Vegan Makeup Brushes: The Beauty Team Tests Cruelty-Free Beauty Tools

Photo by Mary Hood Luttrell

Fact: no matter how good your makeup products are, you need top-quality tools for a flawless look. Whether you’re vegan or not, your choice of makeup tools is another chance to take a stand against cruelty to animals – many brushes made from animal hair are a product of the fur industry, which sees wild animals agonising for days in traps, sometimes chewing their own limbs off in order to escape, or spend their short, miserable lives in tiny, filthy cages on factory farms. Not very glamorous.

Luckily, makeup tools made without cruelty are easy to come by these days – our beauty team tried out a couple of new and exciting brands offering kindly made tools.

Photo by Jessica Sjoholm

Wellness Editor Jessica Sjoholm says:

Makeup brushes are traditionally made of animal hair or fur, such as pony, sable, squirrel, goat, badger or mink. Although this may seem harmless, animal hair isn’t gathered ethically by giving horses a haircut; it is usually obtained through the slaughter or hunting of animals, or as a product of the fur industry. Many cheap brushes are also manufactured in countries like China where there are poor standards of animal welfare.

Since cruelty-free doesn’t always mean vegan, it can be confusing when it comes to choosing ethical makeup brushes. If a cruelty-free makeup company has their own range of brushes, don’t automatically assume they will be synthetic. Cruelty-free normally only refers to animal testing, not animal ingredients or products, therefore it is common for cruelty-free cosmetics companies to sell brushes made from animal hair. Always double check what brushes are made of before purchasing them, or for peace of mind, buy from a completely vegan brand instead.

Photo by Jessica Sjoholm

Loella is a London-based company whose range of high performance and affordable makeup brushes is 100% vegan and cruelty-free. Loella brushes are loved by professional makeup artists but are also suitable for beginners, thanks to the fun names that helpfully appear on each brush handle. Loella encourages you to try using the brushes in different ways however, so don’t be afraid to experiment.

The fun, modern and stylish design of these brushes will brighten up your makeup bag. The brushes feel incredibly soft on your skin due to their high quality synthetic Taklon bristles. My favourite brush in the Girl on Fire essentials set is Fab Brow Brooke, which allows much more precision than my old brow brush – proof that the right tools make all the difference to your makeup looks.

Photo by Jessica Sjoholm


Beauty Editor Mary Hood Luttrell says:

In addition to not contributing to animal cruelty, high-quality vegan makeup brushes are arguably higher performing than their animal-derived counterparts. First, a vegan makeup brush set is hypoallergenic and a better choice for makeup wearers with sensitive skin. 

Furthermore, vegan makeup brushes are more suitable for those with acne-prone skin. Unlike a synthetic bristle brush, animal fur is porous, meaning it absorbs more makeup (plus oil and bacteria), making it harder to clean and ultimately less hygienic. For the acne prone, using synthetic brushes (washed weekly, of course) may decrease the chances of spreading bacteria while applying makeup.

If that weren’t enough, synthetic bristles can be made to be incredibly soft while having the ability to beautifully distribute powder, cream, and liquid makeup formulas.

Photo by Mary Hood Luttrell

One of my favorite vegan makeup brush lines is M.O.T.D Cosmetics, a PETA-certified brand with a hand-crafted makeup brush for absolutely everything. The line is perfect for makeup novices as there are clever hints on each brush handle like “Just Browsing” (for brows, of course!), “Blending Bestie,” and “Miss Shady Lady.” M.O.T.D brushes are perfect for expert MUAs as well—the Taklon bristles mimic animal hair and are incredibly long-lasting. 

Photo by Mary Hood Luttrell

If all of that weren’t enough, their rose gold accents make them the chicest tools in my kit. I love using the Lux Vegan Eye Makeup Brush Set to create my everyday looks, which range from a single wash of color to more elaborate smoky looks.  


For more vegan beauty tips, follow Vilda on Instagram


Thanks to Loella and MOTD Cosmetics for offering product for review

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Vilda Beauty Team

Insider tips and tricks for conscious beauty and vegan makeup from Vilda's beauty team.

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