Best Vegan Makeup Brushes in 2021 – Buyer’s Guide

best vegan makeup brushes

Lately, the world has been taking a stand against animal cruelty. Many beauty brands turned vegan, and makeup brushes were no exception. Some people may associate the word ‘vegan’ with low quality, but this isn’t always the case.

The industry of synthetic vegan brushes has drastically improved. You don’t need brushes made of animal hair to look perfect anymore; the alternative is just as good.

In addition to being vegan, some brushes are also eco-friendly. They’re made of recycled materials like plastic and aluminum. They also lack the presence of any chemical that may threaten the well-being of our environment.

This article is for you if you want to take a glimpse at the best vegan makeup brushes on the market today.


At a Glance

  1. Spectrum White Marbleous 12 Piece Set – Best Overall
  2. Bamboo Multi-Use Makeup Brush – Runner-Up
  3. Spectrum B06 – Tall Tapered Blender – Best for Eye Makeup
  4. EcoTools Cruelty-Free and Eco-Friendly Stippling Brush – Best for Beginners
  5. The Body Shop Buffing Brush – Best for Foundation

What Are Vegan Makeup Brushes Made Of?

You’ve probably asked yourself this question before: what makes a brush vegan? Most people don’t recognise the role of animal testing in manufacturing brushes; thus, they don’t know what cruelty-free makeup brushes mean.

Standard brushes come with bristles made from animal hair. In vegan brushes, the strands are synthesised from artificial materials. 

The main vegan component in those brushes is either Taklon or nylon. Taklon is used for softer brushes—those used for putting on powder and blush. 

Nylon comes with a firm texture; it works perfectly well with foundations and concealers. Nylon and Taklon can be combined to fashion an optimum brush that can both put on foundation and blend. 

Users worry about allergic reactions to synthetic materials, but vegan brushes are more hypoallergenic than regular brushes, which means that the risk of an allergic reaction is very negligible. Vegan brushes are generally recommended for people with sensitive skin. 

The 5 Best Vegan Makeup Brushes in 2021

If you feel like you’re drowning in a world of synthetic hairs and cruelty-free badges, don’t worry! Your lifeguard is here. Read on to find out the best cruelty-free makeup brushes on the market.

1. Spectrum White Marbleous 12 Piece Set – Best Overall

Spectrum White Marbleous 12 Piece Set

The Spectrum Marbleous set is deemed the best overall by makeup experts because it’s an all-in-one set. Whether you want to accent your eyes or highlight your cheekbones, this set is for you!

This Marbleous vegan makeup brush set is superb if you want to achieve a professional makeup look. The 12-piece group holds five luxurious face brushes, along with seven lip, brow, and eye brushes. 

In addition to being cruelty-free, the brushes have a bold marble design, making for an attractive makeup set. Grey synthetic hairs adorn the white marble brushes with a meticulous rose gold finish.

The artificial hairs are made from Taklon, a high-quality synthetic fibre that’s ideally soft on the skin. You’ll barely feel anything on your face; yes, it’s that soft!

Sometimes if you’re not careful enough with your brushes, the rose-gold finish will chip off. No worries if you treat them well, though.

The set comes in beautiful packaging, praised by many for its elegance. If you have a birthday coming up, this may be an appropriate gift.

Moreover, the set is quite affordable, in relevance to the quality it holds. It’s a suitable choice for you whether you’re a professional makeup artist or a beginner makeup enthusiast.

Pros

Affordable relative to its components
High-quality bristles made of Taklon
Attractive design

Cons

Rose-gold finish may chip off

Final Verdict

If you’re a professional makeup artist and would like to avoid the hassle of mixing & matching makeup brushes, the Marbelous set is here to deliver. 

2. Bamboo Multi-Use Makeup Brush – Runner-Up

Bamboo Makeup Brush

This sweetheart is presented to you by the vegan beauty brand, Elate. Elate is all about ethical practices; they sustainably create cosmetic products without harming any living being. 

The brush’s handle is made from sustainable bamboo, giving it an earthy look to make you feel more connected to nature.

