Anatomy of a Makeup Brush

Nov. 4 -2015-

I was planning on doing a brush washing “how to” but then I thought on it further and realized that I should probably explain all the parts of a makeup brush. Then I realized that I didn’t know the proper names for all the parts of a makeup brush! So this post is the result of my shameless internet research and the random thought that I should explain the makeup brush before I told anyone the best way to wash it.

brushesBristles: Synthetic versus Natural
Synthetic bristles have a very slight edge on natural. First, that no little animals were harmed in the making of the bristles and also with the way makeup brush technology has advanced they allow for more even application of makeup. I would say that 95% of makeup brushes in general are synthetic. It will also reduce the price of your brush dramatically as synthetic hairs can be produced over and over again with relative ease!

Natural hairs have pores, like your skin, so they pick up and hold onto product better. This is definitely something to consider for eye makeup or stage makeup when a heavy application is needed. If you’re doing a super glam, intense eye look then using natural hair bristles will definitely bring the drama. That being said, they are considerably more expensive and slightly more difficult to use in terms of blending out colors.


The ferule is the metal part of the brush that connects the bristles to the handle, usually made out of metal. I have seen one plastic ferule ever and it was years ago! The ferule connects the bristles and handle by using a (hopefully) super strong glue on both ends.


Handles can be wood or plastic. Usually they are wood, but plastic handles are more lightweight. I personally like something that I can hold it my hand firmly. The lighter the brush the more product I end up flinging all over the place, but that could just be me.

Ultimately, whatever brush or brush company you decide to spend your hard earned cash on, it’s important to know what your’e buying! So read the fine printand look for those key words.

Got a beauty question? Email me: and I might answer it here!

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