What You Should Actually Use To Apply Foundation

Beautiful latin woman applying blush on face, using brush tool, putting makeup before work.
aire images/Moment/Getty Images

For the most flawless complexion, we'll try any and every foundation. But sometimes nailing that no-makeup makeup look is up to the tools just as much as the product itself. So it's important to use the best applicator for every type of foundation. That way a product that shouldn't cake up won't, and whatever foundation you choose to rock will always look like a second skin instead of just, well, foundation sitting on top of your skin.

Many times we find a product that we like, and we stick with it. If it's not broken and all that jazz, right? But it doesn't always work that way when it comes to makeup tools. Especially when choosing the perfect sponge or brush to apply your foundation, keep in mind that it's not always one size fits all. Because unfortunately, sometimes your ride or die makeup sponge or oval brushes may not always be the optimal tool to use for your most flawless face. Different foundations just have different needs. And sometimes the best tools are totally free. In my several years of beauty writing/makeup applying, these are the applicators I've found produce the best results for each type of foundation.

Powder Foundation

Tarte Confidence Creamy Powder Foundation, $35, Tarte Cosmetics

So powder foundation blends seamlessly into the skin, opt for a powder brush if you prefer light coverage, or a denser buffing brush like a Kabuki brush for medium coverage. These dust the product all over your face, so you barely have to worry about blending.

Serum Foundation

Stila Aqua Glow Serum Foundation, $45, Amazon

Even though beautyblenders can do a lot, they're not necessarily the best tool for thinner, runnier foundations. So instead of a sponge, which will absorb more of these water-based foundations, simply use your fingers to blend a serum foundation so as to not waste excess product. If you don't like to use your fingers, try a less-dense brush like a stippling brush, as these also won't absorb as much of the foundation.

Liquid-To-Powder Foundation

L'Oreal Paris Magic Nude Liquid Powder Bare Skin Perfecting Makeup , $9, A mazon

Liquid-to-powder foundations also tend to be quite thin, and therefore also don't work as well with sponges or dense brushes (unless you prefer very sheer coverage). Instead, opt for fingers or a stippling brush to more seamlessly blend the product without wasting any.

Cushion Foundation

Amorepacific Age Correcting Foundation Cushion Broad Spectrum SPF 25, $80, Nordstrom

Cushion foundations are another formula on the thinner side. Use the puff that they come with to easily bump the product into the skin, or try an angled buffing or Kabuki brush to blend around edges or hard-to-reach areas.

Liquid Foundation

Too Faced Born This Way Absolute Perfection Foundation, $39, Sephora

Traditional, liquid foundations tend to be the least finnicky of the bunch, and will handle well with a variety of tools. Perhaps the easiest, however, are damp makeup sponges like a beautyblender and buffing brushes like a flat-top Kabuki. These will give that flawless, blended look more quickly than blending with your fingers or a less-dense brush.

Cream Foundation

MAC Full Coverage Foundation, $34, MAC

The thicker consistency of this type of foundation can make it a little more troublesome to deal with. To keep it from caking up, try using a damp makeup sponge, or even lightly dampen a buffing brush with a facial spray before blending into the skin.

Whipped Foundation

Revlon Colorstay Whipped Creme Makeup, $9, Amazon

Whipped foundations are kind of between a standard, liquid foundation and a cream foundation. For your easiest application, try a damp makeup sponge or a buffing brush.

Spray Foundation

Dior Diorskin Airflash, $62, Nordstrom

Despite the name, it's usually best to not spray foundations directly onto your face. Rather, try spraying it on a fluffier, foundation brush first and then simply blend it into the skin.

Stick Foundation

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Stick Foundation, $37, Sephora

Because of how thick and creamy stick foundations tend to be, these are usually harder to blend in with the fingers. Instead, try a damp makeup sponge like a beautyblender or an angled buffing or Kabuki brush to help blend this type of foundation more easily around edges and harder-to-reach areas.

A flawless complexion really is equal parts the formula you choose and the tools you use.

Images: aire images/Moment/Getty Images; Courtesy of Brands