To find a perfect foundation color match, apply a small dab of foundation to the side of your jaw line. Blend upwards, and see how many strokes it takes for the edges of the foundation to disappear into the skin. Just the edges. Make sure that the amount is small. If you apply a large amount, it’ll take forever for it to blend in, thus giving you a false reading. If it disappears in 2-3 strokes, you’ve got the perfect match. Any more than that, keep looking. Next, look at your skin type. Rather than throwing away all your foundations that don’t work, try customizing them to work for you.
Mix 1 tsp of loose powder into your bottle of foundation. The powder will soak up oil, and give you a slightly thicker foundation, but also, less oily as well.
For foundations that are too drying:
- Mix in a drop of moisturizer or sunscreen per application.
Mix your base into your concealer for a thicker consistency. Add a little bit of loose powder into the mixture and you’re set.
For a too thick foundation:
Dilute down with toner, witch hazel, or Evian water. Try to stay away from tap water, as the minerals in tap water can make your foundation change colors, or go ashy, depending on the quality or lack of in your tap water. Put your liquid in a spritz bottle and spray over face, then apply foundation on top where needed. Or spritz the back of your hand, apply your foundation as well, and mix together to get the right consistency. Then apply onto your face.
- Laura Mercier
- Mac Studio Line (C shades for yellow tones)
- Vincent Longo’s Water
- Aveda’s new formulation foundations
For the sheerest applications, applying foundation with your hands will make foundation sink into your skin, and give a more natural look. The heat of your hands also makes the foundation more pliable, enabling to work into skin easier, and blend better.
As for using a makeup sponge, try to stay away from applying foundation with it. Sponges are great culprits for soaking up foundation, and you’ll find yourself going through your base alot quicker than you thought. Think of your sponges as erasers, or blending tools only.
A new tool on the market for foundation application, is one I highly recommend. A foundation brush. Made with stiff taklon bristles or the softest of sable or squirrel hairs, this brush is round, small and short in size. Think of it as a flat contour brush. Just as a lipstick brush applies lipstick just where you need and with the right amount, so does this foundation brush. You get the exact amount you need, as well as a perfect blending tool on top of it. Also, coverage becomes perfected, because you are applying, or ‘painting’ the base onto the surface of the skin, as opposed to working it in. You’ll find you can get better coverage from your sheer foundations, just by changing the tool you use to apply it with.
Try the “Foundation Brush” from The Body Shop, either at their stores, or through their catalog. Think of 1/16th of the size of a loose powder brush. Or, a small blush brush will work also.
When applying foundation, think of your color as watercolor, your face as the canvas, and the brush or your fingers as the paint brush. No matter where you apply the color, that’s pretty much where the concentration of color is going to go, and then you can blend out from there. Try moving watercolor on your paper from one side to the other, and you’ll have a hard time. It’ll blend out, but it won’t move. So is the same theory when applying your colors in makeup, in base, eye shadow, blush etc. Where ever you hit first with your ‘brush’, that’s where your ‘focus’, or the concentration of color is going to go.
For foundation application, the ‘focus’ of the application should be down the center of the face, which is where most of your discolorations lie anyway. Apply a line of foundation down the center of your face, going across the forehead, down the nose, across the cheeks and across the chin. Then with your brush, or fingers, blend in outwards and downwards strokes.
- When blending, try this great visual to cut down on time.
- Divide your face into 3 sections. Top / Middle / Bottom.
- TOP: From hairline to top of eyebrows
- MIDDLE: From eyelids to top of lip
- BOTTOM: From lip to jaw line
As you apply and blend, apply with these strokes for foundation to go on smoothly.
For the TOP section:
- apply horizontally across the forehead, and blend from side to side, blending back towards the hairline.
For the MIDDLE section:
- apply horizontally across the cheeks and top of nose, then blend in downward strokes. This keeps the fine hairs on your cheeks down, and lying flat, so you don’t get any streaking of color later on.
For the BOTTOM section:
- apply horizontally across the chin, and then blend downwards.
