How to apply even foundation

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How to apply even foundation

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Parisian makeup artist Violette's top secret for how to apply foundation? Execute it without a trace. “I want people to say, 'Oh my god, your skin looks amazing!' not, 'Your foundation is so great,'" she explains. And while finding the perfect formula is half the battle, once you have it, making like Houdini and ensuring it vanishes into your complexion is just as crucial. Here, three in-demand makeup artists share their fine-tuned tips for how to apply foundation and achieve that ever-elusive, second-skin finish.

Create a Glowing Canvas

Clean and moisturized skin is a no-brainer, but to really supercharge your glow, begin with a hydrating mask and follow it up with a lymphatic facial massage. When makeup artist Nina Park works with clients such as Zoë Kravitz and Bella Hadid, she begins with a sheet mask specifically targeted to their skin type, with ingredients such as rose to combat oiliness, aloe to treat dryness, and green tea to soothe inflammation. After masking, gently massage your moisturizer into the skin to boost circulation and reduce puffiness. “It creates a natural flush that makes the face look more awake,” says makeup artist Kira Nasrat, who helps give Jessica Alba that perpetually luminous complexion.

How to apply even foundation

Have you ever stared in awe at your favorite celeb and wondered how they get smooth, poreless-looking skin ? Well, aside from a regular regimen of peels, exfoliators and enough essences to bathe in, their foundation application likely has a little something to do with it. While we can’t provide you with professional glam squads, we can steal a few expert makeup tips so you can get a flawless foundation look on your own. Whether you like to apply your foundation with a brush, your fingers or a beauty sponge, keep reading.

How to Prep for Foundation

The key to a flawless base is well-prepped skin, so make sure your face is clean and prepped with your favorite moisturizer or makeup primer. We love using the Urban Decay All Nighter Ultra Glow Primer to help the foundation last throughout the day.

How to Apply Liquid Foundation

Coverage Level: Varies

Recommended Skin Type: All Skin Types

Best Application Method: Varies

Applying Liquid Foundation With a Foundation Brush

Using a tapered foundation brush, paint the liquid onto your face using short, downward strokes. Move the product from the center of the face outwards. Make sure you blend down to the top of the neck to avoid a line of demarcation along your jaw. Pat and blend to erase any telltale lines or creases.

Applying Liquid Foundation With a Stippling Brush

A stippling brush will give you sheerer coverage than a foundation brush. Use a stippling motion (or, gently pressing the brush all over your face rather than sweeping it across your skin) for a light, glowy finish.

Applying Liquid Foundation With Your Fingers

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.

Our Favorite Liquid Foundations

How to Apply Mineral or Loose Powder Foundation

Coverage: Light to Medium

Recommended Skin Type: Oily or Combination Skin

Best Application Method: Brushes

Applying Loose Powder Foundation With a 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. Then, tap off the excess product and apply it all over your face using a buffing, swirling motion. Pay special attention to the nose, forehead and other areas where you may need extra coverage to prevent shine.

Applying Loose Powder Foundation With a 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 when setting a liquid or cream foundation.

Applying Loose Powder Foundation With a Fluffy Powder Brush

If you want light coverage for a more natural look, use a fluffy powder brush. Tap the brush lightly into the loose powder and sweep the brush across the face, focusing on the T-zone and then moving outwards.

Confession time: In all my years as a beauty editor, I have always been intimated by foundation to the point of just forgoing it altogether most of the time. Why do you think my skin-care game is so aggressively on point? So I don't have to fret about complexion makeup! I still spot-conceal on a daily basis, but whenever I do a full face of foundation, it looks and feels to me like I am wearing a second face (which ostensibly, I am). I love the evened-out effect wherein my blotchy bits and weird shadows are brightened but for the longest time I was just not able to get that effect without detectable foundation.

My kingdom for a makeup product with the coverage of a buildable foundation but the feel of a skin tint — that's all I want, truly. Foundation should be seen and not felt. and not even seen that much. (I'm trying to think of a clever metaphor for this and the only thing I can think of is that pottery-throwing scene from Ghost and that might be a bit extra, but you get what I mean, hopefully.)

At first when cushion compacts burst onto the scene I was stoked — finally a convenient way to get that natural undetectable finish! But alas, cushion compacts — while worthy of many virtues — are still like using a tiny Tempur-Pedic mattress to apply foundation. Foundation drops are a great invention however not all of them play nicely with all moisturizers/sunscreens and separate or pill in an odd unpleasant way. I'm sorry but silicone sponges are just something I cannot get behind — try as I might (and I have tried many a time with many different products) I feel like I'm trying to apply foundation with a squeegee and it's just a real bad streaky scene.

Beauty Blenders are fine for the most part but they still leave either a detectable layer of foundation sitting on the top of my skin, or it blends in too well to the point where the foundation is buffed in to the point of invisibility. Look, I'm a face-toucher and I hate when I leave streaks of foundation on my face as I scratch an itch on my cheek and I absolutely abhor getting foundation beneath my nails.

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We respond to all applicants, whether successful or unsuccessful. If we require further information, we will be in touch. We expect to be in contact with all organisations who applied in the next couple of months.

Please note: applications can only be submitted using our online application process. The application form can only be accessed when the application window is open as above. The Trustees will not consider speculative applications at other times throughout the year, nor will they consider applications or requests for funding sent via email or by post.


Please check that your organisation meets our eligibility requirements before applying to ECF


If you are a first time user, please register using the button below. You can skip this step if you already have login details.

The email address you use to register will be the address that all future correspondence will be directed to, including a confirmation email when you have succcessfully submitted the application form (please check your junk mail folder if you do not receive this confirmation in your inbox).


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How to apply even foundation

You could say that I have a love/hate relationship with makeup. Some days I enjoy playing with all the different colors and get excited when my smokey eye turns out perfectly.

But then there are those days when my liner refuses to go on straight, my bronzer makes me look crazy or my lashes refuse to curl (Amy Schumer knows exactly what I’m talking about). That’s when I want to toss my makeup bag out my bathroom window.

I had one of those days last week and after walking into work wearing two very different winged tips on my eyes, my editor assigned me a new story: Go to makeup school and write about it.

Here’s how you can reap the benefits of my makeup education.

Tip No. 1: Invest in great tools

How to apply even foundation

Are expensive brushes worth the cost? Yes, say professional makeup artists. Paul Hakimata – / featurePics

At Napoleon Perdis’ Makeup Academy in Hollywood, Rebecca Prior, NP’s National Educator, begins the first lesson by introducing us to our tools.

“To me, tools and products are equally as important as the makeup skills that you have,” she says. For example, let’s say you were using mediocre brushes, mediocre products and had average skill. Just by improving the quality of your brushes and using more richly pigmented products, the application would immediately be better, even without improving your technique. So if you really want to apply your makeup like a pro, Los Angeles-based educator Felicia Alva says, “Do what the professionals do: Use the proper brushes for application.”

How to apply even foundation

How to properly clean your makeup bag, lipstick, hairbrush, more

Here are the eight basic makeup brushes you need:

  1. Foundation brush
  2. Concealer brush
  3. Fluffy powder brush
  4. Blush brush
  5. Small blending brush
  6. Flat eyeshadow brush
  7. Precision angle brush
  8. Lip brush

Once you have your tools, you need to know how to hold them. “Where you hold a brush on the handle affects your control,” says Make Up For Ever educator Lijha Stewart. “The closer your fingers are to the barrel (the silver section beneath the brush head), the more pressure you put on the brush and vice versa.” In general, if you want to apply color evenly, place your fingers on the center of the brush handle. Another tip: You can easily turn a fluffy brush into a flat, angled brush by wrapping your hand around the bristles and flattening them.

Tip No. 2: Mix primer with your foundation

When I first head of Make-up Designory’s Beauty 101 class on foundation, I anticipated a bore-fest. I’m barely paying attention as lead instructor Gil Romero goes through the three different types of foundation: liquid, powder and cream. Yawn.

How to apply even foundation

It seems like Romero read my mind, because he immediately hit me with this tip: “You can wear cream foundation as is for opaque, full coverage or you can break it down to be more translucent by mixing it with some primer,” he says. What? Isn’t primer only supposed to go on before foundation? But Romero says this is a surefire way to retain the foundation’s coverage without it looking caked on. Plus, you get to reap the long-lasting durability that cream foundation has over liquids and powders. Prior says this also helps the makeup blend seamlessly with the first layer of primer on your skin.

