The Best Eco-Friendly Makeup Brushes for 2021

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Our Picks

Best Overall : Vapour
Remarkable quality with a strong eco-friendly commitment. I'm in love!
Best Eco Choice: 100% Pure
The most eco-conscious choice - they simply do more.
Best for Beginners: All Natural Collection
The perfect makeup brushes for beginners.
Best for Brush Hair Technology: RMS Beauty Brushes
High-tech innovation brings surprising results.
Best for High-Quality: Sephora
The widest selection of brushes.
Best for Makeup Artists : Antonym Cosmetics
Some of the softest bristles in the test.
Best Travel Companion : Eco Tools
A great choice for eco-ladies (and lads) that prefer substance over style.
Best for Simplicity : The Body Shop
Simple and affordable brushes that get the job done.
Best for Luxury: Besame Cosmetics
Vintage chic makes these brushes unique.
Best for Variety : ILIA
A healthy variety of quality brushes.
Best for Basics: Elate
Minimalistic, eco-vibes abound with this brush set.

With the latest eco-trends becoming more permanent eco-lifestyles, you must have considered using eco-friendly makeup, but have you taken a closer look at your makeup brushes? 

Are you using a cruelty-free blush, but a rabbit hairbrush? 

Most people use animal product brushes because the idea of a synthetic brush just seems so cheap and/or lacking. Almost as if it would not do the job. 

Today I’m reviewing the best eco-friendly makeup brushes that I could find online to see if there are quality options that are ALSO environmentally-friendly. 

Vapour

Best Overall

If you are looking for quality and easy applications, Vapour is the one! They have a stunning collection of black and purple brushes made for synthetic, cruelty-free and vegan hand-tied fibers.

The bristles are super compact and soft, so the application, blending, and shaping process, is a breeze! I think, even with the slightly higher price tag attached, you are getting an all-in-one brush! I am using mine for blush, bronzer, contour, highlighter, and even powder. Talk about a one-stop-shop!

I love how sturdy the handles are, I find think brushes tend to not be as strong, now I can get a more comfortable grip and my make-up technique is really improving!

100% Pure

Best Eco Choice

Anyone who thinks that eco makeup brushes can’t compete with standard brushes probably hasn’t tried 100% Pure. This is a brand I like to refer to as “eco-luxurious”. 100% Pure makes truly stunning and feminine vegan makeup brushes. My favorite part is not just the look and feel of these high-end brushes, but the stuff inside!

Let me explain. These bristles are not just antibacterial, vegan, and cruelty-free, but they are also made from recycled plastic bottles! They are extremely fine and just as gentle on the skin.

100% Pure is an eco brand on a roll, not only do they make sure our brushes are hair-free, but they also donate a bowl of vegan dog food to an animal shelter with every single purchase. You do however also have the choice to have a tree planted instead.

UPDATE - Brushes not currently available, but bookmark the link to check back at a later date.

All Natural Collection

Best for Beginners

Made in the UK and 100% Cruelty-free and Vegan, All Natural Collection is well priced and extra fluffy first step in the right direction. These stunning black and white brushes are made with synthetic bristles and a glossy wooden handle.

All Natural Collection makeup brushes do wonders with sensitive skin, and I found them very hygienic when I noticed how easy it was to clean them. All you need to do is wash the brushes with some shampoo under running water and leave them to dry, bristles down.

Now, in case you are wondering, All Natural Collection ships worldwide and you get an extra 10% off your first purchase when you sign up.

I appreciate the simplicity of these brushes; the design, use, cleaning instructions, etc. Overall, I think this is a great brand to pick up brushes (at a good price) for both beginners and professionals.

RMS Beauty Brushes

Best for Brush Hair Technology

I mentioned RMS Beauty in my eco-friendly make-up brands piece, but here we are again. Not only do they have great eco makeup, but their brushes are just as wonderful.

There are 15 makeup brushes in the RMS Beauty range, so you are truly spoiled for choice. they might be one of the more pricey recommendations on the list, but they are definitely worth it in terms of quality and brush hair arrangement!

The thing I dislike most about brushes is when they leave a streak-like pattern on my face, exactly like a brushstroke, but what makes RMS brushes so different is the arrangement of the bristles. They are arranged like a fingerprint to give a “skin-to-skin” effect for perfectly smooth makeup in all the lines, edges, and corners of one’s face.

Sephora

Best for High-Quality

You might think, wow, Sephora is not an eco-brand…well, that is true, they are not. But some of the brands and ranges that they supply ARE truly eco-friendly. So you can experience Sephora’s superior customer experience while still doing your bit for the planet.

The Sephora collection itself uses synthetic bristles, making it cruelty-free, and some other names worth noting include Tart Makeup and Rare Beauty. Both brands along with many others on Sephora are cruelty-free, vegan or both!

Antonym Cosmetics

Best for Makeup Artists

Antonym Cosmetics brushes is a popular name in the makeup industry. Their brushes are recommended by some of the very top celebrity makeup artists!

The range consists of 20 brushes; all vegan with bamboo and aluminum handles and some brilliant laser cut bristles (they are so soft!). I found that they work amazing with both powder and cream products, even if you use the same brush (just clean them in between products).

Eco Tools

Best Travel Companion

Eco tools is a brand that needs little to no introduction… okay fine, I’ll give it to you, anyway!

