What are makeup brushes made of? The good, the bad and the ugly!

For quite a while, the thought of what are makeup brushes made of never really crossed my mind, enough for me to research. Which I find kind of concerning because it means that I didn’t give two craps about what I’m dragging across my face. But luckily some sense kicked in at some point and I decided to find out.What are makeup brushes made of

It was then after finding out, I noticed some brushes were more soft, gentle and applied different formulated products easily whereas some made my sensitive skin itch a little sometimes and others blended with ease.

Brushes are a huge part of makeup, applicationĀ and can help in how you pull of the overall look so it’s obvious you’d want to know as much as possible about them. (unlike me)

There are two main types of makeup brushes, synthetic and natural. Let’s get into it then!What are makeup brushes made of

Natural brushes

Natural brushes also known as real brushes are generally made from animal hairs and furs. The animals used vary but mainly include squirrels, horse, goat, mink, sable etc.

Because these type of brushes involve parts from animals, it sadly means these creatures go through some sort of torture and cruelty.

However, there are companies that claim to obtain hair in a humane way possible by shaving hair or cutting overgrown strands.

Natural brushes tend to be expensive due to how they are manufactured and gathered in the first place. It is said that natural brushes perform best with powdered makeup products.

As with any products there are pros and cons.

So let’s start with the pro’s:

– You are less likely to experience product fall out as powders stick to natural bristles more.

– Have great pick up power for the above reason.

– A smooth application and blending ease.

Long lasting


What are makeup brushes made of
Synthetic brushes Vs natural

Not so great with cream or liquid formulas as they are easily absorbed

– Are quite expensive

Bacteria can build up easily inside the natural hair shafts, so more cleaning is needed.

Can cause allergic reactions as they are after all made from animal hair.

Irritate sensitive skin

– Involves mistreatment of animals

These are a few examples of the good and the bad, you may have your own reasons too.

Synthetic brushes

Synthetic brushes are the opposite of natural brushes. They are man made, usually from fibres such as nylon, polyester and other synthetic materials.

This type of brush are generally vegan and cruelty-free. Synthetic bristles are colourless or white but sometimes dyed to change colour.

Synthetic bristles are best used with cream or liquid products as they don’t have cuticles which absorb oils or other ingredients inside products.What are makeup brushes made of

Now time for the pro’s of this type of brush:

Easy to clean as products don’t get easily absorbed.

– Usually easily affordable

Perfect with creamy or liquid formulas.

Don’t shed as much as natural bristles.

– The obvious one, No animal cruelty.

– If you are cleaning them they are generally safe for acne prone, sensitive or those with allergies skin.

– Thanks to technology, they are constantly improving meaning they are able to last long and other cool features.

The cons:

Aren’t that great with powdered products, but technology is surely helping to combat this!

Extra product is required when using powdered makeup.

What about the handles?

The handles are, I don’t know, shall I say much less complicated. They can be made out of wood, plastic or metal and a few other materials. They can be designed and shaped in any form. Brush handles can be designed with many perspectives in mind such as how cleanable it is, is it appealing to the eye, comfort and many more.What are makeup brushes made of

You probably have your own reasons for preferring one over the other. I’d love to know, drop down what you love about your brushes in the comment section below!

Whilst you are here why not check out vegan and cruelty-free makeup brushes by tapping here!

Thanks for reading! And have a great day!

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  • senanelo

    Needless to say I have never really considered scrutinizing make up brushes but this article is interesting.  Little did I know that there are natural and synthetic brushes.  May be it is also because I hardly use make up.  I will check in my cupboard which of the brushes I have.  I would not want an animal product make up brush.  Thank you for the information.

    • Sariyah

      Hey Senanelo your welcome!

      Makeup brushes from the outside all look similar, you can’t really tell what they are made some however it’s when you start using them on your face, that’s when you realise the difference.

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