Monday, July 18th, 2011

Temptalia Asks You


Do you prefer natural or synthetic makeup brushes? Does it depend on the application/product?

Temptalia's AnswerFor me, it depends on the feel of the brush itself. I’ve used great brushes from both camps, but I’ve also found scratchiness from both.

Thanks to Alison for today’s question!

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46 thoughts on “Do you prefer natural or synthetic makeup brushes?

  1. xmissxandristx

    100% synthetic. i’m an animal lover.

  2. Synthetic for me. A leftover preference from my vegan youth.

  3. Synthetic brushes are definitely better. No animals are harmed in the process of creating them, they are incredibly soft nowadays, last forever, and they work well with all types of products (cream, powder, or liquid). There is no reason to buy something that contributes to animal cruelty, especially something of a cosmetic nature.

  4. Avatar of Elsa E

    As a vegan synthetic is a must!

  5. I prefer both: synthetic for creamy products and natural for powders.

  6. Naomi

    I only use synthetic brushes for ethical reasons as well as because I simply think its weird taking animal hair and putting it on my face. Some people say that they’re not as soft but that’s not true to every brush (I personally have not ran across any scratch brushes so far). Also just as you said they’re are even some scratchy natural brushes too.

  7. Tigress

    I personally prefer synthetic brushes because they are cruelty free. I also find them to be softer and less irritating than natural brushes.

  8. Ashley

    Synthetic. Natural bristles are scratchy and irritating; yes, this includes expensive ones that get awesome reviews. My skin dislikes natural bristles.

  9. Rachael

    While it does depend on the feel of both brushes, if I had two exactly the same feeling brushes but one was synthetic and the other natural, I would choose the synthetic. The only reason is that I feel synthetic have a longer life span, especially if I use hand soap instead of “special” brush soap.

  10. Deb

    Synthetic. Animal cruelty. Enough said.

  11. Avatar of donna Donna Cooper

    synthetic if possible. Because they are cruelty free, don’t see why an animal should die to make a brush.

  12. Jessica

    It depends on the usage. For powder, I prefer natural hair. For liquids and creams, I prefer synthetic.

  13. I’m the same. I have tried good ones from both types. I have had scratchiness and some fall-put from both types. It depends on the actual brush.

  14. Becca

    natural- especially for eyeshadow and powder products. but I can’t imagine not using a synthetic brush for my foundation and concealer…. that would just be weird

  15. Shalimar

    It depends on what I am using. I prefer natural brushes when I am using powder based makeup (i.e. setting powder, blush, mineral makeup, etc) and synthetic makeup when I am using liquid or cream based makeup (i.e. concealer, liquid foundation, lipstick, etc.) since it absorbs less product and I can use more harsher cleanser to clean them and disinfect them.

  16. Kelli

    I love synthetic brushes. Companies have advanced and make synthetic brushes feel like natural hair today. There is really no need for me to buy natural hair brushes.

  17. Avatar of Mariella Mariella

    I have both (I think…it is so hard to tell, sometimes) and like both. I go more by how well they work than by what they’re made of.

  18. Yara

    for powder – synthetic. My latest discovery is a wonderful Make Up For Ever HD kabuki!!!
    for shadows – naturals brushes would do fine…

  19. I definitely prefer synthetic. They last better for me are softer are easier to clean and are cruelty-free

  20. I prefer synthetic myself.

  21. Gillian (AKA Munchy)

    It depends on what I am using it for. For wet products like liquid foundation I prefer synthetic but for powder products I much prefer natural. But I am with you Christine- I hate scratchy brushes.

  22. I prefer synthetic across the board as I’m trying to transition to vegan. I realize some natural brushes are cruelty free, but with some brands it’s not easy to find that information.

  23. Suselew

    Definitely going all synthetic. I don’t believe that natural hair brushes are all cruelty-free. Today’s technology has come so far in duplicating animal hair that for me I don’t need to risk inflicting harm or unnecessary cruelty on an innocent animal.

  24. Krista

    I used to go natural but now I only use synthetic. I feel that the way synthetic brushes are made, they’re way softer and easier to clean compared to natural bristles, plus they’re cruelty free as well.

