If you've ever watched a makeup tutorial where the YouTuber reaches for brush after never ending brush to complete a simple eye look and wondered 'Do I really need all those brushes?' then this is the post for you.
Amassing a large collection of makeup brushes is not necessary to pulling off great makeup looks. And your brushes don't have to be expensive. My personal collection consists mainly of Crown Brush brushes, which are both great quality and inexpensive. Crown Brush may not be as commonly used by YouTube beauty guru's as a brand like Morphe, but let me spill a little T for you. Morphe is very likely a private label brand of Crown Brush.
Private labeling, for those unaware, is the practice of buying a bulk amount of another brand's product and getting them to put your brand's label on it. Businesses that have a great brand but no manufacturing facilities commonly do this (i.e. Mermaid Salon). It is something that is offered on the Crown Brush Australia website. If you look at the products available from Crown Brush you will see that they are identical (or at least very similar) to those available from Morphe. One example is the Crown Deluxe Soft Fan brush (C143). This brush is exactly the same as the Morphe Deluxe Sort Fan brush (M143). Even the brush number is the same. If you want to go more in depth into private labeling and the similarities between Crown Brush and Morphe I highly recommend Stephanie Nicole's Morphe brand review video.
You'll notice that the Morphe brush is priced a lot cheaper than the Crown brush, but postage for this brush alone is $27.31 USD. The cost of postage on the Crown Brush Australia site is a flat rate of $12.95. Alternatively, if you live in SE Queensland you can visit the Crown Brush store at Burleigh Heads. There are Australian stockist of Morphe, but none of them sell this brush individually.
Their eyeshadows are the same too. The 1st photo below is of the 35 Colour Neutral Palette from Crown Brush and the 2nd is the 35N from Morphe (both photos are from their websites). While not identical in layout and not all the shades are the same, they are very very similar.
Another great source of inexpensive makeup brushes is E.L.F. E.L.F can be purchased at Kmart and online at elfcosmetics.com.au and Adore Beauty. Brushes can be bought for as little and $3 and are still great quality. I have quite a few E.L.F. brushes and haven't had any issues. I did destroy the eyeliner brush, but that was because I left gel eyeliner on it to dry then pulled the bristles out completely when I pinched the bristles to see how dirty the brush was.
So on to the essential eye brushes. If you buy these 5 brushes you will be able to achieve any eye look. The brushes I recommend will be Crown Brush unless otherwise stated and are all extremely affordable and perfect for those just starting their makeup collection.
1. Large blending fluff
This brush is great for setting down your base colour and blending transition shades. With it's soft and fluffy bristles it will add soft colour to your eyes and help to blend out for a diffused, blown out look. A natural or synthetic bristle is fine for this brush. My current favourite is no longer stocked on the website but a good alternative is the BK30 - Luna Badger Oval Shadow brush. It's very soft and fluffy and only $6 AUD. Another option is the C529 - Pro Jumbo Blending Crease brush ($13.30 AUD). It's a little more pointed but would also be good for the purpose. If you're wanting a synthetic alternative, the C459- Infinity Chisel Fluff ($8.75 AUD) would be a good option, although I do not own this brush.
2. Blending fluff
A stiffer and smaller blending brush is essential for adding definition in the crease and blending out shadows in a less diffuse way then the large blending fluff. My favourite is the C433 - Pro Blending Fluff ($9.90 AUD). This brush is a dupe of the commonly used MAC 217 ($37 AUD). You can get away with only buying this brush and forgoing the larger blending brush. You could even use this brush under the eye - it really is the best multipurpose eye shadow brush you can buy. If you're looking for a synthetic version - which I use with my Colourpop Super Shock Shadows - then the SS027 - Deluxe Blending Crease brush ($8.75 AUD) is what you want.
3. pencil brush
The pencil brush is used for more defined shadow applications including cut-creases, lower lash lines, and inner corner highlights. It is another multipurpose brush that you will get a lot of use out of. I use the C431 - Precision Pencil ($8.50 AUD). I also use the synthetic C461 - Infinity Precision Crease ($7.95 AUD) for cream products.
4. Flat shader brush
This brush is for packing colour onto the lid. I have a few in different sizes and sometimes use concealer and lip brushes. A good option and the brush I use for cut creases is the C170-10 - Oval Taklon ($5.65 AUD). This brush is made from a synthetic fibre called taklon so is great for using with cream products and is the perfect size for covering the lid with colour. Another great synthetic brush is the SS011 - Syntho Series Deluxe Oval Shadow ($6.25). Flat synthetic brushes are pretty easy to come by so any brush will probably be fine.
5. Angled brush
I use this brush for creating a new crease for cut creases as well as mapping out my eyeliner, filling my eyebrows. lining the lower lash line, and creating a new inner corner. I have 2 brushes I use: the C160 1/8 - Taklon Angle Liner ($3.95 (AUD), and the Small Angled Brush from E.L.F. ($9 AUD). I use the C160 for my eyebrows and the E.L.F brush for my lids. It may be a good idea to get 2 of these if you're using a cream product for you brows so that you don't have to try to clean the brush to use it for something else.
Bonus brush - Eyeliner brush
This brush is only essential if you're using gel, cake, or cream eyeliner (sounds delicious). I use a Napolean Perdis Sable Liner 2H FR ($29.00 AUD) and it's likely the most expensive brush I own. I tried to use my C160 1/8 for winged eyeliner but found it difficult. You may have better luck than me though. Another option is the C438 - Pro Deluxe Liner ($5.20 AUD) which is very similar to the Napoleon brush but way way cheaper. I personally use the Maybelline HyperSharp Wing Liquid Liner ($17.95 AUD) pen as it has a brush tip and is waterproof, so I don't need an eyeliner brush.
So if you went ahead and bought a set of these 5 brushes from Crown Brush it would set you back $34 AUD ($35.65 AUD if you bought all synthetic). This is less than the cost of 1 MAC brush. Postage is a flat rate of $12.95 AUD so your total is $46.95/$48.60. So for less than $10 per brush you can now achieve any eye look you want! Be sure to check out all the brushes on my Pintrest board.