Foundation Application and Blending Techniques

Jul 5, 2019 | Face

Do you want to achieve a flawless look with your foundation?

Do you struggle with applying foundation quickly?

Have you ever applied foundation only to notice that it went cakey? Or even worse all the imperfections you spent time to hide suddenly became visible?

I get that.

Chances are, you did not use the right technique.

In this guide of foundation application and blending techniques, my goal is simplicity.

Today we’re going to talk about  two things:

  • Foundation Application Techniques
  • Foundation Blending Techniques

what’s the difference between them and how to master each one of them?

A flawless look starts with great skin. If you prepare your skin right, you’ll only need a little bit of foundation to apply. Usually skin gets flaky, cakey, patchy and uneven due to poor skin care preparation and heavy foundation application.

Know your skin type and take the right steps to prepare it for foundation.

First get your face ready for Foundation by cleansing, moisturizing and priming.


Foundation Application Techniques:

Techniques used to apply the product onto the skin, blending is the next step.


  • Dabbing

Dabbing is using the liquid foundation to lightly touch sections of your face with quick and small motions. So first you need to pour a tiny amount of liquid foundation on the back of your hand and then dip your fingertip lightly into the foundation and place a dot on your forehead ,nose, cheeks and chin. Remember that a little goes a long way with liquid foundation and you can always add more when you need more coverage.

This technique can also be used with a beauty blender. After you dampen the sponge, pour a tiny amount of foundation on the back of your hand and pick it up with the sponge until the surface of the sponge is lightly covered with foundation. Then using the sponge you need to dab the foundation and spread it around your face. Continue applying and pressing in quick motions until you have an even coverage.

Sometimes makeup artists use this terminology with glitter. So when you dab glitter onto the center of your eyelid you’re basically applying the glitter on your fingertip onto the center of your eyelid in a quick motion.

  • Gliding

To glide is to use a smooth continuous movement of your tool. Usually makeup artists refer to pencil liners and eyeliners with this term. So you glide a white pencil liner along your waterline to make the eyes look bigger, or you glide black liquid eyeliner along the upper lashline to create a flick. You glide mascara to coat your lashes. You glide lip gloss on your lips and so on.

Foundation Blending Techniques:


What is Blending?

A widely used terminology in the beauty world related to foundation, eyeshadows, blushes and every makeup product you can think of. Blending the eyeshadow means softening the edges and diffusing the hue into the skin. When used with foundation it refers to achieving an even surface so your face turns into an ultra smooth flawless even canvas. If you’re using more than two shades of color on your lids, blending is fading the edges of each two shades until the hard lines of the edges disappear and you get a smooth transition between the shades.

Foundation Blending Techniques are Techniques used to blend the product onto your skin and sometimes to blend more than one product together onto your skin so the end result would be a flawless look.

  • Patting/tapping:

A basic blending technique that gives you medium to full coverage. Take your favorite foundation and densely pack the brush with it, Pack the product into the skin by using tapping motions until you get an even distribution. The continuous tapping motions will cover any blemishes and discolorations in your skin and give you a nice finish in the end. Pack the brush with more foundation if you need more coverage.

Patting is also referred to eyeshadows. When you pat eyeshadow over the eyelid you basically use tapping motions with the shading brush with your chosen eyeshadow over the moving lid.

Foundation used: Liquid foundation

Brush used: Angled Flat Kabuki brush

Type: blending

Result: Medium to Full coverage


Pros and cons


  • You get an even finish
  • Fast blending into the skin
  • Great coverage
  • Reaching hard to reach areas easily


  • Not for the sheer finish lover


  •  Buffing:

Buffing is working the product in small and circular motions onto the skin. This technique helps remove any hard edges left by the blusher, bronzer or highlighter. The smaller you do the motions the more coverage you’re going to get and the larger ones are going to give you more of a sheer finish.

Start with a loose powder that has some color to it, not the translucent type, then use pressed powder with a round domed buffing brush.

Using the buffing brush, rub the pressed powder against the skin in small and circular motions until you cover the whole face.

