Since I started learning about SFX make-up, I only ever looked at the products and skincare. However, I’ve neglected something really important – brushes. For any make-up look, whether it’s beauty or costume, how your make-up looks and stays depends on not only your products but your brushes too.
Before I read up on it, I didn’t have a clue about brushes. I used what I thought were the best ones – I judged brushes on shape, how many bristles they have, that kind of thing. I knew the type of bristles mattered, whether they were real or synthetic hair, but never knew which were better for what products.
I’ll start off with real hair brushes first and their benefits. These type of brushes are best for powder make-up, such as eyeshadows, bronzers and everything in between. They are great for powder because they are loaded with texture and so hold the product better. Natural hair bristles move freely which help pick up a lot of product in one swipe but it will also blend beautifully. The brush hair is extremely durable and actually get better the more you use them.
However, I believe we should all buy cruelty-free make-up brushes. If you’re shopping online or in store, be sure to check what the brushes are made of and why they are produced. Most real hair bristles are from certified animal farms where animals are shaved or trimmed, like how sheep are for cosy jumpers. But there are some brands who don’t offer as much love and care towards animals, so watch out. For instance, it’s illegal in the European Union to test on animal so you can trust that products produced within the EU are cruelty-free. I love my natural make-up brushes from Zoeva – but you need to read up on any natural brushes to truly buy cruelty free.
Moving on to synthetic brushes, you can trust most are cruelty-free and the majority are vegan friendly. Unlike natural brushes, synthetic make-up brushes don’t have a cuticle which makes them great for liquid or cream products. I would use these for cream contours, liquid foundation, gel liners and other similar products. Synthetic products tend to gravitate towards each other, making them best for precision applications – so for the perfect winged liner, go synthetic.
For manmade bristles, I particularly love Eco Tools and Inglot brushes but I’m also a huge fan of Joanne Larby’s Fairy Wands – they’re so easy to use, clean and an Irish brand. I also have to give a mention towards Too Faced’s make-up brushes which are synthetic and terribly adorable.
Honestly, I love using synthetic brushes, even for eyeshadow. They’re safe to use and with the advancements in make-up, many synthetic brushes are on par with natural bristles. I love Eco Tools‘ eye brushes because, even though they are synthetic, they pick up product really well and blend really well.