What to Look for in a Foundation Brush

What should you look for to get a good foundation brush? We'll explain. Learn how to get the best foundation brush for an easy and professional look.

Foundation Brushes: What You Need to Apply Makeup Like A Pro

Foundation brushes are a must no matter if you’re applying liquid or powder foundation. The best foundation brushes will allow you to evenly apply your makeup, leaving you with a smooth finish. You’ll want to avoid using sponge applicators, as they can absorb much of the product and leave you with visible foundation lines if you’re not careful. Similarly, using your fingers to apply foundation should be a last resort, as it can leave your face looking streaky, and it also transfers the oils of your fingers to your face. The solution? Always stick with a foundation brush.

If this is the first time you’ve been shopping for a foundation brush, or if you simply want to learn a little bit more about what qualities the best foundation brushes have in common, here’s everything you need to know about what to look for in a foundation brush.

What Foundation Brushes to use for Liquid Foundations

If you’re using a liquid foundation, you’ll want to invest in a flat brush to get the best application results. Like a painter’s brush, flat foundation brushes offer precision when it comes to applying your foundation. Also like a painter’s brush, flat foundation brushes work best with liquid mediums.

As far as bristle type, find a flat foundation brush that is made from natural bristles. Synthetic bristles aren’t great at absorbing product, which can make blending more difficult. In contrast to this, natural bristles will more easily absorb liquid foundations, while still allowing the product to be blended onto your skin (don’t worry, they aren’t like makeup sponges which absorb the product for good!).

What Foundation Brushes to use for Powder Foundations

When it comes to applying powder foundations, there are a few options for foundation brushes. One popular foundation brush type for powder foundations is kabuki brushes. Kabuki brushes have dense bristles and a short stem, and they can come in both flat head styles and rounded head styles. Kabuki brushes are great for powder foundation because their broad surface areas are able to take on a lot of product while applying a few swirls to the skin evens out the powder foundation so that you get a sheer, natural look.

Oval brushes are another type of makeup brush that works well with powder foundations. These popular brushes have dense bristles that help makeup wearers achieve a full coverage look with no hassle. Despite the density of bristles, oval brushes are extremely soft and gentle on the skin, particularly depending on the bristle type. For those who want a cruelty-free product, synthetic bristles are quite common and work well with powder foundations.

Loose-bristled brushes can also be used when applying powder foundation. If you’re looking for an ultra-sheer effect and have a fairly lightweight makeup routine, loose-bristle brushes can be the way to go.

Foundation Brushes for Beginners: What's the best type of brush to start with?

If you’re new to using foundation brushes, you may want to avoid oval brushes if you use powder foundations. Rather, kabuki brushes are a great place to start. A medium-sized kabuki brush with dense, soft bristles (either natural or synthetic) will offer enough flexibility to work with it in different ways until you decide what blending techniques are best for you.

If you use liquid foundation and you are trying your hand at a makeup brush for the first time, a medium-sized flat brush is best. If you use too small a flat brush, it will be difficult to blend the foundation and avoid makeup lines. If you use too large a brush, you might struggle with even coverage.

The Question of Bristles: What Bristles are best for foundation brushes?

Makeup brushes come with both natural and synthetic bristles, and as you’ve now learned, each bristle type can have its own advantages and disadvantages. Generally speaking, natural bristles are softer and more absorbent.

Synthetic bristles are less absorbent, but they are often much more affordable and are considered cruelty-free products because there’s no natural animal hair used in the making of them. Like most synthetic materials, not all products are the same, so even if you’re not a fan of one particular synthetic bristle brush, there may still be others that do a great job at providing natural-looking coverage for your skin.

Resources— Good Housekeeping, Bustle, Elite Daily, The Cut