beauty, Product Reviews, Tricks, Tips & Advice

Testing Affordable Foundation Applicators

I always use a makeup sponge to apply my foundation but I recently started watching a bunch of reviews of silicon applicators (and how bad they are) and got a bit inspired.

I decided to try out a couple of different methods for applying my foundation which don’t cost a fortune… in fact they barely cost anything.

For each of these tests I used my current favourite foundation – L’Oreal Paris 24 Hours Infallible Foundation in Natural Rose.


Makeup Sponge

First up I used one of my go-to makeup sponges – these are super-cheap but really get the job done. This one is from Primark and comes in a pack of 2 for £1.99.


This is the method I currently use and I’ve always been a fan because you don’t need to use too much product, it applies nice and evenly and it doesn’t look cakey.


It’s great at blending out around the hairline and neck.


Plus, up close it isn’t streaky, it’s not too thick or cakey amd it even looks good around the edges of my nose where I sometimes have a little dry skin.

Very happy with this! 🙂


What’s more affordable than free right? That’s why I decided to try foundation application using just my fingers. This is pretty much exactly what I did with foundation when I was about 16 and we all know how badly that ended


From a distance it didn’t look too bad… it was maybe a little cakey in places, but I could definitely get away with it for photos or video. However, when you get close up…


…it’s bad. Really bad. It’s cakey. It’s patchy. It’s streaky.


It’s impossible to blend properly around the hairline and brows. Eww.

What was 16 year old me even thinking? How did I go out in publich with foundation like this?

Oval Buffer Brush

These brushes have a couple of different names and there’s a whole bunch of different brands you can get. If you’ve even glanced at Instagram you’ve probably seen them. However, we’re doing this on a budget so I got this one from Primark for around £2 – £2.50.


I normally just use this to help me blend out contour or cream blush but today I figured I’d try it with foundation. Now this brush is sooooo soft so I really wasn’t sure how it would be at actually applying product (and not just moving it aruond my face).


I was a little shocked by just how little product I needed with this brush. Again, it was really great at blending out around the hairline and neck


Overall the coverage was pretty even but it was a little streaky in places – specifically around the eyebrows and sides of the nose.

Definitely decent but not my favourite.

Flat Brush

Last up, I decided to just try out a simple flat brush (as this was something 14 year old me tried for a while… why me? WHY?). This is just a really cheap thing I got in a set a couple of years ago but I don’t know if I’ve even actually used this one. I think this brush probably cost the equivalent of around £1.50 so it’s still really cheap!


Even from a distance this looked bad. It’s so streaky. What was I even thinking trying this?


Seriously. I don’t even need to talk about how bad this is, the pictures say it all:


Eww. If possible, I think this actually made my skin look worse.

The Verdict

Ok, so here’s the comparison:




I think it’s pretty obvious which techniques worked best!

The sponge definitely offered the best coverage of my flaws / blemishes and left my skin looking the smoothest.

The oval brush was a surprisingly close second although the coverage was a little sparse in some areas – particualrly around the eyes.

Hands came next. It’s pretty bad; patchy and cakey but maybe if I spent longer trying to blend or tapping with my fingers more it could improve? There’s some hope but it’s probably not worth the effort.

Last up was the flat brush and it seriously deserves this place. Why did I even bother? The streaks! The clumpiness! The literal empty patch on my cheek… Booooo!

How do you usually apply your foundation? Let me know in the comments!


2 thoughts on “Testing Affordable Foundation Applicators”

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