There was a time when we weren’t quite so obsessed with using makeup brushes to apply our makeup. In the past we’ve used sponges and powder puffs, those little eyeshadow sponges that come with the palette, or even just our fingers. Nowadays, makeup brushes are increasingly popular and it’s easy to see why. Not only do they make it easier for us to apply our makeup, they also allow a more even finish and enable us to get the most out of our products.
Throughout the years, we’ve tried lots of different makeup brushes. We’ve tested many of the best vegan and non-vegan makeup brushes on the market. Personally, we prefer vegan makeup brushes because there are easy to maintain, more versatile and of course, cruelty-free.
Makeup brushes that are made from real animal hair can only be used for applying powder products and although high quality varieties of real hair brushes do this very well, keeping their bristles soft can be hard work. The bristles of makeup brushes made from real hair tend to become dry and frazzled over time.
Vegan makeup brushes on the other hand, can be used for powder and cream products. They are also easy to clean and generally more durable, which is why we love them! Here are ten of our favourite multipurpose vegan makeup brushes.
The Real Techniques Buffing Brush was intended for applying foundation and primers. However, this has actually turned out to be one of the most multipurpose vegan makeup brushes we've ever come across! While the brush works well for applying cream products, such as foundation, concealer and primer, it's also great at covering up grey hair and root outgrowth. Learn more about the ways in which we use this brush in our 4 Ways to use Real Techniques' Brushes to Go Plastic-Free post.
The Real Techniques Rose Gold 301 brush is a dense contour brush. It's the perfect shape for accentuating the natural contours of your face with either a powder or cream. We also like this brush for quickly brushing through our brows. If your aim is to simply brush up your brows or quickly add a little powder to your eyebrows then this brush does the trick in a fuss free manner.
There are some amazing brow and liner brushes on the market but few are as thin and precise as Louise Young's LY31 angled brow brush. This brush is just brilliant at creating the illusion of natural brow hairs with individual strokes when using brow pomade. Although it's called a brow brush, it also doubles up as the perfect gel eye liner brush too.
This brush was first introduced to us after one of our editors had her makeup applied at a MAC store. She was looking for a way to achieve a flawless, full coverage base without her foundation and concealer looking to heavy. The makeup artist used the MAC 240S brush to apply a liquid concealer. The same brush was used under the eyes and to cover blemishes. Of course, this brush can be used with any brand of liquid concealers. In fact, it's so good that it can even make a more mediocre concealer look better too. It buffs in product thoroughly while still cover up blemishes and dark circles effectively. We're not actually sure what MAC's intended use for this brush was but we love it. We've found that it works well for applying concealer, as a blending brush, an eyeshadow brush and for applying highlighter!
The Barbara Hoffmann Angled Concealer Brush is so cute and has a somewhat luxurious feel to it, considering its affordable price. Anyway, this brush was introduced to us a few years ago. It's a great little concealer brush that covers up blemishes quickly and effectively. It's angled shape and fluffy bristles are useful for applying eyeshadow too.
Not everyone has a natural eye crease. If you're looking to fake an accentuated crease in your eyelid then this brush will help you to achieve that. The Real Techniques Deluxe Crease Brush has been specially designed to fit inside the crease of the eye. Its carefully thought out shape and size enables you to apply eyeshadow along the crease line without messing up your makeup. Another popular and genius use for this brush is as a lip brush. If you love the look of a soft blended lip and don't like harsh lined lips then why not try applying your favourite lipstick to your lips using this brush. It works great with all colours but there is just something sublime about applying a red lipstick with this brush!
What's not to love about Real Techniques brushes? For many years the brand was strongly associated with makeup artist sisters Sam Chapman and Nicola Haste (nee Chapman). The makeup artist duo helped to design the brushes based on the knowledge and expertise they'd picked up over the years in which they'd worked in the industry. The Real Techniques Base Shadow Brush is essentially an eyeshadow brush however, we also love it for blending our eye liner.
Did you know that concealer brushes also double up as amazing lip brushes too?! Well, now you know! Obviously, you will need to make sure that you clean your brushes in between switching its uses but it's definitely a hack you need to try for yourself! The Eco Tools Concealer Brush is a fantastic concealer brush, as well as for applying lipstick and blending lip liner.
Not only is this a fantastic fluffy powder brush, you can also use it for applying bronzer and blushes as well!
The Eco Tools Foundation Brush is our absolute favourite foundation brush. It provides a gorgeous flawless yet natural looking coverage when used for applying tinted moisturisers and foundations. Although this brush will probably become your ultimate must-have for applying your base, we also like it for contouring too!
Let us know what you think and do you have any vegan makeup brush recommendations?! Follow @OnlinePersonalStylist on Instagram and let us know!