Everything You Need to Know About Makeup and Makeup Brushes | Empty Whole (Ultimate Guide)

Hello, we've published this entry to answer all the questions our team has received regarding makeup and makeup brushes.

Here, we're creating the ultimate guide for your beauty knowledge & routine.

One thing to note is that this entry is ongoing - it already includes valuable information and we will be updating it with more worthwhile, essential tips.

Bookmark this guide and come back to it for new additions as they're added.

Read on to learn about the differences between natural and synthetic makeup brushes, when and how to clean your makeup brushes + beauty blenders, what the best lighting is for applying makeup, and more!

Let's get right into it:


Part 1:


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What's the Difference Between Natural and Synthetic Makeup Brushes?

As you may already know there are two common types of hair for makeup brushes – there are brushes made with natural hair and brushes made with synthetic hair.

So, what’s the difference?

Natural Hair Makeup Brushes 

Natural hair brush fibers are sourced from the furs of various animals like weasel (sable), squirrel, or farm animals like goats.

Depending on the animal fur type, the quality of the hair collected, and the manufacturing process of the company providing them, natural hair brushes could be made softer than synthetic hair brushes.

There are also claims for cruelty-free natural hair brushes, this is essentially a claim that the hair was gently sourced from the animal without causing it harm.

Natural hair brushes perform very well but could have less durability when compared to brushes made from synthetic hair - depending on how often the brushes are used, how you treat them as the user, and how you care for them when cleaning. 

Synthetic Hair Makeup Brushes

Synthetic hair brush fibers are made from nylon and other plastic materials.

Advancements in the materials and manufacturing of synthetic brushes have made it so that there’s little difference in how they apply makeup when compared to brushes made from natural hair.

Brushes made with synthetic hair can be advantageous in terms of maintenance because the hair won’t damage as much as natural hair over the course of many washes and they can also be sanitized with alcohol without drying the hairs.

Synthetic hair makeup brushes are claimed to be cruelty-free because they are made from manufactured plastic hair fibers and not with hair taken from animals. Although, as we clarified earlier, there are natural hair brushes that claim to be sourced cruelty-free which means the animal hair was sourced humanely.

Makeup artists say there's a slight difference between how natural and synthetic brushes work and each artists uses them for different purposes - to be sure you would have to form your own opinion.


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So, how do they perform and which should you use? 

We know many artists who enjoy using natural hair brushes with powders, blush, mineral makeup, bronzer, or for lightly blending concealer.

As for synthetic brushes – many artists prefer to use them with cream and liquid formulas like foundation and eye liner because they are less absorbent than natural hair brushes. 

To really determine the difference for yourself our suggestion would be to use both our luxurious, cruelty-free natural hair makeup brushes and synthetic hair makeup brushes with different products and to take note of which brushes feel best and help you achieve your best looks!

(You could absolutely choose between just synthetic or natural hair tools– but if you're like most artists and you love to buy new makeup brushes give both a try and you may improve all your looks. Plus, once you know which type you prefer you could continue using only those and not purchase the brush types you don't prefer)


So, try both and see what works best for you!


Part 2:

The Best Lighting For Applying Makeup


Everything You Need to Know About Makeup and Makeup Brushes


I don't want to waste your time - Simply put, LED lighting is the best lighting you could use to apply makeup every day because it most similarly represents natural light.

The lighting provided by bright LED lights helps you avoid inconsistencies with color, blending, and aesthetics while providing an accurate view of your canvas.

Most importantly, the LED light helps you view your makeup as it will appear under most lighting environments since it mimics natural sunlight more-so than any other light.

Under yellow and other non-LED light conditions, the face is not properly illuminated and application quality is not as high as it could be - the makeup you apply could actually look different than you think it looks when you leave the room you applied it in.

That's all there is to it!

A beautifully designed LED vanity has proven to be worth it because it will improve your ability to apply makeup flawlessly and consistently while making your daily makeup application more enjoyable and glamorous.


Everything You Need to Know About Makeup and Makeup Brushes Empty Whole


 Part 3:

How Often Are You Supposed to Clean Your Makeup Brushes? and How Should You Clean Sponge Blenders?


Everything You Need to Know About Makeup and Makeup Brushes


Ladies, you have to clean your makeup brushes! Do it for your skin and for better makeup application!

We all use our makeup brushes pretty much daily but how often are we cleaning them?

I don’t know how often you clean yours. But – i know how often you should you be cleaning them.

We’ve tested it out and determined that to maintain the durability and integrity of the hair on the brushes we should be cleaning them every two weeks or so.

It’s important that we take the time to clean our brushes and not just because they get dirty.

A huge part of our beauty routine is caring for our skin, right?

Well, when you let your brushes go too long without cleaning them you aren’t working to prevent bacteria and skin cells from building up on your tools - which will lead to acne and unwanted blemishes forming on your skin!

How often should you clean your makeup brushes?

You may hear some artists or ‘experts’ recommend cleaning your brushes once a week but we don’t recommend that.

We’ve tested different durations and cleaning once a week can really start to wear down your bristles.

We recommend cleaning your brushes every 2-4 weeks (at least once a month).

What should you use to clean your makeup brushes?

To clean your tools use water and a gentle soap (regular soaps can dry out the hair bristles – especially natural hair brushes).

You'll also want to use a cleaning tool to gently and efficiently clean your brushes. 




How do you clean the brushes?

To clean the brushes follow these simple steps: 

  1. Wet the bristles with warm water
  2. Add a drop of water with soap or brush cleanser to one of our brush cleaning tools – or add a drop of soap/cleanser to the palm of your hand
  3. Gently massage the tips of the bristles in the cleaning tools or softly with your fingers
  4. Gently rinse the hair under water after you’ve cleaned it
  5. When you’re done, let the brushes hang upside down to dry


Notes about cleaning:

  • The end of brush where the bristles touch your face is called the toe of the brush. The heel of the brush is the base where the hair is connected to the handle ferrule (the piece connecting the bristles to the handle). While washing, be sure to keep the heel/base away from the water/cleansing solution. This will prevent water and chemicals from getting into the heel and causing the glue to lose it’s integrity resulting in bristles coming loose and shedding.
  • Do not dry the brushes standing upwards. Again, this will cause water to leak into the ferrule and cause the hair on your brushes to shed.
  • For a gentle, DIY soap and water cleanser, try mixing baby shampoo (or a similar, gentle soap) with water.

How to clean sponge blenders

Similar to makeup brushes, sponges/blenders can accumulate dead skin cells and bacteria.

To care for your sponge blenders, clean them when you clean your brushes (maybe even once a week) to keep your face clear and avoid contaminating your skin with bacteria and other irritants.

You can clean your sponge blenders with a gentle soap or makeup brush cleanser.

Just apply your cleansing solution, rub the dirt out yourself, and run the blender under warm water.

When should you replace makeup brushes?

When the hair bristles on your makeup brush start to shed, fray, lose their shape, or feel dry and lose their performance ability, be sure to throw them away.

The brushes you use are critical to executing your looks and the brushes are your tools – so we want to make sure you’re tools are performing at a high level and not dirtying your face! 



  • Clean your makeup brushes every 2-4 weeks (at least once a month) to prevent contaminating your face with bacteria or dead skin cells
  • Use makeup brush cleaning tools to gently, properly, and conveniently clean your brushes
  • Avoid getting water and cleanser into the ferrule where the hair connects to the handle or hairs may start to shed
  • Dry your brushes upside down to preserve the hair durability and shape
  • Clean your sponge blenders as often as you clean your brushes (maybe even more often)
  • Replace your brushes when you can tell they aren’t working as well as they used to


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