Everything You Need to Know About Vegan Makeup Brushes


If you’re interested in building a kit with vegan brushes, it can be difficult to know which brushes will give you high performance and have the right balance of softness, density and shape. We talked to David Klasfeld, CEO and Creative Director of Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, to get the lowdown on the benefits of vegan brushes, how to care for them, and why they’d be a great addition to your makeup kit.

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics #011 Small Powder/Blush Brush

Q: What are synthetic makeup brushes made of?

Synthetic brushes are usually made from either Taklon, Nylon or in the case of OCC’s brushes, a blend. Taklon is used when a softer brush texture is needed, say for a blush or powder brush, whereas Nylon is used when a firmer texture is needed as in the case of a traditional foundation or concealer brush. When the fibers are blended together, you can get the best of both worlds for your intended purpose. For example, our #011 Small Powder Brush is also firm enough to pick up the ideal amount of our Crème Colours for a blush application, but soft enough to then blend it easily.

Q: How should one care for their synthetic brushes?

In an ideal world, any brush should be thoroughly cleaned with a gentle liquid antibacterial soap or a gentle “clarifying” shampoo. Anything that adds moisture or conditioning agents should be avoided. The brushes should then be laid flat to dry so that water stays out of the brush ferrule and prevents damage to the fiber. Brush Cleaner can work in a jam, but it’s really the equivalent of mouthwash, where washing them is like brushing your teeth.

Q: What makes them a good choice for a makeup kit?

Synthetic brushes are ideal for a working artist’s kit because they are easier to clean and sanitize between clients, and will last longer than animal hair brushes. They are also naturally more hygienic than animal hair brushes, which are more porous and therefore more likely to collect bacterial and microbial growth.

Q: Are they better to use on people with sensitive skin?

Absolutely, synthetic bristles are naturally hypoallergenic, whereas some animal hair bristle can cause allergic reactions or contact dermatitis, which in my experience has been admittedly rare, but worth avoiding when the alternative is just as effective.

Q: Any other tips about vegan brushes that you’d like to share?

Synthetic brushes are simply the cleaner, greener approach to makeup artistry. They afford you with all the application benefits of natural hair, without being at the expense of an animal and your own pocket.

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, Brushes #001-#012