There are dozens of different types of foundation brushes (flat-top, buffing, kabuki, stippling...), but none so unique as Artis' toothbrush-like offerings. When I first laid eyes on the brand's brushes over a year ago, I was skeptical. Could rubbing a forward-facing brush over my face prove more effective than my trusty buffing brush? Turns out, it can.
Their soft, Oral-B-esque heads are super easy to control, which makes them great for applying your own makeup (less so for those doing others'). And since the synthetic brush hairs are so densely packed, my foundation, concealer, and even blush and bronzer smooth on in a matter of seconds — with no streaks whatsoever.
It's no wonder Artis enjoys a cult status among editors and bloggers alike, and that its brushes are flying off Net-A-Porter's virtual shelves — the Elite Smoke Oval 8 being the most popular version. Just a few weeks ago, the odd brush was completely sold out. But lucky for us, the online retailer has recently replenished its stock. If the Oval 8 isn't necessarily your cup of tea (or you miss the buying window), I've selected some other foundation-perfecting brushes that are just as good, ahead.
01. The Oval 8 brush is about the size of a small compact mirror. It's bigger than most foundation brushes I own, but smaller than some of my larger powder brushes. The first time I used it, I was surprised at how effortless (and fast) it made applying my foundation (even in hard-to-reach areas like around my nose and under my eyes).
02. By Terry offers a foundation brush that's incredibly similar to Artis' Oval 8 but has a smaller head, which makes it great for applying contour shades and blushes. It has the same forward-facing design, but its brush hairs form a slightly curved head instead of remaining flat. Because of this, I do find I have to do a bit more buffing, but the finished result is still flawless and appears nearly airbrushed.
03. Since I started using this brush last month, it's been in my daily rotation of foundation applicators. Its short handle is perfect for stuffing in a makeup bag, and its fluffy yet dense hairs apply foundation, blush, bronzer, and even powder beautifully.
04. Rose-Marie Swift, the brains behind RMS, created the brand's Skin2Skin foundation brush to mimic the effect of applying makeup with your hands. The brush hairs are thicker at the base and taper off at the top, coming to a swirl-like pattern at the head that almost resembles a fingerprint. When you use it in tandem with foundation, it makes for gorgeous natural coverage.
05. This flat-top number works wonderfully with powder, liquid, and cream products. Plus, the duo-fiber bristles pick up less than your typical, densely packed foundation brushes — so it's nearly impossible to go overboard on product.
06. Real Technique's Expert Face Brush has been a longtime favorite of mine since YouTuber Tanya Burr first raved about it almost three years ago. The shape of the brush is almost like an oval, meaning you can use the wide end of the brush to buff over larger areas of the face, and then turn the brush on its side to work in product around your eyes and nose. Plus, the quality of the brush is incredible. My 3-year-old brush has gone through dozens of rounds of cleaning, and I don't think it's shed a single bristle.