Brushes on a Budget: The Eye Collection

As much as I want to own all brushes that MAC has ever made, my budget does not allow me. However, I really do not enjoy the idea of using the sponge tip applicators to apply eye shadows either so I had to find brushes that are budget-friendly and have high quality as well. And found them I did, not only one but a whole bunch of them. Today I shall present to you my brushes on a budget for eye makeup.

A glimpse at my eye brushes, almost all of them I think

When I was a kid, my mom used to take me to painting lessons. From age 3 to 10, I was actively painting about 2, 3 pictures per month in watercolor. By the time I was 11-12, the group dissipated due to lack of budget and I stopped painting all together. And that happened after I got some awards so it was sad to let go and from that experience, I knew how to hold brushes properly and also developed my mad skillz! Also from watercolor painting, my love for brushes also developed. Most of the people in my class had a huge brush collection anyways and it was a pain for my mom to wash them for me after class. When it came to makeup, I also collected brushes like mad and of course some of the brushes that I use for makeup are paint brushes. And believe it or not, they feel really natural in my hand. I guess it's true that you never un-learn some certain things.

The four brushes I'm mentioning today are the ones I use most frequently and all of them are less than $5 USD. Two of them can be found at Michael's arts and crafts store, the other two can be purchased at the House of Target (very chic place, you know!)

Brush #1: Loew-Cornell 270 Maxine's Mop 3/8 inch

L-C Maxine's Mop 3/8 in compared to MAC 239
There's a typo in the picture, it's "3/8", not "3/4"

This brush looks, feels, and performs exactly the same way as MAC 239 for a fraction of the cost! Scary but true. When I saw it at Michael's I was like, "Hey, you look familiar!" and picked it up. Lucky me, Michael's had a brush sale on the day I purchased but at a full price, it's about $3.99 USD.

This brush has natural hair bristle and stiff so it packs on color very well. However, it is not a blending brush so please do not try to blend your eye shadows with it. Also, the white hair is nifty because you can see how dirty the brush get. Cleaning this brush is not a problem and drying is very fast. I also use this same brush to foil although I need to look for a synthetic brush already.

Loew-Cornell (L-C) brushes are the Cadillac of paint brushes. Back in the day when I was painting, my brushes were made in China and were very sturdy. I think that's how paint brushes are: they need to stand the abuse of paint, friction, pressure, water, oil, mixing medium, etc. L-C brushes are made in Sri Lanka and they are very well-made brushes. Paula Dorf, the famous makeup artist, used paint brushes when she started as she could not find good makeup brushes to use. That speaks volume about the quality of paint/artist brushes. If they're good enough for Paula Dorf, they're good enough for us /end of rant/.

Brush #2: Loew-Cornell 270 Maxine's Mop 1/4 inch

Sorry I didn't wash my brush well enough
The bristles are white, not muddy like mine

When I bought this brush at Michael's a little bit after the 3/8 Maxine's mop, all I wanted was a small detail brush. This brush is small enough to reach to the corners of my eyes yet sharp enough to make that outer-v. It's also a good brush to use for the smokey eyes look. The 1/4 Maxine's mop quickly became my favorite brush and it kicked my MAC 219 to the corner. I experience less eyeshadow fall out when I use this brush than when using MAC 219. It's about 70 cents cheaper than the 3/8 Maxine's mop, so it's around $3.29 USD.

With their low prices, I can stock a lot of L-C brushes to use if I want to. And for ladies who are also makeup artists (ahem *Jaimie*), you can get a lot of these brushes so you don't have to clean up between clients. Also, Michael's now have coupons that you can print out to use at their website. So make sure to check it out before buying, them coupons may save you a few dollars.

Brush #3: Sonia Kashuk Blending Brush

Let's go to The House of Target, shall we? When I was an undergrad, Target was my makeup and fashion mecca. It's like GAP but cheaper and has makeup! Makeup artist Sonia Kashuk brought high quality professional makeup and tools to Target and her brushes are awesome and affordable. She has two lines of brushes: the white handle Sonia Kashuk ones and the black lacquered handle brushes called Kashuk Tools. Although most brushes from Kashuk Tools are available in the cheaper white handle line, the quality are almost the same in my opinion. Being a cheapophile, the one who loves cheap prices, I went ahead with the white handle blending brush. This brush is around $3.99-4.99 USD and blends your eye shadows very well.

In fact, it's one of the brushes that changed how I did my makeup forever. If you ever wonder how your makeup never looks like those in the magazine, it's because (a) they photoshop everything in the mag, (b) a pro-makeup artist did the makeup, and (c) you need a good blending brush. Upon acquiring this brush, I started to learn how to contour and my days of blending the crap out of my eye shadows also started (and I'm serious about the blending part!) You only look right after you start the blending/contouring part. Before that, everything are in harsh lines and you do not want that! "Remember to blend, blend, blend" is my mantra these days.

Brush #4: Sonia Kashuk Angle Eyeshadow Brush

SK angle brush vs. MAC 266

This one time when I was at a MAC counter, one middle-age man asked for an angle brush. I almost said, "Man, do you know where Target is? They have something similar but cheaper!" However, it seemed like he had money to afford a full-size 266 and I did not want to butt in out of the fear of being beaten up by the MAC makeup artists there. One of me vs. 3-4 of them, no way!

Anyways, this Sonia Kashuk brush is one of the oldest makeup brushes I've had. It's about 6 years old and still doing fine since I care for it very well. You can notice how old it is based on the color of the handle: this one is grey, not white. I bought it before the expensive Kashuk Tools brushes came out. Currently, it's about the same price as the blending brush.

If you try to compare it with MAC 266, I'm sorry to tell you this brush is not the same. MAC 266 is a synthetic fibre brush while SK angle brush is full of natural hair bristles. Also, the brush is much fuller hence it's not suitable for cream eyeliners. However, it's a perfect brush to make that sharp v, apply dark eye shadows close to the lashes, apply brow color, and smudge your eyeliner. And it's also affordable to boost.

For the price of a movie ticket and a popcorn, you can get 4 wonderful eye makeup brushes to use for years to come. Most of my brushes are old and I care for them very well so they last me a long time. Yours can be the same as well with a little bit of TLC.

That's it for my brushes on a budget lecture y'all. Now for the fun of it, say "Brushes on a budget" really fast 10 times.

Take care and be gorgeous,
Your Makeup Blogger

P.S: Cult of Cherry is out today. Go ahead, grab your brushes and have some fun! Shipping is also free at MAC cosmetics website.