Rant & Rave: Foundation Brushes

Tell us what you love and hate about...

Foundation Brushes

Rave: I still reach for a brush over a sponge for applying my foundation! Sometimes, with more matte or quick-drying formulas, a sponge is nice to soften and make a finish a bit more flattering/natural after initial application, but otherwise, I’m a brush gal! Rant: I find the bristles can get too thick with product so they have to be cleaned often (preferably after each application but if lazy, two). To get every last bit of foundation out, they can take a little longer to clean, though I still find they’re faster and easier to clean thoroughly than sponges!

— Christine

We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

Compare Any Two Swatches

Curious how two shades compare to each other? Type in the shades below to get instant side-by-side swatches!

We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

18 Comments

Comments that do not adhere to our comment policy may be removed. Discussion and debate are highly encouraged but we expect community members to participate respectfully. Please keep discussion on-topic, and if you have general feedback, a product review request, an off-topic question, or need technical support, please contact us!

Please help us streamline the comments' section and be more efficient: double-check the post above for more basic information like pricing, availability, and so on to make sure your question wasn't answered already. Comments alerting us to typos or small errors in the post are appreciated (!) but will typically be removed after errors are fixed (unless a response is needed).

We appreciate enthusiasm for new releases but ask readers to please hold questions regarding if/when a review will be posted as we can't commit to or guarantee product reviews. We don't want to set expectations and then disappoint readers as even products that are swatched don't always end up being reviewed due to time constraints and changes in priorities! Thank you for understanding!

Leave a Reply

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Once I found the good ones I count on, I love the finished results they give. It’s the primary reason I rarely bother with sponges any more at all. My favourite is the Shiseido little stubby one – sort of a slightly angled kabuki style. I think they’ve recently replaced it with a synthetic one but I’m glad I’ve got a few of the original brushes. They do take an age to dry but it’s a small inconvenience given the great results I get.

No rant – I just don’t use them. I don’t feel like I need to. I know it skeeves some people out, but I get the best application (imo on my skin with my preferred foundation and light to medium coverage) by applying with my fingertips and then lightly bouncing a blender sponge if I feel like I need to… but honestly, my foundation looks fine just using my hands. I do have a foundation brush that someone at Sephora convinced me to buy a very long time ago, but didn’t like the way it applied foundation as it looked way too heavy for my tastes. More likely user error than anything wrong with the brush itself!

I’m a brush gal, too! My favorite is the Sephora Airbrush #56. I also have two densely-packed brushes—MAC 170 and Sedona Lace 602—which give a really nice finish, but are a bit harder to clean. Still, they’re all easier to clean than a sponge.

I use my Artis #7 brush to apply my foundation most days. I also like using my fingers to apply foundation but only certain ones. I prefer using my fingers when the foundation is very liquid as it seems I have better control. After initial application I will pounce a BB over my face to more or less set the foundation. I find that the Artis brush blends my foundation super fast and my application really looks flawless, in terms of the foundation application and not the coverage.
I hate cleaning my Artis brush. I purchased the cleaning set which consist of a special pad and solution but I still don’t feel like it is super clean. I pretty much just don’t clean it. I don’t have issues with breakouts or anything related to my brush not being clean and with the Artis brush, it doesn’t seem to get full and yicky like regular makeup brushes, not that I clean those either!!

Rave: They can be fabulous for getting foundation in place quickly. They’re easier to clean than my go-to Real Techniques sponge, too.
Rant: Unfortunately, I am very nearsighted and vision impaired without my glasses, and the handles on my foundation brushes hitting my makeup mirror is just plain annoying! Plus, it’s a bit more difficult to get an “airbrushed” look using a brush vs. sponge. At least for me, it is.

I have the same problem with handles hitting my mirror! I turn my head slightly to the side so the handle isn’t straight out in front of me, then flip back and forth between my 1x and 10x mirrors to check for spots I might have missed.

Agree Nancy. I’m always hitting the mirror with the longer handled brushes…I’ve threatened to have my hubby cut them off, but that would ruin the beauty of the brush.

That’s why I like travel sets-pre-shortened handles!

I’m old-school. If it’s liquid foundation and concealer, it’s the fingers.

I’ve trying to go to dual finish powder for summer–I have a Real Techniques one that’s lovely, and it gets cleaned once every two weeks, unless I have a break out, then it’s after every use.

Rave: Although I prefer nowadays to apply foundation with my fingers, I’ll choose a foundation brush over a sponge.
– I personally can get a sheer application with a brush, similar to a sponge, if I just use less foundation, while buffing and spreading it well.
– It’s also easier for me to build layers and coverage.
– I love the perfected effect I get from using a good buffing brush

Rant:
– Very hard to clean, off course. Especially since I use quite pigmented / medium-to-full coverage foundations, getting them truly clean is difficult. Usually I soak them 5-10 in Castille soap, then wash them 2-3 times until everything gets out. But also, I’m a germ freak… personally if iffy on using even 2 days in a row the same foundation brush without washing it. 😆
– I don’t like how foundation brushes apply product around my eyes, so I have I need to use another brush (or fingers) for concealer and for the eye lids.
– While I love the finish I get with a good buffing foundation brush, I hate the finish I get with stippling/dual-fiber foundation brushes and with those flat foundation brushes other people love. It’s to streaky looking on me.

Love for applying, but I two step and follow with damp sponge when I’m really fussing for an all day hold
Hateful for cleaning
MAC 170 is my weapon of choice. Wouldn’t mind trying the Sephora Pro brush at some point. I am a fan of their powder brush.

I’ve used a brush for so many years that it’s just natural to me. I will go over it with my damp BB because I’m a bit of a OCD perfectionist. If I’m in a hurry I’ll use my fingers. I have a few brushes so I don’t stress if I can’t get to washing my brush right away. I also have a Temptu air brush system but I don’t use that very much anymore.

Only a rant from me! I don’t like them because I think they would be too difficult to clean and be germ magnets. I use my fingertips to apply foundation and I find that works well. Easy to wash your hands afterwards.

Rave: ❤️The seamless look I get from a brush. I used to use my fingers but can’t go back there. For the germaphob’s there are more germs on your fingers than most things lol. I’m not scared of germs tho just nice not to get stuff all over my fingers.

Rant:I’m thinking of buying more so washing isn’t such an issue. I have 3. 2x IT and 1 WG. I have my eye on a Kon Gen Doh one.

I honestly apply my foundation/bb cream with my fingers, then blend it out with a kabuki style brush. It leaves a nice looking finish as it sets the product in place against my skin, but I feel like I get more of the product on my face directly by applying with my fingertips first and I apply my skincreams with my hands, why not my makeup too? I used to use a beauty blender type sponge, but I didn’t like how much product got sucked into the sponge and I always worried about it drying properly after cleaning, so even though I still have it and use it, it’s less often. It does make a nice finish for some foundations I have used however, I definitely think I am a foundation brush girl.

I have a Kevin Acouin brush I like the best very pricey at 100$ Can. I have several other’s including a Sephora 56 and an it Cosmetics brush that I rotate. I do sometimes use a sponge but find they fall apart in no time. Also I would rather wash the brushes than sponges

We try to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind and appreciate your patience! 🙂 If you have general feedback, product review requests, off-topic questions, or need technical support, please contact us directly. Thank you for your patience!