Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Ulta is featuring their Real Techniques and Eco Tools brushes with their "Buy 1, get 1 50% off" sale (3/9/14 - 3/15/14)! This is SUCH a fantastic time to stock up on brushes as these are my two most favorite "drugstore" brand brushes in the world. The quality is unmatched for "budget" brushes. The wash well, there is no shedding and they are all synthetic which also translates to cruelty free!
If you add $10 worth of goodies to your cart, make sure to use coupon code "208994" to receive an extra $3.50 off your total. If you'd rather go in-store to save yourself shipping costs, you can print the coupon off at home, here's the link (expires on 3/15/14).
Real Techniques BrushesStarter Kit" basically has everything you'd need for your eyes and the "Core Collection" has just about everything you'd need for your face (I'd also recommend their powder brush, and their stippling brush). All of the brushes in the Real Techniques line have flat bases so you can stand them upright on your vanity or counter which is really handy and very sanitary!
Eco Tools BrushesFace & Body Sculpting Brush. This thing is so incredible for contouring. Trust me, it will change your life. It is the perfect size/shape for getting right underneath your cheekbones, along your jawline, around the forehead, etc. It's also such a perfect brush to apply bronzer. Eco Tools also has some really great "kits" similar to Real Techniques (a few of my faves here and here) but don't overlook their "Deluxe Fan Brush" which is SO nice to apply powder highlighters/illuminators or if you need an extremely light touch when setting your foundation with a powder. This entire line is cruelty-free, recycled aluminum ferrules (the silver part that holds the bristles together) and bamboo handles.
And if you've been looking for a chic brush holder to display all your new brushes, I am really into using unconventional cups and such to store brushes in, especially if they're out on a counter or vanity. It makes them look so pretty! You can find really pretty depression glass at your local thrift store for a vintage-inspired look (they can be spray-pained any color if you prefer them to be opaque). Or think outside of the box and look for fun and decorative candle holders, cups, shorter vases, art supply stores (for painter brush holders/stands), office organizers with pull-out drawers, etc. The idea here is to keep the bristles well-protected and up off the counter and from the inside of dirty and murky makeup bags where they can collect all kinds of germs.
Now go apply your makeup with your new, fabulous (and affordable) brushes and maybe you can even splurge on a new shadow palette with all the money you just saved yourself!