How to Finger Paint Like a Beauty Pro

Four reasons to try a brush-free makeup routine

While brushes and blenders will always have a place in our vanity, there’s something special that comes from using fingers to apply makeup. Not only is it easy and fuss-free, their natural warmth makes products more malleable, affording a natural, second-skin finish.

Whether you’re trying to emulate a no-makeup makeup look, or just want to shave a few minutes off your morning routine, our hands really are one of the best tools at our disposal. So, we’ve put together our best application tips from glow-inducing base products to radiant blushers. Get hands-on.


Want a dewy, luminous-looking base? The secret lies in pairing a hydrating primer with a circulation-boosting facial massage. Try working a lightweight formula — we love Omorovicza’s Balancing Moisturiser — into your skin using upward motions. The cooling gel-cream is packed with vitamins, minerals, and the brand’s signature Healing ConcentrateTM to calm and clarify, while the massage element will de-puff, brighten, and wake up the skin.

To really amp up radiance, layer an illuminating primer such as Clé de Peau Beauté’s Brightening Enhancer Veil. The soft pink fluid diffuses any look of unevenness, while the antioxidant-rich formula nourishes and protects. Massage into your skin with light, fluid motions, paying extra attention to high points such as the cheek bones, Cupid’s bow and beneath the brow.


Fingers are a seriously underrated tool when it comes to building out a natural, undetectable base. Our advice is to take a creamy foundation or concealer (we love the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer formula) and apply a small amount to any areas you feel require coverage, such as your nose, chin, and jawline. The warmth from your fingertips will ensure the product melts into your skin for an even result. If you need to build up coverage, simply spot treat and blend further.


Our fingers also lend themselves incredibly well to blushers, highlighters, and eye pigments. For cheeks, dot a cream or powder before blending outwards, taking any excess over the bridge of your nose. Clinique’s Cheek Pop product in Pansy Pop has a highly pigmented, silky consistency, while the strawberry tone feels youthful and fresh.

NARS Blush in Orgasm is another iconic formula — it marries a deep pinky hue with a warm shimmer for a bright, radiant glow. Follow up with a balm or liquid highlighter, pressing onto the high points of your face for instant sheen. You could use the same tone on your eyes for a monochrome finish, or apply a dedicated eye paint. Look for soft formulations that have a malleable consistency, and blend from your lash line out.


For a laissez-faire lip finish, the blurring power of fingers are second to none. Prep your pout with a hydrating balm, such as La Mer’s The Lip Balm. It contains a nourishing cocktail of Miracle Broth™, mint extract, and plant oils to soften and remove flakes.

Pigment-wise, use your finger to press in a small amount of either a lipstick, stain, or tint, depending on your desired level of coverage and longevity. You can even blur the product over your lip line for a plumping effect, adding more in the center to build depth.

Tip: Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly before application to prevent the spread of bacteria.

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