How Do 'Teddy Bear Hair' Makeup Brushes Compare To Less Cruelty-Conscious Brushes?

I tested the latest Too Faced makeup brush set against animal-hair brushes, and I'm thrilled with the results.
Publish date:
January 29, 2014
favorites, makeup brushes, Too Faced, cruelty-free

As I’ve mentioned before, being vegan (or even animal-cruelty-conscious) is extremely hard in the beauty world. Cruelty-free brands are owned by companies who are not cruelty-free, and labeling is often intentionally misleading. Things are getting better, but there is still a lot of suffering happening behind the scenes that I don’t want to fund if I can help it.

Luckily, there are a few great cruelty-free companies that I trust, and Too Faced is one of them.

Too Faced is committed to being 100% cruelty-free and offers an impressive roster of vegan products, as well. Their packaging is adorable, their prices are average-ish, and everything I have tried has worked very well for me so far.

My favourite part of their line, though, has to be the "teddy bear hair" brushes.

I haven’t bought new brushes since high school, so my current collection is a mismatched group of animal hair and outdated synthetics. My best brush is a Smashbox rabbit fur blush brush my mom got me when I was 19 that she told me was cruelty-free. The salesperson had convinced her the bunnies were delicately brushed to harvest the fur, and otherwise lived a great life on a lovely fluffy bunny farm.

I semi-believed her right up until this horrible exposé about angora fur rabbits surfaced a couple months ago. Though Angora farms in China were technically unrelated to my brush, it drove me to feel even more unsure about fashion/beauty-related animal byproducts and how they’re produced. Every time I applied makeup with my blush, I felt sick about the screaming bunnies. I decided it was time for an upgrade.

As luck would have it, Too Faced had just released their new Pro-Essential Teddy Bear Hair Brush Set.

First things first: this brush set is out-of-this-world cute. The packaging, the brushes themselves, the little pink and gold pouch that comes with them, everything! Each brush has a tiny gold teddy and a “what is this brush for” label embossed on the iridescent pink handle, and the pouch has a metallic gold heart pattern on a pink background, with a golden teddy bear zipper pull!

But enough about looks. Lets talk about the actual brushes.

So turns out, these brushes are incredibly, wonderfully soft. I brushed each one on my hand, weighing them against my real-hair brushes, and in every case the teddy bear fur was as soft, if not more soft, than the real thing.

With my initial test out of the way, I went on to test their performance on my actual face.

I started off by using the big fluffy powder brush to apply my NARS Super Orgasm blush like I normally would with my Smashbox brush, then dusted my cheeks with Too Faced Glamour Dust in Pink Fire for a little extra shimmer. The new brush worked wonderfully, and left my cheeks perfectly rosy and blended.

Next I moved on to my eyes.

I used the all-over shadow brush first to apply my favourite base shadow, Urban Decay’s Vanilla. The brush was easy to use and actually seemed to work better with the shadow than my old MAC shadow brush.

When I was done applying, I had wonderful shimmery vanilla eyelids.

I picked up the contour brush next and used it with Urban Decay's Toasted brown shadow to add a bit of smoky darkness to the outer edges of my eyelids. Again, the brush was super-soft and did exactly what I needed it to, and my shadow really popped more than usual.

Next, I used the blending brush to, well, blend the two shadows together, and also added a touch of shimmer pink with Urban Decay’s SWF shadow to the inner corner of my eyelid (yes, I know I was using the wrong brush, but it still worked).

Finally, I used the liner brush with Urban Decay’s Twice Baked shadow to give my eyes some nice chocolate brown definition.

I’d never used a brush like this before, and I was a little worried I’d end up with thick raccoon eyeliner around my eyes, but the small, pointy brush served me well. The end result was much more subtle than I would get with a liquid liner or pencil, but I loved the way it made my eyes look!

I finished the everything off with a touch of Too Faced Lip Injection Colour Bomb in Candy Burst (I was having a super pinky pink day).

The brushes had performed above and beyond my expectations. They felt great on my skin, and my conscience, and I can safely say I’ll be saying no to any fur but teddy bear fur from now on!