My Best Face Brushes
These are my top brushes and sponges for applying foundation, corrector, concealer, setting powder, blush and contour. You'll see this post is Real Techniques heavy and this is because, in my collection, it is the brand that combines affordability, quality and design. Regardless of brand, it is their ability to achieve a smooth finish with little effort that makes these six my favourites.
REAL TECHNIQUES MIRACLE COMPLEXION SPONGE (£4.93)
This latex-free sponge has largely negated the need of my foundation brushes - I would have saved a lot of money if it had come along a few years earlier! This is because I find a sponge is the best type of applicator for dry skin: it doesn't disturb my skin, meaning it doesn't aggravate flakiness but smooths product over instead. The flat edge is perfect for bouncing on your base and the pointed tip for tapping concealer. My base products need to be moisturising which has meant they also tend to be sheer, so I like to use the sponge dry to get the most coverage I can out of my tinted moisturisers.
REAL TECHNIQUES EXPERT FACE BRUSH (£7.05)
My favourite of all my foundation brushes because it gives you the ability to achieve great coverage but blends product out for a smooth finish. Being dense and firm, you can use it in a spreading motion to lay your foundation on for more coverage. But because the top of the brush is nicely domed making the tip softer and slightly tapered, you can buff product on for a blended finish. Truly a wonderfully designed brush that makes me really want the new Expert Concealer Brush!
REAL TECHNIQUES CONTOUR BRUSH in the Flawless Base Set (£16.42)
If this contour brush was sold as a single, I would buy a second one today. It has that balance - of being densley-packed at the base with a long soft tapered-tip - that makes Real Technique brushes so damn good. The shape lends itself well to the hollow of the cheek, under the jawline, around the perimeter of the forehead, on the cheekbone and on the apple of the cheek. In fact I think I need three of them: one for contour, one for highlight and one for blush.!
PRIMARK PS PRO SMALL BLENDING BRUSH (£2)
I honestly think the Primark version of the oval brush is of such good quality it would be foolish to spend more elsewhere. I was taken aback by the ability of this little brush to smooth out my liquid correctors and concealers in a very full and even way. It really does get the most coverage out of your products and so requires some buffing to blend into the skin. A medium (£3) and large size (£4) are also available if you want to use an oval brush on larger areas.
REAL TECHNIQUES SETTING BRUSH (£6.27)
This is a soft tapered brush that serves its purpose of setting fantastically well - especially for dry skin as it applies powder lightly to the skin. It fits the under eye and t-zone perfectly. It works pretty good with liquid products too - it helps highlighter hit the cheekbone, nose and forehead in the correct place. And after copying Lisa Eldridge, I have found this brush does a good job of of blending out liquidy concealers too.
BEAUTY BLENDER MICRO.MINI (pack of 2 for £14.50)
The size and maleability of this sponge is what makes it so useful for concealing. You can pinch it to the surface size you want and bounce liquid or cream concealer (or even bake with setting powder), under the eye or over areas of pigmentation. Since I bought these, Real Techniques have released a bargain pack of 4 Miracle Mini Complextion Sponges (£6.75) that I would imagine you can use in the same way.