I raise my hand at this point and ask if cream foundation is OK for oily skin. This is a selfish question, because I struggle with an oily T-zone by mid-day. Make-up Designory educator Yvonne Hawker (who also wrote the school’s textbook) says everyone can use cream foundation, but those with oily skin should use a damp sponge to apply it. Most foundations have oil in its formula to give the coverage blend-ability. Using the sponge will “pick up the pigment, but not the oil in the foundation.” You’ll still get great coverage without the shine.

Forget what you think you know about foundation—it's come a long way since the cakey, masklike stuff your mom used to wear. "Modern ones feel as lightweight as moisturizer," says celebrity makeup artist Troy Surratt, who has worked with Mariah Carey and Jennifer Lopez. "Celebs look so great on the red carpet because they're usually wearing foundation. It makes anyone's skin look flawless," he says. Here's how to get in on the miracle. Follow these make-up steps!

"Test foundation on your jawline and check it in the daylight," says CoverGirl makeup guru Pat McGrath. "The color is correct if it disappears without blending." Finding the right shade at the drugstore can be harder, but Surratt gives this sneaky tip: "If you can't afford to splurge on foundation, get a beauty adviser at a department store to help you pick the perfect color, and ask for a sample to take home. Then bring it to the drugstore and look for the closest match."

For the perfect canvas, make sure your skin is clean and moisturized. "Wait five minutes before you apply foundation to let moisturizer sink in," says makeup pro Rachel Goodwin, who works with Emma Stone and Jessica Biel. Primer is a skippable step unless your makeup has to last through a late night. Or use it alone on lazy days as a quick complexion smoother. "Primer can minimize pores and mattify your face," says Surratt.

If you want just a little coverage, use your fingers, pros advise. For more coverage, use a sponge. The Beauty-blender Cosmetic Sponge is a cult favorite among pros: "It leaves just the right amount on the skin," says Goodwin. For everyday, dab foundation only where you need it to hide pimples, camouflage redness or even out your T-zone. To get an airbrushed finish, blend makeup all over, including the eye area, starting in the middle and working your way out. Just don't pile on extra for big events or photos. Digital cameras won't wash you out like old school ones used to, so less is more.

"If you apply it before, you'll use more than you need," says Goodwin. And that base of foundation keeps concealer crease-free. Look for a lightweight liquid in a color one shade lighter than your skin. "Going too light looks fake," says McGrath, like reverse raccoon eyes. Use a small, pointy brush to cover the darkest part of under-eye circles—usually right below the inner and outer corners. If other little skin flaws aren't quite covered by your foundation, dab on a tiny bit of concealer there too.

Unlike old matte versions, it won't suck the life out of your face. "New translucent powders that reflect the light help skin glow and take down shine," says Surratt. Dust one on in a W motion. Starting at your hairline on one side, swoop down to your cheekbone, up to the bridge of your nose, back down the other cheek, then up again to the opposite hairline.

How to apply even foundation

People tell me all the time I have a great complexion, which takes me by surprise because for years I was convinced I had ruddy skin. But thanks to my gig as a beauty editor, I've learned how to turn my reddened, sometimes ashy appearance into skin that people actually compliment. Here are my secrets.

Get Skin in Tip-Top Shape

The number one rule I’ve learned as a beauty editor is the healthier your skin, the less makeup you’ll require. If you properly cleanse, exfoliate, and hydrate skin, you won’t need much concealer or foundation.

Always Slather on Primer or Moisturizer before Foundation

If you apply a primer to your face first, your concealer and foundation will glide on smoothly. Moisturizer works, too, just not as well. Primers act like spackle: They moisturize, plump the skin and fill in any fine lines, pores, and wrinkles, so your foundation won’t settle into them.

At first, I was skeptical, but then a makeup artist talked me into the beauty editor’s all-time favorite foundation primer ($39) from Laura Mercier. Cha-ching! The primer is oil-free, a bonus for my oily skin. The trick is to apply foundation within a minute of the primer or moisturizer application so that it doesn’t soak into the skin completely.

Apply Concealer Before Foundation

Once you apply concealer, you won’t need as much foundation, according to makeup artist Bobbi Brown. Use concealer under eyes, along the nose, and on the chin.

When you do apply concealer, pay special attention to the red areas around the nose. Dot concealer on these areas and then step back and look at how much brighter your face is.

Avoid Full Foundation Coverage

Few people need to apply foundation all over the face—a look I lovingly call “cake face.” Apply where you have uneven skin tone (usually along your nose). In wintertime, if your cheeks tend to get ruddy, apply there as well. For more sheer, natural coverage, consider a tinted moisturizer, which goes on much lighter than typical foundations.

Blend Foundation Correctly

If you do want more coverage, use a foundation brush (more on this below) and always start in the center of your face, blending outward. Pay special attention to the neck, otherwise, people will see the line where you stopped, giving you a “mask face.” (Full disclosure: I went around with mask face my entire sophomore year of high school).

Pick the Proper Color and Formula for Your Skin

Choose a color that’s as close to your natural skin tone as possible. Never try to darken your complexion with foundation (it will look very obvious). If a sun-kissed look is what you’re after, use a bronzer instead. Since skin tone can vary depending on the time of year, consider two shades of foundation: one for summer when skin is naturally darker, and one for winter when skin is lighter. Mix them together during spring and fall for a complete palette.

For oily skin, go for a matte foundation. Dry skin? Try a hydrating formula. One last tip: It’s a myth to test foundation colors on the back of your hand. The best spot is actually along your jawline, according to Allure‘s Linda Wells, in her book, Confessions of a Beauty Editor.

Use a Sponge, a Brush or Your Fingers

There's really no right or wrong way to apply foundation. Any of the three methods below works fine, so it's all about preference.

  • A foundation brush: Some makeup artists prefer foundation brushes to apply foundation (I loved Trish McEvoy’s foundation brush ($54)—until I lost it). A brush allows you to get into all the nooks, crannies, and pores on your face. To do this, put a glob of foundation or tinted moisturizer on the back of your hand and dab with a foundation brush, then apply to face.
  • Your fingers: Other makeup artists believe using your fingers warm up the foundation, which helps it blend into your skin better.
  • A sponge: I use a sponge when applying tinted moisturizer or foundation. I find the coverage is smooth and goes on perfect and I don’t muck up my fingers.

Don’t Throw Out Wrong-Toned Foundations and Concealers

Finding the right color foundation and concealer can be daunting, which is why I suggest you get professional help at Sephora or a makeup counter at a department store. This way you can try before you buy. But if you do have a few foundations and concealers that are just a bit off, do like the makeup artists and blend a couple of mismatched colors for the perfect one.

How to Conceal Dark Under-Eye Circles

According to makeup artist Anthea King in InStyle, you want to neutralize dark under-eye circles with peach- or yellow-toned concealers. Dab concealer on the inner corner of the eye by tapping it into place (never run a concealer on like you would sunscreen or foundation).

Invest in Great Highlighters and Watch Your Skin “Glow From Within”

My best skincare secret is illuminating creams and products. I love the way highlighters can minimize your worst features while enhancing others. There’s simply no better way to appear as if your skin is glowing from within than with a luminizing cream.

Apply above your brows on the browbone, on tops of the cheeks and down the center of the nose for best results. A makeup artist’s favorite (and mine, too) is Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat concealer ($38). Makeup artist Jo Strettel swears by this in Elle because it’s easy to use: You simply paint it on your face. I swear by it, as well, and have been using it every week for years.

Don’t Be Afraid of Bronzers

Nothing warms the face more than a bronzer. Make sure to use a big makeup brush and a light touch. Apply to all the spots where the sun hits: Forehead, cheeks, and nose. For more “pop,” (read: instant cheekbones) dot a creamy blush along your cheekbone (rather than apply blush into the apples of your cheeks), then blend in well.

Natural Oils Are Not Bad

While most of us with oily skin tend to mattify it to the max, we shouldn’t be afraid of skin’s natural oils. Lately, those whose faces bear some sheen have been all the rage.

If you have oily skin, apply an oil-free primer before your foundation to keep makeup in place, then powder only the nose and chin. Keep a pack of blotting tissues in your purse to blot excessive oils.

Facial Mist Is a God-Send

After you apply makeup, spray facial mist to get the perfect dewy non-cake face. I’m into Evian Natural Mineral Water Facial Spray ($14) at the moment. You can also apply a pea-sized dot of moisturizer on a sponge and lightly apply it to your forehead and cheeks.

