How to Apply Foundation: Five Tools for a Flawless Finish

by Ivy Boyd

How to Apply Foundation: Five Tools for a Flawless Finish

There is almost always more than one right way to do something, and how to apply foundation is no exception. The “right” application simply depends on the level of coverage and type of finish you desire. Whether you like ultra-natural, barely there coverage or not-a-spot-in-sight full coverage, there’s a method out there for you. Finding the winning combination for yourself is all about experimentation, but here’s a quick guide to five time-tested application methods for whatever coverage level you desire.


Natural: Beautyblender Sponge



The Beautyblender sponge is a highly unique makeup sponge that, when wet, expands to nearly double its size. It’s perfect for stippling on foundation and creating a highly natural and flawless finish. The beauty of it is that it lays down and blends out foundation in one step! This is one product where dupes need not apply. The original truly works like nothing else. Make sure to wash after each use and dry in open air. For more on using the Beautyblender, check out our guide.


Medium Natural: Long Bristle Synthetic Brush



A synthetic brush with longer bristles that flex on the skin will give your foundation serious longevity, and you will find that you use much less product than when you simply apply with your fingers. This type of brush creates an airbrushed-like finish with light to medium coverage. Sephora Pro Airbrush #55 is one of my favorite brushes for this application method.


Medium Coverage: Stippling Brush



A dual-fiber stippling brush makes for a medium-coverage foundation application with multiple steps combined into one. The magic is in the two different bristle types. The synthetic bristles lay down the foundation while the natural hair bristles buff and blend it out.


Full Coverage: Flat Top Kabuki Brush



A flattop kabuki brush like Sigma’s F80 is my favorite brush for applying foundation. This is because I prefer a full-coverage look. This brush gives the best coverage while also buffing out the foundation to be undetectable.


Medium Coverage: Fingers



If you find yourself brushless, have no fear! Your fingers are some of the best tools that you already own! With liquid and cream foundations, your fingers actually warm up the product and help melt it into your skin seamlessly. Simply dot on foundation; then lightly blend it out with your fingertips.

Now that you’ve got the tool, check out how to ace your application.