I spent what feels like days watching any foundation video I could get my hands on so I can learn everything about applying THE perfect base. It feels like nearly every Youtube beauty influencer out there has a video on how to apply perfect foundation. Some tips are things we already know while others are pretty good tips that can step up our foundation application game.
We’ll start with some basics and ramp up from there.
1. Pick the right match
James Charles was dragged for choosing the wrong foundation colors for years, so he finally chose to take control and find the perfect foundation for his skin tone. It took $1,200 worth of foundation purchases to find one that works for him. Because we’re not loaded, we can all take a cue from him and get samples to try at home. It’s a pain and it might be something that will take you more than one evening, but it’ll be worth it in the end. Grab samples, head home, apply the foundation and take pictures and videos in natural light, then compare to see which one works best for you!
2. The basics for smooth foundation
According to Nikkia Joy, the primary culprit for cakey foundation is a face that wasn’t properly exfoliated. So start with nice, smooth skin that you’ve exfoliated well and moisturized. Step up your skincare game! Add oil to your skincare routine no matter what your skin type. Use the oil at night-time before bed so your skin absorbs it evenly.
When applying a primer, use a damp beauty blender to press the primer in. Don’t rub it in like a moisturizer with your fingers since it’ll cause micro-exfoliation and beading, causing cakiness! Alissa Ashley swears by the Sisley Double Tenseur Primer for her flawless foundation looks, although Tati Westbrook thought it was way overpriced, although it was nice and made her makeup look nice. Your call!
Mariale suggests waiting for the primer to absorb and “dry” before going in with your foundation.
Before applying your foundation, drop some on the back of your hand and leave it there for a bit to warm up. If you’re using a brush to apply the foundation, use a stippling motion and don’t use circular movements or any rubbing. It will cause the primer below to lift and ball up. Use a small amount of foundation by layering. Gently press it into the skin without rubbing.
3. Conceal carefully
Don’t apply concealer all over. Apply it only on areas that need concealer and do so lightly. Every extra layer is a step closer to a cakey look according to Nikkia Joy. Alissa Ashley opts to squeeze her blending tool in a paper towel to get rid of any excess concealer as she dabs and blends it into her skin to ensure she removes excess properly and doesn’t make a mess.
4. Set lightly
If you get cakey skin after powdering, Nikkia Joy also suggests using a setting spray on your foundation before powdering. Wait for the setting spray to completely dry and set before you use powder. Also, only powder areas you need! When you powder, don’t wipe, but pat the powder on. In a universal sweep of love, most beauty influencers prefer to use the Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder. As someone who uses it myself, I can also vouch for its amazing ability to set without making things heavy.
Tati Westbrook also suggests ensuring that any creases are smoothed out prior to setting everything with powder. So go back and just dab your area under the eyes if there are little creases, or even on your lid, to ensure what you’re setting is perfectly smooth.
James Charles swears by using a wet beauty blender to set the powder under the eyes. Just dip the beauty blender into the powder and press into areas you’d like to set. It melts into the skin and produces a smooth finish.
Also, a trick of the trade out there, boys and girls, is the Sephora Microsmooth Foundation as your final finishing powder for your face to blend out any powder, blush and contour imperfections or brush strokes! It acts as a cohesive blending powder to pull everything together and even doubles up as an excellent setting powder in conjunction with a translucent powder. This is your holy grail for smoothness.
5. Contouring tricks
Alissa Ashley suggests in her video that she chisels her cheekbones by applying contouring powder directly on top of them instead of underneath the bones. She swears it gives a more defined look. Make sure the powder you choose as your contour is a taupe that’s not too gray or too warm/bronze. It needs to create a realistic shadow. Do not use a shimmery shade to contour with! And as always, less is more. Start with a little bit and slowly build up to the level you’d like.
When highlighting, there’s no need to use a concealer four shades lighter than your face! Tati first demonstrates highlighting the cheekbone area with a liquid highlighter and then concealing under the eye with a shade just slightly lighter than foundation. Blend the concealer out into the highlighter on the cheek, without going over the top with the product.
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