A guide to: Makeup Brushes – Foundation

I’m sure you’ve read before that good makeup brushes are as important, if not more so than good quality makeup. Fabulous makeup in my book is wasted without a good set of brushes to apply it with. So then what brushes do you need? Which make do you get? Do you by a complete set or individuals? How much do you spend?

I know these are just a few of the questions I had when I started my makeup collection 18 years ago. The amount of people I get picking my brains about brushes and which ones they should get, has made me realise I need to touch on the topic.

Now the subject of makeup brushes is so massive I can’t possibly cover it all in one post. Instead I’ll be splitting up the posts into categories; foundation, powder, blusher, contour and highlight, eyeshadow, eyebrow, eyeliner and lip.

The question of whether or not to buy a complete set or individuals is completely up to you. In these posts I’ll be looking at different types or similar brushes made by different companies. I own a few ridiculous amount of brushes so will be covering most budgets. Hopefully by the time I’ve finished you’ll know what kind of brushes you want, where to get them and hopefully how you can put them to good use…some are very multi-functional! You’ll then know when looking at sets whether they have everything you want!

Before we start it’s important to know that I never use sponges for foundation application. They use too much product and I hate the finish they give! I always go for cruelty free companies, and generally always opt for synthetic brushes that are more delicate for my dry/sensitive skin and absorb less product. Right then my beauties lets get started.


Classic/Flat Brush


When someone talks about ‘foundation brushes’ this is the first brush that pops into my mind. The classic foundation brush is great for getting into the nooks and crannies of your face, builds the product amazingly well and ensures you don’t transfer the oils of your fingers onto your face. I have four different versions from MAC, Bobbi Brown, and pictured above The Body Shop and Daniel Sandler. Now then with all that being said I don’t use any of them to apply foundation. I spent a long time looking for the perfect flat foundation brush that would blend perfectly without leaving streaks. The truth is I’ve never found one. I find all flat foundations leave a streaky finish that sits on the skin. Instead I use my flat foundations for contouring, cream blush and liquid and powder highlighters.

Best Company? In all honesty as long as the brush has lovely soft bristles you don’t need to spend a fortune. I really don’t have a preference with any of my flat foundations, they’re all much the same. If you’re on a budget though get down to The Body Shop. They’re brushes are so beautifully soft and very, very reasonable. Quite often they have offers on that make them even cheaper!

Stippling/Duo Fibre BrushImage

Stippling is a specific type of application and done properly will leave you with a flawless/high def finish. If you go for one of these brushes then you need to learn how to  master the technique of stippling. Dragging the foundation across the face like you do with the flat brush will just cause streaking and will waste your product. Have a look at Wayne Goss‘ tutorial on Stippling for more info on the how to perfect the technique.

Now I have two stippling brushes. One is from Eco Tools and cost me £5.99 in TK Maxx. The other is the MAC 188 small duo fibre face brush and cost £27.00. Again I use neither of these for my foundation. I find it takes a ridiculous amount of time to get the desired effect and even doing this technique correctly wastes an obscene amount of product.

Best Company Eco tools! The MAC brush is one of the worst I have ever used! I end up with loads of black bristles all over my face and the finish is usually streaky. Save your money and opt for the Eco Tools or Real Techniques version!

Buffing Brushes


I’m going to start with my holy grail brush…the Crown C452 Flat Foundation. Literally the best brush I have ever purchased and for only £12.99! This dense brush will buff your foundation into your skin, helping you achieve a buildable, flawless finish in no time at all. Using this brush is very easy and you will not waste product with it. If you asked me which foundation brush to get I would always recommend this one.


Another brush I tried before purchasing the Crown brush was the EcoTools custom coverage buffing brush. It’s worth noting that this is not a brush that is suitable for liquid products…unless you want to see you product disappear into the bristles. This brush is designed to apply powder products, so any of you that are big mineral makeup fans will love this brush. I got mine reduced in TK Maxx for around £3.99 and I love it. I don’t use powder foundation so I use mine to blend out my dark contouring powder and it works a treat every time!


My final brush is the Real Techniques expert face brush. The Real Techniques range was developed by beauty blogger and MUA of Pixiwoo fame Samantha Chapman. If you’ve heard of the Pixiwoo sisters then you will know they are an authority in the beauty world and most definitely know their stuff. Who better then to develop a range of brushes? These brushes most definitely live up to the hype, and the expert face is the best I have tried so far. If the Crown C452 didn’t exist this would be my holy grail foundation brush. It has that lovely kabuki finish that means it has short, dense bristles and provides a flawless finish in no time at all, without wasting any product. Top tip…if you want any Real Techniques brushes then get them from their amazon store, you will always save a few ££££. 

Hopefully this has helped some of you figure out what kind of foundation brush might be best suited for you. Next time I’ll be looking at blush brushes so keep an eye out or subscribe so you don’t miss it :O)

Sonya D x

Twitter: @onceuponaglam
Instagram: sonya_danielle

One thought on “A guide to: Makeup Brushes – Foundation

  1. Pingback: A guide to: Makeup Brushes – Blush | Once Upon a Glam...

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