Ditch Those Make-Up Brushes, It’s Time For A Hands On Approach Ladies And Here’s How To Do It

The understated look is in. Wave goodbye to heavy contouring because less is now more and the best way to achieve that is to apply make-up by hand.

More natural sweeps of make-up were seen at the likes of Giorgio Armani and Christopher Kane too – the fashion gods have spoken.

Naturally, there are tools that make your life easy from the liquid eyeliner brush to the lip-liner pencil, but both of those products insinuate a more ‘done’ look. So if you really want to nail the minimal make-up trend, you need to ditch those brushes and get hands on this season.


Make-up artist Denise Rabor is on hand to teach us the best tips and tricks to avoid literally smearing it all over our faces. Plus, she says you’re much less likely to overdo it or waste precious product. Win-win!

First, base

Denise says: “As a make up artist I often apply foundation to a clients face using my fingers because it gives me ultimate control. I can use as little as I want and I blend it into the skin as if I’m using a moisturiser. The great thing about it is that by using your fingers you are able to get more of a natural, real skin finish due to the warmth of skin on skin. As you softly blend the foundation in, the product merges seamlessly so that you are not left with the feeling that the make-up is just sitting on top of your face.”

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Top tips:

  • Best done with light to medium coverage foundations, you’ll find it tricky with heavier formulas.
  • Ensure skin is clean and prepped for foundation, a good primer helps.
  • Wash and disinfect hands to avoid putting unnecessary bacteria into your facial pores.

Shevolution loves this Australian brand’s light-to-medium foundation, best applied by hand.

nude by nature foundation

  • Nude by Nature Luminous Sheer Liquid Foundation, at Debenhams, £22.50 (was £25) – buy now

Make everyone blush

Denise says: “Less is more so try it out with a dab on your index finger and just blend or tap it onto the area required.”

Top tip:

  • Choose a cream or gel blusher as it will work well when applied with fingers. They are usually formulated to give a light sheer wash of colour, so it’s hard to overdo it.

Shevolution loves Laura Mercier creme blush.

Laura Mercier creme blush

  • Laura Mercier Creme Cheek Colour, at John Lewis, £18.70 (varying shades) – buy now

Lighten up!

Denise says: “Like blusher, it’s great to use hands on this products as it’s easy to dabble in those specific areas you want to catch the light, like the top of the cheekbone and the brow bone.”

Top tip:

  • Cream or liquid highlighter both work well.

Shevolution loves Nars illuminator.

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Nars illuminator

  • Nars Illuminator, £23, at NET-A-PORTER – buy now

Shad(owe)y lady

Denise says: “Applying your eyeshadow with your fingers is easier than you might think. Again you can control the amount of product that you apply at any moment when you apply make-up by hand. Using your fingers makes it easy to achieve a softer smokey look, but if you want to go bold, layer your shadow. “

Top tip:

  • For beginners it’s a good idea to start with cream eyeshadows. As you become more proficient you can also do it with some of the softer formulations of powder eyeshdow too.
  • There are a wide range of soft blendable pencils too which you can apply with the tool and blend with your hands to create that dreamy smokey eye.

Shevolution loves Charlotte Tilbury’s ‘Eyes To Mesmerise’ cream shadow range and Bobbi Brown eye pencils.

Charlotte Tilbury eyes to mesmerise eyeshadow

  • Charlotte Tilbury Eyes To Mesmerise Cream Eyeshadow, £22 (varying shades) – buy now

Bobbi Brown kohl eyeliner

Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Kajal Liner, £16.57, at John Lewis – buy now

A bit of lip

Denise says: “Finger application is great if you want full colour with a softer edge; just use your finger to apply lip colour, press your lips together and voila!”

Top tip:

  • Start at the middle of your lips and work outwards

Shevolution loves MAC lipstick – who doesn’t? Whether you’re more of a Ruby Woo kind of girl or a Velvet Teddy is irrelevant. They’re all available at John Lewis ready for you to blend.

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Mac Ruby Woo

  • MAC Lipstick Matte, £15.75, at John Lewis – buy now

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