What Brush to Use for – Foundation

Today’s post is about what brush to use for foundation. There are a lot of choices to use for a foundation brush. I have searched high and low to find the best brush to use for my foundation and I am going to list a few great options here today and then I will show you what I use for my skin type!

I have seen so many options for the best foundation brush and every single one will be different for everyone’s skin type. I have looked at many guides, read so many books and I have narrowed it down to 5 different types of applicators for foundation. I have included which skin types will benefit from which foundation brush as well.

  1. Stippling Brush
  2. Tapered Foundation Brush
  3. Flat Top Buffing Brush
  4. Tapered Buffing Brush
  5. Sponge

Stippling Brush

Elf Cosmetics Domed Stipple Brush $6.00 CAD

A stippling brush is one way to apply liquid foundation. The combination of short stiffer bristles with the longer more flexible brushes allows for a more seamless blend for the more liquid type foundations.

These brushes pair nicely with a more sheer foundation leaving a more natural complexion as opposed to a full face of makeup. These brushes are great for combination/oily skin types as the foundation suggested for oily/combination skin is a more water based formula.

Skin Types: Oily, Combination, Normal, Mature, Sensitive

Flat Tapered Foundation Brush

e.l.f. cosmetics Foundation Brush $5.00 CAD

Flat tapered foundation brushes are best for thicker foundations. The stiffer brush picks up more product and glides the product over your face faster than a stippling brush would.

These are more for cream applications as its easier to pick up the product and smooth onto your face. This brush would be more aimed to those who like a full coverage look to their foundations. This applicator is great for all skin types and can get into smaller corners like the sides of your nose and underneath your eyes.

Skin Types: Normal, Oily, Combination, Mature

Buffing Brush

I’m going to list two different buffing brushes for this one because for this it depends on what foundation you are using and the look you are going for and what kinds of products you will be using.

Wet n Wild Flat Top Brush $3.49

The flat top buffing brush is for a thicker foundation like a cream or heavy liquid foundation. The flat top enables you to put the foundation directly onto the brush and glide the foundation onto your face.

This brush is more aimed for a full coverage foundation as the product glides over your face. Once again aimed for more creamy foundations as opposed to sheer foundations. They can also be used for powder applications as the wide top can pick up the product with ease. These brushes are great for all skin types as the brush can be used for various products.

Skin Types: Sensitive, Oily, Combination, Normal

ELF Buffing Foundation Brush $6.00 CAD

The more rounded buffing brush is for liquid and cream foundations and can be used for sheer or full coverage looks. You can pour the foundation onto the brush or pick it up from a blending palette or your hand.

This brush is used more for buffing the foundation into your skin and can be used with all types of foundations, included powders. Due to its variety of uses it can be used for almost all skin types. I would not suggest those with sensitive skin use this brush as the buffing can be irritating for more sensitive skin.

Skin Types: Normal, Oily, Combination, Mature


Precision Sponge (Trio) $12.00

Last but certainly not least. The sponge. Can be used with sheer or full coverage foundations.

This isn’t really a brush but it is one of the more common types of foundation applicators. Can have foundation poured onto it or picked up from your hand or a blending palette. This is another versatile applicator, although I wouldn’t suggest this for powder foundation as it may turn the powder a little cakey. Sponges absorb the foundation and can leave a nice dewey finish when using while wet. Great for oily skin types due to the water factor. This method is also great for more mature skin as the water in the applicator helps melt foundation into the skin rather than sitting on top of it and having it settle into fine lines.

Skin Types: Mature, Oily, Combination, Normal.

What I use

I actually use two of the foundation applicators found here. I use the ELF Buffing Brush and the ELF Sponge. I like a more sheer coverage foundation so I buff the foundation into my skin with the buffing brush and then I use the sponge to really melt the foundation to my skin to make it look more natural and closer to my actual skin.
My skin is on the oilier side and I have spent the last 20 years trying to find the perfect combination of foundations, powders, applicators to work well with my skin.

I don’t think there is such a thing as the perfect foundation brush. Everyone has different skin textures, skin types and no one brush will perform the same on everyone. My combination of using a buffing brush and sponge may make someone look cakey, while just using a sponge doesn’t look that great on me, will look great on someone else! I think that is my favourite part about makeup. It’s always fun to find new products and new application styles!!

What do you use for your foundation routine and what kind of products do you use?

I hope this brush guide helps you in your search for the best foundation brush!

Have a wonderful day and talk to you in the next post!


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