Whether you apply foundation first or last in your makeup routine, it’s a critical part of any full-face look. A good foundation can even out skin tone, blur imperfections, and help to create a more put-together effect. But depending on who you talk to, some people are firmly team sponge, team brush, or even team fingers, when it comes to applying foundation. So, which method is best, and how do you choose?
Personal Preference Reigns Supreme
First, let’s start by saying that makeup, makeup applications, and makeup tools are personal choices. Some people may swear by a full coverage foundation while someone else prefers a tinted moisturizer. Neither person is wrong! It’s a matter of taste.
And the same can be said for application methods. While there are techniques that might work better with one tool over another, that doesn’t mean that the person who prefers applying foundation with their fingers is wrong. So, rather than promoting one method over another, we’ll highlight the finish you can achieve by using different makeup tools — or your fingers.
Choose Brushes for An Airbrushed Finish
Brushes are a classic choice when applying foundation, and that’s for good reason. Because they can often provide even coverage and help you avoid looking streaky or uneven. But experts note that a synthetic brush is a better bet because it won’t absorb the product and offers a flawless finish. For best results, use a brush with thinner bristles to ensure that you don’t get streaks.
A good option is our Large Flat Top Kabuki Foundation Brush. Densely packed with bristles that are designed to deposit rather than absorb color, you’ll like that it can work with liquid, cream, and powder foundation. And the larger brush head allows you to quickly work through your foundation step — a must-have if you’re short on time.
Apply the foundation to your face or on the brush and then work from the center of your face out. Add additional foundation where needed, and focus on bringing foundation up to the hairline and into your neckline for an undetectable application.
Want a Seamless Finish? Opt for a Sponge!
Some people prefer a foundation application that doesn’t look like they’re wearing a lot of makeup. This means that, yes you’re wearing foundation, but it’s applied in such a way as to look like you might be wearing it. Yet you still get all the benefits of a good foundation (i.e. correcting hyperpigmentation, hiding blemishes, and effective coverage).
To nab this style, you’re going to need a sponge — preferably damp. You can apply the foundation directly to your face or the sponge. Blend out from your T-zone, being sure to properly apply product up to your hairline and down into your neck for believable coverage and no tell-tale demarcation lines.
Want a “Your Skin but Better” Look? Go With Your Fingers
While it might be the one most likely to leave your hands messy, finger foundation application is the best bet for a no-makeup foundation effect. Beauty experts agree that if you’re looking for an undetectable finish — great for people who are intimidated by foundation — using your fingers is the best way. However, this trick is best for creams and liquids as it might not be as practical with powder foundations.
But first things first, if you’re going to use your fingers, make sure you’re working with clean “tools.” The last thing you want to do is introduce bacteria to your face. And rather than applying the product directly to your face or your fingers, add the product to the back of your hands. As with other application methods, start in the middle of your face and work outward towards your hairline and beneath your neck.
Keep ‘em Clean and Ready to Go
Whether you opt for brushes, sponges, or your fingers, working with clean tools is essential. The last thing you want to do is introduce bacteria or other pathogens into your face. Be sure to routinely clean your beauty tools to ensure that they’re optimized for the best makeup application.