Whenever people ask me for a recommendation of where to get affordable yet effective make up brushes, one of the brands I always point them to is Real Techniques. The brand has been around for a while, but if you don't know about them - you should! Makeup artist Samantha Chapman, one half of YouTube sensation Pixiwoo, is the brains behind the brushes. It's nice knowing that someone who actually knows what they want a make up brush to do has made the final decisions - and also the comfort that Sam wouldn't put her name to something she didn't truly believe in.
I have a few of the Real Techniques brushes now, the most recent addition being the Blush Brush.
The bristles are synthetic and super-soft. They've been cut by hand into a dome-like shape which is great at getting in under the cheekbone if you wanted to use it for contouring and equally as good on the apple of the cheek. I find that the softness and taperedness of the brush means that the product deposits itself gently and evenly which leaves a perfect finish. I tend to use it for blush, although it can also be used for bronzer, contour or for powder - it seems to pick up all kind of powders really well.
I love the overall design too - I mean, a pink handle - what's not to love!? They wash well, don't seem to shed at all, and are such good value for money (this one is only £9.99 from HQ Hair). If you want to build up a brush range, I'd highly recommend the Real Techniques brushes. I'm yet to try any of the eye range, but all the face brushes, I've loved.