Home FAQ FAQ time: Can I use Sonia G brushes with cream products?

FAQ time: Can I use Sonia G brushes with cream products?

by Sonia G.

I often see this question on Instagram comments “Can I use your brushes with cream products?”

The answer is that it depends. Please let me explain.

It depends on the type of bristles, on the brush shape, on the frequency, on the product, on the technique.

In general, natural bristles deliver better results with powder products, while synthetic bristles usually deliver better results with creams and liquids. This is true most of the time, with exceptions, in every rule there are exceptions.

The type of bristles

Synthetic brushes are better for liquids and creams as they don’t absorb as much product compared to natural goat bristles. The more product is absorbed, the more product you waste and the natural bristles may stain in the longer term, unlikely, but it is a possibility. It happened once to me.

I also understood that some components in cream products may penetrate deeper and alter the dyed cuticule on a natural bristle, I think that it is a combination of this, paired with a more frequent deep washing, that may cause a faster deterioration of the bristles.

Using cream products with natural bristles may be a bit more agressive on the cuticules in comparison to a usage only with powders, but, we also have to keep in mind that the water and soap (or cleaning method) that use may also have an impact on the durability of the brush. I use Beautyblender solid soap most of the time.

The “Sonia G” brushes that are bundled with dyed goat bristles (brown) should not be used with creams, the white ones can. This is the manufacturer’s advice. However, I do use some of the smaller brown dyed brushes with creams and I haven’t noticed any change in the bristles. I shouldn’t use them that way if I want to strictly follow the recommendations, but I still do it in order to see how they age. I use for example the Flat Definer or the Builder Three quite a lot with cream pots, so far I did not notice any bleeding, any change in quality or performance. Some of my close friends told me they also sometimes use these same brown dyed brushes with creams and they saw no deterioration or impact on the brush. Other than the impact creams could have on the dye, the manufacturer behind the brushes likes to protect himself and consequently say that you shouldn’t use dyed brushes with creams or liquids.

It’s good to know that:

  1. Squirrel bristles or mixes that contain squirrel bristles should never be used with liquids or creams.
  2. All natural bristles are different. White goat bristles coming from a manufacturer are most of the time – or even always- different from the ones used by his competitors, even when talking same grade of hair.
  3. Some dyed goat bristles can be used with creams, if this is the case it is in general mentioned by the manufacturer.
  4. Even if brushes can last years, they all have a life span, after some time they are supposed to be changed.

Brush shape and product compatibility

Some cream products are tougher to pick, if the brush head is too floppy or too fluffy, you may need to press the bristles hard against the product and then again on the skin in order to get some color pay off, or a nice blending. The more strength and stress you put on the bristles, the weaker the bristles get, whether in the short or the long term. This applies to both dyed and undyed goat bristles. Also often applies more to handmade brushes because machines can use bundling techniques and glues that are different.

In the Sky Eye set, the Soft Shader is bundled with white goat bristles, this was on purpose so that we can use this brush with cream shadows or even concealer.

In the Pro Eye Set, the Pencil Pro, Worker Pro and Crease Pro are the brushes I believe to be the most useful with the application and blending of cream shadows, that’s why those weren’t dyed brown.

The Fan Pro, Classic Cheek or Sculpt Four are brushes I sometimes pair with creams because they are denser, stiffer and quite strong so we don’t need to put so much stress on the heads in order to be able to pick or diffuse cream products.

The Classic Cheek from the Sky Face set is on the denser side, it was bundled in such a compact yet fluffy way in case you actually want or need to use cream blush or cream bronzer. Because the shape is between a ball and a paddle brush, it can be used with the tip, or the sides, this shapetends to be less restrictive, it allows more flexibility with the technique and more versatility with the products.

Mini Cheek – Classic Cheek – Soft Cheek

So you may ask, why don’t they all have white goat bristles in order to be able to use them ALL also with creams?? Because I strongly believe that dyed goat bristles are the very best to use with powders and powders are what we use the most.

Spoilers: I am working on a parallel collection with synthetic bristles (to target liquids and creams), I started more than three years ago but I am very picky and they will only come out once I am convinced they will be the best for the job, and still handmade in Japan!


If you only use creams once in a while, then it doesn’t make sense to get dedicated synthetic brushes, it’s perfectly fine to use white goat brushes. If you love to use creams very frequently, then it’s worth to invest on a dedicated brush for the purpose. This will preserve the life span of your other natural brushes, and probably or hopefully, they will do a better job with creams.

The technique

There are many brush shapes available and each brush calls for a different technique. A rounded brush is appropriate for an application in circular motions. A paddle/flat brush is more appropriate for an application with its sides. Forcing a brush in a movement that it is not meant to, may break the bristles and cause shedding.
For example if you want to use a paddle brush for stippling, it may not be a very safe idea.
We also shouldn’t need to put a lot of strength on a brush for it to be efficient, if you need to do so, then maybe it means you need to switch the brush.