Get Rid of the “Ashen” Look

If you have dark skin, you may notice your skin can get ashy. Combat it with a cream highlighter. Apply concealer to upper corners of lips where skin tends to be darker.

Tone Down Ruddy Skin

If you have ruddy (red) skin, tone it down with a yellow- or green-based foundation. Pink-based foundations and tinted moisturizers will only worsen your red complexion. Also, try yellow-based blushes, such as apricot, instead of a pink tone.

Yes, Everyone Can Wear Blush

Since my skin is perpetually flushed, I thought I never needed blush. The makeup artist at Bobbi Brown agreed until she applied a tinted moisturizer. The moisturizer toned down my ruddiness enough that she needed to add a blush, which subsequently gave me a healthy color.

So, you’ve completed your perfect makeup look—or so you think. After strutting your stuff with full confidence, you come to realize that your beauty look has entered cakey makeup territory. Eek! Unfortunately, when you’re wearing face makeup, cakiness is a very real issue that can occur. Thankfully, all hope isn’t lost. If you notice that you’re sporting cakey foundation or your face powder needs a bit more blending, there are ways to fix it. Read on to learn how to fix cakey makeup—but first, let’s cover a question you’ve probably had running through your mind: ‘Why is my foundation cakey?’


If your foundation looks cakey, there’s probably a simple reason. One of the main culprits of this makeup mishap is none other than applying too much product. We totally get it; you want to make sure that you provide your face with even coverage. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to overdo it with foundation.

Whether you use a makeup brush, makeup blender, or your fingers to perfect your complexion, you want to make sure you blend a small amount of foundation at a time to avoid looking overdone. Not quite sure how to apply foundation? Here’s A Foolproof Guide on How to Apply Foundation.

Other reasons for cakey foundation include dry skin, not layering your makeup correctly, and not using the right skin care products. Skipping out on exfoliation is another factor that can cause cakiness. Always make sure you prep your skin by exfoliating and moisturizing to help makeup go on smoothly.

Editor’s note: Think you might be layering your makeup wrong? Follow the makeup routine order in our article, How to Apply Makeup: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide.


If you’d like to cross cakey makeup off the list of beauty issues that plague you, you’re in luck. Below, find five ways to avoid cakiness altogether.


If your foundation frequently looks cakey, the problem might actually be connected to your skin care routine. After you apply moisturizer, it’s important that you don’t skip straight to smoothing on foundation. Instead, you’ll want to give face lotions and creams a minute or two to dry before moving on.


Some foundations are more prone to cakiness than others. If you think the formula you’re using could be at fault for your ruined makeup looks, it’s time to switch to a lightweight option. We love the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Up to 24HR Fresh Wear Foundation, which has a long-wearing yet lightweight formula.


The way you apply your makeup matters! Instead of using your fingers, we recommend reaching for a designated foundation brush or makeup blender. For a smooth (i.e., not cakey) finish, try applying your foundation with the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Blend Artist Foundation Blender.


Like it or not, concealer can look cakey, too. Makeup typically starts to look cakey partway through the day, as your foundation and concealer begin to settle into lines and shift around. For that reason, using a waterproof concealer that’s sure to stay in place is a must. Grab the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Full Wear Concealer Waterproof, and dot it on under your eyes, using just enough to cover any visible dark circles.


The number one cause of cakey makeup is layering on too much product. Seriously, applying extra foundation isn’t the trick to faking a perfect complexion! Rather, when you really cake on the product, it’ll be all too obvious that that’s what you did. So, remember to use a light hand when applying face makeup. A little bit of foundation, concealer, and face powder goes a long way.


Let’s be real: We all make makeup mistakes from time to time. So, if you end up with cakiness, it’s essential to have a few fixes in your back pocket. Here are three ways to keep cakey makeup at bay:


Cakiness is often accompanied by oily skin, and if either of those is of concern to you, it’s a good idea to keep blotting sheets on hand. When you notice your makeup looks cakey or your skin looks shiny, gently blot with a sheet.


Getting a makeup sponge wet is practically magic. Run your sponge under a little water, wring it out, then press it against your skin anywhere your makeup looks cakey. The sponge will soften your makeup and put an end to cakiness.


Face mists are one of the most enjoyable parts of any beauty routine—really, misting your face feels amazing—and they’re also totally useful. It only takes a few seconds to spritz your face and fix cakey makeup. Keep a bottle of the L’Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Shake and Glow Mist on your desk or in your bag and spray your face anytime you’re experiencing cakey foundation, or you simply need a mid-day pick-me-up.

Next up: Looking for fixes for other common beauty concerns? Next, read up on The Easiest Way to Fix Hair Color Mistakes.

How to apply even foundation

Using foundation to achieve a flawless complexion is a lot easier said than done. For as many concerns as foundation can fix—hiding unwanted blemishes and evening out skin tones—it can also be the source of a lot of frustration.

We’ve all experienced foundation that feels and looks thick, cakey and, well, fake. It can turn people off from using foundation at all. But there is hope! To ensure that those who want to wear foundation can do so and get natural-looking results, we enlisted some of our favorite makeup artists to give us their best tips on how to make foundation appear smooth, beautiful, and natural.

The start of a good makeup routine is a good skin-care routine. It’s obviously easier to improve the look of your skin with foundation if your skin is healthy underneath. “The first step in getting a natural looking foundation application is skin-care,” says makeup artist Suzy Gerstein. “I am big on using an exfoliant—whether chemical or physical—to slough off dead skin cells and get the surface of your skin looking bright and smooth.” Exfoliating to a get a smoother surface will also keep product from catching in bumpy or flakey areas.

This is another key skin-care step that helps foundation application; you want to find the moisturizer that’s right for your skin’s needs and will complement your base makeup best. “Taking care of your skin-care is the most important thing, but there may be different levels of richness that are better or worse for you,” explains makeup artist Andrew Sotomayor. “If your foundation tends to look dry, you may want to switch to a richer cream or face oil.” He recommends Zelens Skincare Z-22 Absolutely Face Oil, $115, or you can try Kiehl’s Ultra Face Cream, $16.

However, if you have oily skin and notice your foundation look shiny, try something lightweight and fast absorbing like Saturday Skin Featherweight Daily Moisturizing Cream, $49. For the ultra luxe option, try Sotomayor’s recommendation, La Mer The Moisturizing Matte Lotion, $270, or Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion, $11, for a derm-favorite drugstore pick.

Even if you do exfoliate and moisturize before applying foundation, you can still come across flakey dryness, especially around the nostrils. You can combat this with a bit of moisturizer overtop the foundation. Gerstein recommends using a cotton swab or a small buffing brush and dabbing a bit of the moisturizer onto the dry areas to smooth out the makeup.

“One of the easiest ways to get a flawless and natural application of foundation is to choose a liquid formula instead of a cream or a powder,” says celebrity makeup artist Joey Camasta. Overall, liquid foundations are easier to apply, are better to build on, and they mimic the texture of actual skin, as Camasta puts it.

Makeup artists agree that using a damp sponge is the best way to minimize cakiness. “Tapping a damp sponge, such as the Beautyblender, all over your face will even out the coverage and diffuse the product,” says Camasta.

Gerstein points out that the key to using a sponge is to make sure it’s damp, not soaking wet. To get the perfect consistency, she recommends using warm water and wringing it out in a paper towel. “Use that sponge to really work the product into your skin so it doesn’t just lay on the surface,” she says.

How to apply even foundation

Finding the best foundation can be tough, to say the least. Whether you're channeling one of your favorite models with a barely-there look or going for a full-on Instagram MUA face, foundation should really be the base of your beauty handiwork. But this very important product, which is seemingly simple to master (just apply, blend, and go—right?) really can be a tricky little devil! With so many available options in formula, shade, and method of application it's a wonder that any of us have perfected the art.

Even if you think of yourself as a complexion pro, read up to make sure you're avoiding these seven common beauty blunders. (And then find out how to fix 'em!)

You're not testing properly for a shade match.

"The most common mistake girls make is not testing foundation in natural light and swatching it on your wrist, hand, or arm before buying," says Kim Soane, Bobbi Brown's director of global artistry. "Always test for your shade on the side of your face, between the nose and the side of the cheek, since the face is so rarely the same color as the rest of your body. Test three samples that range from lighter to darker and the correct one will disappear into your skin."

While this might mean spending a little extra time finding your foundation, celebrity makeup artist Neil Scibelli assures there's a match for you. "I think many mass brands have been expanding their shade range, and have become more consumer savvy," he says. "L'Oréal's True Match line of foundations [has] very light colors to very deep colors. Also, Maybelline's FIT Me collection really offers a wide range of shades from pale to deep — in both the matte and poreless and dewy options.

