Tools of the Trade: Foundation Edition (Brushes, Blenders, Etc.)

Hello, Beauties!

I hope all of you had a wonderful weekend! I know I did! I spent my weekend picking up makeup, skincare, and beauty products to review! But before I review those products, I would like to get back to basics. Without foundation brushes and blenders, a smooth, blended, foundation application can be tricky. And even though I’ve learned that sometimes the best foundation application can be applied with your hands, there is a downside to that (not to mention a HUGE mess). So today’s topic is, “Tools of the Trade: Foundation Edition (Brushes, Blenders,  Etc.)”

 

Foundation Brushes:

(IT Cosmetics For Ulta Foundation Brush $22-$28 http://www.ulta.com)

I remember the first time I saw a foundation brush. I was getting my makeup done at “Clinique”, and didn’t know that “foundation brushes” were even a thing. I had always used a round makeup sponge to apply my foundation. It worked fine, and I didn’t think I could actually get a smoother application, AND save product, by using a foundation brush. PLUS, makeup sponges absorb bacteria, and can cause acne (brushes and blenders can as well, but as long as your wash them regularly, you should be fine).

The perks of using a foundation brush not only save’s you product AND is a more sanitary way to apply makeup, but it also let’s you apply makeup in those tricky areas; AKA your nose, under your eyes (although I prefer a concealer brush which works even better with your eyes) and let’s you customize your foundation by swiping it in the places you would like heavier coverage, as well as controlling where your foundation goes. I’ve also learned firsthand, that when you use a foundation brush to “stipple” your foundation (hold the handle and use the flat part of the brush to pat your foundation in lightly), after full application of your foundation, it not only presses the foundation in to your pores, but also gives your foundation a more polished, “finished” look.

There are downsides to a foundation brush though. If you don’t know how to use one correctly, you might not get the coverage you want, OR your foundation doesn’t get pressed into your pores, and literally, sits ON TOP of your face. That’s when makeup starts to cake, creating an obvious “makeup” look. Also, if you use a foundation that sets quick (AKA Kat Von D Lock It Foundation is a perfect example) then you can end up with streaks or uneven foundation coverage. Also, as I mentioned before, bacteria can build on makeup sponges, blenders, AND brushes. Bacteria causes clogged pores, acne, and an array of skin problems. BUT as long as you are disinfecting your brushes and cleansing them regularly (at least once a week) then you’re usually okay. Just be sure to buy a good brush cleanser with antibacterial properties, OR one of the new makeup brush washing systems, like The Lilumia 2. ($149.00-$159.00 http://www.lilumia.com).

foundation
$24.00 http://www.ulta.com

 

Beauty Blender:

($20 http://www.sephora.com OR http://www.beautyblender.com)

Beauty Blender’s innovative, “open cell” technology has been a GAME CHANGER in the beauty industry. Not only does Beauty Blender leave you with a perfect foundation application, but it works with both liquid and powder foundations. It can provide you with fuller coverage with just a powder foundation, so in many people’s cases, you can switch from using both liquid and powder, to just using powder by itself. You can also blend your blush, highlight, and contour by using one of these babies, for a perfectly blended, full face makeup application. You can also blend your eyeshadows with it too! It’s fairly easy to clean and blends like a dream! Literally. If you haven’t tried a Beauty Blender, you definitely need to.

The Beauty Blender works by pressing your foundation in to your pores, to create a flawless, cake-free, long lasting finish. Then after you apply your liquid foundation, you can use it with setting powder or powder foundation,  and it presses the powder in to your pores, again, to create a finished look. Not only does your makeup look smoother, but it stays in place longer. And your foundation also doesn’t sit on top of your face, like foundation brushes can do if used incorrectly. The Beauty Blender uses “open cell” technology. What does that mean? It means that when makeup is applied to the Beauty Blender, even though it slightly absorbs it, it still sits on the surface of the sponge, for smoother blending and application. The material is also very moisturized and “plush” so it doesn’t absorb product (waste it) like regular makeup sponges can. Even though it’s technically a “sponge”, the “open cell” technology, along with being soft and moisturized, it absorbs the PERFECT amount of product for blending. It’s name is perfect, because it does exactly what it says; it blends makeup perfectly, while applying the perfect amount of product to your face.

