Before 1835 makeup brushes were tools used mostly by women with wealth and a high social status, for in actuality it was their maids and servants who would apply makeup onto them. The true origins however date back to times long before that, to ancient Egypt as discovered here.
In 1835 Germany created a new technique in mirror making and in consequence made mirrors easily affordable and available. Germany quickly switched industries into the creation of Makeup Brushes to compete with Japan who had perfected this art with the use of animal hair since the days of BC for use of calligraphy as the demand grew higher and women began to take more time staring at their reflection.
Today, both Germany and Japan represent a very small percentage of the industry. The majority of brush creation has been taken over by other areas of Asia because of their cheap labor laws, since most brushes are still handmade. Furthermore, most makeup brush factories manufacture on contract for your favorite cosmetic line. So in short, you may be paying a much higher price, for just the name printed on your handle.