10 Best Foundation Brushes In 2022

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Your makeup arsenal may consist of the best concealers, foundations, and blush money can buy. However, these products are only as good as the tools you wield to apply them. Choosing the right brush can make or break the experience of applying makeup as it can affect the texture of the product, the ease of blending, and your skin's overall health.

There are so many different kinds of makeup brushes, but a base brush is always a great place to start. Celebrity makeup artist Brandy Allen believes that if you're reserving a splurge, it should be on face brushes as they're "used on the biggest part of the makeup application" (via Aedit). If chosen well, a good foundation brush can give the rest of the steps in your routine a smooth base to work with; your blush, contour stick, and setting powder all gravely depend on it. Fortunately for you, we've listed out a few favorites to pick from.

How we selected the products

A foundation brush must be tailored to three things: what you use it for, how you use it, and the kind of foundation you use. We've factored in brushes that can buff out your foundation with ease, have precise edges for tricky corners, and work with powder or liquid foundations. These brushes also have garnered reputations across the internet as some of the best ones to add to cart, whether at Sephora or on Amazon. We've also included favorites from makeup artists and beauty editors, and they all come at various price points.

This curated list lets you choose without losing sleep over a poor purchase. However, it's still important to try these brushes out yourself and experiment with what works for you. "When choosing your makeup brushes, you should always go with what feels good, followed by the application test," makeup artist Janice Daoud advised Real Simple. "The application test will allow you to see how the color is picked up, deposited, and blended. If the bristles of the brushes do the job, then it's the right brush for you." 

Best overall foundation brush

Katherine Power, the founder of the clean skincare brand Versed, noted the popularity of the minimalist makeup trend and expertly channeled it into her beauty brand called Merit. Although it's only been a year since it was launched, Merit is already making waves for its tightly edited collection of essentials. Among the many mascaras and blushes is the Merit Brush No.1, a tapered blending brush that won the Allure Best of Beauty award in 2021.

The brush has densely packed bristles to help seamlessly buff powder or liquid product onto your skin. The angled part of the brush lets you get product in places a bigger brush couldn't reach. One reviewer on Sephora wrote, "Obsessed with this brush. I'm a makeup minimalist and prefer to keep things simple — this brush is amazing for concealer, blush, etc. It's the only one I need/use."

Get the Merit Brush no. 1 Tapered Blending Brush for $30 on Sephora.

Best splurge-worthy foundation brush

Celebrity makeup artist Troy Surratt, who's worked with clients like Jennifer Lopez and Freida Pinto, told Allure, "I really believe that high-quality brushes are worth the price. They don't just perform the best; they also make applying makeup a pleasure. If a $60 blush brush still gives you sticker shock, consider that it can easily last 20 years with proper maintenance." Enter $60 foundation brush: Pat McGrath's Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection.

Promised to have been "rigorously tested backstage [and] on the runways," this brush gives you precise coverage that can be buffed into a naturally glowy finish. According to McGrath, "The foundation brush gives a beautiful, smooth finish, and then also the sponge gives you another level of build, so I love that it's versatile" (via Who What Wear). Reviewers agree, with one raving, "I've used many different foundation brushes from high end to low end.. but this brush paired with Pat's SkinFetish foundation applies so evenly and smooth.... I feel and look airbrushed! AAHHHHMAZING!"

Get the Pat McGrath Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Foundation Brush for $41 at Pat McGrath.

Best-rated foundation brush on Amazon

Real Techniques is known to be a favorite among makeup artists and amateurs alike, as it delivers quality performance at an affordable price point. Makeup artists Katie Jane Hughes and Danielle Christine have both listed brushes from the brand as some of their mainstay tools. The brand is also securing the best-seller and best-rated spot on Amazon for its foundation brush.

More than 11,500 reviewers gave the Real Techniques Expert Face brush 4.7 out of 5 stars, making it one of the highest-rated foundation brushes on Amazon. "This is my go-to foundation brush," one reviewer said. "The handle is decently weighted so it feels great in the hands. The bristles are very soft and densely packed, so they apply liquid and cream foundation evenly without leaving any streaks behind. The brush is small enough to get around the nose and eyes, but still big enough to blend out your forehead and cheeks," they continued.

Get the Real Techniques Expert Face foundation brush for $6.99 on Amazon.

Best drugstore foundation brush

NYX is a drugstore brand with many fans — its high-quality products and unmatched price tags will catch your eye in any aisle. Makeup artists like Allan Avendaño have recommended NYX brushes, per Allure, and the publication itself has awarded the brand numerous beauty and reader's choice awards. Essentially, you can be sure to pick something up from NYX and not have to worry about a return.

The brand's Can't Stop Won't Stop foundation brush is no different; the brush has over 10,000 reviews on Amazon with an aggregate of 4.3 out of 5 stars and 4.8 stars on the brand's website. Made with an angular design, this densely packed brush allows you to apply liquid and cream formulas with precision and ease as it moves with the contours of your face while buffing product. One reviewer offered, "I was excited to try this makeup brush since I had heard great things. I wanted to purchase a more expensive brush but did not want to spend the money. I was hoping this would be a good substitute and it did NOT let me down! This brush is fantastic when applying my CC cream! No streaks and perfect blending!!"

Get the NYX Can't Stop Won't Stop foundation brush on Amazon for $14.25.