Also, because of this same technology, it also saves product; ESPECIALLY, liquid foundation. Regular makeup sponges will absorb liquid foundation all the way to it’s core, resulting in a TON of wasted foundation. And you don’t EVER even want to place a foundation soaked sponge, ANYWHERE near your face. When foundation sits out in a sponge for so long, bacteria will taint the foundation. In fact, bacteria will taint the whole sponge, which causes acne (or makes acne worse), blackheads, blemishes, and clogged pores. Although the Beauty Blender needs to be cleansed at least once a week, the innovative technology results in less bacteria. Which then results in less acne, clogged pores, blackheads, and blemishes.

One thing to be aware of, is that bacteria CAN build up in the Beauty Blender, because of it’s sponge like material, even though it has the innovative “open cell” technology. Over the course of time and applications, there WILL be bacteria on your face, in your makeup bag, or even in exposed liquid foundation. It’s inevitable. So make sure you are cleaning it AT LEAST once per week.  Although it’s easy to clean, it takes a long time to dry, compared to regular foundation brushes. So I’d suggest buying two, so you have one on hand at all times. Just make sure to use a good brush cleaner with a good sanitizer. Beauty Blender’s exclusive website, also offer’s cleansing tools and solutions to not only sanitize and clean it, but also prolonging the life of your Beauty Blender, when cleansing it.

Another thing to be aware about the Beauty Blender, is that there are a TON of companies that are trying to copy the original Beauty Blender technology. There are drug store copies, as well as well known makeup brands and companies in the industry, that are now offering you their own version of the Beauty Blender. DO NOT GIVE IN. No matter how much money you save, or how much the copied product looks just like the original, IT IS NOT THE ORIGINAL. When holding a TRUE Beauty Blender and a copy at the same time, you can feel the difference in the sponge like material. A real Beauty Blender feels soft, and doesn’t feel like a regular “sponge”. It almost feels a bit “tacky” or “sticky” because it’s moisturized, and it’s so soft and plush. The copy, just feels like a makeup sponge. I’ve tried SEVERAL copies, just to see if any can compare any to the original Beauty Blender, and literally, NOTHING can compare to the original. Just bite the bullet and buy the Beauty Blender. It lasts for a really long time compared to copies anyways, so all in all, you will be saving money in the long run.

beautyblender_redcarpet_catalog_packshot_5332_1_3
$20.00 http://www.beautyblender.com OR http://www.sephora.com

 

Silicone Foundation Applicators:

For the first time today, I tried a silicone makeup applicator. And it’s safe to say that I was MORE than impressed. Not only did it give me a smoother application than a foundation brush, but it saved me A TON of product, unlike the Beauty Blender can. At first I was skeptical about this product. I saw it on Instagram and thought it was just another cheap copy of a Beauty Blender, by a company who was trying to change the game in the industry. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

The perks of a silicone makeup sponge are endless. Since it has a smooth finish, and doesn’t have any sponge like material to absorb makeup, you save A TON of product. And everyone knows how expensive good foundations are these days, so anything that can help prolong the product is much appreciated! Not only does it press your foundation in to your pores, but it creates a smooth finish, which didn’t cake my foundation. It gives smooth, even coverage, and best of all, I didn’t have to put much effort into pressing my foundation into my pores.

Like I said before, pressing your foundation into your pores is extremely important. It gives you a long lasting, smooth effect, that doesn’t look caked, and your foundation doesn’t just sit “on top” of your face. I actually stopped using a foundation brush, BECAUSE of this reason. I started using my hands to apply my foundation, to press my foundation into my pores. But not only do you have to keep washing your hands before, during, and after, when you do this, but things can get messy. A lot of today’s best foundations work best when “warmed up”. For example; IT Cosmetics “Bye Bye Under Eye” Concealer. In order for it to work at it’s best, you must place the concealer on your thumb, then rub your thumb, index, and middle finger to “rub” the concealer together so it warms up. It’s best to do this with ANY full coverage foundation. But like I said, it can be messy, which is why it’s such a downer to use your hands, even though your hands can ACTUALLY create a GORGEOUS, polished, smooth finish. But with so much hand washing, your skin can dry out, plus who wants a mess? That’s where the silicone makeup applicator comes in handy. You can apply the concealer or foundation to the silicone’s smooth finish, and then you can actually “warm up” the foundation or concealer on your face, WITHOUT wasting or losing product in the sponge material, like you would with a Beauty Blender. No mess. No hassle. No foundation covered hands. AND you get the best “pore pressed”, smooth, polished application. In fact it isn’t only easier to apply your foundation with the silicone applicator, than it is with your hands; It’s better. The smooth silicone surface is, well…. SMOOTH. So you don’t have to worry about an uneven finish, like your hands can sometimes create. It’s also way more sanitary, and you won’t dry out your hands with constant hand washing during foundation application (even though I suggest ALWAYS washing your hands BEFORE makeup application, just to make sure bacteria stays away from your face).

