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20 Foundation Tips and Tricks

Amber has written about fashion, beauty, and skin care for several years.


Foundation Secrets Everyone Needs to Know

Foundation can easily help cover dark spots and smooth away imperfections to give everyone the gorgeous look they want. However, it's easy to want to look flawless but accidentally wind up with a patchy foundation that is melting away by midday. These foundation tips and tricks will help everyone ensure they have the luxurious look they're after.

When applying your foundation, follow as many of these tips as possible to help prevent cakey makeup and avoid common foundation application mistakes.

1. Apply Foundation With a Sponge

Using a beauty blender is an easy way to make sure that the foundation has an airbrushed finish. Dip a beauty blender in water and ring it out so that it is barely damp. Then, use it to blend foundation into the skin for even application.

2. Put Foundation on Your Ears

When applying foundation, don't forget the ears! This is especially important if the hair is pulled back or it's going to be a windy day. When people don't apply a light dusting of foundation over their ears, it often results in the ears being a different color than the skin tone on the face, which looks unnatural.

3. Make Sure It Has the Same Base as Your Primer

Oil and water don't mix, much like silicone and water don't mix. When a person uses a primer with a water base and a silicone foundation, it can literally result in the foundation sliding off of their face. Instead, double-check the ingredients list to make sure that both products have the same base.

4. Blot Away Excess Every Time

It's easy to accidentally put on too much foundation, including powder foundation. Pick up some blotting papers or use a tissue to blot away excess every time foundation is applied.

Most people only do this with liquid foundations, but liquid foundations aren't the only ones that need blotting. Make it a general rule of thumb to blot every foundation or face product after application.


5. Lighting is Much More Important Than you Realize

Lighting has a huge impact on how makeup looks. Some people don't have good lighting in the area where they are applying makeup. After applying makeup, head outside to see how it looks with natural lighting. This can reveal patchy areas or spots that you may have missed.

6. Test it on Your Neck (Not Your Arm)

Because different body parts are exposed to sunlight differently, they will be different shades. Your arms are more than likely darker than your face. Besides, you want the foundation to blend seamlessly with the color of your neck, not your arm. Make sure to test the foundation on your neck to see if it's the correct color.

7. Know Your Skin Type

It's critical to know your skin type before shopping for foundation—different types of skin call for various formulas. For example, people with dry skin will want to pick up a water-based foundation that provides extra hydration to make sure that skin doesn't dry out more from makeup use.

Likewise, those with oily skin may want to consider a powder formula that will soak up excess oil on the skin to prevent that extra mid-day shine.

8. Skincare Is Critical

Having flawless makeup means having a solid skincare routine in place. If the skin is dry and flaky, it will make the makeup look patchy and horrible. Make sure that you are exfoliating at least once a week and are using the proper products for your skin type to guarantee that makeup has a flawless finish.

9. Learn About Different Finishes

You should know what type of foundation you want before you start shopping. Learning about matte finishes and dewy finishes is a great start! These are the two most common types of foundation finishes. Matte foundations have a flat look, while dewy finishes provide a little extra shine to make the skin appear more radiant.

10. Watch Videos

Take the time to really learn about foundation by watching videos on YouTube. A simple video can teach you loads of tips or the perfect application technique to make sure that foundation looks amazing!

11. Don't Skip Primer

Primer is a critical step to having a flawless foundation. Primer helps prep your skin to provide a smooth canvas, so your foundation has a smooth airbrushed finish. It can help your makeup last longer, too.

12. Try it at Home First

When trying a new makeup application technique or product, spend the day at home with it. Check it in the mirror midday for patchy spots and make sure that it doesn't melt away.

13. Set Your Foundation

Foundation is usually applied before other face products, like bronzer and highlighter. Before applying any other products, make sure that you set your foundation with setting spray or powder, such as translucent powder or loose setting powder.

Then, continue applying makeup. This simple step can help foundation last longer and prevent caking for a flawless finish that lasts all day.

14. Check Out Baking

Baking is a technique that usually uses banana powder to help set makeup. It's well-known throughout the makeup industry for helping makeup last all day and preventing caking.

15. Use the Right Tools

The wrong tools will make makeup look like a disaster regardless of how great the products are. Use a beauty blender, makeup sponge, or foundation brush to apply foundation. A fluffy brush is ideal for applying foundation.

16. Take a Picture When You're Done

If you need an excuse to take a selfie every day, this is it! Often, you'll see something in a picture that you won't notice when looking in the mirror. Snap a selfie when you're done to make sure that makeup looks flawless.

17. Pull Your Hair Back During Application

Grab some small clips or a ponytail holder to get the hair out of the way during your makeup routine. If you don't, hair can stick to foundation during application. You'll also miss that little strip at the top of your forehead where your hair usually rests.

18. Understand Foundation Doesn't Cover Everything

Foundation is great, including full coverage foundation, but it simply won't cover every single spot on your face. If you have age spots, acne scars, or blemishes, consider some color corrector, CC cream, or concealer in addition to a dewy foundation to give you the extra coverage that you need.

19. Blend, Blend, Blend

Blending is one of the most important things to master in makeup. Blending can take time, but it's necessary to give makeup a nice finish and make it look more natural. Blend until you think you're done blending. Then, blend a little bit more to be on the safe side and achieve a more natural finish.

20. Play With Makeup Products

As you delve into the world of makeup, you'll come across a ton of different products. Some are going to work perfectly with your skin, and others will clash with your skin undertone. Some makeup will work well with a cool undertone, while others require a warm undertone. As you try new products, you'll find more types of foundation that you love.


Foundation FAQ

Does Foundation Go Bad?

Yes, foundation does go bad. this is particularly true for water-based foundations that are prone to growing bacteria. An unopened foundation can last two years if stored in a cool, dry location. Once you open foundation, it will need to be replaced in 6-12 months.

Can Foundation Cause Acne?

Yes, wearing foundation or any face makeup daily can make people more prone to breakouts. That's because when we wear makeup we're essentially cramming it into our pores. Make sure that makeup is removed nightly and have a skincare routine in place.

Can Foundation Be Used as Concealer?

Foundation can be used as concealer, but it's important to consider the foundation. A full-coverage foundation will help provide the same level of coverage that a full-coverage concealer will.

Should Foundation Be Darker Than Concealer?

Yes, usually, foundation is darker than concealer. This is because foundation typically goes over concealer. Concealer is also used for its brightening effect and to highlight certain areas. However, if you use concealer to cover pimples, it needs to be darker and applied under foundation.

Is Liquid Foundation Good for Oily Skin?

Some formulas are specially designed for oily skin, but usually, powder foundation is recommended for oily skin. The powder helps absorb excess oil that the skin produces so that oily skin doesn't look like oily skin.

Foundation for Beginners

Foundation can be tricky to apply for beginners, but these tips and tricks will help you achieve the flawless foundation finish that you want. For more makeup tips and tricks, check out this article!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Amber Lynn