I've tried hundreds of foundation brushes—these are the 8 I think are worth investing in

Trust me: not all brushes are made equal

Madeleine Spencer using Lisa Eldridge's foundation brush
(Image credit: Madeleine Spencer)

If you ended up here looking for the best foundation brush after getting your hands on the best foundation and are wondering if you should invest, I might dash your expectations a little when I tell you that you don't *need* a make-up brush. Truly, plenty of make-up artists (me included) are happy to apply with fingers, and you'll often get great results doing just that.

But (and it's a big but) the right make-up brush does make things easier, more precise, more even—whether you're applying tinted moisturiser a full-blown foundation for oily skin.

Over the course of my career as a beauty journalist and make-up artist, I've used hundreds of them, filtering the brilliant from the so-so, compiling a collection of brushes I'd be happy to use on my face or on a clients', and the below edit contains only the ones I'd invest in.

Before you choose, I asked fellow make-up artist Daniel Sandler for his make-up brush rules and he shared some of his wisdom:

Daniel Sandler's make-up brush rules

  • "Use just the tip of the brush to apply your base - you don't need to get it into most of the brush head; doing so is uneconomical as you waste so much product, plus it's so much easier to clean just the tip."
  • "My application method is a kind of gentle flicking motion back and forth over the entire face and neck. I start using a small amount of base and then add more if necessary to certain areas."
  • "Synthetic brush fibres are perfect with liquid or cream bases, as natural hair would clump together."

The Best Foundation Brush Criteria

Below is my edit of all the brushes I use regularly, and really rate. They all are high quality and deliver brilliant application—but each have slightly different strengths, which is where this guide comes in... 

Best foundation brush for a novice

1. Sigma F80 Flat Kabuki

Best luxury foundation brush

2. Westman Atelier Foundation Brush

Best foundation brush for speed

3. MYKITCO. 0.7 My Flawless Foundation Angled Brush

Best foundation brush for a customisable finish

4. Lisa Eldridge No 1 Seamless Blend Brush

Best all-in-one foundation brush

5. Trish McEvoy Wet/Dry Even Skin Brush

Best full-coverage foundation brush

6. Delilah Fuller Coverage Foundation Brush

Best foundation brush for lightweight coverage

7. Monika Blunder Beauty Foundation and Blush Brush

Best foundation brush for detail

8. Louise Young LY01 Mini Foundation Talon

Madeleine Spencer

Madeleine Spencer is a journalist and broadcaster who has contributed to titles including Grazia, Glamour, InStyle, The Independent, The Evening Standard, and Stylist, as well as offering commentary for the BBC, Sky News, and ITV.

She is keen on exploring the significance beauty rituals, products, and memories have on people from different walks of life, and enters into conversation on the topic with guests on her podcast, Beauty Full Lives.