Conventional beauty wisdom dictates that powder makeup is best applied with animal hair makeup brushes while synthetic brushes are better suited for liquid makeup. Until recently, it was difficult to find high-quality, non-animal hair makeup brushes that performed well with powders. Fortunately, these days there are many well-crafted synthetic makeup brushes for any budget.
Before we get to the fun stuff, here are a few reasons why buying non-animal brushes is beautiful and ethical.
- More often than not, the production of animal-hair brushes contributes to animal cruelty. These brushes are made from the coats of badgers, goats, minks, horses, sables, and squirrels. Mink and sable hair usually comes from the fur industry while horsehair is often harvested from horses slaughtered for meat. Some companies may claim that their animal-hair brushes are cruelty-free, meaning that they merely shave living animals, but the living conditions of these animals may vary from company to company.
- A vegan makeup brush set is hypoallergenic and a better choice for makeup wearers allergic or sensitive to animal fur.
- Unlike a synthetic bristle brush, animal fur is porous, meaning it absorbs more makeup, making it harder to clean and ultimately less hygienic. For the acne prone, using synthetic brushes (washed weekly, of course) may decrease the chances of spreading bacteria while applying makeup.
Here are only a few of the many companies offering vegan brushes:
- Partnered with Alicia Silverstone and recommended by Jessica Alba, Eco Tools offers an array of affordable vegan makeup brushes and body brushes available at big chain stores like Walmart and Target. I am quite impressed with their flat foundation brush for liquid foundation ($5.99).
- Alima Pure is another favorite brand of mine. All of their brushes are made of synthetic fibers and may be purchased individually. I have been using their foundation brush ($30) with mineral powder for over a year now. I wash it weekly with gentle shampoo and water, and it remains in excellent condition.
- Vegan-friendly Tarte makes a beautiful line of brushes. My first Tarte brush came in this eye shadow kit ($44). Their doubled ended eye shadow brush quickly became my favorite. Far softer than any animal-hair eye shadow brush I’ve felt, it blends powder shadow like a dream.
- Although at $65 they’re a bit spendy, I have my eyes on Too Faced Cosmetics’ highly rated Teddy Bear Hair Professional Brushes because, well, they’re pink.
- Looking for a serious set and have some cash to burn? Pirouette Professional offers 100% vegan collections ranging from ten to eighteen brushes beginning at $129.95.
Photos: Mary Hood Luttrell, Alima Pure, Too Faced