The foundation struggle is real. Everyone is always looking for that perfect “natural” look and scared to look like they have plastered foundation on their face. Save the cake for your birthday and not for your face! The thing is, it’s not always what you use, but how you use it. Unfortunately, many of us are doing it all wrong! I’ve been there and so have you. I will share with you the 5 steps that can transform the way you wear foundation and take you from cake face to flawless in a flash!
Step 1: Great Makeup Comes from Great Skin
Maybe she’s born with it and maybe it’s great skincare! No matter how expensive your foundation is, it will never look as good as it does over a prepped face. Do your makeup a favor and always use a great moisturizer and eye cream (no matter how young or oily you are).
Primers are the base for great looking makeup as well. It’s crazy what one tiny step can do in the overall appearance of your makeup look. Primers are overlooked a lot, but I ask you this, would you let someone paint your car or your house without priming it? The reason is because the paint will not go on as smooth or last as long. Primers even out texture. Let’s face it, not all of us can compare our face to a baby’s super smooth butt, one can only wish!
Step 2: Invest in the RIGHT Tools
You can’t bake a cake without a measuring cup so you can’t put your makeup on without makeup tools. The tools themselves do half the job and are the main difference in whether or not makeup is applied the right way.
Disclaimer: Of course, I firmly believe we were all born with some of the best makeup tools on earth… our fingers! The smooth warmth of fingers also makes for a great application, in the right scenarios.
If you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t heard of a Beauty Blender, now is your chance to get up to speed and be introduced to a complete game changer. You may have seen or used similar foundation sponges but nothing is quite like the Beauty Blender. I have given thanks to the makeup gods for creating what I think is the ultimate foundation tool.
Step 3: Learn How to Apply Foundation Like a Pro
Foundation is the base for any other makeup, so let’s do it right! In order for color (eyeshadow, blush etc) to look great, you have to start with an even canvas. The key to the natural look is to be conservative in how you apply your product. In makeup it is easier to add than to take off, so start off small. Do not, I repeat DO NOT just put a bunch of foundation all over your face and think you can blend it out after. Start from the center of your face and work your way out. The area of your face with the most discoloration is in the center. So you want to have the most coverage there, and as you get to the end of your face you want it to have less coverage so you don’t look like you’re wearing a mask. Put some foundation on the back of your hand, dab it with your blender and use a little at time, this will allow you to see where you need more coverage.
Natural makeup is all about sheer layers. I love to compare this concept to nail polish, you start with a sheer coat so it looks natural, but you can build it up to more coats so it can be opaque. If you just put a ton on the first layer it’s uneven, heavy and doesn’t look natural. It will also not wear as long as when you use sheer layers. Bounce your blender and do not just drag it. This is the correct way to use this tool as it will allow foundation to look like part of your skin rather than just sitting on top.
You are more than halfway done to your foundation looking fabulous!
Step 4: Concealer. Because Getting Enough Sleep is for Quitters
The saying, less is more couldn’t be more Important than on this single step! Concealer is a super dense product so this is where you want to be smart about how you’re using it. It should only be used where you need more coverage than foundation can give you, typically the under eye area and acne or dark spots. There is a famous saying in the makeup world, “The Triangle of Light”. This refers to using your concealer in a triangle shape under the eyes. This single tip totally brightens up your eyes. If you have bags under your eyes (stupid genetics), this tip will be your saving grace.
It’s also super important to choose the right color. Some of us have seen many videos of using a super light shade under the eyes to “brighten”, but in reality if you have darkness it just makes it look ashy and way worse! Choose a shade 1-2 levels lighter than your foundation. It will brighten without looking harsh.
Step 5: Set it and Forget it
This last step is (in the words of Rachel Zoe) MAJOR! Just like anything liquid or cream, it will move around. So you have to set your foundation with a powder or setting spray so all your work doesn’t go to waste! Setting is key to locking in foundation and not letting it crease up. Translucent powders are the way to go. If your skin is dry or prefer the dewy look, than a setting spray may be right for you. You can also use a setting spray after powder as well for the ultimate stay in place foundation.
Tools are key here too. You want a big fluffy brush, nothing dense. Alternatively, you can use a puff. Powder should be applied in a pressing motion and not in a sweeping one. Pressing into the skin helps to set the foundation properly and it also will dumb-proof you from using too much. Too much powder can be the biggest difference in whether you will have cake face or not. Remember people, 1. Less is More and 2. Sheer Layers! If using a puff, then get a little powder on it and roll it into the skin. Start in the center on the face and work your way out, as you need powder more on the oily areas of your skin where things can shift around.
Setting sprays are a great final touch! Not all setting sprays are made equally. They all have different benefits to them, so if you’re oily, go for a matte oil controlling spray. If you’re dry or just like the fresh dewy skin look, then get a hydrating one without alcohol in it. This step can truly give you that finished look and feel!
If you’ve made it this far, you are well on your way to becoming pro foundation status! I know that following these steps will dramatically improve the way you are doing your makeup. So tomorrow when you’re grabbing your foundation
- Make sure your skin is prepped
- Start in the center of your face
- Less is more
It takes time and soon enough flawless foundation will become second nature to you.
You got this!