How do you apply liquid foundation?

I usually pump out the product onto my fingertip, and then I dab it on my cheeks, forehead, down my nose, chin, and along my jaw line. Then, I use a dense brush to blend everything in. I might dampen the brush with a light mist of water (just water). I try to use softer, downward strokes with light buffing if I get any streaks.

— Christine


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Pearl Avatar

I do dot’s on my face and then rub it in with my fingers or I use a damp beauty blender. For the past 2 weeks, I have been just doing areas that need evening out and coverage and instead of rubbing it in, I’m pressing and dabbing/tapping with fingers.

Katherine T. Avatar

I’ve been using the Marc Jacobs Re(marc)able Full Coverage foundation. After moisturizing and prepping my skin, I dab 1 small dot all over my face, then use the IT LBD Luxe Velvet Foundation brush to buff it in. The brush is awesome –no streaks, covers evenly, and quickly. Afterwards, I take a damp beauty blender and dab it over any areas/small corners that need extra blending.

Nancy T Avatar

I use a non-Beauty Blender brand version of the Beauty Blender! Dampening it first, applying the foundation with some Strobe Cream mixed in onto the sponge, dab it onto my forehead, nose, chin, under nose and on cheeks, then buff and blend it into my skin. I start with my cheeks because there’s more skin there and I want to be sure I’ve applied enough to them! Then forehead on downward, any excess is blended down under my chin a little. Only problem with this type of sponge, as opposed to the triangle variety I used to use, is this BB type “eats” foundation it seems.

Kam Avatar

Hmm, I’m curious if all sponge types would do this. I heard the black BB is denser but I can’t confirm it or a difference as I only have the pink BB. If what you’re doing works than that’s great! If you are concerned with product loss, if anyone could please help here in recommending something for you to use that will be easy, work well, and help you to not lose product? Water is the second ingredient in the Pro Longwear but it also is tacky so I don’t know but it seems that your adding the strobe cream would be a buffer to a sponge absorbing it. Sorry I’m not able to help much.

Sarah D Avatar

That foundation is water based and if your foundation is, the beauty blender is the worst thing you can use. You don’t want to use a damp BB, brush, sponge, etc. Just a regular stippling brush should do or foundation brush. And I’ve found synthetic hair brushes to be the best for applying cream products.

Anne Avatar

It depends on the foundation. The one I mainly use is Bourjois Health Mix Serum Foundation, and for that I pump 1-2 pumps on the back of my hand and currently use a damp Beauty Blender to dot it on. I used to use the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, but I found with my dry skin the damp BB made it look more seamless, plus if I needed to blend out concealer or contour or whatever a bit more I could just use it for that. I also have like NO natural light at my current place so sometimes I find I go too heavy on the blush, and then I can just go over it a bit with the last bit of foundation on the BB like an eraser. I know some people dislike sponges for application because it wastes some foundation, but particularly for a more affordable foundation I’m not that bothered as it gives me a more natural look with no risk of applying makeup when too tired and ending up with brush hairs or brush stroke indents.

Áine Avatar

Oh man. There are so many different ways to apply foundation that I bet every answer to this one is gonna be different, haha.
I do a lot of foundation-mixing to get just the right undertone, so I usually have some pre-mixed in a little container that I dip a damp blending sponge into and apply with that.
I start applying my foundation to my cheeks, because I’ve got some keratosis pilaris and resulting redness there that I like to make sure gets covered, and blend out from there.

Donna Avatar

I am a Beauty Blender user for years now.

So wet BB squeeze, then squeeze again using a muslin cloth until its just damp on more.

Pump foundation onto back of left hand, pick up on BB and bounce it on.

Momo Avatar

It depends on the formula of the liquid foundation.

For formulas like that of MUFE HD, Estée Lauder DW or MAC Pro Longwear foundations, which have a tendency to dry very fast, I often pump the product on the back of my hand, and then apply and blend the liquid into my face with my fingers, in a dabbing motion. I work on a quarter of my face at a time, to prevent random, dry, awkward foundation patches on my face. It takes a little longer to apply my liquid foundation in this manner, but the result is very skin-like. Lastly, I do a final blend with either a damp beauty blender sponge, or a moistened, dense, duo-fiber, kabuki face brush.

