The simple answer is - because you get what you pay for. Being a makeup artist, I can use the best makeup on the market on a client, but if it's applied with brushes and sponges that aren't soft enough, or that shed, or bleed colour, then what's the point?
Like anything in life, if you want quality and durability, you have to pay for it. Of course, there are some exceptions to the rule which I am going to share them with you, but if you are wondering why that set of 40 brushes covered in MAC branding that you bought off eBay for $40 aren't doing as well as you hoped, it probably because (a) they're fake, (b) they're made from the cheapest, harshest materials possible, and (c) you know you've been ripped off, even if it's only deep down.
Let me clear something up for you, if you see a brush set from a professional brand like MAC or Bobbi Brown on eBay like that, walk away. It's fake, substandard and it's going to be a pain in the ass picking off all the hair that will shed like crazy the very first time (and every time after that) that you use them.
While we are at it, let me let you in a on little secret - as a regular consumer, you don't need 40 different brushes. I have hundreds, but I have 5 of the same brush, because I know from plenty of experience that you only need a few brushes to make your makeup look amazing, and I'm going to tell you which ones.
I'm gonna break this down into sections for you guys, so lets start with eyes today.
Eye BrushesYou need to have a stiff flat brush to pack eyeshadow onto the lid - my personal favourite is the C208 Chisel Deluxe Fluff from Crown Brush ($5.45) - cheap and cheerful.
Then you need a brush to blend colour into the corner of the eye and the crease. I use the Pro Pencil Blender 149 ($5.99) from Royal and Langnickel.
You also need something soft and fluffy for blending a soft highlight under the brow bone. I have the B112 Shadow Blended from Gorgeous Cosmetics, but to be honest, that one retails for $41, and I don't love it enough to spend that much on it. I got mine as part of my brush role when I started training.
If I was having to buy another, I would probably go for the Master Pro Tapered Blender from Royal and Langnickel ($9.99)
So you've got all your shadows in place, and now you just need blend it all out right? I love, love, love my Sedona Lace Blender EB13 ($8.95) I know others swear by the MAC 217 ($37) but I've used them both and always go back to the EB13.
To finish off the look, you're going to need liner, but there are so many types of liner brushes out there...
Bent Liner (Sedona Lace EB19 $8.95)
Flat Liner (Crown Italian Badger $4.15)
Angle Liner (Crown Brush Italian Badger $4.35)
So which is the right one? I can't actually tell you that. This one really comes down to personal preference and what you are more comfortable with, I personally will usually fluctuate on what I prefer to use, so I have all three.
So that's it for eyes. 6 brushes, and they don't have to break the budget if you know where to look. If you were to pick up similar brushes from somewhere like, say MAC, you'd be looking at around $48 for the 239, $54 for the 224, $45 for the 219, $37 for the 217, $37 for 263, a total of $221. If you follow my guide, $39.33. That's right, less than $40 for the brushes that will make your life so much easier.
So I hope this has helped out, and I will put links to each brush below.
Chisel Deluxe Fluff
Pro Pencil Blender
Pro Tapered Blender
B112 Shadow Blender