Best Vegan Makeup Brushes For A Cruelty-Free Approach To Makeup

Have you noticed how people are becoming more conscious of the products they use? It’s amazing to see that the demand for cruelty-free beauty products is on the rise. In the world of makeup, vegan makeup brushes have become super popular, and for good reason. 

These innovative brushes are effective, high-quality, and most importantly, ethical. They’re made with synthetic bristles and sustainable handles, so you can have a flawless makeup application without harming any furry friends. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at vegan makeup brushes, debunk some myths, and showcase some of the best brands that are leading the way in cruelty-free beauty.

What you will learn

What are vegan makeup brushes?

Traditional makeup brushes use natural animal hair (like goat, squirrel, or mink) for the bristles. In comparison, vegan makeup brushes use no ingredients derived from animals. Instead, such brushes use synthetic or plant-based alternatives.

Here’s a quick breakdown of what makes vegan brushes distinct:

Synthetic bristles. Vegan makeup brushes typically feature bristles made from synthetic fibers, such as nylon or taklon. These fibers are designed to mimic the feel and the performance of natural animal hair and provide smooth application and blending of makeup products.

Animal-free. Unlike traditional brushes, vegan ones do not involve any animal exploitation. They are cruelty-free and do not contribute to the demand for animal-based products in the cosmetics industry.

Plant-based and sustainable materials. In addition to the synthetic bristles, vegan brushes might incorporate other plant-based or sustainable materials, such as a bamboo handle or recycled aluminum ferrules. This, in turn, reduces the environmental impact of the brush manufacturing process.

It’s an ethical and sustainable choice. By choosing vegan makeup brushes, you can easily align with ethical and environmental practices. By opting for cruelty-free and animal-free alternatives, consumers support practices that prioritize animal welfare and sustainability in the beauty industry.

In short, vegan brushes are a compassionate and eco-conscious choice for makeup enthusiasts who seek high-quality tools without compromising their values.


Materials used in vegan makeup brushes

Now that we know what makes these makeup brushes distinct, you might want to learn a bit more about the materials used in them. Of course, the materials might vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, but these are the most commonly used ones.

So, let’s start with bristles. As the most important part of a quality makeup brush, the bristles in vegan ones are usually made from synthetic fibers, such as:

Taklon – a soft and smooth synthetic fiber that resembles natural hair, making it ideal for blending and buffing.

Nylon – nylon bristles are very durable and versatile, making them the perfect material for all kinds of makeup brushes.

Polyester – these fibers offer flexibility and resilience and are most commonly used in brushes meant for precise application.

As for the handles, many vegan brush manufacturers opt for bamboo. Bamboo is a fast-growing plant that needs minimum resources to cultivate, making it an eco-friendly alternative to traditional wooden handles. Others might also incorporate recycled aluminum and other eco-friendly materials as part of the makeup brush. Lastly, vegan makeup brushes should come packed in corn-based or biodegradable plastic packaging and dyed using soy-based inks and dyes.


What are the benefits of choosing vegan brushes?

Besides the fact they vegan brushes are a cruelty-free and eco-friendly option, they offer quite a few additional perks compared to traditional brushes.

For instance, vegan brushes are hypoallergenic because of their synthetic bristles, and they are less likely to cause allergic reactions. Second, these synthetic bristles are less prone to shedding and better at keeping their shape. That might make them even better than traditional brushes at performance and consistency. Lastly, vegan brush sets are very easy to find at any beauty store, and with such a wide variety of styles, shapes, sizes, and densities, you can find ones suitable to you with no trouble at all.

How to choose the best vegan makeup brush set?

If you’re in the market for a vegan makeup brush set, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First off, think about the types of brushes you use on a regular basis. Do you need brushes for foundation, eyeshadow, blush, or something else? Figuring out which types of brushes you need will help you choose the right set for you.

When it comes to vegan makeup brushes, quality is key. Look for sets that have high-quality synthetic bristles made from materials like taklon or nylon. These materials are known for being soft, durable, and versatile, which makes them great for using with both liquid and powder products. You should also look for brands that are committed to ethical practices and producing brushes of exceptional quality.

Another thing to consider is the handle materials. If you’re looking for something eco-friendly, bamboo is a great option. It’s sustainable, durable, and looks great, too! Finally, think about any additional features the set might have, as well as its overall sustainability. Make sure it aligns with your values and preferences, and you should be good to go.


Popular vegan makeup brush brands

There are several vegan makeup brush brands known for their quality, performance, and commitment to eco-friendly and cruelty-free practices. Here are some of our favorite brands:

Real Techniques

Founded by makeup artists Sam and Nic Chapman, Real Techniques produces high-quality makeup brushes designed for both amateur and professional use. Their brushes feature synthetic bristles and innovative designs for precise application.

