Choosing make up brushes can be a minefield.
Which brush is best for which job? Which brand do you choose? Today, we’re going to focus on the differences between natural and synthetic cosmetic brushes and their relative pros and cons.
Firstly, it goes without saying that if you choose brushes that have natural bristles, it’s important to purchase from a company that ensure they are produced in such a way that no animals are harmed. All brushes sold by Cocktail Cosmetics are Cruelty Free of course.
Natural bristles are made from animal hair. This can be sable, squirrel, pony, goat or badger usually. The animal is brushed and the hair collected, grouped, colour matched and bound to make your brush. Of course, even if they are Cruelty Free some people may wish to stick with synthetic.
If you are vegan or allergic they won’t be for you at all. Synthetic brushes are usually made from nylon or polyester/taklon. Here’s what you need to know. Although Synthetic brushes have come a very long way, they are usually not quite as soft as a natural bristle brush. They can feel a little stiffer. That said, if you buy cheap natural brushes these too can be a little too stiff and feel uncomfortable on the skin.
Synthetic brushes are cheaper. This is because they are mass produced. Making natural brushes is a more labour intensive process and that is generally reflected in the cost. It’s worth bearing in mind that natural brushes usually have an extremely long life so the fact that they are an investment ought to be considered when weighing up the pros and cons of prices.
A general rule of thumb is that natural bristles are best for applying powder products and synthetic brushes are best for cream and liquid products such as foundations, cream blushers, concealers and so on. Natural bristles hold product very well and are great for building up colour. They hold powder products so well because of the cuticle on the hair meaning it keeps the make-up on the brush until you apply it, whereas synthetic bristles are perfectly smooth and can’t grip powders quite as well. They do work extremely well to smooth on cream products evenly.
That said, as mentioned earlier, good quality synthetic brushes are superb these days and to the average user, probably nearly as good as any natural brush.
To summarise, get both, use synthetic bristles for all of your cream products and natural bristles for your powder products. Just be sure to buy cruelty free brushes when buying natural!