How to Apply Liquid Foundation With a Brush

Someone putting foundation on a woman

Foundation is one of the most important things to have in your makeup arsenal. It offers coverage for your entire face, helps even your skin tone, conceals blemished areas of skin, and evens out texture for a softer, smoother makeup look.

Think of foundation as the first layer of paint on a canvas. It’s your base coat, the coat that ties everything together. Without foundation, your makeup can look empty and textured. Choosing the right foundation involves a lot of factors, and even after you find the best one, you have to decide how to apply it.

If this seems like too many decisions for one day, don’t panic. We’ve got everything you need to know about applying liquid foundation, plus some extra tips along the way.

Why Choose Liquid Foundation?

There are many different kinds of foundation makeup to choose from, but our favorite is liquid. Here’s a rundown of each and our case for why liquid is one of the best!

Powder Foundation

Powder foundation is a hot item in the makeup world. Powder foundation can be made with talc, emollients, and binding agents that help it stick to the skin. Powder offers lighter coverage and isn’t the best at covering blemishes with just one coat.

If you’re trying to cover up blemishes, breakouts, or texture with powder foundation, it will likely take a few layers. Powder may also have a cakey finish over acne, drawing more attention to the area instead of hiding it.

Powder foundations can be challenging to apply and aren’t as versatile as liquid foundations. If you swear by powder, go for it. But, if you’re a beginner, liquid may be the best choice! Here’s why.

Liquid Foundation

Liquid foundation is chemically designed to blend in with skin for a flawless, finished look. This type of foundation can be used in a variety of ways and covers raised skin and texture without getting cakey.

Throughout the day, powder foundation can become dry, flakey, or cake up on your skin. Liquid foundation lasts longer without doing this.

It’s important to find the right kind of liquid foundation as well, as not all are created equal. For an affordable, professional-quality liquid foundation, try HIDE’s Premium Foundation! It offers coverage that lasts you all day long, even through sweat, humidity, and water. Plus, with their lightweight formula, you’ll forget it’s even there.

Sometimes, finding the right foundation takes some trial and error. If you haven’t tried a liquid foundation before, it might just change your makeup game forever.

Brush Vs. Other Application Tools

The options don’t end there. After choosing between powder and liquid foundation, you have to decide how you want to apply it. Luckily, we tried all the methods, so you don’t have to. There are three main ways to apply liquid foundation.

With a Makeup Sponge

Makeup sponges are usually egg-shaped and are a great way to apply liquid foundation. However, there are some downsides to using this beauty tool.

They can absorb a lot of product during the first few uses, especially if those products are liquid. They can also be harder to use than a brush and require a little more strategy during the application. 

With Your Finger

Your fingers can come in handy as your greatest makeup tool. If you ever forget your makeup brushes, just dab your finger in for a great replacement. While fingers work great when necessary, it’s probably not your first choice to rub your fingers in your liquid foundation. This can also end up spreading oils from your hands to your face.

With a Brush

A brush is one of our favorite ways to apply liquid foundation. Be sure to find a duo-fiber foundation brush with synthetic bristles. Natural bristles can absorb a lot of your product before it even touches your skin, so stick with synthetic.

Also, remember to find a brush with thin bristles. We mean barely even there thin. Thick bristles can create a streaky finish to your foundation, while thin bristles will help you get an even coat. For this, you can use any makeup brush you have. It doesn’t even have to be a foundation brush as long as its bristles are small.

Hint: try using a blush brush if you can’t find a foundation brush with the right kind of bristles.

Applying Foundation: Step by Step

Even if you’re not sold on using liquid foundation with a brush, this how-to may just change your mind. Try it to find out for yourself.

Prep Your Skin

The first step is to prep your skin. Prepping your skin doesn’t require a fancy skincare routine with serums and face masks or products. Instead, stick with the basic cleanser and moisturizer. If your skincare routine is a bit more complicated—no worries! Just remember not to use any products that irritate your skin or cause redness.

When you wash your skin before applying makeup, you help remove any dirt or oils that would otherwise be trapped underneath your foundation all day. By moisturizing, you help hydrate your skin, lock in moisture, and prevent your foundation from getting dry or flaking throughout the day.

Prime Your Surface

A little bit of primer goes a long way when it comes to making your foundation application smooth and seamless. Dab a small amount of primer on your fingers or a sponge in a light layer on your face. This helps fill in any textured spots of your skin for a flawless foundation look.


Now it’s time for the application. There are two ways to apply liquid foundation. The first strategy is to drop a small amount of foundation onto the back of your hand. You can dip your brush in the makeup as needed until you get the coverage you want.

The second strategy is to pump a small amount of foundation onto your hand and apply it similar to moisturizer. Rub it around in your hands and smooth it onto your face. Then, once it’s already on your skin, take your brush and blend it in.

To blend, move in small circular motions to get a seamless finish. Be sure to use foundation everywhere. Unlike a concealer which only goes over blemishes, you want to use foundation all over your face, so don’t be shy. 

What to Look for in Liquid Foundation

Liquid foundation can be the best thing that’s happened to your makeup routine, or it can be the worst. The biggest factor is what foundation you choose. Here are a few things to look for:

Choose a liquid foundation that doesn’t clog your pores. These products are known as non-comedogenic and will keep your skin feeling light and as healthy as ever. These products can also save you from experiencing breakouts from wearing makeup all day long.

It’s also important to look for a liquid foundation with medium to full coverage. While concealer is typically always full coverage to hide blemishes and dark spots, foundation doesn’t necessarily need to hide everything.

You can opt for a foundation that you can build upon when you do want more coverage or leave in one layer for lighter coverage.

Lastly, shade is everything. If you choose the right foundation but fail to choose the right shade, your whole look will be thrown off. A high-quality foundation is full of pigment, so your shade will need to match your skin just right.

Here are some tips for finding the perfect shade match. First, know your undertones. Your undertones are the tint to your skin underneath the shade. For instance, if your skin looks good with blues, purples, or emerald greens, you probably have cool undertones. On the other hand, if your skin looks best with earthy tones, you probably have warm undertones. Based on your undertones, you can find the best shade makeup for you without looking washed out or yellow.

HIDE’s Premium Foundation and Concealer both come with helpful shade guides that describe the undertones as well as the shade, so you’ll find the perfect match every time.


There’s a lot to consider when looking for the perfect liquid foundation, not to mention learning how to apply it. Luckily, HIDE’s Premium Foundation can do it all!

For more information on how to use foundation and how to apply it like a pro, check out our blog here. We’ve got all the info you need to know, from keeping up with makeup trends to our best makeup hacks.



What Is Foundation Made Of? What You Need to Know | Byrdie

Do You Really Need a Skin Care Routine? | Northwestern Medicine

For kids and adults: 10 reasons your face is red | AAD

What Is Comedogenicity, and What Ingredients Are Comedogenic? |