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Foundation Brushes

Hi All,

I often get questions regarding brushes, so today I'm going to touch on a very little segment called "foundation brushes." I actually made a video on it already, but I thought some writing and picture could help me better deliver my point.
I'm going to base this strictly on 4 types of brushes: stippling, round dome top brush, traditional flat foundation brush and the fingers. I am only talking about liquid foundation. Cream, mineral or compressed powder types are excluded from this review.

*Disclaimer: I was trying to use the exact same amount of foundation for each demonstration - which was one full pump. For the stippling brush, the first pump was more like half a pump so I had added another half before demonstrating.

Here's how I started out. Bare faced with only lotion on - just out of the shower. I have large pores with uneven skin tone. I'm red throughout my face (mostly because acne scare are densely packed side by side to each other, which creates a hug red blah..) and yellow around my eyes. Oops, and haha, excuse my wild brows.

#1. Stippling brush.

It has many functions, but I mainly use it for what it was invented for - stippling!
You pick up some foundation from the back of your hand and start stippling it!
As you can see on the video, I think it's better for building up the foundation rather than spreading it out. If you like thick and heavy makeup looks, try using a full coverage foundation with your stippling brush. The stippling action will help evenly build and spread out the foundation.

#2. Sephora #55 brush (you can buy it here)

I think this brush is better for evenly spreading out the foundation in a thin layer. If you like satin finishes with your natural skin showing through, this could work great for you. I'm not saying that it doesn't build up - if you want to build up foundation, it's more than capable of building up foundation.
However, if you want to blend in the foundation in a minimalistic way, this brush is also capable of that function.
Personally, this is my favorite brush. It's easy to distribute a very small amount of foundation. However, I don't expect heavy coverage from this brush.

3. Traditional Flat foundation brush.

This is probably the most affordable and accessible brush out of the brushes. The flat shape helps drag on the foundation a long way. For example, if you wanted to make long streaks down your chin area, this brush will do the job well. If you make short gentle strokes, blending and evening out the foundation is also easy too. However, due to the shape of the brush and how it picks foundation up, there's always going to have more foundation at the end tip rather than further down the bristles. That being said, it's easy for the brush to make streak marks and have a thick starting point and a a thinned out ending point during application. It's all about mastering your brush, so if you get a good hold of how to use it, this brush's usage is really versatile.

4. Fingers.

You tend to use more than you need. Evenly spreading out foundation is the biggest issue with using fingers. One could think that spreading out foundation could evenly distribute it, but it's not as precise as brushes. Although there is nothing wrong with using fingers, I personally tend to find it hard to blend and spread out the foundation. But then again, everything is about mastering your techniques, so if you are good with your fingers that is a big kudos for you.

The difference isn't really THAT noticeable in real life. I think the camcorder was able to pick up subtle differences, but it really boils down to one's preferences.
Here's some close up pictures of all four methods.

I'll see you guys in my next post :)


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  1. I watched this yesterday! It's SOOO helpful, thank you! I was wondering why my foundation brush didn't look like other peoples'...XD

  2. This is very helpful, Catalina!!! I'm not much of a foundation user because foundations feel heavy on my face and I would go for bb creams. I usually apply bb cream with my fingers, and like you said, I notice I used a lot more products that I thought necessary. Would you recommend using a brush to apply bb cream as well?


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