Why I’ve Ditched The Foundation Brush (In Favour Of Basically Everything Else)

Choosing and applying your foundation correctly can mean the difference
between a flawless, radiant glow and a dull, flat finish. You can have
the best foundation in the world, but if you don’t apply it correctly it
may as well come from the bargain bin in your Nan’s local chemist. It’s
no surprise that foundation shopping it almost as feared as searching
for a new pair of jeans, or that women tend to stick to their ‘holy
grail’ product when they find one that works for them, but the secret to the perfect base is in the tools you use – and not always in the product formulation itself. Although I spent years using my fingers to apply my base, when I finally
discovered the benefit applying foundation with a brush could bring it
completely revolutionised my routine.
Not only is it way more hygienic than the alternative and saves valuable
product, but it
ensures precise application around the tricky eye and nose area. The traditional foundation brushes I’ve known and loved may have had their place within a professional regime five years ago, but as we look for more natural finishes and increasingly flawless results they’re no longer cutting it for me.

The flat ‘paintbrush’ style of the bristles can be heavy, pick up far too much product and cause you to layer on foundation in a style that looks less than flawless. Nobody wants to paint on their base like they’re painting a wall, and those unsightly brush marks left on the surface need a whole technique to ensure they’re blended in. I’ve found myself turning away from the flat, glossy and perfect brush heads in favour of something a little more fluffy and flat; I can’t remember the last time I used a traditional foundation brush to apply my base, but I now use pretty much every other face brush within my repertoire to ensure it looks as flawless and streak-free as possible. For a much better result I’d recommend using an angled brush to apply the liquid in small movements, ensuring you use a little amount and build up
coverage as you need it. (Start from the center of the face and blend
outwards in sections, focusing on the nose and eye area to ensure the
product is blended effectively.) Brushes with angled tips are able to get to all those
little areas of the face that fingers and rounded edges cant, as well as making it much easier
to build up layers and conceal those imperfections.

Additionally, tools that are packed full of bristles will also help to buff in the product rather than leaving it sitting on the surface; not only does this provide an airbrushed finish, but it helps minimise movement and transference throughout the day. This style of brushes work with every kind of liquid foundation imaginable, helping to blend and buff as naturally and easily as possible – there’s no need to be precise or feel like you need to have a technique, just quickly buff into skin and see the benefits for yourself. I now opt for contouring brushes, stippling brushes, blusher brushes and everything in between (basically anything I can get my hands on and is clean,) as they work with, rather than against, my products of choice. The slightly fluffy texture and dense nature of the brushes make a little go a long way, plus I very rarely have to get out the Beauty Blender to finish off. I may have discovered this technique by accident (when all my foundation brushes needed a good clean,) but it proves that sticking to the traditional beauty rules isn’t always a definitive route to success.

How do you apply your foundation? Do you have any top tips or tools of choice?

(Some of my favourite brushes are in the photo above, including Real Techniques, EcoTools, Pixi and Bare Minerals. I also love Zoeva and Crown.)

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  1. Vivian Yuen
    May 11, 2016 / 3:16 pm

    Love the real techniques brush! Vivian | LIVE . IN . LOVE ~

  2. Jordan
    May 11, 2016 / 3:26 pm

    Very interesting. It's good to know the best way to apply makeup – if there's a brush that just isn't doing its job well, I can see why you'd ditch it.

  3. Elisabeth Rilatt
    May 11, 2016 / 6:14 pm

    I bought the Cailyn O'Circle brush (review on my blog!) and it's AMAZING! A densly packed round brush that's sort of wide and flat but angled (I'm not making any sense but trust me!) and it creates the most flawless finish, I wouldn't use anything else now! Lis X http://Www.elisabethrilatt.com

    • Hayley Carr
      May 15, 2016 / 6:14 pm

      I've ordered some of these brushes too – hope they're as fab as I've been hearing!

