I thought I would share a selection of my favourite vegan and cruelty free make up brushes and brands. Although not all my other choices in terms of products and nutrition fall in to the vegan category; I feel strongly that synthetic make up brushes perform as well as their animal hair based counterparts and have significant benefits, such as being gentler on sensitive skin and less likely to hold on to dirt and grime. With the amount of brands that are creating really good quality synthetic brushes, this is an easy area to start with, if you are moving towards more cruelty free choices. Synthetic brushes work well for powder or cream products, if you favour pressed powders then look for brushes with plenty of plush bristles that will pick up enough pigment. Loose mineral powders tend to be more pigmented and need a slightly looser style brush to blend the product.
Although I have a nice selection of brushes, I wouldn’t consider my collection to be large, at least compared to other beauty bloggers. I have found that when properly taken care of; washed with a gentle soap and left to dry properly, good quality brushes can lasts years and years, in fact I have only lost one from collection since I started building it. Reading a popular zero waste blog recently I was surprised to hear that she advocated using natural haired make up brushes, as technically synthetic bristles will not biodegrade in the same way, although I understand her logic, as already pointed out if you choose your brushes carefully and take care of them these are not items that you will be disposing of regularly, so I don’t feel using animal hair is a sacrifice I am willing to make in this case.
For washing my brushes I am not particularly faithful to any one product, I will use up shampoos or face-washes that haven’t worked for me, or good old Dr Bronner’s liquid* or solid* soaps. When laying my brushes out to dry I just roll up one length of a towel and place the brush heads pointing downwards, it isn’t fancy or high tech, but it does the job!
Ecotools (completely vegan brand) – Ecotools have undergone several changes of look over the years, so the brushes currently available look different to the ones I have. Ecotools specialise in affordable cruelty free brushes using recycled bamboo for their handles. Their packaging is also tree free paper made from cotton and bamboo fibres. My favourite Ecotools brush is the Precision blush brush*, really good size and shape which allows you do a nice easy flush with out too much fuss.
Real Techniques (completely vegan brand) – I can’t say I like the look of these brushes, the handles themselves aren’t to my taste, but they are accessible, affordable and they have some great options available. I have a few favourites from Real Techniques – some of which I will use for my daily make up. The bristles are nice and soft and I don’t have any problems with shedding. The setting brush is perfect for setting concealer under the eyes, a must with more natural formulations. The expert face brush* is my go to for applying tinted moisturisers, BB Creams and foundations, I find the cut of the brush makes it easy to get in to the contours of the face.
Nanshy (completely vegan brand) – Nanshy are a brilliant professional range that has great performance without a hefty price point. I have been using these brushes for a few years now and I think they are a brilliant range for anyone wanting quality vegan friendly brushes. Unlike some of the other professional ranges, they don’t use any animal hair at all, so it makes it easy to shop. Their 3D concealer brush* is perfect for applying concealer or corrector under the eyes. The shape is slightly flat towards the end, which means it fits nicely under the lower lashes. I also really love their blush and bronze brush*, great for any powder bronzers or blushes.
Inika (completely vegan brand) – Inika are a brand that I have used for a very long time, since they launched in fact and I have watched them change a lot in that time. They are an all vegan brand and their make up is exceptional quality (see my review here), but their brushes are also great. My favourites are the eye brushes, shadow* and crease, I don’t wear a lot of eyeshadow, so I just need something simple to apply shadow with and then blend and these fit the bill. I also use their blush brush* a lot, it is perfect for mineral foundations because the bristles aren’t too densely packed so you can build up the colour gently. I have had these brushes for a while and I never have any problems with them, they are fantastic.
This is just a few brands I recommend, I would love to hear if you have any favourites?