Let’s cut to the chase. I own enough foundations and have been laying it on thick for long enough to have picked up a thing or two. Bearing in mind, my oily skin dictates certain steps of my foundation routine and therefore may not apply to you so much, let’s get started.
The Don’ts 👎
#1 Do NOT match your foundation shade solely to your visage, or even just your neck. More often than not our faces are lighter in colour to the rest of our body, even pale and pastey me. Matching your foundation solely to your complexion will cause one’s boat race to stick out like a sore thumb and whether you want it to or not, draw more attention to the fact that you are wearing make up.
#2 Do NOT forget to apply primer. Primer acts not just as something to prolong the life of your Estée Lauder, but as a barrier between your skin and your foundation. This means that your skin care and your foundation can both do their jobs, one to nourish and one to enhance. Adding foundation on top of, say your moisturiser, will cause the two to mix and congest the skin. You want your moisturiser to absorb into the skin and foundation to sit on top.
#3 Do NOT use concealer and then foundation. I was so guilty of spot concealing and then adding a full coverage foundation over the top until not too long ago. That boo boo did two things…
- The foundation moved the concealer around the face and undid all my best camouflage work.
- Created a cake face with too much product in places I didn’t need it.
#4 Do NOT pick any old foundation because it’s popular or had a big advertising campaign or is endorsed by someone you idolise. Know your skin type and what formula and coverage level you’re after. For example, someone with dry skin shouldn’t be looking at a foundation for oily skin and vice versa. Ask questions, sample everything and, if at all possible, have a full face application and wear it for a day before deciding whether or not to purchase. You’ll save yourself £££ in the long run.
#5 Do NOT powder your foundation as soon as you’ve applied it. Ok, so it isn’t the end of the world if you do and I myself do it all the time. However, what you’ll find is, by allowing your base to settle on to the skin before setting, you’ll need less powder to fix everything into place and your results should be more long lasting.
The Do’s 👍
#1 DO know your tools. You need to pick an application method that not only suits the formulation of your favourite foundation but also based on your desired finish. If you want a lighter coverage you won’t choose a brush with densely packed bristles. If you’re using a power foundation you’re not going to use your hands. Check out my Best Of: Brushes for my top picks by clicking here.
#2 DO consider using more than one primer. I know this sounds extravagant and I admit, I don’t do this all the time, but I get the most compliments on my skin, when wearing make up, if I have applied my primer topically. By this I mean…my oiliest areas are my nose and my chin. The pores in these areas are also fairly large and the inner part of my cheeks, closest to my nose, can look a bit like a rabbit warren. The rest of my mug doesn’t need too much correction. So what I do is, apply a mattifying, pore blurring primer to the oily, pore abundant areas, therefore tackling those issues, and then apply something lighter in texture that will keep mon visage looking smooth and even, to the rest of the complexion. If I added, say, a silicone based primer to my whole face, it wouldn’t be as effective on those areas that aren’t oily or porous. If I just used, for example, an HD primer around the nose and chin, it’s not going to help keep my oils at bay or fill in my pores. Does that make any sense?
#3 DO tap, don’t swipe. When applying your foundation you’re going to get a better, more even finish if you tap and stipple the product onto the skin. Initially it will seem like it’s taking forever to apply but you’ll get used to it. The risk of using swiping motions, like with a flat foundation brush, is streaks of unblended product and lines of demarcation around the perimeter of the face, particularly close to the jaw line. You’ll have to go back and sort those lines out anyway so, save yourself some time in the long run. Also, a stripe motion will start to move your primer around and, depending on its formula, may cause it to pill on your skin. Stipple don’t swipe.
#4 DO blend your foundation down onto your neck and even onto the ears. If you’ve matched your shade to your overall skin tone, and not just to the face and neck, you’ll want to make sure your efforts pay off by blending your perfectly selected shade onto the neck for a seamless flow of product. Your ears are usually quite pink in tone compared to the rest of the body so a quick dab of foundation will blend them into the complexion, not make them stand out more. This is even more important if you’re going to wear long hair up and away from the face or if you’re rocking a short do.
#5 DO use a light hand. Whilst I love a full coverage foundation I know I can achieve this, with the right formula of course, by using thin layers. If I’ve chosen my product well, it will contain plenty of pigment to give that full coverage in an instant. Therefore, the old rule of less is more can be applied here. Full coverage does not mean cake face. It does not mean foundation in two inch thick layers all over the face. Instead, apply a fine veil of product and then sit back. It’s so important just to stop and look. Examine your complexion and decide if you need more. Also, a base that is built up in thin layers will last so much longer and require fewer touch ups.
What are your top tips for foundation application?
Have you made any foundation Faux Pas in the past that are cringe worthy nowadays?
Let us know in the comments!
I do hope you’ve found these wee tips useful. In truth, there are no hard and fast rules to make up so do whatever makes you happy! If there is something I have listed as a DON’T and you think it’s a do, that’s fine! It’s all fun and games at the end of the day!
Thanks for stopping by!
- I should really go to sleep.
- Why was it sheep that people counted?
- What’s that noise?