What's Better - Natural or Synthetic Brushes?

As every girl knows, makeup options are pretty much infinite. If you just think about say - foundation - for a second: There are so many different shades, textures, and consistencies that you can choose from, like powders or liquids or pressed etc. And because of this, you put a lot of thought into what works best for your face and skin amongst all the different types of makeup. Well, a lot of thought into most things except your makeup brush. They’re an entirely different story. In fact, there’s only two types of brushes to really choose from: Synthetic brushes and natural brushes.

For both professional makeup artists and YouTube junkies alike, there usually exists some sort of preference. Whether that be someone swears by natural brushes or is a strictly synthetic user, both of them have their fair shares of pros and cons (And if you have no clue what I’m talking about, well that’s all good, I got you! Keep reading gal).

The fact of the matter is that the choice of choosing between either a synthetic brush or a natural brush is actually more political and detailed than you might think. It’s important to know the difference between the two because the heart of the matter actually lies back to some important social issues and the actual act of makeup itself.

So in an effort to distinguish the difference between the two, below is a rundown that we at Delune made of both synthetic and natural brushes.

Synthetic Brushes

Synthetic makeup brushes are, well, it’s in the name - made from sysnethic bristles. These are usually handcrafted from materials like polyester or nylon. Sometimes they’re commonly dyed to look like natural brushes, or made a dark cream or brown color. But the cheap ones can even just be plain white. Synthetic brushes aren’t quite as soft as natural brushes, but luckily they’re a lot cheaper and come in many more styles and brands. Plus they’re actually easier to clean than natural brushes, because they aren’t coated in any natural oils or shed as much.

In terms of makeup application, synthetic brushes tend to really work best with liquid and cream products. Think for example concealers/foundations, lipsticks, and even cream blushes. If you’re a fan of using a damp sponge when applying your base coverage, think about switching to a synthetic brush because they don’t absorb as much product and so they’re super easy to blend with. So you can say goodbye to that foundation line that you always get around your jaw!

We at Delune would say you should strictly use synergic brushes with any cream-based makeup product. This is because the synthetic bristles lie flat, whereas natural brushes may poof and become really fluffy, making it even more difficult to apply your cream cosmetics.

And because synthetic brushes are made from completely man-made materials, they’re usually completely cruelty free and so PETA approved. Here at Delune, all our products are cruelty free so that’s why we also like synthetic brushes! Synthetic brushes promise that because of the material they’re made from, that no animals are harmed at all in their creation. Something that is slightly murkier when considering against natural brushes.

Awesome brands like Urban Decay and Too Faced make exclusively synergic brushes, and other similar companies have sustainable missions and objectives which is great to support. Synthetic brushes essentially show some respect to the earth.

Natural Brushes

Natural brushes are usually made from animal hair or furs. Typically from animals like squirrels, boars and goats. Most often they’re dark in color, but that really depends on the animal from which the bristles are taken from. Natural brushes are wonderfully soft, although they do have a high tendency to shed. And unlike synthetic brushes they are difficult to wash because they hold onto pigments so well. Natural brushes also pose a threat to people who suffer from allergies, because the bristles are made from animal furs and hairs which can cause bad reactions.

If you’re not allergic then that’s great, and natural brushes work really great with pigments. Because they’re made from real hair, they pick up pigments and distribute them in fewer motions than a synthetic brush would. This is because hair is actually a living thing. At a microscopic level there are tiny porous holes in it. So when you a bunch of hair bristles are tugged together on a brush, these small holes hold onto the catch the pigment.

Natural brushes also also for better control and precision when applying makeup. This is another characteristic as to why there are so many natural makeup brushes still being used and why they are the preferred within the makeup industry.


So whether you’re an avid synthetic brush user, or have most often stuck to the soft natural bristles, it’s always worth knowing what kind of tools you’re using. Especially if you’re shopping for a new set.

Hey, it’s all the more excuse to spend some more time shopping, right?


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