Foundation Brushes

When you are looking for the best of the best it takes time and money to find the perfect brush just for you. This post is a roundup of what I consider to be the best or most interesting foundation brushes available to us, I will show you a few pictures, share my own experience with them and also some guidelines in order to help you find the perfect foundation brush just for you.

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Foundation application is probably the most complex step of a makeup application, probably the most feared too ! If we go for it, better get it right, we cannot just simply copy someone else’s make up routine, we have to find our very own and as we go along feel what’s right or wrong and fine tune the process. You won’t necessarily need brushes for that, not all the foundations are meant to be applied with them like the Armani Fusion for example. But that’s another story. Don’t please don’t do this at home, you don’t need a hundred brushes to do your foundation, it is just a passion of mine to collect beautiful makeup brushes.

Some foundation brushes are more efficient than others but at the end it will be a matter of following your own preferences and taste. I will show you some of mine which include :

  • Stippling brushes
  • Mineral foundation brushes
  • Flat, semi-flat, round brushes

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My life does not depend on foundation application but I do love it, I think there is an intriguing and experimental process behind achieving a great application of foundation, it can be fun and it can sometimes be depressing ! My curiosity and my delicate dry skin motivated me to research for the best foundation brushes and the best way to apply it. You’ll see that it got a bit out of control (again), but I hope that at least my lack of control will benefit you, help you compare the options and guide you in your own research.

There aren’t that many foundation lovers around me, when I ask them why they hate foundation they say: “I don’t want to feel it” or “I don’t want to see it” or “foundation brushes are too rough”.

I am not saying that it’s necessary to go through this step, absolutely not, but if the reason why you don’t apply it is just because of those reasons be aware that today you can apply foundation and still look natural and fresh and for the tools, don’t worry, there is probably the right one just for you.

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I don’t often use mineral foundation and I don’t often go for more than medium coverage. My needs are those of a woman in her 40′s with extreme dry and sensitive skin who aims for a fresh glowy complexion. Depending on the days I can barely stand to apply make up at all so I need the most efficient tools : the best results possible, in the fewer strokes !

I have tried to pick different types of foundation brushes to guide you in your selection, each one with its own qualities and characteristics, they can really differ in shape, material and it will be up to you to find the one that fits your personal requirements. I don’t have an answer for every situation, if I did, I would not be working in IT !!! Believe me, I wouldn’t.

They can be made of natural bristles, a mix of synthetic and natural hair or only synthetic bristles, so many options are available today and many of them are very good. Do not consider my opinions as expert advice, I will simply share what I think about them and why I love them… or not.

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If You Are Starting

First you want to identify what your profile is (oily, dry, sensitive skin), then what coverage and finish you desire. If you already found a foundation product that is matching what your skin needs, now you can start looking for the right tools. You may think that brushes are very expensive and that the investment may not be worth it, I don’t know about you but I wasted a lot of money on foundation products that didn’t work for me just because I didn’t have the appropriate tools to apply them. I am not saying that brushes will solve all your problems but they definitely will make your life easier, the application more pleasant and they may even save you money in the end.

Targeting A Brush Adapted To Your Profile

Many brush companies will not recommend you goat brushes if your skin is dry and sensitive, they will direct you towards synthetic or stippling brushes. They are right but I still found many full goat brushes that are soft enough for me to use on my very dry skin and I have absolute no problem at all. Basically if your skin is sensitive, it shouldn’t be moving around when applying foundation with your brush, it should not feel “molested”, on the other hand using a too soft brush will require many more strokes to blend and you may want to avoid that too since it may also irritate your skin at the end. The right balance would be a brush that is soft enough but still has efficient blending power. I have got some here.

Below, a synthetic brush vs a goat brush, if you want my honest opinion, this synthetic fun brush looks great and has thickness to it, which should be a good thing. It’s not a terrible brush but these two are a world apart.

  • This synthetic brush MUFE 108 has interesting fibers, at first they look nice, feel nice, but after you used it once, you don’t want to use it again without washing it before. Reminds me of a dirty kitchen cloth (sorry), absorbing quite a lot of product and getting some sorf of film around the bristles that you don’t necessarily like against your skin. I also find it does move my skin around too much (the bristles have a grip), in normal conditions it’s acceptable but I am prone to migranes and even if I don’t put too much pressure on it, despite the fact the bristles are very soft and don’t poke it still is unpleasant on my sensitive skin.
  • The goat brush here is the new Chikuhodo GSN-05, at first it does not look attractive, it’s not white hair, looks a bit yellow-coppery, not the most attractive aspect for some but don’t be afraid of that, this brush is amazing in all aspects, what I want to point out is that this goat brush despite it has darker goat hair, it’is much more pleasant to use than the synthetic for me, more efficient, does not suck product in the bristles and does not feel like a dirty cloth on my face at all, even if I don’t wash it every day, still the same blending power. It does not molest my skin, I don’t need to put a lot of pressure to blend and it doesn’t poke.
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  • Bottom line : Natural or synthetic it will depend on the brush, again it’s a matter of preference and also skin tolerance, some cannot use natural hair at all and some cannot use synthetic.

    Targeting Liquid Or Powder Foundation

    If you have very dry skin you are less likely to use powder foundation and less likely to go for heavy coverage, in most situtations it will end patchy and not comfortable. Even with the right tools it’s difficult to go against these laws. When I apply a heavy coat of mineral powder foundation on my very dry skin, despite the quality of the powder foundation and the perfect brush, after just a little time my skin starts to beg for help, my wrinkles are maximized and dry patches appear all over, it ages me dramatically. Nice brushes will help but just to a certain point.  Choosing the right skincare and foundation product for your skin profile is even more important, then you can try some foundations at the counters see how they evolve on your skin throughout the day until you find the perfect one for you.

