Types of Makeup Brushes

When I purchased my 22 Gray Squirrel Hair mineral brushes from ebay online, I was a little skeptical of the type of hair used. It sounded strange but nevertheless, I went ahead and purchased it anyways. Amazingly the brushes are extremely soft and works well for the price I paid for them. They were about $19 with $10 shipping- not too shabby when compared to the price of a MAC brush. I had bought my brush set from this ebayer who no longer is selling it.

The pic below is from another ebayer who has pretty good feedback.

Image from Tin Lydia

I will be doing a quick review on the brushes tonight.

I was still curious about the types of hair made in makeup brushes and did a little research. Here’s what I found; there are at least 6 different types of brushes made for makeup and they are goat, pony, sable, badger, squirrel and synthetic. I am only going to talk about four types here.

Goat Hair:

Goat hair is the best brush to pick up powder and ideal for buffing and blending. Nars #19 Bronzing Brush ($50) is crafted from goat hair to distribute bronzing powder evenly.

Pony Hair

Pony Hair is a little bit less coarse than goat hair. It comes from the mane of young horses and is very fine and soft. In the finest quality of brushes, the hair comes from the belly of the pony. An example of the blush brush is the one above from MakeupForever.

Badger Hair

Badger hair has the firmest bristles, which makes it ideal for eyebrow brushes, fan brushes, bronzer brushes and for grooming. Although badger hair is extremely firm, it is also very soft and has an elastic quality so it will never scratch up your face. Shu Uemura Natural Fan Brush ($45) is a popular brush used for powder and liquid face color. It’s great for blending and dusting with accuracy. Keep in mind that because badger hair is so soft and bouncy, it must be kept clean at all times.

Squirrel Hair:

This type of hair is durable, fine, thin and has a conical shape. It’s also the softest natural hair used in makeup brushes. Squirrel hair is ideal for blending heavy pigment such as the one found in eye shadow crease brushes like this Professional Platinum Natural Crease Brush from Sephora ($24). Squirrel hair is also often mixed with other types of hair to bring down the cost, so if you are buying something expensive, I would inquire about the origin of the hairs before plunking down heavy bucks for them.

So, when it comes down to it, the more natural the hair the better when looking for makeup brushes, because natural hair gets softer with use while synthetic hair becomes more stiff. Hope this sheds a little light for you all on types of makeup brushes.

Here’s a video on Pupa brushes review:


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