Why a Paddle Foundation Brush Helps Older Skin Look Flawless

Using an oval makeup paddle is your best friend if you have large pores, wrinkles, or find that makeup makes you look older.

by Linda Robison

Ah, now I understand why using a paddle foundation brush can make such a difference in how my makeup and skin appear. 😲

Allow me to share what I've discovered…

paddle foundation brush

I’ve always applied foundation with my fingers. But as I sail into my mid-60s, makeup seems to exaggerate fine lines, wrinkles, and pores.

And regardless of what brand I tried, they all made my face look dry, chalky.

Then I discovered that even distribution and good blending are the keys to a flawless makeup look.

What is a paddle makeup brush?

Paddle Makeup Brush While the bristles on this makeup brush look long in this picture, they are not. They are very short with an almost velvet feel.

It's an oval paddle with a crushed brush and a soft velvety feel that's used to apply and blend all types of makeup products.

It's made of super compact, very short synthetic bristles that feel like a cross between a makeup sponge and a bristle brush foundation applicator.

The paddle blender brush can apply and blend any type of foundation, concealer, bronzer, cream blush, contouring makeup, and setting powder.

Why use a foundation paddle brush

If you have mature skin, wrinkles, fine lines, discoloration, or large pores, the foundation paddle can help your makeup and your complexion look smoother.

The wide oval design and short compact bristles help spread the foundation evenly across the face while buffing and blending at the same time.

It also provides full coverage (important for spots & discoloration) with less makeup, so it looks natural and saves you money too.

Also, it’s a good choice for sensitive skin because a hypoallergenic brush paddle won’t dry out, or become scratchy or irritating.

How to use an oval makeup paddle for the best full coverage

This informative video will show how to use the paddle brush and other blending tools for concealer and makeup.

Benefits of the foundation paddle

There are several benefits to choosing a blending paddle over a standard foundation brush, including:

  • Does not shed as foundation brushes can
  • Does not streak
  • Great for applying, blending and buffing
  • It’s multitasking and can be used with liquid or cream foundation
  • Very soft and comforting for dry, irritated, or aging skin
  • Holds up great after multiple washing
  • Does not absorb too much makeup
  • Can be used in sensitive areas like under the eyes

Difference between a foundation brush and a makeup blending paddle

variety of makeup brushes

A foundation brush has narrow, long fluffy bristles and is best for lighter makeup for coverage.

The oval blending paddle is flat and wide with short, dense bristles so it covers more area with fewer strokes and offers full coverage.

NOTE: This is just my personal preference, but I’ve never been able to get a good smooth application using a standard foundation brush.

The bristles are long and narrow and I feel like I'm painting my face with makeup strokes, and the results always look blotchy and uneven.

woman applying foundation with a flat makeup brush

But the paddle blender is flat and wide. It seems to distribute makeup more smoothly over larger areas of my face. And, I find it much easier to use with the best results.

Compared to applying makeup with your fingers, both makeup brushes are probably a better choice. It’s just a matter of personal preference and which one you find easier to use.

Why not use fingers to apply foundation?

I've applied foundation with my fingers for years, so what changed?

As I got older, my skin got drier, the texture changed, and my overall complexion is not as smooth as it used to be.

Using fingers instead of makeup brushes is not very efficient when trying to spread make-up, and often results in too much product being applied with spotty coverage.

With this in mind, I tried makeup brushes and sponges but couldn’t get the hang of them.

Using a narrow brush is fine for the eye area, but covering my entire face just took too long, and it never looked even or blended.

Then I tried a wide makeup brush that looks like an oval paddle and everything changed!

How to wash and care

Wash with warm soapy water, then sit upright on a clean paper towel to let it fully dry. You can use any mild face soap. Some use baby shampoo, but I’d rather use a facial cleanser.

How can I make my foundation look flawless?

While there is no “best way” to apply foundation, some like to use a makeup paddle brush, some prefer a flat foundation brush, and others prefer using their fingers.

That’s fine. Everyone has to find what works best for them.

But when it comes to a dry or aging complexion, here are a few makeup tips that apply to everyone for nice looking skin.

Start with a clean face:

I wash my face with a washcloth before applying makeup to make sure it’s super smooth.


Apply a moisturizer before makeup (or mix it with your foundation) to keep your face looking hydrated.


Consider applying a makeup primer before your foundation. A makeup primer will not only hydrate but helps fill in fine lines, creating a smooth canvas for your makeup. I use the Velvet Primer. It's inexpensive and works as well as the expensive brands.

Keep it smooth:

Dead skin cells and excess facial hair will cause your foundation to look blotchy. Make sure to exfoliate at least once a week (if not more).

I need to exfoliate with a light scrub a few times a week to keep my makeup looking smooth. Everyone is different.

And, if you have peach fuzz or excess facial hair, remove it. Try a dermaplaning tool to remove facial hair and exfoliate at the same time.

FAQ - Why paddle foundation brush

Have questions about paddle makeup blenders? Search below or feel free to ask us here.

Q: I’ve used a kabuki brush to apply my powdered mineral makeup, and it seems to accentuate my dry patches, and wrinkles and it looks terrible. Would a paddle blending brush work better?

A: Kubuki brushes are best for powder makeup. Paddle brushes can work too, but you’d have to see what works best for you.

However, it sounds like you might be using the wrong foundation for your skin type. If you have issues with dry patches and wrinkles, a cream or moisturizing liquid foundation might be a better choice for you.

Also, make sure your skin is clean and exfoliated. And finally, apply a makeup primer before your foundation. A primer will create a smooth, hydrated canvas for your makeup.

Q: Which makeup brush is best for beginners? I’m not good with makeup tools,

A: I don’t feel comfortable using makeup brushes either. But, after experimenting with different ones and I found the paddle makeup brush easy to use. They come in different sizes, but I use medium size paddles because it’s small enough to use around the eyes and large enough to cover wide areas like cheeks and forehead.

Q: Is the makeup paddle best for dry or oily skin?

A: The paddle works on all skin types but since it has a soft,velvety texture, it's comfort for those with dry or sensitive skin.

And you can also easily mix your favorite moisturizer with your foundation onto the paddle for a perfect blend.

Q: Can the oval paddle makeup brush be used to apply cream blush?

A: Yes. The paddle foundation brush can be used to apply any cream or powdered makeup like blush, concealer, and face powder.

I especially love using it for my blush because it distributes the color smoothly, so I don't look like I have red clown cheeks! 😊

Q: What are other paddle brush makeup use?

A: In addition to using the paddle brush for foundation application, here are other ways you can use this makeup brush:

1. Concealer: Its flat shape is ideal for precise application, and you can easily blend the concealer into your skin.

2. Contouring and Highlighting: Use it to contour and sculpt your cheekbones, jawline, and nose. And then apply a highlighter on the high points of your face (cheekbones, bridge of the nose, and cupid's bow).

3. Powder: Use them to lightly dust setting powder over your makeup to set it in place. 

4. Blush: Some people like using paddle brushes for applying blush, especially cream or gel blushes. The flat shape can help you apply the product precisely to the apples of your cheeks.

5. Primer: You can use it to apply primer evenly across your face before applying foundation. This ensures a smooth and uniform base for your makeup

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