Vegan and cruelty free beauty has never been more popular or important, and spans across all realms of the market, from skincare to haircare, body to nails. But one thing we can often forget about is our makeup brushes, which if made from natural fibres, are not animal lover-friendly.
The biggest difference between vegan and non-vegan brushes is the type of bristles that are used.
Vegan brushes will be made with synthetic fibres that are not derived from animals, and therefore are totally cruelty free. These are usually Taklon or Nylon, with Taklon a soft and delicate fibre, and Nylon slightly firmer and more hardwearing alternative.
Other brushes that are not considered vegan use animal hair (for example squirrel, horse or mink hair) rather than artificial synthetics.
Synthetic brushes have long been considered a slightly more long-wearing, more robust option, as they are extremely easy to wash, dry and re-set, and they do not tend to attract as much bacteria as natural brushes, making them more hygienic.
We have picked out some of the very best vegan brush sets, along with some standout single vegan brushes, that as well as working brilliantly and looking great, won’t feature a single animal hair.
Spectrum White Marbleous 12 Piece Set
The set with absolutely everything you’d ever need for perfect makeup application, this really is the holy grail of brush sets, vegan or otherwise. Complete with 12 vegan and cruelty free tools, this kit is so comprehensive, it would be sufficient for a professional makeup artist. The white and grey design with rose gold accents is of course another highlight not to be missed.
Illamasqua is a brand well-known for its staunch anti-cruelty ethos, so there are vegan options aplenty at this particular brand. There’s a whole host of brushes on offer for eyeshadow, lip colour and base/highlighter. It is also guaranteed to look extra sleek in any beauty collection thanks to its understated plain black design.
It Cosmetics Celebrate Your Heavenly Luxe On-The-Go Brush Set
It Cosmetics’ base brushes are some of the best out there. Luckily, this three-piece set features tools for foundation, powder, and concealer application. The holographic handles and brush case packaging keep things fun, and are perfect for the younger makeup user.
The Body Shop Brushes
Proudly animal-friendly, The Body Shop offers brilliant makeup brushes at savvy prices and for all needs and desires. Their brushes are wallet-friendly, and makes on-the-go makeup application easier and more proficient than ever. There’s a blusher brush, eyeshadow brush, slanted brush (for eyeliner or eyebrow product application), and a lipstick and concealer brush and many more. It’s good enough for a holiday as well as for keeping in your handbag.
Iconic London HB Blend Complete Set
Packed full of Iconic London’s next generation ‘HD’ brushes, this Instagram-friendly set is just as wonderful to look at as it is to actually use. Complete with nine brushes that each feature tightly packed quality bristles with easy-to-apply handles, this is not your average tool kit. It is worth noting that the set is designed for face makeup, with another version for eyes on offer by the brand.
Inika Pro Vegan Kabuki Brush
Every beauty collection needs a versatile kabuki brush, so why not make it a vegan, animal-friendly option? Organic brand Inika’s option has the softest bristles, you’ll want to run this over your face all day.
KVD Beauty Powder Highlight Brush #4
KVD Beauty’s contouring products and tools are iconic, as is the brand’s stance on keeping things completely vegan and cruelty free. This fluffy yet dense brush is great for applying and blending out powder. We love the long, dainty handles as well.
Morphe 18 Piece Vegan Brush Set
A favourite with professional makeup artists, Morphe’s expansive collection of vegan brushes feature everything from a smudger brush to a deluxe fan brush, with all the basics and essentials you would ever need slotted in-between.
The brushes are soft, high quality, and come as in sets encased in a pro wrap or makeup bag to keep things neat and tidy.
Real Techniques Everyday Essentials Brush Set
Real Techniques offers some of the very best brushes on the high street, and have fought off a load of competition over the years.
Their individual brushes are beloved, but their sets are a great place to start. This option, which is still only under £20, contains a tapered blusher brush, a complexion sponge, a deluxe crease brush, a setting brush and an expert face brush for foundation application.
Too Faced Mr Right Eye Essential 5 Piece Brush Set
This contouring brush from cruelty-free label Too Faced has a specialised design to ensure optimal pickup of the product and smooth application so that none of your formulas go to waste. It has a thin construction to give you better control and allow for more targeted sculpting of your cheeks, jawline and temple. The brush has a pretty mint green handle.
Urban Decay Flat Optical Blurring Brush
While thickly dense buffing and stippling brushes are great most of the time, it’s handy to have a simple flat brush in your collection for heavier foundation application. This one is one of the very best, creating an enviably flawless base, particularly when used alongside cream formulas rather than powders.
Zoeva Vegan Brush Set
Made with the finest synthetic bristles, Zoeva’s vegan brush set is a cruelty free take on their original, which combines synthetic and natural fibres.
Featuring tools to apply everything from foundation to concealer, blusher to eyeshadow, this has the perfect amount of brushes for a beginner, and the sleek handles will make you feel like a professional.
The clue is in the name, these stylish brushes are both vegan and eco-friendly. Composed of recycled materials like renewable bamboo, Eco Tools implore a manufacturing process that includes packaging made from tree-free paper, relying instead on cotton and bamboo fibres.
We can’t decide which product we love more, the brushes or the sponge options made from 70 per cent plant-based materials that made applying liquid and cream foundations an absolute dream.
The ultimate kit included in this edit has to be the Spectrum ‘White Marbleous’ collection, which features every vegan brush you will ever need. If you’re in need of a does-all, stand-out vegan single brush, we’d recommend the Inika Kabuki Brush, which is perfect for on-the-go use.