Sigma Beauty

Sigma Beauty is known for its premium-quality makeup brushes made from synthetic fibers. Their brushes are famous for their durability, precision, and ability to achieve flawless makeup looks.


ILIA Beauty is a clean beauty brand known for its natural and organic makeup products, including vegan makeup brushes. Their brushes are crafted with high-quality synthetic fibers and sustainable materials.

E.L.F Cosmetics

We all know E.L.F. as a makeup brand that offers affordable, high-quality makeup at unmatched prices. However, besides their incredible makeup products (most of which can easily be called dupes for high-end products), E.L.F. also produces a range of vegan makeup brushes.

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Caring for vegan brushes

If you’re using vegan makeup brushes, it’s important to take good care of them. Cleaning them regularly is key to keeping the bristles in good condition and extending their lifespan.

You can use a gentle brush cleaner or even mild shampoo with lukewarm water to get rid of any makeup residue, oil, and bacteria buildup. Just try not to be too rough when you’re handling them – you don’t want to damage the synthetic bristles. After washing, reshape the bristles and lay them flat on a clean towel to air dry. It’s important to rinse them thoroughly to remove all soap residue. Oh, and don’t use heat to dry them – it can make the bristles brittle.

When it comes to storing your brushes, make sure to keep them in a dry, well-ventilated area. This will help prevent mold growth and bacterial contamination. You can also wipe down the handles with a gentle disinfectant wipe every now and then to make sure they’re nice and clean.

Keep an eye on the condition of your brushes – if the bristles start to fray, shed excessively, or lose their shape, it’s time to replace them. By following these simple care practices, you can keep your vegan makeup brushes clean, hygienic, and in excellent condition for long-term use.

Vegan brushes for different makeup applications

If you’re not up for buying a complete set of brushes (after all, there might be some you’ll never use, so why waste the money) or looking for something specific, choosing individual brushes for different makeup applications might be a good idea. If you need a guide on which brushes to choose, take a look at our previous article.

But for now, let’s take a look at some vegan makeup brushes for different makeup applications.

Foundation brushes

Used to apply foundation to your face, these brushes usually come with larger heads and densely packed bristles.

Blush brushes

These brushes usually have angled or oblong shapes and loosely packed bristles, which help diffuse and apply blush pigments more effectively.

Concealer Brushes

Concealer brushes are used for seamless and streak-free application of concealer products. they are usually fairly small and can be either flat and angled for precision or slightly bigger and rounder for blending and buffing.

Eyebrow brushes

Eyebrow brushes are usually dual-sided with a spoolie on one end and an angled, densely packed brush to fill in sparse areas on the other. Comb the eyebrows with the spoolie and then lay in the product with the brush.

Eyeshadow brushes

Eyeshadow brushes can come in different sizes and shapes, but they are almost always made with synthetic fibers. These tools are meant for precise application of eyeshadow onto your lid.

Of course, there are plenty more brushes you might want to include in your kit, such as lip, eyeliner, powder, highlighter, and other brushes that we did not cover in this article. If you were looking for something else, don’t forget to check out our comprehensive guide on the most popular makeup brushes – we have some great recommendations there, too.

What to expect in quality and performance of vegan brushes

Vegan brushes are surrounded by myths and tales about their less-than-perfect performance and poor quality, making them a less appealing choice for some. We think it’s right about the time to debunk these misconceptions!

You might’ve heard the myth that vegan brushes are less durable than their animal-hair counterparts. Well, think about your own hair – how resilient it is to wear and tear, really? Not so much, right? The same goes for animal hair bristles versus synthetic ones. The latter are made to be durable and resistant to use, while natural hair is never as strong.

You might also have heard the myth that synthetic bristles are not as good at picking up or blending makeup as natural bristles. That’s one big misconception! Modern advancements in synthetic fiber technology make these bristles perform on par or even better than natural ones. Besides, they’re not scratchy or rough on the skin, either, as some say.

Lastly, some say that vegan brushes simply lack versatility. To this, we can only suggest that you open Sephora’s website and check out the myriad of choices for these brushes. They literally come in all shapes and sizes you can dream of.

In a nutshell, vegan makeup brushes are absolutely on par, if not better, in performance and quality than animal hair brushes. So why not choose them as an eco-friendly and cruelty-free option?

Get best vegan brushes cheaper!

It’s real when you’re with Monetha. 😉 We find the best deals for the nicest products + give you cashback when you buy through Monetha.

Learn how it works

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