A recommendation request I constantly get is, “What are some good, affordable makeup brushes?” Most good brushes are, unfortunately, quite expensive. While high-quality brushes tend to be worth the money you pay for them, if you need an entirely new set, it can either blow your budget or be completely out of your price range. Never fear—there are alternatives!
CROWN BRUSH SYNTHO SET REVIEWIn conjunction with the HauteLook App Review I posted yesterday, one brand that regularly reappears on the site is CrownBrush. I kept seeing the brushes advertised, but I hesitated because of mixed online reviews. Some of my brushes needed to be put into retirement, or more like the morgue, so, I took the plunge. And…the results are in…the Crown Brush Syntho Set receives an A+, with special commendations.
The first thing I liked, before even picking a brush up, was their general appearance: matte black & chrome-accented wooden handles and cream-colored bristles with a sort of dip-dyed tip—pretty and polished. Next, the second a brush touches your face you experience a sensation of complete luxury. I’d love a blanket to wrap my entire body in that mimics the sensation of these brushes: creamy velvet comfort completely enveloping you. One thing I can’t stand is a brush that feels even slightly rough. Let’s leave exfoliation to products that are meant to do so. These Syntho brush are literally the softest I have ever experienced.
Next, the assortment of brushes provided in the set is quite good. This is a great set that goes a bit beyond your basic starter kit. You get:
• Flat bronzer brush
• Angle liner brush
• Large foundation brush
• Mini fan brush
• Oval shadow brush
• Crease brush
• Eyeliner brush
• Powder dome brush
• Spoolie brush
• Angle blush brush
Makeup application with these also proved excellent. Although it’s called a flat bronzer brush, this is also the perfect tool for applying liquid, cream, or powder foundation. My NYX Stay Matte but Not Flat Powder Foundation (a fave that I’ll review for you) went on quite smoothly with it over my L’oreal BB Cream. The angle blush brush was an excellent shape for double tasking with bronzer to contour my cheeks (currently use Lorac’s Wild Tantalizer Bronzer) and then applying blush (Too Faced Pink Leopard Blushing Bronzer).
These brushes normally sell for $148, but you can either wait for them to pop up on HauteLook for $50, or get them them now for $59 directly from Crown Brush. Additionally, you can get 10% off for following Crown Brush on one of their social media sites.
SONIA KASHUK BRUSHES
On a tight budget? Need some decent new brushes ASAP? Then run to Target for Sonia Kashuk brushes. Here’s the truth: a friend purchased a set of these for me eight years ago, and I only recently replaced them with some higher-end selections. Yes, they lasted that long. You seriously can’t go wrong with this brand. The sets are a better value than buying individual brushes. If you need an individual brush, I’d go ahead and splurge with MAC.
If you’re going to buy any MAC brush, make it the 227. I picked up a few products at a Nordstrom counter a few years ago and a MAC artist introduced me to this gem by using it to buff in concealer. The way the brush applied just the right amount of product under my eyes and gave it a beautifully soft, buffed finish really impressed me. It is $32, and I still own it. You can also use it to apply shadow and contour your nose. Note: don't let the term "large fluff brush" deceive you. I definitely would not describe it as large, unless you're comparing it to a small shadow brush.
Although I have not personally used them, Casey Holmes highly recommends Sigma Brushes, and I highly recommend Casey! She is my absolute favorite YouTube beauty guru, and everyone I tell about her falls in love with her reviews and tutorials.