  25. I only have 2 brushes that are natural hair for makeup now. I’ve gone synthetic.

  26. Allison

    I prefer synthetic for the sole reason that they seem more hypo allergenic to me. I have had some natural brushes and they seems to hold onto the product longer similar to how human hairs would react.

  27. Selenite

    Synthetic. Softer, cheaper, and vegan friendly.

    I’ve seen some pretty scratchy animal hair brushes.

  28. Valerie Brower

    I buy both but lately I’ve been reaching for synthetic.

  29. Testy

    Natural all the way. It might be all in my head but synthetic brushes never seem to pick up products well.

  30. Aly

    Depends on the product.

  31. Danielle

    I prefer a mix of both. I love using synthetic brushes for foundation, concealer, lips, and powder as they tend to “eat” less product. I feel that I get a smoother application in from synthetic brushes in those instances as well. My favorite synthetic brushes are a mix of Ecotools, and Sephora professional platinum. However, I feel that for eyes and cheeks, natural brushes are more ideal. They pack on more color, and make blending a breeze! I own several MAC brushes with natural fibers, and they really get the job done. While I understand that synthetic brushes are great in their own right (ethically, and in terms of performance), I cannot let go of the few natural brushes I have. They’re my one weakness–I can resist leather, fur, animal testing, animal by-products, and even stupid trends like feather extensions, but my makeup brushes are another story : /

  32. Avatar of Charlotte Charlotte

    I used to be all natural hairs but I have a fair amount of both in my collection. Synthetic brushes really have come a long ways and I find myself reaching for them more often. But I’ve been lusting after some hakuhodo/suqqu brushes for a while now. I’ve heard that they are quite amazing!

  33. slick

    Synthetic brushes have come a long way and there are some out there that look, feel, and perform like natural hair brushes. Unfortunately, I have yet to find synthetic eye brushes that don’t result in milia around my eyes after a few days of use! :( Its maddening and saddening! I love synthetic face brushes for both powders and liquids though.

  34. Carrie Ann

    I prefer synthetic just because I won’t use anything made with animal hair. The lady at the MAC counter told me that animals aren’t harmed in the making of their brushes, though. Don’t know if that’s true or not.

  35. Carol Brown

    I use natural hair brushes for powders and synthetic for everything else. I’ve read on several sites where animals are shaved, and not killed, to get the hairs.

  36. Avatar of Quinctia Quinctia

    I prefer my set of natural fiber brushes. They were cruelty free, too.

  37. Avatar of Elizabeth beth maiorana

    I prefer synthetic: cruelty free, less expensive, and require none of the “babying” that natural bristles do. There are some fabulous synthetic brushes out there and they are, I am sure, the direction all will eventually go.

  38. Pawsha

    I prefer both. Synthetic for creams and natural for powders.

  39. meme

    I use both. Depends on the product that I am using what performs the best for me. When at all possible I will opt for synthetic because of being animal friendly (and usually less shedding during use).

  40. Ginnia

    Generally speaking–natural. Really the only synthetic that I love now that I’m thinking about it is the Mac 242 and the eyeliner brushes.

  41. Brittany

    i only buy synthetic brushes because everything else makes my eyes burn and turn red!

  42. Maureen

    I’ve never paid attention to that. o_O I have a variety of brushes that I’ve purchased because I like the feel or shape of them.

  43. Lilac

    I use only synthetic brushes because I do not like animal hair in brushes and their origins might be obscure, too (or the hair might be loaded with chemicals in order to treat it and prevent it from aging / degrading).
    However_ I cannot agree to the claim that synthetic brushes are cruelty free in that they are made out of plastic, which is usually made out of mineral oil in some way, and the generation of mineral oil and its further processing do harm the environment, thus habitat of plants, animals and humans, too (recent gulf oil spills, refineries with toxic gases and toxic waste, etc). It´s not like synthetic fibres of the brushes are a natural product made out of thin air ;) They might not directly influence animals (or environment), but indirectly very much. Also, in contrast to natural fibres, plastic can not be recycled easily, except into other plastic. Just to keep the whole picture in balance.

  44. Avatar of Ana Meg

    depends on the product…
    I own both synthetic and natural bristles.

  45. Avatar of Melinda Mel

    Synthetic, but only the Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman brushes and a couple from EcoTools.

  46. Nic

    Natural for almost everything.