The Best Way to Apply Foundation Depending On Your Skin

Angelica Di Guglielmo
Binx Walton Model


Who doesn’t want perfect skin? When you splurge on a foundation that’s supposed to be life-changing and it doesn’t perform well, it’s natural you get frustrated. Your first instinct is probably to march right back to the store and return it, right? But just wait one second. Have you ever thought that maybe it’s not the foundation that’s the problem, but the way you’re applying it?

It’s obvious that not every foundation will work with every skin type. Just as you have to choose a product that works with your skin, you need to choose an application method that does the same. The way someone with oily skin puts on makeup won’t necessarily work the same for someone with dry skin. And with all the different types of brushes and sponges nowadays, the ways you can apply foundation seem endless. So what do you choose? A brush? A sponge? Or what about nature’s best makeup tool, your fingers? And not even that, what’s the best way to actually go about applying the product? Do you buff? Stipple? Swipe? Read on to find out.

If you have dry skin, use downward strokes. Buffing in foundation may be tempting, but it can actually cause micro-exfoliation, which will lift the dead skin and emphasize any dry patches even more. Using downward motions with a paddle foundation brush will ensure that any flaky, dry skin lays flat and in the same direction.

MORE: Why Your Foundation Isn’t Performing Like It Should Be

If you have oily skin, there’s really no set way to apply foundation. If you deal with larger pores, it might be a good idea to use a brush or your fingers to press the foundation into the skin, rather than sweep it on. This will help “fill” the pores and make them less noticeable.

If you have acne prone skin, the most important thing is that whatever tool you use, it’s clean! This means washing your brushes after every individual use and steering clear of using your fingers (Even if you wash them, you’re still going to be handling products that carry germs). If you want maximum coverage, use a dense, round or flat-top brush and make sure you’re patting and pushing the foundation into the skin, rather than sweeping or buffing. This will ensure that the foundation stays in one place and will keep the main concentration of coverage on your problem areas.

If you have mature skin, it will tend to lack moisture and elasticity. Try using a sponge, like the BeautyBlender, and make sure it’s damp. Wetting it beforehand will add moisture back into your skin while ensuring all the product doesn’t get soaked up. Pounce and roll the sponge on the skin for an even application.