Foundation Applicators: What to Choose and How to Use

Posted November 1, 2016 by Shanna


Last time it was all about finding that perfect foundation.  Choosing just the right one that matched your undertones, skin tone and skin type.  Now that you have it you’re faced with the task of applying it.  Up until a few years ago I thought there were two ways to apply foundation, with your fingers or with a foam triangle wedge.  While these do work most people struggle with getting the foundation to look even and not streaky.  It’s frustrating!  So today we’re setting the triangles aside and giving our fingers a slight break.  Instead I’m going to show you some easier ways to apply your foundation.

spongeBeauty Sponge:  At first it was the Beauty Blender then it seemed everyone came out with something similar to it.  It is a sponge that is used wet to stipple or pat makeup onto the skin.  It is made out of foam and usually is in the shape of a tear drop/egg.  The shape allows the user to use the larger bottom side (butt) all over their face while still be able to get in the smaller areas around the nose with the top (tip).  By using the Beauty Blender it allows you to seamlessly blend in your foundation with having a line of demarcation (where your foundation stops and your skin starts) or applying too much makeup resulting in what is known as cake face.  To use it: dampen the sponge and squeeze out the excess water.  Apply foundation to either the sponge or your face.  Gently press the sponge into the skin and pat/pounce up and down blending the foundation out as you pat.  Because of the pouncing action and the dampness of the sponge you actually apply less product while getting more coverage.  These work well with liquid, cream or stick foundations.  While they don’t apply powder foundation well they can be used over the top of powder foundation to press it more into the skin and to take away the dusty appearance it can give to the skin. This works great on all skin types and because of how it presses the foundation into the skin works wonderfully on mature skin.

stipplingStippling Brush:  These tend to have a flat head and duo fiber bristles.  The white bristles are synthetic and pick up product.  The black bristles can be natural or synthetic and are denser, this allows it to move the products around your face.  This brush applies the foundation easily and gives the face an airbrushed looked.  If the foundation is too thin this brush can apply it streaky.  To use:  pour a small amount of foundation on to the back of your hand or a makeup palette.  Dip the brush into the foundation and using small circular motions buff the foundation on to the skin.  This type of brush works best with liquid, cream, whipped and powder foundation.  This is great for all skin types but can settle into fine lines so those with mature skin should use a small amount of foundation when using this brush.

flatFlat Foundation Brush:  These are oval and tapered the top, flat and come in natural or synthetic bristles.  This brush is the hardest to work with and blend in foundation but it does give a full, flawless coverage.  To use: pour a small amount of foundation on to the back of your hand or a makeup palette.  Dip the brush into the foundation and using downward strokes apply the foundation to the face.  Do not use upward strokes because the down hair that is on our faces tends to grow facing down, if you apply the foundation with upward strokes you’ll make the hair stand up and be noticeable.  These work best with liquid or cream foundations.  This will work for all skin types but those with mature skin will have a very hard time blending with this and will notice foundation settling into fine lines.

buffingFlat Top Kabuki or Buffing Brush:  These are brushes with densely packed bristles and can have either natural or synthetic bristles.  They buff out foundation easily but if not careful can apply too much product.  These give a medium to full coverage.  To use: pour a small amount of foundation on to the back of your hand or a makeup palette.  Dip the brush into the foundation and using circular motions blend foundation over the skin pressing it into the skin as you go.  These brushes work great with liquid, whipped or powder foundations.  Those with dry skin may notice they deposit too much product on dry patches.

Ultimately the best applicator to use is the one you are most comfortable with and can use the easiest.  The best thing about makeup is the rules are meant to be broken so if something works for you then go with it!

Glitter, Glam & All Things Fab,