For formulas like that of Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra and Visionnaire, or Dermablend Smooth Indulgence foundations, which are a bit more liquidy and don’t dry as quickly, I simple use a moistened, dense or sparse duo-fiber face brush to apply the product directly to my face, and then stipple and buff. I then follow-up with a damp beauty blender or wedge sponge.

Simone Avatar

I take a pump or two of foundation, dot it across my face focusing on the central of my face and kind of smearing it outwards, then I take a buffing brush (my favourite is the Zoeva silk finish) and buff it out before I bop it all in with a beauty blender. It sounds like a ton of effort but I can do it super quickly! It gives me the best, most flawless finish.

Soleil Avatar

Yes! I never thought anyone would comment about the Shiseido Foundation Brush. It’s one of those products that need to be given more attention. Such an amazing brush compared to more popular ones.

Johanna Avatar

I use either a buffing brush (The Makeup Geek round buffer brush is my favorite!) or a damp Beauty Blender, depends on the foundation/finish I’m after. I just pump it out on the back of my hand and work from there.

Rachel R. Avatar

I just my fingers to dot it on my forehead, nose, cheeks, and chin. I usually use a beauty blender-type sponge pat and blend it into the skin. I also really like the e.l.f. Ultimate Blending Brush, though in general I’m not fond of foundation brushes. The Tarte Maracuja Miracle Foundcealer Brush is nice, too. I still use my fingers sometimes.

I blend starting in the middle of my face and work my way out. Then I build up if and where necessary.

Laura Avatar

Depends on the formula. I tend to buy less coverage foundations, like MAC F&B, CT, or Waterweight , so I use my fingers, then tidy up with a beauty blender. Fancy!

Wednesday Avatar

The mad scientist and perfectionist in me dictates I mix a minimum of at least two products together before applying. I don’t have a ‘fancy’ 50 dollar plastic thingamajig for mixing. I pump/squeeze/dollop/yougetmydrift the products onto the back of my hand and mix with the end of a makeup brush to blend. I apply with a dampened beauty blender which is my preferred method for most foundations. I start blotting on my red prone areas first: nose, chin, cheeks; and then pounce those heavier areas out into very light coverage towards the perimeter . If I want to look particularly pulled together or I am wearing something showing more skin, I blend the remainder bits of mixed foundation from the back of my hand with a moisturizer and blend into my neck and decolletage.

Kuávsui Avatar

Either pump on the back of my hand and then use a dense brush to dab and buff it in, or dab with my finger on face and then use a brush to dab/stipple and buff. I have a lot of texture on my face and dabbing/stippling motions help with not accentuating it any further 🙂

Victoria Avatar

I have a metal makeup palette (it was a gift, I think it’s Jane Iredale but the markings have long rubbed off) and I pump onto the palette. I like this better than immediately applying all to my face or makeup brush all at once. From there I either dab on my index finger to dot in a cute geometric pattern on my face or dip my foundation brush go from there. Sometimes I spray my brush with the marvellous Clinique Moisture Surge Spray but usually not. No brush has existed for me since the Wayne Goss anniversary no. 1 brush. I ordered two who extra sets of brushes just because of it. It’s really all that.

Laura Avatar

I usually put a glob on to the back of my hand (unless I’m using a runny formula – those get dotted straight onto my skin) and then use my brush to dab + buff each section one by one. I prefer a stippling brush (mine is the Real Techniques) just because it always gives me even coverage and is easy to go back with over areas that need extra. I may try wetting my brush with one of my foundations like you suggested because my L’oreal Pro Matte does not seem to want to play well with brushes sometimes.

Ginny Avatar

I hate cleaning foundation out of brushes, so I stopped using them a while ago. I just dispense the product on the back of my hand and work in sections blending with fingers. After it’s spread all over I basically slap or pat all over my face to get rid of any streaks.

chris Avatar

I use Cover Girl Queen 3/1 Liquid Foundation. It comes in a pump formula. It is medium coverage. I normally dispense almost one full pump onto my Sigma F80 – FLAT KABUKI brush and blot into skin. I make sure the final application is done in a downward motion. That brush gives me life 🙂

Kam Avatar

I dab a bit on all areas of my face and use the Real Techniques Expert Face brush and it blends to a flawless look. I really like this brush! After beauty blenders and many other varieties of brush and fingers, I always go back to this! It’s very soft and extremely easy and quick to buff in gently and get a professional finish. I don’t know why I kept trying others. I also like that it’s both soft and dense, rounded and a bit pouncy. I just washed mine yesterday! I have the Shiseido foundation brush that is raved about but I haven’t got around to trying it because I forgot I bought it. Looking at Sephora I see people answering that it is also synthetic so I hope I enjoy it equally! I use SK-II Facial Treatment Cream Foundation over a well prepped and primed face. I feel like the prep affects how our applicator responds so I included what I use that works so well with the RT brush!

