EcoTools Sheer Finish Kabuki Brush Review

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Written by Leigh Matthews, BA Hons, H.Dip. NT


Leigh Matthews, BA Hons, H.Dip. NT

Sustainability Expert

Leigh Matthews is a sustainability expert and long time vegan. Her work on solar policy has been published in Canada's National Observer.


The EcoTools Retractable Kabuki Brush is a vegan-friendly cosmetics brush that does double duty as a shaving brush! Here’s why we recommend this brush, especially for beginner shavers.

EcoTools Retractable Kabuki Brush

Leaf Score

Highlights: Retractable brush made with recycled materials under fair labor conditions. Meant for make-up but also great for beginner wet shavers, very soft or fine hair, and anyone with sensitive skin.

Table of Contents
  1. EcoTools Retractable Kabuki Brush
  2. Overview
  3. Is it sustainable?
  4. Why it’s great for shaving
  5. Who is EcoTools?
  6. EcoTools vs. other shaving brushes
  7. Better options for shaving brushes

At a glance:

Made in: America

Materials: recycled aluminum, recycled plastic, recycled bamboo, recycled packaging

Certifications: PETA approved Vegan


We originally recommended the EcoTools Kabuki Sheer Finish Brush but the company discontinued this item and replaced it with… the Retractable Face Brush that we like even more!

This brush is still sold as a make-up brush for powder and bronzer but it has the same soft and full knot that made its predecessor a hit with shavers.

The great thing about this brush is that it comes with a cap, meaning it’s a top choice for a travel shave brush.

Is it sustainable?

EcoTools makes this Kabuki brush with recycled aluminum and recycled plastic. The brush handle also features some recycled bamboo.

All in all, this brush is an inexpensive and more sustainable option than most brushes you would expect to discard after a year of use. Of course, it’s only really sustainable if you actually recycle it. And, as always, it’s far better to choose a brush that can last for many years, with just the occasional need to replace the knot rather than the whole brush.

The shaving brush comes in minimal packaging, with very little single-use plastic, and tree-free paper that’s recycled and recyclable.

Why it’s great for shaving

Why do folks love this cosmetics brush for shaving?

Partly because the Kabuki brush forms a good lather without dimpling. But mostly because the brush design makes it an excellent soft fiber option for:

  • Beginner wet shavers
  • Shavers with very soft or fine hair
  • Anyone with sensitive skin.

If you find badger hair brushes too abrasive and irritating, this may well be the brush for you.

Small diameter

As a brush meant for make-up, the EcoTools Kabuki brush is a little smaller in diameter than other shaving brushes.

This means it’s easy to pack for on-the-go shaving but may require you to re-lather if shaving a larger area of skin such as your legs. 

Who is EcoTools?

EcoTools was founded in 2007 with a commitment to using recycled materials, renewable bamboo and better manufacturing processes to make eco-friendly products.

EcoTools has established fair labor practices for its suppliers, including restrictions on child labor, and an insistence on fair wages and compensation for overtime. It monitors production with in-house quality control and assurance staff and conducts ongoing random inspections at its manufacturing facilities. While this is somewhat reassuring, it would be nice if this brush were certified through Fair Trade, Nest, or another credible certifying body. 

EcoTools also has a record of donating to charitable causes that support the empowerment of women and girls. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a clear policy on the use of chemicals in its products. While that meant we were a bit suspicious of the bamboo handle brush being treated with some kind of varnish or lacquer that contain VOCs, this won’t be a problem for the aluminum handle brush.

EcoTools vs. other shaving brushes

EcoTools, The Body Shop, and Wild Sage & Co., all get a similar leaf score because their brush handles may be treated with undesirable chemicals. They also all use knots made with synthetic plastic fibers of unknown quality and provenance. As such, there’s no telling how long these brushes will last and if it is a once in a lifetime type of purchase or destined for landfill in a few years. 

EcoTools has the advantage of using recycled materials and just a minimal amount of eco-friendly bamboo for its newer brush, and we appreciate the PETA vegan certification. However, most of these synthetic fiber brushes are vegan anyway, with or without certification. And we dislike that the company isn’t transparent about any varnishes or finishes on the bamboo component of the handle.

There are also some other differences worth noting between the Kabuki brush from EcoTools and its competitors.

EcoTools vs. Paragon

With Paragon, at least you know you’re getting a better quality synthetic fiber, especially if you buy the Plissoft knots. And Paragon is somewhat transparent about its wood sourcing.

EcoTools vs. The Body Shop

The Body Shop uses FSC certified wood for its shaving brush handle, which makes it more sustainable than most. That said, it may still treat the wood with a toxic stain or varnish (View on Amazon).

EcoTools vs. Wild Sage & Co.

Wild Sage & Co. may be a great option for a beginner shaver looking for a cheap and somewhat eco-friendly starter shaving brush for finer hair. For those with a thicker beard, coarser hair, and/or a rougher approach to shaving, these softer fiber brushes likely won’t cut it. The softness of the bristles means the brush won’t exfoliate or lift thicker, coarser hair, which makes it harder to shave.

Better options for shaving brushes

If you’re not a beginner shaver or don’t have a need for a super soft brush, but you are looking for a vegan-friendly shaving brush, consider a Synth-Firm type of synthetic fiber brush, such as the Mimik Badger ‘Turnback’ Shaving Brush. Or, go for a Mühle (see our review) or RazoRock (see our review) synthetic brush that has a much higher quality knot.

The most sustainable option, though, is to get any of the metal handle brushes with a quality knot, such as those from RazoRock (View Price on Amazon) or Mühle (View Price on Amazon). 

EcoTools Retractable Kabuki Brush

Leaf Score

Highlights: Retractable brush made with recycled materials under fair labor conditions. Meant for make-up but also great for beginner wet shavers, very soft or fine hair, and anyone with sensitive skin.

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