Brush Strokes: Synthetic vs. Natural


On Sunday afternoon we received a little bit of an education from Tom Pecheux, who was handling the beauty side of things backstage for Derek Lam. He was demonstrating how to use an Estée Lauder cream eyeshadow to bring down the models' lip color when we inquired as to the type of brush in his hand.

“You need to use a synthetic brush!” he exclaimed. “If you use a brush with a cream-based product it must be synthetic, not a natural hair. If it’s a cream blush or cream eyeshadow or lipstick or foundation, you must use all synthetic brushes. First of all, because these products are greasy, so it’s much healthier to use a synthetic, and also because synthetic brushes are flat. See, this is a natural hair brush.” He lifted one and wiggled it against the backs of our hands. “It’s fluffy.” It was. “Now, this is synthetic hair.” (It wasn’t.)

“With synthetic, it’s hard to do a good, fluffy brush. With cream anything, you need a synthetic.” The one he favors for cream eyeshadow? Estée Lauder's concealer brush 5. So, there you are—straight from the horse's mouth.

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  • Valeria Alvarez

    Such great tips for the ones that start to get into the make up world!!

    <3 Val

  • Nomadic D.

    Huh. Good to know. Thanks for the tip.

  • Adeola Naomi Aderemi

    Great tip!!!

  • Doutzen

    Wow this totally helped me. I'm in the process of revamping and streamlining my makeup collection and although this seems like common sense, I didn't already know this. Very good tip!

  • Stephanie Liu

    quick, to the point, and easy to remember! Thanks Emily (and Tom).

    xx Steph

  • MrAJBx3

    I totally agree synthetic brushes make creams go on better because if you use real hair with creams then the brush just gets all clogged up and it goes on patchy and just looks a mess! :/

  • Melissa

    It is always great to learn from the professional and I certainly love it when they explain it. The little secrets are what makes all the difference. And I certainly will be asking the right questions now! Thank you. xoxo Melissa