e.l.f. Cosmetics switches to synthetic brush fibers

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

e.l.f. Cosmetics switches to synthetic brush fibers

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At the behest of the nonprofit animal rights organization PETA, e.l.f has stopped using animal hair to make its beauty tools and hopes other industry brands will follow suit.

The color cosmetics and skin care company boasts a portfolio of over 50 distinct brushes. And, now due to a “strong collaboration between e.l.f. Cosmetics and PETA,” ​they are all made with synthetic bristles.  

Ethical stance

As animal testing goes out of vogue with more and more beauty consumers, some companies are positioning their brands as cruelty-free.

“PETA is delighted to share that all e.l.f. brushes are now 100 percent cruelty-free,” ​says the organization’s senior vice president Kathy Guillermo in a media release.

e.l.f. is indeed framing this latest initiative as an ethical one: “We have high quality brushes that are now 100 percent synthetic fibers,” ​says e.l.f. Cosmetics senior vice president and chief marketing officer Erin Daley. “It was the right thing to do and we sincerely hope the rest of the beauty industry follows our approach.”

Switching to synthetic brush fibers is an opportunity for beauty brands, besides being a right thing to do.

Fuax fur

Material technology companies like DuPont have been partnering with cosmetic brush makers to develop fibers that mimic natural animal hair for product pick up, application, and skin feel.

And most tool makers and brands opting for synthetic fibers now, use fibers that behave in ways natural fibers simply can’t. Technology has advanced and new complexities and functions can be built into the brushes.

For example, brush maker Taiki teamed up with DuPont to build a better bristle and used squirrel hair as the base line. “With that goal in mind, Taiki created Tafre – Taiki Animal Free Ecological fibre,”​ Jim Perry, president and CEO of TaikiUSA told Cosmetics Design last year​.  He explained that the patented fiber “performs better and feels better – using cuticles that perform better than natural hair.”

Industry perspective

Brush makers are continually gauging consumer preferences: “Fibers are so varied, both natural and synthetic –and women are getting more curious about who is creating the products that impact their everyday look,”​ Anisa Telwar, president of Anisa International, a long-standing company specializing in beauty tools and tool storage containers, has told Cosmetics Design​.

So it stands to reason that synthetic brush fiber design and development is moving swiftly. It may even outpace consumer expectations. “Advanced synthetics will ensure that there is no reason for people to use animal hair in the manufacture of brushes,” believes Michael Mink of FM Brush Company​.

Related topics Brand Innovation Color Cosmetics

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