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From Brushes to Fingertips: Unraveling the World of Makeup Application

Updated: Sep 15, 2023

With numerous make up brushes to choose from, alongside the addition of sponges, puffs, or the utilisation of your hands and fingertips to apply products, you may find yourself wondering which option works best and how each option can influence the final outcome of your makeup application. In this piece, I will guide you through the diverse tools available for applying makeup and outline the expected results you can achieve.




In both my personal routine and when working with clients, I predominantly rely on brushes for makeup application. When focusing on areas like the eyes, brushes are my preferred choice, as they allow for the selection of varying brush sizes based on the desired outcome. Smaller brushes, such as the Zoe Eva Eyeliner Brush, prove ideal for intricate tasks like eyeliner application. These types of brushes enable precise work in smaller areas, yielding cleaner and more refined results. The choice of brushes also plays a significant role. Investing in high-quality brushes is consistently worthwhile, as they are durable, built with optimal application in mind, and can serve you well for years to come. For instance, brushes like the Peaches PC19 Buffer Brush are well-suited for achieving a medium to fuller coverage when applying foundation.


Another popular option involves using a beauty blender. These versatile tools excel at seamlessly blending cream and liquid products into the skin. Available in various sizes, opting for a smaller beauty blender, such as the Dose of Lashes one, variant, is perfect for effectively blending out concealer, while a larger size is more suitable for seamlessly blending foundation or liquid/cream blush onto the skin. The technique employed when using beauty blenders is crucial to the end result. I consistently recommend using them slightly damp, applying gentle yet firm pressure, and employing rolling motions to seamlessly blend the product into the skin. When incorporating a beauty blender into your routine, you'll discover that it lends an overall lighter application, making it an excellent choice for achieving a sheered-out effect and effectively melding products into the skin.


The utilisation of powder puffs, particularly the triangular-shaped variety, has gained increasing popularity. Using an Otis Batterbee powder puff beneath the eye area ensures precise and targeted application, resulting in a smooth under-eye finish. Gently patting this puff beneath the eye while using powder assists in securely setting the makeup for a flawless appearance. For lighter under-eye powder application using pressed powder, a smaller brush like the My Ultra Multi Brush proves advantageous. Conversely, employing a larger, flat, round puff, such as the Laura Mercier Velour Puff, on other facial areas for powder application contributes to achieving a smooth, full coverage finish.


Using your hands and fingers to apply your makeup is a skillful technique for achieving a sheer effect. Personally, I favour using my fingers to apply liquid blusher and liquid highlighter. The application of these products with your ring finger, employing gentle patting motions onto the skin, benefits from the warmth of your fingers, effectively melding the products seamlessly into the skin. I consistently recommend using your hands and fingers to apply products like moisturisers and eye creams. The warmth generated by your hands, coupled with the massaging techniques you can employ while applying these products, aids in effectively melding them into the skin, contributing to a radiant and flawless base for all subsequent products.


Having broken down the array of tools at your disposal for makeup application, it's evident that different applicators yield distinct advantages. However, my recommendation remains constant: employ a variety of application techniques based on the specific look and finish you aim to achieve.



For more of my expert tips and tricks, explore my makeup and beauty blog.


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Makeup by Barbara Ayisi

Keep up to date with my makeup and beauty blog for the inside scoop from professional makeup artist, Barbara Ayisi. You can expect to find fresh makeup reviews, swatches and beauty tips.

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