A more hands-on approach to applying make-up

By Heidi Yeung

Sometimes you just don't want to bother with make-up brushes, or you forgot them, or maybe just never bought any. No matter: your best beauty tools are attached to your wrists. Here's how to do your make-upusing your fingers and hands

By Heidi Yeung |

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If you're applying make-up with your fingers, it's best to stick to mostly cream or liquid products, because the warmth from your fingers will make blending easier and result in a smoother finish. Keep a clean, damp cloth or some make-up remover wipes nearby so you can clean your fingers between applying different products.


This product covers the largest surface area on your face, so smooth it all over with four fingers (index to pinky) on both hands.

For small areas like your temples, between your brows, your nose, between your nostrils and upper lip, and your chin, lift your index and pinky fingers away and just use your middle and fourth finger. This is less clumsy, and gives more flexibility to move around your face, especially on those smaller areas.


To conceal blemishes or discolouration, dab and press a little product onto your skin using your middle finger. This finger is strong and can apply enough pressure to blend the concealer until it looks seamless against your foundation.

For under-eye concealer, use your ring finger. This finger is slightly more flexible, which makes it better for quick, dabbing motions that are best for this delicate area. It's also a bit smaller than your middle finger, which makes reaching the inner corners and curves around your eyes easier.


Dab a cream blusher on the apples of your cheeks with your ring finger, and then blend it towards your hairline with your ring and middle fingers. This will help make the product more sheer so you're not left with a block of colour on your cheeks, but rather with a natural glow. You can always apply more to build up the intensity if you want to.

Check out Heidi's video tutorial on applying make-up with just your hands and fingers


This will enhance the dewiness of any look. Using your middle finger, tap highlighting product along your cheekbone, from the part that protrudes the most - beneath the outer corner of your eye - to your hairline. Then use the same finger to tap over that same area until your highlighter is well blended. You don't want a harsh line of shimmery product on your cheeks.


Because this is such a small area, it's best to use your little finger to tap product all over your lids. You're not going to achieve shading or contouring using just your finger, but you can get a nice wash of colour.

Try a neutral shade with a little shimmer to brighten your eyes. First, tap the eyeshadow all over your lids, before carefully swiping your finger over your lids to blend the colour over the area.

Setting powder

You'll need loose setting powder for this. Sprinkle a bit of the powder over the back of your hand, and then rub the backs of your hands together. Press - don't rub - the backs of your hand over your face section by section to set the make-up. You may have to repeat the process until you get setting powder over all of your face - don't worry if you look like a cat grooming itself.

To set your under-eye concealer, pick up a bit of setting powder with your fourth finger, and rub your finger over the back of your hand before tapping the remainder along your under-eye area. If you don't get rid of the excess product first, you risk making your under-eye look dry and cakey.