How To: Apply Foundation for Perfect Skin

In our next life, we’d like to request a luminous peaches n’ cream complexion. Till then, there’s nothing like a little strategic base to give you the look of perfect skin. The trick is doing it right. Makeup artist Nam Vo says, “If someone says they like your foundation, you’re doing something wrong.”

Pick the Best Base

Whether you’re using tinted moisturizer or foundation, make sure to test the product for at least four days to see how it works with your skin and your lifestyle.

Prep Skin with Primer

Primer isn’t mandatory but it is useful on days when you need your makeup to look extra good. Applied after moisturizer, primer smoothes everything out so that the base glides on and doesn’t settle into lines, dry patches, or rough areas. “It ups the performance of your foundation,” says Vo, “and makes it last longer.”

Sponge Factor

Application method is a contentious subject, with some pros swearing by brushes and others loading up on sponges. (We’re not even going to get into airbrushing.) When it comes to daily life, fingers are the easiest and the most goof-proof. Vo explains, “The warmth of your hands allows the makeup to melt into the skin for a more seamless finish.” Plus, sponges greedily soak up liquid foundation, which is a waste of perfectly good (pricey) makeup.

Then again, there are always exceptions: you might find that you’re a sponge savant, or that you like using a fluffy foundation brush. Experiment until you find what works for you.

Applying Foundation

After letting primer dry, squeeze a dime-size amount of foundation or tinted moisturizer to the palm of your hand. Use your fingers to dot it on your forehead, nose, and chin. Then, smooth the liquid all around, generally working from the center outward. Blend like crazy and make sure you don’t have a telltale line along the jaw.

Final touches

Using a concealer brush, gently brush concealer onto undereye area, then blend with your ring finger. Use the tip of the same brush to dot concealer on any blemishes. Finish by dusting face with a loose translucent powder, which will set makeup without giving you a flat pancake look.

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