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Natural fibre brushes versus Synthetic

A bit of blush, a few coats of mascara, a swipe of lippy. If you wear makeup, you probably have a routine for applying it. But how exactly do you put it on? A bevy of specialized makeup brushes are available. Even if you usually opt for all-natural beauty products, dont automatically rule out synthetic makeup brushes! Compare natural and synthetic versions, and learn the pros and cons of each.

Different Functions, Sizes and Shapes

When it comes to makeup brushes, one size definitely does not fit all. Specialized brushes are designed for different areas of the face and different types of makeup. So, how can you tell one kind of brush from another? It can be confusing, but here are some quick hints...

  • Blush brush:  Medium-sized head with a round tip and soft natural bristles.
  • Concealer brush: Small synthetic head with a thin, fine rounded but flat tip for a precise application to a small imperfection.
  • Eye shadow brush: It has an oval-shaped or slated natural brislte head. It can apply powder eye shadows.
  • Foundation brush: Med synthetic brush with a round flat head.
  • Lip brush: firm synthetic with a thin, pointed tip, similar to a concealer brush. Some lip brushes are retractable or come with covers.
  • Powder brush: a large, rounded, fluffy  natural brush, similar to a blush brush.

Natural Brushes

What they are made of: The bristles of natural makeup brushes are often made with real hair from animals, like squirrels, goats, horses, minks, sables, badgers, mongooses or a combination of multiple animal hair.  If you oppose using animal products or suffer from alleries from animals, you might not want to choose this option.

Softer, more natural finish to your makeup (you can get a real air brushed look)
Easy application of powder cosmetics, like loose powder, powder blush or powder eye shadows.
Even distribution of makeup pigments, which prevents streaks, blotchiness or a caked-on look.

Some people are allergic to certain animal hairs. If you have an allergy to some animal hair or fur, you might not want a natural makeup brush.
Natural brushes are not good for applying cream-based makeup. This can result in a cakey, sticky finish
Natural brushes are often more expensive than synthetic brushes

Synthetic Brushes

What they are made of: Typically, synthetic makeup brushes have bristles made of Taklon or nylon. They dont use natural hair or fur from animals.
They are ideal for deep, rich colors or dramatic makeup looks.
They offer precise application in small, defined areas, such as your lips, eyelash line or on specific blemishes 
They have a lower price tag than natural brushes .
They are ideal for cream-based concealer, foundation or lippy.
They can become cakey and goopy with makeup.
Their bristles harden with time, which can make your makeup application more difficult and uncomfortable.

Buying Tips

Make sure the brush fits your hand and is easy to hold, use and control.
Run the brush over the back of your hand: if bristles become misshapen or fall out, they are likely lower quality and wont last long.

When buying a set of good quality brushes, make sure you have both synthetic and natural brushes for the perfect application.