You may find that you’ve forgotten to pack your brushes with the rest of your makeup. Or you may be on a budget and are not planning to purchase quality brushes anytime soon. It’s not necessary to put off wearing makeup until you have everything you think you need! Try these techniques for painting on your best face, even without makeup brushes.

Things You'll Need

Apply foundation with a makeup sponge. These come in disposable form and are very affordable. If you are in a pinch and don’t have even a sponge on hand, you can use clean fingers to apply liquid foundation on yourself.

Buff cheek color in with a makeup sponge as well. Simply concentrate on the apples of your cheeks and blend with the unused portion of the sponge to take away any hard lines and edges. If you desire more control over the amount of color that goes on your face, you can scrape some of your powder blush onto a clean surface, like a facial tissue, and dip the sponge into it, instead of straight into the packaged product, to use only a little at a time.

Make use of eye crayons or cream eyeshadows that come with their own applicator for your eye makeup. A little blending is all you need to make these look good.

Use an eye pencil or dip a cotton swab with a moistened tip into a dark eyeshadow to create eyeliner. Work the color into your top and bottom lash lines as closely as possible for a lash-thickening effect even before mascara. If you prefer to turn your liner up a little bit, gently smudge it with the dry tip of the cotton swab.

Use pencils to fill in your eyebrows and line your lips. There are retractable ones on the market that are self-sharpening and very easy and convenient to use.

Finish by setting your makeup with face powder. Use either the trusty makeup sponge or the puff that comes with your powder to pat down shine on your T-zone. If you prefer or have a considerably oily complexion, you can smooth the powder over your foundation at the beginning of your makeup application.


  • If you have the small applicator blush brush that comes with the package, feel free to use it. It’s normally not recommended because it can produce a stripey effect on cheeks, but you should look just fine if you tap excess product away before swirling on cheekbones instead of making back-and-forth horizontal motions with it.

  • For best results, you will eventually have to get a set of brushes. Nothing compares to the effects professional tools can give.