Lys Avatar

I pump out some of the product onto my hand, then I dot it on my face. I dampen a Real Techniques sponge with some MAC Fix+ and blend the foundation in. Sometimes I’ll use a dense buffing brush to go over my jaw and neck afterwards to make sure there are no streaks.

Eileen Avatar

It depends on how much slip the formulation has but, in general, I pump once onto my fingertips, spread it between my right and left tips, pat it all over beginning with my pink cheeks, and then lightly blend it out with my fingers. I use a brush to get it smoothly into the little pores on my nose. I typically use emollient liquid foundations. When I use heavier cream or stick, I use a brush like Tom Ford’s cream foundation brush or Sephora’s #53. What about Beauty Blender? If I’ve over-powdered or used a lot of powder products, I like to spray it lightly with rosewater and bounce it over my face.

Rachel Avatar

I buff it in with the Urban Decay Good Karma Optical Blurring Brush. I never could get into the Beauty Blender, and using my fingers grosses me out.

Stephanie Avatar

Foundation is the only makeup I can’t find a brush or sponge that I like better than my “old school” fingers for application. I like light to medium coverage foundation and I pump or squirt a bit on the back of my hand and dab a bit on a cheek, spread it, another dab on the other cheek and so on. Then I blend out any small imperfections at the end. I am blessed with clear, smooth skin (at least now that I’m over 50).

Jennifer Avatar

I recently bought a beauty blender and I was shocked at how it made my foundation go on flawlessly. I also recently purchased an IT Cosmetics foundation flat top buffing foundation brush #6 and I love that too. For years I used MAC’s 190 and that always worked fine too but after using the beauty blender that has become my favorite.

Samira Avatar

It depends on the brand. For MUFE ultra hd I tap it in with my fingers and then use my hourglass foundation brush to gently blend it in using very light strokes. That’s my version of their instructions on how to use that foundation (which apparently is not supposed to be buffed) and it works for me. But that’s the only foundation I do that with.

With others I most often use the beauty blender or my fingers. If it’s a brush it’s usually RT buffing.

LaMaitresse Avatar

It depends on the foundation, and the amount of coverage I need for the look, plus time! For a smart evening out, stippling brush, It Cosmetics gives a beautiful, not too overdone full coverage. For day, a natural look, a damp beauty blender and maybe the stippling brush if I have a long day working, or an important meeting. I used to love just using my fingertips, but the beauty blender and brush do give a more polished and natural look for my skin. Also, since I’m usually mixing a drop of illuminator with a light liquid and a drop of pigment, my fingers just aren’t doing a professional enough job anymore!

Cheryl Mayers Avatar

I put the foundation on the back of my hand and then use Real Techniques version of the Beauty Blender and it goes on smoothly. However, when I was at the Guerlain counter at Neiman Marcus the sales clerk used a foundation paddle brush and it looked flawless, so I’m going to give that a try and see, maybe it was the foundation though, I’ve been using It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream and I love it!

WildDove Avatar

I use tinted moisturizer to light-medium coverage types of foundations. I apply 1-2 layers of moisturizer to face first. Then a pea-sized amount of foundation into the palm of my hand (and if I’ve used only 1 layer of moisturizer I blend the foundation with another pump of moisturizer), then apply to face using fingers.

Claire L Avatar

I usually use my fingers but I use the It Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe dual ended foundation brush with It Cosmetics’ Your Skin But Better CC+ cream. I’ve recently bought a Beautyblender but haven’t used it yet. I bought a pot of Clarins’ Extra-Comfort foundation last year but it’s a little heavy on me, I will see if using the Beautyblender helps sheer it out.

jazzy Avatar

I use a flat top kabuki brush, I purchased from coastal scents or a ebay version. I do one pump of foundation right on the brush, buff the foundation center of my face then use circular motions outwards. Depending on the foundation (kvd, esteelauder, or loreal infalliable) I might spray the brush first with fix plus. I have a love hate relationship with the beauty blender. I clean it regularly but ever since the beauty blender bug video I have been turned off. Using my fingers … I cant on my oily skin, not worth the breakout.

