Makeup Brushes: Natural vs Synthetic

Brushes and applicators are an essential part of any makeup kit. Without them, you can’t make use of your expensive makeup products correctly to get the desired look. Brushes not only help your product spread smoothly and evenly but also make applying quick and easy, giving you that flawless finish. A good set of makeup brushes is what you need.

But should you be shopping for synthetic or natural makeup brushes? It all depends on how you plan to use the brushes. The key to getting the best results out of your makeup brush collection is understanding what each type of brush does best.

Natural Hair Makeup Brushes

Natural brushes are made using animal hair. Depending on the fur type of the animal, and the manufacturing process they undergo, natural hair brushes are found to be much softer than synthetic brushes.

They have a coating called cuticle, which lifts and absorbs skin oils and powdery pigments. These brushes tend to be fluffier, and they also feel soft and comfortable on your skin. They do an excellent job when applying powder-based products like bronzers, eyeshadow, blushers, highlighters, and setting powder.

Natural brushes perform exemplarily but have a shorter lifespan compared to synthetic hair brushes. It depends on how often the brushes get used, how you handle them as the user, and how you go about cleaning them.

Synthetic Hair Makeup Brushes

Synthetic brushes, on the other hand, are made from nylon or polyester fibers. As a result of advancements in the materials and manufacturing of synthetic brushes, you can hardly tell the difference in how they apply makeup when compared to the natural brushes.

Unlike natural hair brushes, synthetics have no cuticle and don’t readily absorb oils or any powdery pigments. For this reason, synthetics come in handy for liquid or cream products such as foundation or concealer. Synthetics are now capable of offering you a variety of advantages:

Synthetic Brushes are More Hygienic

The cuticles in natural brushes tend to cause cracks and ridges. Although this feature has been made favorable by beauty experts in that it allows you to pick up more powder, it becomes a pain when cleaning the brushes. Makeup gets stuck in these cracks, which makes these brushes less far hygienic.  Synthetics, on the other hand, are made from Taklon fibers, which have antibacterial properties preventing bacteria from growing on the surface of the bristles.

Suitable for Sensitive Skin

If your skin is the sensitive type, there are high chances that you’ll possibly develop acne or skin allergy upon using animal fur brushes. Synthetic brushes are the most suitable option for sensitive skin or if you are allergic to animal hair.

Retained Texture

In due course of time, natural bristles tend to become sharp and pokey. Synthetics, on the other hand, are produced using the latest technologies, therefore, retaining their soft texture even after being used for a long time.

Longer Lifespan and More Economical

Just like human hair, animal hair is also prone to breakage and deterioration over time. Thus, bristles of natural brushes shed more rapidly, unlike synthetic brushes. Natural brushes also cost almost twice the same price as their synthetic counterparts. If you do not want to spend too much on fancy brushes, then sticking to synthetic might be the best bet.

One drawback of synthetic brushes is that they are not the best choice for blending as their hairs tend to cling together instead of spreading out when pressure is applied; they also don’t glide smoothly over the skin as natural bristles.


Honorable Mention: Most Common Makeup Brushes

With so many different kinds of makeup brushes in the market, it’s hard to know which ones are worth using, and how to use them. Some of the basic types of makeup brushes have been listed down for you for a more straightforward approach:

Foundation Brush

A foundation brush enables you to create a flawless base for your makeup. By adding the best foundation brush to your makeup collection, you can turn your daily makeup routine into a quick and seamless experience.

The best way to apply foundation is to start by dotting the product on your forehead, cheeks, nose, and down to your chin. Then use the foundation brush to blend it over your entire face. Also, remember to wash your brushes regularly to maintain a clean and healthy skin.

Powder Brush

One of the critical types of makeup brushes to add to your arsenal is the powder brush. Use this brush to set the product on your skin by dipping in powder and lightly dusting it on top of the product. Look for a high-quality brush that will catch the right amount of powder and layer onto your existing look without lifting any makeup off.

Angled Face Brush

Thinner than the others, this brush is ideal for more precise applications like highlighting and contouring because of its angled bristles. When highlighting, remember to use darker shades of foundation to shade areas you’d like to minimize. Then proceed to add highlighter to areas you’d like to bring forward, for instance, the tips of your cheekbones and brow bones.

Concealer Brush

A concealer brush has soft bristles and a flat, pointed tip, which helps to even out your complexion and hide any imperfections. All you have to do is to dip the brush into your concealer pot and brush away noticeable dark rings and skin discoloration.

How to Clean Your Brushes

Synthetic brushes are super easy to care for; wash them with water and a little amount of soap, rinse, then dry on a towel, and you’re good to go! Natural brushes, on the other hand, have a bit more finicky bristle. When cleaning them, use a gentle detergent such as baby shampoo to avoid stripping the hair. Adding a little bit of olive or coconut oil to the soap also works wonders in preventing shedding.

Knowing the difference between synthetic brushes and natural ones does give you not only a better understanding of how makeup can be applied but also the materials you should use. It’s now time to shop for that new set of brushes confidently.

Resources – Bustle, Live Glam



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