Make your foundation go further and last longer with these tips and tricks from the ELLE Beauty Team and some of our favourite experts from the make-up industry. Whatever your preference, from sponges to Kabuki brushes, from concealer wands to on-the-go quick-fixes, we’ve brought you the best tools and products that will give your skin a flawless finish.
Tanya’s tools: ‘I really love Real Techniques brushes to apply foundation as there are so many different types of brushes to choose from you can always achieve the finish you want. When I’m on the go I usually just use my fingers as it is a really quick way to cover up any imperfections.’
Different looks: ‘To achieve a more natural look I would recommend using your fingers and massage the foundation into the skin, the warmth from your hands will help the foundation melt and blend really easily. To get a more flawless finish I would use a buffing brush and apply the foundation in circular motions all over my face.’
‘I wear mineral foundation so I need a brush that is great for buffing and evenly distributing powder. This Kabuki brush ticks all the boxes; it’s incredibly soft, so easy to use and the retractable top means that it stays in great condition.’
Pablo’s top tip: ‘When choosing the right tool to apply foundation, the main aspect to take in consideration is the coverage we want to achieve. Use a flat firm foundation brush and layer the foundation in straight brush strokes for medium to full coverage. I swear by M.A.C Foundation Brush 190, £26.’
‘For medium to sheer coverage and a dewy skin texture use a round optical fibre brush like M.A.C Duo Fibre Brush 187, £32.50, and buff the foundation on to the skin in circular movements, until the product disappears giving a luminous finish.’
‘Okay this isn’t technically a tool, it’s a foundation stick but I like to bend the rules and I don’t like using foundation brushes – instead I use my fingers to blend the product. I just apply to my face and blend with my fingers, easy and convenient (no brush cleaning required). It covers well doubling up as a concealer but doesn’t leave my complexion looking caked.’
For full coverage, easy application and an instant pick-me-up use this smooth concealer. The sponge at the end of the wand makes it super easy to apply whilst the peptides and super-moisturising ingredients plump under eye puffiness and conceal blemishes.
Should you use a foundation brush? ‘My answer is A BIG fat 'YES'! Opt for a synthetic brush - this means the foundation is never soaked up into the brush so you’re not wasting any product, plus it’s more hygienic than a sponge that can hold nasty bacteria. You also have a lot more control, so you get a super even finish.’
Lisa’s pick: ‘My favourite is Benefit Foundation Brush, £19.50.’
‘In the day I tend to use my fingers to apply my foundation for medium coverage (plus it’s a time saver in the morning!) but for a night out I always go for a matte finish (shiny T-zone in pictures - never a good look). This foundation brush makes my cream foundation glide on seamlessly without leaving any tell-tale streaks behind. It also allows me to have full control over how much foundation I apply, meaning none of the product goes to waste.’
Our favourite ‘quick-fix’ tool; just a few clicks of this wand will release just enough concealer to target under eyes, around your nose and any areas that need a little TLC. A handbag essential.
'The Beauty Blender has been an absolute life changer when it comes to putting my foundation on in the morning. As the name would suggest, it blends the make-up to the skin, rather than streaking or caking as I've found with so many other applicators. It’s also great for reaching those difficult places like under my eyes and nose. Wash after every use to make sure you’re not spreading any bacteria.’
How often should we wash our tools?:
Tanya Burr – ‘I always wash my own brushes once a week to keep them perfect shape.’
Pablo Rodriguez - ‘Sponges need to be replaced very often and brushes need to be washed once a week for personal use - do this and they will last for years especially if you invest in good quality products.’
ELLE Loves: Clinique Makeup Brush Cleaner, £12.50, for keeping brushes in tip-top shape.