Facebook Twitter Instagram Pinterest YouTube Artboard 1 Artboard 1

Fingertips vs. Brushes: What’s the Best Way to Apply Makeup?


Sometimes the best makeup tools are our own two hands. While there are certainly some techniques that can only be accomplished with a brush, the warmth of our fingertips can provide a beautiful, natural-looking finish. This is, for example, the best way to apply our NEW ORIGINAL Liquid Mineral Foundation, a vegan formula with 88% naturally derived ingredients that’s proven to visibly improve skin’s texture and reduce pore size instantly and over time.

The light-as-air texture looks gorgeous when smoothed on with your fingers, but there are many other products that can benefit from fingertip application — even the ones that you might think can only be used with a brush. Remember: there are no rules in makeup, just guidance. But we all know there are always exceptions! For example, if you love a strong highlight, dipping your fingers into a powder highlighter and blending it onto your skin can help give you that intensity.

Not to mention, fingertip application is the easiest way to lighten your load when traveling — no need to carry around brushes. Want to learn more about fingertip versus brush application? Read on to get the full scoop.

Applying ORIGINAL Liquid Mineral Foundation with Your Fingertips

First, let’s talk about our brand-new foundation. The next-generation formula is unlike anything bareMinerals has created before (or anyone, for that matter!), which is why we’re recommending a brand-new application technique. You want to shake it well right before you open it, then deposit two pumps on the back of your hand to get medium coverage with this beautiful, natural-looking luminous finish.

Then, you’re going to grab it with your fingertips — you could do one or two fingers — and dot it in areas that you need the most coverage. We tend to get the most discoloration in the center of the face, so that’s a good place to start. Next, sweep the product across your skin to smooth it out. I like to use two fingers because I get a little bit more surface area covered. In smaller areas, like around the nose, I might use one finger. Smooth the product out in short strokes, rather than longer strokes you would use when applying a serum or cleanser.

Finally, you’ll press to perfect. The key is the warmth of the fingertips — this enables the foundation to become part of your skin and you really get all those benefits, even more than sweeping it out with a brush.

But…Can I Use a Brush If I Want to?

I recommend applying ORIGINAL Liquid Mineral Foundation with fingertips, but if you’re dead set on applying with a brush, you should follow the same motions. Dot the product on with your brush, sweep using small strokes, and still press with your fingers.

The Luxe Performance Brush is a great foundation application brush, especially with this formula because the curved shape is made to mimic your fingertips.

What About Other Foundations?

Some bareMinerals foundations, such as BAREPRO Performance Wear Liquid Foundation SPF 20, work best with a brush. Because it’s a 24-hour wear foundation, it dries pretty quickly, so you don’t have time to dot it around your face before sweeping. The Luxe Performance Brush is the best way to go with BAREPRO — it was actually designed to work perfectly with it.

Our COMPLEXION RESCUE Hydrating Foundation Stick also blends out nicely with a brush, but pressing it in with your fingers afterwards can always help to perfect the finish. The COMPLEXION RESCUE Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream, however, applies beautifully with your fingers. Because it’s such a sheer, hydrating formula, you can actually do longer sweeps, like you would with a moisturizer.

And don’t forget about concealers! I like to apply BARESKIN Complete Coverage Serum Concealer with my fingertips as it has a serum-like texture, but pressing after applying any concealer can help lift away excess product. This will avoid creasing or cakey-looking makeup, especially around the delicate eye area.

It’s All About Texture

Beyond complexion products, anything with a creamy texture will work well with your fingertips. Our BOUNCE & BLUR products are a perfect example of this — the bouncy, blendable formula is ideal for fingertip application. Liquid highlighters, like our BAREPRO GLOW Highlighter, are also great for applying with your fingers.

Loose powders (MINERAL VEIL Finishing Powder or ORIGINAL Loose Mineral Foundation) are one of the few kinds of products that really, absolutely require a brush. When applying these, you want the even distribution and effortless buffing that only a brush can offer.

It’s a similar technique with powder bronzer — you want that seamless, blended look that only a brush can provide.

Using Your Fingers for a Blotted Lip Look

There’s something really beautiful about creating a stained effect with your lip color. Whether it’s MINERALIST Hydra-Smoothing Lipstick, BAREPRO Longwear Lipstick, or a liquid lipstick, you can swipe a little bit on and then press it out with your fingers.

It’s also a great way to try color if you’re nervous about a bolder lip and don’t want to fully commit. Try applying a little bit just in the center of your bottom lip, then use your finger to press it out for a stained effect, like you just ate some cherries. Even if you’re going for a full-on bold lip, lightly pressing with your finger after you apply can help perfect and blend and make it look a little bit more natural.

Meet Carly

Carly Giglio (@carlygiglio) is a celebrated celebrity makeup artist and beauty educator with a passion for color, glowing skin and celebrating her client’s unique beauty. With almost a decade of industry experience, including red carpet and editorial photoshoots, brand creative campaigns and New York Fashion Week, Carly is all about the details when it comes to creating beauty looks.

“My makeup and artistry philosophy is about enhancing each individual’s natural features, not covering them up,” says Carly. “I love helping people to feel their best and most confident, while exploring the possibilities with makeup.”

A self-taught makeup artist, Carly first discovered her passion for color and artistry at a young age through her love of painting and a background in fine arts. One of her favorite aspects of working in the beauty space is connecting with people and making them feel good about themselves through the power of makeup – transforming a blank canvas into a work of art.

“I love creating beautiful, glowing skin with elements of color and luminosity throughout, and I’m all about seamless builds of color and structure,” Carly says. “But the best payoff is seeing how confident my clients become once they learn some simple makeup tips.”