Now that the blog is up and running, I can finally start the ‘favorite brushes’ series that I’ve been talking about for months and months! My tentative plan is work my way through according to function. In each category (powder, concealer, brows etc) I’m going to pick a few brushes from different brands. I’ll go over the materials, prices and performance and let you know which ones I like the most and the least. I may end up making some modification as we go along but you get the gist! Now let’s get down to business… starting with foundation brushes!
Let me start off by saying that all the brushes I’ve included in this post are synthetic. There are natural brushes that you can use with liquid products but for foundation, I prefer synthetic.
My two favorite foundation brushes are the ARTIS OVAL 7 ($60) and the ZOEVA 102 SILK FINISH ($18.80).
I’ve done a few posts comparing ARTIS brushes with some of inexpensive oval brushes (go to the index at the bottom of our home page and click on ‘ARTIS’ for more info) and while they are similar, ARTIS is still my favorite. The bristles are made of their signature COSMEFIBRE, which is a material designed to pick up and lay down product with less absorption than a conventional makeup brush. An ARTIS brush has 3-10× more bristles than a regular foundation brush which allows for a quick and seamless application. I love how these brushes blend liquid and cream products.
The ZOEVA SILK FINISH is domed shaped brush with vegan taklon bristles. In general I prefer a tapered shape like this for foundation. I find that it’s more effective at diffusing liquid products than a flat kabuki style brush. I’d consider it to be of medium density, meaning the bristles aren’t packed extremely dense (like a kabuki brush) but they aren’t loosely packed either. A loosely packed brush will give you a streaky finish and a dense brush can distribute too much product. It’s also easy to clean and durable.
The next three brushes are my honorable mentions. I like and use them regularly but they aren’t holy grail status.
IT COSMETICS CC+ SKIN PERFECTING BRUSH #702 ($48)- I got this brush as part of a set on either QVC or HSN. All of IT COSMETICS brushes are synthetic but this one’s bristles are called ‘Heavenly Skin’. They’re infused with anti-aging collagens, silk peptides and antioxidants. Using these brushes is supposed to improve your skin appearance. Now I haven’t noticed any miracles so I’m going to have to take their word for it. I like using this brush to apply skincare and primers as well as IT COSMETICS CC CREAM. The only thing that I don’t like about this brush is how white it is. It was gorgeous when I first got it but it gets a little more dingy every time that I use it for foundation.
MORPHE E44 ROUND DELUXE BUFFER ($16.99)- MORPHE has tons of brushes like this and I own a few others as well. I picked this one because it’s larger than most. It’s also synthetic and can definitely be used with liquids but it works great with powder and mineral foundation.
SEPHORA COLLECTION CLASSIC MULTITASKER BRUSH #45 ($24)- this brush is very similar to the ZOEVA SILK FINISH but I still wanted to mention it because of its durability. I’ve had this brush for (no lie) 10 years. I use it for work all of the time. And it’s still in damn near perfect condition.
These are two brushes that I’m not too fond off.
SIGMA F80 FLAT TOP KABUKI ($25)- Sigma brushes are a bit of mixed bag for me. I’ve been using them for years and I love my oldest brushes from them. About 2 years ago (maybe longer?) they switched to all synthetic bristles which are made of a material called ‘SIGMAX’. They still have a few brushes that I love but in general, I like the old ones much better. Especially their eye brushes. I prefer natural brushes for powder products. Their kabuki brushes have always been synthetic but the quality has changed, IMO. I had a round top SIGMA kabuki that I used for years but I’ve had terrible luck with the new ones. They shed like crazy and eventually start to fall apart. One amazing thing about SIGMA is that they offer a 2 year warranty on their brushes. They will replace any defective brush up to two times for two years after the purchase date. And I’ve had this particular brush replaced twice. Now granted I am hard on brushes. I’m a mua so I use harsh instant sanitizers like CINEMA SECRETS and I also wash my brushes at the end of every work day. So maybe you’ll have better luck than I have with these brushes but I don’t recommend them. Also kabuki brushes have very densely packed bristles and as a result can be difficult to clean.
GORGEOUS COSMETICS 025 FOUNDATION BRUSH ($40)- this a classic, paddle style foundation brush. I only picked this one from GORGEOUS COSMETICS because it was the first one that I saw. There’s nothing wrong with this particular brush, I just don’t like this style. With a paddle brush, you paint foundation on to the skin. It provides very full coverage but I find the results to be heavy and ‘mask’ like.
So that wraps up part 1 of my brush guide! Em will be chiming in during this series when the mood strikes her, adding her favorites and least favorites. And as we go along I’ll touch on different types of bristles and what they’re good for and how to care for them. Feel free to ask any questions that you might have and I’ll do my best to answer them. I’m by no means an expert on brushes and I have very little formula training. All the information that I’ll be sharing has been gleaned through experience and a lot of it is subjective. Meaning just because I don’t like something, doesn’t mean that it won’t work for you.
Next up will be POWDER BRUSHES!