The Best Way to Apply Foundation

apply foundation feature

“What is the best way to apply foundation?” is a question I often encounter, and the answer isn’t one-size-fits-all. It turns out there are a number of ways, but I thought it was time to highlight some popular options and give a detailed rundown.


First of all, there are so many different types of foundation—water-based, oil-based, silicone-based, pressed powder foundation, tinted moisturizers, bb and cc creams—it can make your head spin thinking about it! However, if I had to narrow down my two favorites for mature skin, they would be:

Teint Idole Ultra 24H Long Wear Matte Foundation
Teint Idole Ultra 24H Long Wear Matte Foundation, $47
Born This Way Foundation
Born This Way Foundation, $45

Two just don’t seem like enough, so if neither option looks like it will fit the bill for you, check out our article to find out which foundation is right for you. 

First Things First

After finding the one that is right for your skin, it’s time to find the best way to apply foundation for you specifically. Different strokes for different folks, right? In a sense, we are all artists! We all do art every morning when we put our makeup on, and every artist has their favorite way of doing things. Try a few different things out and see what the best way to apply foundation for you is!

Whichever way you choose…before you do anything…moisturize! Two I like:

Best 3 Ways to Apply Foundation


This is a wonderful way to get your product all warmed up and ready to go! I love using your fingers because it stimulates cell growth when you get the blood flowing in your face. It will help slow down the aging process – it’s like yoga for your face!

Put a little pump on the back of your hand and then apply it to your face with little circles, making sure to get it all rubbed in where it needs to be. Don’t be shy!


Pour as much foundation as you need on the back of your hand or a small palette. Then, using a medium-sized brush head (that’s not too fluffy), work in small controlled 2″ circles starting in the center of your face and working your way outward (think the nose and then moving towards cheeks, then forehead, and then chin). And don’t forget your neck –  always blend your color down onto your neck. A fun trick for using a brush is to spray a little bit of setting spray on it prior to picking up any foundation. This will help it to glide on smoother and also help it stay longer.

Make sure to clean your brushes every week!

Some favorite brushes for foundation:

Liquid Touch Foundation Brush
Liquid Touch Foundation Brush, $28
Foundcealer Foundation Brush
Foundcealer Foundation Brush, $28
#13 Power Brush
#70 Pro Foundation Brush, $30
Sigma Essential Kit
Sigma Essential Kit, $160


These are so popular right now. Whether it be the top-of-the-line or just some small disposable sponges (my favorite), these are another great way to apply your foundation. Prep your face accordingly, and then take your sponge to the sink. This is a great way to keep it clean and dampen it for usage. Get it all scrubbed up with some brush soap, and then keep soaking up water and squeezing out the sponge until it feels like all of the soap is out, and there are no more suds happening. Make sure to use a brush cleaner! If you use other dish or hand soaps, they will bubble FOREVER. Give it a great big squeeze and even use a dish towel to get the excess water out, so it’s just a bit damp.

Take your dampened sponge and (this sounds weird but bear with me) put big dots of foundation all over your face, then use the sponge to blend everything in. Make sure to use small stippling motions like a baby shiatsu massage! If you rub the product over your face in back and forth motions, it can create large streaks, and you will just be rubbing the product around instead of working it into your skin. These are great for under eyes too. Having the sponge dampened in the beginning is actually helping to moisturize your skin even more, so you are getting a beautiful glowing look!

Favorite Brush Cleaner:

EcoTools Professional Makeup Cleaner for Makeup Brushes and Beauty Sponges

Favorite Sponges:

Cle De Peau Beaute Sponge
Cle De Peau Beaute Sponge, $25
Jenny Patinkin Pure Luxury Makeup Sponge Duo
Jenny Patinkin Pure Luxury Makeup Sponge Duo, $32

Or check out the Jenny Patinkin Pure Luxury Au Naturel Green Tea Makeup Sponge.


Read Next:

Easy Eye Makeup for Women over 50 video tutorial

The 5-minute face: A video makeup lesson for women over 50

8 Professional Eye Makeup Tips to Use at Home


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