Foundation Application: Sponges, Fingers, Brushes, and More
The tools you choose to perfect your base makeup can make or break your masterpiece. Not all brushes and sponges are created equal, and with so many options on the market, it can be hard to decide what to use. This helpful guide from beauty blogger Amanda Roberts will break down all the latest and greatest tools to create a flawless base.
Try a Beauty Sponge for a Natural FinishBeauty sponges are a popular choice for bloggers and YouTubers who wear liquid foundation. Dampen it with water and bounce it across your face, pressing your foundation and concealer into your skin for a flawless, skin-like finish. Beauty sponges are multipurpose, too; use it to blend out harsh eyeshadow or contour lines, and to refresh over-powdered skin.
Replace Your Beauty Sponge RegularlyOne major drawback of beauty sponges is that they can harbour dirt and bacteria. Be sure to wash yours frequently, and toss it after about three months’ use. If the thought of throwing away a pricey blender makes you cringe, go for a more affordable version, like the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge.
Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponges, $15.
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Make Baking Easy With a Baking SpongeBaking – applying large amounts of loose powder to set the base, then sweeping it off – is a celebrity makeup artist trick to achieve a flawless, airbrushed finish. It’s also easier to do with a dense, angular sponge rather than a squishy, rounded one. Get precise lines with the Cake and Bake Liquid and Powder Makeup Sponge by Vera Mona for Sephora Collection.
Sephora Collection Cake and Bake by Vera Mona Liquid and Powder Makeup Sponge, $18.
Repurpose Wedge SpongesWedge sponges come in multi-packs of eight or more, making them a cost-effective alternative to a baking sponge. With differently-shaped surfaces and plenty of sharp angles, you can get all the precision you need on a budget.
MAC Cosmetics Wedge Sponges, $12.
Save Product With a Silicone BlenderSilicone “sponges” went viral in a big way in the past few years. Unlike a conventional sponge, a silicone blender won’t soak up your liquid foundation and is way easier to clean and sanitize.
Milk Makeup Dab + Blend Applicator, $17.
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Use Your FingersFingers can work well for liquid foundations, concealers, and cream blushes and highlights as well. This technique is great because your fingers warm up the product as you work it into the skin, giving you a super natural finish. A great option for those who don’t mind getting a little messy!
Natural Brushes or Synthetic Brushes?When it comes to brushes, bristles matter. Choose a natural bristle (like goat- or squirrel-hair) for powder products, but avoid them for liquid, as the natural cuticle can soak up your foundation. For liquids, choose a synthetic bristle brush, like nylon.
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Try an Oval Brush for Precision and ControlNope, that’s not a giant toothbrush. Oval-shaped brushes with a parallel handle are another big makeup artist trend. The short, densely-packed bristles ensure a high-coverage application and a flawless blend, and the hairbrush-like handle gives you lots of precision.
MAC Cosmetics Oval 6 Brush, $51.
Buff Your Way to the Perfect BaseBuffing brushes are an absolute classic. Densely-packed, slightly longer bristles let you blend your liquid, cream, or powder foundation in circles and give you all the control in terms of coverage. They’re also great to get you out the door quickly; the fact that they rarely leave streaks makes a quick application a breeze.
Sephora Collection PRO Flawless Airbrush #56, $40.
Buffing Brushes Are Also Super AffordableAnother amazing thing about buffing brushes is that since they are so popular, you can find great ones at any price point. Snag the Real Techniques Buffing Brush in their Flawless Core Collection and get all the brushes you need for contouring and concealing, too!
Real Techniques Core Collection, $22.
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Paint Products On With a Flat BrushWhen you think of foundation brushes, these are probably the ones that come to mind. Traditional, flat foundation brushes are best for stretching or painting on more liquidy, serum foundations. The downside to this is that they tend to leave streaks. If your old flat brush isn’t working out for foundation, try using it to paint on your face masks for an even application.
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Save Your Stippling Brush for Natural Makeup DaysDuo-fibre stippling brushes are perhaps the most misunderstood and under-appreciated complexion brushes. If you want sheer coverage from your serum foundation or tinted moisturizer, this is your best friend. Blending with a bouncing, stippling motion can leave a beautiful finish, but this can be time-consuming to achieve.
Luxie Beauty Rose Gold Duo Fibre Stippling Face Brush 508, $23.
Give Your Makeup Routine a Sonic BoostIt’s the 21st century and although we may not have jetpacks, we do have sonic makeup brushes. Clarisonic offers a Sonic Foundation Brush head to attach to your Clarisonic brush handle – get more bang for your buck by using it to apply as well as remove your makeup. The sonic boost is sure to give you a seamless blend.
Clarisonic Sonic Foundation Brush Head, $39 (Clarisonic sold separately).
Use a Fluffy Brush for a Sheer Powder FinishIf you’re a fan of powder foundations, a fluffy brush can be just what you need for those low-key, no-makeup-makeup days. Sigma’s big, fluffy powder brush is super soft and covers lots of real estate, which makes for a quick application.
Sigma Beauty F30 Large Powder Brush, $30.
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On-The-Go BrushIf you tend to get shiny throughout the day, a compact brush that you can throw in your purse is a must. Bonus points to the Fenty Beauty Portable Touchup Brush, which has a cover so the inside of your purse doesn’t get covered in powder!
Fenty Beauty Portable Touchup Brush 130, $29.