How to Apply Foundation

Foundation is the most basic part of your makeup regimen — it’s right there in the name. With a good foundation, the rest of your makeup will be easy to apply and beautiful on your skin.

The right foundation can even out your skin tone and award you the appearance (if only briefly) of flawless natural skin. But you have to apply foundation properly, otherwise you risk looking like a clown. There, I said it.

To avoid the dreaded Bozo appearance, follow these simple steps for a flawless foundation and complexion.

  1. Begin with clean hands and a clean face. If you start your foundation application with dirty tools and a dirty canvas, how can it possible turn out right? Starting with clean tools is also smart because dirty makeup can spread infection, cause beauty disasters, and just generally muck up your whole world.
  2. Before you plunk your foundation down all over your face, you should apply a moisturizing sunscreen product. Ideally, you will use a proper SPF for your sun protection needs. If you don’t want to use a sunscreen, you can choose a basic moisturizer or a makeup “primer” (look in specialty beauty stores) that’s right for your specific skin type. All basic foundations will go on to your face more smoothly if the skin is well-hydrated and healthy. If you want to do like the makeup artists do, look for a foundation primer product — it creates a smooth skin surface for foundation to be applied on.
  3. After you’ve applied the sunscreen or product of your choice, you need to let it dry before you try to smear foundation all over it. This is a basic step but one that you just can’t skip.
  4. How to Apply Foundation

    How to Apply Foundation

    If you find you are still getting a gloopy mess from combining moisturizer and foundation, wipe away any excess product with a tissue before adding foundation. Greasy skin will quickly make your foundation a mess, and it will be nearly impossible to apply properly to boot.

  5. The most important tip in the article — PLEASE cover your dark eye circles with concealer. This is an important step to avoid a “dead” look on your face. Remember to pat the concealer onto your skin — don’t ever rub it in. You know the finger marks in a child’s fingerpaint pictures? You don’t want those on your eyes.
  6. Pick up a makeup sponge (or just use your clean fingertips) to apply small dots of foundation to your cheeks, chin, the tip of the nose and your forehead. If you have the time and money, learn to love foundation brushes when applying foundation — they’ll actually save you money by soaking up less foundation. Another bonus to foundation bushes — they are great for blending.
  7. Using the same sponge (or just your fingertips or preferably a foundation brush) start to “blend” the dots together. The worst place for obvious foundation lines? Near your hairline and the line of your jaw. Blend these areas especially carefully.
  8. The last step is also the simplest. At this point you’re ready to set the foundation with a little loose powder immediately after you apply your mascara.

Tips for Applying Foundation Properly

Here’s a few extra tips for applying foundation properly. Once you’ve mastered the basics above, these tips are what will separate the beautiful from the average.

Foundation is not necessarily best applied all over your whole face. You should consider using spot fixes for the areas of your face that need extra coverage — eyes, nose and chin for starters.

Also, if you use a makeup sponge, make sure and wash it out well each time so the sponge doesn’t start building up nasty amounts of bacteria.

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