Natural vs. Synthetic Makeup Brushes: What’s the Difference?

You may have the best collection of makeup products to get started with your new look. But, you’ll need the right and essential makeup tools to get it all right! Makeup brushes are a must in your arsenal; of course, you need the best to do the job well. It’s pretty easy to get confused by the natural vs. synthetic makeup brushes choices available on the market. Let’s get down with the details on the makeup brushes natural vs. synthetic, and give you all the right answers! Start by exploring some of the best makeup brush sets from De’Lanci!

professional makeup brushes

Table of Contents

  1. What is natural makeup brush?
  2. What is synthetic makeup brush?
  3. What is the difference between natural brushes vs. synthetic brushes?
  4. Which makeup brushes you should choose?
  5. Why Natural Makeup Brushes Are a Lot More Expensive
  6. Is There a Difference in How They Work?
  7. Bottom Line

What is natural makeup brush?

To begin the natural vs. synthetic makeup brushes detailing, natural makeup brush, as the name suggests is made out of animal hair. These may be those of goat, squirrel, sable, or any other small animal with soft brown, or tan colors. However, other colored hairs can be dyed to attain the desired bristle colors. They are comfortable on the skin and excellent for spreading out powder-based products like blushers, bronzers, eyeshadow palette, finishing, and setting powders. But, you have to learn how to use them deftly which only comes after a lot of experience in applying makeup.

What is synthetic makeup brush?

A synthetic makeup brush is made up of human-made hairs of polyester, nylon, or other synthetic materials that are easily available. The hairs are dyed in shades of brown or tan to resemble natural animal hair. But, at times, they are also dyed in vibrant colors to meet demands. These brushes come in all thicknesses, shapes, and sizes, and are easy to handle for beginners and non-professionals handling makeup products.

What is the difference between natural brushes vs. synthetic brushes?

Here’s a synopsis of natural vs. synthetic makeup brushes:


  • Natural hair has a cuticle that tends to absorb oil and powdery elements. This makes them absorb a lot of the makeup product. Though soft on the skin, they tend to spread out too fast. This often becomes a problem for non-professionals handling makeup.
  • Synthetic brush hair has no cuticle unlike natural animal hair brush and thus, they do not absorb oil or powdery pigments. At the same time, they stretch very well because of the elasticity of the synthetic material. As a result, these brushes carry the makeup product very well across the skin helping to blend it well.
  • Natural brushes do well when applying powdery products that do not stick to their natural cuticles. Large fluffy natural brushes are great for this purpose.
  • Synthetic brushes are a great choice when it comes to applying cream, liquid, or powdery formula. Their flatter and stiffer angles make them ideal for product applications such as eyeshadows, eyeliners, and lipsticks. This gives them an upper edge in the synthetic makeup brushes vs. natural choices.


  • Also, natural brushes are difficult to clean. They absorb too much product that clings onto them like human hair. This also makes them dry out, break and shed depleting your brush of the much-needed bristles.
  • Since makeup products do not cling onto synthetic bristles, these brushes are easy to clean and take care of. You can easily clean them using alcohol-based solutions with absolutely no adverse effect. There is lesser bristle fall-off as they have minimal shedding and are completely cruelty-free.


  • Natural brushes are expensive and more difficult to find especially when it comes to particular shapes and sizes. Last, but not least, they are direct animal products because of which these brushes can never be labeled cruelty-free!
  • Synthetic brushes are less expensive, easy to find in all shapes and sizes, and last longer compared to natural brushes. They are readily available, making them winners in synthetic vs. natural makeup brushes.

    Which makeup brushes you should choose?

    This will clear your doubts on natural vs. synthetic makeup brushes:

    Natural brushes:

    • Natural brushes are good with powders. These brushes pick up talc-based products since they are fine and hair-like.
    • Natural brushes do well with products that need more coverage and push to blend all over.
    • Blushes, and light highlighting that need to get diffused well go well with natural brushes.
    • The natural cuticle of natural hair tends to aggravate bacteria build-up on them making them unhygienic and difficult to clean.

    Synthetic brushes:

    • On the contrary, synthetic bristles lack the cuticle and are good for picking up liquid and cream products. There is no absorption, products spread out better and more evenly.
    • Synthetics brushes are best for dense product applications.
    • They also work well as smaller, firmer, and detail brushes for the eyes, and lips.
    • For those that have sensitive skins, you may be allergic to animal hair, you may want to opt for synthetic brushes.

    The difference between natural vs. synthetic makeup brushes is getting blurred every day. Modern synthetic brushes are infused with peptides and antioxidants that give them the same smoothness and effect as those of natural brushes. These mimic natural animal hair and have the same fluffiness and stretching effect for a natural blending effect. Moreover, they are easy to clean, and have less fall-off, making them ideal for both professional and non-professional use.

    Why Natural Makeup Brushes Are a Lot More Expensive?

    As discussed earlier, natural brushes are made out of animal hair obtained from specific species.

    • These have to be collected from the animals that may be dead or alive. Resources for making natural brushes are limited as they are directly obtained from animal skin.
    • Once they have been collected in the raw form, animal hairs undergo processing stages before they are fit to become brush bristles.
    • All of this naturally makes natural brushes more expensive than synthetic brushes that have an abundance of quality resources.

    Is There a Difference in How They Work?

    Yes, there are several differences between synthetic and natural brushes. Synthetic brushes work like magic wands when using thick makeup products. They are shaped perfectly and come in desired densities to be able to carry the products and spread them out evenly. Difficult to work with areas such as the eyelids, creases, inner corner of the eyes, and the lips are best done up using synthetic brushes.

    True, natural brushes work great with powdery products as the cuticle helps pick and spread them more evenly without leaving streaks. But again, the latest synthetic brushes are made to mimic all the qualities of natural brushes as they are infused with necessary products. They are made dense and fluffy to be able to spread powdery products and blend them evenly much like natural brushes.

    Bottom Line

    Your makeup brushes are your magical tools that give a flawless finish to your looks. You need these tools to stand by you and provide you with money’s worth. Concluding the natural vs. synthetic makeup brushes topic, it is right to suggest that synthetic brushes have a clear upper edge. They come with the needed density for their specific purposes, are durable, affordable, and of course, cruelty-free. Look up the range of De’Lanci makeup brushes and tools to get just the flawless makeup finish you want!

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