I always was under the impression that you had to spend top dollar to get good makeup brushes. While I believe that the synthetic cheaper brushes tend to be inferior – falling apart as you swipe them across your face – you really shouldn’t have to put a brush on layaway to know that you’re going to have a fabulous tool. I am a fan of Sonia Kashuk brushes from Target. While my brush collection is a bit schitzo – a few from MAC, a few from Laura Mercier and a lone Tarte brush – I find that the Sonia Kashuk brushes last as long, clean just as well, and spread color just as evenly. Also, her large eyeshadow brush blends color beautifully. With her low prices (compare a MAC powder brush at $42.00 and a Sonia one at $17.99) you can’t resist but have her full collection. What you save in brushes, you can easily spend on bags and shoes. Or maybe that’s just how I justify my spending. She has also just released her new contoured brushes collection which is a little more expensive, but still very worth the money. Also, the contouring makes the brushes just sit perfectly between your fingers. Now that you’re armed with the perfect brushes, if you screw up the application that’s your own problem.