Best budget foundation brush

If you're not ready to commit to an expensive brush and you're still trying to figure out what technique and finish you want, this Daubigny brush may just be the perfect purchase. The flat-top foundation brush resembles a kabuki brush, a short-handled dense brush primarily used in Japanese theater (via L'Oreal Paris). It can be used for a variety of functions; it's great for both powder and liquid foundations, and allows for easy buffing and sweeping of the product.

The Daubigny Foundation brush is also one of Amazon's bestsellers, with over 19,000 reviews giving it a 4.5 out of 5 stars. One reviewer said, "I would buy this 10 times over! Super soft on my skin yet very efficient at blending foundation," while another claimed, "I would buy this 10 times over! Super soft on my skin yet very efficient at blending foundation."

Get the Daubigny Foundation Makeup Brush for $9.99 on Amazon.

Best liquid foundation brush

Rihanna's Fenty Beauty has won many awards, including The List's Beauty Awards in the categories of lip gloss, primer, and lipstick. The brand's consistency with delivering covetable products extends to its foundation brush, a medium dense synthetic bristled brush that's perfect for liquid or cream foundations. "Because liquid foundation needs to be applied seamlessly without leaving streaks, using a synthetic fiber foundation brush to blend works every time," makeup artist Rudy Miles told Makeup.

This brush also has a unique shape that allows for precision and buffing. Beauty YouTuber Genevieve Fields tested out the brush in detail, using various products and techniques. After using it for foundation, contouring, and highlighting, she said, "I'm loving this [brush] because this means that I can use this one brush in one go for pretty much every liquid [or] cream highlight, contour type product on the face." Over 72,000 people on Sephora also have this brush favorited, and one reviewer said, "Easy to use, doesn't absorb too much product into the actual brush, and creates a flawless finish. My new go-to brush for my liquid foundation."

Get the Fenty Beauty Foundation Brush 110 for $34 at Sephora.

Best powder foundation brush

Kabuki brushes were originally used to set a powdered foundation on actors in Japanese kabuki theaters, and the design of the tightly packed brush has become a popular tool for applying powder foundation today. These brushes tend to give complete coverage with loose mineral foundations, and buffing and swirling might work best, per Makeup. "Pick up a generous amount of powder and shake off the excess," makeup artist Larami Glen told Bustle. "The finest particles are what's left on the brush and blend better." 

Drawing from this design, the e.l.f Kabuki brush is a versatile and affordable option for powder foundation. It has 4.6 stars out of 5 on Amazon, and one reviewer said, "This kabuki brush is perfect for daily use — it's soft but doesn't shed, holds powder well, is easy to clean, & lasts for a long time." The synthetic fibers also make this a multifunctional option if you want to use liquid foundation, too.

Get the e.l.f Kabuki brush for $4.19 at Amazon.

Best multitasking foundation brush

This foundation brush has been in every celebrity's vanity; it was featured in Kim Kardashian's Vogue beauty tutorial and also found it way into the makeup bags of Jessica Alba and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (via The Strategist). The IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Foundation Brush #7 has since become a staple for makeup enthusiasts everywhere.

Over 2,000 reviewers give the dual-ended brush a 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon, where one reviewer said, "Love this brush, perfect for foundation and concealer. Totally worth buying a brush like this. I am a makeup artist and This is one of my favorite brushes that I have in my kit. I recommend this." The brush has extra soft bristles to give you an airbrushed look, and it comes with two sides – a larger side for foundation and a smaller side for concealer. It's easily an investment piece since you won't need to buy another brush.

Get the IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Foundation Brush for $32.76 at Amazon.

Best foundation brush for precision

Mindy Kaling called the KVD Beauty Lock It Edge Foundation brush "only the best foundation brush in the history of time" on her Instagram story, according to Yahoo!. It continued to win accolades that year, becoming one of Allure's Best of Beauty products in 2017. The sleek brush is packed with dense bristles in a domed shape that lets you buff, stipple, and get product around places that are hard to reach with a bigger brush. Its skinny handle also allows you to work fast, and according to this reviewer, "It's super soft, blends great!"

Get the KVD Beauty Lock It Edge Foundation Brush for $22 at Amazon.

Best makeup artist-approved foundation brush

Smith Cosmetics creates tools for professionals, and its brushes are mainstays in the bags of makeup artists as well as beauty editors. The brand's 202 Microliner brush already won two Allure Best of Beauty awards, but its foundation brush is what celebrity makeup artist Natalia Thomas recommends. "This brush is a blend of goat hair and synthetic fiber in a dense yet still fluffy shape that works well with powders, creams, liquids, and waxes," she told Allure. "I am all about keeping tools and products in my kit that are multipurpose to help lighten the load." 

The 131 Multi Task Buffing brush is made with an equal blend of natural goat hair and synthetic fibers, making it perfect for liquid and powder foundations. The natural fibers also allow for a more natural-looking finish, which you can always build on if you're looking for a more Instagram-filter look.

These brushes are especially popular among makeup artists because of the way they're crafted; Francesca Tolot (Beyonce's makeup artist) and Amber Dreadon (who works with Lorde) are a few of the many who carry the brand's tools with them, per Hollywood Reporter.

Get the 131 Multi Task Buffing brush for $36.50 at Smith Cosmetics.