You're using the wrong formula for your skin type.

"Formulas play a key role when it comes to choosing the right type of foundation," says Sephora pro Erik Soto. "If you have dry skin, a more radiant finish will keep you hydrated all day long, whereas a semi-matte finish, which can be achieved with Marc Jacobs Marvelous Mousse, is ideal for combination skin. And if you're oily, matte products will ensure shine-free wear." If you don't follow these guidelines, your complexion won't look its best. For example, choosing a creamy foundation on oily skin may deliver clogged pores or acne. On the flip side, matte formulations can make dry patches on the skin appear more prominent. Thankfully, there's actually technology specifically designed for problem skin! Try Neutrogena SkinClearing Oil-Free Makeup

You're not switching up your shade seasonally to match your skin tone.

Once you settle on the perfect foundation, it can be hard to let it go. But in all likelihood, your face doesn't stay the exact same color throughout the seasons. (No matter how religious you are with SPF!) Summer sun tends to warm up our complexions while winter's gloomy weather leaves us with a touch of pallor. Our best advice? Stick to the fairer shade, but mix it with equal parts liquid luminizer that contains golden tones. Try Chantecaille's Liquid Lumière in Luster.

You're using the wrong tool (or your fingers!) to apply.

"I use a synthetic foundation brush and finish off by setting it with a damp BeautyBlender sponge," says Neil . "This combination ensures even coverage and an airbrushed finish. Your fingers can retain bacteria, dirt, and oils, which you don't want to spread all over your face, especially if you have acne," he explains. "Using a foundation brush will help properly distribute your product and will leave your complexion flawless." To prevent acne or oils from spreading, make sure to clean your brushes every two weeks. Try Japonesque's Solid Brush Cleanser.

You're too liberal with your powder.

Gone are the days of setting your foundation with a tinted powder. It's no secret that this process tends to look heavy and cakey, but how's a girl supposed to keep her hard work looking fresh throughout the day (and the evening)? Thankfully, the beauty shelves now offer a variety of translucent powders that undetectably set completed makeup. On top of locking down your look, these powders are perfect for beating shine. We love Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder. But Neil notes that not every skin type requires a powder. "If your skin is on the oily side, I recommend using a mattifying setting spray, waiting for it to set, then touching up with translucent powder when needed," he says. "If you're on the normal to dry side, I would either leave the skin as is, or just [use] a finishing mist. Sometimes, less is more."

You're doing too much.

The perfect foundation covers all of your flaws without looking like makeup. You'll know that the formula and shade are perfect for you when it absolutely disappears onto your skin. But how can you predict a product's finish? We recommend testing foundations on the back of your hand or your wrist. You can tell a lot by how something sits on your skin after it's been applied; anything that looks or feels heavy is only going to look and feel worse on your face. Go lighter on your foundation formula and follow up with concealer only where you need it. The finished look will be fresh and natural. To find out our all-time favorites, visit our ultimate foundation guide.

You're stopping at the jawline.

You're probably not into the look of having a visible foundation line at the jaw. Properly blending is the key to a natural foundation look, and you should always ensure that you concentrate your foundation in the center of your face, blending outward, and then sweep the excess product down the jaw and neckline. Use a fluffy, rounded foundation brush like Sephora #55 to buff product right into the skin.

How to apply even foundation

For most of us, hot summer months mean lighter makeup. At Beautyblender, they also mean letting you in on one of our favorite life hacks: concealer as foundation. From finding the right shade to knowing which areas to treat, here’s everything you need to know to master concealer as foundation.

1. Double Down on Shade

Anyone who’s concealed a blemish or contoured a face knows the cardinal concealer rule: it takes 2 to tango. The concealer you use to hide a pesky zit isn’t the same one you use to brighten dark circles, and it’s especially clutch to double up when you’re asking your concealer to pull double duty.

To use concealer as foundation, grab 2 shades:

With each concealer, make sure you get one that’s free of parabens (preservatives) and phthalates (chemicals that are — for real — used to make plastic ). Our Bounce Airbrush Liquid Whip Concealer is free of both, and it’s also hydrating and weightless, so it nourishes your skin while concealing.

2. Prime & Plump

Looks that rely on concealer as foundation are all about simplicity, and if your skin isn’t hydrated, concealer won’t go on smoothly. Start with a clean, moisturized face so you don’t have to use a ton of product and your natural complexion can shine through.

Two of our favorite primers to start with are:

    1. Selfie Shield Dry Oil Primer , which has SPF 38 to shield skin from rays, as well as vitamins C and E to neutralize pollutants and brighten skin.
    2. The Leveler Pore Minimizing Primer , which is great for oily skin, comes in light and dark tones, and may lead you to use even less concealer as foundation.

    3. Lighten Up First

    Grab your lighter concealer and hit the following areas:

    Before you start blending with your Micro Mini BB , hold up! Blending out your concealer immediately will cause it to shear out more than you want, and you need it to sink in when using concealer as foundation. So dot your spots and wait a minute before blending. Better yet: Dab and then do #4 before circling back to blend out bright spots.

    4. Spot-treat Second

    For blemishes and dark spots, grab the concealer that matches your foundation. A dual-sided applicator is key here because you can use it to dot, dab and blend. If you’re working with BOUNCE Airbrush Liquid Whip Concealer , its doe-footed wand already has a pointed tip that’s precise enough to cover even the tiniest spot.

    Use the darker concealer on:

    Be sure to tap your concealer directly onto smaller spots without buffing or blending so you don’t draw attention to problem areas.

    5. Blend, Baby, Blend!

    Wet your Beautyblender and bounce, bounce, bounce!

    Start by blending the spots you dotted with darker concealer first so you don’t accidentally highlight blemishes by mistake.

    Once you’ve blended those, rinse your blender and bounce the lighter spots. Be sure to blend your lighter concealer up your cheekbone past your eye for a highlighting boost.

    Finally, take a look at the spots where you used the lighter color. If any look unnaturally light, dab a dot of the darker concealer — aka the one you use on the rest of your face — and blend that out.

    This last step is what ensures a natural finish — and keeps you from looking like you fell asleep wearing sunglasses 😎.

    6. Powder, Bronze & Blush

    To set your look, grab your BIG BOSS Powder Brush and apply your favorite dusting powder. If your summer skin is darker due to more hours spent (safely SPF’d!) outside, try skipping the powder and go straight to bronzer for an even more makeup-free look.

    Add a quick swipe of blush and a spray of Re-Dew Set & Refresh Spray and your natural summer glow is good-to-go.

    When there are so many options available in the market, it’s hard to choose right from the many types of makeup foundation, not only according to your skin, but also according to the occasion, time of day, and other factors.

    In this post you will learn about:

    • How do you apply liquid foundation
    • Is liquid or powder foundation better?
    • What is a stick foundation?
    • What skin type is mousse foundation for?
    • Which foundation lasts the longest?
    • What is a serum foundation?

    Types of Makeup Foundation

    Liquid Foundation

    How to apply even foundation

    Our introduction to foundations is often in its liquid form. Liquid foundations come in oil-based as well as water-based formulas, and cater to all skin types. Traditionally though, liquid foundations have always been the choice foundation for those with dry skin. Since it is easy to apply, it is the perfect choice for makeup beginners. You can apply liquid foundation with sponges, brushes, and, with a little practice, even your fingers. In terms of coverage, liquid foundation is very versatile, and is available in light (to even out the skin tone), medium (to hide light blemishes), and heavy coverage (to cover enlarged pores and dark marks).

    Seems like liquid foundations are the answer to everything, right? Not really. Liquid foundations that give high coverage tend to clog the pores, and cause whiteheads and blackheads. When worn for long hours, sweat and oil can make liquid foundation appear patchy.

    Powder Foundation

    How to apply even foundation

    If you have oily skin, powder foundations are a good addition to your makeup kit. Because powder foundations are talc-based, it soaks up the excess oil secreted by your skin. However, in case you have very oily skin, you will notice your powder foundation turning clumpy after a bit. Dry skin types should avoid using this type of foundation since the powder isn’t able to fill in the lines and wrinkles, which are more visible on dry skin, and tends to ‘çake.’ You would be familiar with the pressed-powder compacts. There are also loose powder foundation available in the market. Powder foundations are best applied with a brush or sponge (never with your fingers!).

