Different Types of Foundation Brushes & their uses

Different Types of Foundation Brushes

Looking for the perfect foundation application for yourself or your clients? There are a number of different types of foundation brushes and application tools available for different skin types, foundation formulas and preferences. It also depends on the type of coverage you are trying to achieve.  Foundation brushes are usually made from synthetic fibers, making them cruelty-free, waterproof, easy to use and care for. Here we demonstrate them all, with application tips and techniques.

Flat, Tapered Liquid Foundation Brush

Usually dual fiber, this is the original, traditional style foundation brush most makeup artists train with, plus the most common type available for every day use. Designed to achieve a smooth and flawless full-coverage, the bristles are tightly packed with a tapered tip for fluid application. These brushes are recommended for all types of liquid foundation and skin types, including sensitive and give great results for mature skin. Quick application; convenient when in a hurry and for editorial and fashion shoots; foundation is best applied using outward strokes. Use flat foundation brushes to get full coverage in harder to reach areas like under the eyes or around the nose.

Pour or squeeze a little foundation onto the back of your hand and take from there for hygienic and easy application.

Best for: Quick application. Liquid Foundations. Full-coverage. All skin types including sensitive and mature.

Best buys: One of our favorite foundation brush finds is Sigma:

Sigma Foundation Brush

Sigma Foundation Brush ($15.40)

Rounded, Tapered Liquid Foundation Brush

On-trend and for those in the beauty-know, savvy makeup artists find this to be the best tool to buff foundation for an even more flawless finish and achieve longer lasting coverage. Application time is greater, as repeated buffing is required to ensure foundation adheres well to the skin and gives better longevity. The shape of the brush head varies from round to oval, and liquid or cream foundation formulas are ideal to use. This type of brush is most effective when using a small amount of product, with which you can build to your desired coverage from sheer to full. Although the buffing motion should always be gentle, this type of brush is not recommended for sensitive skin types, since the repeated movement can cause irritation.

Pour or squeeze a little foundation onto the back of your hand and take from there for hygienic and easy application.

Best for: Buffing all types of liquid foundation

Best buys: This round foundation brush from Morphe is an excellent multi-tasker.

Morphe Foundation Brush

Morphe Deluxe Foundation Brush ($19.99)

Flat Top Buffing Brush

These brushes are flat across the top with all the bristles the same length. The brush head shape can vary. The flat topped brushes give the fullest amount of coverage. Use this brush to apply heavy liquid and compact cream product quickly and effectively to larger surface areas. These brushes can also be used for powder foundations.

Pour or squeeze a little foundation onto the back of your hand and take from there for hygienic and easy application.

Best for: Heavy liquid and compact cream product

Best buys: Eco Tools Custom Coverage Brush is just the thing!

Eco Tools Foundation Brush

EcoTools Custom Coverage Buffing Brush ($6.99)

Stippling Foundation Brush

Giving a similar finish to the rounded foundation brush, stippling brushes are ideal for applying liquid and cream formulas. Many stippling brushes feature two sets of bristles: white synthetic fibres at the top pick up the product and help deposit it on your skin and black natural fibres at the bottom are denser. They give a very natural, and professional finish and are ideal for sheer coverage and lightweight liquid foundations (the lighter-weight bristles can get weighed down by heavy cream formulas). Not just foundation, these multi-taskers can also be used to apply liquid blusher, bronzer, powder and highlighters. These brushes achieve best results on young, clear and combination skin types.

Pour or squeeze a little foundation onto the back of your hand and take from there for hygienic and easy application.

Best for: Buffing sheer coverage and lightweight liquid foundations.

Best buys: Once again, we loved EcoTools great value Stippling Brush.

Eco Tools Stippling Brush

EcoTools Stippling Brush ($8.99)

Mineral Powder Brush

Big, bushy, round and hard-bristled, mineral powder brushes are good for applying finishing powders and mineral powders over liquid foundation. They are also ideal for pressed powder foundations. The bristles should be lightweight but densely packed to ensure excess waste and spillage of powders.

Pour a little powder onto a palette and take from there for most hygienic application and to prevent wastage.

Best for: Applying finishing powders and pressed powder foundations.

Best buys: A bit more exxy, but great quality, one of our favorite all rounders with super soft hairs is Laura Mercier’s powder brush.

Powder Brush

Laura Mercier Mineral Powder Brush ($40)

Kabuki Brush

The Kabuki Brush is one’s every day go-to for applying loose mineral foundation powders. The dense, compact bristles, and medium sized, rounded brush, is great for buffing minerals into the skin and achieving a flawless and long-lasting finish. Ideal for oily, combination and acneic skin types (since mineral makeup powders are non-comedogenic and absorb excess oil). For professional makeup artists, there are some longer handles making application easier; our best pick kabuki style brushes include.

Pour a little powder onto a palette and take from there for most hygienic application and to prevent wastage.

Best for: Applying loose mineral powder foundations.

Best buys: Amoore Kabuki Brush is sleek and chic!

Kabuki Brush

Amoore Kabuki Brush ($4.99)

Makeup Sponge

Sponges give sheer coverage and similar results to stippling brushes. However, they can be harder to keep clean when used professionally as aren’t as quick and easy to disinfect and dry as makeup brushes. Used with liquid foundation, sponges apply the sheerest coverage and are ideal for young, clear as well as combination skin types, since the sponge helps absorb excess oil. To clean makeup sponges, the quickest and most effective way is to wash it with a mild soap; ensure the sponge has ample soap and massage it in with your fingers, the wash through with warm water, until the water runs clean. Disinfectant makeup artist sprays are also available, or why not make your own natural formula from lemon juice, water and essential oil.

Pour or squeeze a little foundation onto the back of your hand and take from there for hygienic and easy application.

Best for: Younger skin types. Excess oil. Those on a budget.

Best buys: You can’t go wrong with L’Oréal’s Foundation Buffing Sponge.

L'Oreal Sponge

L’Oréal Paris Makeup Infallible Blend Artist Makeup Blender Sponge ($6.19)

So there you have every type of foundation brush explained, and there are more than you may have realized! Don’t let that put you off, since you may not need every type in your own kit. Start with the most commonly used and see how you go from there.

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