Everyone has a theory on the best way to apply your foundation to get the perfect ‘flawless’ base. I love the tools I use to apply my makeup almost as much as I like the makeup itself. Or maybe more, my love for makeup brushes may be unparallelled. Every method has its advantages and disadvantages and I rotate between each method based on my mood and circumstances.
Fingers are probably my least favourite method and therefore my least used. However it has to be one of the easiest and most convenient ways of applying your foundation. It is super easy to blend liquid and cream foundations with your fingers and pat the base into those hard to reach areas like the crease of the nose and the under eye area. My personal issue with using my fingers is I don’t like getting my fingers ‘ dirty’ and having to wash my hands before and after I apply my foundation. I also feel like my natural sweat changes the texture of my foundation just a little. Still, You can’t beat fingers for cost effectiveness and ease of use though.
There has been a relatively recent upsurge in interests in sponges with the entrance of the beauty blender to the market. I also use the traditional style disposable wedges every so often. What I love about the disposable wedge, that it fits very easily into the little contours of the face and I can toss it at the end. No washing of the sponge necessary. I find they do soak up quite a lot of your foundation though and you end up using quite a bit of foundation if you aren’t very careful. (disposable wedge pictured in white).
Beauty Blender sponges and their related dupes have been a really hard sell for me. These sponges are designed to be used wet. I find that though they don’t soak as much foundation as my disposable wedges, they do definitely do soak up more foundation than my better brushes. I also tend to get a very full coverage with these sponges, as well, which depending on the person could be a good thng, but I sometimes prefer a lighter coverage. The beauty blender is also advertised as being ideal for powders as well. I haven’t found this to be the case, I’ve tried it with a number of setting powders and I found that it gives me an uneven coverage when used wet (like it is designed to be used). The main difference I have found between the beauty blender sponges (pink and black ) and the studio basics dupe that I own is that the dupe is definitely much more firm and doesn’t expand as large as the beauty blenders. There is one negative to the soft texture of the beauty blender though, both of my beauty blenders have torn very easily while the studio basics dupe remains in tact… One of the best thing about the beauty blender type sponges is that their shape, with the round portions and pointed tip help to blend and apply foundation to hard to reach places easily. They aren’t disposable though and need to be cleaned periodically. Original beauty blenders are quite expensive as well.
Brushes are easily my preferred method for applying foundations but all brushes aren’t created equal.
Traditional Foundation brushes are created something like a paint brush allowing you to literally pain foundation on to your face. This technique leads to streaks for many people. What I do to minimize streaks is to turn my brush on to the flat side and pat out the streaks as I apply the product. Pictured are the Revlon foundation brush, the MAC 191 and the real techniques angled foundation brush. I prefer both the MAC 191 and the real techniques brushes for the more liquid foundations since they are thinner than your average foundation brush and soak up less product. The real techniques brush’s angle is great for getting into the smaller creases of my face as well.
Another type of foundation brush is the flat top brush. Pictured are the MAC 130, the black up flat top brush, the MAC 187 and the ELF powder brush (from left to right). The Mac 130, the elf brush and the black up are perfect for buffing in your foundation and getting a very evenly blended look very quickly. These type of brushes do soak up more foundation that the traditional flat foundation brushes but also are more able combining the blending your foundation.
I did a review of the ELF studio line Powder brush here on the blog. It’s named a powder brush but even ELF notes that you can use this for all types of foundation.
The MAC 187 is pictured here but I actually use it in a very different manner. Instead of applying and buffing I use it to stipple my foundation on to my face. The kind of bouncing motion with the flat head of the brush gives you great coverage that also looks very natural.
Powder Brushes- Traditional and Kabuki Brushes
Revlon Powder Brush
MAC 180 – Kabuki brush
While these brushes are definitely designed for use with powder foundation, occasionally I have used them with liquids or creams with good effect. It isn’t something I recommend doing frequently because many times using a liquid or cream will result in these brushes shedding like a beast!
If you want to get the most out of your powder foundations though, like the MAC Mineralized Skinfinish powder, Kabuki brushes like the MAC 180 are the brushes for you. They give you the fullest coverage that is possible from powders.
So what’s your choice? Fingers, Sponge or Brush?
Let me know which one and let me know why in the comments.
Fingers, brush or sponge?