The purpose of rubbing is to lock in the foundation even more, it takes away any hard edges made by the bronzer, blusher and highlighter so the whole look is seamless.

When you look at the face you don’t know where any product starts and stops. The skin is not heavy or cakey, it’s just flawless!

It will definitely reflect on your photographs like a dream.

Foundation used: Compact foundation, Powder foundation, Cream to Powder foundation, Loose powder, Pressed Powder

Brush used: Round Domed brush

Type: blending

Result: Full coverage

The Buffing technique is not limited to foundations, it can also refer to eyeshadows. So you can buff the eyeshadow into your crease, meaning you work the eyeshadow in small and circular motions into the crease. You can also buff over the eyeliner with the pencil brush to create a smudged look. Another use for buffing is when you buff the highlighter into the tear duct of your eye. So as you can see once you understand the term buff your options of how you can use it with your makeup become wider.


Pros and cons


  • Quick to do
  • It looks even and natural
  • Can adapt the coverage depending on the brush you use, so the larger the brush the more sheer finish and the smaller the brush the more coverage.

However it does have some cons:

  • Doesn’t work on all skin types like sensitive skin, acne prone skin, dry skin
  • Tiny hairs on the skin will be more noticeable with this technique.
  • Dry patches will be exfoliated by the buffing motion ending up with flakes on the skin

 If your skin is normal you can get away with the buffing technique.

*Pro tip: If you have large pores use the buffing technique to give you a smooth finish. Stippling technique sits within those pores.


  • Stippling:

Another blending technique. Bring a flat kabuki stippling brush with dense bristles and Pick up a little bit of the product and make sure you’re only coating the tips and then you’re going to basically push it on and off the skin with short bouncy strokes until your face is full of tiny dots, Keep applying this way and the colour and coverage will build up gradually until your skin looks flawless. This technique usually gives a nice light coverage and wherever you need extra coverage just push more product onto the skin. It’s a pretty easy technique to master but has some pros and cons to using it.

Foundation used: tinted moisturizers, BB creams, liquid foundation

Brush used: Flat top stippling brush

Type: blending

Result: Light to medium coverage

Pros and cons


  • Disguises discolorations, bumps and scars and covers up small blemishes
  • Uses minimal amount of product
  • Blends with skin beautifully


  • It does take quite a bit of time, you have to really keep pushing it onto the skin over and over and over again.
  • Not recommended for areas with large pores.


  • Sweeping

Sweeping is an application and sometimes can act as a blending technique. It can be used to apply creamy products (liquid foundation, stick foundation, concealer, cream corrector and cream contour) and powdery products (blush and contour). It is usually referred to the application of foundations. So to sweep the foundation is to apply the foundation using short strokes, starting from the center of your face, in other words the sides of your nose, the centre of your forehead and the centre of your chin brushing lightly outwards and downwards. When you finish both sides of the face, using the same sweeping strokes blend any hard lines. Make sure that the color seamlessly blends across your whole face, past your jawline and down your neck. To make sure that your skin looks natural, leave the bridge of your nose, around your eyes and mouth until the end. Use a tiny amount of foundation on your brush and apply it on those areas mindfully blending again with short sweeping strokes.

You also use it when you apply the concealer under your eyes before you blend it. You glide the stick foundation onto your face by a sweeping motion. You sweep the eyeshadow across your lid.

Foundation used: tinted moisturizers, BB creams, liquid foundation

Brush used: Foundation brush

Type: application and blending

Result: Light to medium coverage


Pros and cons


  • Quick to apply
  • create a subtle illusion of ‘natural’ look


  • you cannot rely on sweeping for blending. Usually you can blend blemishes by applying concealer and then sweeping foundation on top of it.

Don’t get overwhelmed by all the confusing makeup stuff spread on the internet.  There’s no right or wrong here, try all of them and be aware of your skin imperfections when sticking to the one that works best for you. After several practices you’ll master it in no time.

No matter which foundation application and blending technique you choose, let me know how it worked for you..


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