Battle of the Makeup Applicators: Powder, Eye Shadow, Blush

It’s pretty gloomy in Montana today! Then there’s no better time to talk about makeup applicators. Did that make sense?

I’m talking about what you use to apply your makeup, including powder, eye shadow, and blush. You don’t have to use what comes with your makeup. In fact, you shouldn’t. Read on to find out what the best products are to use in all of these different situations.

Here are the classic applicators that come with makeup, and the better alternatives.

You may be surprised!

Face Powder

Usually, your face powder will come with a round, white puff. It’s really more like a soft cotton circle. These are good because they give you a lot of control with what you put on your face. The downside is that you can end up putting a lot of powder on. Using this cotton round actually leaves a concentrated mess of powder on your face. For a more natural look, you may want to avoid this makeup applicator.

Instead, Use: A round brush. Try to find a brush with soft bristles instead of the stiff plastic variety. This way, you can apply your powder lightly to your face. It will look more realistic, and not so much like an over-made up clown.

Eye Shadow

It’s very rare that you get anything other than a sponge applicator with your eye shadow. This is just standard, so most people learn to deal with the awkward use of this instrument of torture. It’s hard to get a soft look with one of these sponge eye shadow applicators. It usually comes out pretty harsh. Also, it can be hard to blend multiple colors together. Not only that, but any color of eye shadow that you use will stick to the sponge. Unless you want to wash it in between every color, your shadow will be tainted from previous use.

Instead, Use: An eye shadow brush. You can find these at most drug stores and other places that sell makeup. Like your face powder brush, you should find something with soft bristles. Always stay away from the plastic bristles because these don’t hold eye shadow well and you won’t have good coverage. Then again, if you’re using cream eye shadow, the sponge is a better option.


Blush is a little tricky. Some companies don’t give you an applicator for this product. If they do, it can vary between a brush, sponge, or cotton circle. It’s best to try out what they offer before you go out buying a new applicator. Often, what they suggest is actually good, as opposed to the crap that comes with most eye shadow. Still, you will often find that sponge applicators, especially when it comes to powder blush, apply blush too harshly. This isn’t the fifties and you aren’t a housewife with a drinking problem, after all. You want your blush to actually blend in with the rest of your skin. This is where the alternatives come in.

Instead, Use: A small round brush. Use something similar to what you’d use for facial powder, but smaller. Using a brush will give you a softer and more natural look. If you’re using a cream blush, you’ll want to use either a sponge applicator, or your fingers. I personally prefer using fingers here because you can rub it in better. You also won’t lose half of the blush like you would if you used the sponge.


You can usually buy any of these brushes separately if you want. Drug and department stores carry a pretty good selection of individual brushes and applicators. Then again, some of the best makeup equipment comes in a kit. These are some of the best brush kits out there:


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1 Comment

  1. Ooh. Much appreciated, this one!

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