Have you ever applied your foundation, only to end up with a patchy, streaky or sheer finish? Maybe it's settling into fine lines, clinging to dry patches or settling into the pores. Whilst that old adage a poor workman blames his tools might spring to mind, isn't always a case of user error.

Using the right tools can make all the difference to the finish of your products — even taking one product from a sheer to full coverage finish, depending on the application method.

Everyone has their preferred method for applying makeup, whether it be fingers, brushes, sponges or a combination. There is no right or wrong way, as long as you're achieving the desired result.

Choosing the right brushes for the right products can be a little overwhelming, so I've created a handy guide to helping you choose the right type of brush based on the product, and desired finish for you below.

Foundation Brushes

Brush Type Used For Coverage Options I recommend
Flat-topped Foundation Brush Densely packed, short bristles, with a completely flat top (not domed)

Not to be confused with Stippling Brushes, which can be similar in appearance, but are less dense and have longer bristles.
Cream or liquid foundations and cream or liquid blush. Buffing product into the skin for a smooth, flawless finish. Pick product up from the pan or back of the hand, or apply it directly to the skin then blend Medium to full (dependant on product) MOTD Cosmetics / Ere Perez / FitGlow / ILIA Beauty
Kabuki Brush Typically short handled, with a round or domed top, medium length and density bristles Mineral powder foundations. Apply in sweeping or circular motions, making sure to tap excess product from the brush before application. Medium to full (dependant on product) La Mav / Lily Lolo / Inika
Flat or Paddle Brush As the name suggests, a flat or paddle-shaped brush, with firm, densely packed bristles of a medium length and rounded edge Cream foundations, concealers and blushes. Apply in dabbing motion or 'streaks', applying from the centre of the face outwards and towards the jawline. Sheer to full (dependant on product) Kjaer Weis / MOTD Cosmetics / Inika
Stippling Brush Very similar in appearance to Flat-topped foundation brushes, a Stippling Brush is has a completely flat top (not domed), with medium-long length bristles and are softly packed. Liquid foundations. Apply in a soft circular or stippling (dabbing) motion. Provides sheer to light coverage, can be medium dependant on the product, but this is definitely on the light side. MOTD Cosmetics / Alima Pure / Inika
Powder Brush Big, fluffy brush with a domed top, medium to long bristle length. Loose or pressed setting or finishing powders. Also can be used for loose or pressed bronzers and blush. Apply in a soft, sweeping motion, or 'press and roll'. Sheer to medium, can be layered depending on the product Ere Perez / MOTD Cosmetics / Alima Pure

Face Brushes

Brush Type Used For Coverage Options I recommend
Concealer Brush Very similar to a flat or paddle brush - just much smaller! A small paddle-shaped brush, with firm (but soft enough to get into all those contours), densely packed bristles of a medium length and rounded edge. Usually about the size of your fingernail. Cream or liquid concealers or colour correctors. Used for spot-concealing, dark circles and lining around the lips for a crisp finish. Use a dabbing motion. Full (dependant on product) Alima Pure / Kjaer Weis / Ere Perez /
Mineral Concealer Brush This can look very similar to a cream concealer brush or eyeshadow brush, but is usually thicker (not as flat as the above), still with firm, densely packed bristles and a rounded top. Mineral or powder concealers. Used for spot-concealing, dark circles, and blemishes. Use a dabbing motion. Full (dependant on product) MOTD Cosmetics / Lily Lolo /
Blush or Bronzer Brush Medium or large fluffy brush with a domed top or angled edge, medium bristle length. Pressed or loose powder blushes, bronzers or setting powders. Sheer to light (dependant on product) Ere Perez / MOTD Cosmetics / Lily Lolo
Kelsey xx
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