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What Brushes to Use for Liquid Foundation

What Brushes to Use for Liquid Foundation
August 28, 2019 Ellis James

What is the best brush for liquid foundation?

Makeup is an art form and your face is your canvas, but an artist is only as good as their tools. There are many types of brushes available on the market for every kind of makeup; what’s best for different types of foundation? With so many options, how do you know which one to use to apply liquid foundation?

The answer will depend on what kind of coverage you want, your skin type, budget, and personal preferences.

This guide will decode the buzzwords surrounding makeup brushes and help you decide what brushes to use for liquid foundation.

Which ones are best for you?

Dense for liquid, Loose for mineral

A denser brush means the bristles are firmer or packed closer together.

Think of the difference between a soft toothbrush and a firm toothbrush — a dense brush is like a firm toothbrush, while a loose brush is like a soft toothbrush.

Dense brushes are better for liquid and compact foundations; a loose brush is better for mineral foundations or to blend a liquid foundation.

BBL Angled Makeup Brush Synthetic Contour Face Kabuki Foundation Brush for Blending Liquid Powder BB Cream Buffing Bronzer cosmetics tools applicator


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A great type of dense brush is an oval foundation brush.

If you’re stumped how to use oval makeup brushes, here’s a quick guide to them!

Try it yourself!

Pretty Vulgar - Foundation Brush. Flawless Wand

Pretty Vulgar Dense Foundation Brush

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tarte Airbrush Finish Bamboo Foundation BrushTarte Loose Foundation Brush

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Duo Fiber Brush

Many face brushes come with two types of fibers, which is great for layering and blurring.

Duo fiber means the brush has dense bristles at the base and loose bristles at the top, usually in two different colors. It can be used to blend liquid foundation or to apply powder on top of liquid foundation.

Duo fiber can also mean natural fibers mixed with synthetic ones.

Colourpop’s Duo Fiber Face Brush is a classic, affordable brush you can use for liquid and mineral foundations, blush, bronzer, and powder. 

What Brushes to Use for Liquid Foundation - Ellis James Designs

Try it yourself!

Sigma Beauty - F50 Duo Fiber Makeup Brush for Face

Sigma Duo-Fiber Brush

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Buffing Brush

Buffer brushes come in different shapes and sizes, so for full face makeup, you will want a larger size. The smaller ones are for concealer, eye shadow, and other smaller surfaces.

Buffer brushes are a great choice if you are looking for quick and easy application with even coverage.

One shape of buffing brush that is great for liquid foundation is a flat-top buffing brush. Flat-top buffing brushes can have different head shapes; however, they all have bristles of even length and, of course, a flat top. These are best for thicker or compact liquid foundations, and offer the most coverage.

EcoTools Custom Coverage Buffing Brush - Soft Custom Cut Bristles Recycled Aluminum Ferrules; For Use with Cream or Powder Foundation Blush and Bronzer

Another type of buffer brush that is perfect for liquid foundation is a flat, tapered brush. These brushes are probably the most commonly used brushes as they are easy to use and create full coverage. Flat, tapered brushes are usually duo fiber and have an angled tip for more precise application. 

Try it yourself!EcoTools Custom Coverage Buffing Brush - Soft Custom Cut Bristles Recycled Aluminum Ferrules; For Use with Cream or Powder Foundation Blush and Bronzer

Eco Tools Flat Top Buffing Brush

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Sigma F86 - Tapered Kabuki

Sigma Tapered Foundation Brush

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Stippling Brush

Stippling is the technique of using small dots to create layers of color.

Most stippling brushes are flat across the top, duo fiber, and two-toned, with dark, dense bristles on the bottom that turn into white, looser bristles on the top. The Real Techniques Dual-Fiber stippling brush is a great (and affordable) example.

Real Techniques Stippling Brush, Dual-Fiber, Uniquely Shaped and Color Coded, With Synthetic Custom Cut Bristles For an Even and Streak Free Makeup Application

To use a stippling brush, apply liquid foundation to the back of your hand, dip the flat top of the brush, and move it in small circular motions across the areas you want to cover.

Be sure not to press too hard and mash the bristles into your face, as this can leave brush lines and bend the bristles out of shape.