The bristles are Taklon manufactured, and the brush is finished up with an aluminium ferrule, making for an irresistible chic look. 

Those bristles are also non-porous, which means they prevent bacteria from building up and causing infections. The absence of pores also prevents the buildup of oily materials, which may hinder the brush’s ability to put makeup evenly on the skin.

One superb note about this brush is that it’s partially recyclable. When you no longer need it as a makeup brush, please don’t throw it away! 

After pulling the pieces apart, you can crush the bamboo handle and use it for commercial composting. As for the aluminium part, you can look for curbside recycling services in your living area and give it away. 

The downside here is that the bamboo brush isn’t affordable for all. Some may deem it expensive for just one brush, not a set. 

Pros

Recyclable
Elegant design
Chemicals-free

Cons

Pricier than the other options on our list 

Final Verdict

With an elegant earthy design and bristles for all uses, the Elate bamboo brush is the worthy choice if you’re looking for a multi-use single brush.

3. Spectrum B06 – Tall Tapered Blender – Best for Eye Makeup

Spectrum B06 - Tall Tapered Blender

Two Spectrum products in the same article should tell you enough about the brand’s quality. 

This time, we’re talking about an exquisitely manufactured eye brush.

This darling brush is made specifically for blending eye makeup. The bristles are tipping out of the holder, taking the shape of a dome so that you won’t have any problems covering the creases of your eye with makeup. 

Most makeup lovers find decorating their eye the toughest task because the skin there isn’t smooth, thereby making it harder to fairly distribute the eyeshadow powder.

To use this brush in an ultimate way, blend the eyeshadow, beginning from the outer corner of your eyelid. For a smooth blend across your whole lid, move the brush in a motion similar to windscreen wipers back and forth till you reach your favoured result.

When it comes to cleaning, we highly commend this blender. It washes easily, and the Taklon bristles never fall off.

If you receive a faulty brush from Spectrum, don’t worry at all. They have superb customer service, ready to help you in whatever ways they can.

The downside of having this blender is that it’s not very easy to use. You may find it challenging if you’re not a professional makeup artist.

Pros

Excellent customer service
Easily washable
Beautiful package

Cons

Difficult to use 

Final Verdict

If you’re looking to parade a meticulous eye look, then the Tall Tapered Blender presented by Spectrum is the obvious choice. 

4. EcoTools Cruelty-Free and Eco-Friendly Stippling Brush – Best for Beginners

EcoTools Cruelty Free and Eco Friendly Stippling Brush, Made with Recycled and Sustainable Materials and Custom Cut Bristles For Extra Comfort

Ecotools is a brand that encourages cruelty-free beauty. It joined the cosmetics world in 2007 and has been creating high-quality vegan brushes since then. 

This first-class brush is made entirely of recycled products—mainly aluminum and plastic. You can use it with liquid, powder, and cream foundations. 

The stippling brush will come in handy when applying many cosmetics products. It works with blush, foundation, and highlighter. You’re in for a flawless professional makeup look here!

All you have to do is dab the soft bristles in the product and lightly stipple the brush on your face for a textured look. If you want a smooth look, blend the cosmetic product with more force. 

This brush isn’t only eco-friendly, but it’s also affordable and lasts a long time before you have to throw it out.

The packaging delivered to your door is made of tree-free paper—mainly of bamboo fibres and partially of cotton. 

Compared with the newly rising beauty blenders, the stippling brush is easier to use and leaves you with a photo-ready makeup look. 

The brush’s size is a tad smaller than average, so you may feel like the bristles’ surface area isn’t enough for blending correctly. 

Pros

Eco-friendly
Affordable

Cons

Small bristles surface area for blending

Final Verdict

The Ecotools stippling brush is an excellent choice if you’re a beginner makeup enthusiast who doesn’t have the expertise to deal with a complete set.

5. The Body Shop Buffing Brush – Best for Foundation (U.K. only)

Buffing Brush

Are you looking for a flawless matte look? This brush is the one for you.

