I'm not going to lie to you, making the transition to a zero-waste beauty routine was overwhelming at first. At least, until I realized that a wealth of cruelty-free beauty products was something to celebrate.
Vegan makeup brushes are an excellent starting point for greenifying your makeup routine. Not only are they cheaper than animal hair makeup brushes but are also much less of a pain to clean. I found that my makeup products were stretched further too thanks to vegan brushes needing less product to do the job. Vegan makeup brushes also help me keep waste and that dreaded cakey makeup at bay.
Here's my breakdown of the best vegan makeup brushes:
My favorite was no real contest. Eco Mineral's Vegan Bamboo Kabuki Brush is the brush I'd save if there were a fire. This brush is my all-around favorite for being just that- an all-rounder.
From application to environmental impact, the makers of these makeup brushes have considered everything.
I really loved its shorter bamboo handle which is not only sustainable wood but is also anti-bacterial and a delight to hold. Add to that synthetic bristles that are super soft and you get a makeup application that beautifies while it pampers.
These makeup brushes are also sturdy and therefore easy to clean with bristles still soft enough to seamlessly absorb and distribute the makeup minerals. While some users seem to find the brush's size limiting in its application, I found it only needed less product applied to a section of the brush to apply color on smaller areas.
If like me, you enjoy simple, mineral-based makeup that doesn't need a lot of precision or skill, this Bamboo Kabuki Brush stood out for me among the best vegan makeup brushes available online.
While trends come and go, Kate Moss ensured the grungey smokey eye look is here to stay!
When it comes to precise eyeliner application and smudging that looks intentionally and never shabby, you need a makeup brush that is the right angle and firmness. Enter: Eco Tool's Smudge Eyeliner Brush.
In fact, EcoTools makeup brushes are a cruelty-free godsend in general but I'll stick to just one, for now. These angled vegan makeup brushes are travel-friendly, easy-to-clean, and designed to glide easily and with precision so that any application or smudging is a piece of cake (gluten-free and vegan, of course!).
While I enjoyed this level of firmness, research showed that some users wished it was a little softer to make for more stroke-like motions that could spread more of the product without being too harsh on the skin. See what you think!
While this makeup brush helped me hit the mark for a lot of current makeup trends, its uses and applications cover a wide range of eyeliner looks and styles and can be a trusty tool for years if cared for properly. With synthetic bristles instead of animal hair brushes, you can smudge, wing, and color yourself silly with no expense to the planet.
Lily Lelo gets it- there need not be anything embarrassing about a good ol' blush. The brand's Blush Brush is buzzed about online and it took a singular swipe across my cheek for me to get why- it is so UNBELIEVABLY soft.
These cruelty-free makeup brushes are a treat to the skin and absorbed minerals well making sure a little product went a long way. Bonus points were earned by the brush being 100% vegan and cruelty-free having opted for synthetic over animal hair.
While intended for blush, the angled brush also works well in applying highlighter and contouring powder. Some may not love the surface area covered, however, I found the smaller, angled design works perfectly for more precision especially when trying to accentuate certain features.
I recommend this brush to anyone who enjoys light to medium makeup wear and looking good without skimping on their eco values. Sure, this brush is soft as angel hair, but when it comes to saving the environment, you might just be the bigger softie!
Cruelty-free makeup brushes are great for the planet but they should be a dream to use too. Take The Big Buffing Bronzer Brush from Sephora, for example. It won me overhead, heart, and soon-to-be bronzed-up cheeks.
Sporting a green "Clean & Positive' badge, the brush is vegan and cruelty-free with synthetic fibers instead of organic animal hairs. The brush was extremely soft and picked up the product without excess or spillage. The one thing that stood out for me was the brush's finish- my skin looked flawless. Not cakey, not powdery, but spread evenly while seamlessly working the product into my natural complexion instead of simply dropping it on top.
While some people found the makeup brush to be far too pretty a penny, I saw the price as a worthy investment. Though the name suggests it's for bronzing- this large, rounded brush is excellent for buffing and blending and I've used it for everything from foundation application to highlighting and adding my fixative powder.
What's in a name? Well, for e.l.f. it's more than adorableness- it's the promise of vegan, cruelty-free products at affordable prices. I love love love this brand which is why I was delighted to see their impressive selection of vegan makeup brushes.
I opted for their raved-about Buffing Foundation Brush and it didn't take long to see why it's such a crowd-pleaser. The super-soft brush works to blur product into the skin via a buffing motion. Whether I used it to apply foundation, pack on highlighter, or gently add a shadow, this brush needed a little product to create a seamless, near-airbrushed finish. I felt ready for my close-up and, thanks to the far-reaching shine of my highlighter, my not-so-close-up.
Much like my fingertips (which, I'll be perfectly honest, were the only makeup tools I ever used before trying out these brushes), the brush tapers, allowing for blending and contouring to naturally follow the curves of your face.
While I had no trouble washing my brushes, I see online that some noticed a few of the brush's synthetic bristles came loose after cleaning. As it is with most things, looking up tutorials on how to best care for your product will help improve its lifespan.
I actually wrote a guide on how to clean vegan makeup brushes here.
I highly recommend this brush for the more advanced makeup gurus among us who would enjoy its versatility and ease of use.
Yes, because vegan makeup brushes are animal cruelty-free, they ditch animal hair and opt for more enduring and sustainable materials like synthetic fibers. They're not only great for the environment but easy on the wallet too. Every eco-friendly makeup bag should have one.
Cruelty-free makeup brushes are best when they're one part sturdy brush handle, and one part soft, absorbent brush. A vegan makeup brush is usually made from sustainable wood (like bamboo) with premium synthetic bristles.
While a lot of synthetic brushes are perfect for allergy-prone, sensitive skin, this won't be the case for all of them. Be sure to research a makeup brush before purchasing to make sure it won't cause any irritation or allergic reactions on the skin.
More often than not, natural makeup brushes mean animal hair brushes and therefore neither vegan nor cruelty-free. Like with most animal byproducts, the means of retrieving the materials needed to make organic bristles is often cruel and inhuman.
"Cruelty-free beauty" - a collection of words that's rather new to the world and I couldn't be more delighted.
When considering the best vegan makeup brushes for your beauty routine, don't take my word as the be-all-and-end-all. My reviews are just that: my personal take vegan makeup brushes. Your requirements may be different.
That caveat out of the way; while I loved all the makeup brushes I tested, Eco Minerals Vegan Bamboo Kabuki Brush was a clear frontrunner. Its versatility and softness made me look forward to my morning routine and turned what used to feel like a chore into a downright pampering.
I also really loved EcoTool's Smudge Eyeliner Brush for doing it all -come wing, shadow, or smudge. And last but most certainly not least, I'd be fibbing if I said the e.l.f Buffing Foundation Brush wasn't always at the makeup bag. I love a product that cares about the environment while making me look and feel GORGEOUS.
As always, do your research and check out the product's reviews. A good vegan or eco-friendly makeup brush will last you for years if you take good care of it so you want your investment to be much like you, more than just a pretty face.