Helpful Tips on How to Apply Foundation With a Brush

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Author Name: Beth Rush
Date: Thursday February 1, 2024

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Understanding how to apply foundation with a brush is vital for your makeup routine. It becomes the base for your whole look, after all. There have been a variety of trends throughout the years, from beauty sponges to a thin makeup spatula. But this technique and tool has stood the test of time for a reason.

How to Properly Apply Foundation With a Brush

Brushes give you more control when applying your makeup base, as well as other cosmetic products. When laying foundation, there are several ways you can approach this. This outline will provide some general steps for applying foundation with a brush.

1. Pump Out the Foundation

Some people like to apply a bit of foundation to their face from the very start, while others pump product on the brush directly. While this can work, it can get messy quite quickly. It’s recommended to get one to two pumps of foundation on the back of your hand.

Adding makeup product to the back of your hand lets you gauge how much to use. One to two pumps should work fine for your whole face, but it can depend on the formula of your foundation.

2. Tap Your Foundation Brush

Tap your makeup brush to the back of your hand to get the product on the bristles. Applying the product with anything bigger can be challenging since they can’t get into the nooks and crannies. Meanwhile, smaller brushes take forever to finish your base.

Thus, look for a medium-sized brush. It’s ideal for the brush to have a flat top so that the product is evenly taken and distributed throughout your face. Some people also find that a rounder top brush works just as well for them.

3. Start In the Center and Spread

With the foundation on the brush, start adding the foundation. It’s best to start with the center of your face, so apply it to your cheeks and forehead. Keep the layer thin by tapping and buffing the product to your skin. Dragging can create streaks, so just dab the makeup on.

Slowly spread the foundation by buffing it to the other parts of your face, down to your lower cheeks and chin area. When you have a little bit left on the brush, add that coverage to your nose. Too much product in this area can make you look cakey, so just use any remaining product on your brush to finish the foundation.

Foundation brushes with two flowers

Tips On Applying Foundation With a Brush

Applying foundation with a brush has its own steps. In addition to that, there are a couple of tips that you can use to ensure that your technique will lead to a more flawless base for your makeup.

1. Know How to Work Your Foundation

The guide above is meant for liquid and cream foundations, as most people use it for their makeup routine. However, other types of foundation require a little more effort from you and your brush. Here are a few examples:

  • Serum foundation: Serum foundation or skin tints have a more watery consistency due to its ingredients. Shake up the packaging to ensure it’s mixed up well. If it’s still too thin and runny, you may have to apply the product with your fingers before going in with a brush.
  • Stick foundation: Stick foundation is a more solid cream foundation in a twist-up component, similar to lip bullets. It is possible to warm this up as you rub the foundation on the back of your hand. You can also apply it directly on the face before buffing it out with a brush like normal.
  • Powder foundation: Powder foundation is a good option for those with oily skin since it can help mattify your skin. Unlike other foundations, you can just tap your brush on the product directly and apply it. Some people may change their brush type to a bigger and fluffier one for less coverage, but a flat, rounded top still works best.

2. Tap Off the Excess 

Many people use numerous pumps of foundation, but it’s essential to be more conservative with your product use. It’s also an excellent principle to tap off the excess product on your brush before applying the foundation to the face. Removing the excess keeps the foundation thin, which creates an even application.

3. Blend To Your Neck and Ears

Most stop applying their foundation with a brush when their whole face is covered. However, it can be a little jarring when your ears and neck are a different color. Use your remaining product for those areas to ensure your face isn’t off from the rest of your skin. If you’re wearing a top that exposes your chest, consider applying a little foundation to that area as well.

4. Add More In Certain Areas

It’s natural to have some areas you want to cover a little more than others. Apply some extra foundation with a brush to these parts of your face. For this part, use and blend with a classic flat foundation brush. You may also want to look into a smaller concealer brush for a precise application.

Makeup foundation out of the box

Other Ways to Get a Good Makeup Base

There are other ways to get a smoother makeup base besides the way you put it on. Take these additional tips for before and after foundation application.

1. Find The Right Foundation

Various foundation types can sit on your face differently, depending on your skin needs and type. Try to identify what the best formula for you is. Aside from consistency, take a look at the ingredients. It’s best to have a clean, cruelty-free foundation to stay away from parabens and synthetic components. 

2. Take Care of Your Skin

Foundation goes on the skin, so it’s important to take care of it before and after putting on makeup. Cleanser and toner are your best friends for ensuring no cosmetics are lingering on your face. Try to make a habit of moisturizing too to avoid dry or cracked skin in the long run.

3. Have a Quality Foundation Brush

Some people get the brush shape right, but they often skimp on the quality of this makeup tool. Get a good brush that doesn’t shed during application. If your brushes are a little old, consider getting new ones. Try to change makeup brushes every three to five years, but it depends on their overall care and state.

4. Prime and Set Your Foundation

Makeup comes in layers. The foundation should come after a primer, preferably a mattifying or smoothing one depending on your skin type. After applying the base, add powder and use a setting spray to lock your foundation in.

Make Your Foundation Flawless

Foundation application may seem quite meticulous. It can take trial and error for those starting, but it’s an essential step in ensuring that your makeup comes out great. Try out the tips above and kick off your routine right.

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