How to: Apply foundation

Correct, careful application will give you a flawless finish and really make a huge difference to the look of your foundation.

PREP
Regardless of the foundation you choose, your skin needs to be clean and ready for application.
Regular gentle exfoliation will keep your canvas smooth.

Before you apply your make-up, cleanse the face and pat dry. Using a toner will give the skin a hit of moisture and prepare it for moisturiser and / or primer.

Apply a light moisturiser or primer (these are essentially the same thing), and massage into the skin gently to get the blood flowing. Don’t forget to moisturise around the eyes. This is especially important for dry and mature skin types.

MAC Strobe Cream is a beautiful high-shine product that can be applied to the skin before foundation is applied (and it can be mixed in with foundation to give a sheer, glowing coverage).

It looks lovely applied to the cheekbones, forehead, down the bridge of the nose and on the cupids bow to accentuate the lips. Apply this after your moisturiser or primer.

TOOLS
For powder foundations, a Kabuki brush (with short dense bristles) will allow you to buff the product into your skin for a natural finish. Start with a little bit and build up your coverage gradually.

Liquid and mousse foundations can be applied with a brush, sponge or fingers (or any combination of these). This really comes down to personal preference.

BRUSHES 
QVS do great inexpensive foundation brushes. If you want to splurge, MAC brushes are high quality and will last you many years if cared for properly.

Flat brushes are great, as are rounded stippling/blending brushes which allow you to buff product into the skin for a flawless finish.

Dispense a little bit of foundation on the back of your hand and use your brush to apply to the face.

Start in the centre of the face and blend the product out – and don’t forget to blend down over the jawline.

Brushes can leave tiny brush lines on the skin. Simply pat over these with fingers or a sponge to even them out. Coverage is easy to build with a brush, and you will use minimal product.

FINGERS
Fingers are a great tool for applying make-up, and the warmth of your skin will help with blending.

Applying foundation and concealer with your fingers means you can get right up under the eyes and around tricky areas like the nose.

Using a patting motion will get product sitting beautifully (as opposed to a wiping motion which will just move your foundation around).

Often using your fingers in conjunction with a brush or sponge will give you the best results.

SPONGES
Sponges can give a really flawless finish, and are great for convenience when using compact foundations.

Using a damp sponge will give a lovely light coverage, or use dry and pat and dab product onto the skin for a medium / high coverage.

Sponges are also handy for around the eye and nose area. Wash your sponge after each use with warm soapy water, and leave to air dry.

AFTER APPLICATION
Always go out into natural light and check for any lines or areas that need blending. Ideally, apply your foundation by a window with plenty of natural light to get the most natural finish.

Checking the SIDES of your face in the mirror is also a great idea to ensure you haven’t missed any spots.

If you’re using liquid foundation, now is the time to apply a translucent powder if you wish. This will set your make-up and take down shine.

Stephanie Coulter

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