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How to Apply Liquid Foundation in 3 Easy Steps

Last Updated: July 20, 2021

Foundation can help boost confidence, create a smooth canvas for other makeup, and even prevent you from picking at pesky blemishes. 

Whether you wear it everyday or only on special occasions, it’s helpful to know the proper application technique to ensure your foundation leaves your skin looking clear and natural.

To avoid a streaky or cakey application, keep reading to learn how to apply liquid foundation in 3 easy steps, starting with the supplies you’ll need.

What You’ll Need

Of course, you’ll need your liquid foundation of choice (check out some of our full-coverage recommendations), but you’ll also need an application tool.

You can apply your foundation with any of the following, each of which has their own advantages:

  • a brush
  • a beauty blender
  • your fingers

If you’re using a brush, there are several different options depending on your skin type––find which one works best for you! Soft-bristled kabuki brushes are great for sensitive skin whereas denser, flat-topped brushes are ideal for thicker coverage. 

Regardless of which tool you use, however, it’s best to start with a prepped canvas

How to Apply Liquid Foundation

Step 1: Prep Your Skin

Before getting started with makeup application, make sure your face is washed and clean. If you do your makeup routine first-thing, apply SPF and moisturizer to prepare your skin for the day. 

Also, make sure your skin gets a chance to soak your skincare products before you get started on your foundation––this will ensure it sets more smoothly during the application process. 

A primer can also help your makeup last longer, so consider adding this product to your makeup prep routine if you don’t already use it.

Step 2: Squeeze Out A Small Amount

Next, you’ll need to squeeze out a small amount of foundation onto your pallet. 

Your pallet can be anything from the back of your hand to a paper plate. Just make sure you don’t use too much foundation––a little liquid foundation goes a long way! 

Step 3: Apply with Brush, Sponge, or Fingers

If you’re using your fingers, dab them in the product and gently apply to your skin. Spread under your jawline and upwards, making sure the pigment is fully blended. Don’t forget the area around your ears and your hairline! 

If you’re using a beauty blender, use the same method, moving your sponge upwards and with short strokes

If you’re using a brush, dip the end into the product; you only need pigment on the tips of the bristles. Apply in a circular motion, moving outward from your nose gently. Make sure to blend around the edges of your face and set with finishing powder if necessary. 

If you learn best with a visual, here’s a quick video showing how to apply foundation with a stipple brush:

After you’re done, remember to clean your brush! Pat it dry with a paper towel or do a more thorough wash with a brush cleanser. 

Final Tips

After you’ve finished those steps, you’re done! One of the keys to a flawless application of liquid foundation is to blend for a seamless look. 

If you notice that the tint of your product is a different color than your neck, you might be using the wrong shade. It’s best to match your foundation color to the shade of your neck and chest so that the transition at your jawline isn’t too noticeable. 

It takes some practice, but if you follow these steps on how to apply liquid foundation, you’re sure to be a natural in no time!