Foundation Application- Tools and Tricks

Part 4 of my Foundation Guide Series is about what to use to apply your foundation and how to use these foundation tools

So! Now we know what Colour and Type of foundation for your skin. We’ve covered What to do with your skin before you put the foundation onto it. Now what are we going to put it on with?
There are a few ways of doing it. There’s brushes, sponges and fingers. Those are what most people use. I’ve seen spray on foundation too, but that seems like a bit much to me. I’m sure it would give a lovely finish, just sounds a bit messy to me, wouldn’t it get in my hair? I’m not going to get into that.

So your sitting there with perfectly prepared skin, your ideal colour matched foundation, what the hell comes next? Pop a little foundation on the back of your hand. It’s good to have the product warm up a bit. It will blend in more easily. Then you take your chosen tool of application-


It’s fine to use your fingers. Like I said it’ll warm the foundation and make it easier to blend. It’s easier to apply exactly the right amount as you can just take a little dot at a time.

On the other hand, I find that I really have to look closely in the mirror to get it right, it’s pretty precise. It takes longer than using a brush, which stands to reason because your fingers are (hopefully) smaller than a foundation brush. 


A brush will take a bit of the work out of it. Because they are larger and more flexible than your fingers you can just swipe the foundation on in a jiffy. You can use a brush to get the product onto your face then get up close in the mirror and blend it into corners.

Synthetic brushes are best for applying liquid foundation as they don’t absorb product as much as natural fibres (natural fibre brushes work well with powders)

Here are a few different sorts of foundation brushes 

  • A flat foundation brush– foundation application flat paddle blending brush mac 190These are paintbrush shaped and you literally use them to paint the foundation onto the skin. The ones pictured above are a Mac 190 and some random old one from M&S. I find these leave streaky lines, so if you have these then use them to paint the foundation on then make sure you go over afterwards and give it a thorough blending.
  • Dual Fibre brushesfoundation application dual fibre blending brush mac 187  Such as this Mac 187 brush. This brush has a combination of synthetic and Goat hairs, so you can use it for powder or liquid. I’ve had this a long time, it’s a classic. I went off it a bit, I find it does leave some streaks and deposited hairs on my face. I prefer a softer brush than this
  • Flat topped Stippling Brush– foundation application flat top stippling blending brush  space nk This brush I got from Space NK is gorgeous. It’s very soft. You can sort of pat the foundation into the skin. Only problem is getting into the corners, you have to switch to something smaller for that, so it’s not the ideal foundation brush if you’re in a hurry. 
  • Soft Domed Brush– foundation application blending brush kiko  This one is from Kiko. This has to be my favourite sort of foundation brush. It has a point so you can use it to get into corners. It’s dead soft so it doesn’t leave lines. It makes foundation application    a much quicker job.

When you’re shopping for a foundation brush look for synthetic fibres, ideally a contoured point and most importantly it should be as soft as a mouse’s ear. 


foundation application bblending sponges kiko superdrugI have two foundation sponges- a Kiko one and Superdrug own brand. The Kiko one is the lilac coloured one, it’s a pretty firm texture and I’m not crazy about it. It seemed to get damaged very easily. I love the Superdrug one though. It was only £5. It’s extremely soft and bouncy. It has a pointy end for getting into eye and nose corners. Also check out Beauty Blender and Real Techniques sponges.

Foundation blending sponges are ideally used wet. Just run it under the tap and squeeze out excess moisture. You can use them dry if you want to (you can apply powder with a dry sponge too) but if the sponge is damp it won’t absorb too much product. You take little dabs of foundation and pad it onto the face, using stippling motions rather than dragging. 

I really like the finish these sponges give- very even. You can keep layering on until you have enough coverage. They’re fun too, I feel like a YouTube person when I use mine.


    Whatever you’re using, the goal is to have a thin layer of foundation blended into the skin. You can use whichever tool you prefer or mix it up- apply the foundation with a brush say then blend with fingers or a sponge, it doesn’t matter. Start by applying a small amount at the centre of the face, say at the sides of your nose, and work your way out. Blend blend blend until you’re sick and tired of it, then have a good look in the mirror to check there are no blobs.

    It doesn’t matter what you use, the main thing is to make sure it’s blended in properly. Good luck!

    Style After Nine



    16 Comments Add yours

    1. marinailieva says:

      Oh, this is so useful for me. I’ve never been good at choosing the right brushes. 😀 Thank you, Nia! x

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Yes thanks, I’ve learnt so much from this series of posts!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks so much! That’s great to hear x

        Liked by 1 person

    3. Double the Monkey Business says:

      I am definitely stocking up on the superdrug sponges the next time we are in the UK! Oh and love the new look!! x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Yvonne! Get some sponges they’re the biz! Xx


    4. Cardiff Girl says:

      Loving this foundation series Nia! Re spray-on foundation; I thought the same as you until a make up artist friend advised me to try the Dior one. It’s amazing. It’s not for day to day use but it’s my go-to for a wedding or night out. The coverage is amazing without looking thick. Luckily it just brushes out of your hair or I use a thick hairband when applying.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ll have to have a proper look at it. I’ve never tried one. Thanks for the comment xx


    5. I love the look of these!!! I’ll be giving them a go.xx

      Liked by 1 person

    6. Leah Miller says:

      I never knew you were supposed to use the sponges wet!

      I tend to find I use twice as much foundation if I use a brush, however the look and coverage is 100% better.

      I really love this series of posts Nia, and your blog is looking gorgeous!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Leah! I usually use a Brush, find its loads quicker xx


    7. Sunita says:

      Such a handy post. I know there are days when I should really be wearing some foundation but can’t be bothered! Helpful to know more about the brushes and my MAC187. May have to check out the one from Kiko, loving their make up at the moment #mumsthatslay #luckythingsblog

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Kiko is really great. Thanks for the comment xx

        Liked by 1 person

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