  4. Holly Olivia
    May 11, 2016 / 6:49 pm

    At the minute I'm really loving the classic paintbrush style foundation brush. I've really tried to love the small dense fluffier brushes to buff in foundation but I have an issue with the texture of my skin around my nose (if that makes any sense at all) so its just not for me! I'm glad its working for you though, would you recommend a larger fluffy brush, I haven't tried on of those yet! xhollyolivia17.blogspot.co.uk

    • Hayley Carr
      May 15, 2016 / 6:15 pm

      Is the skin around your nose dry? Using a blending sponge after may help to blend in the product and stop any clogging, if that's your problem…

  5. Gemma Louise
    May 11, 2016 / 7:13 pm

    I've been using my RT Expert Face Brush to apply my foundation for years now but I'm starting to hate how my foundation is looking. It was great before but now my skin is getting drier I want a more dewy lighter finish so I've ordered a beauty blender and I'm going to give that a try! xJust Little Things

  6. emmalcm
    May 11, 2016 / 7:30 pm

    I went through a phase of loving brushes for foundation but honestly I now prefer the finish of using my fingers then bouncing my real techniques sponge over it.Em xhttp://themusingsofem.blogspot.co.uk/

  7. Paris B
    May 12, 2016 / 1:10 am

    To be honest, the reason I never used a foundation brush before this was because it was streaky. I find the traditional flat types give that sort of finish, which you then have to finish off with something else. But using a round, flat top brush (Shiseido makes a good one that isn't too pricey if I recall correctly), or a kabuki style dense brush often gives a far better result, and that made me love using brushes. It's quick, and gives a lovely effect on skin as you can stipple and buff the product into your skin. You don't actually use very much product either as a result! 🙂

  8. Pam Scalfi
    May 12, 2016 / 7:34 am

    I still like using foundation brushes but always use a wet beauty blender to get rid of lines the bristles leave behind :)Pam xo/ Pam Scalfi♥

    • Hayley Carr
      May 15, 2016 / 6:16 pm

      Never heard of a wet blender! I'll give that one a go…

  9. Beauty tips and tricks
    May 12, 2016 / 8:18 am

    Very interesting. thanks

  10. claudia wright
    May 12, 2016 / 8:51 am

    I ditched mine for the Beauty Blender about a year ago- and now I would never look back! Gives so much more of a dewy, flawless finish and I find a lot less product is wasted.Claudia xxwww.claudiawright.com

  11. Emma Fisken
    May 12, 2016 / 9:18 am

    I love the Real Techniques expert face brush and the buffing brush for my foundation. Recently I have been using a damp Real Techniques sponge and have been loving the finish it has been giving me. Quite dewy with good coverage that looks natural!Emma | Reverie de Paris

  12. Anonymous
    May 12, 2016 / 1:21 pm

    I love the Real Techniques face brush with the beauty blender. Other times, with quite thick foundation, I'll just use the damp beauty blender. Never an actual foundation brush though!https://theobsessivereviewer.wordpress.com/

  13. Anonymous
    May 12, 2016 / 2:45 pm

    Awesome post! I used to use the flat "paint" foundation brush years ago and now I would never consider using it! I am loving my Sigma Flat Kabuki Brush! I can't live without it!!Mel | http://www.thegossipdarling.com

  14. Anonymous
    May 13, 2016 / 9:27 pm

    I do absolutely love Chanel's flat foundation brush (number 6), but more often than not I reach for my Bobbi Brown Full Coverage brush and buff away. I also adore using a beauty blender – easy, airbrushed finish within mere minutes. That was definitely a game changer for me. Kara❤️

    • Hayley Carr
      May 15, 2016 / 6:17 pm

      Blending sponges are definitely one of those things you don't know how you did without before you discovered them!

  15. Leanne Marshall
    May 17, 2016 / 1:54 pm

    At the moment I am using Sigma 3dhd kabuki brush or Zoeva Silk Finish brush & a more recent find is the Beauty Blender (An item I swore i would never use, but not I actually love it!)www.lemblog.co.uk X Leanne X

  16. Anna Weston-Stowe
    May 19, 2016 / 2:09 pm

    I'm a complete foundation brush n00b but totally in love with the Spectrum Collections stippling brush. Never got on with regular foundation brushes at all, couldn't work them. Team Flat Tops are the Future! I might even try a *gasp* beauty blender. Anna x | http://www.skinporium.co.uk

  17. alittlekiran
    May 21, 2016 / 8:47 pm

    I love kabuki, stippling and buffing brushes. I also like using my fingers occasionally, I don't use my beauty blender that much but hopefully once I have ordered a new one I will get into it xxxALittleKiran | Bloglovin | Instagram

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