Dear witches, I am stupid! At the beginning of my makeup career I bought a bunch of expensive makeup brushes and high end products, when in fact I could have spent a lot less money on brushes from ALIEXPRESS. I’m not saying don’t buy expensive stuff, the Moon is my witness, I fuckin’ looove to splurge. Few things make me happier than leaving a kidney at Sephora. But what I’m trying to say, is that for those of you that are on a tight budget, or still learning, there is an alternative.
When I think about my 7 MAC brushes that are worth around 300 €, and I just bought a perfectly sweet set of 10 unicorn brushes for 7 €, my cold little heart hurts a little. Again, I’m not saying don’t buy expensive brushes from big brands, but if you’re not financially in a place where you can splurge, BE SMART ABOUT YOUR INVESTMENTS. Higher end brushes are generally more durable, you might have a brush for 10 years, but at the same time, if you’ve only just begun learning about makeup, you might fuck it up reeeal fast. Some brushes you won’t be able to find at a cheap price, so buy strategically. A fluffy synthetic brush good for powder is easy to find at any brand in the world, but for example a goat hair blending brush… well, let’s just say that nothing could ever replace my favourite blending brush from MAC. I’ll repurchase that one for the rest of my life, it’s the perfect size and shape.
When the unicorn set and the metals one arrived, I was actually very surprised about the quality. I expected a dank smell of burning plastic to hit me as soon as I opened the packages, but nah, these are actually pretty good quality. I expected the hairs to be extremely thin and plastiky, I mean to remind you of thin little strips of plastic bags. Am I making myself clear, or am I the only one picturing it?! Anyhow, they’re surprisingly good. I bought them more for design and trial purposes, but I find myself reaching for them, very often.
Sure, you might also get some unusable brushes, like my Harry Potter inspired ones. They’re not very good. The one that’s supposed to be for blending is not fluffy enough, the hair is too short and packed together. The hair in the bullet brush sits weird, you can see it in the picture below. The rest, I could try to use them at applying concealer but I already have brushes that are better for the job.
My best friend once bought me what she thought was an original MAC brushes set, from a Sephora in China. It was not real, but those brushes have served me well, I still use them regularly, 3 years later, and they are not showing any sign of breakage. The handles of a couple of them has fallen off, but that’s no big deal, a little bit of glue and they are perfectly usable. The only thing that could make brushes good for the trash, is the hair coming out in bunches.
All in all, even if my Aliexpress brushes break down within a year, that’s not a problem. They have served me well, especially considering the low price I have paid for them.