The bristles on makeup brushes come in one of three forms: natural, synthetic, or hybrid. You may find sets that include brushes made of one type of bristle, or a mix of each. That mix is usually by design, since each type of bristle lends itself to a specific type of makeup.
Made from real animal hair, natural bristles have a porous structure that makes them perfect for picking up color from powder cosmetics, but they’re not as ideal for cream and liquid products.
Because synthetic bristles aren’t as absorbent as their natural counterparts, cream blushes and liquid foundation won’t get trapped their bristles, and they blend eyeshadow and other cosmetics to a natural finish without removing much color. They’re still no match for natural bristles when it comes to applying powders.
You can often spot hybrid brushes by their telltale two-tone design, as each individual bristle in is made of both natural animal hair and synthetic material. Combining these two materials creates a versatile tool that lends itself to applying and blending virtually any type of makeup.