How to get the most out of one foundation

Emily Ratajowski

Hint: It’s all about the tools you use

When it comes to makeup products, most of us want to get as much bang for our buck as possible. Whether it’s a rosy lipstick that doubles as a cream blush or powder bronzer that can also be swept across the lids for a quick and easy eye look, we all want to get the most out of the products we buy by using them in a variety of ways.

One product category that hasn’t traditionally been considered much of a multi-tasker, however, is foundation. After all, we tend to invest in different formulas so we have the option of achieving various finishes: from lightweight to full coverage depending on our social calendar or skin’s condition. And while this isn’t a problem in theory, investing in numerous bottles of foundation can leave your bank account looking a little worse for wear.

Thankfully, there are simple ways to make your foundation work harder and they all revolve around the tools you use to apply your base. To find out exactly how foundation tools can change the finish of one foundation, we spoke to makeup artist at DLM, Mikele Simone.

This is unlikely to come as a surprise to you, but your fingers, sponges and a variety of makeup brushes are the best tools to opt for when it comes to expertly blending foundation.

If you’re looking to create a sheer or natural finish, “the best tool is a damp sponge used in a stippling motion. The water in the sponge helps to evenly disperse the foundation, whereas if you were to go in with a dry sponge, it would soak up the bulk of the foundation and make it difficult to blend into the skin,” explains Simone. He adds, “Along with a damp sponge, your fingers can help make your foundation appear more natural as the warmth from your hands can melt the makeup into the skin”.

Alternatively, Simone says, “to create a fuller coverage using the same foundation, I tend to use a flat traditional foundation brush and apply using small strokes starting from the T-zone to the outer areas of the face”. If you still want to boost coverage after the first layer is applied, Simone suggests going back in with your flat brush and applying an additional layer, making sure to focus the foundation only in areas that need further coverage.

For a sponge applicator, we can’t go past the original Beautyblender and two of our favourite foundation brushes include Rae Morris Jishaku #24: Foundation Contour and CHANEL Pinceau Fond De Teint No.6 Foundation Brush.

Beautyblender

Rae Morris Jishaku #24: Foundation Contour

CHANEL Pinceau Fond De Teint No.6 Foundation Brush

If you’re after a multi-tasking tool that can do a bit of everything, Simone recommends using “a synthetic rounded foundation brush. Being synthetic it does not soak up foundation, therefore a little goes a long way. Also, being round, you can buff the foundation into the skin where needed and build up the coverage without being too heavy-handed”. 

Some of our favourites include MAC 170 Synthetic Rounded Slant Brush, Sisley Foundation Brush and Real Techniques Buffing Brush.

MAC 170 Synthetic Rounded Slant Brush

Sisley Foundation Brush

Real Techniques Buffing Brush

Want more foundation tips and tricks? Then find out how to pick the right foundation for you and discover the biggest foundation mistake you’re making

What’s your favourite way to apply your foundation? Let us know in the comments below.

Main image credit: Getty

Kate has worked for BEAUTYcrew since early 2016, first as a contributor, before being named Beauty Writer in 2017. She loves picking the brains of the industry's top experts to get to the bottom of beauty's toughest questions. Bronze eyeshadow palettes are her weakness and she's forever on the hunt for the perfect nude nail polish to suit her fair skin. Her words can also be found in Men's Health magazine.