1. It's sexy in that NBD way.
"Using your hands to blend creamy products—cream is the only formula that works sans brush—creates a more natural, sensual look," says Rose-Marie Swift, makeup artist and founder of RMS Beauty, a line of finger-paint-friendly products.
2. You actually have more control.
"Your fingertips sense texture, moisture, and viscosity in a way that a brush or sponge can't," says makeup artist Dick Page, known to ditch a brush backstage.
3. Blending is easy.
"Your body heat naturally warms the product, allowing it to melt into the skin," says Swift. Darker pigments go on pretty and sheer; stick foundations glide on easily.
4. It's more sanitary.
Another perk: "You always know how clean your hands are," says makeup artist Tom Pecheux. You can't say the same about brushes languishing in a damp bathroom.
How to do it:
Base: Do the dot method, says Page. "Apply dots of pigment a little at a time then blend outward with your fingers," he says.
Blush and highlighter: For blush, tap it onto the apples of the cheeks in a circular motion. For highlighter, pat it along the points of the face where you want extra life—cheekbones, bridge of the nose, cupid's bow, and by the tear ducts.
Eye shadow: Apply on the back of your hand, like an artist's palette. Use the index, middle, or ring finger (whatever feels comfortable) to dip into the pigment and dab onto lids. Use your pinkie to blend color in tricky areas, like the crease and lower lash line—it's the perfect size.
Lipstick: For a popsicle- or wine-like stain, dab color onto your index finger, and press onto the center of your pout, moving outward. Don't worry about getting it perfect—a sexy tint is the goal.
This article was originally published as "4 Reasons to go Freehand" in the March 2016 issue of Cosmopolitan.