Foundation Application: 3 Makeup Artists Reveal Their Tools of Choice


We’ve already told you which foundation to buy, but what’s the best way to apply your new product? From brushes to fingers to egg-shaped sponges, there’s plenty for someone to choose from. We spoke with three top makeup artists to discover which tool they preferred to use, and some expert tips on using it. You can thank us later.


Will began his artistic career as a skateboarder in L.A., later moving to New York to pursue interests in music, dance, and makeup. He created the looks for music videos by N.E.R.D., Lady GaGa’s ‘Born This Way’, and his unique, innovative style is largely self taught.

“I like a combination of sponge and airbrush. I believe that the finish of a silicone-based airbrush and a creamy foundation give the best result. When I’ve completed airbrushing the face, I finish with a sponge. It makes sense to use something that has pores, it’s the same as your skin! I prefer a non-silicone sponge. It has a different texture and doesn’t draw the product into itself as much. I like the blue Beauty Blender—it’s not that expensive! I only use foundation where necessary. You shouldn’t ever just put it all over your face like a mask.”


Known for his incredible work with Lady GaGa, Mariah Carey, and Beyoncé, Billy B. is one of the most successful and sought-after makeup artists within the beauty world. He also has his own line of makeup brushes.

“I always use a brush, a sponge just doesn’t make sense to me. With a brush you’re more likely to wash it, and it transfers the foundation better. A sponge absorbs all your makeup and then sits there until you wash it—and that could be ages! I prefer the foundation brush that I designed because it’s exactly the way I want it! It was difficult for me to find brushes that were the right shape and texture, so I made my own. My brush is made from synthetic hair—I don’t like the idea of putting natural hair into liquid and then onto your face. The texture of the bristle is very important, because you want a brush that lays down the makeup in the most natural way. You should always let the face tell you how to apply makeup. Makeup is all about layers. Not lots of thick layers, but enough layers to look natural. A brush enables you to do that.”


After training with Vidal Sassoon as a hair stylist, Sharon realized her love for makeup and went on tour with Madonna as her official makeup artist. She has since become a legend in the beauty industry, working with photographers such as David LaChapelle and Ellen Von Unwerth.

“As an artist, I feel that a brush gives you greater control. You’re able to apply a more exact amount of foundation to your face, as a sponge will soak everything up when it gets damp. An expensive foundation brush may be better quality, but it’s all about your technique and how well you look after your brush. I always begin applying foundation at the center of the face, where it tends to breakdown and wear off the most.”