As the beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, the concept of an ideal complexion may have countless meanings – it entirely depends on your preferences and beauty standards. While asking for the “perfect complexion”, you may accurately be referring to natural-looking skin as well as to a full coverage makeup work. When it comes to the final result, the foundation plays a big part – but the application method and is key. The same foundation may present opposing results depending on the application tool and technique. Is it wrong to apply makeup using your hands? Should you use a sponge or a brush? We gathered the most frequently asked questions about foundation application so you can finally discover how to apply foundation in order to achieve your perfect complexion – according to your terms.
How to apply foundation with a brush
There are countless foundation brushes to choose from, with different shapes and densities. You can find some simple, classic and intuitive shapes, such as the NYX Pro Makeup Pro Flat Foundation Brush or some new approaches to this tool such as the NYX Pro Makeup Total Control Drop Foundation Brush. Generally speaking, denser brushes promote high coverage results while softer brushes allow a more natural, sheer result. These “rules” apply not only to liquid but also to powder foundations.
For a natural result: apply a small amount of foundation onto the face – if liquid, or directly onto the brush – if powder. Concentrate the product mainly onto the center of the face – where usually we have discoloration and imperfections. Work the brush with long movements and light pressure, and blend it into the skin, fading the product as you move outwards. The secret for this technique is to use little foundation, stretch/extend it as much as you can, using the brush to repeatedly swipe back and forth, with medium to long-range gestures while applying light pressure onto the brush.
For a high-coverage result: apply a generous amount of foundation and work it from the center of the face outwards. Use patting motions to work the foundation over the skin, blending with short to medium ranged movements. If you drag the product too much, you might lose some coverage potential. So, from the top: start by applying the foundation and distribute it roughly over the skin; then, use your brush to pat the foundation – a flat and dense foundation brush like Shiseido Hasu Fude Foundation Brush would be ideal. As you press the brush onto the skin, you begin to notice that all the traces of application magically disappear!
How to apply foundation with a sponge
Sponges are synonyms of a quick and even foundation application. As its popularity rose, more and more brands began to deliver their own interpretation of the perfect sponge. There are lots of colors and shapes to choose from. Ideal to apply liquid foundations, the iconic beautyblender and the unmistakable Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge are excellent examples of the perfect sponge. Bounce your way to an even complexion!
For a natural result: again, the amount of product you use is key. Start with a small amount of product, and work it from the center of the face and move outwards. Damp the sponge before usage, and apply the foundation alternating between dragging and bouncing motions.
For a high-coverage result: damp the sponge slightly before using, and apply one to two pumps of liquid foundation onto the face or directly onto the sponge. Use mostly bouncing motions, with occasional dragging movements if needed – particularly helpful when fading the foundation from the jawline to the neck.
How to apply foundation with a silicone blender
Silicone blenders are a recent trend that is here to stay. Easy to use, this accessory not only allows a strike-free liquid foundation application but also makes sure that not even one drop of product is absorbed or wasted. An official foundation economizer that stretches your foundation like no other! In addition to that, it doubles as a concealer blender – actually, it is perfect to blend all of your liquid products. If you’re still not convinced, it is incredibly easy to wash and lasts longer than a conventional sponge. As for the application, follow the recommendations above, and use it as you would use a sponge. Instead of bouncing, pat your way to perfect skin!
How to apply foundation with fingers
There’s no right or wrong when it comes to makeup techniques and preferences. Therefore, we are not trying to stop you if you love applying makeup with your fingers. We get you, it feels intuitive and easy! Use a small amount of foundation and work it from your nose, thinning off the product as you move outwards. Using your fingers as a tool, the foundation tends to look more natural and sheer. This happens because the foundation formula tends to soften as it interacts with the temperature of our hands. Our advice is only one: thoroughly cleanse your hands before and after the application!
Extra tip: if you’re also in need of some foundation advice, we can be of assistance. Discover our favorite foundation for oily skin and browse our all-inclusive foundation catalogue!
Professional Makeup Artist & Beauty Writer