Remember in art class there was a technique called stippling? I'm no artist, I can barely write my name legibly, but I use this stippling technique every day...on my face. If you can't remember what stippling is, or didn't have an art class in school, it's basically drawing or painting with tiny dots. This method of applying foundation to your face is what creates the much desired "airbrush effect."

My post on the Flawless Face has been one of my most popular posts, so I thought I'd share another trick with you and demonstrate stippling. I learned this technique from a makeup artist several years ago, and it's a common technique used within the industry.

You'll obviously need a stippling brush, but if you don't have one or don't want to shell out the money for one, you can somewhat create the same effect with a makeup sponge or your fingers...but a brush is best. I actually just bought a great new foundation brush that I'm obsessed with:



This is Tarte's Airbrush Finish Bamboo Foundation Brush...and it's aahhhmazing! I highly recommend this brush, but if you'd like a more traditional stippling brush, Sephora has one in it's professional brush line. I have it as well.

Back to stippling...

You must start with a clean, moisturized face. How you care for your skin will greatly effect how makeup looks on your face. Cleanse, exfoliate, and moisturize ladies!

You could apply a primer next to help create an even canvas for your foundation, but I don't use primers unless I'm doing my makeup for a special occasion. So, next is applying foundation. I'm using a Christian Dior foundation: Diorskin Nude Skin-Glowing foundation, another great foundation if you're looking for a new brand. I just happened to have a bit of this left and I'm trying to finish it sense in being wasteful!

I have my own method of stippling, and everyone is different, so go with what works best for you. I like to pump the foundation on my hand first, then lightly dip the brush into the foundation on my hand. And I do mean lightly. You'll be amazed at how little foundation you need when you start using this method.


The dot of foundation on my hand is more than enough to cover my entire face. The amount on the brush is just the right amount for stippling a section, like your cheeks.

Once you have a small bit of foundation on your brush, apply it to your face by "dotting" into your skin. Use short, quick taps and the foundation will blend smoothly. After blending well, dip your brush in more foundation and continue stippling across your face. It's that easy! The stippling helps create a smooth, even finish without using a ton of makeup. Of course you can build your coverage as needed for any red or uneven spots, acne, scars, etc. Stippling is also a great method when you're applying foundation over another primers or concealers.

left: mid-stippling. Right: finished look

left: mid-stippling. Right: finished look

Oh, and just an FYI...I know some makeup tutorials show you to "buff" and move your brush in circular motions, but that actually raises the small hairs on your face and makes your face look fuzzy (not attractive). It's best to brush using downward strokes so you don't lift those tiny hairs.

Here are links to the foundation I'm using, as well as brushes:

Dior Diorskin Nude Skin-Glowing Foundation

Tarte Airbrush Finish Bamboo Foundation brush

Sephora Collection Pro Stippling Brush

If you're trying stippling for the first time, leave me a comment and let me know how it worked for you!

Happy New Year!