I go back & forth (and back & forth) between using a brush for foundation and a sponge. I do love my Beauty Blender but I've recently wanted to try out some brushes. I own a few foundation brushes from Real Techniques but I wanted to try different brush shapes. Recently I'd picked up the Elf Personal Blend Mineral Foundation (click here for my review!) and needed to figure out the best way to apply it to my face so I started to try a few in my collection - even purchase a few - and I stumbled upon a great use for the Elf Powder Brush!
For precision application try a dense, rounded, angle top foundation brush. I recently purchased this set on amazon for under $14 bucks but you can buy this single one for $5 here. An angled top brush really gives precision around your nose & blending under your eyes. The density & roundness of the brush prevents streaks in your foundation & helps the foundation blend easily. This is my favorite for thicker foundations like Revlon ColorStay Whipped & Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation. But works great for foundations like CoverGril 3-in-1 as well. I would avoid really liquidy foundations like Revlon Nearly Naked & Rimmel Matte BB Cream.
For liquid foundation try a flat topped foundation brush. The one in the picture above is from my set here. These flat top brushes glide around your face & help blend in foundation around the jaw line. If you have texture issues or dry patches, I'd skip a brush & use a damp sponge as you don't want to pull up any flaky skin. This is my favorite brush for foundations like the CoverGirl 3-in-1 & Almay Clear Complexion Foundation.
For mineral or powder foundations the Elf Powder Brush is amazing! This brush is dense enough to pick up & hold powder and buffs the foundation right into your skin. The large surface area covers a decent area of your face in one go. This can work as a flat top brush for liquid foundations but powder foundation is where this brush really shines. I like this with the Elf Personal Blend Mineral Foundation as well as NYX Stay Matte Not Flat Powder Foundation.
I've been loving using various brushes recently to see which brush works best with which foundations. I actually have a few brush videos on my YouTube channel, if you'd like some more affordable brush info watch them here & here.