What to Look for When Purchasing Cosmetic Brushes

Not all cosmetic brushes are of equal quality. However, purchasing high-quality brushes is important, as these brushes are an investment in your self-confidence and overall beauty. When shopping for cosmetic brushes, there are three parts of the brush that you should examine: the hair, the ferrule, and the handle.




Years ago, makeup artists were adamant that the hair must be natural; pony, goat, sable, or boar bristle. However, in more recent times, the synthetic options have become much better and can often be just as effective. Beware of brushes, except for eyeliner and lip brushes, that claim to be made of 100% sable hair. First, it’s just not economically feasible. Secondly, it would be inadequate for the job because sable is a very resilient hair. If a powder or blusher brush, which should be made from goat hair, were instead made of sable hair, it would not be soft enough to move and blend the color. The hair in each brush needs to be appropriate for the brush’s function.




The ferrule is the metal piece that grips the hair and connects it to the handle.  The best, and most expensive, ferrules are made of brass. The strength and hardness of brass holds the hair intact the longest. Less expensive ferrules are made of aluminum. Because of the softness of aluminum, these ferrules tend to lose their shape after prolonged use and loosen their grip on the hair.




Wood-handle brushes are the most desirable. Plastic is less expensive, but doesn’t offer the grip, balance, or feel of wood. When shopping, play with the brushes in your hands to make sure you are comfortable with them.


When purchasing brushes, recognize a basic truth: Brushes do not last a lifetime.  Like toothbrushes and hairbrushes, they get old, ineffective, and wear out. The set you buy today will eventually have to be replaced. If you notice your brushes losing their hair when new, don’t worry – it’s a natural process. If they continue to shed, return them – you’ve been sold an inferior product. If your ferrule becomes detached from the handle, don’t panic; instead, try a little glue to reattach the ferrule to the handle, making the brush as good as new. Jerome Alexander made his Pro Style Brush Set so you can get the best results from a superior product at an affordable price.


After purchasing the best brushes for your makeup application, make sure you know how to take the best care of them.