Is choosing Synthetic Bristles for your makeup brush really a better choice?


There’s a new craze sweeping the internet – the #NoMakeUpSelfie. Thousands of women have posed WITHOUT make-up, photographed themselves and posted the resulting picture online, and made a small donation to a Breast Cancer charity at the same time. 

It’s raised a tremendous amount of money for a terrific cause – in a very short space of time. It’s also raised a lot of awareness about breast cancer.

Here at Gordons Direct, we’re of the opinion that if a few more women get themselves screened, and if thousands (maybe even millions) of pounds can be raised in the fight against breast cancer, this new timeline-filling phenomenon is very worthwhile.

Real Techniques - makeup brushes that make a real difference!


The #nomakeupselfie has also highlighted the importance of makeup in our everyday lives. Without makeup, we feel naked. We feel self-conscious. We feel exposed.


Posting a photo of ourselves without makeup takes courage – our imperfections aren’t hidden, our blotches aren’t miraculously smoothed. 

And when it comes to makeup, there are 2 key factors that go into getting it just right. A good quality makeup is important – product that can be applied smoothly, that is ‘our’ shade, that’s suitable for our skin and our own style.

The right makeup brush plays a big part too.

Real Techniques Makeup Brushes are a high quality brush that are made entirely from synthetic bristles

Look in your favourite cosmetics store, or browse on your favourite beauty website – there’s a huge number of options available, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to know which makeup brushes are worth spending money on. For a makeup artist, high-quality makeup brushes are an essential part of a successful business. They’re a worthy investment for a professional. And the same applies to us at home - you don’t need to be a makeup artist to have the right tools to help you create a flawless look. 

At Gordons Direct, we believe that there’s an important consideration that you should make when choosing a makeup brush: Natural vs. Synthetic bristles. 

Makeup brushes fall into two categories: ones made with animal hair and ones made with synthetic bristles. 

Nowadays, synthetics bristles are superior to animal-hair brushes in many ways. The feel of a high-quality makeup brush with synthetic bristles might be similar to an animal-hair brush, but there are actually many differences between the two. 

Some of the benefits of using a synthetic brush over one made with animal hair include: 

  • Synthetic makeup brushes are easier to clean;
  • Synthetic makeup brushes repel bacteria and dirt more effectively than animal hair does – so they’re more hygienic (animal hair, like human hair, is porous, which means it absorbs things like bacteria);
  • It’s more and more common for people to have an allergy to animal hair;
  • Synthetic brushes shed less - if at all;
  • Synthetic brushes can work with both cream and powder make-up.
  • Furthermore (the moral decision bit…) buying a brush that’s made from synthetic bristles is the only certain way of knowing that no animal was harmed in the making of the brush.


A More Hygienic Makeup Brush:

You might wash your brushes regularly – you might wash them religiously! However, despite your very best efforts, some bacteria can (and will) remain in the bristles of an animal-hair makeup brush – because animal hair is porous.

Synthetic bristles actually repel dirt and bacteria, making them much easier to clean because they get less dirty to begin with. As a rule, makeup artists won’t use an animal-hair brush for cream products - for this reason. If you apply a cream-based product with an animal hair makeup brush, the brush will likely absorb the product - staining and ruining the brush. 

And when you're using a makeup brush for your eyes - as well as on your face - hygiene is crucial. The last thing you want is an eye infection!


A More Versatile Makeup Brush:

When you purchase a synthetic brush, you are actually getting two brushes in one! 

Someone who uses animal hair makeup brushes needs two separate brushes, for instance one for powder eye-shadow and one for cream eye-shadow. However, if you were to own a synthetic eye-shadow brush, you can use that same brush for both cream and powder products! 

The high-quality synthetic bristle brushes that are available today – for instance those in the Real Techniques makeup brushes range - will pick up just about any makeup medium with ease, including powder-based products!

Real Techniques Makeup Brushes


Bristle Shedding: 

If you’ve used an animal-hair makeup brush you’ll know that they’re prone to shedding. There’s nothing worse than having to try and delicately pluck a rogue hair from perfectly applied make-up, smudging it, and having to reapply! Due to the nature of synthetic bristles, the majority of these type of makeup brushes don’t shed at all. 


100% Cruelty Free Makeup Brushes

Think about this – how likely is it that the animal hairs that go into a make-up brush hasn’t suffered some duress?

Many animal-hair brushes are made from the hairs of animals such as squirrels, raccoons, or badgers. These are wild animals, who aren’t going to ‘sit still’ while they have their hairs cut. And these animals won’t be in a position to be ‘free’ animals – the likelihood is that they’ll be kept in a cage or similar.

In many respects, parallels can be drawn between the manufacture of an animal hair make-up brush, and a fur coat. Animals are killed – or kept captive – for their hair or fur.

We stock two great ranges of makeup brushes that use synthetic bristles: EcoTools and Real Techniques. Both are a great choice, and both can guarantee that ‘no animal has been harmed in the making of this brush’. They’re a high quality brush as well – you’re not compromising on quality by choosing one of these brands.

For us, synthetic bristles tick a lot of boxes. They’re more hygienic – which is better for your skin. They are less likely to cause an allergic reaction (more and more people are developing an allergy to animal hair nowadays) and this could cause a slight reaction with your skin – a mild rash, irritation, and so on.

They’re more versatile and easier to clean – the same brush can be used for several different products – rather than having to use one for each.

And finally, they’ll last longer – shedding doesn’t affect synthetic bristles in the same way that it will affect an animal hair makeup brush.