I am a big fan of the flat foundation brush. Even though my usual 999 Master Blender from Bdellium tools has a truncated handle, it is essentially a flat topped foundation brush. It is however densely packed.
While I love my master blender, I have been on sort of a quest to find a long handled flat topped foundation brush that I enjoy using. Part of the reason is that a couple of my favorite foundations come in foundation sticks. While the Kristofer Buckle Foundation stick is my absolute favorite, I also enjoy the NARS (which sadly I think has been discontinued. I have mine down to a tiny nub and went to look at replacing it and it is no more) and ABH Foundation sticks.
Most of the time when I apply stick foundation, I draw lines on my face with the foundation and then blend. This is mostly because when I run the master blender over the top of them to pick up product the large oval size of it picks up too much product. It is simply too much surface area.
I know some of you think this is a bit too particular, but the truth is that I have had smaller flat topped foundation brushes in the past where I could swipe the brush over the top of a stick foundation and apply a very sheer coverage to my face. It uses less product and I can build it up if I want to. Unfortunately the flat topped brush I was using (once upon a time) has long gone from my dressing table and I can’t remember the brand. To be honest, I believe the brand may no longer exist.
So there is the quest.
The Flat Top foundation brush in question is from F.A.R.A.H By name it is the Flat Foundation 615 F and retails for $16 on the F.A.R.A.H site. With F.A.R.A.H brushes I’ve had some good luck and some bad. I’ve had an eyeshadow brush I loved (and still use) and I’ve had one that I hated. I’ve had a contour brush I loved and a powder rush I didn’t. On the whole it is pretty even as to likes and dislikes with their brushes.
According to the site:
F.A.R.A.H brush heads have 100% Vegan synthetic luxury bristles for supreme application. Handles designed for ultimate comfort. Easy to use: Dip your Flat Foundation 615F Brush into your favorite foundation and apply using a gentle tapping motion to the face for a flawless airbrush finish. Designed with 100% synthetic bristles. This brush is specifically made to be used with powders and cream foundations.
This week in order to test out the foundation brush I pulled several foundations from my collection. I pulled a KVD Vegan Beauty Powder blush, Kristofer Buckle Triplicity Foundation stick, Neutrogena Cream Foundation, E.l.f. Acne Fighting foundation and my Pretty Vulgar Cool AF Lava Water Foundation. I figured this gave me an array of products to work with and see how I liked the brush. I used a different foundation each day and washed the brush each evening to let it dry overnight and so that it was clean for each application.
All of the foundations I have used before and really enjoy using. I also know how they work on my face with normal application.
The first up was the KVD Powder Foundation. With this product the Foundation worked really well. It gave a wonderful finish to the application process. Powder foundations are this brushes strong suit. It made me very hopeful that this would be a good brush.
I don’t know how well this photo shows the small hairs, but after a first use, there were a couple of loose hairs. I cut the ends off rather than pulling them out so as not to loosen the brush from the handle.
Incidentally, I really like the use of the tapered handle. The slim handle made it easy to maneuver and use. The metal did get a little slick if I had product on my hands. As I often apply primer with my finger, this is not an uncommon occurrence and so I had to wipe off my hands really well before using the brush or the slick hands made the metal a little slippy. A few grooves cut into the handle would actually make it perform a lot better. As it is, the handle does feel good in the hand.
Next up I tried the Kristofer Buckle with this brush. I tried picking up the formula from the top of the tube, but the bristles were a little too soft and didn’t pick up a lot of product unless I dug in too much. It they were more densely packed or about half an inch shorter it would have worked better with this application. As it was, the brush simply was too bendy to pick up much product. When I applied the stick to my face in streaks this flat foundation brush did a good job of blending the cream product in. It took a little longer than I’m used to but it did work well.
It did not work well with either the e.l.f acne fighting Foundation or the Pretty Vulgar Cool AF. The e.l.f is more of a medium coverage and the Pretty Vulgar is medium to full coverage. Streaks were left in the foundation and I had to go back in and smooth them out with my Master Blender and my Huda Beauty Makeup sponge. It is simply not dense enough to work well with the liquid foundations without leaving streaks.
In all fairness the product description does say that cream and powder products are this brush’s wheel house. I would describe the Kristofer Buckle Triplicity Foundation stick as a cream product and the KVD Vegan Beauty Powder foundation was of course, a powder. These are the two products that this foundation brush worked with the best.
It was only after the first use that it shed any bristles. I’m thinking that first use just knocked a couple of them use. While it doesn’t argue for the longevity of the brush, after that initial use, even with the four washes this week no further bristles were lost. To be honest, I will be reaching for this brush when I wear a powder foundation. I have a couple and that is where this brush will be deployed.
While it worked well enough in blending the Stick foundation and I’m sure would work well blending in any cream foundation it probably won’t be the brush I reach for when I do use the cream foundations. Last but not least, I used the Neutrogena cream foundation in my drawer and I did try swirling it in the product and applying it as well. I had the same problem picking it up with the brush. The brush is either not dense enough or it needs shorter bristles. It blended in the Neutrogena cream foundation well enough, but I still had to apply it with my finger.
As the point of the brush is to take it from the pan to the face without fingertip application, I won’t be using it for cream based products. The Flat Foundation Brush from F.A.R.A.H makes a good powder foundation brush, but in general, that is the only time I am reaching for this where foundations are concerned. After my last wash of the brush I tried it with powder in general and it worked like a dream when applying both pressed powder and loose translucent setting powder. The bristles make it ideal for powder application, everything else is a bit of a strain. I don’t mind having an extra powder brush so I’m not bothered by this and will get a lot of use out if it. It just won’t be with foundation, so my flat foundation brush quest must continue.