When to Use a Beauty Blender vs. Brush vs. Fingers

Krista Carter is a writer and editor with nearly a decade of experience working in beauty and fashion.

As if it weren't confusing enough figuring out when to use BB, CC, and DD creams, your makeup tools can be just as confounding. For instance, should you apply your foundation with a blending sponge or brush, or would your fingers suffice? According to makeup artist Abraham Sprinkle, there isn't a blanket solution. Before picking sides in the eternal beauty blender vs. brush debate, consider which product you're using, its formula, and your end goal.  Private Label Beard Brush

When to Use a Beauty Blender vs. Brush vs. Fingers

"For me, it's all in the finish I'm trying to achieve," Sprinkle told us. 

To find out more, we tapped Sprinkle for his best makeup application tips.

Keep reading for Sprinkle's advice on when to use a beauty blender vs. a brush.

"If I want a seamless wash or blend, I love a sponge," Sprinkle said.

Beautyblender is perhaps the most popular makeup sponge, but it's not the only one. 

"A sponge is great for sheering out creams and liquids," he added. "However, keep in mind that it can absorb a lot of product." 

Think: Less is more when applying makeup with a sponge. For instance, starting with a small amount of product, like foundation, will allow you to achieve your ideal coverage by building.

For contouring, use a damp makeup sponge to mix the colors and ensure no graphic lines are left behind.

"For saturation or precision, I use a brush," said Sprinkle. 

For powder-based products in particular — like blushes, setting powders, and some highlighters — Sprinkle suggested that brushes work better with these formulas as they allow more control over just how much is deposited onto the skin. Then, you can always further blur the edges with a Beautyblender sponge over the top.

If you're applying liquid foundations, Sprinkle recommended working with synthetic brushes since they're easier to sanitize and create a smooth, even finish.

Just about anything from your fingertips to your MAC 217 can work in terms of eyeshadow. Make sure you keep this mantra in mind: The denser the formula, the denser the brush.

"Loose, fluffy brushes are great for powders but can be a nightmare for liquids," he noted. "Sometimes, for cream shadows, I like to use my ring finger as the warmth of my hand helps emulsify the product and makes blending easier."

When to Use a Beauty Blender vs. Brush vs. Fingers

Barber Shave Liquid and cream foundations can realistically be applied using your hands, but brushes and sponges can impart different effects on your complexion. As a rule of thumb, opt for a sponge when you want to achieve a flawless finish and when using liquid formulas. Alternatively, reach for a brush when you want a precise application and are working with powder or cream-based products. Ultimately, though, what tool you go with — including your fingertips — comes down to personal preference.