My Favorite Eye Brushes - Nothing Over $15 Because We're Not Bougie Yet
Of course this is not an exhaustive list. I probably forgot a couple.
I wanted to talk about the brushes I treasure and often go to for complicated looks, or even those who are easy but warrant difficult eyeshadows. There are different price points here (as well as availability).
First we have the Wet n' Wild Crease Brush. This beauty is 99 cents and soooooooft as a bunny (I'd know, there used to be a bunny in the last place I lived in). I have two of these and considering getting a third because of how marvelous it is. It's very fluffy so it's perfect for that transition shade, and I use a clean one to buff out harsh lines. If you live in Texas, H-E-B carries them, and so does Rite Aid, Walgreens, and CVS.
Next we have the e.l.f Crease Brush. I got this on the recommendation of Kimberly Clark (if you don't know who she is, WATCH HER). This is also incredibly affordable, at $3. If you have small eyes, this is a godsend for precision blending. I've washed this about a million times already (does this shame you into washing your own brushes? I HOPE SO) and it has held up nicely. I am a known advocate for how great some e.l.f. brushes are, and this is one of the shiniest examples I own.
Now, you might be wondering, if she joking? Isn't this the same brush. But alas, it is not. This is the e.l.f Detail Crease Brush, the aforementioned brush's younger and edgier sister. This is way smaller than the crease brush (I'd say half its size), and I like to use it to either smudge liner or incredibly detailed crease work--like adding black to the crease (!) on small eyes. I thought the crease brush was small, but the detail version is minuscule in comparison.
When I went to London almost two years ago, I made it my mission to find some Zoeva brushes. I'd heard so many good things about it, and I am not about those international shipping fees--so this trip was my only chance to get it. Not gonna lie, it was pricey--think MAC brushes prices--but I am soooo happy I got the Zoeva 231 Luxe Petit Crease. As if you haven't heard about this enough, I have small eyes and heavy lids, so most blending brushes are huge to me. This is a natural-synthetic blend, for all of those cruelty free folks out there. I really like how soft yet rough this is--this is a good thing! I don't need a super soft blending brush, sometimes some roughness is required and this brush brings it.
The other brush I got was the Zoeva 228 Luxe Crease, which has been endlessly compared to the MAC 217. Less than half the price, this is also hard to get if you are in the US. I do not own the 217 but I can tell you from feeling it at the MAC store that there is no discernible difference as far as I know. The 217 is full synthetic and this brush, like the 231, is described as a natural-synthetic blend. I like this to make seamless transitions, especially when working with darker and more stubborn colors (such as purples).
This is one of those brushes I didn't do much research on this brush--I just got it because it looked good and made sense for my shadow application. The Zoeva 227V Soft Definer is part of their Vegan line, and of similar size to the 228. Except for that it is pinched at the top of the ferule, being less of an all crease brush and more concentrated, depending on where you put it. It is incredibly soft, and a testament to Zoeva's quality.
Last, we have the e.l.f. Defining Eye Brush. This baby is only $1 (only 40 cents right now on their website!) and, in my opinion, the only brush from their Essentials line that is actually worth it. This is sooooooo soft, and the angle it has is perfect for perfecting that crease line. I bought the entire set of brushes like 6 years ago and this is the only one that has made it out alive. That says something, considering I purge and curate (me, an intellectual) my collection periodically.
Hope this gives you, two readers, an insight on both cheap and middle end eye brushes to up your game. Because while I wish I could shell out some dough on some Smith Cosmetics, it ain't in my budget right now. And maybe they aren't in yours either. Now, I'm not making an argument that these are good "for the price" (I hate that elitist ass phrase from the beauty community), these brushes are good period. Go buy them, they are pretty damn good.