When it comes to a flawless face, we are quick to assume it’s all about the makeup. While we agree that the potions and powders we love so much make all the difference in perfecting our faces, there is another often-overlooked component that plays a huge role: brushes. Makeup brushes make all the difference when it comes to pristine application. With so many options at your fingertips it’s hard to decide which tools are best for you. One of the most common conundrums involves the use of natural versus synthetic brushes. Is there really a difference? Which type provides the best application/coverage? We want to help you get to the bottom of the great brush debate, so we got the skinny on both!
Made of: These brushes are made of natural animal hair, often sable, squirrel or goat.
Natural makeup brushes: They’re typically made out of various animal hair. Practice makes perfect with natural makeup brushes, as they are extremely durable and actually get better the more you use them. When it comes to powder products, natural makeup brushes are your best bet. They work wonders with any powder from bronzers to eyeshadows, and everything in between, as they are loaded with texture so you’ll get a better application. Natural hair bristles move freely, allowing you to not only pick up enough product in one swipe, but also to blend it out beautifully.
Benefits: Natural hair contains cuticles, which have great pick-up and blending properties. Cuticles help lift and absorb powdery pigment along with your skin’s oils and blend them seamlessly across the face, creating a natural, non-blotchy look. The hair is also super soft and makes for easy blending on the face.
Best Uses: Natural brushes are best used for applying powder-based makeup such as eye shadow, finishing/setting powder and powder-based blushes and bronzers.
Product Recommendations: Maybelline Expert Tools Face Brush, Giorgio Armani Blender Brush, Shu Uemera Natural Brush 20h
Made of: These brushes are typically made of man-made materials like nylon, taklon or polyester fibers.
Synthetic makeup brushes: They’re made up of manmade bristles, usually from nylon or other synthetic fibers. Unlike natural brushes, synthetic makeup brushes don’t have a cuticle, which makes them great to use with liquid or cream products, such as foundation and concealer, because they won’t trap makeup. Synthetic bristles tend to gravitate towards one another, making them perfect for precision application.
Benefits: Synthetic brushes are unique in that the bristles naturally gravitate toward each other, allowing for more precise, smooth and streak-free application. Because of the hairs’ precise properties, they are great for angled, sharply cut brushes.
Best uses: These faux-hair brushes are ideal for liquid products like foundations, cream blush or gel eyeliner. The synthetic hairs are not as porous as natural hairs, so they don’t soak up too much makeup or get clumpy and gunky (this could save you some money in the long run, as they use less product).
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