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A Thing of Beauty: 5 Reasons to Use Synthetic Makeup Brushes


You may feel that when it comes to makeup brushes, you arrive at a proverbial double-edged sword. Your options are either brushes made from animal hair or those made from synthetic fibers. Support animal cruelty or the unnatural? Well, we don't often do this, but we're cheering for the synthetic, and here's why. 

When you’re talking makeup, many people opt for the “au natural” look. While that works for your technique, it might not work for your tools. Consider some of the benefits of using makeup brushes that are made from synthetic fibers rather than animal hair:

  1. Synthetic brushes made of nylon or polyester filaments are less likely to become damaged by the makeup itself or products you might use to clean your brushes.
  2. Synthetic brushes are easier to keep clean because they don’t absorb the makeup pigment. This means less cleaning and wear-and-tear.
  3. Synthetic brushes are better for creating a soft, layered look with makeup.
  4. Some people are sensitive or allergic to the animal hair that some brushes are made from, including squirrel, mink, sable and horse hair. Synthetic brushes are better suited for people with those sensitivities.
  5. Synthetic is a great brush option for you if you are vegan or choose not to use brushes made with animal hair.

Today, there are more cosmetic companies than ever focused on quality products that are cruelty-free and eco-friendly. Here are a few options you won’t want to gloss over when you’re looking for synthetic makeup brushes (and more):

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From the Organic Authority Files

Aveda offers brushes with bristles made from taklon (a non-animal fiber) and handles made of 30% natural flax fiber and 70% polypropylene (of which 90% is post-consumer recycled resin), making them not just animal-friendly, but environmentally-friendly as well.

The Body Shop, which does not test its products on animals (neither do its suppliers) or sell brushes made from animal hair, offers good-quality synthetic brushes in different shapes and sizes for different applications. Whether you’re adding a touch of pink to your lips or a soft finish to your forehead, consider the variety of its synthetic brushes available.

NVEY ECO, originally from Australia but you can order its products online, offers certified organic makeup products. Along with that the company sells makeup brushes with bristles made of synthetic fibers, not animal hair, and include the world’s first compostable makeup brush handle. None of the ingredients in the company’s products are made from ingredients derived from genetically modified crops, nor does it use mineral or petroleum oils.

Urban Decay is known for its creative and alternative colors (along with product names like Smog and Acid Rain and Oil Slick), and for its cruelty-free and certified vegan products. Check out its “Good Karma” line of brushes made from recycled plastic bottles and aluminum.

PETA is a great resource for help to find other companies that offer synthetic makeup brushes. Take that double-edged sword!

Image: LuLu Witch

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