I need to confess that I'm a complete brush fiend. I love makeup brushes. I have so many-- I probably don't need more, but as a freelancer and makeup addict, you really can't have enough brushes unless you're literally swimming in them. I think my hoarding goes back to the scarcity of synthetic brushes prior to a few years ago-- Sure, Urban Decay, Too Faced and The Body Shop always had synthetic brushes, they can be quite costly: Too faced five piece set retails for $65, while Urban Decay's brushes cost as much as $40 each! While the market had decent animal hair brushes for cheap, unless you were willing to shell out a pretty penny you were pretty much out of luck as a vegan.
I remember when I was in college I only had about 4-5 brushes, one of which eventually literally fell apart (yes, one day the bristles completely popped right out of the ferrule).They were old and of extremely cheap quality, but I didn't have the money to spend on synthetic brushes and didn't want to buy an animal brush. I bought synthetic brushes from art stores, which usually had great things for eyeliner or shadow, but not so great for powder or blush.
Now, it's a completely different story! There are many, many brands of synthetic brushes to choose from, and many which are great quality and extremely affordable. Here are some of my favourites:
Eyes Lips Face
Eyes Lips Face, or E.L.F. is a completely vegan (except their "essentials" line brushes which include animal hair... but they're terrible anyway) brand that never tests on animals. While they started out as a completely joke line with dollar store prices and quality, they've put out some extremely great products in the last couple years. Actually, I haven't tried any of their cosmetics in years (although I've heard good things) I absolutely LOVE their Studio brushes. They come in sleek all black, and have long, pro length handles. I have three sets, one for personal use, one for freelancing, and one as back up because I just love it so much! They only cost $30 for the 11 piece set, or you can buy each brush separately for $3 each. They also have other brushes that are not available in the kit.
This is the first brand, at least that I'm aware of, that brought synthetic brushes to the drugstore market. I remember being SO excited when these came out, and I guess everyone else was too because they were out of stock everywhere I checked for weeks! That, or, the stores around me only received extremely limited quantities. This was back when I had only old goat hair and art store brushes. I eventually paid one of my friends who lived across the country to purchase the 5 piece set for me, as well as any brushes in the line that were not part of the set. These brushes are very soft, especially their kabukis. The only downside is that their eye brushes tend to be a bit larger than I'd like, especially for detailed work, but they're still very solid brushes. The handles are made out of bamboo, which is a highly renewable and lightweight resource.
Everyday Minerals is an online indie brand, which has tons of great products, especially foundations and blushes. I don't typically wear mineral makeup, but I do like mixing it into my liquid foundation for higher coverage or to customize the shade for my skin. I highly recommend their foundations, and they have different formulas for different skin types, as well as a wide range of undertones. I'm extremely oily, so I prefer the matte and intensive lines, but I know that they are all great! Anyway, like Eco Tools, their brushes also have a bamboo handle, but what's best about Everyday Minerals brushes is that they come in very unique and uncommon shapes/forms, such as a long handled kabuki or itahake brush. Also, they offer 25% off when you buy products in bundles of 3, so what's not to love?
And now, my absolute favourite brush:
I'm not sure how I discovered this brand, but I've had this brush for probably about five years now. It's by Purely Pro Cosmetics, and it's the brown faux small all over brush. It's great quality-- I mean, it's as silky soft as when i first bought it! it picks up pigment and deposits it beautifully, is extremely easy to clean, and is the absolutely perfect size for applying eye shadow for me. I would probably cry if I ever lost it or if it ever broke, but the good thing about makeup is that there is always more.
What do you think? And what are your favourite synthetic brushes?