How to Apply Liquid Foundation With a Brush

How to Apply Liquid Foundation With a Brush

When done correctly, applying liquid foundation with a brush gives you light, beautiful, airbrushed results. When done incorrectly, you can get a stripey, uneven coverage. So what’s the secret to applying liquid foundation with a brush? Let’s find out!

Why Use a Brush to Apply Liquid Foundation?

There are a lot of reasons why most makeup professionals prefer brushes for applying foundation. Here are some of the reasons why brushes are an excellent choice for liquid foundation:

  • Fast to use. With the right brushes and some practice, most people find that brushes are the quickest way to get even, smooth foundation coverage.
  • More hygienic. When compared with using your hands, a brush is often considered to be cleaner and more hygienic. On the other hand, sponges and beauty blenders can be more difficult to get truly clean and sanitary.
  • More options. The vast range of brush options makes it easier to customize fast application, fine details, and coverage levels.

With all those advantages, it’s no wonder people love brushes for applying liquid foundation.

What Type of Brush is Best for Liquid Foundation?

A wide range of brushes can be used to apply liquid foundation, depending on your needs and preferences. Here’s a quick overview of brush types that work well for liquid foundation.

  • Domed or round foundation brush. A round foundation brush works with liquid foundation but is a versatile shape that also works well with cream and powder foundations. It’s designed for patting and buffing motions
  • Paddle/flat foundation brush. A paddle or paintbrush foundation brush has a broad surface for even application, with a narrowing center for targeted areas. It’s designed for long, even strokes, starting in the middle and working outward, and for more delicate areas around the eyes and nose.
  • Tapered foundation brush. A tapered or tulip foundation brush is smaller and has a narrower tip, designed for feathering and buffing in more precise areas.
  • Stippling brush. A stippling brush is designed to dab or pat foundation onto the face with a light, quick motion and then blend out in gentle swirls. A stippling brush typically gives more coverage and more targeted coverage than most foundation brushes but doesn’t work as well in finer contours of the face.

How to Apply Liquid Foundation With a Brush

No matter what shape of brush you choose, here are the features to look for:

Synthetic Bristles

Synthetic bristles are hypo-allergenic, and they are non-porous, so they are easier to clean and ‘drink up’ less makeup.

Densely Packed Bristles

Looser brushes are an excellent option for powders and other purposes, but good foundation brushes should have dense, soft bristles for even coverage without streaking.

Quality Manufacture

It’s often a good idea to start with less expensive brush sets while learning different techniques and figuring out what’s best for you, and later invest in high-quality brushes. Look for a handle that feels solid and fits well in your hand throughout the whole range of motion. Make sure the bristles are soft and smooth against your skin. Run the brush against your hand a few times and make sure that bristles don’t come out.

How to Apply Liquid Foundation with a Brush

After you have cleaned and prepared your face, here’s how to apply liquid foundation with a brush.

  1. Dispense some foundation onto the back of your hand. Applying foundation to your hand allows the product to warm slightly, making it easier to blend. You may also choose to mix your foundation with a small amount of moisturizer, oil, or serum on the back of your hand.
  2. Dab it onto your face. Then, using your fingertip, dab foundation onto your face, applying multiple small dots of product everywhere you intend to cover.
  3. Dampen your brush. Use two pumps of a setting spray to lightly dampen your brush.
  4. Distribute the foundation. Using a gentle dabbing, stippling motion, pat the dabs of foundation outward to cover your entire face, including the neck, ears, and upper chest.
  5. Use your brush in a gentle circular motion to blend your foundation. Make sure you move your brush in every direction to avoid lines and streaks, creating even coverage.
  6. Buff away excess. Using a clean brush, go back over your foundation and gently buff it in, blending further and buffing it into place. If you have too much foundation, use a damp sponge or blotting paper to pick up the excess.

Finally, when applying liquid foundation with a brush, it’s almost always a good idea to finish with a flat-topped buffing brush. While these aren’t usually used to apply liquid foundation, they are an excellent choice for blending it after it’s applied, preventing streaks and evening out your coverage.

The Importance of Using a Clean Brush to Apply Liquid Foundation

A dirty foundation brush is unhygienic and can clog your pores and also create streaky, uneven coverage. In addition, dirty bristles clump together, preventing the smooth, even coverage that makes you choose to use a foundation brush in the first place.

Most experts advise cleaning foundation brushes weekly, depending on the type of makeup you use and how much foundation gets onto the brush with every use. For best results, combine cleaning methods, so you always have a clean brush and best results.

After every use: Spray a liquid brush cleaner. These sprays are designed to quickly clean and disinfect brushes without long drying times, and they keep the bristles soft and supple. With the brush pointing downward, use the spray, and then swirl the edge of the brush against a paper towel to remove pigments. Then air-dry your brushes.

Every week: Deep clean your brushes. You can use a brush cleaning product or a gentle cleanser like hair shampoo. Wash your makeup brush pointing downward, running it under lukewarm water. Don’t immerse or saturate a foundation brush in soap or water.

Instead, add a drop of cleanser to a cleansing pad or your palm, and swirl the brush over the surface until it lathers. Rinse in clean water and squeeze out any excess water. Form your brush back into shape and allow it to air dry.