Five Flat Top Foundation Brushes: An Overview


One of the most talked to death topics in the beauty community are flat-top foundation brushes. Many beauty bloggers and vloggers hype the Sigma F80 as the end all, be all of this type of brush. I have several flat-top brushes and have developed a few thoughts on which ones I enjoy the most.

Flat-top brushes don’t always have to be used for foundation of course (they are also very good for powders, highlighting, and cream blush), but they do help to spread product quickly, which is a big selling point.

flatI already have a whole post on how much I love the Physicians Formula kabuki brush. It’s the odd one out here as it is short and wide, but with a very large face. My preference for this brush is to apply mineral foundation with it. It does the job quickly and the finish is beautiful; however, it does work just find with liquids as well.

flat7ELF, Coastal Scents, Sigma, Sonia Kashuk



The ELF Studio Powder brush is a flat-top brush with taklon bristles. It can be used with wet or dry products. This does apply foundation nicely, but it is very difficult to wash. Over time it wears down quite a bit. My ferrule is loose and needs to be re-glued, but this can happen with any brush. For $3, I do think it is worth picking up, and I do use it.

flat4Sigma, Coastal Scents, Sonia Kashuk


The Coastal Scents Bionic Flat Top Buffer brush retails for $7. It has synthetic bristles, and they are a little longer than the Sigma F80. In hindsight, I wish I had purchased two of these during the CS holiday sale (50% off), because this is an amazing brush! It washes well and it’s really easy to get product out of the bristles, and it applies foundation just as well as a higher end brush. It is not as stiff as the Sigma F80 and has more flexibility, but it blends just as well.


The Sigma F80 ($21) is definitely the most popular flat-top brush out there. This brush does blend foundation beautifully, and it is well-made. The bristles are very dense, but they are so packed together that this brush takes FOREVER to wash. I despise washing this brush, because I feel like it never gets clean enough. Also, after one or two uses, if you don’t wash the brush fully, your foundation will be streaky since the bristles stick together.


The Sonia Kashuk Synthetic Flat Top No. 04 brush ($15.79) is my absolute favorite of the bunch. This brush is so amazing! On MakeupAlley, this brush has 384 reviews and a 4.7 rating out of 5, with a 91% repurchase rate. This blows the Sigma F80 brush out of the water, at least in my opinion. The bristles are firm and soft, and it applies product beautifully. It applies foundation so easily, and doesn’t require much work to achieve that flawless look.

Another item worth noting is that I used this for a week while I was out of town to apply foundation, and not once did it apply product with streaks! Even with daily cleaning on the F80, I still get streaks before a deep clean. I also like using this brush for cream blush.

Another plus to the Sonia Kashuk brush is that the collection is easier to find (at Target). Sigma has a store in the Mall of America, but other than that you need to order online.

What are your favorite makeup brushes?

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2 Responses to Five Flat Top Foundation Brushes: An Overview

  1. Sal says:

    Hi Melissa! Lovely post! Even I used to think Sigma F80 is the best one available in the market but then I was introduecd to Nanshy Flat Top Buffer Brush. The finish this brush gives is really awesome. You should also try it out.
    Have a great day and keep posting! 😀

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