Wednesday, 20 February 2013

How to: Apply Foundation

Foundation, faking flawless skin (plus some photoshop I am sure)

So as a continuation from yesterday’s How to: Choose a Foundation post, I thought it would be important to explain how to apply it. You can customize the coverage of the foundation depending on the tool, from ultra glam perfection to naturally perfect. It also depends on your laziness level. So let me explain.

Foundation should only be applied to clean, dry, moisturised skin. The best is to wash, tone or serum or whatever you do, moisturise  and then wait a couple minutes before applying your foundation. The moisturiser soaks in, protects the skin and then the foundation doesn’t get diluted by the moisturiser  An oil free moisturiser (with SPF) is optimal, because the oil in the moisturiser won’t be present to cause the foundation to break down. Though good skincare comes first, so if you are too dry for that stick with what is working for your skin. It is also not a good idea to go without moisturiser thinking your foundation will last longer; it won’t. A lot of times the skin will try and soak up the foundation like moisturiser making it disappear, and what is left will probably be dry looking and/or flaky.

Classic, Flat Foundation Brushes

These brushes are perfectly adept at customizing foundation. They can be used to apply more foundation where you need it with the end of the brush starting in the centre of the face, like around the nose, under the eyes and around the mouth and chin (and any blemishes), and blending the rest out where you don’t. It is a makeup artistry staple and it is generally for those who have a bit more patience.  You can get some really great results though, it just takes practice. I find may people don’t use they correctly, using it more like a paint brush, getting globs of foundation all over; it’s not! Put a couple pumps of foundation on your non-dominant hand and then brush just the tip of the foundation brush across the foundation. That’s it. Don’t dip the whole brush in it. Place the brush where you need the coverage and blend outwards. Easy as pie right? A little foundation goes a long way with this method so you use less, costing you less $$$ on foundation. My favorite for the classic style foundation brush is the Lise Watier one; it is super soft and leaves a smooth finish with no streaks.

Lise Watier Foundation Brush
Lise Watier Foundation Brush

Round Foundation Brushes

There are not too many of these on the market, the Shiseido being the first and the latest being the Urban Decay one. They are the best of both worlds to me because they are quite fast and provide very smooth coverage, though not quite as much as using a flat one I find. It is easy to do, though a bit odd I find if you haven’t worked with one before. It is a good move up from using a sponge though. Just swirl the edge of the brush along the foundation on your non-dominant hand, start working from the centre of the face outwards with the brush in semi-circular motions. I say centre of the face because that’s where everyone is looking, no one is looking at your jawline, so it gives you a better transition between makeup and bare skin. There are more than the two I mentioned out there, but those two are the best. The Shiseido one is smaller and angled, and can give you more detail. It is super soft because it is a natural bristle brush, but unfortunately for this reason it doesn’t play well with longwearing foundations. I have been using the Urban Decay one; it is bigger so it is really fast and it is synthetic, so it washes up like a dream from using my long wearing foundation with it.

Urban Decay Good Karma Optical Blurring Brush
Urban Decay Good Karma Optical Blurring Brush

Non-Latex Sponges

I say non-latex not because I am allergic, but because I find them a lot smoother and they don’t tend to absorb as much of the foundation. They are the lazy-girls’ way to put on foundation evenly, also they provide lighter coverage. Put some foundation on the sponge, dob it where you need it and blend. SO easy. You can, for even lighter coverage, and so that all your foundation doesn’t get sucked up into the sponge wasting $$$; wet the sponge first and squeeze it out. It is also a great way to get lighter coverage out of your full coverage foundation. I personally love doing this in the summer time because it is cooling, and I can turn my full coverage longwearing foundation into a light one that still wears extremely well in the heat. You can use plain water, or if you are lazy and want a treat, you can use a thermal spa water. I use the one from La Roche Posay because I am lazy, it doesn’t smell sulfur-ish, has antioxidant properties, and supposedly helps with redness.

La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water
La Roche Posay Thermal Spring Water


So your fingers do in a pinch, but they certainly aren’t my favourite application method. It is certainly never as even as it could be. Some makeup artists (NARS in particular) recommend fingers but they are makeup artists! If you have flaky uneven skin, the heat from your hands can sometimes help press the foundation into the skin, but you should be exfoliating and moisturising properly so this shouldn’t happen. If you rub foundation in, you wreck the great layers you have created with your moisturiser and primers. If you use your fingers, make sure your hands are freshly washed (as it should be before all makeup application) and pat the foundation on with the tips of your fingers.    

So how do you apply your foundation?
Do you wear foundation?
What is your favourite foundation tool?


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