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The 10 best-rated makeup brushes the internet is obsessed with

A good makeup brush can change your entire makeup game. No, seriously. The right eyeshadow brush can turn patchy, this-is-my-attempt-at-brown-eyeshadow into a beautifully soft, smoky eye, while a good foundation brush can buff even the crappiest of formulas into a diffused, airbrushed finish. And if you don’t believe us, then you’ve clearly never used great-quality makeup brushes, and that hurts our soul.

More: How Often People Actually Wash Their Makeup Brushes

“But good makeup brushes cost a fortune!” you say. “I’ll just stick with the brushes I’ve had since high school.” Uh, no. We promise that you don’t have to spend a hundred bucks on a few brushes to get a quality product. In fact, some of the top-rated, most-beloved makeup brushes are under $10 and have cult-like followings on the internet.

So we did the dirty work of digging through Reddit conversations from the last year, where hordes of beauty-obsessed strangers debated the best and worst makeup brushes, and we found the ten brushes that were lauded over and over again. Below, the final winners—and not one of them has the ghosts of your high-school past in them.

More: The 9 Best Drugstore Foundations for Your Skin Type

1. Tarte Powder Player Bamboo Pressed Powder Brush

Tarte Powder Player Bamboo Pressed Powder Brush
Image: Sephora

“This is the best powder foundation brush I’ve ever used, ever. I started trying different powder foundations this summer, because I finally figured out that my skin will only tolerate mineral/physical/inorganic sunscreens. Unfortunately, these sunscreens make almost every liquid foundation cake up no matter what I do. This brush buffs the powder in so gently and evenly. I’m not worrying that the application of powder will remove the underlying sunscreen anymore.” –chaoticPuppies

Tarte Powder Player Bamboo Pressed Powder Brush (Sephora, $34)

2. Kat Von D Shade + Light Face Contour Brush

Kat Von D Shade + Light Face Contour Brush
Image: Kat Von D

“I had never been able to get natural looking contour before using this brush!” –saraphernalia

Kat Von D Shade + Light Face Contour Brush (Kat Von D, $34)

3. Sigma E25 Blending Brush

Sigma E25 Blending Brush
Image: Sigma Beauty

“This was my first eyeshadow blending brush. I could’t believe the difference in application when using this compared to other blending brushes!” –missbologna

Sigma E25 Blending Brush (Sigma Beauty, $16)

4. e.l.f. Small Stipple Brush

e.l.f. Small Stipple Brush
Image: e.l.f.

“I absolutely could not figure out cream blush until I bought this. Now cream blush is my favorite!” –Bootycarl

E.l.f. Small Stipple Brush (E.l.f., $3)

5. Wayne Goss Brush 15

Wayne Goss Brush 15
Image: Beautylish

“For me, it’s the Wayne Goss fan brush. Holy shit, it’s so soft and luxurious, and it applies highlighter like a DREAM—like, the most beautiful, natural-looking sheen that’s totally effortless. I have so much passion for that damn brush.” –sunsh1neee

Wayne Goss Brush 15, $25; at Beautylish

6. Real Techniques Expert Face Brush

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush
Image: Real Techniques

“I love this brush. I used to use my fingers to apply foundation, which can leave it streaky, but this brush does a great job of working foundation into the skin.” –Janeyjimplin

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush (Real Techniques, $9)

7. Nars Ita Kabuki Brush

Nars Ita Kabuki Brush
Image: Nars

“Nars Ita is the perfect blush brush for me. It works nicely for highlighter and blush, and is thin enough for me to use it on my nose if necessary. It’s the oldest brush I still use to this day, and it’s still going strong. It just keeps getting softer and softer with each wash but was never scratchy to begin with. It does shed when you first get it, but it still blends perfectly despite that.” –viiixxvii

Nars Ita Kabuki Brush (Nars, $50)

8. Sephora Pro Featherweight 90

Sephora Pro Featherweight 90
Image: Sephora

“I love this brush for my setting powder. It’s SO SOFT. Like, it’s insane how nice it feels. I upgraded from a Real Techniques powder brush, and feeling them next to each other is zero comparison. It’s like rubbing air-whipped cashmere on your face. (Dramatic, I know, but it’s honestly the softest brush I’ve ever touched.)” –viiixxvii

Sephora Pro Featherweight 90 (Sephora, $34)

9. Zoeva 231 Luxe Petit Crease Brush

Zoeva 231 Luxe Petit Crease Brush
Image: Zoeva

“It’s really great at applying eyeshadow on my small creases—it’s incredibly precise and perfect for blending out eyeshadow at the crease.” –Screw_The_Roses

Zoeva 231 Luxe Petit Crease Brush (Zoeva, $12)

10. Smith Cosmetics 203 Micro Angled Liner Brush

Smith Cosmetics 203 Micro Angled Liner Brush
Image: Smith Cosmetics

“This was a complete game-changer for me. I can get a nice crisp wing with this brush, which I had previously thought was impossible.” –MauriceChevalierEh

Smith Cosmetics 203 Micro Angled Liner Brush (Smith Cosmetics, $18)

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