet gift box.
If you're looking for a complete set that looks good enough to display on your vanity, take a look at this gorgeous set of rose gold makeup brushes that will make you feel and look like a movie star.
As the set includes 15 brushes, you'll be able to apply a whole face of makeup using the foundation brush, eyeliner brush, highlighter brush, and more. Also, you get a lovely little makeup brush bag to store your precious tools in while you travel.
This extensive range of 16 makeup brushes offers an inexpensive and fashionable way to apply your makeup. It includes everything you'll need, such as face brushes, lip brushes and more, all of which are made with durable wooden handles fit for everyday use.
On the downside, these bright brushes are only available in neon green, so if you're not keen on the colour or have an aesthetic you're sticking to, then you may want to look at some of the other offerings on our list!
This fabulous brush set by Spectrum was created in an extraordinary range of bright pinks, purples and blues, and we are loving it. With a huge selection of ten brushes for different areas of the face, you can shade, highlight and contour your entire face from your lips to your brows.
Unfortunately, the set doesn't include a nifty little case or bag to store them in, so it will be a bit tricky to take them on the move. That said, if you have your own carry case at home, this is an excellent choice!
This brush set is intended to be used specifically for contouring around the nose and cheekbones. The sharp angles and soft synthetic bristles make them ideal for blending around your face to create sculpting shadows.
It's a shame that this product doesn't come with a makeup bag or sleeve to keep these brushes in. It may not be essential to everyone, but for the price, it would have been good to see some extra buying incentives!
Written and researched by Annie Speight
No. 1: Oscar Charles｜Makeup Brush Set｜15 Pieces
No. 2: Real Techniques ｜Everyday Essentials Makeup Brush Complete Face Set｜5 Pieces
No. 3: Real Techniques ｜Everyday Eye Essentials｜8 Pieces
No. 4: TTRWIN｜Professional Makeup Brush Set｜18 Pieces
No. 5: MAANGE ｜Makeup Brushes Set｜20 Pieces
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