Beauty Tip: Ways to Apply Foundation

a post from Esther


We’re talking about some of my favorite things! Skin and foundation. I’m going to share with you the tips, tricks, and secrets I’ve learned as a fashion photographer, beauty product lover, and former cosmetics counter girl. In my last post, I provided 3 steps to choosing the best foundation for you. In this post, I’ll list a few methods on how to apply foundation and provide scenarios on when to use each method.



Brushes are the most commonly used tool in foundation application. They can be used when applying powder and liquid foundations. There are several different foundation brushes out there: flat top brushes, tapered brushes, and so on. 

How to apply: Dab some foundation on the central areas of your face – forehead, nose, chin. Using your brush, dab the makeup on your face from the center outward using patting and very slightly stroking motions. When applying foundation with a brush, you want to watch out for line marks that the brush can make. Try to keep it to more of a patting motion versus stroking. Definitely set the foundation with a powder and powder brush after you have finished applying foundation and concealer. I like to use cruelty-free brushes from Urban Decay and Eco Tools. Ferro Cosmetics has some great options too.




Makeup sponges are very useful. You can purchase disposable makeup sponges at any drugstore for very reasonable prices. If you’re looking for something more long-lasting and sturdy, try an edgeless sponge applicator (I like Ferro Cosmetics’ Complexion Perfexion Sponge).  

How to apply: Dab some foundation on the central areas of your face (again, that's the forehead, nose, and chin). Using the sponge, gently pat the foundation to your skin from the center outward. Be sure to use the pointy tip of your sponge to get into the nooks and crannies of your face as well – the inner eye corners and around the bottom of your nose. Also gently dab your sponge over the eyelids as well if you plan to put on eye shadow. The downside of sponges is that they can soak up a fraction of the product you put on your face – this means there is some product going unused and also a little extra cleansing work on your sponge if you use a non-disposable sponge.


Even though it's messy, this is my favorite way to apply foundation and concealer. Essentially you’re using skin to apply makeup to skin – the most natural application method. Usually, I use a non-disposable sponge for my foundation but use fingers for my concealer. The key to a flawless look is blending. With the right concealer, right foundation, and proper application techniques you will achieve that flawless look. 

How to apply: As with the brush and sponge, apply foundation to your face from the center outward using light “lifting” motions. Be careful with applying makeup to the eye area with fingers; use your ring finger (your most delicate finger) to gently dab and blend foundation and concealer under eyes and on any other skin imperfections you desire. More on concealers in another post to come soon!

Bonus tip! If you want your makeup to stay on for a long period of time, say, more than 6-8 hours, I highly recommend applying primer before or mixed with your foundation. Primer is amazing: it helps seal in your moisturizer, creates a more even canvas for applying makeup, and it help your foundation stay longer.

Next up: Concealers. Stay tuned!