Makeup Tips: How to Apply Foundation with a Brush

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There are a multitude of foundations and a multitude of ways to apply them. You can use your fingertips, sponges, and brushes to put your makeup on.

Makeup brushes go hand in hand with achieving the perfect look. If you aren't a makeup artist, you probably don't have 100 different brushes, and that's okay! You can get away with just owning a small selection of brushes to get the job done. 

Foundation brushes come in various shapes and sizes, and some bristles are better than others for foundation application. We are going to fill you in on the many different types of brushes and how to use them to apply foundation. 

You can feel like a makeup pro in no time with just the right amount of knowledge and know-how, and HIDE is here to give it to help you along the way. 

Types Of Foundation

Before we dive into the world of foundation brushes, let's first review the many different types of foundations on the market. Since foundations vary in terms of formulations, the brush you use for them will also vary. 

Foundation is the base of your makeup, and so it's essential to choose the right type for your skin.

Powder Foundation

Powder foundation is a type of foundation made from pigments and minerals. The dry ingredients are mixed and sold in a loose powder form or pressed. 

Powder foundations are popular with people that struggle with oily skin. This foundation style is buildable enough to achieve a full coverage look if you're using the right formula and application technique. However, powder foundation is better for people looking for light to medium coverage. 

Whether you're going for light or full coverage, it is important to take your time applying this foundation correctly. Otherwise, you can end up with a splotchy complexion.

Stick Foundation

Stick foundations have more hydration than a powder foundation, but its firmer consistency makes it generally a pretty dry product. 

Similar to powder foundation, people with oily skin can reach for a stick foundation. If you have dry skin, it can be harder to blend out and stick to your dry spots. 

One plus of stick foundation is that it's easy to apply right to your face, and it gives you precise control over where you are applying it. 

Cream Foundation

A cream foundation is a thicker formulation than a stick. It provides full coverage and a smooth finish. This style of foundation can easily cover your skin's flaws and any imperfections. 

If you have dry or normal skin, you may like a cream foundation. However, if you have oily skin, you may want to stay away from the heavier consistency. 

If you misapply cream foundation, you can end up looking very cakey. Strategic application is key to achieving an even flawless-looking finish. 

Liquid Foundation

Liquid foundation is one of the most popular styles of foundation. This foundation style is the most versatile since it is easy to use on any area of the face and is customizable. 

You can mix it with different products, and it's easily buildable. You can blend it out effortlessly without looking too cakey. 

HIDE Premium Foundation is medium-full coverage, weightless, oil-free, and works on all skin types. 

Types Of Foundation Brushes

Now that we've gone over all the different types of foundations, let's go over the different types of foundation brushes. 

First, no matter what brush you choose, always reach for one with synthetic bristles since they won't absorb a lot of product.

Stippling Brush:

As the name suggests, these types of brushes stipple the foundation onto your skin. 

A stippling brush has a flat top and has two layers of bristles. The top layer is what you dip into your foundation. The bottom layer is denser and helps blend the product onto your skin.

When you use a stippling brush, you apply a series of many small dots onto your face that you can buff out for a flawless finish.

Flat-Top Brush:

A flat-top brush has a lot of compact bristles and a flat top. They are ideal for buffing foundation onto your skin. 

Flat Brush:

A flat foundation brush looks similar to a big paintbrush. Since this type of brush is thinner than others, it's easy to get the product into areas like around your nose. However, it's harder to blend with these flat brushes, and they can leave you with streaking.

Buffing Brush:

This style of brush has dense bristles that are in a dome shape. The bristles and shape make it easy to buff foundations into the skin. They take the hard work out of applying foundation. You can gently swirl the brush over your face to blend out your foundation. 

Fluffy Brush:

A fluffy foundation brush has many bristles, but they are not compact. However, the bristles are different from a powder brush. It is specifically made for foundation. If you use a powder brush, you will lose a lot of product in the bristles.  

How To Apply Foundation

You now know the many different foundations and brushes, but how do you apply them for a perfect finish? 

Powder Foundation:

When applying powder foundation, you can use a fluffy, flat-top, or buffing brush.

Dip the brush of your choice into the powder and start to blend it in circular motions onto your skin. Once it is blended out, if you still want more coverage, you can repeat this process. Go over any areas you see the powder sticking to so you're not left with any unsightly patches. 

Stick Foundation:

When using a stick foundation, you can reach for almost any brush besides a fluffy brush. However, since stick foundation is thicker, a flat, densely packed soft bristle makeup brush works wonderfully for blending them out.  

Apply the stick foundation directly to your face and then buff it out with your brush, making sure to get all the crevices of your face. 

Cream Foundation:

When putting on a cream foundation, go for a flat top or domed brush. 

The soft, dense synthetic bristles allow you to easily blend out the cream foundation and build up the coverage. It will enable you to buff the cream out, so it doesn't leave you with a cakey appearance.

Liquid Foundation:

Most brushes work for applying liquid foundation. However, some brushes require a little more work than others. For example, a flat foundation brush can cause streaking if you're not careful. Denser brushes, like a flat-top or domes brush, are better for easy blending. 

Dip your brush in the foundation and buff it onto your skin until you achieve a flawless finish. 

Other Ways To Apply Foundation

There are other ways to apply foundation if you don't have a makeup brush on hand. 

Makeup Sponge:

One of the most popular ways to apply foundation without a brush is to use a damp makeup sponge. 

You want to run your dry sponge under the faucet and then squeeze out all the excess water. You want it to be wet enough that it's soft and doesn't immediately absorb your product, but not so wet that there's water coming out when you press it to your face. 

Once your sponge is properly damp, dip it into your foundation and dab it onto your skin until you have a flawless finish. Try to avoid dragging or rubbing the sponge across your face to blend out your makeup. If you are rubbing instead of dabbing, you will really just be moving the product around your face instead of creating an even finish. 


While using your fingertips to apply a full face of foundation is less than ideal, it is doable. The one plus is that the warmth from your fingertips will warm up the foundation and make it easier to blend.

You always want to make sure you're starting with clean hands, so you don't get any dirt or bacteria on your face. Once your hands are clean, put some foundation on your fingertips and dot it around your face. Start from the center of your face and pat and rub the foundation into your skin. 

Dab off any excess foundation with a tissue once you're done. 

In Summary

Now you should hopefully feel confident in applying your foundation with a makeup brush. 

Keep in mind the type of foundation you have and the best brush that correlates with it. If you're using a powder foundation, reach for a fluffy, flat-top, or buffing brush. If you're using a stick or cream foundation, use a flat top or domed brush. For liquid foundation, go for a soft, dense brush. Remember to look for synthetic bristles, so your brush isn't absorbing a lot of product. 

HIDE Premium Foundation is lightweight, buildable, and has a soft-matte finish. It's great for all skin types and pairs great with our premium concealer

With the right foundation and application, you will be admiring your makeup in no time!



Foundations | Cosmetics Info

Moisturizers: Options for softer skin | Mayo Clinic

Slideshow Dry Skin and What You Can Do About It | Web MD