    Targeting The Coverage You Desire

    The foundation product you’ll use will really help deliver the coverage and finish you are looking for. In terms of brushes, the denser and flatter the brush, the more coverage it delivers. The fluffier and rounder the brush, the more flexibility you’ll get allowing you to start from sheer and to build up to medium.

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The Best Concealers for Oily Skin

As far as makeup is concerned concealer is a must have product for me especially during the hot and humid days, I just don’t like to layer my skin with foundation, in my opinion concealers that match your skin tone are much forgiving than sliding foundation.

Like foundations, concealers too come in a variety of textures that are targeted to suit variety of skin types. Depending upon your budget you can opt for the real high end ones or the more affordable drugstore formulas.

Before picking out the one for your oily skin keep in mind the below stated points:

• Avoid lotion or oil based concealer as these will make your skin even more oily.
• Always go for Stick, mineral powder based, or gel based concealers. Mousse concealers are also good as long as they are oil free.
• To avoid rashes on oily skin, go for fragrance free concealers.

MAC select cover up concealer:

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If you do not suffer from very dark under eye circles and prefer a more natural look on your face then this is the concealer to go for. You don’t have put tons of layers to achieve the desired coverage. It is not sticky and does not crease under the eyes. It gives a natural matte finish to your skin.

Make up For ever Full Coverage Concealer:

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It a full coverage concealer in true sense, it hides everything it touches. A perfect product for concealing the most extreme flaws, such as scars, severe skin damage, beauty spots, depigmentation or birthmarks. It is a matte finish concealer with ultra long-lasting staying power and waterproof formula. This product is available in 12 shades. It is also known to suit sensitive skin without any problem.

Colorbar Full Cover Concealer:

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Colorbar full cover concealer is oil-free, water resistant, non-comedogenic, enriched with vitamin e and has SPF 35. It blends easily to give your skin a smooth appearance.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Flawless Wear Concealer:

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It is the best concealer that I have tried so far. Has a lightweight creme formula that blends like a dream and if that is not enough it is OIL FREE and WATER RESISTANT as well. To add to it Double Wear has TRANSFER-RESISTANT formula that provides medium buildable coverage that lasts all day long. Despite being a longwearing concealer this product does not have a dry feeling nor does it crease. Creates the perfected look of flawless skin all day. This concealer is available in 10 different shades.

Clinique All About Eyes Concealer:

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Multi-tasking concealer disguises dark under-eye circles while helping to reduce the look of puffiness. Long-wearing, moisturizing formula won’t crease or settle into fine lines. it has an oil-free formula that is Ophthalmologist tested too.

Revlon PhotoReady Stick Concealer:

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It is another good option for all those who want effective budget friendly product. It is an oil-free and fragrance-free product which might interest people with sensitive skin types. There are six shades in the line ranging from fair to deep. People with dry under eye area may notice it getting a little cakey under the eyes. Moisturize well and you can avoid this problem.

Everyday Beauty Questions

What is the best makeup for oily skin?

Oily skin is tough to deal with especially in the summer.  My fix:  oil free primer and Make Up For Ever HD foundation powder.I know Mary Kay has a good mattifier, and I like Bare Escentuals foundation as it soaks up all the extra oil.  Keep blotting sheets with you for touch ups throughout the day.

Should you match your eyeshadow color to your clothes?

NO!  If you’re wearing a green shirt, don’t wear green eyeshadow- it’s too matchy matchy.  Instead, choose something that is opposite on the color wheel.  My biggest tip:  the brighter the clothes, the more neutral color the makeup- this doesn’t mean you need to do a simple look… You can wear a dramatic look if you have a bright pink top on, but go with a black smokey eye or a brown smudged look instead of something with color.  If you are wearing black, brown, or another neutral, then go with a brighter color for the eyes or lips for that “pop”.

 

How do I cover up acne?

Use concealer that is 1-2 shades darker than your skin.  If you use a light concealer, it’s only going to enhance the acne instead of actually hiding it.  The trick is to blend around the edges or apply foundation over the concealer to smooth out the color difference.  If you have redness from the acne, use a green concealer as it counteracts redness- you do need to apply foundation on top though so you don’t look like Kermit….

My favorite concealers:   Coastal Scents Camo Quad,  Make Up For Ever cream concealer, and Bobbi Brown Concealer (for under the eyes)

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How do you do your eyebrows?

I used to take a stiff angled brow brush and matte eyeshadow around the same color as my brows and fill in.  For the blank spots, I’ll take a dry feeling brow or eyeliner pencil and do small strokes to fill in.  But, recently I’ve fallen in love with Tarte’s Brow Mousse- it’s so easy to use and so natural looking, plus it lasts all day!

I do recommend for shaping the brows that you go 4 times a year to have them professionally shaped- Makeup artist, estheticians and hair stylists do brows on a regular basis and can analyze and create a shape that suits you as each person’s face and brows are different.  Then you can just tweeze or wax in between shapings…

How can I avoid looking pale in pictures?

If you know you’re having pictures done, wear extra makeup- especially for blush, lips, and lashes as the flash will wash you out.  If you feel you have just a little too much makeup on, then it’s probably just right for pictures.