With the dizzying number of shiny new blending tools on the market, using your fingers to smooth on your foundation or pat on your highlighter feels almost outdated, like the makeup equivalent of using a rotary telephone. But there’s still something to be said for the O.G. application method — nothing blends quite as seamlessly, or creates a finish quite as natural-looking, as your own fingertips. (Just ask makeup legend Pat McGrath, who swears by using her hands and nothing else.)
So, with that in mind, Smashbox had a novel idea: to combine the precise, hygienic, product-saving nature of a silicone makeup sponge with a grooved texture that mimics… your fingers. We have officially come full circle.
The just-launched Photo Filter Gel Cushion Applicator, which you can buy now at the brand's website, might seem like a roundabout way of accomplishing what you could do with the appendages you were born with, or like just another gimmicky attempt to reinvent the makeup-blender wheel. But there are certain downsides to using your actual fingers to blend your makeup — it’s messy, and you tend to waste a lot of product that gets absorbed into your skin — that the bouncy silicone applicator avoids entirely. You get a smooth, even finish without wasting a drop… and it’s a hell of a lot cleaner than your hands, too.
As with other silicone sponges, all you need to do is rinse the applicator off with soapy water after you've applied your makeup, and you're good to go — no digging under your nails for foundation remnants necessary. The word "basic" may have negative connotations these days, but this is one straightforward essential we can get behind.