There has been a debate on the application of foundation since it was created. Fingers/brush/sponge.. If a brush, what kind of brush? Flat foundation brush/buffing brush/dumpy dense brush/flat top kabuki. If a sponge what kind of sponge? Beauty blender/square sponges/triangle sponges/circular sponges. Woaahhh, I think we get the picture.
I may not be a professional (yet) but I’ve made my way through a bunch of foundations and tried nearly every application there is to try. Sponges been there, done that. Brushes of all kinds, been there, done that. Fingers, been there, done that. So I think I may have enough experience to pass a little information on to you. Of course all these thoughts are my opinions and if you disagree that is completely fine! Whatever works for you, keep doing it.
Fingers: Fail safe. I wouldn’t recommend fingers in the application of cream foundation because I find it can ball up and go caky and flaky (ooh yummy) if you rub it too much. If you really want to use your fingers (if you find other application methods unhygienic) I would recommend emulsifying your cream foundation with either a moisturiser/tinted moisturiser/lightweight liquid foundation. This way the product will have a bit more slip to it and will be easier to apply to the skin. Another tip when using fingers is to apply your primer with your fingers, then straight onto foundation without wiping your fingers – the residue of primer will still be on your fingers and the application will be far easier.
Obviously fingers are great if you want a heavier application of liquid foundation. And for powder, fingers are a no go! You most definitely need a brush or sponge for that!
Sponge: Personally I’m not the greatest fan of sponges. I find them to be fiddly, unhygienic and when they get old they disintegrate on application to the face and crumbled up sponge on your cheeks is never a good look. Having said that if sponges work for you, I’m very pleased, you have succeeded where many have not. If you like sponges, just make sure you are replacing them often – buy cheap and replace, replace, replace. I’d say one sponge would last about a week if you are applying make-up everyday. Or, if you don’t where make up everyday – 7 applications of a few days apart. If you use a sponge once and don’t plan on wearing make up for 2 weeks, chuck it immediately. The oil from your face and the make up will react and create bacteria that will grow for the period of time you don’t use it for and then you’re going to put that stuff back on your face?! Ew. The beauty blender has been raved about by every beauty blogger and their mother, personally I don’t like it, but that’s just me being a germ-o-phobe. They retail for around £16 (SAY WHAT?! IT’S A SPONGE!) and for me that’s just way too expensive when you’ll have to throw it away when it gets a lot of product on it.
So all in all I would recommend that if you want to use a sponge, you use cheap ones, dampen them slightly beforehand so they don’t soak up all the product and chuck them out every 7 applications depending on the time between applications.
Brushes: Now here I really come into my own because I think I’ve used pretty much every type of foundation brush that has been invented.
For powder I would recommend a flat-topped Kabuki brush because it will retain the product better and you can really work it into the face. With a fluffy powder brush you will get a lot of fallout and not a lot of payoff.
For cream foundation I would recommend a stiff short brush that you can use to really work the product into the face. Either than or a flat, slim foundation brush. These will give the best coverage with a cream foundation. The short brush will give a long-lasting application whilst the slim, traditional foundation brush will give a more full coverage finish.
For liquid foundation you can use any darn brush you like. I think this is the most versatile formulation of foundation – it can be applied using fingers, a sponge or a brush. I’m currently loving using a slightly smaller buffing brush to lightly work the foundation into my face. I find it to be the easiest way as you don’t have to really paint it on like you do with a traditional foundation brush. With a brush that use the top of (if that makes sense) you definitely have more control over how much product goes where, and also more freedom to build custom coverage.
I hope this was helpful and that you enjoyed reading this rather rambly post!
Love, Bonnie xx