    Powder foundations come in light(sheer) to medium coverage. Trying to use powder as a full coverage foundation by applying multiple layers can give your face a heavily caked look. Powder foundations also tend to change color after reacting with sweat and oils. Given the light coverage, it doesn’t help cover fine lines and blemishes.

    Don’t know how to choose a foundation for your skin complexion? Our guide to understanding SKIN UNDERTONES will get you started.

    Cream Foundation

    How to apply even foundation

    If you are a dry skin type, and have an all-day event coming up, then a cream foundation would be your best bet. An HD cream foundation lasts upto 10 hours without creasing or caking, keeping your skin hydrated the whole time. The coverage of a cream foundation is medium, i.e. it can hide light blemishes and very fine lines.

    The problem with cream foundations is that they tend to crease after a while, in case your skin is extremely dry. To avoid this apply a face primer or a moisturiser before applying a cream foundation.

    Mousse Foundation

    How to apply even foundation

    Mousse foundations are gaining popularity due to their lightness. Also called a whipped foundation, the formula contains micro bubbles which make a light foundation to wear. It comes in medium to full coverage variants. What makes it a great pick over a cream foundation is that mousse foundations do not settle into the ridges and accentuate lines and wrinkles. But, they also don’t last as long as a cream foundation does. You can wear a mousse foundation for upto 3 hours before it starts wearing off. This makes it a good option for an evening out with friends, but not a wedding.

    Mousse foundations can be applied with either a beauty blender, or a brush.

    Serum Foundation

    How to apply even foundation

    One of the less familiar foundation types to hit the market, serum foundation is perfect for women with oily skin. Serums have the lightness of a tinted moisturiser and the coverage of a foundation. The silicone-based formula makes it watery and thin, which makes it easy to spread. However, serum foundations set soon which is why you have to apply them quickly. You can use a flat foundation brush to apply over large areas at once, and evenly.

    The problem with serum foundations though is that they start wearing after 2-3 hours.

    How to apply even foundation

    I couldn’t help being a little jealous. My colleague had the most flawless skin I’d ever seen. Even under the unforgiving glare of the office’s harsh fluorescent bulbs, she looked perfect. I wrote off her complexion as one of those inherited blessings, like a lightning-speed metabolism or a cushy trust fund. A chance encounter in the office bathroom revealed I was wrong. I walked in on her walloping a fully loaded powder puff against her cheek. Perched on the counter was a sloppily fingerprinted bottle of CoverGirl Clean Makeup in a dusty peach shade.

    I was shocked. But I was also motivated. I wanted to find out how to use foundation without looking as if I’m wearing a mask—or the wrong shade or a layer of powder; I wanted to know how to get the kind of seemingly natural perfection my work pal had. So I interrogated a dermatologist, makeup artists, and a chemist to come up with the solutions to a bunch of pressing foundation problems.

    Problem: Cream, stick, liquid, powder—what’s the right formula for me?

    Solution: Your skin type will tell you what to use.

      If you’re dry, choose a liquid, stick, or hydrating powder foundation. Liquids and sticks both have a creamy (moisturizing) consistency, and hydrating powders are blended with ingredients that deliver moisture to the skin and offer more coverage than regular pressed powders; look for clues like “compact makeup” or “foundation” on the product packaging. (Clinique Supermoisture Makeup, $23, is a good one.)

    Solution: Press a naked velvet puff to your face after applying foundation.

    It will help absorb any excess and push the foundation into the skin. Or you can use a puff or brush to apply a light veil of translucent powder, which will set the foundation.

    I’m completely confused by makeup-speak. What the heck is a “finish,” and how do I figure out which one I want?

    Solution: A finish is the kind of sheen (or lack of it) a foundation leaves on your skin. There are three types: semimatte, matte, and luminizing.

      Most foundations are semimatte, and they work on almost anyone. “It looks the most natural,” says New York City makeup artist Paul Innis. (If the packaging doesn’t say that it’s matte or luminizing, assume it’s semimatte.)

    Solution: Don’t try to fill in those areas with makeup.

    Apply less makeup on crow’s-feet and marionette lines, and keep those areas well moisturized, says Laura Mercier, a New York City makeup artist.

    Problem: My foundation always looks fake. I’m sure it’s because I can’t find the right shade!

    Solution: Go straight to a department store for professional help.

    The foundation will cost more than at a drugstore, but the initial investment is worth it. You can use your purchase as a guide for buying a less expensive foundation in the future. (For the most precise match, try Prescriptives Custom Blend service, $62. A professional blender hand-mixes several pigments to create your custom foundation in 20 minutes. The formula is saved in the company’s database.)

    For women of color, many foundations are unsuitable and often leave an ashy finish, says Ashunta, a celebrity makeup artist for Dior, because of the wide range of undertones in dark skin. (She recommends DiorSkin Fluide Mocha #800, $41; it works with many different African-American complexions. The new CoverGirl Queen Collection Natural Hue Compact Foundation, $8, is specially formulated with low levels of titanium dioxide, the ingredient that causes ashiness.)

    Problem: My face looks as powdered as a sugared doughnut.

    Solution: Once you’ve dipped your brush or sponge into powder foundation, immediately tap it to get rid of excess particles that give that overly dusted look.

    Also, if you have peach fuzz (as many women do), sweep the powder in the direction that the hair grows, not against it. Going against the follicles inadvertently fluffs up those hairs, creating a little cushion for the powder to settle on.

    Problem: Suddenly, my face is one color, my neck another—not a great look.

    Solution: Check your foundation shade against your jawline, says New York City makeup artist Paula Dorf, and adjust the color. Your skin color may change with the seasons, especially during the summer (even if you use sunscreen).

    I’ve got a moisturizing formula in the right shade, but my foundation still looks splotchy and caked.

    Solution: Prepare your skin before you apply foundation.

      First, slough off dead skin cells once or twice a week so makeup goes on evenly. Second, use a moisturizer with SPF—even if your foundation has one. “To get adequate sun protection, you’d have to use too much of the makeup,” says Hirsch. Third, slip on a primer. A light gel or lotion, primer makes foundation go on more evenly and last longer by creating a smooth base for the pigment to adhere to. Massage a pea-size amount onto your face. Let it absorb before you apply foundation. New York City makeup artist Mathew Nigara specifically looks for primers made with silicone, which fills in pores and lines and illuminates the skin, giving you an airbrushed look. (Too Faced’s Wrinkle Injection, $27, a silicone-based primer, feels especially silky.)

    Solution: For the heaviest coverage, look for brands like Cover Fx and Dermablend.

    They’re packed with pigment (containing 40 and 25 percent, respectively), are water resistant, and last for 12 to 16 hours (so a little goes a long way). Many earlier incarnations had a texture like bathtub caulking, but new formulations are remarkably light.

    Problem: Should I use my fingers to apply it? A sponge? A brush?

    Solution: Each method has its pros and cons.

      Use your fingers to apply liquid and cream foundations, because the heat generated helps to warm up the pigment, making it easy to blend.

    Solution: “Eliminate brushstrokes by pressing your palm gently into your skin as if you were using a puff,” says Dorf.

    And next time, go easy: If you have brushstrokes or swirl marks, you’re using too much.

    How to apply even foundation

    The whole point of foundation is to make skin look so completely flawless and natural that no one suspects you’re wearing anything at all. But any makeup artist will tell you foundation is actually one of the trickiest products to master. So how can you crush it like a pro? First, choose a liquid formula, which “is buildable, looks more natural than a cream or powder, and mimics the texture of actual skin,” says celebrity makeup artist Jenn Streicher, who has worked with the likes of Lily James and Emily Blunt. Then crib these clever tips:

    1. Prep your skin. Rough, dry patches are foundation’s number-one nemesis—they make application uneven and flaky, no matter how dewy or hydrating your makeup is, says Streicher. To smooth out skin, start by exfoliating with a chemical exfoliator (gritty scrubs can be too harsh), and then slather on moisturizer while your skin is still damp; let it sink in for few minutes before laying down foundation. Primer isn’t necessary for everyday wear, Streicher says, but it can be helpful if you’re trying to combat a specific skin concern like large pores or oiliness.

    2. Custom-blend the right shade. We know, it’s a lot to ask. But it’s the trick to ensuring an exact match every time. “Skin tends to be darker in the summer and lighter in the winter, and this method lets you tweak your color year-round,” Streicher says. Get two foundation shades—one lighter and one darker than your natural skin tone—and put a few drops of each on the back of your hand. Mix them together before swiping the combo on your jawline to test. If it blends in seamlessly, apply it all over. If not, play with different ratios of color until you get it just right.