As you’re blending, focus on working from top to bottom, completely blending one section before moving onto the next. By visualizing sections, and completing one before you get to the next, you’ll find that when you reach your jaw line, you will be finished. No more jumping around from one side to the other…you’ll see that this makes your foundation time go much quicker.
A great thing that your foundation brush can do is customize your foundation with each application. Here are some great tricks we do in photography that you can us to create a whole new look.
- For greater coverage: mix concealer into your foundation, pick up and mix on back of your hand, and apply.
- For sheerer coverage: spray your brush with toner, or Evian water to slightly dampen, then pick up your foundation.
- To add warm tones to a too pink base: Mix foundation into a dash of yellow toned loose powder.
- To glamorize foundation for night: Mix foundation into a shimmery body powder, or an irridescent eye shadow..you’ll get a wonderful glow for evening.
- For sun protection: Mix sunscreen into your base, and apply with your brush.
OTHER COOL TRICKS:
1. Mix moisturizer for a dewy skin look.
2. Mix a soft brown eye shadow, foundation toner, or bronzer into your base to deepen a summer tan.
3. Mix a drop of Vitamin E oil into your base for a shiny look.
4. Mix Visine into your base to calm down redness.
To set your foundation, set with loose powder in the morning. This helps keep your foundation on longer, than applying pressed powder. Pressed powder is really just for touch ups during the day. When applying pressed powder with your sponge, you are applying about 5-8 layers of powder. If you were to apply this to set your makeup in the morning, you will probably find yourself shiny about 2-3 hours later. Why? This many layers of powder can make your skin ‘sweat’ in trying to remove the ‘feel’ of it on your skin. You really don’t need this much powder to set. Loose powder works great, because you apply just the right amount, where needed.
For a soft application, take a large fluffy loose powder brush, pick up 2-3 dabs on the edge of your brush, and shake off any excess. Then apply in downward strokes from top of forehead, to bottom of jaw.
For a more matte appearance, take your makeup sponge, or powder puff, and press lightly through the t-zone to set makeup.
You can create your own eye shadow base and lip base, by taking your loose powder, and then damping a large flat eye shadow brush. Pick up your loose powder, and apply it to your eyelids and lips. Brush off the excess. Let dry. By applying loose powder on wet, you end up applying a shield that keeps color on longer, and prevents from creasing and fading.
For oily skin, a great photography trick is to apply loose powder with a powder puff,set, and then spritz toner or water on top. Let dry. This also works in the same manner for the whole face.
CONCEAL:The next step is to conceal. You can apply concealer before your foundation, but I’ve found that what happens is that you end up concealing, or at least wanting to conceal your whole face. By applying foundation first, you end up concealing about 75% of what you don’t like anyway. The next step is to conceal with a concealer that has a consistency of thick cream. With this, you can either thin with toner, or thicken with powder. That way, you get 3 concealers out of one. If a concealer is too sheer, it doesn’t do the job anyway, and if it’s too thick, you’ll have a harder time thinning it down.
Look for concealers that are yellow in tone, or orange. You’ll find it does a better job in calming down those discolorations, and reinforcing the color theory.
For a perfect concealer color every time, mix a bit of your foundation into your concealer before you apply. That way, whether it’s summer or winter, you’ll get the perfect match. Did you customize your foundation? Do the same with your concealer and foundation mix together. You also save on wasting product as well.
These stiff nylon hairs grab concealer, but doesn’t soak it up, great for applying creams. Mix with foundation to get your perfect color, and apply where needed, everywhere, except underneath the eyes. More about this tip later. But don’t worry, you’ll thank me for it later.
You may be asking, why am I applying concealer AFTER my powder? Great question. By applying after powder, you’ll find that the powder on the skin will soak up any excess oils in the concealer, and help to keep in on longer, with less creasing and better staying power. Also, you’ll find that you’ll need less concealer if you did the color theory shadowing first as well. Remember, concealers are great for evening out skin tones, but opposite colors are what tones down the actual color. Apply with your brush exactly where needed, and then with your fingertip, dot and press the edges into the skin. This is where the heat of your hand comes in handy blending.