A Guide to Makeup Brush Construction

Aug. 25, 2023

Makeup Brush Construction


· The toe is the bristle tips – the bit that goes on the skin.

· The heel is the bottom end of the bristles. Here, the bristles are tied and then glued in the ferrule. Some ferrules are also clamped tightly around the bristle heel.

· The length, softness, shape, and amount of hairs used in a brush are dictated by what makeup products the brush has been designed for.


· The bristles are held in place by the ferrule, which is sometimes pinched flat.

· The ferrule is usually metal, such as nickel-plated brass or aluminium. The ferrule can also be plastic. 

· The bottom of the ferrule is glued to the handle to make it secure. It is best to not leave brushes in water or let water get into the ferrule.


· Handles are made from solid materials, such as wood (coated in either varnish or paint), resin or plastic. 

· Recycled or sustainable materials (like bamboo) can also be used to make brush handles. They are growing in availability and popularity due to having less impact on the environment.

· Printed on the handle can be various information, including the brand logo and the brush’s purpose or size. It varies from brand to brand.

What Bristles Are Made Of?

The bristles are from either animal hair or synthetic fibres – or a mix of the two. Here is a look at both types of material.

Animal Hair

· What is animal hair? Animal hair (sometimes referred to as natural) comes from animals, including goats, badgers, squirrels, weasels ("sable"), and horses ("pony"). Camel hair brushes are not camel hair but a combination of several types of animal hair (including horse, goat and squirrel) – it depends on the desired softness and cost.

· Why is animal hair used? Simply because it has been used traditionally for a long time. There was no other suitable material until synthetics came along. 

· How is hair constructed? The hair has a cuticle, a layered outer coating on the hair shaft, which picks up and distributes powder products well. The cuticle also means that animal hair is not so good for cream, gel or liquid products, as it picks up too much product and can lead to clogging, blobs or streaking.

· Each type of hair comes with unique strengths and advantages. For example, sable hair is soft, flexible and goes to a fine point – suitable for precision work. Badger hair is stiff and used in brushes that work to define and shape, like brow brushes. Squirrel and goat hair is very soft.

· How is the hair made? A commonly asked question and the answer is simple: the hair is not given willingly – and is obtained from animals by hunting, farming and slaughter. 


Synthetic Hair

· What is synthetic hair? Synthetic hair is 100% manufactured fibres, like nylon and polyester.

· Why is synthetic hair used? Synthetic hair does not have a cuticle, so it is very smooth and traps less product in the hair than animal hair brushes. Therefore, they are great for creams, gels and liquids. Powders can also be applied with synthetics designed just for this purpose. 

· How is the hair made? In factories – and can be cut to any length and dyed to any colour.

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+86 135 0329 6601

+86 135 0329 6601

+86 135 0329 6601

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