We always want our skin to cooperate, but of course it tends to rebel at the worst times. Anyone else have a giant spot on their forehead during a big presentation or date? Like it or not, our skin seems to have a mind of its own. Sigh.
Thankfully, we have an arsenal of different foundations to help make it behave. These “magical” powders can help to conceal, brighten and smooth out even the worst skin. No matter what type of foundation you prefer, this guide will prepare you for any skin-related curveballs.
We’re here to help you figure out which foundation is right for your skin type, how to apply it, and where you can buy some to add to your makeup arsenal.
But wait! Before you go foundation crazy, you need to make sure your skin is clean and moisturized. Otherwise, the application will be uneven, and you’ll need to do some touchups throughout the day. And if you’re like us, you’re too busy for that, remember: Before makeup, always wash your face with a gentle cleanser, apply toner with a cotton pad and moisturize.
Have you waited a few minutes for the moisturizer to sink in? Perfect! Let’s start with…
1. HOW TO APPLY LIQUID FOUNDATION
If your face is the canvas, liquid foundation is the paint. This product is usually one coverage level above tinted moisturizer and can mask blemishes and discoloration without getting cakey. In other words, you want this stuff in your cabinet.
Liquid Foundation Coverage Type: Varies
Recommended Skin Type: All skin types
Selecting The Right Liquid Foundation Application Method
Tapered Foundation Brush
Using a tapered foundation brush, “paint” the liquid foundation onto your face using short, downward and outward strokes. Move the product from the center of the face outwards. Make sure you blend down to the top of the neck to avoid getting the dreaded demarcation line along your jaw. Pat and blend to erase any telltale lines or creases.
A stippling brush will give you sheerer coverage than a foundation brush. Use a stippling motion to blend and press the foundation all over your face for a light, glowy finish. That’s when you press gently and lightly all over the face with your brush.
Rounded Foundation Brush
Blend the liquid foundation into your face, alternating between swirling and stroking motions. Use a circular motion to blend out seamlessly and prevent any creases or lines.
Flat-Top Kabuki Brush
Dot your foundation around your face, taking extra care on the areas that need more coverage. Use the flat top kabuki brush to press the product into your skin, dabbing it all around. Then use light swirling and sweeping motions to blend it in.
Clarisonic Foundation Brush
After cleansing your skin, dot your face with your favorite foundation. Key points to hit are your forehead, cheeks, chin, and the bridge of your nose. Next, power up your Clarisonic Foundation Brush, place it on low and blend each dot with a circular motion. Voila! Flawless skin. To clean your Clarisonic Foundation Brush, rinse the head with water and a gentle soap.
A beauty sponge will give you a natural finish but also allow you to build up coverage. Wet your beauty sponge, squeeze out any excess water and gently press the foundation into your skin with the damp sponge. Press in and outwards to blend well.
NOTE: If you are using a round beauty sponge, use a rolling motion to blend the foundation into your skin.
Some makeup artists swear that no method gives quite the same flawless finish as using your fingers. Squeeze the foundation onto your wrist and use your fingers to warm it up. Apply to your face using circular motions, taking care to blend and distribute evenly.
If you have sensitive skin, avoid heavier formulas and go for mineral makeup instead. These loose powders are typically free from harsh ingredients and oil, which means they’re perfect for anyone prone to breakouts.
Mineral / Loose Powder Foundation Coverage: Light to Medium
Recommended Skin Type: Oily/combination Skin
Loose Powder Foundation Application Metho
Rounded Kabuki Brush
The easiest way to apply loose mineral foundation is with a rounded kabuki brush. Use the brush and swirl around to pick up the powder; tap off the excess product. Then, apply all over your face using a buffing, swirling motion. Pay special attention to the nose, forehead and other areas you may need extra shine coverage.
Rounded foundation brush
As an alternative to a kabuki brush, some people prefer using a rounded foundation brush to apply loose powder foundation. The coverage will be more sheer and is often used on to set a liquid or cream foundation.
Fluffy Powder Brush
If you want light coverage for a more natural look, use a fluffy powder brush. Tap the brush into the loose powder lightly, and sweep the brush across the face, focusing on the T-zone and then moving outwards.
3. HOW TO APPLY PRESSED POWDER FOUNDATION
If you’re on the go, pressed powder foundation should be your constant companion. The compact formula is perfect for touch-ups, without the fear of loose powder ruining your bag. It’s pretty much your makeup savior.
Pressed Powder Foundation Coverage: Medium to Full
Recommended Skin Type: Oily/combination skin
Selecting The Right Pressed Powder Foundation Application Method
Rounded Kabuki Brush
If you are using a pressed powder as your only form of foundation, use a rounded kabuki brush to achieve the same finish as if you were using a loose powder.
For a more opaque finish, wet a beauty sponge and use it to apply the pressed powder to your face in dabbing motion.
