Face Basics | Steps to a Flawless Base: #4 Brushes

Sorry for the lengthy gap between this post and the last Face Basics post - had some camera issues which are sorted for the time being!

#4: Brushes for Foundation Application

I tend to change the brush I use depending on the texture of foundation and level of coverage I want. Above shows some of my most used ones...

(In order starting from the one closet to the camera in the photo above) 

1. MAC 190 Brush

This is my oldest brush and is still going strong - great thing about MAC brushes is they last a lifetime so work the investment. It is a flat brush with a large head of tightly packed bristles; super soft and flexible for laying foundation down all over for full coverage and gets in the corners around the nose and under eye area well. I've heard people complain that it causes streaks in foundation application - not something I have experienced but it is best to keep this brush very clean before each application so that the bristles don't get too clogged up and separated; that is what causes a streaky application.

I use this to apply liquid foundation - previously my MAC Studio Fix Fluid and more recently I like to use it will my No7 BB Cream.

2. Elf Studio Powder Brush

I have spoken about this brush by Elf before, it is a flat top brush which I adore. It has very tightly packed bristles but is still very soft despite being synthetic; I don't like to use this with liquid foundations as it can be quite tough on the skin when pushing a foundation in, and boy would it be effort to wash each time! However, this is great for powder foundation - I use this with Mac Mineralize Skin Finish when I set a liquid foundation as you can work a powder in really well.

3. GOSH Foundation Brush

This brush is surprisingly good; I got this from Superdrug on an impulse purchase and for a drugstore brush it was really soft - that didn't last after about 4 washes and it feels more synthetic now but I still really like this, it is similar to the MAC 190 in shape but it is denser and more rounded than flat. It has a smaller handle as well making it perfect to carry in your handbag and I find this great for buffing in a liquid foundation quite quickly. It gives quite high coverage, and I find it will help make up last longer when it is really pushed into the pores - unlike the MAC 190 which lays it on rather than working it in.

4. Elf Stippling Brush

Another Elf wonder, the stippling brush is for those who want sheerer coverage and very natural looking skin. Stippling your foundation means using a light hand and the bristles on this brush are flexible enough to allow you to work in circular motions and achieve a flawless yet understated look. I use this brush for blush as well and is better suited to thicker foundations like Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation which can be quite heavy. I use this brush then really buff Skin Base foundation in with a good powder to set.

5. Real Techniques Buffing Brush

You will know all about these wonderful brushes by Samantha Chapman of Pixiwoo by now, so I wont say to much except that it does live up to the hype. This brush is SOFT as anything and you would never believe it is synthetic - unlike the Elf brushes which after a few washes do feel synthetic, the Real Techniques Buffing brush has stayed in top condition despite numerous washes. This is similar to the Elf Powder Brush but has a more rounded top and less density. I adore this slightly dampened with my MAC Mineralize (see more on that on a later blog post!) It can be used for liquid foundation, but I tend not to use 'hairier' brushes with liquid as they can be more effort to clean and need to be cleaned more regularly between uses.


  1. My fav is the Elf and Real Techniques brush =D

  2. the cheaper brushes seem to be winning! :)

  3. Theyre my favourites too keep buying more of the elf powder brush when I place an order wish the Buffing brush was available on its own rather than in a set x

  4. Yeah that is the annoying part but the £21 for the set is worth it for the buffing brush alone I guess!



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