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Is It Better to Apply Foundation With a Brush, a Sponge or Your Fingers?

It’s time to pick your tool.
October 21, 2022


Even in this era of skinimalism and trendy “clean look” makeup, foundation will still be a base product we just must have in our makeup bags. At the end of the day, when you want to go full glam or want more than natural coverage (or to simply tuck blemishes away for the day), a medium- or full-coverage foundation is what you’ll reach for. What isn’t so clear across the board is how to apply that foundation

Many of us put on foundation using our fingers when we’re first learning how to apply makeup, then comes makeup brushes and then makeup sponges. But which is really better? Keep reading as we break down the debate about brushes versus sponges versus fingers — which is the best tool to apply foundation?

The Benefit Of Applying Foundation With a Makeup Brush

When you’re first building a makeup kit for beginners, makeup brushes are a must. They make applying different types of makeup products easier, and they undoubtedly make for a cleaner process. Not to mention, some products just transfer better when applied with a brush. Applying foundation with a foundation brush can help you get a smooth and even base for the rest of your look.


The Benefit Of Applying Foundation With a Makeup Sponge

While we love collecting beautiful makeup brushes, a makeup sponge or blender can also work wonders in laying down foundation and other base products. For anyone who loves an airbrushed finish, you understand that opting for a makeup sponge will help achieve this look. Bouncing and tapping the blender to your skin will help set the product down with a smooth, almost blurred, finish.

The Benefit Of Applying Foundation With Your Fingers

Maybe you’ve decided not to invest in brushes and blenders, or maybe you find it easier to use your own digits — whatever your actual reason, applying makeup with your hands can have its benefits too. Just employ a similar tapping technique as you did with a makeup sponge and you can get a similarly flawless finish with your foundation. The trick is to dot the foundation onto your face little by little, and build it up as you need more.

Is It Better to Apply Foundation With a Brush, Fingers or Sponge?

So we finally come to the burning question: Which is better for applying foundation — a brush, a makeup sponge or your fingers? The answer to this really depends on a number of factors. For one, the type of foundation you’re applying could dictate which tool you should use. If you’re applying powder foundation, reach for a brush. Pro makeup artists have even argued that using a blush brush can help you get a better application around areas like the nose and chin. 

As we stated earlier, each tool gives you a different finish, so that should be taken into account as well. If you want to get an airbrush-like look then you should opt for a makeup sponge. Those who love liquid foundations like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible 24 Hour Fresh Wear Foundation Lightweight and the L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Makeup Radiant Serum Foundation with SPF 50, often prefer to blend them with a sponge. But if you have a product that needs to warm up a bit before you apply it, your fingers will help you do that much faster than these other tools. 

Ultimately, whether you use a makeup brush, blender or your hands will really come down to preference — if one tool makes applying makeup easier and a better experience for you then make that your go-to (and feel free to change it when you feel like it). There’s really no wrong answer if you’re having fun exploring the joys of playing with makeup.

Next: Why You Should Have a Silicone Makeup Blender in Your Arsenal

Written by: Shalwah Evans, Photo Credit: Luis Omar Landestoy

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