Over the two decades or so that I’ve been doing my own makeup, I’ve used every single type of foundation applicator you could think of. Brushes of all shapes and sizes, makeup blenders, fingers, that old-school, triangular sponge that we all used the first time we ever tried liquid foundation—you get the point. While I still use a variety of foundation brushes and blenders, there’s one that I keep going back to, especially now that my skin, ahem, is in its 40s: The Artis Elite Oval 7 Makeup Brush ($75).
As I’ve entered my 40s, I’ve definitely noticed some changes in my skin. There are days when some foundations, which used to go on smoothly and without trouble, look patchy and seep into my pores. While making sure I prep my skin with hydration and a primer definitely does help, it has also caused me to be more mindful with the brushes that I use. Artis is known for its incredibly luxe makeup brushes that allow foundation to go on seamlessly (it's even been referred to as the “Rolls Royce of makeup brushes”).
Artis brushes are made with a proprietary synthetic material (not animal hair) that is engineered to be used with liquids, creams, and powders while retaining its shape more than standard makeup brushes. The brushes are also tightly packed with three to 10 times more fibers, which no doubt help with the smooth application.
The Artis Oval 7 Makeup Brush, in particular, is great for applying liquid foundation, like the La Mer Soft Fluid Long Wear Foundation SPF 20 ($140). (FYI, I’ve been wearing this one almost every day for the perfect medium coverage finish.) Aside from the ideal coverage the Artis makeup brush gives me, I love how incredibly fast the application is. I’m someone who doesn’t like spending too much time on my makeup every day, and have my signature look down (foundation, eyeliner, a little mascara, and a red lip) so it only takes about five minutes. I tend to alternate between the Oval 7 and the Oval 8 ($80), which is bigger, allowing me to cover a wider area if I’m even more in a rush.
How to apply liquid foundation with the Artis Oval 7 Makeup Brush
There is a bit of a learning curve with the Artis brushes, but overall, it’s pretty simple. You want to apply dots of foundation to your face directly (not the brush), then lightly glide the brush over your skin in circular motions until it blends thoroughly. It’s all about being light-handed. I find this much faster and easier than having to continuously buff out and blend with conventional makeup brushes. To clean your brushes, you can use Artis’ Brush Cleaning system, but I’ve also used a regular makeup brush cleaner and a cleaning pad and it worked well.
There is truly no brush brand that helps me apply my foundation as well as Artis. Because the price tag is higher than other makeup brushes, Artis can be considered an investment—but one that’s absolutely worth it. I still have Artis brushes from several years ago that still look and work as good as new. Just make sure you take care of them and clean them properly. While I usually only use them to apply liquid foundation, I’m now convinced to use a larger one (like the Artis Palm Brush, $41) to apply self-tanner, thanks to this post from the makeup artist Jamie Greenburg. Self-tanner is something I have never used—since I was, one, too intimidated to try it out, and, two, worried that I wouldn’t be able to do it correctly. But this video makes it look so easy! Artis, you’re opening up a whole new world of beauty possibilities for me!