How to Choose Your Foundation Applicators

The YS Beauty Lab

Choosing the right foundation tool can be a headache. Even though using your fingers is good enough in most cases, the invention of new foundation applicators has undoubtedly made the task a lot more convenient and effective. Learn about these foundation tools so you know which one suits your skin type, the foundation you’re using, and the effect you want to achieve!

Drop-Shaped Sponges

These water drop-shaped foam sponges are so popular because they offer such a high coverage and are easy to use. The base is for large surfaces like the forehead or the cheeks. The sides are suitable for curved areas like the sides of the nose and chin. The tip is designed for hard-to-reach areas such as the corners of the eyes and mouth.

These sponges can be used wet or dry. Apply primer, BB cream, foundation or concealer by first lightly moistening the sponge, then squeezing out any excess water, and then gently patting onto skin. The water in the sponge allows your liquid foundation to sit on top instead of being absorbed by the sponge. Use the sponges dry for blusher and loose powder. However, their performance with powder is not as good as cushion puffs or brushes. The sponges’ advantage lies mainly in their ability to blend different makeup products. And of course, they’re gentle on skin!

Sponge Wedges

Latex wedges are nothing new but they are still popular for a reason. The polygonal shapes make it easy to reach different areas of the face. They’re also cheaper than drop-shaped sponges and cushion puffs, and you can dispose of them easily.

Cushion Puffs

Whether or not a cushion compact is successful partly depends on the puff being used. These rubycell cushion puffs (a.k.a. air puffs) prevent makeup from soiling your hands since only one side is used, and this is what makes them easy to clean, too. More importantly, they create a smooth, even and air-brushed finish. Like sponges, they can also be used wet or dry. The round flat shape of cushion puffs make them easier to carry than drop-shaped sponges, though it also means they’re less effective for hard-to-reach areas. Both cushion puffs and sponges are gentle on dry and sensitive skin. The rubycell technology is allegedly also anti-bacterial. You just have to pat gently.

Silicone Pads

A subject of recent hype in the beauty industry, silicone pads are more hygienic than brushes and sponges because they’re super easy to clean. They’re gentler on skin than brushes, making them ideal for sensitive types. They don’t soak up any foundation, hence avoiding any product waste, and are also durable and easy to store. Using them is simple: The flat sides work on large surfaces, while the edge works on hard-to-reach areas like the sides of the nose and corners of the eyes and mouth. The only drawback is that they’re only suitable for applying liquid or cream foundation.

Brushes

Makeup brushes come in all shapes, sizes and degrees of hardness, and each one suitable for face, eye or lip makeup. As a beginner, you can purchase a set of brushes and I’m sure you won’t regret it! Brushes are the best way to apply powder foundation. Some are exclusively for powder foundation while others can be used for both liquid and powder foundation, so do pay attention when purchasing. Powder brushes are normally large, round and soft whereas liquid and cream foundation brushes are small, flat and dense. The denser the bristles, the more intense the color becomes. Also, look for bristles that don’t shed easily because it can be very annoying if they do.

Buff the brush gently on the face for powder foundation, and apply diagonally for liquid or cream foundation. Applying liquid foundation isn’t really the forte of brushes. Use brushes for concealing and contouring instead.


Brush Accessories

While sponges and puffs can be cleaned by rubbing them against moist soap bars, brushes require a gentle liquid cleanser like baby shampoo. Pump a little cleanser into your palm and swish the bristles in a gentle, circular motion. Continue until water runs clear, which means the makeup is gone. You can also use a grooved dish instead of your palm. Protect and separate your brushes with mesh covers when not in use.