Founder Tay Yu Hui is in the beauty business. Looking good, however, doesn’t need to have the added cost of being harmful to animals. 13rushes has a simple moniker – make-up brushes; as good as the real thing, none of the guilt.
Making up with cruelty-free products
Most internet-users will watch a video of a sea turtle with a plastic straw in it’s nose and send a sadface emoji or comment something along the lines of “heart-breaking”. The best of us may take it upon themselves and pledge to never use plastic straws again. As the global zeitgeist moves into more politically-correct, more socially-conscious thought, it is commonplace to begin questioning whether your everyday products have any repercussions or unintended social costs.
13rushes founder Tay Yu Hui went a few steps further than that.
Conscientiousness’ is the word of our times – if we are doing it with straws, why not also with make-up brushes?
That’s what Tay Yu Hui, founder of 13rushes (that’s ‘brushes’ stylized with numbers), is solving single-handedly with her brand.
When I was 17 years old I watched this PETA video on fur-farming and became aware of the cruelties behind factory farming,” Yu Hui recalls. She jokes that another major life change was her attention to personal aesthetics. “I was also starting to become quite vain at the time, haha, I was began watching YouTube tutorials and buying makeup brushes,” she says.
13rushes began when Yu Hui found “very few synthetic alternatives [to animal hair brushes] available in the market,” which melded the two experiences.
I thought I could start a business revolving around the idea of cruelty-free beauty,” Yu Hui says.
Don’t let the ‘synthetic’ part fool you though - Yu Hui’s brushes are not your run of the mill pasar-malam instruments; each brush is individually shaped, hand-built and quality controlled, all right here in Singapore. 13rushes has the distinct title of saying ‘proprietary technology’ when it comes to their products. Better still, their brushes are tested not just to mimic the movement of animal hairs but to also work perfectly for the local humidity and weather conditions.
To date, 13rushes has received wholesale orders internationally, firstly from Dubai. When that happened, Yu Hui says, “it made me realise the potential of my business beyond Singapore.” That’s not mentioning the numerous professional make-up artists (local and international) who have deigned 13rushes brushes part of their professional repertoire – with some even collaborating with Yu Hui’s brand.
It is our goal to create the softest cruelty-free brushes that performs well with all textures,” Yu Hui says. That is because, conventionally, synthetic brushes tend not to pick up powders as well as those made with real hair.
13rushes takes a firm stance against animal cruelty in fur farms and consistent with all 13rushes products, hypoallergenic textured synthetic bristles are used,” the 13rushes website says. These bristles perform brilliantly with powders, creams and liquids, highlighting the time and care that goes into their production and development.
Yu Hui says, “we've reviewed over 80 different types of synthetic bristles before creating our signature proprietary bristles”.
The start up phase of 13rushes however, required a real surplus of hard work and came with it self-discovery. “I see my startup as one that is purposeful, passionate and hardworking,” Yu Hui says. As an idea that came into its own in 2013, Yu Hui spent nearly a year picking up skills to complement her research into synthetic make-up brushes. “I spent the earlier half of 2013 learning photography, web design and etc,” she says.
Why 13rushes though?
Yu Hui jokingly recalls, “just because 13rushes.com was available and cheaper than brushes.com”.
Much like the elegant simplicity of her brushes and effectiveness of purpose, her brush brand reflects Yu Hui herself.