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17 Vegan Makeup Brushes for a Kinder Makeup Bag

Did you know that some makeup brushes are made with real animal hair? It’s true, and the animals didn’t give up their hair willingly—they were either farmed and killed in a slaughterhouse or trapped. The good news is that brushes made with high-tech synthetic fibers perform just as well (or even better!), without harming a hair on an animal’s head.

Here are just some of the benefits of using a synthetic brush over one made with animal hair:

  • They’re easier to clean.
  • They repel bacteria and dirt better than animal hair does.
  • Many people have allergies to animal hair.
  • They shed less, if at all.
  • They work with both cream and powder makeup products.

There’s simply no reason to use animal-hair brushes, especially when there are so many high-quality synthetic brushes available. Check out these companies’ luxurious offerings:

1. wet n wild recently made a decision that will send a positive message to cosmetics companies around the world: It’s dropping all animal hair from its makeup brushes and going vegan!

A photo posted by @wetnwildbeauty on

2. Too Faced Cosmetics carries cruelty-free brushes and a brush set that’s made from “‘Teddy Bear Hair’ that feels identical to the soft and silky smooth hair of real animals without the cruelty involved in making traditional ‘animal hair’ brushes.”

A photo posted by Too Faced Cosmetics (@toofaced) on

3. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics is 100 percent vegan and specializes in bold, wild colors. The company is famous for its Lip Tar, which you can apply with its professional-quality synthetic makeup brushes.

4. INIKA’s brushes are all vegan, and it offers a set that includes eight different brushes—perfect for the makeup artist in your life.

A photo posted by INIKA (@inikacosmetics) on

5. Aveda’s brushes are made of taklon, and some have a flax-infused, recycled-resin handle. They’re animal- and eco-friendly!

A photo posted by Aveda (@aveda) on

6. The Body Shop knows that if you wouldn’t apply makeup using your cat’s tail, you wouldn’t want to use any other animal’s tail, either: Its brushes never contain animal hair.

A photo posted by The Body Shop (@thebodyshopusa) on

7. Ecco Bella has a range of animal-free brushes that complement its cruelty-free cosmetics. Try its vegan brow brush for a perfect application every time.

A photo posted by Ecco Bella (@eccobellabeauty) on

8. EcoTools’ makeup brushes are made with cruelty-free taklon bristles, sustainable bamboo handles, and other natural and recyclable materials to keep you andthe Earth looking beautiful. Alicia Silverstone is a fan of these luxurious yet affordable brushes, which can be found in many drugstores.

A photo posted by EcoTools (@ecotools) on

9. Origins Natural Resources’ brushes are super-soft and cruelty-free—just like the rest of its personal-care products.

Origins Makeup Brush

10. Urban Decay’s Good Karma brushes tickle your face with synthetic taklon. They’re perfect for applying eye shadow and under-eye concealer.

11. Branded J Collections knows that animal-hair brushes are bad not only for animals but also your skin. Unlike animal-hair brushes—which are loaded with preservatives that can cause your skin to break out and collect dead skin cells and bacteria—Branded J’s collection of custom-cut taklon brushes is animal-friendly, anti-bacterial, and great for applying makeup.

12. Alima Pure is another company that recognizes the benefits of soft, synthetic taklon fiber. It offers a wide variety of brushes to make all of your makeup dreams come true.

A photo posted by alimapure (@alimapure) on

13. Nanshy uses only super-soft synthetic “hair” in its lush vegan brushes—which are famous for their durability, flexibility, and easy maintenance.

14. W3LL PEOPLE was founded, in part, by a cosmetic dermatologist and a self-described “treehugger,” who state that they use only natural and organic ingredients “not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because they’re better.”

A photo posted by W3LL PEOPLE (@w3llpeople) on

15. Valana Minerals knows that there’s no need to sacrifice quality or animals in the pursuit of beauty. Its luxurious synthetic makeup brushes are perfect for applying its cruelty-free vegan powder, foundation, blush, bronzer, and eye color.

DID YOU KNOW…mineral makeup is highly concentrated and looks best when applied with quality tools? Our FAUX Collection…

Posted by Valana Minerals Lifestyle on Wednesday, November 4, 2015

16. Afterglow Cosmetics’ brushes are uniquely designed to give you a beautiful flawless finish. Handmade with taklon, they’re super-soft and ideal for applying lipstick evenly.

17. 100% Pure wants you to “[b]rush away all other products that aren’t cruelty-free and get yourself something from our vegan line of organic makeup brushes now!” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

A photo posted by 100% Pure (@100percentpure) on

Search here for cruelty-free cosmetics to use with your new brushes.

Commenting is closed.
  • sonyamakeupz says:

    thanks jennie

  • Valentina Bidot says:

    I love EcoTools!

  • hfurlow8712 says:

    ELF brushes are synthetic and the set of 12 brushes is $12… OR you can get the 11 piece set of the elf studio line brushes for $30. I have both sets and they are wonderful. ELF also has sales every week at

  • Debby Sunshine says:

    Christopher Drummond has some great vegan makeup brushes too!

  • Jennie says:

    JennyNZ, you can always buy cruelty free brushes online. I have a few brushes by EcoTools and they’re really good quality and quite cheap too. I get them from here:

  • chander kumar soni says:

    good stuff.

