Are Synthetic Makeup Brushes Better Than Animal Hair Brushes?

Which is better, synthetic makeup brushes or animal hair brushes? The answer might surprise you. Here’s how to find the perfect brush for you.

If you want a gorgeous makeup look, you need the right tool for the job. The array of applicator options, ranging from synthetic fibre and animal hair brushes to sponges and good old-fashioned fingertips, is overwhelming.

Some people use one type of brush exclusively, and this is certainly understandable for vegans. Ideally, though, you should choose your brush to match the job you're doing. Here’s everything you need to know about the differences between synthetic makeup brushes and animal hair brushes.


Are Synthetic Makeup Brushes Better Than Animal Hair Brushes?


A Guide to Natural Makeup Brushes

What are natural makeup brushes?

Natural bristles are real animal hair—often squirrel or goat hair in the case of makeup brushes.

Why use a natural makeup brush?

Much like your own hair, natural bristles have cuticles. These cuticles are great for picking up the smallest bits of pigment. The lifting power of cuticles makes natural hair great for blending makeup to a natural, seamless look.

What are natural makeup brushes for?

Natural makeup brushes are great for powder eye shadow, blush, bronzer, and setting powder. Natural hairs can move even the smallest of particles and so prevent areas of uneven build-up.

To deal with the notoriously tricky eye area, turn to the ultra-luxe Laura Mercier line. We love the Laura Mercier Ponytail Brush.


Are Synthetic Makeup Brushes Better Than Animal Hair Brushes?


A Guide to Synthetic Makeup Brushes

What are synthetic makeup brushes?

Synthetic makeup brushes are made from factory-created materials such as nylon and polyester. Synthetic makeup brushes contain no animal hair.

Why use a synthetic makeup brush?

The individual hairs on synthetic makeup brushes stick together much better than those of natural makeup brushes. While natural hairs like to go off and do their own thing, synthetic hairs fall neatly into place. Highly shaped brushes are usually synthetic.

What are synthetic makeup brushes for?

Synthetic makeup brushes are perfect for liquid formulas: foundation, cream blush, and gel eyeliner. Synthetic hairs don’t soak up makeup like natural brushes do, so they stay a bit cleaner and are especially good for products you use in higher quantities, like foundation.

For the ultimate foundation brush, we adore the Benefit Foundation Brush. It’ll leave you with a natural-looking, streak-free finish.

Ready to upgrade all your brushes? For the ultimate pro tool kit, there's nothing like the Kryolan Silver Handle 12 Piece Brush Set. A mix of natural and synthetic brushes, this kit covers every job.


Are Synthetic Makeup Brushes Better Than Animal Hair Brushes?