Debbie Avatar

After using blender sponges and/or foundation brushes I have gone back to using my fingers. I find that my foundation application is much better blended out this way. I then do use a very fluffy brush to apply my powder and then sheer it all out.

Flaky Avatar

I apply & blend all of my foundations with my fingers & then buff lightly with a dense brush like one of the RT brushes to even out. This works the best for me.

I’ve tried every which way to use a beauty blender and I just don’t like it at all for anything. It will be hitting my purge pile when I declutter this spring.

Lindsay Avatar

It depends on if I am in a rush or not but I usually use my hands or a flattop kabuki brush! I feel like my hands warm up the foundation and really press it into my skin!… I have a beauty blender and I use that occasionally! Because that does work really well and I wet it with rosewater! By 100% pure

Nana Avatar

I squirt one pump into the palm of my hand. Then I put dots of it on my firehead, nise, cheeks and chin then rub it all over my face with my hands. When it looks nice and even, I use Mac’s brush 137 to go over it lightly for an airbrushed look.

Stephanie Avatar

I use an IT heavenly-luxer-double-airbrush-foundation-brush. I combine Hourglass Primer with Kat Von D lock it foundation on back of hand and dab it on, then blend. The dabbing works great with this brush. Great full long wearing coverage.

Carolyn Adams Avatar

I pump ( or Qtip out ) some on the back of my hand then dot my face and use a beauty blender. Sometimes I use a dense foundation brush. I don’t care to use my fingers.

Georgia Avatar

I use my fingers … always. It just blends in better that way – I’m in control! YSL Touche Éclat is my HG foundation right now. Found a backup supply of the “old” formula at my little Podunk Sephora and I’m stocking up as I hear the new formula is really drying.

Vanessa Avatar

I mix 2 foundations (because I can’t seem to find the right shade/undertone), with a primer. I usuallly mix it on the back of my hand then dot it around my face, but not too much where my freckles are since I don’t want to cover them. I blend with either a beauty blender, Bare Minerals Smoothing Face Brush, Sephora Collection Pro Airbrush Blender #78 or Real Techniques Expert Face Brush. It just all depends what I feel like/what’s closest to reach at the moment.

Arpita Avatar

For runny liquids( mac f &b, nars ) I just take a pump or two on the palm of my hand and dot my face and neck with fingers; then blend using my fingers as well. Sometimes i dot and blend part wise according to type of foundation. For slightly thicker fooundations, I take a pump on the back of my hand( add some liquid highlighter or not.. Acc to occasion) and use a RT blending brush for even application. I usually spritz my brush with some water( spring thermal water, etc) and then use the brush for even application.

Susan Dowman Nevling Avatar

I dab it on my cheeks, forehead, chin and a bit on the nose. Then I dab a damp beauty blender beginning on my cheeks, forehead and nose until blended,finishing with the sides of my face and neck.

RMW Avatar

Well, I first roll In-between my hands the bottle of foundation to not only warm it up but mix it. I also make sure that my primer is dry on my face before I do anything. I start with the smallest dots possible and for one on my forehead, three on the right and left side of my face, and one on my chin. I use my clean fingers first to blend in. I use a make up sponge to wipe off the excess on my face and blend well at my jaw line. Being 45 years old, matte foundation just makes you look older and winds up settling in any crease, or fine lines. I wait until my foundation is completely dry, before lightly dusting it with loose powder. I feel the key to what you use to put on foundation isn’t as important as letting everything dry before you apply the next step. Example, moisturizer, eye cream, then primer, foundation and powder! In-between while I wait, I work on my hair, maybe have a few sips of coffee. Lol. When I was younger, I used a foundation brush, I just felt like I seen all the brush strokes on my face. Everyone has their own special technique, and I honestly feel that you should do whatever you have been doing IF it works for you and you’re happy with it and the outcome! Makeup routines shouldn’t be dreaded, it should be a mind set of let’s look better today. Because when you look better, you feel better, and when you feel better about yourself, you have an automatic smile and we all know that smiles are contagious! People should always see You and not your makeup. 😉

miekogirlie Avatar

white triangle makeup sponges from CVS…i will admit that beauty blender does apply better BUT i have to clean it everytime so…its just more convenient with the other one. i can toss it after every use. so bad i know 🙁

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