Written by Chloe D


Posted on February 02 2015

There is so much to know when it comes to finding a high quality brush sets, and with so many brands out there, it can be a little daunting to know what to look for.


Below, we provide important info you will require when researching this most essential tool in makeup application.



Most Popular: Squirrel, Goat and Pony


  • Natural hair is the only type that has a medulla, which is a central structure that has a protective cortex covering. This is layered by cuticles, which act as ‘scales’. This structure is what makes it possible for the brush to ‘trap’ the powder it picks up.

  • When you press the brush to the area to be applied, the ‘trapped’ powder is then released.

  • Natural hair is the most preferred for this reason. It picks up, transfers and applies more effectively than synthetic fibres, which, due to its ‘non-medulla’ structure, does not hold powder as well.

Cut & Quality: The 'cut' refers to how the hair is harvested. The end result is the quality.


  • First cut (virgin) hair can make any type of natural hair feel as soft as that type of hair can be, even if it is a lower 'grade' natural hair. It is 'cruelty free', as it is sheared of the tips of the fur, resulting in the softest feel on the skin.

  • Blunt cut hair is the 'lower' cut of the hair. They are much coarser and prickly on the skin. Not as pleasant to use as first cut hair, this cut is most popular in department store and cheaper brush sets.

  • To tell if the hair is first cut is easy, as it should be soft and lovely to use. If you are still unsure, check out the tips of the hair. They should be naturally finely pointed.

Ihana only use first cut hair.



Most Popular: Taklon, Nylon

  • Whilst synthetic (Vegan) hair is climbing in popularity, professional makeup artists still prefer working with natural hair, although you will normally always find a few synthetic hair brushes in a full set, as they still have a purpose to serve in some areas of application, such as applying foundation.

  • Benefits: Vegan brushes tend to be more resilient to makeup and solvents, and because pigments don't trap in the hair as with natural brushes, they are easier to clean. The fibres are often colored and baked, to make them softer and more absorbent.

  • Technology has come a long way, and so has the quality of Vegan brushes.

Ihana Vegan brush sets are the softest, most gorgeous brushes, and if you are after a Vegan set, you can't go past Ihana.


This is the metal part that holds all the hair in. The things to look out for are:

  • Seams. If a ferrule has seams, it can become apart and allow solvents and water to accumulate, causing it to come loose and damage the handle.

  • Crimping. To avoid loose, wobbly handles, ensure that the ferrule has a double crimp (2 circles) around them.

  • Metal Quality. Copper ferrules are the best you can get, and take quite some time to get ready for production, hence the reason Ihana are regularly out of stock on most of their ranges. If you have an Ihana brush set, you have the best set in town!

Ihana ferrules are of the highest professional standards, with no seams that will damage the handle, and they feature the double crimp. They are also, of course, made from copper.


This should be made from hard wood and feel good in your hand. The weight should be just right and length is a personal choice.