Liquid Foundation – What Tools Should I Use?

Out of all the types of foundations out there, liquid foundation is my favorite. It’s easy to apply, and my combination skin type means that the liquid foundation works best for the dry and oily areas of my face.

Liquid foundation can get a bit messy too if you’re not careful. Although it’s not hard to manage, it’s a good idea to find a tool that will help you apply your foundation to get the kind of results you want. So depending on what you’re after, or simply your preference, you can choose any number of tools.

To get the best results from your foundation, I usually find that prepping your skin with a cleanser, moisturizer or something else in your routine will optimize your foundation’s performance, and it will decide whether it will enhance your face or simply make things worse.

So let’s take a look at the tools you can use to apply liquid foundation on your face.


Sponges are great tools to help make your liquid foundation look flawless on your skin.

You can get rounded or oval shaped sponges that are optimized to leave no marks on your face when you’re applying make up, especially the kind you get with square sponges.

Square sponges tend to leave edge marks on your face, and don’t always blend so seamlessly, so round sponges are the best to use.

When using sponges, I will normally soak it slightly in hot water and then squeeze the excess water before I use it. This expands the sponge and makes it more airy and lighter when applying the foundation. It also gives your face a bit of moisture through the small amounts of water that remains in the sponge.

You can either dab the sponge into a small sample of foundation then apply, or you can put the foundation onto the sponge itself. The latter wastes more foundation in my opinion as the sponge soaks up all the liquid, and I feel as if less of the product makes it to my face.

In terms of washing it, unless you do it straight after every use, I find the color of my foundation marks the sponges and never comes out easily. This shouldn’t be a cause for concern if you’re always using the same color anyway, but this is something to be aware of.

This method is very popular though as the sponge’s ability to soak a bit of product has an advantage too. By doing this, you can dab the sponge all over your face and get a pretty consistent coverage of foundation, without over applying it anywhere. This helps to give that flawless complexion after you’ve applied it.

Silicone Pad

This tool is probably less commonly used to apply foundation, even though it is good for a reason.

Because the silicone is non absorbent, you can save a lot of foundation that might otherwise get absorbed into your foam sponge. This means you get a lot less waste as a result, and save more money on your make up.

However, I find that when applying make up with a silicone style ‘sponge’, it doesn’t give me the same kind of finish as the foam sponge. You can of course just lightly dab the product on your face, but if you accidentally rub it or smudge it, you’ll notice it. And that can be a pain.

So generally I don’t use this as much, but it is an option out there if you want to waste less and have something that is easier to wash after use.

Foundation Brush

So in theory, you could probably use mostly any kind of small to medium sized make up brush to apply your foundation, however there are specific designs for them too.

The typical design is usually a fairly large sized brush with a slight curvature on the top, and a very slightly flat head. This design keeps it from creating streaks on your face from the brush bristles itself, and gives your face a lovely glowing and flawless finish.

Brushes are definitely used in more professional settings, where you can get more accuracy in the application of liquid foundation. It also absorbs a lot less product than a sponge, however I always get foundation staying in the bottom of the brush bristles when I’m trying to wash it.

But washing the brush is fairly easy when done immediately after use. You can get pretty much all of the product out the brush if you soak it for a day or two, and they are very durable investments.

All in all, it gives you a nice evenly spread finish on your face, and you don’t risk getting any product all over your fingers as well.

Use Your Fingers

This last method is one everyone can use, and it doesn’t cost anything to have. You can apply with your fingers, and although it might seem like the least effective way to putting on your foundation, it has its advantages.

If you’re doing this with clean hands, you can avoid wasting the foundation to sponges or brushes that will soak up some of it. This is a great way to be a little more conscious about how much you are using, and what tools you are purchasing.

And of course, you can save yourself some money by not buying any of the above products. Though this tools are not expensive, the more budget ones are more likely to get damaged sooner and be disposed, which isn’t great for the environment.

Also, more expensive tools are, well, expensive, and the best make up brushes or sponges can be a lot to fork out for. So it’s hard to decide which way to go.

So when using your fingers, just make sure your face is well prepped with moisturizer. If it’s too dry, then the foundation is likely to stick in certain drier patches, highlighting dry skin or turning the foundation color more darker than your natural tone, which will look more unnatural. So just bear that in mind.

But otherwise, I’m a fan of using my hands if I haven’t washed my brush or sponge, or if I don’t want to have to wash them after.

So these are some options for how you can apply your foundation. Do you have any other methods when applying liquid foundation that works well for you? If so, feel free to let me know!

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