    3. Find good light. In other words, get thee to a window. “Natural daylight gives the most accurate impression of how your makeup will look in real life,” Streicher explains. If that’s not an option, try installing bright white light bulbs in your bathroom for the closest approximation of outdoor lighting (avoid warm yellow and cold fluorescent lights at all costs).

    How to apply even foundation

    4. Use your fingers. Nothing beats them for fast, streak-free coverage, Streicher says. “There’s more leeway with liquid formulas since they’re more sheer and forgiving.” But don’t pile product on haphazardly: Start by dotting foundation on the areas where you need more coverage, like in the T-zone or cheeks, and then spread whatever’s left over the rest of your face.

    5. Diffuse with sponge. To get a truly airbrushed finish, apply foundation with your fingers and then tap a damp Beautyblender all over your face to even things out, Streicher suggests: “It blurs hard lines and picks up excess product so foundation never looks cakey.” Also important: running the sponge under your chin and down your neck. For an even glowier look, spritz your sponge with a facial mist that has a touch of oil, such as Caudalie Beauty Elixir.

    6. Pat on concealer afterward. You’ll use a lot less than if you put it on before foundation, Streicher says. Her golden rule for perfect concealer: Choose the right texture for the job. Use a creamy, hydrating formula on dark circles (so the cover-up won’t settle into fine lines) and opt for something thicker and drier to cover a pimple—that way it won’t slip off throughout the day.

    7. Set it with powder. No, you can’t skip this step. “It’s key for getting foundation to last all day,” Streicher says. Dip a clean makeup puff in loose translucent powder like Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder, fold the puff in half, and rub its sides together until the powder is completely absorbed. Tap off any excess before lightly rolling (swiping will smear foundation) the puff over your skin to seal it all in.

    How to Blend Face Makeup Into the Neck. Foundation is the base for the rest of all of the makeup that you wear. Properly applied foundation creates an even-toned and natural look. It’s important to blend the makeup from the face into the neck without leaving lines between the two.

    Stand in front of a mirror in a well lit room. Note the difference in skin tone between your face and your neck.

    Choose makeup for your neck that matches the skin tone of your face.

    Choose a large, fluffy and round brush to apply powder foundation. Pick up powder foundation from the edge of the container with only one side of the brush. Pick up only a small amount of powder on the fibers of the brush at a time. Use the brush to distribute the makeup evenly across the skin.

    Apply powder foundation onto the neck along the jaw line and under the chin. Work from the chin out towards the jaw line and then down onto the neck. Use a downward stroke to minimize the impact of the brush on facial hair. Make sure there’s no separation of color or visible line between the face and the neck.

    Use a damp sponge if you choose a liquid foundation. Pour a small amount of makeup onto the top of your hand. Dip the sponge into the makeup. Smooth the sponge across the jaw line. Use downward strokes to blend the makeup over the jaw line and onto the neck. Check for separation of colors and visible lines.

    Set the foundation with a light dusting of matching powder. Gently pat the brush onto the skin of the face and edge of the neck. Move the brush lightly in a circular motion to keep the foundation intact.

    Brush a bronzer, a powder that is a mix of the two shades of foundation, onto the neck and around the jaw line. Use a circular motion to buff the makeup into the skin. Brush along the jaw line to erase any remaining lines between the face and the neck.

    The skin should always be clean and freshly washed before you apply any makeup. If your skin is dry, apply a water-based moisturizer before applying foundation. When you use a damp sponge instead of a dry one to apply liquid makeup, the makeup is easier to apply and the sponge won’t absorb extra makeup. Always apply foundation first, then follow with the rest of your makeup routine.

    How to apply even foundation

    C oncealer is available in so many shades and feature thicker formula, than foundation or powder. The main purpose of concealer is to hide minor skin imperfections, such as red spots, blue circles under eyes, etc. Usually, the concealer is applied only in the areas where you need to mask something. Then you apply foundation, finish powder and are good to go. Yet, can concealer be used as a stand-alone product? Let us find out.

    Can I use concealer all over my face?

    The short answer is both yes and no. If you have perfect skin and there is some area that you need to work on, concealer is exactly what you need. Just apply a tiny spot of concealer there and blend the edges well to make that transition invisible. If you want to cover all the face with concealer, there are certain things you need to keep in mind.

    1. Concealer features thick formula, so if you use it instead of foundation for a long time, it may clog pores. But if you really need that thick coverage no matter what, make sure to use face primer first. It will not allow concealer get deep into the pores.
    2. As a rule, concealer is pricier, than foundation, so such approach to makeup is likely to break the bank.
    3. If you want to use concealer all over the face, you will likely need more than 1 color not to look flat. Use the lighter color under eyes, and darker shade for the rest of the face. If you are into contouring, you may get the third color that is darker than your skin to apply under cheek bones for that finely sculptured look.
    4. If you plan wearing only concealer for the whole day, note that it may dry on skin in some areas. As a result, you may gain that patchy coverage, which you definitely do not want to. To prevent this from happening, grab a moisturizing transparent face spray with you (All Nighter by Urban Decay will do it, or you can pick the other similar product).

    How to apply even foundation

    How to wear only concealer

    Challenge Solution
    1 Concealer features thick formula You may use a couple of foundation drops mixed with it
    2 Concealer may clog pores Use primer before applying concealer
    3 Concealer may look patchy with time Use transparent setting spray during the day
    4 Concealer doesn’t give that even coverage Apply translucent powder over concealer
    5 Applying concealer all over the face may create that flat look Pick more than 1 concealer color
    6 Concealer may fade over time on skin Pick the concealer color that’s close to the color of your skin
    7 Concealer may apply in a patchy way Blend concealer well (you may damp brush)

    How to apply even foundation

    How to apply concealer

    If you are willing to use concealer instead of foundation to create that even coverage, here are 3 easy steps you should follow.

    1. Prep your skin. When the skin is clean and ready for makeup application, apply face primer to prevent pore clogging.
    2. For even and non-patchy look, mix your concealer with a couple of drops of moisturizer or foundation. This will allow creating smoother formula, which will not appear too patchy or dry on skin.
    3. Use your fingertips to apply concealer. Alternatively, you can use synthetic flat foundation brush. If you feel, that the formula is too thick, you can apply concealer with dampened brush.
    4. Make sure to blend concealer on skin well to avoid uneven coverage.
    5. For healthy and even finish, use dusty or translucent powder over concealer.

    How to apply even foundation

    Makeup with only concealer and powder

    If you do not want to use foundation in your makeup and you want to gain that thick coverage, you may consider using concealer and powder. The procedure is pretty much the same as the regular concealer-based makeup. Yet, when powder is applied over concealer, you will gain more natural effect.

    How to apply even foundation

    Table of Contents

    How to Stop Foundation Settling in Pores

    Are you wondering how to stop foundation settling in pores?

    Foundation is one of the basic principles of makeup. It helps you highlight your facial features and make you look more beautiful than you already are. More often than not, a foundation also works as a great concealer. It helps you hide your acne, pores, blackheads, scars and the like.

    Sometimes, when you apply foundation, you might notice that it settles in your pores, making them look bigger than they are. These foundation-filled pores can make your skin look dry and dirty. Have you wondered how to master the art of applying foundation effectively without it settling in your pores? Here are some tips that will help you master this art:

    1. Clean Skin is a Must

    Though it is a simple tip, many women forget to follow this. It is very important to apply foundation only after you have cleansed and washed your skin thoroughly with a gentle cleanser.

    Make sure that your skin is free from dirt, grime, gunk, oil and other substances before you apply foundation. You can be assured of an even foundation application when your skin is clean and clear.

    When there are any traces of dirt and dust on your skin, it can result in foundation getting stuck in some places. As a result of this, some foundation can enter into your open pores and settle there, making them look big and ugly.

    A simple skincare routine such as cleansing your face thoroughly before every application can help you get rid of this problem.

    2. Hydrate your Skin

    Have you ever thought about the reason why foundation enters into the pores and fine lines during application? This is because the surface of your skin is flaky and the foundation you apply comes out in the form of lumps or cakes. This cakey application settles into your pores, making you look many years older than what you actually are.

    The simple way to get rid of this problem is to apply foundation on moisturized skin at all times. When foundation is applied on dry and dull skin, it can result in cakey application.

    For it to flow smoothly on your skin evenly on all the areas, your skin has to be soft and supple. Applying a moisturizer before application of foundation is, therefore, a mandatory tip that you have to remember.

