April 07, 2021 3 min read

Did you know that your makeup brush might not be vegan?

Yup, that’s right - many makeup brushes are made using animal fur, even those sold by otherwise cruelty-free makeup brands.

But the good news is that vegan AND cruelty-free makeup brushes do exist. In fact, they’re even better than animal fur makeup brushes, allowing you to  flawlessly apply your foundation without harming a single hair on an animal’s head!

Shop Vegan Makeup Brushes

What is a vegan makeup brush?

A vegan makeup brush is one that is made using synthetic bristles, such as  nylon, Taklon, or Natrafil®.

A vegan makeup brush made with synthetic bristles

Unlike those made using animal fur, vegan brushes keep their shape better, are easier to clean, and actively repel dirt and bacteria.

Other benefits include:

  • Synthetic bristles are hypoallergenic
  • The fibers are more durable and shed less
  • Vegan makeup brushes are effective with cream, gel, and powder products

Oh, and no animals are harmed in the process of making the brushes!

Are natural hair makeup brushes cruelty-free?

The word ‘natural’ is one that we often associate with an eco-friendly and cruelty-free lifestyle. However, in this scenario, ‘natural’ refers to the use of animal fur or hair. The animal fur used for makeup brushes can include squirrel, goat, mink, pony, and sable.

Animal fur used to make apparently 'cruelty-free' makeup brushes

So, can makeup brushes that use animal hair really be called cruelty-free?

Some fur farms claim to use the ‘haircut’ method of obtaining the bristles used to produce natural makeup brushes, where animals are kept alive as the fur is shaved off from under the belly.

Unfortunately, the reality is that these farms consist of caged animals kept in cruel and cramped conditions.

Consequently, although natural makeup brushes aren’t usually tested on animals and don’t always directly lead to the death of an animal, they still cause suffering and are, as such, not cruelty-free. Moreover, they present huge risks in terms of public health, such as these  COVID-spreading mink farms used to supply fur for fake eyelashes.

Do they kill animals for makeup brushes?

While some natural makeup brushes obtain their animal fur from ‘no kill’ farms, some beauty companies sell makeup brushes using ‘zero waste’ natural bristles, which are sourced from the by-products of the fashion or meat industry.

For example, ponytail hair is obtained when a horse is sent to slaughter, which still supports the killing of animals, albeit indirectly.

What are the best vegan and cruelty-free makeup brushes?

Luckily, the ethical movement is gaining momentum in the beauty industry and a new era of vegan and cruelty-free makeup brushes is here!

The best cruelty-free and vegan makeup brush set for gel, liquid, and powder makeup

Constructed of fluffy, antimicrobial vegan microbristles, Yubi’s Purifiber makeup brush slows the growth of germs to help protect you from breakouts and skin health issues.

The cruelty-free fibers apply and deposit product evenly, and won't drink up your makeup products.

The Yubi Purifiber vegan makeup brush set

Shop Purifiber Makeup Brush

The MOTD cruelty-free eye makeup brush set

Picture Source: MOTD Cosmetics

Shop MOTD Eye Brush Set

The best cruelty-free and vegan makeup brush set for eye makeup

The MOTD Eye Got It 5pc Brush Set applies, blends, and details your eye looks. We love how the makeup brush handles feature labels to eliminate the guesswork on what each brush does!

All of MOTD’s eye makeup brushes have been certified PETA cruelty-free and vegan.

The best cruelty-free and vegan makeup brush for lips

Fitted with flat, synthetic bristles with a rounded edge, Illamasqua's Lip Brush is the best vegan makeup brush for creating professional lip looks on the go.

This amazing tool applies lipstick and lip products with precision for that full-mouth appearance. It also comes complete with a detachable handle that doubles as a storage lid for protection while residing in your vanity bag.

The Illamasqua vegan lip makeup brush

Picture Source: Illamasqua

Shop Illamasqua Lip Brush

Have you switched to a vegan makeup brush yet?

With so many vegan makeup brushes to choose from, in different shapes, sizes, and textures, there really is no excuse not to make the switch.

Right, now that’s done...it’s time to make some sustainable beauty swaps!

Achieve Sustainable Beauty with our 5 Simple Eco-Friendly Swaps.

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