It’s finally time for me to dedicate an entire post to one of my favourite products: makeup brushes. I’m just addicted to buying them; even though one for each product should be enough, they’re just too pretty to not collect… Here are a list of my top 5 cruelty-free brush brands, and the best brushes they make. Not to mention – all of these makeup brushes are cheap. There’s no point in investing a tonne into a brush when you can get the same thing for £15 less elsewhere. The brushes mentioned in detail are the ones photographed.
This post contains affiliate links, meaning that I will earn a small amount of profit if you choose to purchase something through my link. It will come at no extra cost to you, though, and means that I can continue to work on my blog.
I know I’ve been banging on about Wet n Wild brushes for a long time now already – read about it here and here – but they really are fantastic for such an affordable price. They’re vegan as well as cruelty-free, and the range includes some of the best cheap makeup brushes out there. I own five of them, the Large Stipple, the Crease, the Powder (not pictured; it’s in my car right now), the Contour and the Flat Top. Out of these my favourites are the Large Stipple and the Crease brushes, which I use every day. I cannot recommend these cruelty-free makeup brushes enough.
As you can see, due to over use of the Large Stipple brush, an amount of the paint has flaked off. That’s only to be expected, really, as the price is so low. The actual brush hairs are all still intact, though, and as soft and pink as ever.
Formerly Make Up Revolution (now just Revolution for some reason), this brand has an immense amount of affordable dupes for high-end products. Pretty much everything is a copy of another brand’s item, and whilst that can seem a little dodgy – it took me a while to come to terms with this actually being legal – it’s a really good way for people who cannot afford high-end makeup to experience it nonetheless.
I like their ‘Ultra Metals’ collection, a set of brushes intended to dupe the Real Techniques ‘Bold Metals’ line. I have the Ultra Pointed Crease (I use it as more of a pencil brush to smoke out my lower lash line, as I find it’s too stiff to blend out crease colours) and the Ultra Flat Contour. I also have the Precision Contour Set, though the only one i find dense and stiff enough to use is the large one. It’s based on one of the Artis ‘Oval Brushes’, and it applies foundation flawlessly. These brushes are all vegan.
I mentioned Real Techniques brushes before as being duped, but they are in themselves fairly affordable. Whilst the ‘Bold Metals’ collection is nice – I own and recommend a couple of the eye brushes and a blush brush – I have heaps of the regular line and they’re just as good. I love the Blush Brush as it’s the perfect size and shape to apply bronzer. I put the product onto the side of the brush and then blend it under my cheekbone; the bottom of the bristles where I want the deepest contour and the top of the brush where I want the bronzer to be sheerest. I also really like the Powder Brush to bronze.
The Setting Brush works really well to set under eye concealer with loose powder (as does the Contour Brush, which isn’t pictured as it comes in a set and I don’t feel the other brushes are worth purchasing), apply highlighter and blend out concealer. I know that the Expert Face Brush was hyped for a really long time, but I personally didn’t love it the way most people did. I pictured it solely because I wanted to mention this…I was really disappointed. I still won’t get rid of it though, as it was the first proper makeup brush I ever bought. These brushes are also vegan.
Although it’s not a brush, I need to mention the Miracle Complexion Sponge. My favourite foundation application is a damp sponge, and this is my favourite. I even prefer it to the Beauty Blender, and it’s half the price!
I buy these in bulk, and go through them like nothing else. RT brushes last for years and years, but unfortunately, like other sponges, this will pick up bacteria quickly and need to be chucked after a few months. (Well, I keep mine for a few months but I’m pretty sure that’s longer than you’re supposed to.)
I’ve talked about Zoeva makeup here, here and here, but this is the first time I’ve spoken about their brushes. Seeing as I tried their brushes long before their makeup, I don’t really know why. Their Brow Line brush is honestly a holy grail (does anyone use that term anymore?) for me; it’s dense and straight and applies brow product perfectly. A lot of people use the brow brushes that are almost as thin as angled liner brushes, and I personally find them too flimsy. Try the Zoeva brow brush, you won’t regret it. I used it daily for a couple of years, and only recently I’ve had to replace it due to the hairs getting a bit frayed after so many washes. I replaced it with one from the rose gold collection because it was, well, prettier. I use the old one for winging eyeshadow or stamping it along my lash line.
I also love their Luxe Fan Brush, as it applies and blends highlighter in such a perfect shape along my cheekbone. I do have a Luxe Sheer Cheek Brush from them as well – why I didn’t picture it, I don’t know – which I use when I bother to contour and not just bronze. These two brushes are goat hair, though, so if you’re vegan you won’t want to purchase them. They do have a huge range of vegan brushes, however, and lucky for you the Brow Line is included.
I was delighted when e.l.f launched in Superdrug in the UK, though their own website thankfully shipped here a lot sooner. Despite the exceptionally cheap prices I’m still relatively new to the brand, and I love that all of e.l.f’s products are vegan. I love to set my concealer with their Blush Brush – it also applies highlighter really softly! – and their Beautifully Precise Smudge Brush is one of my favourite eye brushes ever due to it’s being so precise. The pencil brush is from a different line to their regular brushes and hence it’s a little pricier, but not by much. Either way, it’s worth the purchase. Just look at how pretty the clear handle is!
Let me know if you try out any of these brushes; I would be so interested to hear your thoughts on them! Please remember that brush preference is quite a personal thing – if one of these brushes doesn’t work well for you, it doesn’t mean the brand won’t have something else that might fit your makeup routine perfectly. As always, thanks for reading,
PS. Have you entered my giveaway?