Here is a video on how to use a stippling brush by Wayne Goss, YouTube personality and makeup artist to the stars:

Try it yourself!

Real Techniques Stippling Brush, Dual-Fiber, Uniquely Shaped and Color Coded, With Synthetic Custom Cut Bristles For an Even and Streak Free Makeup Application

Real Techniques Stippling Brush

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Kabuki Brush

>A Kabuki brush is very similar to a stippling brush, except it has a much shorter handle that allows you to hold the brush closer to your face while applying foundation.

Kabuki brushes are often associated with powder brush application. Can you use a kabuki brush for liquid foundation? Absolutely! The fibers help in liquid application.

For some people, a shorter handle offers more control and precision, while others prefer a longer handle length.

Kabuki brushes are great for your travel makeup bag since they are so compact, especially if you get one with a cover, like the retractable Kabuki brush by cruelty-free brand Too Faced.

Too Faced Retractable Kabuki Brush for Women

Kabuki brushes are great for your travel makeup bag since they are so compact, especially if you get one with a cover, like the retractable Kabuki brush by cruelty-free brand Too Faced.

Try it yourself!

Sigma Beauty Professional F80 Flat Kabuki Highlighter Makeup Brush with Sigmax fibers for Buffing and Blending Liquid, Cream or Powders

Sigma Kabuki Brush

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Makeup Sponge

These little foam eggs are great for everyday use on skin that has little to no texture, as they offer the lightest coverage.

They are also great for oily skin since the sponge helps absorb excess oil.

They are cute and compact. Since they are held closer to the face, they also offer more control over application.

Makeup Sponge,Beauty Sponge blender set and Cosmetics Foundation Blending Sponges-For Powder,Cream or Liquid Application Multi-color(5PCS) (002)

The most well-known brand of makeup sponges is, of course, Beauty Blender

Try it yourself!

 

beautyblender original: The Original Makeup Sponge for Foundations, Powders & CreamsBeautyBlender Makeup Sponge

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Some FAQs about What Brushes to Use for Liquid Foundation:

What is the best brush for liquid foundation?

We suggest a dense kabuki brush to buff that product in. A sponge is also a great option, just make sure to blend your foundation in as well as possile.

Can you use a powder brush for liquid foundation?

Yes you can! Dense brushes and kabuki brushes perform very well with both foundations. Buffing brushes also work!

What is the best tool to apply liquid foundation?

It really depends on your preference and skill. Sometimes it’s a combination of many tools, not just one.

Is a sponge or brush better for foundation?

Again, it really depends on what your needs are and what you have time for. You also have to factor in what kind of foundation you’re using. Generally, brushes are better for foundation application.

Apply foundation using a sponge this way.

Is it better to apply liquid foundation with a brush?

It depends on what kind of coverage or patience you have. Blending can take time, while brushes can create streaks. Generally it’s easier to use brushes, but sponges create a smoother finish. It’s up to you!

Should I wet my foundation brush?

It isn’t always necessary, so don’t worry if you don’t have a sink nearby. It’s more the blending sponge you have to wet than the foundation brush.

What is the best way to apply foundation?

The best way is to start with moisturized, hydrated skin. Always moisturize first. It also helps to prime your face to smoothen out your canvas.

There is no one way to best apply foundation. Depending on what type of foundation you have and what type of tool you’re using, there are many ways. There’s also what skin type you have.

Here are some posts you might find useful:

Check this out for a tutorial on oval brushes.

This is how you apply cream foundation using a sponge.

Here are tips for applying foundation on mature skin.

How do you apply liquid foundation with a brush?

Again it depends on what type of brush you’re using.

If you’re using a kabuki or buffing or stippling brush, you apply it in circular motions. When you choose to use a tapered brush, you apply it in back and forth motions. If your choice is a blending sponge, you dab it until it’s well blended.

Choose for You

Now that you have demystified the language of liquid foundation makeup brushes, you’re now well on your way to choosing the one that works best for your skin type and coverage needs!

Don’t forget that removing makeup is just as important as putting it on!

What brushes do you love to use for liquid foundation?

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