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Whether you’re a liquid, cream, or powder gal, finding a great foundation (opens in new tab) 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 foundation like a completely different kind of product.
How do I choose a foundation brush?
- For a full-coverage look, you'll want to try a firm kabuki brush.
- For a sheer finish, opt for a lightweight stippling brush.
- For hard-to-reach spots, you'll need something slanted or ergonomically-shaped to hit every nook and cranny of your complexion.
Why should I use a foundation brush?
Foundation brushes can help your formula stay smoother and stay on longer—the best foundation brushes create a seamless canvas that can cling to your skin or your primer. And no two foundation brushes are the same, with each one designed to meet a specific purpose.
So rather than leave you to wander the makeup aisle aimless wondering what your foundation brush choices say about you, we've made the decision-making process a bit simpler by streamlining the brushes you need for every application desire.
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 foundation application every time.
For A Seamless Finish
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.
Best for Buffing
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.
Best For Detailed Application
This shark tooth-shaped foundation brush from NYX is great for applying smaller amounts of foundation in a more detailed way around your face. Use it to apply a darker shade to contour under your cheekbones or to apply a lighter shade under your eyes.
For Double Duty
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.
For Building, Blending, And Buffing
This angled foundation brush from Rare Beauty will flawlessly hug the contours of your face for easy blending. The shape mimics the feel of your very own fingers, so prepare for a natural—but buildable!—finish.
Best Vegan Option
Flat-top brushes like this one from Sonia Kashuk make blending a breeze thanks to their collection of dense, flat brushes. This one is also cruelty-free and vegan.
For an Airbrushed Look
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.
Best for a Budget
Stocking up on professional-grade makeup brushes doesn't have to be expensive—and this Flat Top Brush from Wet'n'Wild is proof. It has over 43 thousand five-star reviews for a reason!
Best for Powder Foundations
If you prefer a lighter-coverage finish, consider using a powder foundation with this Pure Powder Foundation Brush from Alima. The ultra-soft bristles are designed to give you a seamless finish that looks natural on the skin.
The YouTuber Favorite
Morphe's selection of makeup brushes have rightfully secured their place in the makeup bags of many a beauty guru on the internet and for good reason. Many of them—like this M439 Deluxe Buffer Brush—are priced at under $20, and work with all foundation formulas.
Best Oval-Shaped Brush
This Blend + Blur Foundation Brush from Real Techniques is designed to give you an HD finish thanks to its densely packed oval shape. The long handle also makes it ideal for applying body makeup, too!
Best For Stick Formula Foundations
If you're using a heavier cream foundation, you need this brush from MERIT. It's designed to seamlessly blend out the denser formulas for a flawless, natural finish.
For A Buildable Finish
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.
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.
Best for Precision
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 afterward. Win-win.
Best Drugstore Find
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.
The Densest Bristles
Fenty’s foundation brush is shaped 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.
For A Streak-Free Finish
Get the coverage you want with this dense brush made for liquid foundation. The soft brush has an angled oval shape that’ll get to all the contours of your face and give you an even, smooth finish.
Best For Control
Fitting right in the palm of your hand, this brush will give you control and stability when you apply powder, liquid, or cream formulas. It’ll make blending products on larger areas of your face and body a breeze.
The Two-In-One Pick
If you love a multi-tasking product, check out this dual-ended brush. You can use this makeup bag essential to apply and blend cream and liquid formulas, including foundation, concealer, blush, bronzer, contour, and highlighter.
For Hard-To-Reach Corners
Glide your makeup on with this vegan and cruelty-free brush. Its sculptural design with tapered and dense bristles will reach all the curves of your face so you'll have a seamless final look.
For Small Space Blending
Achieve a flawless finish with this antimicrobial brush that has a unique teardrop shape. The angled tip will allow you to blend cream and liquid formulas in smaller areas such as around your eyes and nose.
For A Luxurious Feel
Pair this luxe brush with your full coverage foundation for a flawless complexion. The super-smooth and soft fibers are a real treat for your skin.