Foundation is a standard part of most makeup routines but how many times have you said or heard others say, “I’m not really a foundation girl, but…”
We have all been there. At least once in our lifetime we have found ourselves hesitant about discussing or admitting that we wear foundation. The real question is why are we so afraid to discuss it? The answer is quite simple. Most of us have had at least one unfortunate experience with foundation or don't really know how to apply it correctly.
Applying foundation correctly takes more than just grabbing a bottle of foundation that you think is the right shade and then slathering it all over your face. While there isn’t really a “one technique that suits all” the most important tips to remember are to never apply too much foundation, apply it in good lighting and always wear a shade that accurately matches your skin tone.
Whether you are a novice or highly skilled in makeup artistry, primer always gets applied before foundation. This step helps foundation glide on more easily and keeps it on your face longer. You also use less foundation when skin has been well primed. The next and most important step is to choose a foundation formula and shade carefully because the right foundation is one that benefits your skin type while matching your skin tone accurately.
To avoid the mask-like look caused when you're wearing the wrong shade, it’s recommended not to limit yourself to stock standard pre-made shades especially when bespoke services is becoming a standard in the beauty industry. By downloading MY SKIN TONE MATRIX you will have access to the latest in skin color technology and be able to purchase foundation or concealer shades that are formulated to match your individual skin tone.
Which one is best - fingertips, foundation brush or a sponge to apply foundation? The best tool is the one you feel the most comfortable using. Knowing which technique to use with it is also important. The other thing to consider is your lifestyle and how much of it will be spent applying makeup and maintaining your tools. To help you select the right tool we have provided a quick overview on the most common tools used:
This suits liquid formulas the best. Most makeup artists use foundation brushes because you have more control over product and use less foundation per application. The other advantage in using a brush is that it gets into places that fingers and most sponges can’t get to and it’s easier to conceal pores to get a more flawless finish. To help you choose the right foundation brush, here is a quick summary of different foundation brushes.
While sponges are a relatively fool proof to apply foundation, the biggest problem is that most of them absorb too much product and eventually become the perfect living environment for bacteria. This is why it’s recommended to use a sponge to help blend already applied foundation instead of applying product. Use soft strokes for lighter coverage over entire face. For more coverage use stippling movements, this works well around the nose and eye areas.
Always wash your hands with anti-bacterial soap before applying foundation especially if you have very oily skin. Dab tiny dots of foundation on your cheeks, chin, forehead and tip of the nose. Gently pat and blend the dots together, working the foundation evenly over your skin so that there is no line of foundation around your hairline and jawline. When you have the right foundation shade, your foundation should be fairly easy to blend into your skin making it almost undetectable.
The biggest error when applying foundation is excess. Only apply foundation to areas of the face that require it and allow your concealer to conceal more troubled areas. Applying a primer first will reduce the amount of foundation required per application. To portion the amount of foundation to use, here’s a quick step by step.
Step 1 - Prime your face and let it dry completely.
Step 2 – Take a foundation brush and pick up a tiny amount of product. Dot this onto your nose, cheeks, center of forehead and your chin (one “dip” should pick up enough product to lightly dot around all of these areas).
Step 3 –Starting at nose, stipple product in small tight areas, blending product outwards to cheeks and as far to the borders of the face as possible. Repeat this process for your chin but also blend the product down your chin and underneath your jawline so it fades down your neck. Apply sparingly around troubled areas and eye area because concealer will take care of these areas.
Step 4 - Stipple the remainder of product over the area above your lips and below your mouth. Go very lightly around smile lines to avoid caking. If you have run out of product this usually means you have used more than is recommended.
Step 5 - Pick up the remainder of product with your foundation brush and stipple lightly across your forehead and into the hairline.
Step 6 – Switch to stipple brush or buffing brush. Lightly buff in small circular motions over face, gently underneath your eyes and around hairline to blur imperfections. Buffing also helps remove any excess product.
Step 7 – Allow foundation to settle and dry before applying the rest of your makeup.