My personal philosophy on makeup and makeup tools is that there are certain items you should definitely spend extra money on and there are some you can save a little here & there.
Definitely spend a little extra for foundation, lips, blushes, & eye makeup ( which I personally never wear). You can always tell a good quality lipstick from a so-so brand. Foundation is where you can dramatically see differences. The better quality ones go on smoothly & have an even coverage, without having to use so much of the stuff. Blush is probably personal taste but I generally go for the name brands because I know my Benefit blushes will work. You can save on mascara & eye pencils. I find mascaras, when I actually feel industrious enough to wear them, to be about the same across the board--even with all the different types out there. For makeup brushes: I try to save a little in this department. I don't spend anything over $25 on brushes. I know the bigger brand names have fabulous brushes out there and I'm sure they're worth the money because the hairs on the brushes are a better quality....BUT there are good brushes to be found at stores like Target for much less.
I like Sonia Kashuk's tools. They're mid range, but very good quality as well. I have to admit that when I was in the market for a new blusher brush and Sonia's brand was out of stock, I ended up buying the Target brand blusher & loved it.
For lash curler I always always use Shu Uemura (again, I don't use this as often as I'd like because I"m lazy but when I do...I go for the best!)
Hope this helps!