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Natural vs. Synthetic Makeup Brushes: Is One Better Than The Other?

Makeup Looks

Natural vs. Synthetic Makeup Brushes: Is One Better Than The Other? Natural vs. Synthetic Makeup Brushes: Is One Better Than The Other? Natural vs. Synthetic Makeup Brushes: Is One Better Than The Other?

Navigating the world of makeup products can be difficult as it is, but factoring in which makeup tools and brushes to apply them with is a whole different ball game. You see, even if you know about the importance of using the latter—and are familiar with all the different types of makeup brushes—you may not be in-tune with the differences between a synthetic and natural makeup brush. Don’t worry, though—that’s where we come in. Ahead, we break down everything there is to know about natural and synthetic makeup brush options, including if you should use one over the other.

Natural Vs. Synthetic Makeup Brushes: Which Is Better?

Without further ado, let’s answer the question you likely came here for: Neither natural or synthetic makeup brushes are better than the other. As with most things, it all comes down to personal preference and what you plan to use the makeup brush for. In fact, you may even find that it’s worth having both natural and synthetic brushes in your collection. To further explain the difference between the two (and help you determine which option is best for your daily makeup routine), allow us to deep-dive into both types of brushes.

What Is a Natural Makeup Brush?

As you can probably guess, a natural makeup brush is made with natural hairs that are usually brown or tan in color. These hairs are typically ones that animals like horses, goats, and squirrels have shed. Because they’re made with natural hair, they feel especially soft and luxurious against your skin. This can make them an ideal option for those with sensitive complexions, as the brush won’t cause irritation. That said, if you have any allergies to animals, you should probably steer clear. The bristles typically spread out easily when in use, allowing for a seamless, well-blended finish.

There are a few other key notes to keep in mind when considering a natural makeup brush. First, just as the animals the hairs are collected from, the brush itself can shed. What we mean is, you may find a hair or two mixed into your expertly applied foundation when you look in the mirror.

Additionally, since they’re made with natural hair, these brushes tend to absorb oils, which makes them a better option for applying powder-based products like eyeshadow, blush, and bronzer. This absorption can also add some extra hassle to your brush cleaning routine and can result in a higher potential for breakouts if you don’t regularly clean your brushes of liquid and cream formulas.

What Is a Synthetic Makeup Brush?

On the flip side, a synthetic makeup brush is made with—you guessed it—fake hairs. This can cause them to feel slightly less luxurious against your skin, but the brand of brush also plays a factor in this. Nowadays, there are plenty of ultra-soft synthetic options available. You’ll likely find that a synthetic makeup brush is on the more affordable side compared to a natural makeup brush, since it’s much easier to mass-produce. Since they aren’t made from real hair, you also won’t have to worry about stray bristles making their way into your makeup look.

On top of that, synthetic bristles won’t absorb your oily products, which can make them easier to clean. This also makes them a top pick for liquid and cream makeup products, including foundation, concealer, and even eyeliner. An added bonus: Makeup brushes with faux hair come in a plethora of fun colors and designs, so they can add a personal (while still practical) touch to your vanity.

The Bottom Line

For powder products like L’Oréal Paris Infallible Tinted Loose Setting Powder, a natural hair brush may be the way to go. Creamy formulas like L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation may be better suited to a synthetic brush. It all comes down to your preferences and your routine!

Next up: Now that you know the differences between natural and synthetic makeup brush options, perhaps you’d like to find out how other makeup products stack up against each other. Check out our article, Powder vs. Liquid Foundation: Which Is Better?, for the next beauty debate.