    3. Use of Primer is a Must

    A primer is the fundamental concept of the huge subject known as facial makeup. It is quite surprising that not many women give primer the credit it deserves. A primer helps to prepare your skin well for foundation application. This serves two purposes – foundation not settling into pores and providing an even application.

    A primer makes your face smooth and ready for even application of foundation. Therefore, you can be assured of the longevity of the foundation on your skin. You can also avoid problems such as a flaky face because your skin is smooth and absorbs the foundation well because of the primer.

    4. Powder Finish is a Great Choice

    If you want your makeup to look flawless and if you want to prevent the foundation from settling into your pores, you should complete your look with a lightweight powder finish. More often than not, foundation that doesn’t stick on to the skin tends to get into the pores and fine lines after a few hours of application.

    To avoid foundation from getting scattered, you can press some lightweight powder on your face immediately after applying the foundation. You get to enjoy two benefits because of this.

    Firstly, your foundation will remain intact on your skin for a longer time than usual. Secondly, the setting powder will hold your foundation well and prevent it from entering into the pores or fine lines.

    5. Smooth and Blended Finish

    You have cleansed and moisturized your face well before applying foundation. However, still do you notice that the foundation has entered into the pores on your face? If yes, it only means that you haven’t applied the foundation properly. It is very important that you use the right kind of brush for blending the foundation well into your skin.

    Regardless of your preference (sponge or brush), you should ensure that you spread the foundation evenly on your face so that it gives a smooth and flawless finish. Your foundation should flow smoothly blending well on all the parts of your face, so that there is no room for accumulating anywhere near the pores.

    6. Make your own Foundation

    If you have tried all these tips and still find foundation settling inside the pores, it is time to customize your foundation according to the type of your skin. Many women have experienced success when using liquid foundation.

    All you need to do is to mix a little bit of your foundation with some essential oil or your moisturizer to get a thick, liquid-like consistency.

    Apply this liquid foundation evenly all over your face to avoid instances of a cakey application. Use your brush or sponge to ensure that you have spread out the foundation well so that your skin can easily absorb the same. This will also make your face look shiny and more beautiful than ever.

    Final Thoughts

    To conclude, we would like to reinstate the point that you need to maintain your skin well to avoid foundation from settling into the pores and fine lines. It is very important to wash your face thoroughly and remove all traces of makeup before you go to bed every night.

    This will make your skin free from dirt, oils, grime, etc. When foundation is applied on a clear and hydrated skin, the chances of it settling into the pores are very low.

    Always use a little amount of foundation first and spread evenly all over your face. Applying more foundation than necessary can result in flaky skin and foundation settling into the pores.

    It is not about the quantity of foundation you apply but the quality of your application that makes a lot of difference. Use a neat sponge or brush to spread out the foundation evenly on your face to avoid your pores getting highlighted unnecessarily.

    How to apply even foundation

    Here’s something that helps when I apply liquid foundation: ya gotta give it time. Always give it enough time to set before you jump in with powder, so like four or five minutes, because if your foundation is still wet when you apply your powder, all sorts of terrible, horrible, frightening things happen…

    OK, not really. But sort of. 🙂 The powder won’t apply evenly, because the wet areas will collect more of it, and that’s not great.

    Another happy side effect of waiting until your foundation sets is that it’s easier to gauge your coverage. If I just layer all willy-nilly, and just keep building my foundation up in layers while each layer is still kind of wet, I can’t gauge how much coverage I actually have, and I end up in Cake Face Town.

    Because nine times out of 10 I like to wear as little foundation as possible, I’ll apply my first layer, and then wait for it to set. Then it’s easy to tell if (and where) I need to add more.

    Just another hopefully heartache-saving tip I learned the hard way.

    Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,

    P.S. North & South! Where the heck was I when this show came out? I’m marathoning it on Netflix tonight. Episode 3 is about to start. 🙂

    So. Much. Drama! I love it, but those 19th century British dudes didn’t have a lot of game. How would you feel if someone rolled up to you and said, “Marry me, miss,” seemingly out of the blue? You do one little thing like push your hair behind your ear, and they think you want to marry them.

    When You’re Applying Liquid Foundation, Always Give It Enough Time to Set Before Applying Powder / Originally published August 27th, 2015

    Why am I glowing like a light bulb?
    Why does the color of my face and neck look so different from each other?
    God, this makeup is making me look so dark!
    When I did my makeup everything was fine, but why is it making me look so dull now?

    The reason for all these problems is just one – wrong shade of makeup foundation. There’s no one foundation that fits all. Knowing how to choose the right foundation is as important as knowing how to apply foundation. Here’s our go-to guide on how to choose a foundation shade that is perfect for you.

    In this post, we’ll cover:
    1. How to find your skin tone
    2. How to identify your skin undertone
    3. How to choose foundation shade from swatches
    4. How to make your foundation season-proof
    5. Which foundation shade am I? – includes celeb-inspired help guide

    How to find your skin tone

    Skin tones are split into three main categories – Light, medium and deep. In the global context, Indians, largely, have medium skin tone irrespective of the region we hail from. Light skin tone typically is reflective of Caucasians while deep is for Africans.
    Medium skin tone can be further sub-divided into beige, tan, honey and more such colors. Refer to the infographic below and find the skin tone closest to yours.

    How to identify your skin undertone

    Image Courtesy: NYX Cosmetics

    Skin undertone refers to the color that comes through the skin from underneath its surface. Skin undertones are of three types – warm, neutral and cool. To identify your skin undertone, here are a few tests you can try:

    1. The wrist test: Check the color of your veins. If they are purple or blue in color then you are cool. If they are green or olive in color, you are warm. But if you are unable to determine the dominant color, you are neutral.

    2. The sun test: If your skin turns red when you are out in the sun, you have cool undertone. Conversely, if you get tanned easily in the sun you have warm undertone.

    How to choose foundation shade from swatches

    Once you know skin color and undertone, your search for the right foundation shade narrows down considerably. You will, most likely, by now have a handful of foundations shades to choose from. In such a scenario it’s best to test the shades on your skin and find the perfect match.

    Start by shortlisting three shades that seem to be a good match. Then, dab some of each shade as short lines on your jaw line (do keep some space in between each). Don’t just consider your face for making the final decision but also your neck. The foundation you choose should blend seamlessly with both your face and your neck.

    How to determine which foundation shade looks best

    Of the three swatches, remove the two that don’t suit you. Now, spread the finalised shade across your jawline, and sweep a cotton bud soaked in makeup remover right in the middle. If you don’t notice any difference between your foundation and bare skin, then that’s the foundation for you. But, if you see a difference between the two, this shade is not for you. Repeat the cycle till you find the shade you are looking for.

    How to make your foundation season-proof

    Summers and winters – different seasons mean different makeup foundations. In summers, our skin tone tends to be slightly darker while in winters, it is paler. So, the moment you see that your chosen foundation is not working the way it should, it’s time to switch. When preparing your vanity for seasons, it also helps to know the types of foundations that will work for you. For instance, if your skin dries up a lot during winters, you should opt for oil or cream-based foundations and not mousse or water-based ones.

    Which foundation shade am I?

    To help you figure out which foundation shade to go for, we have here a celeb-inspired go-to guide. Find out who’s complexion you resemble the most and test out the foundation shades mentioned alongside to find your foundation match. Note that these are indicative shades and might not be your exact match. Do test the shades to find your true match.

    Table: Find Out Foundation Shades Matching Your Skin Tone

    Applications for the programme must come through the University and College Admissions Service (UCAS).

    Degrees in Art or Design

    If you wish to progress to an undergraduate degree in the School of Art, Design or Architecture at the University of Edinburgh, you will be required to submit a mini-portfolio as evidence of your artistic aptitude and potential.

    We will first review your UCAS applicants and will request a portfolio from you only if required. You must not submit a portfolio to us unless we request this. Your mini-portfolio will be assessed before a decision is made on your application.

    Guidance on the content required in your portfolio can be found below:

    Art and Design Portfolio Guidance

    ECA How to Apply 2022 (615.78 KB PDF)

    What Happens Next

    Our admissions team will email you if they require any further information before making a decision on your application. Please do not send documents to us unless they are requested as this will slow down our processing times. You should monitor your UCAS track, as this will be updated when a decision is made on your application. This would usually be within four to six weeks of receipt of your completed application.

    If you are selected for an unconditional place on the programme, you will need to secure your offer by paying a deposit of £2,000. Our Admissions team will email you with instructions on submitting your deposit if and when this is required.

