The Perfect Makeup Tools to Apply Different Types of Foundation

October 11, 2022
Jessica Harrington
By: Jessica Harrington | by L'Oréal
Photo of a young person using a makeup blending sponge to apply foundation while looking into a compact mirror.
Selecting a makeup tool to apply your foundation is a matter of personal preference. Some can do wonders with clean fingers, while others work magic with a makeup brush. When making your choice, we also recommend considering what type of foundation you’re using. We spoke to makeup artist Rudy Miles to find out the best way to apply different foundation formulas, from liquids to pressed powders.

The Best Makeup Tools for Applying Powder Foundation

Powder foundations lend themselves to a lot of versatility when it comes to application technique. “Powder foundation can be applied with a brush, dry sponge or a damp sponge,” says Miles. “The tool you use will determine the desired result or effect.” For powder, a dense, fluffy synthetic fiber brush like the IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Flat Top Buffing Foundation Brush #6 will give you a blended, buildable finish, while a damp sponge will provide you with a sheer layer of coverage. “A dry sponge can be effective for medium to full coverage but be careful, if you pick up too much product, the complexion can look cakey,” he says. Try using the L'Oréal Paris Makeup Infallible Blend Artist Makeup Blender Sponge.

L'Oréal Paris Makeup Infallible Blend Artist Makeup Blender Sponge

The Best Makeup Tool for Applying Liquid Foundation

“Because liquid foundation needs to be applied seamlessly without leaving streaks, using a synthetic fiber foundation brush to blend works every time,” says Miles. Look for a brush with a flat, tapered tip like the NYX Professional Makeup Total Control Drop Foundation Brush or the Giorgio Armani Beauty Maestro Blender Brush to allow for more precise application. “Stipple brushes or using the stippling technique with a damp sponge also blends liquid foundation seamlessly.”
NYX Professional Makeup Total Control Drop Foundation Brush

The Best Makeup Tool for Applying Stick Foundation

Stick foundations typically have a thicker consistency, so flat, densely packed soft bristle makeup brushes are perfect for blending them. Miles suggests using a brush with dense, but soft hair. We like the construction of the Real Techniques Blend + Blur Foundation Brush to smooth out the texture of stick foundations so the full coverage looks airbrushed.

The Best Makeup Tool for Applying Whipped Foundation

Whipped foundations are easy to apply, thanks to their lightweight texture. “They can be effectively applied using a foundation brush or simply massaged into the skin using your fingertips,” advises Miles. If you opt to use your fingers, just make sure your hands are clean first. If you do choose to use a brush, try the Lancôme Full Coverage Foundation Flat Brush #1.
Photographer: Chaunte Vaughn

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