Foundation brush comparison: Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, Becca One Perfecting Brush, Beauty Blender

For years I’ve been a fingers-to-blend-foundation girl, despite owning foundation brushes. It’s by far the most convenient- no extra brush washing, one less tool to bring when travelling, I’ve found the heat in my hands help me really massage the foundation in…. did I mention no extra brush washing?

When applying makeup for others, fingers are not the most hygienic option so I’m faced with the decision of which brush/tool I should use on my bridesmaids for foundation.

Here are my thoughts on comparing the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush ($19.95) , Becca One Perfecting Brush (rrp $65/ $56 at, Beauty Blender ($26 on it’s own, or $33 with the solid cleanser).

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush--Becca One Perfecting Brush--Beauty Blender


Real Techniques Expert Face Brush is a synthetic (taklon bristles) brush designed for cream or liquid foundation. It is very dense and firm, but also really soft- it blends the foundation really well into the skin, giving it a very natural ‘my skin but better’ finish. I like to spread my liquid foundation on the back of my left hand and then swirl the Expert Face Brush into it to pick up a small amount of product, then buff it into the skin- you can achieve a very sheer layer that way, or build up to desired pigmentation. Out of the three tools here, I think this gives me the most amount of control over the level of coverage.

The smallish size of the brush head (25mm in length, 30mm in width, and 20mm thick) is perfect for getting into the contours of the face, nose, under-eye area. Some reviewers find that the size of this means a longer time applying foundation- I don’t think it takes me any longer with this compared with any of the other brushes (and is faster than using my fingers).


I’ve reviewed the Becca One Perfecting Brush in an earlier post is a large flat brush with goat hair bristles- it is soft and dense, and firm enough to use the long edge for contouring. It’s not a bad brush for foundation- it blends foundation quite evenly without brush marks and gives skin an ‘air brushed’ finish- but I do find that it tends to give the foundation a matte, high coverage look that is not quite as natural as the finish achieved with the other 2 tools. It’s also a little more difficult to control the amount of product you pick up compared with the other two tools- so high coverage is easy if that is what you are after- but sheer coverage is more difficult.

The major advantage of this brush, and the reason why I really love this for travelling- is that it’s a decent contour brush, blush brush, and highlight brush- and you can use it for all of those things in between washes.

Note the brush I have shown in this post is the limited edition Gold handled one- they usually have dark brown handles.

Beauty Blender_


The Beauty Blender is a reinvention of the traditional makeup sponge- it’s tear drop shape is designed to better fit into the curves of the face, and the proprietary material is supposed to allow seamless application of liquid/cream foundation. As usual I’m late to the party with these things, and I’ve only recently tried the cult beauty tool out for myself to see what the fuss is about.

The Beauty Blender is used damp- I like to spread some foundation on the back of a hand then pat the sponge onto the product to pick up the desired amount. I then do a combination of bouncing and blending to apply foundation onto the face. I like how this gives me the ability to apply a very sheer layer of foundation, and build up the coverage if needed. It does leave a very natural ‘second skin’ finish, with the foundation blended well into the skin with no cakiness.The control of the coverage and distribution of the product is not quite as good as the Real Techniques brush, but better than using my fingers, and better than the Becca One Perfecting Brush.

The advantage of this tool over the others is if you are using spot concealers and/or colour correcting products underneath foundation that you don’t want to blend away – you can simply bounce the Beauty Blender over the trouble spots without shifting underlying product.

Final thoughts:

Each tool has it’s own advantages and disadvantages. For the application of liquid foundation, I like the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush the most for the natural, ‘second skin’ finish it gives, as well as the great control over the amount of coverage you need. It’s also the cheapest option of the three! The One Perfecting Brush is great because it’s a multitasking wonder, but as a foundation brush it tends to give a more matte, high coverage finish- not always what I want. The Beauty Blender is almost as good at the Real Techniques brush in terms of the finish, and also gives you the ability of apply foundation over the top of spot concealing.

notes: the Beauty Blender and the One Perfecting Brush were provided by , who stock all three products. I purchased the Real Technique Expert Face Brush myself. Editorial policy details in the PR tab. 

Posted by on Jul 16th, 2015 in Beauty tools | 508comments

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BECCA Radiant Skin Satin Finish Foundation and BECCA Radiance Primer Review

BECCA Radiant Skin Satin Finish Foundation and BECCA Radiance Primer Review



BECCA Radiant Skin Satin Finish Foundation swatch

The Radiant Skin Satin Finish foundation (70AUD/ 40mL) is a matte finish, medium buildable coverage liquid foundation. The amount of coverage (enough to even out my skin tone, and allows just a hint of my freckles to show through) is the perfect amount for everyday. It is designed for normal to oily skin types, and is formulated with “sebum-absorbing properties” and a “soft- focus complex”.

My skin is on the dry side, so this product isn’t a great match for my skin- it comes out super matte on me and tends to emphasize dry areas on my face. I imagine it would work better with oilier skin types.

When I told Effie from BECCA about this, she recommended trying prepping the skin with the BECCA Radiant Primer (a dewy finish primer) first underneath the foundation- this certainly makes the foundation work much better on me (pictured below). Using a mineral sunscreen underneath also helps, but the primer is better for longevity. Keep scrolling for my review of the BECCA Radiance Primer..


BECCA Radiant Skin Satin Finish Foundation

Clearly I was not paying attention when I applied my lipstick here. Sigh.




BECCA Radiance Primer Review

The BECCA Radiance Primer (55 AUD, 40mL) is a water based, silicone free primer- this is my first illuminating primer. In the past I’ve used the Napoleon Autopilot Primer, MUFE HD Primer, Smashbox photofinish primer – all of which give a more or less matte/velvet finish. I really love the dewy glow that this primer gives me, and it’s quickly become one of my ‘desert island’ beauty products.

