So you've found your perfect foundation — the one that ticks all your boxes where coverage, texture, and finish are concerned. Good for you! The only thing you need to seal the deal?
A foundation brush to take it from the liquid in the bottle to looking like actual skin on your face.
Like most things in beauty, there are dozens of options to choose from and finding a brush that works well with your base and desired coverage isn't always easy. To simplify the process, we asked makeup artist
Nina Soriano to break it down for us. Check out her pro picks, ahead.
Flat Brush Coverage:
Creams, liquids, and sticks
Makeup artists love flat brushes for their precision and layering ability. "A flat brush is great for all types of foundation from cream to liquid to solid sticks," says Soriano. "It's also a great tool for building coverage." Rather than rubbing the brush onto the skin, flat foundation brushes should be used in patting or swiping motions to gently layer the product.
While many makeup artists like natural hair brushes, Soriano prefers synthetic hairs for their versatility. "I like synthetic hairs because products with a cream base or texture adhere better to synthetic hairs and also glide on the skin much easier than natural hair," she says.
Pinceau Fond De Teint Foundation Brush #6, $46, available at
Buffing Brush Coverage:
Densely-packed hairs and a round shape make buffing brushes great for fans of fuller coverage foundation. "It's best for liquid foundation because it helps apply foundation to the skin smoothly and evenly," says Soriano.
Unlike a standard, flat foundation brush that is used in patting motions, you'll achieve the best effect with a buffing brush if you swirl the brush in circular motions onto your skin. This will work the product into your skin and provide the most natural-looking finish.
F82 Round Kabuki Brush, $25, available at
Flat-Top Brush Coverage
Liquid, cream, or powder
"Flat-top brushes are very similar to buffing brushes," says Soriano. The hairs are densely-packed meaning they can be used to achieve a full coverage effect with liquid, cream, or even powder foundation. Due to its flat shape, it's also great for smoothing makeup over the skin — just make sure to use downward strokes so that you don't disturb any hairs or peach fuzz on your face, she advises.
Liquid Foundation Brush, $38, available at
Stippling Brush Coverage:
Sheer to medium
Stippling brushes typically feature two different hair lengths — a base of short hairs and longer, finer hairs at the top of the brush. Unlike buffing or flat-top brushes, stippling brushes feature hairs that aren't densely packed meaning they can be used to buff on liquid foundations resulting in a sheer, airbrushed finish.
Stippling Brush, $9.99, available at
Powder Brush Coverage:
Sheer to medium
"A powder brush is usually a wider, [dome-shaped] brush with longer hairs," says Soriano. "Due to their size and hairs I would stick to using this brush with powders." Simply dip the brush into your favorite formula and buff it onto your skin in circular motions.
Full Flawless Face Brush, $28, available at
Makeup sponges are great for those who want versatility from their tools. "They can apply sheer or full coverage," says Soriano. "And they're particularly good at blending foundation evenly and work for all types of foundation." They can be used damp or dry, but we prefer
wetting them for the best results
Swirl, $20, available at
Silicone Blender Coverage:
Liquid or cream
Last year, silicone makeup sponges
took the beauty community by storm
thanks to their ability to apply a full face of liquid or cream makeup while absorbing zero product. Fans of full coverage may like this tool but fair warning — a little bit of product goes a
way. If you use too much, you may find yourself veering into cake face territory.
The Makeup Drop
Silicone Makeup Applicator, $20, available at
The Makeup Drop
Oval Brush Coverage
Spoon-like foundation brushes
also had beauty editors and bloggers swooning when they first launched. Their soft heads and innovative shape make them easy to control when you're doing your own makeup. (Makeup artists might be more comfortable using a traditional brush when working on others.) And since the synthetic brush hairs are so densely packed, foundation (any type) smooths on in seconds with no streaks whatsoever.
Elite Smoke Oval 8 Brush, $65, available at
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