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Article: Makeup Breakdown: Stippling

Photo of woman using the stippling method to apply foundation
Makeup Tutorials

Makeup Breakdown: Stippling


In makeup, “stippling” is a technique that covers imperfections in skin texture or skin tone. It works by applying liquid foundation on your face in tiny dots, then blending them together for a super-smooth, almost-filtered effect.


Stippling is the extra-strength version of buffing, and it requires a pro-level Custom Application Brush to apply, blend, and smooth your foundation in a seriously even way.


First, apply foundation to the side of your hand, then gently dip the brush—just the very tips of the bristles—into the product. Dot your face with the brush until skin is covered in tiny blips of foundation. (Think Van Gogh, but with both ears.) Next, brush gently—again, using just the tip of your makeup brush bristles—in small circles to blend the foundation, repeating as necessary until you’ve got full coverage.


You can use any liquid or cream foundation to stipple—just not powder. And all finishes work with this technique, whether they’re modern matte, silky and natural, or creamy and highly pigmented.


One piece of advice from the pros: stipple in the best lighting possible to ensure full, even coverage.

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