Makeup brushes! Available in every size, shape design! Have you seen the mermaid ones? They are to die for. If you are anything like me; you probably won’t know what each one is for, but will buy them because they have a snazzy handle, mermaid handle! But where can we get the best makeup brushes for cheap?
You may scoff when you pop into a shape and see the price for a simple brush. One would hope that said brush would have magical qualities for that price. Alas! There are other options that are a little kinder to the pocket.
We will first have a look at where some of the brushes on the market today are so eye wateringly expensive. First of all, it’s a specific market, so that on it’s on will bump up the price.
Very clever marketing on brands. We only have to switch on the TV to see some beautiful model brushing her enviably sharp cheek bones that could cut steal with this brush. The way it is represented is that this brush is a must have. To achieve this unachievable look you must have this brush. Without it the world will end and you will never get that photo shopped look.
The quality of the brush itself and individual bristles can easily bump the price up. People today are much more aware and conscious of carbon foot prints, animal testing and sourcing of their products. It is quite frowned upon if you not aware that your humble makeup brush is not sourced from responsible sources, tested on animals, has a carbon footprint, creates green house gasses, manufactured by slave child labour, and is aiding world hunger. Okay, an exaggeration but these issues have become important.
A lot of us would love to be able to splash out on the most exquisite and luxurious brand makeup brush or brushes, but our bank statement rains is back in and reminds us to calm down. Can we really justify spending a small fortune on a humble brush?
But thank goodness there is a budget option. If you are looking for the best makeup brushes for cheap; you are in luck! Admittedly it will not be a brand name (unless it’s a knock off), it will not be made of anything special; sorry no albino unicorn tail hair, and chances are it will fall apart quite quickly. But if you just need one and don’t mind having to replace them often then it’s good news.
Most shops you go to will have their own brand, luxurious brands and the cheap and cheerful brand. For example, Superdrug. If you were to browse their website you will find that if you search with the filter of lowest price first; you will find a plethora of wonderfully priced makeup brushes. Their own brand of brushes and a few other brands. There is a pretty good range priced from £1.99 to £2.99. It is safe to say it is a no frills, bells and whistles brand. Very basic and plain to look at. But if on a very tight budget; for £10 or less you could get a nice little collection. You will need to look at the reviews; but a majority of the cheap options have around four out of five stars. You get what you pay for really.
Wilko’s have a much smaller selection of own brand makeup brushes for cheap, but for a £1 who can complain? If you are willing to spend between £2 – £3 for a brushes there are some beautiful options with great reviews. Beautiful and chunky brushes.
Some people over look the cheap and cheerful option that people overlook is the local market. Again, maybe not the best quality but you will probably be able to stock up on your favourite types of brushes for a tiny fraction of the price otherwise though.
Is it cheaper to buy in bulk rather than singles? Well it depends. Are you just looking for a single specific brush for your eyebrows? Or do you need it all? If in doubt a great option for getting the best makeup brushes for cheap is the good old, tried and trusted (kind of) internet. E-commerce websites are great option to try and find great bargains. To be fair you don’t really need to look very hard. A simple search of ‘makeup brush’ or ‘makeup brush sets’ will present you with an abundance of search results that goes on for pages. For around the £10 mark you can get a ridiculously fabulous set of between 7 and 20 pieces. To be fair; would we know what to do with all 20 pieces? I mean I suppose it is a bargain, but I would imagine that most of them would get lost under a chair somewhere, get used for something else, or just gather dust on a shelf somewhere and never get to see the light of day again. For £3 more you can treat yourself to a 33 piece set of pretty pink makeup brushes complete with a gift box and a blender. To me this would seem like a great deal even though I don’t know what half of it is for. Plus it’s pink, it’s pretty, so touché to the marketing team for this brand.
One may wish to not get too carried away with the clever marketing techniques here. Even though the cheaper brands may be presented with pretty, colourful and different shaped handles; it does not take away from that fact it is still pretty poor to average quality. Chances of the handle break, snapping, the paint on it peeling and chipping are pretty darn high.
