Brushes- What type of hair should my brush be?

Are you ready for a LOT of brush information?  This might take a while to digest all of this information.  You might need to read this a few times.

There are so many brushes available now.  It’s so hard to know what type of brush you should buy.  There are three main types of brushes-Synthetic brushes, Natural brushes, and a blend of Synthetic and Natural brushes. All three types of brushes have pro’s and con’s.

“The biggest mistake women make is using the same brush for every product,” explains Kim Soane, Bobbi Brown’s Director of Global Artistry.

“Each product should always be applied with its own brush.” “If you use the same brush for every product, your face will look muddy or too red,” notes celebrity makeup artist Alison Raffaele.

“People tend to pick up way too much pigment on their brushes at once. Better to start with less, blend and then add more.”

Synthetic brushes are most often considered cruelty free.  They are typically made from polyester, taklon and nylon. They don’t breakdown as quickly being washed as a natural hair brush.  Synthetic brushes tend to work better with liquids and creme since they don’t absorb product like a natural hair brush does.

Natural brushes are often made of either a single type or blend of horse, goat, squirrel, weasel, or sable. The different types of hair work for different skin types or for different reasons. Below are some quick easy ways to decide what brush would be best for what you are wanting to achieve.

What type skin do you have?

  • Oily Skin- Goat hair is stronger, so typically recommended for people with oily skin. It also provides a fuller coverage.  If goat isn’t soft enough for you then get a goat/squirrel blend.
  • Dry Skin-Squirrel hair is best for dry or sensitive skin because of how soft the hair is. Squirrel hair can break if it’s exposed to too much moisture.

What type finish do you want?  The softer the hair the lighter the coverage and more natural the finish.

  • Oily Skin/ shiny finish- Black Goat
  • Oily Skin/ natural finish- White Goat
  • Dry Skin/ shiny finish- Goat/Squirrel mix or White Goat
  • Dry Skin/ natural finish- Blue Squirrel
  • If you are combination- use the softer brush, lighter coverage idea.

What hair is best for eyeshadow?

  • Horse or pony- deposits the most color, can be used with liquid. It’s typically the least softest of those I’m discussing.
  • Weasel – deposits a medium amount of color, can be used with liquids, softer than horse.
  • White goat- deposits a medium amount of color, can be used with liquids, soft.
  • Canadian/Pine/American Squirrel- deposits medium to light amount of product, no liquids, very soft.
  • Blue Squirrel- deposits a very light amount of color, no liquids, is the softest.
  • Synthetic- deposits the lightest amount of product, can use with liquids.

When building your brush collection start with inexpensive options until you decide what shape you like.  There are so many shapes and  it takes time to  know what will be best for you.  Also, you might like one shape for one reason and another shape for another reason.


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