Bottom line

As a general rule (with exceptions):

  • white goat bristles can be -quite safely- used with cream products
  • dyed goat bristles should not
  • synthetic bristles tend to be more resilient and don’t usually care what you throw at them, providing they are well constructed

Whatever the brushes you are using, enjoy them fully and stay creative!!!



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Samantha Bengtson 12 April, 2020 - 10:45 pm

I finally got my hands on the detail pro, cheek pro and Inochige Pro! My goodness as usual They DO NOT disappoint!! The cheek pro I added to my cart last and am really loving!! The cheek pro and detail pro are both staples and worth adding both to your collection. The designer is not as dense and has a beautiful shape. The cheek pro is dense and so soft. Detail pro is everything!! Perfect for strategic powder setting. I just love every Sonia G. Brush I own. Thank you so much

Denise Marie 13 April, 2020 - 1:40 am

My personal needs for cream-friendly brushes are for mixing powders with a mixing medium for eye looks. And I also apply shadows over a sticky base to keep my glitter where I want it! . Concealer needs a good brush for laying down and blending, as with foundation ( when I use it). And sometimes I like using a lip brush. So I am anticipating with great pleasure your synthetic line. Take care, Dear Lady!

Zemfira 13 April, 2020 - 4:50 pm

Hi, Sonia, yesterday I got my first brushes.

Sara Fetene 20 April, 2020 - 4:50 pm

So would it be fine to use a dyed goat hair brushes from your sky eye set like the jumbo blender with cream to powder shadows like the ones in Natasha Denona’s Biba palette? Because they aren’t necessarily wet like a traditional cream shadow but are creamier than your traditional matte eyeshadow. If I wanted to use it for an all over lid & crease color & I didn’t want to use the soft shader

Sonia G. 20 April, 2020 - 5:41 pm

Hi Sara, yes absolutely! perfectly fine and I love it for that purpose! take care!! 🙂

Louise Sharpy 21 April, 2020 - 8:02 pm

Thank you so much for explaining and letting us know the how Too’s of your BEAUTIFUL brushes. (Just like you!) it’s nice to have information also on how to care for them ! You don’t see a lot of passion from brands. With you, we have that!! It’s what makes me want to buy even more

AnnMarie Gianfrancesco 15 June, 2020 - 10:53 am

I have the Tom Ford Cream eyeshadow, however the top has a Glitter to it. What do you suggest I use? Two different brushes or can I still just use one? (And I’m a Person who HATES touching eyeshadows,) Will you be coming out with a product that will be good for Glitter (like with a Pat McGrath eyeshadows?)

Sonia G. 21 June, 2020 - 11:23 pm

Hi AnnMarie, do you mean “product” as a “brush”?
I use any laydown brush that fits the area you want to cover and for the glitter I use the Flat Definer most of the time because of the precision it allows and I don’t want the glitter to be misplaced!

Joey 19 June, 2020 - 11:09 pm

This is so helpful, thank you Sonia! Could you use one of the dyed goat hair brushes for applying wet-dry formulas (like Tom Ford’s) wet , or just undyed? Or is synthetic the best bet for this type of application? I don’t want to damage my precious brushes!

Sonia G. 21 June, 2020 - 11:10 pm

Hi Joey, sorry for my late reply, somehow I am not notified when I receive comments or questions anymore.. have to look into that!
Do you mean you wet the brush with a spray and you pick up the product afterwards, or you pick the product and you spray the brush?
Or is it gellees that you are talking about?
Either of those I think would be fine but if you can tell me what product it is and how you apply it, I can see better!

Natalie 11 December, 2020 - 6:03 pm

I don’t know if you will see this, but i just got my first brush of yours! oh and the keyaki brush set is on the way! I am so excited. I have a question which I am pretty sure I know thee answer but anyway…I ordered the mini cheek (on the recommendaton of Mel T) but I did not know I could not use it with creams/liquids. Are there any exceptions or should I just use it for powders only? Thank you for your beautiful work. I cannot wait to post how much I love your brushes!

Élodie 3 January, 2021 - 5:47 am

Hi, is it safe to use the sky eye set, even the brushes that are dyed with the Natasha Denona palettes like the biba or glam eyeshadow palettes since they both have creamy powder formulas eyeshadow? Thank You!

Élodie 3 January, 2021 - 5:53 am

And also wet powder formulas.

Sonia G. 14 January, 2021 - 1:48 pm

Hi Elodie, I used mine with these products and it’s perfectly fine. They don’t recommend dyed brushes with wet formulas but when it comes to smaller brushes in particular, I never experienced an issue so it should be perfectly fine!!
Thank you for asking and for your support and stay safe!!


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