Sometimes buying a one-off makeup brush makes sense – like a replacement for one of your old brushes or one that fits a specific need, like a kabuki brush. That said, it’s usually way more time (and cost) efficient to throw your bread at a full set of cosmetic brushes. That way you’ve got everything you need, and it all matches perfectly. (Let’s not discount the shelfie potential here.) To help you find the best makeup brush sets for whatever your makeup needs and wants, we asked MUAs to share their faves.
1. For the Newbie: Real Techniques Sparkle and Shine Set, $50
If your makeup brush collection is practically non-existent, this set serves as a one-and-done deal that covers everything you need for not a ton of cash down. “Real Techniques offers well-made, vegan brushes at a really great price,” says global makeup artist Bryan Cantor. “This set comes with 11 brushes that perform a wide variety of makeup tasks, plus a sponge with its own carrying case.” Real Techniques has long been a fave brand for us, and we couldn’t agree more!
2. For the Aspiring Pro: Morphe Babe Faves Face Brush Set, $68
“I personally love to use Morphe brushes. Not only are they ridiculously affordable, but they are really great quality. When I first started getting into makeup, I was able to afford every single brush they offered, and I’m still using the same brushes I bought,” says Kimberly Culbertson, a permanent makeup artist and owner of Beauty Babe Club in San Diego, California. This comprehensive set includes nine natural and synthetic brushes plus a blender.
3. For the Legit Professional: Glo Skin Beauty Filled Brush Belt, $190
Not only does a professional makeup artist need a full set of cosmetic brushes, but she needs an easy way to carry them. “This particular set includes a professional brush belt with 28 pockets that are already stuffed with 12 professional-quality vegan brushes. This gives you all the brushes you need to create a complete look, plus room for any other brushes that you care to carry,” says Cantor.
4. For the Wanderlust: It Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe On The Go 6-Piece Brush Set + Case, $50
“This is the absolute best travel-friendly makeup brush set. It’s only $50, has a value of almost $160, and comes in a sleek traveling case,” says Culbertson. The set includes six full-size brushes, including the multi-powder, foundation, eyeshadow, concealer, crease, and eyeliner/brow brushes.
5. For the Minimalist: Real Techniques Everyday Essentials, $20
Culbertson agrees that Real Techniques is the place to go if you’re seeking quality brushes for a low price. She says their Everyday Essentials set is especially great for those who don’t need a whole slew of brushes but could benefit from owning, well, the essentials. It comes with a makeup sponge and four brushes, including a blending, crease, setting, and face brush.
6. For the Ultimate Makeup Enthusiast: Sigma Beauty The Ultimate Chrome Brush Set, $153
Serious makeup enthusiasts, aspiring influencers, and anyone else who’s all about trying a wide range of makeup looks: this set is for you. “With a whopping 16 full-size brushes, this brush set has almost every brush a makeup enthusiast could ever need,” says Cantor. “All of the brushes are created with ultra-soft SigmaTech® and Sigmax® fibers, both of which are vegan and cruelty-free. If that wasn’t enough, the makeup brush set also comes with a free two-year warranty.” Now that’s quality we can get on board with!
7. For the Disney Fan: Spectrum Ariel Shell Brush Set, $110
Sometimes you want a brush set that fits your aesthetic, and if you’re a Disney fan (umm, isn’t that #allofus?) then that’s a very specific niche. Spectrum makes a handful of Disney-themed brush sets, including this one inspired by our favorite red-headed mermaid. Not only does the set include 10 brushes with sea blue glitter handles, aquamarine ferrules, and splashy coral bristles, it’s all packaged in a gorgeous clam shell case you can use as either storage for your brushes or a legit purse.
8. For the Luxe Lover: Wayne Goss The Face Set, $250
If you’ve got money to spend on brushes, you really can’t go wrong with a set created by makeup hero Wayne Goss. “If you’re really into makeup and contouring, this is the best brush set. It’s pricey at $250, but these are luxury brushes that will last you a lifetime,” says Culbertson.
9. For the Busy Body: Marc Jacobs Beauty Your Place Or Mine? 5-Piece Petites Brush, $139
Whether you always find yourself on your way to happy hour straight after work, feel like you live out of your car, or are forever traveling, this set of petite makeup brushes by Marc Jacobs is a must. Cantor says, “The five travel-size brushes it contains are perfect for creating your look for a night out or getting yourself ready for work wherever you happen to wake up the next morning. Plus, I love that it comes with a gorgeous emerald green vegan patent leather case.”
Have you guys got any of these brush sets? Let us know your fave brush sets in the comments below.