A Sad Little Collection of Misfits


This is what I look like.

I’m 38, and it shows around my eyes.

I have no makeup or skin care or brush advice to give because even with my wrinkles and rosy coloring, I think makeup is totally unnecessary.


It is this complete disinterest in makeup that makes this week’s challenge so difficult for me.

Here are the forgotten makeup brushes I was able to find in the bottom of a bathroom basket. Clearly, they are neither examples of quality nor quantity.

They are just a sad little collection of misfits.


I’m positive the brush above came from a Ross Dress for Less or a TJ Maxx. It was probably part of a set and probably the whole set cost no more than $9.99.

I’d probably purchased it because I heard that “good” brushes make all the difference when applying makeup.

I would have bought this new set thinking it might help me enjoy doing makeup more.

However, during that shopping trip, I would have gone cheap—instead of actually buying good quality brushes, I would have bought this set.


This brush came with a bronzer I bought from a spray tanning salon back before I realized their product made me look slightly orange. I value it zero and use it even less. So why do I still own it after seven years? And why in the world would I ever consider cleaning it?

I wouldn’t.

And that’s what makes this challenge so hard. In fact, as it turns out, I failed this challenge—not just in execution, but on a fundamental “principle-of-it” way.

I did not find a way to clean and reuse these brushes. I threw them away.

And there is nothing that says “upcycling” less then throwing something in the garbage.


Tossing out all of my brushes inspired me to do some research to try to find a complete set of quality makeup brushes. The sets above all looked very impressive and came with great reviews.

They also cost between $320 and $650...

Now if makeup is your thing, I can see how you might invest in these. However, when people are first learning to cook, I don’t suggest they drop $1,000 on a custom-made Damascus steel chef knife.

So how much should I really spend on my basic set of makeup brushes?

Both of the sets above are highly recommended and cost under $50. These seem much more reasonable to me, but I’m left wondering if I’m just falling into my old pattern of being cheap about my makeup brushes?

And that’s where I am as I type up this post.

I have exactly zero makeup brushes, no suggestions for cleaning them, and…I need your help.

I found the below explanation of what a basic set of makeup brushes contains, but what set should I buy?

And while we’re at it, do you have any suggestions for makeup brush cleanser?


What I really learned with this week’s challenge is that this particular subject is not something I’m an expert—or even a novice—at, and that’s okay.

I don’t have to know it all.

That’s where having a strong community of smart, curious, helpful friends helps in picking up the slack.


See what everyone else did ♥