Eco tools is a PETA-certified brush company that has thought of every detail when it comes to the journey of their brushes. Each makeup brush is made from recycled aluminum and plastic, the packaging is 100% tree-free paper bamboo, handles and bristles are made of cotton and bamboo fibers.

What a mouth full! Overall these are great brushes if you are looking for all-rounders designed with the planet in mind and come in at a very reasonable price point.

I feel that sometimes makeup brands try to make a statement with really long handles. It was so lovely to have a handle that is a comfortable length for me to use. It’s even short enough to fit into my small travel bag.

The Body Shop

Best for Simplicity

We all know and love the scents that capture us at The Body Shop, but did you know they made makeup brushes too? They have a great range of simple brushes that are both eco-friendly and affordable. Made with synthetic fibers and wooden handles (sustainably sourced, if I may add), these vegan brushes are a great purchase!

I trust The Body Shop, maybe that is because I have known and loved them for so long for all their amazing body products, but buying a brush from them was a straightforward decision and they work perfectly for my skin and simple products.

Besame Cosmetics

Best for Luxury

Ahh, I do have a soft spot for Besame Cosmetics. I love their historically-inspired makeup, it just looks so pretty on my vanity. When I found out they also had brushes, I could not wait to order!

Besame Cosmetics was inspired by vintage style makeup, simple yet lavish. The brushes are just a small collection, but great when you need something to pop into your handbag. In particular, I am a big fan of the retractable lip brush; it is glamorous and compact! The bristles are cruelty-free and the handle is made of durable and gorgeous metal.

I think Besame Cosmetics really reminds one how to have full and enjoy the glamour of makeup while keeping it really simple. I could also definitely see myself buying these as a gift - especially for that friend resistant to the zero waste/eco-friendly lifestyle!

ILIA

Best for Variety

ILIA firmly believes in transparency, not just in its brand but also in its products. They believe skin should look like skin. They are known for their buffing and blending brushes that perfectly smoothen out your makeup for the day.

The brushes are made of durable aluminum and synthetic bristles, making them very easy to clean. All you need to do is run them under some lukewarm water with a bit of soap, and there you have it.

The brushes come in different thicknesses and lengths depending on the use. I really enjoy this because it gives me more grip on the tool depending on how I would like to use it. It’s easier to blend Foundation when you can really wrap your hand around the brush.

I enjoy that all the brushes have their own shape and size. If you are new to makeup this really helps you learn how to separate each makeup brush according to its use.

Elate

Best for Basics

Elate is simple, minimalistic and even PETA certified. Their range comprises of only 6 brushes to cover all your basics such as cheeks and brows. The bristles are made with antibacterial Taklon and the handle is made from bamboo and aluminum.

They might have left out all the frills, but don’t worry, they did not leave out the quality. These amazing fluffy brushes are made in Canada, ready to ship worldwide (except China). Elate’s eco-friendly makeup brushes are sublimely simple, and I could imagine these looking at home in both a beginner and a pro’s makeup kit!

If you are not too sure about which brush you want to try, you can always opt for a makeup brush set instead; the bamboo packaging for the set is worth it.

You can tell that Elate is about more than just beauty. They go the extra mile to make sure their products and packing are as clean and simple as possible. No mess, no fuss. And did you know that they give 2% of their sales back to charity each year?

Makeup Brush FAQ

Why use eco-friendly makeup brushes?

We need to remember that sometimes being eco-friendly is about being ethical too. 

Natural brush hairs are made from, you guessed it, natural hairs. There are no actual set standards on how animals should be treated in order to collect their hair, some farmers just breed and slaughter, they keep others in cages to collect as often as possible. 

It breaks my heart, but the demand for makeup brushes has gone up so much in the last few years and it’s often animals and the planet that suffers. 

If you could use a cruelty-free, eco-friendly makeup brush that was JUST as good as one made with animal hair, wouldn’t it be worth the change?  

What should I look for when buying makeup brushes?

While this is very much a preference, I personally noted the quality, size, use, and cost of the brush. And of course, it was important for me to make sure the brush is eco-friendly and cruelty-free.

How do I know if my makeup brushes are of good quality?

Sometimes affordable brushes are actually exceptional quality, try to find out what the brush is made of (avoid hair/mink - vegan fibers and taklon are good!) and look at some reviews left by others. Otherwise, look at how well your current brush applies your makeup and how it works on your skin. If you are happy with both of these I think you’ve got a good brush on you. 

How do you break-in makeup brushes? 

Dip your makeup brush in some lukewarm water and allow the bristles to soak. Just make sure the water doesn’t touch the handle, otherwise, you might soften the glue that keeps it all together. Press the excess water out with a dry cloth or towel and leave them to dry with the bristles facing down.  

Final Thoughts

Every day I am more surprised at how easy it is to be more eco-friendly, with so many exciting brands out there doing great work in areas of sustainability, zero waste, and cruelty-free products. So, even though it is a small thing, seeking out eco makeup brushes can make a small difference. 

There were so many incredible options: vegan makeup brushes, brush sets, bamboo makeup brushes - you name it. As consumers, we are spoiled for choice.

Personally, Vapour and 100% Pure made the biggest impression on me - they combine quality, beauty, and eco-friendly ethics all in one - so please do support them.

The more we choose sustainable options the more brands will shift to providing these options for us. It’s a slow process but it’s happening, one mascara brush at a time!

I hope you are enjoying applying make-up ethically and guilt-free. It's great to know that fluffy doesn't have to come from fluffy 😉

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