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There’s no denying it, makeup brushes are total game changers. There’s a reason makeup artists have belts filled to the brim with brushes, ready to create any possible makeup look at a moment’s notice. Even if you aren’t a professional, stocked with the right set of shading and blending brushes, you can instantly take your eye shadow applying skills to the next level. While totally true, learning the virtues of makeup brushes can be discouraging if you don’t have or can’t use brushes for whatever reason. But don’t give up just yet. Whether you’re traveling without a full array of beauty tools or simply don’t own any, all hope isn’t lost for your look. You can make do without makeup brushes by strategically using sponges or your fingers to apply your eye makeup. Keep reading to find out how!
If you don’t have brushes, don’t worry. You already have a set of tools on hand, quite literally—your fingers.
Step 1: Prime your eyes. Eye makeup primer is a necessity, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s easily applied with just your fingers. Dot a small amount of product onto your lids, then blend out using the pad of one of your fingers.
Step 2: Use cream eye shadows. Oftentimes, cream eye shadows will apply even better with your fingers than with a brush. The creamy consistency is ideal for smoothing on with just your fingers. Pick two shades you think coordinate and start by applying the lighter shade to your lids.
Step 3: Add dimension. Using only one eye shadow shade can leave your eye makeup looking flat and dull. To add dimension, go back in with the second shade you selected. With your finger, pat it onto the outer third of your lid space.
Step 4: Highlight. Before considering your eye shadow to be complete, brighten your eyes with a highlighter. Apply just a drop of the L’Oréal Paris True Match Glow Amour Glow Boosting Drops beneath your brows and around the inner corners of your eyes, then use your finger to diffuse the product.
You know those tiny sponge tip applicators that come with almost every eye shadow palette? Stop throwing them away! In a pinch, they’re amazing for applying eye shadow—after all, that’s what they’re there for.
Step 1: Prime your eyes. A sponge may absorb too much product, so stick with using your fingers to apply primer.
Step 2: Press eye shadow into your eyelid. Choose an eye shadow quad that comes with a sponge tip applicator, like of the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Quads. Each mini palette features four coordinating shades and a double-ended applicator. Identify the mid-toned eye shadow and pick it up with the larger end of the sponge. To maximize pigmentation, press the eye shadow into your lids rather than swiping it on.
Step 3: Define the crease. Using the back of the same sponge, pick up the next darker shade. Apply a small amount to the corner of the eye, carrying the color up into the crease. Wipe off the sponge, then move it in small circles over the crease color to blend out.
Step 4: Line your eyes. With the smaller side of the sponge and the darkest shadow in the quad, line along your upper lash line for a soft, smoky touch.
Step 5: Highlight. Wipe off the sponge again and use it to apply the lightest shade as a highlighter.
Since chances are you’re not planning on only wearing eye shadow, here’s how to apply the rest of your eye makeup without using a single makeup brush.
Step 1: Apply eyeliner. While you can’t use a gel eyeliner without bringing a brush into the mix, pencil eyeliners always have your back. Use the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Last Waterproof Pencil Eyeliner to draw a thin line on your lid, pressing the pencil against your lashes.
Step 2: Smudge it out. If you prefer a smudged-out look, there’s no need to fret. You don’t need a brush to make it happen. All it takes is grabbing a cotton swab and gently smudging the line before it sets.
Step 3: Coat your lashes. Before you start a debate, let’s go ahead and say a mascara brush doesn’t count as a makeup brush. Now that that’s settled, sweep a coat or two of the L’Oréal Paris Voluminous X Fiber Mascara onto your lashes for a full, fluttery look.
Going without bobby pins, too? Here are 4 Easy Hairstyles That Don’t Require Bobby Pins.