The Body Shop designed this buffing brush to provide you with a perfect even makeup finish; no more dotted foundation look on your skin!

The brush’s handle is made of bamboo and adorned with an aluminium ferrule for a tight grip. The bristles are made of nylon, which works for perfect coverage. 

Nylon bristles are preferable for matte looks; it works better when a firm texture is the goal. If you use the brush appropriately, you won’t see any streaky foundation lines on your face. They are considered bothersome by most makeup users.

Therefore, the buffing brush is best used with foundation. Dab the brush in the creamy material, and lightly tap it all over your face. Move the brush in circular motions for utmost even coverage. 

You may think the bristles don’t have enough surface area at first glance. However, they’re perfectly dense to ensure superb coverage of your skin.

The brush’s downside is its price, but the resulting look will be worth every cent. 

The buffing brush is best used with clay foundation, as advised by the manufacturers. 

Pros

Perfect coverage
Easy to use

Cons

Pricier than other brushes in the same category
Only ships to the United Kingdom

Final Verdict

If you like bold matte looks with minimum effort, then the Body Shop buffing brush is your solid choice; it’s the easiest to use on our list.


How to Choose the Best Vegan Makeup Brush?

It’s often tough to shop for the perfect vegan makeup brush. There are a few things to consider; we’ll guide you to them.

How You’ll Use It

Your choice should depend on your circumstances. If you have a professional career in makeup, you should think about looking for sets more than lone brushes. You have to be ready for multiple occasions; vegan makeup sets will do that for you. 

On the other hand, if you’re just a makeup lover, you have more freedom of choice. You can choose according to the part of your face you want to highlight. For example, if you’re opting for a blushy cheek look, you can limit your search to Taklon brushes.

If you want a bold matte look, you’ll want to turn your head towards nylon brushes.

Your Budget

Some brushes are pricier than others, depending on the materials used and the quality of the finish. If you’re limited to a specific budget, it’ll make the picking process easier for you as you’ll only look in a specified margin. 

When it comes to makeup brushes, it’s often better to own an expensive multi-use brush than to own many average-quality brushes. Quality over quantity here!

The brushes listed in this article are spread among a range of prices. You’ll definitely find a suitable brush for you here!

Brush Material

Many users overlook this aspect, but it’s vital when choosing a brush for a specific application. A brush is made of bristles, ferrule, and a handle. Ferrules are usually made of aluminium. In vegan brushes, handles will most probably be made of bamboo. 

The most important part here is the bristles because they are the ones that come in contact with your face. For suitable bristles, you should check two things.

Fibre Density

Fibre density is the number of bristles coming out of a ferrule. It controls the amount of material deposited onto your face. 

Dense fibres give you a more prominent look as they deposit more colour. On the contrary, light fibres give you a softer look.

The right way to examine a brush’s fibres is to see it in person. If this isn’t available for you, you can request a detailed description of the brush from the seller.

Nylon or Taklon?

Synthetic bristles are either made of nylon or Taklon. They’re artificial fibres that give the same sensation as natural hair and are often used in manufacturing vegan brushes.

Taklon works better when you’re opting for a simple look with light blush colours. It’s softer than nylon and shouldn’t be used with creamy materials like foundation. 

Nylon has a firm structure; it delivers just the right amount of foundation to your face. To know what the bristles are made of, check the brush’s description online. Sellers usually write detailed information on the product. 

How to Clean Vegan Makeup Brushes?

makeup brushes

Cleaning makeup brushes is often a dreaded task, but don’t forget it’s vital. Brushes that aren’t cleaned regularly will most probably suffer from product buildup and bacterial growth. 

When users switch from regular makeup brushes to vegan ones, they often think they’re both washed in a similar technique. This isn’t the case, but luckily, we’ve got you.

The difference between them isn’t very noticeable. Vegan brushes have much softer bristles, and they’re not porous. This is a bonus aspect as pores often trap bacteria, resulting in a dirty brush. 

