How To:Lets Talk Brushes...(natural and synthetic)

Monday, February 08, 2010
im quite finicky when it comes to brushes,i want them to be soft,not too big and they must delivery great first i wasnt aware of brushes that have duo fibers,flat tops,slanted and domed ones,all i knew was the tapered brushes which i used as a blush brush..but now here's what i have..

lets start with the bristles-there are 2 kind of bristles....A natural one and a synthetic(man made) bristles...

natural bristles are made from animal hairs like squirrel,pony,goat,badger and so first i thought that they were harming the animal to produce natural bristle but i was wrong,they feed the animals with pellets or grains...something that will produce nice shiny hairs then they just shaved off their furs..(fur?! haha) i mean hairs..but there are still a lot of issues about shaving animal hairs that is why they created a vegan kind of brushes(the synthetic ones)
natural hair has a center structure known as the medulla. Medulla is covered by a thick sheath called cortex and is layered by cuticle which is like a shell of scales. The scales and hollows in the cuticle structure are responsible forholding and trapping whatever powders or cosmetics they picked up. So, when you press the brush, the 'trappings' will release the powder, blush or whatever makeup they have picked up. That is why natural hair is the best and most preferred makeup brush hair type as it is able to deliver and 'apply' makeup more effectively. However, the quality of natural hair makeup brushes varies in quality depending on factors such as hair type, type of cuts or harvesting methods used,but still the quality depends on the manufacturers..

types of natural bristles

badger hair
High quality badger hair is similar to squirrel, kolinsky sable, weasel or red sable, in that Water Badger Hair 'tapers', hence it also has a 'conical' shape. This means that high quality badger hair makeup brushes would also have thick bellies and thin pointy tips. Badger 'Tapers' is 'elastic'. The less 'tapered' the hair is the less 'elastic' it will be. Badger 'Tapers' are found in high-quality badger hair makeup brushes. The high-quality badger hair has the typical 'sketchy' appearance (light-dark-light) with softer and have very thin tips.
Badger hair that are gray in color are less tapered hence are NOT as 'conical' in shape and less 'elastic' and not as soft as the high quality badger 'tapers'. Badger 'grays' are LIGHTER (nearly grey) in color and are less expensive hence are commonly found on SHAVING brushes and BUFFING brushes at Barbershops

Squirrel hair
Makeup brushes made from squirrel hair is the softest of the natural hair. This is because squirel hair is not springy, naturally very fine and relatively thin when compared to sable. Although soft squirrel hair is relatively thin, it still has a thick 'belly' hence has a conical shape, as the tip come to an exceptionally fine point. This unique characteristic of squirrel hair is the very reason why 100% all pure squirrel makeup brushes areextremely soft and most sought after makeup brushes, especially by many professional makeup artists. Canadian squirrel is a slightly thicker, less resilient, considerably shorter hair with more belly; it is usually a variegated yellow and black (two-tone stripes!). Only squirrels with long hair are valuable and suitable for making squirrel makeup brush. So, we're not talking about the short-haired squirrel you find running around in your backyard! Prized squirrel hair that is used in your squirrel powder or blush brush is usually from 'cosmetic-grade' long-hair squirrels. You will find that top grade or higher quality makeup brushes are usually made from squirrel hair and must be hand made to preserve their precious tips
brush example-hakuhodo

Pony Hair
Pony hair cosmetic brushes are made from pony hair that is usually cylindrical in shape unlike the conical shape of the hair of squirrel makeup. This means that pony hair has little or no 'belly' and has less 'pointy' tips compared to squirrel hair or kolinsky sable. Pony hair makeup brush is less expensive than squirrels butmore expensive than goat hair to make
brush example-suesh