    Applying for a Visa

    You may need to apply for a student visa to enter the UK. You will not be able to apply for a visa until you have received an unconditional offer from our Admissions team.

    Please read our guide on applying for a visa very carefully and always refer to the UK Visa and Immigration website for the most up-to-date information.

    Students with Support Needs

    We welcome enquiries and applications from all students, including those with additional support needs such as disabilities, learning difficulties or health conditions which may affect their studies. If you have support needs we would encourage you to indicate this on your application form. We can then contact you to discuss your requirements and put any adjustments or further support arrangements in place.

    How to apply even foundation

    Face Primer is the beginning of any great makeup look, whether you’re rocking a full beat or just a few dabs of concealer . And while a great skincare regimen can work wonders for making sure your makeup wears flawlessly throughout the day, primer is the real key to getting your makeup to perform the way it should. If you’re not familiar with makeup primers , let us give you a, um, primer.

    Keep reading for everything you ever wanted to know about makeup primers , including which one is right for you and how to apply them for maximum benefits.

    What Primer Does

    Primers are sort of like insurance for your makeup. Although they often wear many hats — smoothing, concealing, protecting and prepping — their main roles are to keep your makeup on longer and give your skin a smooth, flawless finish. Any fading, bleeding or blotchy behavior that can occur throughout the day can usually be prevented with the use of a little bit of primer under your foundation. Better yet, many primers now are also infused with SPF, so they help keep your skin protected from UV rays while lending radiance.

    For application, try a priming brush like the NYX Professional Makeup High Glass Face Primer Brush that can help you evenly distribute the product all over the face.

    In addition to a face primer, eye primer is a must in any makeup routine. Think about it: What’s worse than creating a perfect masterpiece on your eyes, only to have it crease, fade or smudge just an hour or so later? Nothing. Eye primer is quick and easy to swipe on and makes a world of difference in the pigment and longevity of your shadow. Our pick for an eye primer that creates a crease-free base that dries invisibly is the Urban Decay Original Eyeshadow Primer Potion .

    Avoid the dreaded foundation slide with these top tips.

    How to apply even foundation

    Makeup lovers will know that there’s nothing worse than applying a perfect base in the morning, only to catch sight of yourself at lunchtime and realise your foundation is a mess and your complexion looks anything but flawless.

    So how can you make your foundation last longer?

    We asked Fred Letailleur, YSL International Makeup Artist, for his top tips on making your base last all day.

    Step 1 – Prep your skin

    Primer does exactly what it says on the bottle – primes your skin for makeup.

    “Primer will not only even out the skin texture, it also creates a layer that will settle the foundation so it lasts longer” Fred said.

    How to apply even foundation

    If you can’t be bothered with a two step process, you an even mix your primer with your foundation on the back of your hand – this will give you a lighter, more natural coverage.

    Step 2 – Applying the foundation

    How to apply even foundation

    To make foundation last, always apply it with a brush, Fred advised. “A brush will help with the longevity of the makeup, as it presses the pigment into the skin while buffing the texture into a smooth base,” he said.

    Shop some of our favourite foundations

    How to apply even foundation

    How to apply even foundation

    How to apply even foundation

    How to apply even foundation

    Step 3 – Set with powder

    If you’re worried that powder will lead to a cakey finish, then don’t be – modern powders sit much more naturally on the skin, and they’re a great way to help your foundation last.

    “Lightly set the foundation with powder, focusing on your T-zone, and you’ll give your foundation extra durability’ Fred explained.

    He also suggests mixing some loose powder into you foundation to “add grip to its texture”.

    How to apply even foundation

    Step 4 – Add some spray

    If you want a dewy finish, try spraying fine water mist over your finished foundation.

    “This will set the foundation pigment against the skin and add longevity to the texture,” Fred said.

    Or you can try using a setting spray to fix your makeup in place. Shop our favourites below.

    How to apply even foundation

    How to apply even foundation

    How to apply even foundation

    How to apply even foundation

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    How to apply even foundation

    When it comes to applying makeup, think of your face as a canvas. If you don’t start with a smooth, clean base, you’re not going to achieve the desired results. Dry, flaky skin is the biggest enemy to smooth, successful makeup application. Unfortunately, in colder months, dry, flaky skin can become an unwelcome mainstay. Even when we aren’t dealing with harsh winter weather, a number of factors can contribute to dry skin, but we still want to make our makeup look as flawless as possible.

    So how do you put on makeup even when your skin is dry and flaky? You can save face with some straightforward steps, even as you’re affected by changes in weather, lack of sleep, or anything else wreaking havoc on your skin. We’ve rounded up advice from makeup artists to help lock in moisture and achieve better results when it comes to your makeup.


    The very first step is prepping the skin. You’ll want to use a light exfoliant for problem areas and even try a more potent peel once or twice a week. Olivia Wilde’s makeup artist Katey Denno tells Glamour that “gently scrubbing areas prone to dryness, like around the nose and the crease of the chin, with a washcloth every day or using a daily chemical peel like Epicuren Glycolic Lotion Skin Peel 10% ($41) will remove the dead top layer and prevent flaking.” Be sure to not over-exfoliate, though, as too much scrubbing will leave you red and could actually make your skin flakier.


    To no surprise, moisturizing is key to combatting dry, flaky skin. According to celebrity makeup artist Andrew Sotomayor, who’s responsible for some of Kerry Washington’s and Emmy Rossum’s beauty looks, “makeup will only look as hydrated as the skin underneath.” He tells Glamour that when choosing a moisturizer, stick to high-quality products to avoid a greasy look. His personal favorite is Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate ($49). For adding that extra dose of hydration, New York City makeup artist Susie Sobol told Allure she recommends “anything from La Mer” and advises to moisturize, and moisturize again.

    Put Down the Powder

    Powder is not your friend when your skin is dry and flaky. Seriously. “These products can clog pores and lie on top of dry surfaces, causing the skin to look pasty and heavily made-up,” warns Sobel. Try Chantecaille’s beloved Cheek Gelée ($44) instead.

    You don't want to forgo your blush completely, especially if skin is looking dull from dryness. Switch out your powder go-tos for cream alternatives.

    Carry a Skin Refresher

    Tote around a facial spray for an instant moisture boost whenever you need it. It will help reset your makeup and keep it from flaking as you take on the day. For even more moisture, add tiny dabs of a lotion or cream on spots that need a little extra help.

    If you were taking Makeup 101, a hypothetical-but-also-realistic course someone would take in cosmetology school, one of the first things you'd likely learn is that prepping the skin is imperative before applying makeup. Ever try putting foundation or concealer on skin that's dry, peeling, or simply devoid of moisture? If you have, you understand why: It literally doesn't sit well. It's super helpful to have a makeup game plan for when your epidermis is in a state of distress.

    Good thing we've got you covered. We turned to the pros — aka two trusted makeup artists and a board-certified dermatologist — for their best tips on achieving flawless makeup even when your skin is a bit worse for wear. (No surprise here — it always starts with the skin.) Ahead, find out how to perfect your face beat despite suffering Sahara Desert-like symptoms.

    Step 1: Smooth things out.

    According to New York City-based dermatologist, Shari Marchbein, flaking skin and facial dryness can happen for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to rashes due to allergic reactions, skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema, extreme temperatures, overusing harsh products like retinoids and other acne medications, and exfoliating too often. In any situation, Marchbein recommends paring down your skin-care routine and using a very mild scrub to remove dead or peeling skin (she favors St. Ives Gentle Smoothing Oatmeal Scrub). "To prep the skin directly before applying makeup, a hydrating moisturizing gel can help smooth the skin and allow for more even makeup application by acting as a humectant, attracting water and moisture to the top layer of the skin," she explains, adding that her two favorites are Neutrogena's Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Face Moisturizer Gel-Cream and Simple's Simple Water Boost Hydrating Booster. (If your skin is on the drier side, you can always swap out a gel in lieu of a richer moisturizer, like Eau Thermale Avène's Tolerance Extreme Cream, which is packed full of skin-softening agents like shea butter and thermal spring water.)

    If time allows, makeup artist Elisa Flowers says she loves doing a quick mask session to resurface the skin. "Try using Glam Glow's Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatment for 10 minutes," she suggests. "This invigorating, tingling mud mask, tightens and smooths away dead skin cells, leaving behind a radiant complexion," she adds. Another one of Flowers's top tips is to use a gentle lip scrub (we're partial to Bite Beauty's Agave Sugar Scrub) to smooth away buildup and simultaneously prime and soften the lips.