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18 February 2015

How to Use Foundation Makeup

Foundation makeup can be tricky stuff.  When applied correctly, you'll have a flawless foundation upon which to apply your makeup.  When not applied correctly, you risk looking like a clown.  What's a girl to do?

If you find foundation perplexing, then keep reading.  I'll tell you how to choose the right formula and shade and how to apply it.
How to use foundation makeup.

Choosing a Formula

A liquid foundation is best for dry skin because it delivers extra moisture to your skin.  Some powders are also hydrating, like this perfecting powder from Smashbox.  Powder tends to give you a little lighter coverage, so it might be a good option for summer or casual days.  

For oily skin, look for a powder foundation or an oil-free liquid formula.  I have oily skin, and I really like mineral foundation because it stays matte all day and absorbs excess oil.  If you have acne prone skin, you can also look for a liquid that has salicylic acid to combat blemishes.  One to try is Neutrogena Skin Clearing Liquid Makeup.

You can buy different formulas and wear them as needed.  I wear mineral powder foundation makeup in the summer and a liquid in the winter.  

Choosing the Right Shade

The right shade should disappear without having to blend it in.  It's best to test the shade on your jawline in natural sunlight.  Store lights aren't reliable when choosing a shade, so go to the window if possible.  You can also take in your old foundation and try to match up the color.  If it's your first time choosing a foundation makeup shade, then visit the cosmetics counter at a department store for help.  If you can't afford to buy their product right now, ask for a sample so you know which shade to get.  


Foundation makeup is also available in different finishes.  Semimatte works on most everyone.  Unless the packaging says that it is matte or luminizing, it's probably semimatte.  

  • Matte foundations absorb excess oil, so your skin doesn't get shiny.  The label might say poreless or shine-free.  This formula gives you a powdery finish.  

  • Luminizing formulas have tiny light-reflecting particles like mica.  They diffuse the light, which can minimize fine lines and wrinkles.  One to try is Photo Finish by Smashbox.  

  • How to Apply Foundation Makeup 

Now that you've picked the right shade and formula, it's time to apply your foundation.

I always use a primer before my foundation.  If I'm using powder, I use arrowroot powder as a primer.  When I use liquid, I use NYX Pore Filler.  The reason I use two is because my pores look huge and I'm getting some fine lines that pop out when I use liquid foundation.  Using NYX completely erases them for a flawless look.  

For a powder, I use a foundation brush.  You can also use a brush for liquid foundation, but I use my fingers.  Either way, you want to start applying your makeup in the center of your face and work out towards the edges.  

Dip your brush in the product or squeeze a nickel-sized amount on your finger.  Now you'll basically make a star on your face by pulling the foundation from your nose to your forehead, straight to the sides, and down to your jawline on each side of your mouth.  

Don't reload your brush or add more product.  Use the brush or your fingers to blend the product all over your face.  

  • Now use the brush or your fingers to apply a very small amount of foundation makeup on your neck and carefully blend your face and neck.  

Do you wear foundation every day?

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Cari Dunn
Cari Dunn

Cari lives on a small farm in Ohio with her husband, three kids, two dogs, two cats, five goats, several chickens, and homing pigeons. She loves Gilmore Girls, coffee, and her kids. Not in that order.