From The Straits Times    |

Photo: 123rf

Qn: Is there a difference between using a brush and a sponge blender when applying foundation? Do they have different functions or create different results?

“It all depends on your skill and preferences,” said makeup artist Larry Yeo. “Both these tools can create coverage ranging from sheer to full by building it on.”

When using a sponge blender, it is best to apply just a light layer of foundation to even out your skin tone; that keeps the look fresh and more natural. The way that some women are using it is horrifying, pouring foundation into the sponge like they are laying down the groundwork for a construction site, advises Larry.

He adds that another alarming thing is the way people are applying foundation with duo-fibre stippling brushes. These are foundation brushes that have shorter bristles that are black in colour, interspersed with longer white bristles.

Sephora Pro Brush Stippling #44, $48


The correct method is to use the longer white fibres to blend out your foundation by buffing; the black bristles are there to hold and support the white fibres and should not touch any foundation or your face. “Exerting too much strength when using the brush just means you’re essentially scraping your skin,” piques Larry. “This can lead to skin flakiness or more pooling of foundation on skin with enlarged pores.” Definitely a no-no.


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Personally, he prefers to apply foundation with a dense, dome shaped brush. The brush should be used to buff and spread the foundation around the face to even out coverage. A brush like Illamasqua’s round buffing brush can be amazingly useful.

13rushes Universal Do-It-All Face, $39.90

For newbies of foundation brushes, try my newly-developed brush with 13rushes – the “Universal Do-It-All Face”, available from the brand’s website. The angle and the slightly raised and rounded brush tip allows for easy blending of foundation with minimal drag on the skin.

BeautyBlender Fab Five, $99, from Sephora


The best combination according to Larry – First use a brush to spread out the liquid foundation, then use a sponge blender to pat over it and remove excess foundation or layer on more where necessary. I bet most women out there just use their fingers to rub in their foundation, I wouldn’t recommend that as I find the coverage to be uneven and it would take a very long time.


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