Budget beauty! Cheap makeup brushes for your collection

Perfect your makeup application technique with these affordable brushes & tools!
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With tons of budget brands and endless free YouTube tutorials, getting into makeup is easier than ever before. To complete your low-cost beauty routine, we put together a guide to the best cheap makeup brushes – including seven of our favourite brands you can find in Australia.

WATCH BELOW: Chloe Morello’s ‘paint by numbers’ makeup technique

What Do Makeup Brushes Do?

There are a variety of ways to apply your makeup. Some people prefer to use their fingers to dab and blend, while others use sponges to get that even, airbrushed look. But the tool you’ll find the most often in people’s makeup kits is the makeup brush.

Makeup brushes are bristled tools (similar to a paintbrush) that you can use to precisely apply your makeup. There are different brushes for different uses, parts of the face, products, and desired result. Because of this, most people use more than one makeup brush to achieve a fully made-up face. 

A bunch of gold and pink makeup brushes in a circle
(Credit: Getty)

What To Look For In Affordable Makeup Brushes In Australia

Just like any other beauty product, you can find makeup brushes at different price points. But is there really a difference between a five-dollar brush set from eBay and MAC’s hundred-dollar kits? 

The short answer is yes, but ‘good quality’ and ‘affordable’ don’t have to be mutually exclusive. With more and more brands coming out, you can easily find great brushes even if you’re on a budget – just follow this no-fail guide!


There’s no one-size-fits-all makeup brush – the tools you need for a flawless foundation are very different from the tools you need for those gorgeous eyeshadow looks you see on Instagram. 

If you’re just starting out, you can get a basic brush set for less than what it would cost to buy each brush individually. But if you already know which brushes you need, you can save money (and space in your makeup kit) by just buying the brushes one by one.

A close up of a makeup brush with a beige against a white background
(Credit: Getty)


Brushes come with either synthetic bristles or natural hair bristles. Natural bristles hold more pigment, pack on the product better, and provide better control and precision. There are even Japanese brushes made out of a combination of different animal hairs for optimum softness and quality.

However, if you’re vegan or allergic to animal hair, you’re better off finding a high-quality synthetic alternative. Plus, synthetic brushes are often cheaper, more durable, and come in really cute colours.


Before buying any makeup brush, see if you can test it out first. Pass the bristles over your skin. If it feels soft, then it’s a good buy. If it feels rough, scratchy, or hard, put it back on the shelf.


As you’re testing out the feel of the brush, notice if the fibres stay on or if they fall out easily. Over time, bristles will fall out, especially as the glue holding it together degrades. You can maximise a brush’s lifespan by taking good care of it, but getting a durable brush in the first place will help you avoid trouble in the long run.


While design is secondary to quality, it can’t hurt to have a cool brush set that feels and looks good. You can find tons of pretty designs like metallic handles, multi-coloured bristles, or even mermaid and unicorn brushes!


Don’t underestimate makeup brushes with dozens of great reviews! There’s a reason why they’re popular in the first place. Do your due diligence, read reviews, and you’ll come away much more satisfied with your purchase.


Of course, we’re talking about affordable makeup brushes here so price is always going to be a factor. This doesn’t mean that you should go for the cheapest available set, but find something that strikes the right balance between quality and affordability. The brushes we list below are a good place to start!

The Best Cheap Makeup Brushes In Australia

(Credit: Morphe)


Face The Beat Brush Collection (5 brushes), $41, from Morphe.

Check out Morphe’s brushes here.

(Credit: E.l.f.)


11 Piece Brush Set (11 brushes), $50, from E.l.f.

Check out e.l.f.’s brushes here.

(Credit: Sephora)


Starter Brush Set (5 brushes), $105, from Sephora

Check out Sephora Collection’s brushes here.

(Credit: Real Techniques)

Real Techniques

Everyday Essential Set (4 brushes, 1 sponge), $49.50, from THE ICONIC

Check out Real Techniques’ brushes here.

(Credit: Sigma)


Soft Blend Brush Set (6 brushes), $95, from Sigma

Check out Sigma’s brushes here.

(Credit: Tarte)

Tarte Cosmetics

Crytal Crush Brush Set (6 brushes), $38, from Tarte

Check out Tarte Cosmetics’ brushes here

The Right Tools For The Job

While you can apply makeup using your fingers or a sponge, brushes are the best way to achieve that perfect airbrushed look. And with these cheap makeup brushes, you can do it without breaking the bank!

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