I guess every MAC or makeup addict agrees that a stippling brush is considered a "cordless airbrush, no electricity or PSI computation involved" when it comes to foundation application. I'm a fan of the stippling brush, and I've had two SE 187 brushes since I collected the red brush collection and I absolutely love how it quickly blends to the skin so foundation does not look like makeup and the skin looks like skin. Blend properly and we no longer get the "brush streak" marks.
Mikey, a good friend of mine, who's my birthday twin (his birthday is next to mine) got me an early birthday present when he came home from his US summer vacation, and it's the mini but full-sized version of the 187 brush. Called the 188 brush or the Small Duo Fibre Face Brush, this is also one favorite of MAC makeup artists, and delivers quite fantastically, even if it's half the width of the 187 brush.
Here's a picture of my baby, which I just washed, so it's pretty clean. This is actually a blend of natural goat hair (the black part) and synthetic fibres (the white part), hence the name duo fibre face brush. It's used to usually blend liquid foundation on the face in a smooth, airbrush finish. The width is actually very small. Here, let me show you the comparison between a 188 and a 187. I used here my SH 187 from the red holiday collection a few years back, which is actually quite similar to the full-size one.
Its size actually works up to its advantage since that means it could reach hard-to-reach areas a regular 187 couldn't. I've had times where I still need to smoothen in the foundation at the corners of the nose and the undereye area with a wedge sponge or my index finger should my 187 not reach that.
Here's how we could use the 188 brush:
- For-all-over foundation application. It can be a bit more time-consuming though than a 187 brush because of its size, but it really provides excellent coverage especially on the hard-to reach areas. This is perfect for beauty editorials or for 1 or two faces when we have more time since perfect coverage is easier to achieve with this brush. When applied correctly, up close, foundation could be almost undetectable.
- For blending in concealer and foundation. Its width is perfect for the undereye area. For a perfect finish, "stipple" concealer on a blemish with your 188 brush. Blend edges till no brush streaks are seen and set with powder
- In conjunction with other brushes. Use a flat foundation brush like the 190 or 191 or the 188 brush to apply foundation first and fine-tune areas with the 188 brush. This works when you're pressed for time like in a fashion show or a play.
- Application of strong-colored blush. If you want the bright fushia to appear just raspberry windburnt pink on the cheeks rather than clownish, here's where the 188 brush helps. Lightly tap the brush on the pan, tap off excess, and blend in the color to the face. The result is more subtle than using a densely-packed brush. The same way goes for mineral highlighters.