How to Use a Foundation Brush

woman with makeup brush

Learning how to use a foundation brush can mean the difference between a completely flawless face and an unpolished look. Foundation application can be tricky for everyone, from novices to seasoned makeup aficionados. Blending it into dry spots, sliding it over oily skin and trying to cover those nooks and crannies can be quite a difficult task, but a foundation brush can make it easier.

Simple Steps for How to Use a Foundation Brush

If you haven't used a foundation brush before, it's important to know the basics so that your makeup can be applied easily and flawlessly.

Preparing the Face

Before you begin the foundation application process, prep your skin so the foundation has a smooth and healthy canvas to adhere to.

  1. Wash the face and gently pat dry with a towel until completely dry.
  2. Rub a lightweight moisturizer on to the skin (this is important even if you have oily skin) and let dry for several minutes.
  3. Apply a foundation primer to your skin. This can be done with your hands or with a small foundation brush. Apply an even coat to the entire face and let dry completely.
  4. If you need to add concealer to any problem areas or under the eyes, do so now. A small foundation brush, concealer brush or even an eye shadow brush make the ideal brushes for applying concealer. When applying concealer, always dab on and then blend.

Applying Foundation

Once your face has been prepped, it's time to apply the foundation. Even if you're a beginner, you'll be able to follow these simple tips and create a smooth and even application.

  1. Pour a small amount of foundation (assuming you are using a liquid) onto the back of your hand.
  2. Pick up some foundation with the brush. If you prefer light coverage, dip only one side of the brush in the makeup. If you want fuller coverage, use both sides of the brush to pick up the makeup.
  3. Start applying the makeup in the center of the face so that you can blend outwards and avoid noticeable makeup lines.
  4. Use broad, downward strokes to sweep and blend the makeup onto the nose, forehead, cheeks and chin.
  5. Use the tapered edges of the brush to blend the makeup into those hard-to-reach areas, like the corners of the nose, hairline and around the eyes and mouth.
  6. Check for tiny makeup lines that are left behind after the foundation has set. If you see any of these lines, use a clean end of the foundation brush and lightly blend these areas with small, circular motions.

If you're using a cream or powder foundation, simply run the brush over the product in its container and follow the above steps. Several companies now offer brushes designed specifically for use with cream foundation, such as the CoverFX version available at Sephora. Its soft texture and short bristles allow for perfect application without streaking.

Caring for Your Foundation Brush

Once you know how to use a foundation brush, you'll also want to take note of how to keep it clean. Cleaning all of your makeup brushes is imperative in order to keep them bacteria-free. Lingering bacteria not only poses the risk of causing acne breakouts, it also generally suggests that there is excess makeup building up on the brush.

Most high-end lines offer their own foundation brush cleaners, such as Clinique's Brush Cleanser or the one from MAC Cosmetics. If you're a frequent traveler, consider a handy spray, like the Japonesque Brush Cleaner found on Ulta. A great low-cost alternative to these products is plain and simple baby shampoo. Simply swirl the brush's head through the shampoo and rinse. Pat dry.

Perfect Application

By knowing how to properly apply foundation with a makeup brush, you can get the amount of coverage you want and flawless-looking skin. Practice the application steps until you're comfortable, and your makeup will look professionally and beautifully applied every time.

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How to Use a Foundation Brush