Tried And Tested - Smashbox's Photo Filter Gel Cushion That Mimics Your Fingertips

Gimmick or game changer?

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From stippling brushes to the infamous Beauty Blender, we aren't exactly short of tools to apply foundation with.

But that doesn't stop most of us from using our fingers to achieve the perfect finish.

Even backstage make-up maestro Pat McGrath is renowned for using her hands to apply everything from foundation to eye shadow.

Her explanation? The heat from your fingers warms the make-up, lending it a much sheerer, more airbrushed finish that is difficult to achieve with a brush or sponge. There's no denying every single look Pat creates is ah-mazing so perhaps she's onto something...

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But something Pixiwoo's Sam and Nic Chapman once told us also makes sense: 'You wouldn't paint a wall with your fingers, you'd use a brush or another tool. So why use your hands to apply foundation if the aim is to achieve a flawless canvas?'

What if you could do both?

Enter Smashbox's new Photo Filter Gel Cushion Applicator, which combines the best of both worlds - a solid, diamond-shaped wedge of silicone with teeny tiny grooves arranged in a circular pattern to imitate a fingerprint.

That's right, actual fingerprints.

How do you use it?

It's simple, really. Just squeeze a little foundation onto the 'fingerprint' side of the applicator and tap away. And yes, it actually works.

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We've got picture evidence:

After a few taps, it blended our liquid foundation without any tidemarks, blurred pores and blemishes (that'd be the Photo Finish part) and took no longer than our usual foundation brush. So far, so good.

The virtually undetectable ridges help distribute foundation (and even cream blush and highlighter) over your skin, but due to it's size (similar to that of a Beauty Blender, just flatter) it's much easier to apply make-up to larger areas of the face, such as your cheeks and forehead, than your nose or chin.

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Why else should you buy it?

Apart from a selfie-worthy finish, one of the best things about Smashbox's innovative sili sponge is that there's less chance of transferring any greasy orange fingerprints onto your clothes, phone, white bedroom walls or brand new Chloe shoulder bag.

The fact that you don't have to spend what feels like forever slaving over the sink squeezing the gunk out of make-up sponges or brushes once a week also makes it a winner. All you need to do is rinse the applicator with soapy water and pat dry.

Then, there's the amount of foundation you'll use. Unlike sponges and brushes, which soak the product up, there's hardly any waste. If you're into full coverage foundation, you'll need less than a single pump to cover your entire face, which means it makes perfect economical sense, right?

It's also a much more hygienic alternative to using your hands, especially if you're partial to doing your make-up on your commute to work - because no-one wants dirty tube face.

Any downsides?

Unlike your fingers it doesn't harness any warmth that melts and polishes the foundation into place a la Pat, so you might want to go over certain areas (like your eyes and nose) with your fingers to get a perfect finish.

Overall, we wouldn't say that the star quality is actually the huge 'fingerprint' on the top of the applicator, but the clever diamond shape which hugs the contours of your cheeks and the sponge-gel feel that's much less harsh on your face compared to other silicone blenders out there.

The conclusion

If you're a make-up obsessive, you need to give it a go. Like, yesterday.

Smashbox Photo Filter Gel Cushion Applicator, £12

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