10 foundation brushes you need to own

Want to upgrade from your fingertips to a more professional tool? Our foundation brush guide has you fully covered.

Hair & Beauty

When it comes to the world of make-up, two types of people exist: the ones who apply every product with their fingertips and those who own numerous brushes but don’t know how to use them all. (Don’t worry, we’re not here to judge!). When it comes to foundation brushes in particular, some might think it’s a ‘one size fits all’ approach. However, that’s not really the case. Luckily this simple guide curated by celebrity make-up artist Natasha Wright will help you navigate through the bristly maze of finding the right tool to contour and highlight your face to perfection...

NARS Powder Brush

1. Powder brush

Nars Powder Brush, £41

A powder brush is like a magic wand for contouring, highlighting and bronzing. All you need is a light dash of pressed or loose powder and this light fluffy wonder will set and buff away any residue, making it an essential tool for full foundation coverage. A good buy is a large soft brush with a tapered head, such as this one from Nars Cosmetics.

Charlotte Tilbury Powder and Sculpt Brush

2. Pointed highlighter brush

Charlotte Tilbury Powder and Sculpt Brush, £35

A brush with a pointed tip will give you more control over targeted areas. To accentuate the cheekbones, brow bones, cupid’s bow and tip of the nose, this brush offers artistry application as it’s designed to get into creases and follow the face’s structure. The result? Deluxe techniques like highlighing and strobing are super easy to achieve. The shaped sides on Charlotte Tilbury’s Sculpt Brush are a plus as it helps to limit product wastage.

The Body Shop Domed Powder Brush

3. Domed powder brush

The Body Shop Domed Powder Brush, £15

If you’re an avid make-up brush user then a domed powder brush is worth adding to your arsenal. The bristles are densely packed to work in unison with setting powder and bronzers, making it an ideal choice for everyday use. Its extra softness veils the skin with product, offering a hygienic way to apply face cream and serum too. This one by The Body Shop has nylon bristles and is cruelty-free.

By Joy Adenuga 003

4. Angled cheek brush

By Joy Adenuga 003, £11.50

Engineered for HD contouring and photo-ready highlighting, an angled brush is your best bet for sharpening your features. Its 45-degree tip fits the cheekbone like a glove and enables wet or dry product to be placed perfectly. British make-up artist Joy Adenuga says: “The right brushes aid the process to a flawless make-up finish,” hence why she designed her Brushes by Joy Adenuga collection for the everyday woman.

Hourglass No.7 Finishing Brush

5. Blusher brush

Hourglass No.7 Finishing Brush, £64

A blusher brush is always ready to add a pop of colour to cheeks, but is often overlooked as old fashioned. The beauty is that it does it all. It can be used for liquid or powder foundation to give a natural airbrushed look while it picks up deposits to define, shade and contour your cheeks. The No.7 brush from Hourglass is a worthy investment, however there are cheaper alternatives such as retractable blusher brushes that are suitable for on-the-go touch-ups.

Black|up Medium Coverage Foundation Brush

6. Foundation brush

Black|up Medium Coverage Foundation Brush, £30

Choosing the right foundation brush can be a little tricky as one size doesn’t always suit all. Look for one with densely packed bristles and a dome-shaped head as this will give you more even coverage and a smooth, poreless finish. This one from French make-up brand Black|up comes up trumps for medium coverage that looks natural in the daylight while providing enough impact for evening glam too.

MAC Cosmetics 187s Duo Fibre Face

7. Foundation stippling brush

MAC Cosmetics 187s Duo Fibre Face, £28

A stippling brush makes foundation go a long way. Made with duo fibres densely packed at the bottom with softer bristles at the top, it masterfully distributes foundation to give you streak-free, even coverage. Considered The OG beauty blender too, it will blend and cover imperfections. If you’re a fan of mineral powders then MAC’s 187s Duo works well to build layers and texture thanks to its superior fibre technology.

Marc Jacobs Beauty The Face III Buffing Foundation Brush

8. Foundation buffing brush

Marc Jacobs Beauty The Face III Buffing Foundation Brush, £37

For a full glow-up this brush is your go-to. Its army of soft bristles works well to distribute plenty of product or heavier formulas. Pro tip: add a dot of foundation to the centre of the face and buff outwards using the brush, spreading the product for even coverage. The result is a polished, seamless finish in seconds.

The Duet Concealer Brush by Kevyn Aucoin

9. Concealer brush

The Duet Concealer Brush by Kevyn Aucoin, £26

When applying concealer, this very small brush, which usually features densely packed bristles and a flat tapered shape, gets the job done with ease. Consider it a MVP for your make-up bag as it tackles blemishes, scars, brown spots, broken capillaries and under eye circles without breaking a sweat. Go for a dual-ended brush like this one from sculptor king Kevyn Aucoin for double the blending options.

Artís Elite Oval 7

10. Oval foundation brush

Artís Elite Oval 7, £47.32

Artís’ oval brushes were never just a fleeting trend and there’s a reason why they’re popular among make-up artists and influencers alike. Thousands of bristles are packed together to form a dense, cushioned oval-shaped head, which provides a seamlessly blended appearance when used with foundation and other liquid, cream or powder products. It looks great on the dresser, too!

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