The secret to making any foundation look sheer? It’s all in the brush


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Photo: Stocksy/Studio Firma

As much as I love makeup, foundation is the one thing that still makes me cower in fear. There are just too many factors you’ve gotta pay attention to in order to apply it flawlessly, from matching your skin tone with precision to what brush to use (if any) and how much to swipe on to tread the line between cake-y and natural. So I just… don’t use it (hence my addiction to good ol’ BB creams).

But then Tilbury Team makeup artist Tegan Rice shook my entire beauty world up with a small—but game changing—secret: You just need a big brush, and you’re good. “Use a powder brush for foundation so that it appears sheer,” she tells me as she applies a Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Foundation ($44) to my face. “The bigger the brush, the more of a blend you get, while more dense means the more full-coverage.”

She’s right—once she finished applying the foundation to my skin, I looked into a mirror and was shook by how natural my complexion still looked. Like, I could still see my freckles, and it looked like just a whisper of coverage (but also just… so good). It changed me and now I have heart-eyes out for foundation—I’m ready to use it, guys. Some big brush options you could throw into your makeup bag for the trick include Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Complexion Brush ($55), which is what Rice used on me, or the Hourglass Powder Brush No. 1 ($65), or even Fenty Beauty’s Powder Puff Setting Brush ($34). The bigger the better.

So you no longer have to worry about a foundation going on like a thick coat of paint—grab a big brush, and blend, baby, blend.

Now, here’s how to apply cream blush on top of that for some color. And this is how to apply eyeshadow, because that’s not so straightforward either (just keeping it real here).  

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