Natural vs. Synthetic Makeup Brushes

Natural vs. Synthetic Makeup Brush

Which should you buy, and why?


These days, there are plenty of makeup products on the market. From the fanciest foundation to the cheapest mascara and everything in between, you can get glammed up quite easily without putting too much burden on your pocket. However, something which is just as important as the powders you use on your face often gets pushed away to the curb – the makeup brush. Behind every great application is a great makeup brush, and these brushes often come in two types of bristles – natural and synthetic. So, which one is better, and why? We’ll take a look at some of the reasons why you should go for or be vary of both the brushes below.


Natural Brushes

As the name suggests, the bristles of natural brushes are made of natural animal hair.



  • The hair used in natural brushes is extremely soft, which allows for a pristine and smooth application.
  • The bristles contain cuticles which are great at absorbing powdery pigments. This makes them a really good choice for applying powder based makeup which blends easily giving a natural look.



  • The downside to holding pigments so well is that it makes natural brushes extremely difficult to wash.
  • Natural brushes tend to shed more often than synthetic brushes.
  • Since they’re made from animal hair, they can be quite expensive, and of course some people might even be allergic to their bristles.


Synthetic Brushes

Unlike natural brushes, synthetic brushes are entirely, well, synthetic. Their bristles are made of spun plastics such as nylon and polyester fibres.



  • The brushes are ideal for liquid products such as cream blush or gel eyeliners, since they don’t soak up liquid as natural brushes tend to do.
  • Since the bristles don’t absorb products, they are easier to clean and last longer than their shedding alternative.
  • Synthetic brushes are cheaper and you run no risks of developing allergic reactions to their bristles.



  • These brushes are not as soft as natural ones.
  • They don’t have cuticles in their fibres, so unlike natural brushes they can’t hold powdered products. It’s best to stick with liquid makeup in the case of synthetic brushes.


The Verdict


As described above, both types of brushes tend to have their uses and their share of drawbacks. If the size of your pocket determines the kind of brush you’ll end up using, perhaps a synthetic option might be more suited to your needs. They’ll last longer than natural brushes anyway which tend to shed easily. If you’re allergic to natural bristles, a synthetic brush will serve you well. There have been quite a few improvements in the quality of synthetic brush fibres and as a result they feel nicer on the skin too. If you can afford to splurge every now and then, natural brushes might be something you want to consider buying. They’re great for giving a soft, natural look, and feel easier on the skin. Ultimately, your pocket and your need will help you decide what brush to go for.


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