My Favorite Foundation Brushes (and Sponges) / by Erin Baynham

favorite foundation brushes and tools Over the last few months, foundation has been one of the most exciting parts of the makeup ritual for me. I like to see the different effects I can get using sprays, creams and tools. My foundation collection is at around 15+, and each of them gives another look. Here are some of the brushes and tools I use for my bases.

Real Techniques Expert Face

Eight times out of ten, I reach for this brush. It works perfectly with liquid and cream foundations. It’s a guaranteed way to buff, blend and smooth out my foundation. I use the flatter sides of the brush to apply the foundation, making sure it's evenly applied all over my face. Then I use the top of the brush to blend like crazy. I've also noticed that there is very little shedding with this brush. Again, this is the brush that I use more than any other foundation brush. ($10/Ulta, Walgreens)


Real Techniques Buffing

This is denser and a little more round than the expert face brush, but man it gets the job done. I like to use this to really blend the foundation into my skin, making sure to remove access product. For a long time, I'd use it interchangeably with the Expert Face brush, but later I realized I like to use this one more for blending only. This would work well with cream and liquid foundations, and it would definitely help with powder foundations too. ($10/Ulta, Walgreens)


Want to make your foundation look seamless? A wet foundation sponge can be the key! Technically, I use a flat foundation brush to apply the foundation all over my face, and then I use a wet sponge to blend the foundation in and to give it a natural look. I wasn't sold on brushes for a long time, maybe because I wasn't using them right.  I have three separate brands that I've used off and on, Real Techniques (orange), Beauty Blender (pink) and Qosmedix (purple). I can't deny that I love my Alcone non-latex sponges too, but since they're disposable and I've found more permanent options, so I don't reach for them as much as I used to. (Prices and locations vary, $3-12)

Make Up For Ever 108

This is much thicker than a typical flat foundation brush, and it’s slightly domed around the edge. I feel like this brush lays the product on my skin perfectly. The Make Up For Ever Brushes are definitely a high quality, super luxe line of tools, and you can tell when you feel the brushes. I would only use this brush for liquid foundations, as it doesn't really blend creams that well. ($38, Sephora)