How to Shop For a Professional Makeup Brush


Types of Makeup Brushes

Shopping for a new set of professional makeup brushes can be a little overwhelming. The types of brushes available are extensive and the prices vary greatly. One of the key features that determine the cost of a makeup brush is the type of hair used to make the bristles. By knowing what types of bristles are available, you can determine which makeup brush is best for you.

Goat Hair:

The most common type of fiber used in makeup brushes is goat hair. While the bristles aren’t as soft as some other types, goat hair is very good at holding a large amount of powder. Brushes made of goat hair are good for applying bronzer, blush and face powder. This type of brush provides an even application.

Sable Hair:

Sable hair is fine and soft. Makeup brushes with sable hair typically have pointy tips. The softness and shape of sable hair is perfect for eyeliners and eye shadow.

Pony Hair:

Pony hair is durable and strong. This type of brush usually has equal thickness from root to tip. The tips aren’t as pointy as squirrel hair brushes. Pony hair is a versatile fiber, perfect for blush, powder, and eye shadow makeup brushes.

Camel Hair:

Camel hair describes makeup brushes made with a mix of goat, squirrel, or pony hair.

Squirrel Hair:

Squirrel hair is the softest natural hair fiber. The softness makes squirrel brushes the most luxurious brush available, but also the most expensive. Similar to sable hair brushes, a squirrel hair brush usually has a pointy tip. This luxurious brush is perfect blending and for applying eye shadow to the eye crease.

Squirrel Blend:

A more affordable option is a makeup brush with a mix of squirrel hair and another natural fiber like goat or pony.


Synthetic brushes are made of nylon. Nylon brushes are less absorbent than natural hair fibers. Because they are less absorbent, synthetic brushes are perfect for applying liquid-based products. Natural fiber brushes usually last longer than synthetic.

Duo Fibre: Natural/Synthetic Mix

A mix of natural and synthetic fibers is called a duo fiber brush. This mix of fibers increases the durability, stiffness, and liquid handling ability of the makeup brush. A stippling brush is a common duo fibre brush. It gives liquid foundation an airbrushed quality application.

The different fibers serve different purposes, so when looking for a new makeup brush set, one that includes a mix of fibers is usually best.

What is Your Favorite Makeup Brush? 2 comments

vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

I'm in the market for makeup brushes, so read this Hub with interest. How interesting that squirrel hair is the most expensive type of brush! Pony hair would probably be good enough for me. : )

Kristen Walsh profile image

Kristen Walsh 3 years ago from US Author

I know, somehow you just don't think of squirrels as being a producer of luxurious things, right? lol

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