Not only does it give dull and/or dry skin a perky glow- it also does a great job of keeping foundation looking fresh from morning to late evening.

There is gold microshimmer visible in  the product straight out of the tube. At first I was worried that my face was going to be a sparkly disco ball- but thankfully once blended on the skin the gold shimmer is no longer visible and you are just left with a natural looking dewiness.

I like using a pea sized amount of this underneath my foundation, but you can also blend it in with your foundation if you want to amp up the dewiness (see this in action on Reika from Front Row Beauty). This one is probably best for normal to dry skin- BECCA has a range of other primers, including a mattifying one for oilier skin types.



Aqua (Water), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Glycerides, Glyceryl Stearate, Carbomer, Triethanolamine, Ceteth-20,1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Xanthan Gum, PEG-75 Stearate, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides, Polyaminopropyl Biguanide, Spilanthes Acmella Extract, Tropolone


note: These products were sent to me by PR for consideration. See editorial policy in the PR tab for more details 

Posted by on Sep 24th, 2013 in BECCA, Reviews, Skincare, Swatches | 617comments

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Sunscreen series: Invisible Zinc UV Silk Shield SPF 30+

Invisible Zinc UV Silk Shield SPF 30+

Invisible Zinc UV Silk Shield SPF 30+


Taking up where I left off with my sunscreen review series last summer, I want to share with you a product that I have been using almost daily since I first tried it. The Invisible Zinc UV Silk Shield is a stick foundation with physical (not chemical) blockers, from a company that is dedicated to producing safe and effective UV protection.

Interestingly I’ve recently found out that through some phone calls to Invisible Zinc that this product isn’t marketed as a ‘sunscreen’ product, it’s a cosmetic product with added SPF, which is why the percentage of Zinc Oxide is not listed anywhere on the packaging or marketing (took me dozens of phone calls and emails to get the exact percentage from the manufacturer). More on that further in the post.

Invisible Zinc says…

This natural finish foundation-meets-sunscreen is the new one-step, day-to-night make-up with award winning Invisible Zinc® SPF30+ environmental protection built in. Preventing photo-aging has never looked so good. Glides on in seconds (no liquids, powders or concealers) for all day, gym-proof, swim-proof perfect looking skin. Apply buildable coverage for a flawless complete crème to powder finish- your beauty routine just got very simple. Available in Light/ Highlighter, Medium and Tan.


Price:  $42.00

Availability: Selected pharmacies, department stores, and



Invisible Zinc UV Silk Shield SPF 30+

Invisible Zinc UV Silk Shield SPF 30+


UVA/UVB protection, photostability, and safety:


The Invisible Zinc UV Silk Shield has approximately 13%  micronised Zinc Oxide. Zinc Oxide gives broad spectrum protection and has excellent photostability (doesn’t easily break down in presence of UV light), but due to the lower concentration of Zinc Oxide in this product compared with what I would recommend for daily use, it needs to be used together with another dedicated sunscreen for optimal UVA protection.

Like all Invisible Zinc products, the UV Silk Shield uses only physical blockers (staying clear of chemical filters) and does not contain petrochemicals, parabens, or photosensitizing agents (like Vitamin A derivatives and citrus family essential oils).

note: not sure about the difference between chemical and physical, UVA and UVB, and what SPF really means?  go to my Sunscreen Lowdown Part 2.

Here is the excerpt from an email sent to me from the people behind Invisible Zinc products, which I thought I would pass on to you guys…

Dear Jenny
Thank you for your enquiry regarding the Invisible Zinc UV Silkshield range of products.
In answer to your question regarding the amount of zinc oxide in the products, we have been advised by our functional groups that Invisible Zinc UV Silk Shield has approximately 13% zinc oxide in the products.  This percentage is the same for all three shades, the light, medium and tan shades. 
We also advise that a sunscreen should be worn underneath the UV Silk Shield to aid in sun protection as the foundation stick is not a listed sunscreen, despite its SPF30 rating.
Kind regards
iNova Medical Information Specialist


Product Texture:

The UV Silk Shield feels like a matte- satin finish foundation. Unlike other stick foundations that I’ve tried, this one goes on easily and blends quite well into my skin without feeling dry or heavy. Impressive. To be completely honest, I never expected this product to work well on my dry skin- given that stick foundations generally make me look cakey, so I’m happy that this works so well on me.

This product works well over the top of other sunscreens, and will actually reduce some of the greasiness associated with certain sunscreen products.


swatches: Invisible Zinc UV Silk Shield SPF 30+ light,  Invisible Zinc Tinted Daywear light

swatches: Invisible Zinc UV Silk Shield SPF 30+ light, Invisible Zinc Tinted Daywear light

White cast:

The UV Silk Shield has virtually no white cast, however the colours matches are limited to 3 colours so that can be a potential problem for some.


Invisible Zinc UV Silk Shield SPF 30+ vs Invisible Zinc Tinted Daywear

On my skin, the Invisible Zinc Tinted Daywear doesn’t sit nearly as nicely as the UV Silk Shield. It looks and feels quite greasy, even when I don’t moisturise first. It comes as quite a surprise that for someone with dry skin- I much prefer the skin feel of the UV Silk Shield over the Tinted Daywear.

I know a number of people who love the Tinted Daywear, and I think it’s probably all down to how the product interacts with each individual person.

note: these products were provided by PR for consideration.

Posted by on Nov 22nd, 2012 in Sunscreen | 418comments

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