The mere word ‘foundation’ used to conjure images of the thick, cakey makeup we used to see pasted on faces of the older generation, however foundation has come a long way since then, evolving to become a sheer, svelte layer that is easy to apply and makes your skin look flawless. There are myriad types of foundation on the market today, from thick, long-lasting crème foundations to powder-light mousses that are barely there. The trick to ending up with flawless skin is not only to choose the correct foundation for your skin type, but to apply it in a way that will leave you looking ready for the catwalk.
Step 1: Decide on the right color of foundation
The first step to applying foundation like a professional is to choose the correct type of foundation for your skin type and secondly, the correct color.
- If you have oily skin, go for an oil-free foundation to avoid looking shiny half way through the day, or if you have dry skin, choose an oil-based foundation to keep your skin moisturized.
- For a foundation that holds the whole day, go for a long-lasting base with a slightly thicker medium. These types of foundations tend to stay put for an extended period of time without the need for re-application.
- For a lightweight, air-brushed look, go for a mousse or powder foundation, which offers a very thin layer of cover and sheen-like look. This type of foundation is best for people with flawless, blemish free skin as it does not cover marks well, but rather creates a perfect finish.
Choosing the correct color for your skin is vital to avoid looking like you have foundation on or having a ‘jawline line’.
- The best way to choose the correct color is to test the foundation on your jawline in bright daylight. If the color disappears into your skin tone, the color is correct. If you can see the foundation on your skin, it is probably too dark or light.
Expert tip! If you can’t afford to splurge on foundation, get a beauty adviser in the store to help you pick the perfect color, and ask for a sample to take home.
Step 2: Prepare your skin
It is important to make sure your skin is clean and moisturized before applying foundation. Cleanse your face, moisturize and wait for five minutes to let the moisturizer to sink into your skin before applying the foundation.
- If you have large pores, use a primer before applying foundation to fill in pores and make them appear smaller, as well as help give you a matt finish.
- A primer is also a good layer to add if you want your makeup to last the whole day or night.
Step 3: Swipe or dab
There are a few ways to apply foundation and these depend on the amount of coverage you desire.
- If you are looking for light coverage for an everyday look, professional makeup artists suggest using your fingers to dab a little foundation on spots, marks and blemishes and simply rub it in evenly.
- If you are looking for more coverage, use a sponge and blend the foundation in all over your face, working from the middle outwards (from the nose towards the ears). Be careful of applying too much foundation though – make sure the first layer is blended in completely before applying a second layer.
Step 4: Concealer after foundation
Concealer is a great way to cover those stubborn marks or blemishes that foundation just won’t hide. Apply your concealer after your foundation as applying it before can create a cakey look. Using a small, pointy brush, dab some concealer on the darkest part of under-eye circles to get rid of those bags and shadows or use a cotton bud to dab some concealer onto spots and marks that need to go!
Expert tip! If you suffer from problem skin, avoid using foundation too often as this tends to clog the pores. Find a concealer that has medicinal properties that help to dry out spots and pimples and use this instead – it will hide the spots and dry them out at the same time.
Step 5: Finish with luminous powder
To create a flawless, airbrushed look, finish your foundation application with a lightweight powder. New translucent powders on the market help to reflect the light help skin glow and reduce shine, so take a large brush and dust some on in a ‘W’ motion. Begin at your hairline on one side, swoop the brush down towards your cheek bone, back up to the bridge of your nose, lightly back down the other cheek, and then up again to the opposite hairline