  • Mary says:

    Arbonne make-up brushes are really wonderful. 100% vegan!! They are super soft and everyone just loves them when I bring them over for make-up parties :) I use them every day and the full set of 10 brushes is only $35!! LOVE!

  • Yasmin says:

    Hey everyone! I’m here to remind you all that Sigma Beauty also have vegan brushes!!! They developed their own line of synthetic fibres… check it out: go to their website and click in VEGAN !

  • Jessica says:

    body shop is owned by estee lauder therefore not vegan.

  • amy says:

    Good question on price
    Actually ELF has a full collection of brushes in their Studio line that are vegan and extremely affordable some of their brushes only cost $1. Real techniques is also affordable and synthetic

  • JennyNZ says:

    This is something that I have wondered about for sometime. What about Revlon, Elizabeth Arden, Avon – do any of them produce quality cruelty-free brushes? The synthetic blush brush I have from Avon sheds everytime I use it! Of the companies listed above,only Body Shop is available in NZ, so any alternatives would be good after reading Marda DeWet’s comments.

  • kitty says:

    hi Courtney- try Eco tools. they are a great line of synthetic brushes and offer a huge variety. they are inexpensive! i see them at Target. they are online, too. good luck and be happily ethically consistent without going broke!

  • Marda DeWet says:

    I would have second thoughts bout purchasing any products from The Body Sho. They are owned by L’Oreal and although they claim not to test their products on animals all the other companies owned by this cosmetic giant do. And all profits from sales go to the parent company. Nope,I’d rather look somewhere else.

  • Courtney says:

    OK, here’s the thing PETA. I can’t afford to spend $28 on a blush brush. Where are the cheap alternatives? This is why everyone thinks it costs out the butt to be vegan.

  • kitty says:

    Finally! I have been trying to bring attention to this! My first realization with this was when i began using Bare Minerals. Loved the makeup and loved that they were cruelty free. Or so they said. I questioned the content of their brushes. Bare Escentuals assured me their brushes were made of pony hair without harm to the ponies. I imagined something like a My Pony farm somewhere and asked them if they in fact knew where the pony hair came from. of course they didn’t! i also learned that their eye makeup brushes were made from squirrel and sable fur! I demanded to speak to Leslie Blodgett the owner of Bare Escentuals. she said all animals get “haircuts” I asked Leslie if she has ever seen where these “haircuts” are done and if she and her ccompany make certain that their sources are cruelty free. of course she said no but said she knew for certain the animals get only “haircuts” without harm, yet has no evidence. not all consumers are as ignorant as she and the rest of the industry would like us to be. hopefully more people will realize this and this industry will end!

  • chander kumar soni says:

    nice cruelty free cosmetics.

  • isa says:

    I’d also like to add that the Real Techniques brushes are excellent and totally cruelty free :)

  • darkforest says:

    I have hundreds of brushes, and the few that I did have that were real hair I have replaced easily, there are sooo many brands out there that have some form of synthetic bristles, so there is really no excuse. Some of the best brushes I have are everyday minerals and bdellium which offers a full range of vegan brushes :)

  • tasha says:

    please look into if you haven’t already. Nika is a beaiuty guru on youtube and she has her own line of cruelty free makeup brushes.

  • Emily says:

    I always buy makeup not tested on animals, I always check! I also only used synthetic brushes… at first it was because they were less expensive but now it’s to be cruelty free!

  • MalkatHaMuzika says:

    I ADORE the company E.L.F. (Eyes, Lips, Face), whose products I’ve purchased at Target and K-Mart. Not only are the items I’ve purchased very affordable ($1 for a nourishing-oil cuticle pen, $5 for a set of 5 glitter-eyeliner pencils, for example), but they work so well too.

  • Jem says:

    Illamasqua also produce high quality synthetic brushes, would recommend :)

  • Rita says:

    I use The Body Shop make up brushes. They work perfectly and do not shed at all. Plus they were so inexpensive!
    I am really happy with my cruelty-free brushes!

  • Tabitha says:

    I wouldn’t put The Body Shop on my list, because as far as I know, they are unfortunately owned by L’Oréal – a company known for animal testing that I won’t be supporting in any way. I am thrilled, though, that Urban Decay decided against selling their products in China, and therefore, against animal testing.

  • Sheena says:

    I can’t believe you forgot to include Too Faced. They make amazing cruelty-free brushes. They even have a name for it, they call it teddy bear hair. I believe they were one of the first “prestige” brands to introduce cruelty free brushes. They even marketed the brushes as cruelty free and vegan friendly, and other companies soon followed. A lot of women found out about the cruelty in makeup brushes when they looked at the too faced brushes. I’m not affiliated with them, I was just surprised that they weren’t on the list. My favorites are actually the ecotools–they sell them everywhere including drug stores, and they’re cheap enough to be replaced every so often if you’re a germophobe like me.

  • Carla N. says:

    As an animal-loving/respecting makeup enthusiast, I’ve been buying synthetic brushes only for quite a while, and I couldn’t agree more with the points made in this excellent article. My quality synthetic brushes (from Urban Decay, Paula Dorf, even MAC (before E.L. abandoned their animal-testing ban) perform flawlessly.
    It’s worth noting that e.l.f. ( also offers a selection of very inexpensive good quality synthetic brushes. Sigma ( is also a good place to look, though they do sell some animal-hair brushes, in addition to the synthetic ones.