It might seem odd to recommend a cosmetics brush as a shaving brush, but the EcoTools Sheer Finish Kabuki Brush seems to be a real hit with shavers everywhere! This brush is vegan-friendly, certified by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), and is made with recycled materials by a company that insists on fair labor practices from their suppliers. And, as a bonus, you get two brushes in a single package on Amazon currently (so you could use one for makeup and one for shaving, if you wanted, or give one away).
EcoTools Sheer Finish Kabuki Brush
Highlights: Brush is made with recycled materials by a company that insists on fair labor practices from their suppliers. Excellent soft fiber option for beginner wet shavers, those with very soft or fine hair, and anyone with sensitive skin. Forms a good lather without dimpling.
EcoTools Sheer Finish Kabuki Brush at a glance:
|Country of Origin:||USA|
|Materials:||Bamboo and synthetic fiber knot|
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One major downside to this brush is that it may not be available for much longer, despite its popularity. I contacted the company and they confirmed that this product has been discontinued, seemingly with no plans to start making the brush again. They recommended visiting their Where to Buy page to find a local retailer who may still have some in stock.
So, why are folks so enamored of this cosmetics brush for shaving? It seems that this brush is an excellent soft fiber option for beginner wet shavers, those with very soft or fine hair, and anyone with sensitive skin (for whom a badger hair brush would be too abrasive and irritating). The brush forms a good lather without dimpling but is a little smaller in diameter than other shaving brushes, so you may have to re-lather if shaving a larger area of skin such as your legs.
EcoTools was founded in 2007 with a commitment to using recycled materials, renewable bamboo and better manufacturing processes to make eco-friendly products. They specialize in beauty products, but a slew of reviewers recommending this brush for shaving have made it something of a hit with those who have no interest in applying powder, blush, or other cosmetics.
EcoTools are an earth-conscious company that has established fair labor practices for their suppliers, including restrictions on child labor, and an insistence on fair wages and compensation for overtime. They monitor production with their own quality control and assurance staff and conduct ongoing random inspections at their manufacturing facilities. It would be nice if this was certified through Fair Trade, Nest, or another credible certifying body, however.
EcoTools also have a record of donating to charitable causes that support the empowerment of women and girls. Unfortunately, they don’t have a clear policy on the use of chemicals in their products, which means it’s very likely the eco-friendly bamboo handle on this brush has been treated with some kind of varnish or lacquer that contain VOCs.
EcoTools vs. Paragon, The Body Shop, and Wild Sage & Co.
Mutiny, EcoTools, The Body Shop, and Wild Sage & Co., are all in a similar range because their brushes likely contain toxic chemicals in their handles, and they 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 do have the advantage of being made by a company who use recycled materials and eco-friendly bamboo, and that PETA certification is a nice nod towards vegan-friendliness. However, they have discontinued this product and they aren’t transparent about any varnishes or finishes on their handle. And most of these synthetic fiber brushes are vegan anyway, with or without certification.
With Paragon, at least you know you’re getting a better quality synthetic fiber, especially if you buy the Plissoft knots. And Paragon are at least somewhat transparent about their wood sourcing. The Body Shop also have the advantage of using FSC certified wood for their handle, even if they might also treat it with a toxic stain or varnish (View Price on Amazon).
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. For that, you’d probably want a Synth-Firm type of synthetic fiber brush, such as the Mimik Badger ‘Turnback’ Shaving Brush. Or, go for a Mühle or RazoRock synthetic brush that has a much higher quality knot.
If the wooden handle is calling to you and a softer brush tip with some decent backbone is in order, the Mühle Black Fibre Thermo Wood might be just the thing. This wood is heat treated to make it durable and able to resist water even without a chemical coating. Your better 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).