Good quality makeup brushes are an essential aspect in achieving a flawless makeup application. There are a ton of different brushes out there, and they all serve a unique purpose. A small dense brush will apply more pigment to a specific area, where as a large fluffy brush will best apply a sheer layer of powder over a larger area.
A few months ago I realized I was desperately in need of a new set of brushes. The set I used for freelance makeup had worked really well, but after having some of them for over 8 years they had seen better days. A few of them were quite literally falling apart.
I had two prerequisites for my new brushes: they had to be vegan and they had to be good quality. Why vegan? I wanted vegan brushes for a number of reasons. First and foremost, I wanted my new brushes to be cruelty free. A lot of of the animal hair used in makeup brushes come from the fur industry. (You can read more here, but I will warn you the verbiage may a bit shocking.) The only way to truly know that the brushes are made with out animal cruelty is to eliminate any animal by-product in the brush at all. Vegan brushes are made using only synthetic hair, usually nylon or taklon.
Synthetic brushes are more hygienic than brushes made from animal hair. Natural hair (including the stuff on our heads) can be very porous and absorb product. Any eye shadow or blush you use (not to mention any bacteria) can be soaked up into the hair. (You can read more here) This might not be too much of a concern if you are only using your on yourself and washing them often, but I frequently use my brushes on a number of people. I wash my brushes between clients, however the thought of any bacteria being soaked up and stored inside the bristle, even on my personal brushes, kind of grosses me out.
Synthetic brushes are also more hypoallergenic than animal hair brushes. People who have pet allergies can actually be sensitive to animal hair makeup brushes, even if they do not realize it.
Another reason I wanted my new brush set to be vegan was simply because I just didn't like the idea of my brushes being made out of animal hair. Have you ever washed a dozen or more brushes at a time in a small bathroom? Let's just say there have been occasions when after I was done washing my brushes my bathroom had the all too familiar scent of wet dog. Umm, yuck. It wasn't like I didn't have high quality brushes, they were expensive, nice brushes.
I did have a few reservations about buying a new set of vegan brushes. My biggest concern was the fact that I live in Japan and order everything online, I couldn't touch or feel them for myself. I also wondered if synthetic would even work as well as real hair. I'd been taught for years that animal hair brushes are a superior product.
So I did what I love to do and I went online and read a ton of product reviews. I researched and compared the different companies that offered vegan brush options. I learned that technology had advanced and synthetic brushes can be just as soft and as durable as animal hair brushes. One company that stood out to me above the rest was Pirouette Professionals.
The founders behind Pirouette Professionals are two best friends that saw a lack of good quality vegan brushes in the marketplace. I love the fact that with every brush set purchased they donate $1 to World Society for the Protection of Animals. The reviews I found on their brushes, though slim, were all pretty positive.
The set I was interested in was their newly released Gold 18 piece set for $139.95, The set consists of a variety of brushes to meet most of your makeup application needs. $139.95 for 18 brushes is a ridiculously good deal, and I decided to order the set and try them out. I figured worst case scenario would be that if I wasn't too impressed with them I could just make do until I found a better set I liked.
I have been using them for a couple months now I will say that two out of the eighteen brushes I am not too thrilled with, but I love the other sixteen and that definitely makes purchasing the whole set worth it. The large powder brush and fan brush are amazing! They are both fluffy and soft! As I was doing a makeup application my client proclaimed, "Your brushes are so soft!". She couldn't believe it when I told her that they were actually vegan! There are a few brushes that I wish were included in the set that I normally use, like my Laura Mercier smudge brush and flat liner brush. The flat line brush is synthetic, but the smudge brush is not. I would love to find vegan versions of both.
I will do an in depth review of all the brushes in the Pirouette Professionals Gold collection soon.
Do you have a favorite brush that you love and couldn't live without?
***I am in no way affiliated with this company, and have purchased these brushes with my own money. I am sharing my thoughts because I love reading reviews (positive AND negative) before purchasing a product.***