15 Brands with the Best Cruelty-Free Makeup Brushes
by Ivy Boyd
When transitioning to a cruelty-free beauty routine, products are usually the first to pare down, and next, makeup brushes. Makeup brushes are commonly made with goat, squirrel, badger and pony hair. Some people are sensitive to animal hair and for others like myself, it just doesn’t sit right. I’ve been on a quest to find the best cruelty free makeup brushes and here are my findings.
The EcoTools Powder Brush remains one of my favorite powder brushes of all time. It is not only so super soft but durable. I’ve had this brush for years without one bristle shedding. These are very well made makeup brushes that harm no animals or wallets!
If you dig affordable makeup and tools, you are likely already familiar with e.l.f. Their synthetic brushes perform great, particularly the face brushes. I’ve been loving the Selfie Ready Foundation Brush for buffing out liquid foundation to a flawless finish.
It Cosmetics makes some of the best synthetic brushes out there, particularly their Heavenly Luxe No-Tug Dual Eyeshadow Brush. If you want to pack light, you can use this baby to apply crease color, lid color, smudge liner and soften and blend darker shades.
I first saw these at Wal-Mart and was intrigued by their sleek, pro-like design. Though they don’t seem to be sold there anymore, their innovative FiberLuxe™ Technology brushes are still available online in a range of styles. The face brushes are so, so soft!
Famous for their uber-afforable mega eyeshadow palettes, don’t overlook Morphe for brushes to apply them, too! Though not all of their brushes are animal hair-free, a large portion of them are and perform great. I love my flat contour brush for creating chiseled cheekbones.
I adore Makeup Geek’s amazing cruelty-free shadows and their brushes are just as impressive. I have no idea how Makeup Geek does it, but their Pointed Crease Brush feels identical to animal hair, but isn’t. I absolutely love this brush for blending out shadows on the outer corner and precise crease applications.
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics
Best known for their high-pigment Lip Tars, OCC stand by it’s vegan principles, offering custom-blended synthetic brushes too. I love their white handles for a clean look. Their Precision lip brush is my kit go-to.
You simply can’t talk about the best synthetic makeup brushes without mentioning Real Techniques. Nearly every brush in their collection is a hit but I’m particularly fond of the Blush Brush. It’s the best one in my kit and rivals some of it’s more expensive counterparts.
My favorite high-end synthetic brushes are no doubt from Sephora’s Pro line. These feel amazing on the skin and deliver professional results. Their Pro Angled Blush Brush #49 is a must have for applying both blush and contour powders.
If you watch YouTube beauty videos, no doubt you’ve heard of Sigma. Made in the USA, they offer exclusive SigmaTech® and Sigma fibers that performs with the best of them. I can’t live without their F80 brush for buffing foundation into airbrushed oblivion and my E25 brush for blending shadows.
Tarte has long been a leader in the cruelty-free game and those that use their Airbrush Finish Bamboo Kabuki Brush would never apply their foundation without it. I love the size of this brush for covering a large amount of service area quickly. It’s bamboo fibers apply and blend liquid, creams and powders like a champ!
Too Faced makes bunny soft brushes that are bunny-free! Their patented “teddy bear fibers” feel soft as silk, but no bears were harmed in the making. Plus, for girly-girls, it doesn’t get much cuter than these feminine brushes.
I know you are probably already loving Urban Decay’s shadows, primers, foundations—heck, all of it—but look into their brushes while you’re at it. They released their Optical Blurring Brush specifically for applying their amazing Naked Skin Foundation and it truly gives you a flawless finish. It can also be used to apply powders and creams. The best part? This brush is on sale right now, so snatch one up for yourself!
Wet ‘n Wild
The beauty blogging world had a collective freakout when Wet n Wild released these beauties, and for good reason. Their Polymax fibers that mimic natural hairs and their ergonomic handles make them feel super comfortable. I am loving the Flat Top Brush for applying my liquid foundation. Plus, I mean, they’re just so damn pretty.
I first tried these brushes through subscription service Vegan Cuts. The fibers are insanely soft and the brushes themselves are gorgeous with their matte white handles and gold ferrules. I love that the bristles are white so you can see exactly how much pigment you’re picking up.