Rounded Foundation Brush
The round, domed shape of this brush allows you to distribute powder foundation evenly. Swish the brush back and forth over the powder foundation using short, back-and-forth strokes, then press the powder in a slight rolling motion all over your skin for a smooth finish that doesn’t look caked-on.
Many pressed powders come with their own puff – use this for on-the-go touch ups by patting the powder over any oil-prone section like your nose or forehead.
4. HOW TO APPLY CREAM FOUNDATION
Recommended Skin Type: Mature and acne-prone skin
Selecting the Right Cream Foundation Application Method
Tapered Foundation Brush
Since cream foundations are emollient-based, they are perfect for filling in wrinkles and covering hyper-pigmentation.
Use a tapered foundation brush to paint the foundation onto your skin, starting from the center of your face and working outwards. Stipple and pat in the foundation afterwards to blend in any streaks.
For a sheerer finish, use a beauty sponge with your cream foundation. Apply as you would a liquid foundation, paying extra care to blend and roll the product into your skin for even coverage.
Warm up cream foundation between your fingers and apply to your skin as you would liquid foundation. One key point – make sure your skin is well- moisturized before applying to avoid any patchy-looking sections.
5. HOW TO APPLY GEL FOUNDATION
Gel foundation can match any skin tone with a creamy, luxurious finish. It’s perfect for dissolving oil, and is ideal for ladies who want a natural look.
Gel Foundation Coverage: Light to Medium
Recommended Skin Type: All skin types (especially dry skin)
Selecting The Right Gel Foundation Application Method
Tapered foundation brush
Start from the center of your face and work outwards. Make sure to pat the foundation afterwards to prevent streaking.
Rounded foundation brush
Alternate between swirling and stroking motions. Afterwards, use a circular motion to prevent creases and lines.
Wet the sponge, squeeze out any extra water, and gently press the foundation into your skin. To blend well, make sure to press outwards. If you’re using a round sponge, use a rolling motion for even coverage.
If you’re using a gel foundation stick like Maybelline Fit Me Shine-Free Foundation Stick, apply over your forehead, down the nose, and upwards and outwards from the cheeks. Blend everything in with your fingers, then finish with a light dusting of loose powder.
We know that finding the perfect foundation can feel impossible. That’s why we created this guide! Now you can walk into any pharmacy or department store, and know which look will make you feel absolutely flawless.
Below some makeup brush care tips every makeup lovers may know:
KEEP THEM CLEAN!
Treat your brushes the way you would your clothes: Cleaning after each use, drying properly and storing in a safe place. Here’s how.
HOW TO STORE YOUR BRUSH SELECTION
Don't just throw them loosely into a makeup kit. Not only can the top get crushed and distorted, but also a serious amount of germs live deep in the depths of your bag and can rub off onto anything in close proximity. Instead, stay organized using these seven rules of brush storage. The simple suggestions will make your brush display accessible, pretty (like home décor, pretty!), and most importantly, safe.
HOW-TO: WASH AND DRY YOUR BRUSHES
"I suggest using a gentle shampoo like the baby variety to wash the brushes one to two at a time," Christine said. Make sure the word "gentle" is clearly printed on the label to avoid harsh chemicals that can loosen the glue holding bristles in place. Softly scrub the lathered up brushes in the palm of your hand and then rinse thoroughly until the water stream runs clear (a sign that dirt and makeup have made their exit). "Then lay them flat on a paper towel to dry overnight," Christine said. "But do a touch test before use because some of the larger brushes take a bit longer to dry," she added.
Bonus tip: If you're short on time, use a pre-made brush purifier that's alcohol-free like It Cosmetics It's Your Brush Love. The formula, developed with plastic surgeons, is specifically designed to extend the life of all brush hair (natural or synthetic). Just spray, wipe with a tissue, and leave to dry for a day or two before swiping it back over your face!
HOW OFTEN YOU SHOULD WASH 'EM
The golden rule of washing brushes is to do it once a week. But should you skip a week, don't sweat it. "At the very least, wash them once a month!" Christine stressed. Re-using gunk and dirt-ridden brushes not only causes breakouts, but they can introduce other nasty skin reactions and allergies to your complexion. Plus the buildup of color on your brushes means that the shade you intend to apply to your face, may not be what you actually get - since it’s mixed with yesterday, last week’s and last month’s makeup hues. Cleaning them regularly means a clean face, true colors and that they'll remain intact so you can keep them around a little longer!
HOW TO KNOW WHEN IT'S TIME FOR A REPLACEMENT
You can't generalize about a brush's expiration date. "Look at them as individuals as they need to be replaced at different times. Some of the bristles are gentler than others and will start to flatten sooner," Christine added. Though you may be attached to a makeup cohort you've had for years, if it smells, sheds, separates, is flat, or appears to be growing a colony of friends, toss it (immediately!). If nothing stands out, do a brush check-in once or twice a year to make sure they're not past their prime.
Contact Person: Mr. Mark