My Top Ten Most Used Base Brushes

Best Brushes for Base Application

I do love a good make-up brush, especially when it helps me perfect as close to a flawless base as someone with rubbish skin like mine can achieve, so with that in mind, I thought I’d put together a little look at my ten most used base brushes, especially since they’re all lovely and clean after a weekend brush-cleaning session.  I’ve roughly broken them into three sections – prep/foundation, concealers and finishers:

Best Brushes for High Coverage

I rely heavily on colour correcting to achieve a more even finish on my rather red and blotchy skin.  The Nanshy Stippling Brush (here – £7.49) is brilliant for working colour corrector – or in fact any kind of primer – into the skin just enough so that it still sits on the surface doing it’s job, but without looking like a product.  The Real Techniques Expert Face Brush (here – £9.99) is brilliant for pretty much any kind of coverage as it applies product smoothly, which you can then buff in to reduce the coverage.  I find this particularly handy for using with liquid concealer to fully cover large patches of redness or breakouts. The Pixi Full Coverage Foundation Brush (here – £18) does exactly what the name suggests – it helps provide a full coverage from most medium to full coverage foundations, making it great for anyone with tricky skin that likes a full coverage finish that still looks natural.  The final brush is the one I probably bang on about the most, which is Tarte’s The Buffer (here – £26) which is I think the most expensive in my list, but it’s a worthy investment as it’ll last you forever and it is so, so good for applying foundation.  As the name suggests, it buffs product into the skin and you can layer until you have the desired coverage, which will stay looking natural.  I have several of these – they are amazing!

Best Brushes for Concealer

Now on to concealers, which eagle-eyed readers may notice no longer includes the Mac 217 – a brush I used to rely on heavily – but this has been replaced by the two concealer brushes in this list because I feel they provide a quicker coverage with a similar finish.  The most recent find is the brilliant Real Techniques Deluxe Concealer Brush, which annoyingly is only available as part of the Ultimate Base Set, and even more annoyingly, it doesn’t seem to be available anymore, although I’ve found it on eBay (here – £22.50) so I have everything crossed that they’ll release it as an individual brush as I definitely need a few more.  Another brilliant concealer brush is the tarte Airbrusher, which is a double ended brush that has a soft, domed head at one end that you use to apply the product and a softer, more feathery brush at the other end that you use to buff it in and smooth it out.  It’s absolutely brilliant for a full face of make-up when you have the time to get everything looking really flawless.  It’s currently only available with the Aquacealer (here – £24.48) but I would happily pay that for the brush alone, and if you struggle with concealer application then you will love this, plus you get the added bonus of a truly amazing concealer too!

Best Brushes for Powder

Finally on to the finishers, starting with the gorgeous It Cosmetics Blush Brush which is just brilliant – more about that below.  The LAB2 Buffing Brush (here – as part of the I’m Turning Pro Brush Kit, £20) is a firm yet soft buffing brush that’s great for smoothing over any smears or streaks from base application, and just generally tidying-up the whole look.  The last three brushes are all from Real Techniques, starting with the Setting Brush (here – currently £5.59 with 20% off) which is really handy for adding precise powder application to only areas I need it – I tend to use this just where I’ve applied heavier foundation/concealer as well as along the bridge of the nose to reduce shine. Next is the Duo Fibre Contour Brush (here – part of the Duo Fibre Collection on special for £19.15) which is great for blending the light and dark elements of contour together as well as buffing in highlighter, which is what I tend to use it for most.  The final brush is the Angled Highlighter Brush (here – part of the Deluxe Set which contains five brushes making it a huge bargain at £14.59) which is the most perfect size for applying highlighter as it hugs the curves of the face really well, whilst being soft enough to apply a gentle hit of highlighter without overloading the face.

Best Brushes - IT Cosmetics Blusher Brush

I wanted to share a close-up picture of the It Cosmetics Blush Brush so you can see how well shaped it is; this is virtually foolproof for applying blusher as it hugs the apple of the cheek so well so it leaves a really natural wash of colour – I’ve used this on all different blushers and it is really brilliant.  Annoyingly, much like a lot of the previously mentioned brushes, you can only buy it as part of a set (here – £28 with one of the It Cosmetics blushers) but if you struggle with blush application then I think you’ll find this a very good investment brush that’ll make a big difference to how you apply your blusher.

I hope you enjoyed my post on my base brush favourites! Let me know if you’d like me to share my other brush/applicator favourites in another post soon.  

*Mostly PR Samples



  1. August 31, 2016 / 2:11 PM

    the expert face brush by real techniques is a dream, apart from my beauty blender i couldn’t ever use another brush!
    jen / enter my too faced giveaway x

    • September 4, 2016 / 8:35 PM

      It’s just perfect isn’t it? Absolutely love it and use it all the time.

  2. Claire L
    September 2, 2016 / 1:46 AM

    I too love my RT setting brush, I also use it for applying blusher or highlighter with a light hand! My favourite foundation/ concealer brush is the It Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe no 7 dual-ended brush, I adore how soft it is!

    • September 4, 2016 / 8:36 PM

      Ooo I need that in my life!

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