Obviously I’ve made no secret of the fact that my skin is pretty rubbish (although, touch wood, things finally appear to be changing) which means I need a lot of coverage to make my skin look fairly normal. There are some spots that are just impossible to cover and the only thing you can do is make them flesh coloured (which is a bit counterproductive really as you’ll still be able to see the lump of the spot, just not the colour) but for things like surface spots, scars and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (post acne marks) you need a good foundation, a good concealer, a good setting powder and most importantly, good tools to work with.
I really do believe that you can have the absolute best make-up items in the world, but if you don’t have the right tools to apply them perfectly then there’s little point in investing in them in the first place. I also think that you don’t need to spend a lot of money on make-up if you have a great set of brushes. Soon, I’ll be doing a post on products that I rely on for high coverage, but in the meantime, here are the brushes I’ve found I depend on most for complete yet natural cover.
Real Techniques Stippling Brush, £11.99
This is the brush I use to apply my foundation with and it’s brilliant for buffing into the skin without leaving any foundation smears, yet it still ensures a high coverage. I use it by applying foundation to the back of my hand, dipping this in and working it around my face. If you use a light foundation or only need light coverage then this is all you’d need as you can use it to both apply foundation and buff it in for a great finish. However, I layer my foundation for high coverage, plus I use a fairly thick formula, so I do need to use another brush afterwards just to make sure the cover is worked fully into the skin.
Sigma Round Kabuki, £19.99
I think I’ve mentioned this brush on a previous love list, but this is just so good for applying concealer to large areas. I call this my stamping brush as I literally stamp product on to my problem areas and the finish is great. I apply concealer to the back of my hand, dip this brush in and stamp it on to the areas that need covering which is especially ideal for anyone who suffers from pitted scarring as it helps fill these with just enough concealer. I let the concealer settle in for a while (I usually work on my under eye area whilst this is happening) and I then buff the area with another brush (see below) to ensure the finish is natural.
Real Techniques Buffing Brush, (part of the Core Collection for £21.99)
There are a few brushes in this list that have many uses and this is definitely one of them. The main reason this gets daily use is because it’s really good for buffing product in without actually removing any from the face, but it’s also useful for applying powder when you just want to set make-up and don’t need powder to add as a further level of coverage. I use this to work in both foundation and concealer, and I also use this is I’ve overdone it with mineral powder or finishing powder.
BareMinerals Full Flawless Application Brush*, £24
I’ve always used very dense brushes for applying mineral foundation, but this brush actually gives a far less cakey finish without negating any coverage. I use this for setting make-up with either a mineral foundation or a setting powder and it buffs brilliantly whilst allowing you to slowly build coverage.
Jemma Kidd Pro Flat Top Foundation Brush*, £20
This is one of those brushes that I keep dragging out again and again and finding new uses for. Originally, I used it to work concealer into areas that needed concealer (it works really well with the Dermablend stick foundation) but I recently tried it as a spot concealer with mineral foundation and it works fantastically well. As you can probably see from the picture, it’s taken quite bit of abuse in the year or so I’ve had it, but it really is one of those brushes that will always get a lot of use thanks to its dense, flat top.
It would be wrong to write-up a list of brushes aimed at creating the perfect base without the inclusion of the Mac 217. I’d say this is probably the catalyst that started my brush obsession and I always have several on the go at one point. It’s particularly good for blending concealer under the eyes and working away any smears or smudges. I currently don’t use it for base make-up and instead use it for its original intention – blending eye make-up – but if anyone is looking for a really amazing concealer brush that almost guarantees a natural finish then you must absolutely pick this up.