Here’s How to Use a Foundation Brush Like a Pro

August 03, 2021
Alanna Martine Kilkeary
By: Alanna Martine Kilkeary | by L'Oréal
person holding foundation brush to forehead and wearing burgundy eyeshadow and lipstick
We all have our favorite ways to apply foundation. There are those who make it a serious morning ritual in front of their makeup vanity with only the most quality brushes, those who are perfectly content with dabbing liquid foundation on with their fingers or a beauty sponge and those who swear by powder foundation to do everything they need. Whether you’re a makeup brush novice or consider yourself skilled in the trade, there’s always more to learn to perfect your technique. Ahead, makeup expert Gabriel Almodovar explains how to use a foundation brush correctly to achieve a flawless-looking, even complexion.

Why Should You Apply Foundation With a Brush?

“I prefer brushes over fingers or sponges,” says Almodovar. “I like foundation brushes because they allow me to buff the product into the skin — leaving a seamless finish. Hands aren't necessarily bad, but I find that the warmth of your fingers tend to leave fingerprints where a brush never leaves any unwanted marks. I prefer round-tipped foundation brushes that allow me to buff the skin in circular motions — something I can’t do with fingers or sponges.” We recommend the NYX Professional Makeup Can't Stop Won't Stop Foundation Brush, which has dense, synthetic bristles to make buffing in liquid foundation a breeze.
NYX Professional Makeup Can't Stop Won't Stop Foundation Brush

Does Powder Foundation Require a Different Brush Than Liquid Foundation?

Powder foundation is best applied with a natural bristle brush. “Synthetic could work as well, but I keep synthetic brushes for cream and liquid products,” Almodovar says. “Depending on how much coverage I want, I either use a regular powder brush for lighter coverage or a flat top brush for fuller coverage. I use the same circular buffing motion to apply powder foundation.” The Zoeva Cosmetics 090 Luxe Grand Powder Brush is made with a mix of synthetic and goat hair bristles for a seamless, diffused finish.

How to Use a Foundation Brush

  • STEP 3:

    With cream foundation, continue to dip the brush into the cream and apply in the same circular buffing motion. The center of the face is usually where most of the redness is, so starting there is ideal.

  • STEP 4:

    Continue the circular buffing motion to the spots where you want the most foundation coverage.

  • STEP 5:

    Once you get to your hairline and jawline, you should have very little product left on your brush. Always be sure to blend the product along your jawline to avoid the makeup-mask look.

Photo: Chaunte Vaughn

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