We always thought of professional-grade makeup brushes as something we would acquire as full-on adults, like fine china or an investment portfolio. After all, what would be the point of splurging on a set of finely-crafted tools that would last forever when we hadn’t yet developed the wherewithal to take care — or even keep track — of such things? And yet, years after college graduation, we’re still using whatever random brushes remain from sets we don't even remember buying. (And for the record, we still haven't purchased a full set of dishes, either.)
But in a rare case of procrastination paying off, it seems we may have dodged a budget-denting bullet: According to nine professional makeup artists who work with celebrities like Jenna Dewan and Lily Collins, there are plenty of quality brushes to be had for just a few bucks a wand. Some are made with craftsmanship and design in mind (think wooden handles, rose-gold accents, and mermaid motifs). Others are bundled with zippered cases, travel rolls, and organizational trays. Every single one of them is a steal.