Rant & Rave: Foundation Brushes

Tell us what you love and hate about...

Foundation Brushes

I love the finish I get with a brush, but they have to be washed regularly or else they’ll soak up too much product, which clumps bristles together and leads to a streakky finish. I find brushes are easier to thoroughly clean compared to sponges, which is a big bonus.

— Christine

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– The beautiful finish and coverage I can get from some foundations. In the end some formulas simply apply better with fingers or a sponge, but some look just amazing with a brush.

– How difficult they are to clean. Personally I prefer dense buffing brushes for foundation (I don’t understand how some people can use those dual-fiber sparse ones without getting streaks) and medium to full coverage creamier liquid foundations. That’s the worse combo when it comes to washing brushes, it takes a lot of time and effort to remove all foundation residue from densely packed bristles.

I just started using Fels-Naptha laundry bar for my brushes. I’m shocked at how quickly it gets my foundation brush clean!

I love a foundation brush for products that don’t need sheering out. They don’t suit me if it’s a full coverage or quick setting product.

I tried this too because long wear foundations can be a pain. But then I went to sephora looking for a brush cleaner and the SA proceeded to tell me that I “probably used too harsh of a cleanser” and subsequently washed off some coating that is on the bristles to help them be deep cleaned easier. Hmmm…idk, seemed pretty stubborn before I used the fels and her response kinda felt like a cop out for their brush cleaner not being very effective…?

I use Shea butter black soap (credit to Tarababyz) on synthetics and natural brushes. Target. $6 for a huge bar that lasts a long, long time. I never hesitate to pass her recommendation along.

LOVE: A good foundation brush makes my skin look flawless. Brushes are my preferred way to apply foundation.

HATE: The super dense brushes—like MAC 170 and Sedona Lace 480—take extra work to clean (but it’s worth it for the finish I get from them).

I’m pretty diligent (meaning overly) with cleaning my brushes and I’m amazed how my MAC 170 still has bristles. 😆 I sometimes wash it 1-2 times a week (when my current foundation applies well with a brush), with 5-10 minutes pre-soaking in Castille soap diluted with water. I don’t even know how that glue still holds.

I rarely use a foundation brush. I usually prefer using a makeup sponge or my fingers. I have put my foundation on with my fingers since I was 13 and have never had any issues with infection or contamination of my products. I think the warmth of the hands helps to really mesh the foundation with the skin. I also really don’t clean my brushes ever and if I used a foundation brush I think I would feel like I had to clean it since it would eventually be too caked to apply makeup without streaking and globbing. Anyway, fingers and sponge are my go to. Oh, I do use a BB but a lot of the time I prefer to use the little makeup sponges that are triangle in shape. It was all we had outside of our hands back in the day. They work surprisingly well and are relatively cheap and easy to find so you don’t have to worry about cleaning them.

I love the finish they impart, but I’m so near-sighted that I really need to be able to get up close to my lighted magnifying mirror in order to insure even, well blended application. And so, I use Real Techniques foundation sponge most of the time. Or the short handled Sephora Rouge foundation brush I got a few years ago.

Foundation brushes are one of the reasons I don’t get brush sets. Fingers preferred, for lix, anyway. I got the KGD glass film powder foundation, though, and it goes on perfectly with the Sonia G face 2. Don’t even look at my other buffing brushes, Wayne, It, Zoeva, as the Sonia is perfection, whether I add a bit over liquid, or only use the powder. As a KGD fan girl, don’t use the other powder foundations often anymore, and use the other buffers for those.

I like a good, moderately dense flat top buffing brush for foundation, anything else like those flat paddle paintbrushes are just too streaky for me. I like fairly full coverage, so I usually apply a thin layer evenly across my face (working in sections) and then go back over with a bouncing/stippling motion where I need more coverage – I just can’t get the same finish with my fingers!
If I want a more natural look, I go over it with a bit of Kevyn Aucoin’s liquid Candlelight, which looks lovely, but I use the same brush so it melds better with the remnants of product already on it.

I do have to clean mine more often that my colour/powder brushes, but I have three on rotation so there is always a clean one to grab. It only takes a few minutes with a good cleanser and a decent rinse, so it’s not super strenuous to keep them sanitary. I have ones with synthetic bristles, so pretty much any soap is fine – I’ve even used our lemon anti-bacterial foaming hand wash in a pinch and it worked surprisingly well. I find bar soap takes much longer to rinse away cleanly when the bristles are than dense though.

I usually start with a foundation brush but will smooth things out with a damp sponge, no matter what brush I use. I have enough brushes to get me through the week without having to wash them, but when I do it is kind of a pain since they take so long to dry.

I love foundation brushes. I saw a video from the muse pro artist talking about technique and I do more of a stippling motion. According to him bugging makes it uneven as you are doubling back in some places and not in others. I always apply makeup to a clean face. Tooth brushes are probably much dirtier.

To me sponges soak up and waste a lot of product but I do use sponges for concealer or if I got too much foundation on. My face.

I would say foundation brushes are the hardest to get product out of. I have 3 but never have streaking but I don’t use a swiping motion either.

All rant, no rave: no fault of foundation brushes, but I can’t use them because they lift they top layer of my skin and make me look uber-flaky; it’s just this weird problem I have with my skin where rubbing it with anything other than the faintest, lightest touch (like I’d use with a blush or highlighter brush) just completely roughs up the top layer. Religious use of a good exfoliant liquid and moisturizers has minimized my odd textural issues, and I can make them disappear entirely with the use of a sponge, but brushes ruin my face for days — it actually takes time to recover from using a foundation brush.

I think I still have to find one I like. It’s either that or it’s me not being able to use a brush. That said, I’m not friendly with any of my foundations anymore. I think I should probably go watch about ten tutorials on how to apply foundation 😀
I do get a better result with a BB, but it’s still far from anything flawless.
I do find them fairly easy to clean.
That was a sort of rant and a short rave.

I use a cotton round to apply my foundation and do the initial blend, but then I buff the edges out further with a foundation brush. This technique works extremely well with Fenty Pro Filt’r and should also work well with other liquid foundations.

I love them too. There are good ones in all price ranges (Real Techniques makes what I still think is one of the best) but my “go to” for a flawless finished look is my stubby and wonderful Shiseido one. I have 2 of them (one came in a GWP or PWP and one I purchased) so drying time isn’t quite such an issue and the brush itself tops every other one I’ve tried. I have a Beauty Blender and several “copies” as well as the original RT sponge (which is excellent but the more recent ones are a different material and not nearly as good) but I still prefer my Shiseido brush.

I’ve been tempted to buy that brush a zillion times. My skin is so sensitive and prone to kick up dry skin that I’ve never gotten it. I remain intrigued and wish I could just give it a spin. So many people swear by it!

I hate the flat paint brush forms, they almost always streak. I love the Kiko Dark Treasure foundation brush! The round, compact, not to high shape gives a near Blender Blender application. Sometimes I actually prefer it to the sponge. And I concur on the cleaning versus sponges, they’re much quicker!

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