How To Apply Liquid Foundation With Brush, Sponge, And Fingers

Written by , Shalini Roy

Beautiful makeup begins with a foundation that looks as flawless and natural as your skin. And applying liquid foundation to perfection needs practice. But with the right tools and technique, you can do it like a pro. Here’s how to apply liquid foundation (with a brush, fingers, a beauty blender, and a sponge) for glowing skin. Swipe up!

How To Apply Liquid Foundation (Tutorial)

Here’s what you need to apply foundation to your skin perfectly:

  • Cleanser
  • Moisturizer
  • Primer
  • Liquid foundation
  • Concealer
  • Foundation brush
  • Sponge

With these tools in hand, let’s follow the steps mentioned below:

Step 1: Wash Your Face With A Cleanser

Use a cleanser to wash your face and remove excess oil and dirt that can make your skin look dull and oily. Pat your face dry with a clean towel.

Step 2: Apply A Moisturizer

Whether you have oily or dry skin, moisturizer is a must. It hydrates your skin and helps keep it glowing. You must also apply sunscreen if you are stepping out. Wait for five minutes before moving to the next step.

Step 3: Use A Primer

Two pumps of primer is all you need to blur the pores and create a smooth canvas for your foundation. Apply the primer with your fingers to your forehead, around the mouth, and areas where you need to blur. Remember to tap it and not drag your skin.

Step 4: Dot Your Face With Foundation

Pour some liquid foundation on the back of your hand and dot it all over your face. Focus on the areas that need coverage, like the chin, around the mouth, and pigmentated regions.

Note: You can also mix your foundation with a face oil or liquid highlighter for that extra glow. Less is more. So, use just a teeny-tiny bit.

Step 5: Damp And Stamp

Use two pumps of a setting spray and damp your foundation brush (a flat top stippling brush or Kabuki brush). Wipe off the excess, and with a quick and gentle stamping motion, spread the foundation all over your face, neck, and ears evenly.

Step 6: Blend With A Damp Sponge

Damp your sponge/ beauty blender and bounce it all over your face to blend the foundation, soak up the excess, and smooth out any brush stroke lines.

Step 7: Use A Concealer

This step is optional. But if you have hyperpigmentation or acne scars, a concealer can help you achieve even-toned skin. Apply a few dots and use your fingers to pat it and blend the outer edges.

Final Look

This is a basic liquid foundation tutorial for beginners. If you want to get into the details of using a brush, sponge, and your fingers to apply liquid foundation, scroll down!

How To Apply Liquid Foundation With A Brush

The type of brush you want to use depends purely on the look you are going for. A flat foundation brush will give you full coverage. However, if you are looking for something a little more natural, you can use a buffing brush, which will yield a medium coverage, or a stippling brush, which will give you modest coverage. If you want your foundation to look flawless, use a buffing brush to buff the product onto your skin in a circular motion.

How To Apply Liquid Foundation With Fingers

If you have been following the trend on the internet, using fingers to apply foundation has made it huge. This is probably the best option for someone who is experimenting with a foundation for the first time.

Use your index finger to dot the foundation on the required areas. On the large areas of the face, use all your fingers to spread the foundation. For places like under the eyes and around the nose, use your ring finger. This will make sure that the foundation doesn’t sink into the creases. However, do not use your fingers if you have oily skin as the natural oils in your fingers can spread to the face.

How To Apply Liquid Foundation With Beauty Blender

How To Apply Liquid Foundation With Beauty Blender


The beauty blender has taken the world by storm and changed the makeup game for a lot of people out there. It is an egg-shaped sponge and a great alternative to a brush when you want your skin to look flawless.

To apply foundation with a beauty blender, dot the foundation all over the face. Go over the product with a damp beauty blender and blend away! Take your time and have patience while blending. Make sure that the product is evenly distributed so that it doesn’t look cakey in places.

How To Apply Liquid Foundation With Sponge

Sponges are cut into squares and wedges and used to apply the foundation to the skin. Dab the makeup sponge with the foundation and start applying it to the face in light strokes. Start from the center of the face and go outwards. Keep working on it until you are happy with the coverage.

The tool you use depends on what you are comfortable with. If your fingers give you better control than a beauty blender, use them to apply foundation. All you have to do is give each tool a try and find what works best for you.

Do Not Forget To Set It!

Creating that flawless long-wearing base also depends on how well you set it. Apply a translucent or setting powder to set your liquid foundation. You can either use a big fluffy brush or a makeup sponge for this purpose.

Give your brush/sponge a swirl or two to pick up the powder. Start from the center of your face – the corner of your eyes, the center of your forehead, the nose, the mouth, and the chin. Whatever is left, use it on your cheeks. Use a little more of the product and set the foundation on your neck and ears.

While applying foundation is desirable, keeping your face clean is also important to avoid pore-clogging and breakouts. An easy way to do this is to remove the foundation at the end of the day. Here’s how you can do it.

How To Take Off Foundation

You Will Need

  • Oil-based makeup remover/ olive oil
  • Cotton pad
  • Face wash/cleanser
  • Clean towel
  • Toner and moisturizer 


  1. Soak the cotton pad with the remover or oil.
  2. Use gentle circular motions to remove the foundation from your face, neck, and ears.
  3. Rinse your face with lukewarm water and face wash to clear any leftover foundation and oil traces.
  4. Pat your face dry with a clean towel.
  5. Apply the toner and moisturizer to close your pores and soothe your skin.

 Whether you are going for an everyday look or party makeup, applying the right amount of foundation and using the right tools and technique can give you flawless coverage without looking cakey. Follow the steps mentioned in this tutorial, and you will get a hang of what works best for you. Go ahead and wear your makeup like a pro. That you are a beginner, no one will know!

Frequently Asked Questions

When to color correct?

Go for color correction if you have hyperpigmentation to prevent the foundation from looking ashy. It also neutralizes any purple or red tones. Talk to a beauty professional to find out which color corrector suits your skin tone.

What is the best liquid foundation for oily skin?

In the high-end range, you may want to try the double wear foundation by Estee Lauder. If you are looking for something cheaper yet efficient, the Pro-matte Foundation by L’Oreal is the way to go.

What is the best liquid foundation for dry skin?

When it comes to dry skin, you can try the Face and Body Foundation by MAC or Revlon’s Colorstay Whipped Foundation. These foundations are said to have a high moisture content, which creates a smooth, dewy base with no dry patches.

What is the best liquid foundation for combination skin?

The Even Better Makeup SPF 15 by Clinique and Bourjois 123 Perfect Foundation are good options for those with combination skin. These foundations add just the right amount of moisture without drying out the skin.

What is the best liquid foundation for acne-prone skin?

The temptation to go for thick and creamy foundations is understandable, as you may think that this will hide your acne. While it may do so, it will also aggravate the acne. Hence, go for a lightweight foundation so that your skin can breathe. You can opt for the Laura Mercier Smooth Flawless Fluide foundation or the Stay-Matte Oil-Free Makeup by Clinique. Both are great choices for preventing any further breakouts.

What is the best liquid foundation for sensitive skin?

The Bourjois Healthy Mix foundation and Nars Sheer Glow foundation are suitable for sensitive skin. They are light and easy on the skin and provide decent coverage.

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Shalini Roy has a Master's degree in English literature. She is an ambivert whose expressions have found their way in writing. She channels her passion for all things fashion and makeup to write engaging content related to Beauty and Lifestyle. She first found her penchant for writing through poetry and serving on various editorial boards of Model United Nations conferences. Shalini is a lover of spoken word poetry, books, and movies.