Makeup Application – Sponge, Brush, or Fingers?

I have been asked before if I apply makeup with my fingers, sponge, or brush. I’ve got to say the answer is all three. It really depends upon what kind of product I am applying. Let’s get into it.


I have three brushes that are my favorite for different reasons and I have one particular sponge I have purchased multiple times. For the most part, I tend to use a brush or a sponge. There is a main exception to this rule. Whenever I use the It Cosmetics CC+ cream that I have raved about before, I always use my fingers. For some reason, I like the application via fingertips with this foundation and think it looks best on me. I have tried using a brush and sponge, but I don’t like the final result.

The first rule when using your fingers to apply any makeup: wash your hands first. You don’t want to spread bacteria and germs to your face by using dirty hands to apply makeup.


For any powder foundation, i.e. Tarte’s Amazonion clay full coverage airbrush foundation, I like using Tarte’s buffer airbrush finish bamboo foundation brush. I have talked about my love of both of these products here.  Come to think of it, I also really like this brush with liquid foundations as well… If I have a super thick liquid foundation, I find this brush works better than with a thinner formula.


I have the mini/travel size version of the It Costmetics airbrush blurring foundation brush. The quality of this brush is amazing and I use this for pretty much any liquid foundation. Sometimes it depends upon which brush is clean honestly.


I use this brush from Tarte if I’m applying a thin or more watery foundation. It is a tapered brush that feels a bit like a paint brush. I sadly cannot find it on their website, so look for a tapered brush if you’re interested it this. I think Tarte makes quality brushes and I love the bamboo handles.

I like all of these brushes for different reasons, but my most used method of makeup application is a Real Techniques miracle complexion sponge. I absolutely love this sponge. I buy them in two packs at Ulta. I love the shape of it and love the flat edge on it.


I get it wet under the faucet, squeeze the water out lightly and then do two or three squeezes on a towel and then apply my foundation. The one pictured above is fresh out of the pack. After two or three uses, the sponge becomes more bouncy and spongey, if that is a thing, and is perfect. I wash the sponge just like I do my brushes and then use a new one once it won’t come clean anymore or it begins to come apart.

If I could only choose one method of makeup application, I would have to say a sponge is my favorite. It is what I use most often and highly recommend the Real Techniques sponge. I have used a Beauty Blender, another makeup sponge brand, but prefer this sponge instead. Not only is a cheaper, I feel like it gets more clean when I wash it.

How do you apply your foundation? Do you have a great sponge or brush you love that I should know about?


5 thoughts on “Makeup Application – Sponge, Brush, or Fingers?

  1. I’m not a fan of using a sponge!! I have had the beauty blender and real techniques. My favorite brush for my foundation is the morphe m439 it’s amazing!!! It’s dense and buffers the foundation on flawlessly


  2. I love applying foundation with a sponge, I’m constantly switching back and forth between my beauty blender and real techniques sponge, I think both are great! I just can’t seem to get the brush technique down for all foundations, I finds when I use a brush with most of my foundations, it tends to leave streaks behind that I end up using a sponge to go over and fix.


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