If you're a vegan, it's great to know that you can use makeup without sacrificing your values.“If you’re a vegan, it’s great to know that you can use makeup without sacrificing your values.Monica Rodriguez/Getty Images

Are you an animal lover? Of course you are! You don’t wear fur, and you wouldn’t dream of using cosmetics that had been tested on animals. But did you know that the makeup brushes you use might not be in line with your values?

Many people today choose to embrace a vegan lifestyle. As opposed to vegetarians, who eschew eating meat, vegans don’t eat any animals or animal byproducts, and that includes dairy, eggs and honey. Veganism can also be an overall lifestyle choice, where people don’t use anything that comes from an animal, like wool or leather, because they believe in the sanctity of all animals’ lives, and the vegan lifestyle helps them embrace cruelty-free living.

When you’re adapting to veganism, you find out just how often animals are used to produce everyday household items. A person who picks cosmetic brands based on how the manufacturer treats animals might be surprised to find that her makeup brushes are also made from animals.

Yes, makeup brushes traditionally are made with animal hair or fur. It can be sable, mink or squirrel fur, or even hair from horse and goat hair. Makeup artists use natural makeup brushes because the fluffy animal hair can grab the pigment within makeup and hold it until you apply it to your face. This is ideal for powder-based makeup products, like blush and eyeshadow.

However, vegan makeup brushes, made from various types synthetic fibers including acrylic, plastic or taklon, also have advantages over traditional brushes. The synthetics are better for applying creams or liquids because the bristles don’t absorb as much of the product as compared to natural fibers. Because of this, they don’t need to be cleaned as often, nor do they wear out as quickly. Vegan brushes may also be better options for people with sensitive skin or who are allergic to animal hair.

If you’re in the market for these brushes, you can find them at Aveda and The Body Shop, where they can cost anywhere from around $20 per brush to $65 for a set of three. Urban Decay also markets a line of vegan makeup brushes called Good Karma that run between $20 and $40 per brush. You may even be able to find some at your local drugstore.

Lots More Information

Related Articles

  • Makeup Brush Techniques
  • How to Use Different Types of Makeup Brushes
  • How to Choose Quality Makeup Brushes
  • 5 Must-have Tools for Your Makeup Kit
  • Eye Makeup Tools Demystified
  • 5 Makeup Application Tools You Need


  • Angell, Elizabeth. "How to Choose Makeup Brushes." Allure.com. Mar. 26, 2010. (Sept. 12, 2012) http://www.allure.com/beauty-trends/blogs/daily-beauty-reporter/2010/03/how-to-choose-makeup-brushes.html
  • Aveda.com "Flax Stick daily effects brush set." (Sept. 12, 2012) http://www.aveda.com/product/5337/16525/Makeup/brushescompacts/Flax-Sticks-Daily-Effects-Brush-Set/index.tmpl
  • TheBodyShop. com. "Makeup Brushes." (Sept. 12, 2012) http://www.thebodyshop-usa.com/services/search.aspx?code=makeup%20brushes&catcode=makeup-brushes
  • Burr, Ginger. "5 Reasons to Use Vegan Makeup Brushes." One Green Planet. Dec. 16, 2011. (Sept. 12, 2012) http://www.onegreenplanet.org/lifestyle/5-reasons-to-use-vegan-makeup-brushes/
  • Conte, Patricia. "A Thing of Beauty: 5 Reasons to Use Synthetic Makeup Brushes." OrganicAuthority.com. (Sept. 12, 2012) http://www.organicauthority.com/delicious-beauty/a-thing-of-beauty-5-reasons-to-use-synthetic-makeup-brushes.html#s.abtpa66qiayaa
  • Jimenez, Anna. "The 7 Makeup Brushes You Actually Need." TotalBeauty.com. (Sept. 12, 2012) http://www.totalbeauty.com/content/gallery/makeup-brushes-you-need-101
  • Malik Chua, Jasmin. "7 Eco-Friendly (And Vegan!) Makeup Brushes for Cruelty-Free Primping." Ecouterre.com. Mar. 12, 2012. (Sept. 12, 2012) http://www.ecouterre.com/7-eco-friendly-and-vegan-makeup-brushes/
  • PETA. "Is There a Squirrel in Your Makeup Bag?" (Sept. 12, 2012) http://www.peta.org/living/beauty-and-personal-care/synthetic-make-up-brushes.aspx
  • Urban Decay.com. "Makeup Brushes." (Sept. 12, 2012) http://www.urbandecay.com/on/demandware.store/Sites-UrbanDecay-Site/default/Search-Show?q=makeup%20brushes
  • The Vegetarian Resource Group. "Veganism in a Nutshell." (Sept. 12, 2012) http://www.vrg.org/nutshell/vegan.htm


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here