Choosing the Best Makeup Brushes: Synthetic or Natural

By Jenna

We all aren’t makeup artists unfortunately, and it can be really difficult to know the difference between a makeup brush that is the superman of brushes or one you should never ever let touch your delicate skin. With so many to choose from, how do you go about picking the best makeup brushes? Since we aren’t pros, some important information should be considered before you venture into investing into an expensive makeup brush. There are many different types of hair and each one has different benefits, but one thing is for sure, throw that applicator that comes with your makeup away! You don’t want plastic, yucky bristles messing up your perfect application now do you? Natural hair tends to get softer with use and contain mostly virgin hair that has tapered ends to stay soft on the skin. Synthetic on the other hand can get stiffer as time goes on. Here’s a beauty guide to the different types of hair in makeup brushes.

Goat hair is very common in makeup brushes and usually distributes powder evenly. For most makeup artists, this is the most effective hair to pick up powder and deposit it evenly and smoothly. Goat hair brushes, interestingly enough, brings luster to your skin naturally and is perfect for buffing and blending. Pony hair is much like goat hair. They both don’t come to a point, which makes them great for cheeks, bronzer and blending. While goat hair can be a little coarse, pony hair is very fine and soft.  This is the most common type of hair when you’re looking at powder, cheek and contour brushes.

Makeup Brush

Flickr User: DebbieC

Squirrel hair is also a commonly used hair for makeup brushes. This is ideal for conical shaped brushes and usually is thicker in the middle of the brush, then comes to a point at the top. This type is the softest natural hair used in makeup brushes, and rest assured, it’s not the typical squirrel you find in your back yard. These brushes tend to be more on the expensive side, but are a great investment because of their durability. These brushes are best used for heavy pigment and blending eye shadows.

If you’re looking for brushes that last a lifetime, sable hair brushes would be the ones for you. With proper care, these brushes can last an extended amount of time. Sable brushes are resilient, amazingly soft and durable. These brushes usually have fine pointed tips and thick middles. This hair comes from mink found in Russia and China and can be found in 3 types: Kolinsky (highest quality), red sable and sable. These brushes are perfect for shadows and worth every penny in my opinion. Another benefit to sable is it can be used with wet or dry products, making it very versatile.

If you’re not into the natural hair brushes and want to go faux, synthetic brushes are available. Usually, these are made from nylon or taklon, and are less expensive. These brushes can still give you a smooth and even application, but has a harder time holding makeup in the brush because it lacks a cuticle. Synthetic brushes can be great for applying liquid foundation, concealer, cream shadows, cream eyeliners, and cream blush. The bad part about going faux is that over time synthetic brushes become stiff and they’re less durable.

Makeup brushes are really an investment in your beauty bag. They can be the difference between getting the perfect smokey eye, or having a beauty disaster, so save yourself the trouble and make the choice that’s right for you and your wallet.

What types of brushes do you use?

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3 Responses to “Choosing the Best Makeup Brushes: Synthetic or Natural”

  1. Carrie Yeager says:

    Definitely natural over synthetic!!

  2. Theron Davda says:

    Great blogpost, I favorited your blog post so I can visit again in the near future, All the Best

  3. Abby Forzoni says:

    Synthetic is the humane way to go. Any product that you use that contains any part of animal wasn’t brought to without fear and pain.
    Go cruelty free! Always go faux and save an animal from suffering.

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