Beauty School: Brush Hairs

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Hi everyone,

There are some key differences between synthetic and authentic hair makeup brushes, not just in terms of where the hair originates, but in terms of how the hair functions. It’s a really fascinating topic and one that I’ve spent a lot of time working on lately. So in this Beauty School post, I want to put all ethical debates on the subject aside, and focus strictly on the fundamental difference between these two different kinds of brush hairs, because I think it’s something that not a lot of people know about.

The main difference between a brush made with synthetic hair and a brush made with real hair is its ability to pick up pigment. Brushes made with real, authentic hair pick up pigment and distribute it in fewer motions than brushes made with synthetic hair. That’s because the hair follicle of an actual living thing has tiny little porous holes in it. So when you have a bunch of these hairs brought together and you try to pick up a powder or a substance, the tiny porous holes can actually hold onto and cling onto the pigment. It just picks it up that much better because there are these little spaces where it can be absorbed. Then, once you apply it, it kind of shakes off of the bristles.

But when you’re dealing with synthetic hairs, there are no porous holes at all; it’s just one long slippery strand and that’s it – that’s all you have. So from an artistic stance, it can actually be harder to work with synthetic brushes than authentic hair brushes. It’s a touchy subject to talk about, but also really interesting and important to know.

Did you know that about brush hairs? What are some other brush-related questions that you have?

<3 Mish

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Beauty Faux Pas: Flour Powder Face
Rewind Wednesday: Fresh Makeup in 5 Minutes

Photo: Flickr user becca.peterson26

1 Comment

  1. Meganomics101 says:

    I’d love to see an updated version of this post, especially with all of the advances that have been made for synthetic powder brushes.

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