Also, another huge benefit is being able to sanitize and clean the product after EVERY. SINGLE. FOUNDATION APPLICATION. *HOORAY* Seriously though, that’s REVOLUTIONARY. The makeup washes off the silicone applicator with ease, AND it dries within minutes. You can even sanitize it again, BEFORE makeup application, if you struggle with acne, blackheads, or blemishes. Foundation brushes CAN be washed everyday if you want, BUT there are a few problems; the drying time, and the wear and tear that washing a foundation brush everyday, can cause on an expensive foundation brush. With the silicone applicator, you can literally, gently wash it EVERY DAY. With no problems. It’s easy peasy “lemon” squeezy!

The downside to the silicone makeup applicator, is this; It doesn’t pick up powder foundation or setting powder, or ANY powder based makeup for that matter. And since the silicone has a “rubber like” texture, it can actually rub off your newly applied foundation, if you try to use it with powder based foundation. I tried it this morning while applying my finishing powder, and I had to reapply the foundation on my nose. Since there are not “sponge like pores” or “brush fibers” on a silicone applicator, it just doesn’t pick up or absorb the powder like a Beauty Blender or powder brush can. That should have been obvious, but hey, I learned right? So use your silicone foundation applicator for liquid foundation and liquid concealer ONLY.

The perks that come with this product DEFINITELY outshines the bad. Even if you can only use a silicone applicator for liquid foundation and liquid concealer, and not other powder based products like a beauty blender can, it’s worth having around. Not only will you save product like crazy, but you can wash it and sanitize it, before and after every use. That’s extremely good news for the acne prone, or people who struggle with blackheads and oily skin. It’s also SO EASY to wash and sanitize! It creates a beautiful, even foundation finish, and gives you a long lasting, cake free, full coverage finish (if you are using a full coverage concealer or foundation) or a long lasting, beautiful, even, natural, polished finish, when using a lighter coverage foundation.

I will also keep you all updated on the difference it makes as far as my acne and skin go. Now that I will be using this product to apply my foundation daily, and can sanitize it everyday, I am looking forward to seeing the difference it makes in my skin. I truly believe that since the bacteria won’t cling to this product like it can with a brush or blender, it will make a HUGE difference.

 

silicone
$3.99 http://www.ulta.com

 

Powder Foundation Brushes:

Powder foundation brushes come in all shapes and sizes. So it can be hard to figure out which one is best for you. All in all, it really depends on the coverage, product, and size of the area you will be covering. So I’m just going to post my favorite brushes for powder foundation, and what their purposes are;

Full Coverage Buffing Foundation:

A large, flat topped, powder buffing brush, which can stipple powder foundation for full coverage, or provide full face application for a setting or light coverage powder. It’s great for pressing powder foundation into your pores, and giving foundation a “finished” look.  These are also best for applying mineral powder foundations.

foundation 1
$24.00 http://www.utla.com

Airbrushed Powder Foundation Brush:

A large, slightly rounded, powder brush, that buffs your powder for medium to full coverage, LIGHTLY stipples, and provides flawless coverage of setting powder or lighter coverage powder. It’s also great for applying bronzer’s because you get the airbrushed effect.

foundation 2
$30.00 http://www.ulta.com

Large Powder Brush:

These are best for applying Setting Powders, High Definition Powders, or Finishing Powders. It gives you light coverage, while covering your entire face. These are also good for light bronzers, or blending your highlight and contour. They are actually really good at blending any type of face makeup, including highlighters that have a shimmer to them, or illuminating powder.

foundation 3
$36.00 http://www.ulta.com

 

So there you have it; A full list of today’s best foundation and powder brushes, blenders, etc. and their features and benefits. “It Cosmetics for Ulta” Brushes are definitely my favorite brand of brushes, because not only do they last a long time, but they are SOFT, high quality, and apply makeup like a dream. Sigma, M.A.C, and Morphe ring in as 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, because of their softness and quality. In order to have a flawless face of makeup, it’s definitely a “MUST” to use, not only, high quality makeup, but high quality brushes and applicators. In the world of brushes and beauty applicators, you definitely get what you pay for. Period.

 

Have a Fab & Fresh Day, Beauties!

Xo

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