Applying Makeup

Understanding the Art of Applying Foundation

Foundation–it’s aptly named for its importance in your makeup routine. A flawless application can make the rest of your makeup stand out or it sometimes may be the only thing you choose to wear for how great it can make your skin look like a real-life photo filter by covering up pesky imperfections like blemishes, discoloration, and even texture to make your skin look smoother and healthier.

Because everyone wants the skin that a great foundation can give, there are many different types of the product, and so many ways to apply it, so don’t feel discouraged if it’s taken you a bit of trial and error to try to figure out the best way. Fortunately, there are some universal tips you can use to be sure that your foundation will apply just as flawlessly as if you were a pro. Here are some steps to help you further understand the art of applying foundation.

Prep Your Skin First

It’s always necessary to properly clean and prep your skin to ensure that your foundation will go on smoothly, not emphasizing any fine lines or textures you might not have thought you had!

Sometimes moisturizer is enough to prep your skin under your foundation. You can also use toners, serums, and primers to give your skin the extra love it’ll need to hold onto your foundation and help it look its best.

Choose the Right Formula

There are three main formulas of foundation that could either look great or look too heavy or too lightweight on you. It takes a bit of playing around to see which works best for you. But generally, your skin type plays a part in which foundation type you should wear.

If you have oily skin, full-coverage, powder, and pore-minimizing formulas might be your best match. Anything that’s dewy might slide right off your oily skin throughout the day, and full coverage formulas are usually formulated to last through a buildup of oils and stay put on the skin.

If you have dry skin, a more dewy foundation will fit like a glove. These foundations generally come in natural-to-light finishes that will feel hydrating on your skin. Some heavier foundations run the risk of emphasizing dryness, as a lot have built-in powders that are tailored to work best with oilier skin. Stick to hydrating, illuminating foundations, as they will both look and feel best for your skin type.

And if your skin lies somewhere in-between, then you may be able to try either of these finishes or stick to a natural finish that won’t look or feel too dry or too wet on the skin. There are some wonderful foundations out there that work well for combination skin. All it takes is finding out which brands work best for you.

Similarly, for mature skin, it may be difficult to find a foundation formula that works well, as some may look too heavy, or emphasize fine lines. But there are even some foundations especially formulated for mature skin that will make it more plump, smooth, and covered without overdoing it.

Choose the Right Shade

This is easier said than done, of course, but the shade of your foundation can easily make or break the look of your makeup. An ill-matched foundation, whether too pale or too dark, can make your makeup look cakey and unnatural.

In a store, there’s always the trick of applying a foundation to the inside of your wrist to see how well it matches, but it’s never guaranteed. The only guarantee is to try it out yourself, so if you’re ever at a makeup counter and can try on a foundation, it will do wonders to save you time (and possibly some money) in your search to find the right foundation shade.

If worse comes to worst, or you’re stuck between two shades, mix them together! It’s definitely a more pricey option, but it might even save you some money in the future since you’ll be able to mix it lighter or darker depending on the time of year. There are such things as a summer and winter shade–you may not notice the tone of your skin changing until you try to use your summer foundation come the first day of winter! A mixable shade will keep you prepared all year long.

Choose the Right Tools for Application

There are multiple ways you can blend your foundation: dry sponges, damp sponges, different types of brushes, and even your fingers, but it’s important to know which to use for what.

The ultimate, undefeated champ when it comes to blending face makeup like foundation is the damp sponge. They come in all sizes and shapes, but the texture should always be soft enough to still be able to squish as you apply it to your face. A damp sponge works best to flawlessly blend foundation while not trapping too much product as you apply. Certain brushes can trap foundation in their bristles as you go, providing a lackluster application that will require more pumps of product and more blending time.

On the other hand, sponges are quick and easy to use: just gently bounce it along your face to evenly distribute the product for a streak-free, fully-covered base. Be careful not to rub or drag the sponge, as this could sheer out the product in uneven patches, and undo your hard work.

If you still love the feel of a good brush, that’s no problem, as there are so many out there that can blend foundation wonderfully, such as the stipple brush when used to blend product in small, circular motions. You can even tackle your foundation routine with a one-two punch of using a brush first, then a damp sponge to smooth out any spots that need extra help in blending. If you find that you need more coverage in certain spots, use a good concealer to spot-correct.

Set Your Foundation

All your hard work will be for naught if you forget to set it down so it stays put! Most people’s skin produces excess oil throughout the day, so stay on top of it by making sure to set your face right after applying your foundation.

There’s no need to set the entire face, particularly if your dry skin does not permit it, but setting your foundation around your eyes, especially if you use concealer, is a must to ensure that there’s no creasing, which will create the look of fine lines even if you thought you never had any. The T-Zone is also a popular area to set, since this is the area that is most prone to producing excess oil throughout the day. Apply powder to any other areas that you feel need help to battle fine lines or oil, and your look will appear even smoother and last longer.

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