Top 5 Synthetic Makeup Brushes | A Cruelty-Free Beauty Blog Collaboration

Top Five Cruelty Free Synthetic Brushes Top 5 Synthetic Makeup Brushes | A Cruelty Free Beauty Blog Collaboration

One of the products I get most questions about is cruelty-free brushes. I’m excited not only to share my Top 5, but also those of two other cruelty-free bloggers, with whom I collaborated for this post.

If you don’t already follow them, go check these lovely bloggers out!


Liza 150x150 Top 5 Synthetic Makeup Brushes | A Cruelty Free Beauty Blog CollaborationLiza at Makeup Matters

Christine 150x150 Top 5 Synthetic Makeup Brushes | A Cruelty Free Beauty Blog CollaborationChristine at Makeup Guinea Pig

We’ve each selected our Top 5 Cruelty-Free brushes. We didn’t tell each other which brushes we’d be choosing ahead of time, so I can’t wait to see Christine and Liza’s picks.

Here are mine:

Best Cruelty Free Makeup Brushes Top 5 Synthetic Makeup Brushes | A Cruelty Free Beauty Blog Collaboration

1. IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Airbrush Foundation Brush

I received the Heavenly Luxe Airbrush Foundation Brush ($20.00) in the IT Cosmetics Hello Beautiful! Kit. While it’s a recent addition to my collection, it’s already secured a spot in my Top 5. It’s difficult to find a dense brush that doesn’t feel the slightest bit abrasive on my prone-to-flakiness skin. But this is just that – allowing me to buff and blend without disturbing my ridiculously sensitive skin.


2. Real Techniques Blush Brush

The Blush Brush ($8.99) resembles higher end, natural hair brushes, but at a fraction of the price – and without the animal hair. The tapered shape gives you some precision with product placement while also providing flawless blending. I find it ideal for contour, highlight, and blush.


3. Eco Tools Round Powder Brush

This brush is part of the Six Piece Day-To-Night Clutch Set  ($16.99) – you can see my review of the full set here. While shape-wise it may not seem like anything special, what I love is how incredibly soft and flexible the bristles are. It gives an airy light application, letting you apply the most mattifying setting powder or most pigmented blush without cakeyness or color overload.


4. Real Techniques Expert Face Brush

For me, the Expert Face Brush ($8.99) is perfect for applying any sort of cream, liquid, or gel product. It’s relatively small and the oval shape and rounded top help ensure the product blends seamlessly, without any visible edges. The bristles are very densely packed and firm yet soft. I had a hard time choosing between this and the Buffing Brush from the Core Collection, which is slightly larger and bit less firm.


5. Eco Tools Eye Shading Brush

Part of the 5 Piece Mineral Brush Set  ($12.99), this is my tried-and-true, hands down favorite eye shadow brush. Most days, I just apply a wash of shadow over my lid and into my crease and this is the brush I reach for. I also use it to set under eye concealer. I do wish it was sold individually, but luckily all the other brushes in the Mineral Kit are great as well.

Top 5 Cruelty Free Brushes Top 5 Synthetic Makeup Brushes | A Cruelty Free Beauty Blog Collaboration

Make sure to check out Christine and Liza’s posts:


What are your top synthetic brushes?

  • Christine

    Excellent job and I love your picks! I love the pictures as well – so clean, neat and to the point.

    You and Liza have convinced me I need to try some of It Cosmetics’ brushes! :)

    I definitely agree with you on the Real Techniques brushes. Kind of amazing that we chose the exact same ones! :) Have you tried any of the eye brushes? They’re always sold out of the ones I’m interested in. Same with EcoTools actually! :)

    Love the picks! So happy to finally see everyone’s posts!!! :)

    • Catherine

      I know, of course we would pick the exact same ones haha! I have tried their eye brushes and do love them (I say that about all their brushes, but I really do). They’re all great quality but some I do get more use from than others. Hmm, maybe I’ll do a comparison post of all the RT eye brushes I own (I think I have all of them). I ended up ordering a lot of my Eco Tools online from or – I rarely see them in stores and when I do, it’s just like 3 or 4 brushes, always a really limited line. ♥

  • Catherine

    Haha I know! If I owned the IT Cosmetics brush you picked, I’m pretty sure it would’ve made it into my Top 5. It looks AMAZING – I need to pick that up. ♥

  • Voodoo_Blonde

    Great post. I LOVE Ecotools, they are my favorite brush brand. I also love Everyday Minerals, although I have only one (Long Handled Kabuki Brush for foundation) but I plan on ordering more of them. RT are great, nice quality for a fair price, but I’m an Ecotools junkie. :)

    • Catherine

      I love Eco Tools, too. I haven’t tried Everyday Minerals, but want to – I’ve heard great reviews. That kabuki caught my eye and there’s an eye blending brush that sounds great as well. ♥

  • Martha

    Thanks for sharing your picks!! I need more brushes so I’ll keep these in mind.

    • Catherine

      My pleasure. Hope you pick up some good ones! ♥

  • SataaZaidi

    Great post!! i love ecotools they are affordable and good quality and so so soft

    • Catherine

      Thank you! I know, I’m such an Eco Tools fan, too ♥

  • MyLuciteDreams

    I love the RT blush brush, I love the shape! I own mostly cruelty-free brushes, need to get my hands on the one by IT

    • Catherine

      I agree about the RT blush brush shape! Liza at Makeup Matters included an IT Cosmetics brush that is shaped a bit similarly to the RT blush brush – it looks so good ♥

  • Jennifer Lau

    I just found your blog by Googling an ecoTools set, and I’m happy to have found another cruelty-free beauty blog to follow!

    I have the ecoTools powder blush you mentioned and I really like it as well. I’ve been eyeing out the Real Techniques Expert Face brush and it’s currently sitting in my cart on Amazon. Waffling a bit on the blush brush, though. I’ve heard great things about it, but I don’t really NEED a blush brush, y’know?

    • Catherine

      Hi Jennifer! So glad you found the blog, thank you for your comment :) I definitely know what you mean about not needing a blush brush haha! I do find it works well for contouring and loose powders, too though. I get a lot of use from it personally because the shape is a bit unique for drugstore-priced brushes. ♥

      • Jennifer Lau

        How dense is it? The blush brushes I currently have are okay, but they’re quite fluffy and sometimes I want something a bit denser, especially for those less pigmented blushes.

        • Catherine

          It’s less fluffy than the ecoTools powder brush included here that you have, but far less dense than a typical kabuki or flat-top brush like the IT Cosmetics one. I’ve used/washed mine so much that I think it feels a bit less firm/more fluffy than it did originally. I tend to reach for fluffy blush brushes a lot, so for me I like that, but I think if I was trying to build up color from a less pigmented blush, I’d probably reach for something like the Buffing brush in the RT core collection set or even the Expert Face brush (though I’d probably then blend out edges with a fluffier brush)♥

  • LifeofBun

    I’m going to check out that IT cosmetics brush! I don’t have a flat top yet, and if it’s in your top 5 it must be a good one to try. :)

    • Catherine

      I love it! It is on the pricier side though. If you want to try an inexpensive flat top first, the elf one is pretty good. But I do think the IT Cosmetics one is worth the investment. Thanks for your comment! ♥

  • DandelionWhiskers

    Thank you for this! Your blog is awesome!

  • Lisa

    Lovely post! You should also checkout Pirouette Professional. They have higher-end professional cruelty free makeup brushes. Not sure if you know about them or not. :)

    • Catherine

      Hi Lisa! Thanks so much for mentioning that brand. I’ve seen the name and have been meaning to look at their brushes! ♥