Goat hair or 'Capra' is, another decent quality hair type and is the most commonly used hair type in making cosmetic brushes as they are the least costly to make as the hair is widely available. Like all other hair types used for makeup brushes, they come in a wide range of quality within its type. The softest goat hair is, of course, the first-cutwith the tips still intact. They are also sometimes called 'Squirrel Substitute' or 'Squirrel Subs' for short. Goat hair makeup brushes from lower-cut (blunt-cut) are used in the manufacture of mass produced (not hand made), lower quality cosmetic. The top quality goat hair type makeup brush range, is hand-made like any other high quality cosmetic brush to preserve their precious tips. Only handmade high quality goat hair makeup brushes can be considered as a more affordable alternative to Squirrel makeup brushes.
brush example-hakuhodo,charm

Kolinsky Sable
Kolinsky is an animal found in cold regions of Russia and China. It is a species of mink and a member of the weasel family. Makeup brushes made from this are the finest, softest and the most expensive. Each Kolinsky hair has anaturally long fine point tip and a thick 'belly'. As such, kolinsky hair is known for its natural 'conical' shape. Noother sable can match the length of the Kolinsky sable with some as long as 2.25 inches. Kolinskies have a 'springy'resilience, hence would 'snap back', when bent, into its original shape much more compared to other types of sables. Although kolinsky sable has spring to it, Kolinsky hair is yet amazingly soft! The color of Kolinsky sable is golden brown.
brush example-shu uemura,hakuhodo

Sable Hair
Sables, which are not kolinsky or red sable, are simply called 'Sable'. Sable is the largest category and makeup brushes made of sabel can be made from hairs that are seconds from the production of other sable, including kolinsky hair, weasel, red sable or may even contain other hair such as ox hair (tips are blunt compared to red sable), pahmi hair or short blunt-cuts of many other hair types, as fillers. Because of this, sable makeup brushes vary greatly. In short, sable makeup brushes, such as sable lip brush and sabel eye-shadow brush, should have the samecharacteristics as kolinsky hair and red sable, but just to a lesser degree
brush example-suesh

Pahmi Hair
Pahmi hair, some spelled as pami or pammi, makeup brushes are made from a weasel-like animal but smaller and thinner. The hair is slightly stiffer and the tip is short. Pammi hair or Pahmi hair, however you want to spell it, is oftenused as filler hence is mixed with other hair types such as weasel or pony hair. Pahmi hair is relatively inexpensive and when dyed can resemble sable or red sable. Some high end cosmetic brands do carry pahmi in their cosmetic brush range.


Unlike natural hair makeup brushes, which get softer and softer with each use, synthetic cosmetic brushes tend to get stiffer with use.
Two most common synthetics used in makeup brushes today are Nylon and Taklon. Unlike natural hair, nylon and taklon do not have the scales or cuticle ,hence are not so 'absorbent' and will not 'trap'makeup media the way natural hair will. As such, taklon makeup brushes, which are usually orange or white in color, are commonly used as concealer brush or liquid or cream foundation brush. Taklon is used as a more affordable substitute for Sable but lacks durability as it tends to 'fan out' and become stiffer with each use. Nylon, on the other hand, is commonly used for eyebrow groomer or eyebrow brush as it is harder than Taklon. Nylon is a common cheaper substitute for natural bristles which are naturally stiff. But, some big cosmetic companies are using nylon for concealer brushes, eyeliner brushes, etc, and not as a substitute for natural bristles but for Sable instead.

taklon made brush example is:Ecotools

so thats that hope this post ill by myself some good quality inexpensive brushes.. =D

2 Beauty Bag Lovers:

~tHiAmErE~ said...

I have been lemming for Hakuhodo brushes more than MAC...

For some reason i know that i can buy mac brushes because its sold here, but not for hakuhodo.

Price is extremely's more expensive than the Japonesque goodness!

That's why i did not put it on my lemming list because i know that only Santa Claus can give it to me or when Walter won the!

Same with the Shu Uemura Kolinsky brush...they are hella expensive!

so i have to satisfy myself with mac na lang..but if you are going to put a gunon my temple & ask what brushes i want i'll say hakuhodo..not mac!


~tHiAmErE~ said...

oh by the way, i think raccoon hair is good too!

The Face Shop foundation brush is made of raccoon. Im not a fan of foundation brush, but i think it is really worth checking!


personally, i prefer synthetics for kabukis e.

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