Tips & Tricks

Different Ways To Apply Foundation And Concealer

February 24, 2006

Salamandax requested some recommendations on brushes for applying foundations and concealer so here you go – sorry it took me so long! I have also included other tools that you can use, hope you guys find it useful.

Using a brush can make application less messy and is perfect for smaller areas that require more precision like the inner corners of the eye, around the nose and on zits. You also end up using less product. The downside is you have to wash them regularly and a good set of brushes can cost up to a few hundred bucks. Check out these tips on how to take care of your brushes so they can stay in good shape.

To apply foundation, I like MAC 190 Foundation Brush and MAC 187 Stippling Brush.

For concealer, pick a synthetic brush with firm bristles. My picks are Sephora Concealer Brush and MAC 194 Concealer Brush.

Sponges are cheap, easy to use and great to travel with. Just make sure the pores are small so they do not soak up too much product. You can also dampen your sponge before you apply for a dewy effect.

Here is a tip I picked up from a celebrity makeup artist in Hong Kong. To camouflage those nasty purplish capillaries under the eyes, dip the pointy end of a triangular sponge directly into your concealer. Pat directly along your lash line and blend. This works great and deposits just the right amount of concealer.

Product Recs: Beauty Blender and Sonia Kashuk Blending Sponge

On a budget? Just use your fingers! Fingers are great for applying foundation and concealer because your body heat makes blending easier. Plus they never wear out and do not cost a dime. Just make sure you use your ring finger for the least pressure and beware of your natural oils – they can interfere with the makeup and affect its longevity.

Rule Of Thumb
Regardless of what you use, I highly suggest the stippling method for the most flawless look. To stipple, use short strokes to lightly dab on your face until the product is well blended. This works with liquid and cream-based products and you can use it with brushes, sponges and fingers.

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  • Reply gaea.t.m. July 19, 2008 at 11:14 am

    I find all your posts very helpful because it is so easy to find my subjects of interest and most importantly because you cover them in a very proffesional way.

  • Reply Jenny November 20, 2008 at 1:52 am

    Hey Phyllis,

    I recently bought a lancome foundation brush which has excellent reviews on makeupalley after deciding to try another method of applying foundation.

    However, I still find i don’t get that perfectly airbrushed look that you claim it gives

    Could you please do a comprehensive tutorial on getting that perfect foundation base?

    I think the main problem is I don’t know how much foundation to use and how to blend it properly with a brush so if you could help that would be great

    Thanks so much and your blog is always the first source i turn to for makeup advice and ideas!

  • Reply yael November 12, 2009 at 11:01 am

    i see you like the MAC 194 for concealer, but what is the advantage over that and the 195 (i see it’s a little shorter with a more pointed head)?

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