Vitally, you’ll need to get non-oily soap to wash the brushes. Oil remnants on the brush may result in uneven coverage of makeup on the skin.

There are three techniques you can use to clean your vegan brushes.

A Glycerin Soap Is the Answer

Using a glycerin soap to clean your brushes will successfully remove makeup residues and bacteria. Additionally, it won’t leave any oil residues on the bristles. The non-porous hair will soak up any oil, and it’ll remain there while you use it, nasty! 

Massage the brush on the soap, adding force to clean the bristles adequately. Then, rinse the bristles under flowing water until you see no makeup residues.

Note that you should only put the bristles underwater. If you put the whole brush, you risk the handle coming off because of ruined glue. 

Go Sulfate-Free 

Sulfate-free shampoos are an excellent alternative for soap because they don’t over-moisturize, yet they clean efficiently. 

Squeeze a small amount of shampoo in your hand. Wet the bristles under the water tap, then gently massage them in your palm. Move your hand underwater and watch as the dirty water comes off. When the water turns clear again, you’re done.

Head to the Kitchen

This technique will come in handy if you have no time to go grocery shopping for glycerin soap or sulfate-free shampoo. We all have dish detergents in the kitchen. Time to use them differently!

Dish detergent is effective in cleansing vegan brushes because it effectively removes oil residues. Put a drop of detergent in your palm and massage the bristles against it in a circular motion after dipping it in water. 

Pinch the bristles softly until the makeup comes off underwater. Don’t twist the hairs; this may result in them coming off in your hand. 

Leave to Dry

You can’t use the brushes before they’re totally dry to avoid any risk of bacterial infection. To dry them efficiently, pat the bristles on a soft paper towel and leave them there in a horizontal position. 

Never leave the brush to dry in a vertical position; water will gather in the handle, wreaking havoc on the adhesive that holds the brush components together. 

Once dry, you can store it in a standing position; no worries! 

Where to Buy Vegan Makeup Brushes?

It’s often a headache to find trusted vegan makeup brushes to buy. We’ll give you a heads up regarding the places where you can find them. 

Online Shopping

Lucky for you, many vegan brands are online-based. They have sites on which you can shop endlessly.

Spectrum

This high-quality brand has a site that just calls you to shop using it. It has clear directions to every section that may interest you. They also have worldwide shipping. 

Elate

Elate’s site is straightforward to use. They have divided sections for every product type. You’ll be greeted with an automatic chat once you visit the site, which you can use for online consultation or tracking orders. They have worldwide shipping, except for a few countries.

Ecotools

Ecotools’ site is merely informational. For shopping, they’ll send you to three trusted online shopping platforms: Ulta, iHerb, and of course, Amazon

Onsite Shopping 

If you’re not a fan of online shopping and would like to test the quality of the product in person, onsite shopping is for you. Some vegan brands have stores that you can visit, if available in your area.

The Body Shop

You can find The Body Shop stores in nearly every country you visit. They’re available worldwide with the same upscale products everywhere. 

Suppose you have time to spare, look for any branches around your living area. They have an online store locator to help you find the nearest branch. Their branches are well-organized, and you won’t have a bane looking for vegan makeup brushes.


To Wrap Up 

Going fully vegan isn’t a piece of cake, but it’s getting easier every day with vegan brands emerging worldwide. Manufacturers didn’t forget makeup brushes among the cruelty-free movement. Some brands have a whole section dedicated to brushes.

You may find it hard to choose the best vegan makeup brush for you, but we’ve got you! 

If you’re a professional makeup artist or a makeup enthusiast looking for a diva look, then go all the way and get the Spectrum Marbelous 12-Piece Set. It includes a full face, lips, and eyes collection.

If you don’t like clutter and would like to have one brush for all uses, then you’ll love the Elate Bamboo Multi-use Brush! It works with different materials, and its compact size makes it perfect for travelling.

We recommend the Spectrum B06 for eye makeup. The tall tapered blender will come in handy when you’re trying out new eye looks. 

Do you find it a tad more accessible now to go vegan? We hope you do!