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Natural vs Synthetic Makeup Brushes – the Big Differences


Natural vs Synthetic Makeup Brushes – the Big Differences

Posted by Preeti Sareen on Dec 08, 2016

Okay, beauty lovers, we’re at it again – we’ve got another beauty showdown for you. In this round, we are taking a look at natural vs synthetic makeup brushes. What makes them different from each other, and is one better than the other? Which should you choose for all of your makeup application needs? We’ve done our research, and have argued for both sides below!



Natural Makeup Brush Bristles

Natural makeup brushes are usually made out of some type of animal hair – (think: horses, goats, boars, etc.) from the natural shedding. They are incredibly soft (since they are made of real hair) and feel absolutely amazing when applying makeup. Using a natural makeup brush can often feel like a blissful mini-massage for your skin! One downside to this amazingly soft brushes, since they are made of natural hair, they have more tendency to shed. This can be annoying when you take a bathroom break at work and look in the mirror to find a few brush hairs caught in the foundation near your jawline.

If you are allergic to certain types of animal hair, natural brushes will definitely not be ideal for you. However, if you’re skin is aggravated easily by synthetic bristles, natural makeup brushes are exactly what you need. The main reason natural makeup brushes are so widely used by popular beauty gurus and makeup artists is that they pick up and distribute pigment easier and more precisely than synthetic brushes. Natural brushes are absolutely amazing when it comes to powder makeup. They have pick up product in a way that synthetic brushes just can’t emulate. These bristles have pores that grab onto product. Natural brushes may not be the absolute best when it comes to liquid or cream product because they will soak up the product in their pores. At the end of the day, they do a better job at general makeup application than synthetic brushes.



Synthetic Makeup Brush Bristles

While natural makeup brushes might be more loved by many makeup and beauty gurus, we can certainly understand why synthetic makeup brushes have grown in popularity over the last few years. For starters, they are generally cheaper than natural makeup brushes. That means you save a few extra bucks that you can use towards actual makeup! These brushes are often made of (synthetic) materials like polyester and nylon, which can be less harsh on those with animal allergies. Though, a downside to this brush is also the synthetic nature of the bristles. While it will be heaven for some skin types, synthetic brushes may aggravate some skin more than natural brushes would.

Another major selling point for a lot of girls is that synthetic brushes are made of man made materials, which means that they are typically vegan. These makeup and makeup tools have become increasingly popular. For many people, it’s just not an option to shop for products that use animal products of any kind. If this is important to you, synthetic brushes may be worth considering as an alternative to natural hair brushes.

Synthetic brushes are also WAY easier to clean than natural brushes, and don’t damage nearly as easily. They will take all of the heavy use you can throw at them. These types of brushes tend to work best with liquid and cream products. They, admittedly, don’t pick up powder products quite as well as their natural haired counterparts. Synthetic brushes also absorb less product during use, though, which means that you won’t be wasting as much as you would with natural brushes.


natural vs synthetic makeup brushes

Natural vs Synthetic Makeup Brushes – So, which brush is best for you?

Well, that may be a hard question to answer. We think picking makeup brushes is an intimate, delicate process. Just like finding the right moisturizer or foundation can take time, finding the perfect brush type can take a lot of careful thought. If makeup application and precision is important to you, natural brushes may be the way to go. If vegan attributes and easy maintenance are important, synthetic brushes will be the best choice. Which brush type is your favorite? Let us know in the comments down below! If you’re still searching for your perfectly bristled brush, try #MorpheMe monthly makeup brush subscription to get a variety of both!


Preeti Sareen

Preeti Sareen

Preeti Sareen is a freelance writer and blogger who identifies as a twenty-something girl trying to find herself one piece at a time. She is a lover of beauty, wellness, and all things fitness and loves sharing those passions in her articles on LiveGlam.

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  • How do we know the type of the brush if it is not stated at the back of packaging?perhaps examining it physically?thanks.

  • First, thank you. I did not even think of the vegan implications so natural is not an option for me. Now my question is, did you research brands. I really want to find some good, synthetic, travel (Smaller/shorter) options to take on my cruise. Wondered if the “Ecco” brand would be a descent option. Thanks for your help!!