Whether you’re a liquid, cream, or powder gal, finding a great foundation isn’t the end of the equation. You need something to apply it with, and fingers aren’t always your best option. From buffing bristles to the cult classic beauty blender, the kind of foundation brush you use completely changes the finish you get—and can even make your makeup look like a completely different kind of product. But choosing what's best for you can be confusing!
How do I choose a foundation brush?
- If you're after a full-coverage look, you'll want to try a firm kabuki brush.
- If you prefer a sheer finish, opt for a lightweight stippling brush.
- For those hard-to-reach spots, you'll need something slanted or ergonomically-shaped to hit every nook and cranny of your complexion.
No two brushes are the same, with each one designed to meet a specific purpose. Foundation brushes can even help your formula stay smoother and stay longer, as it's creating a seamless canvas that can better cling to your skin or your primer. So rather than leave you to wander the makeup aisle aimless wondering what your brush choices say about you, we've made the decision-making process a bit simpler by streamlining the only brushes you need for every application desire. Here, our top picks for creating a perfect canvas.
You know those awkward spots around your hairline, ear lobes, and jaw that you just can't hit with a bigger brush? Hourglass's crimped bristles and slanted shape were made specifically to blend in your favorite foundation in even the toughest crevices.
This cute lil' buffer is ideal when you're working with your most versatile foundation. Blend in one layer for a more natural look, or use this to layer on the pigment for more coverage.
A bangin' brush doesn't have to break the bank. This flat, kabuki-style brush is perfect for buffing out foundation that's a couple hours past it's prime.
Considered the ol’ reliable, there’s a reason this foundation brush is the first one makeup experts reach for. Tapered, synthetic bristles ensure a streak-free application every time.
Sustainably-sourced birch makes up the sleek handle on this easy-to-wield brush, best suited for patting liquid-y foundation formulas into a smooth, polished finish.
If you prefer more control over your blending, opt for the handle-less bristles of this little buffer—perfect for liquid, powder, or cream foundations.
I stand behind the dream team of plastic surgeons and makeup experts that developed this brush. The larger end provides a flawless finish on your powder or liquid foundation, while the smaller end can be used to touch up nooks and crannies with concealer.
The bristles of this dome-shaped brush are infused with activated charcoal and silver ions that repel acne-causing bacteria upon contact. Plus, the antibacterial fibers won’t wash off as you clean your brush, so you can have peace of mind even after a thorough cleaning.
This brush’s unique shape sets it apart from the plethora of options out there. A flat surface provides even coverage on your cheeks and forehead, but it's angled enough to offer precision for those hard-to-reach spots (like the grooves of your nose). Plus, you can use it to contour afterwards. Win-win.
This densely packed bristle brush does wonders for blending medium- to full-coverage foundation. The flat top makes it easy to maneuver the nooks and contours of the face and leaves behind a perfectly smooth, blurred filter finish.
Not ready to empty your wallet for a makeup brush? No worries—EcoTools has a great cost-friendly option. Made with recycled and 100 percent recyclable materials, this wide foundation brush can be used wet or dry and offers great coverage to help to correct skin concerns like rosacea, hyper-pigmentation, and those pesky blemishes.
It might look a little confusing at first, but the Body Shop’s new foundation brush is color-coded for good reason. Use the black bristles to sweep liquid foundation on your cheeks, and then buff using the beige bristles in the center.
Fenty’s foundation brush is shaped like a paw so that you can apply liquid foundation with the full coverage of a paddle brush and with the blending abilities of an airbrush. The 140,000 bristles are dense enough that foundation goes on your face–not caked up inside the brush.
The thick, bamboo handle of this brush provides a comfortable grip as the dense bristles buff and blur your foundation. The result? An even, non-flaky base for the rest of your makeup.
Though powder and cream both work with this new brush, there’s a silicon center nestled within the outer bristles designed specifically for liquid foundation. The silicon pad helps to keep product in place, while the soft hairs blend for a natural finish.
For those midday touch-ups, this brush is as travel-friendly as it gets. The dome-shaped taklon fibers fit neatly inside the sleek cap and is practically begging to be dropped inside your purse.
If you don't know exactly what a stippling brush does, it does just that—it stipples, which is defined as dotting. It's great for people with acne because dotting on your foundation creates a more diffused, pixelated finish. To use it, tap only the very tips of the brush into your foundation and with the same light tapping motion, distribute the makeup evenly onto your face.
Okay, this isn't a brush per se, but we couldn't do a foundation brush "best of" list without mentioning the iconic beauty blender. These cute egg-shaped sponges blend foundation like no other. The pro version comes in black so you don't see those icky foundation stains as easily.