If we can draw ourselves away from the glittery, pretty fabulous awesomeness of how well they are presented; it is worth while looking at the companies sale pitch. The emotive words that they use to sell their product. They are very well aware that their product is cheap tat, but that does not stop them attempting to sell it as much more than that. Words like “Luxurious”, “high quality”. Let’s not kid ourselves; if it was truly high quality and super luxurious than they would have some highly paid pouting celebrity to promote their products for them. If you are paying around the £10 mark we need to be fully aware that the set will be neither of these things.
One can easily spot the very clever marketing if you look at the descriptions. At a glance it is a long description of the product with all of the key words, and lots of bullet points. Automatically we believe this product is not only a bargain and we must buy it immediately, but it also must have magical powers of some sort. You will give yourself a quick giggle if you actually take the time to read these descriptions. “100% new”. Well one would really hope so! You wouldn’t want to buy and use second hand products would you? “Premium”, another key word that grabs our attention, followed by a description of what a makeup brush does. It is like telling somebody that a bath holds water. It is painfully obvious but that fact it is partnered with these key words, it makes it sound impressive.
Why is it when any company throws in a “box” we are so impressed. In some weird universe this almost makes it sound like a gift set in itself. We are most vulnerable to sales ploys like this around the holiday periods. We think, “It comes with a box, it will make a great gift!”.
“Specially designed”, yes we’re sure. Yet oddly enough this specially designed item looks identical to every other one on the market. But very clever though.
“Used by professionals/for professionals”. Well it must be good then if all the top end professionals are using it! Wait… it is suddenly hard to visualise the makeup artists to the Hollywood elite hopping on an e-commerce site like Amazon and grabbing the £13 special with the pretty box. My favourite comment is saying that it can also be used by armatures. Well thank goodness this budget bucket bargain can be used by us mere mortals.
However, after that slightly venomous and scathing observation of this product to use as an example; if one were to scroll down to the reviews, they are actually quite impressive. As stated above; a lot of people were delighted that it came with a box. As a lot of these reviewers were people who bought this as a gift for someone else; the details of the review of the product itself is very limited. Someone made a great point that these cheaper models are fantastic for teenagers, which agreed they are a great starting point and foundation.
Even though a large percentage of the reviews were for 4 stars or higher, of the small amount of reviews that were three stars or lower said the same thing; a strong smell of acetone from the box and the brushes were poor quality. They felt they paid too high a price for such a low quality product.
We have to be honest with ourselves, truly honest; you are getting what you pay for. For that particular 33 piece set, you are getting each brush for around 40p each. Anything for 40p we know, we have to know is not going to be of any particular quality. So do we truly have the right to be disappointed and huffy about it? We can say that we expected better and we believed we paid this price for a better quality product, but really we didn’t. Even the best bargain hunter in the world would struggle to find individual brushes for 40p each. You know for that price that manufacturers are going to pick the cheapest quality products and it is obvious they still need to make a profit, so the quality is actually even lower than we thought.
All in all you get what you pay for. If you are seeking a bargain, some products for your makeup back on a budget; you are not going to get silky soft bristles and hardy handles. The company will not make a profit so there is no point in doing it. But maybe we should actually be happy that there are companies that are willing to manufacture products that will give the chance for anyone, on any budget to have these products. We are in the technological age now where products that were once reserved for the incredibly rich and higher social standing classes are not available to everyone. But being realistic, a company cannot financially create a product of really high quality and sell it for painfully cheap, they would go under and bankrupt very quickly. So we have to rely and try and appreciate these smaller brands that do create these products to suit our pockets. Their options are probably very limited when it comes to sourcing. Too high quality products or ingredients will mean they have to bump up the price from our end.
I think we need to accept we cannot have it both ways. If you have previously used a high quality brand as your preferred choice for makeup brushes; then you will notice a considerable difference with a cheaper brand. However, if like me you have never really paid too much attention to the quality; then you will probably not notice the difference. A brush I have had for far too many years, way more than recommended versus a Versace one. The Versace one is very soft and silky and feels lovely on your skin, but I have never really noticed a difference in the ability to apply makeup well. It is also probably down to how heavily you use and depend on makeup. If your face is your war paint and wouldn’t be caught dead outside with your face on; then it may be worth investing, however if you are indifferent to it; then a nice cheap set will be more than efficient for your needs.