When you are capturing about 10,000 selfies and snaps per day, your foundation has to be on point and look flawless on your skin, doesn’t it, ladies? However, applying liquid foundation can go from mildly smooth to a hot mess as soon as you approach it as a newcomer. Yet, there is more than one way to do this, depending on the current state of your skin, the type of coverage you want, and the time it takes to apply it. Thankfully, all hope isn’t lost yet. We’ve compiled a list of all the best secrets to achieving a flawless base every time. Here’s to looking good from all angles.
Liquid Foundation: What is It?
Foundation is a liquid or powder-based makeup that is applied to the face to create an even skin tone while concealing imperfections (1). When deciding which foundation you should go for, it’s important to consider which formula works best with your skin type, desired coverage, and finish (2).
Liquid Foundations vs. Powder Foundations
- A liquid or cream foundation is a good choice if you have oily skin and are looking to cover raised bumps, pitted scars, or discolorations. This product allows you to apply it in layers and generally covers the texture and color better. They are also light in weight and consist of oil-absorbing properties.
- Powder foundations are great for those of us who tend to be very active throughout the day. It’s able to wick away that oil and sweat and keep your makeup looking fresh. Also, if you feel like the finish of your foundation doesn’t match the natural texture of your skin, a powder foundation is a perfect way to set everything in place and make it last even longer!
Liquid Foundation: Tips & Tricks
1. Find your perfect match
Finding your ideal foundation shade is the most crucial part of makeup shopping. We’ve all been through that nightmare of not being able to discover the right shade that suits our skin tone.
- Don’t rush this. Your foundation is the most important part of your makeup. It’s something you do every day, and you want it to look great and perfect every day. So give yourself a little bit of time, don’t run in, and expect it to happen instantly because that’s when you’ll make the most mistakes.
- Always make sure to start with clean, moisturized skin when you swatch for foundations. If you’ve already been wearing the wrong shade, chances are you’ll pick the wrong shade again until you remove it entirely before trying out a new shade. If you use makeup remover, remember to re-moisturize that area once again before swatching. Since the skin tends to become dry after using a cleansing product, it’s likely to affect the color of the swatch.
- Don’t just settle for the first foundation that touts itself as your shade. Instead, before you take the plunge, try a few samples to ensure you find the right one. Then, to get the best match, pick your shade by swatching it directly on your jawline because only then can you see how it reacts to the whole area from your neck to forehead.
- For a more flattering finish, let your foundation oxidize onto your skin for a few minutes for it to change its original shade. Oxidation refers to the change of the foundation shade upon application (3).
TIP: The best lighting to verify your foundation shade is sunlight. Always make sure to see how it feels, wears, and oxidizes.
2. The secret to a flawless finish is a clean canvas
You’ve got to kick off your makeup routine with the cleanest canvas possible. A smooth foundation always starts with smooth skin. We’re sorry to break it down to you; if you’ve been putting makeup straight to your face, you’ve been doing it all wrong!
- Always remember to begin with prepping your skin. Cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing your skin are the essential steps before applying any cosmetic product to boost your glow. This helps eliminate dirt, excess oil, and other impurities that may damage your foundation base.
- Choose a non-greasy moisturizer that is easily absorbed by your skin and does not leave any residue. The better the moisturizer, the more likely you are to get a dewy appearance. If you have dry, flaky skin, your foundation will accentuate that. Therefore, exfoliation and hydration are essential in this case.
- If you want to extend the longevity of your makeup, make sure to use a primer after your skincare regimen, this will help you achieve a much more seamless finish. It is critical to remember to let it dry fully before applying your foundation. A pea-sized quantity should enough. Even if you have to devote a little extra time to this multi-step beauty regimen, it will be well worth it as it will create the perfect canvas for you to work with.
TIP: If you’re not going for a full coverage look, you could always try mixing a small amount of foundation with a small dot of moisturizer or with your favorite face serum which will help to thin out the foundation, giving you that extra glow and dewiness.
According to celebrity make-up artist Sir John, it is a big no to let the moisturizer dry before applying foundation. Beyonce Glam Gurus’ signature trick is to make foundation look like a second skin. Therefore, always apply your foundation while the face is still slightly damp from the moisturizer(4).
3. Half the look is knowing which tools to use
Choosing the best foundation tool for your skin type and desired finish may be as difficult as determining the ideal foundation color. However, the cosmetic tool you use to apply your foundation is entirely based on personal preference.
- For the ultimate application of liquid foundation, a synthetic fiber foundation brush is the best tool to use. It will apply your foundation smoothly and evenly without causing any streaks or leaving spots behind. If you pick up too much product, a stipple brush can be used to blend that excess into your skin, helping achieve an even base for your foundation. Applying a damp sponge in quick, circular motions will also give you good results as it seems to help the product spread more easily.
TIP: Always keep your makeup applicators clean. Dirty brushes and sponges could often lead to breakouts, skin infections, and streaky makeup. If you’re someone who wears a lot of makeup daily, it’s recommended to clean your applicators after each usage. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends cleaning your makeup tools every 7 to 10 days (5).
4. Create the look – Blend away those imperfections!
- Should I be applying the concealer before foundation or foundation before concealer?
- We’ve all been there, trying to decide on which works best. While there’s nothing wrong with using concealer first, most makeup artists would recommend using a little coat of foundation first to balance out the complexion and reduce the appearance of imperfections. In addition, this will allow you to use less product of your concealer by only using it on the areas that still need to be addressed.
- Begin by applying a small amount of foundation onto the back of your non-dominant hand and then slightly dip your applicator into it. Next, gently dot the product onto the main areas of your skin. Then quickly tap over the dots using a sponge and gently blend out using patting motions until it’s evenly distributed.
- Last but not least, nothing gives you away like a line at your jawline; therefore, never forget to blend your foundation onto your neck as well. Finally, keep in mind not to smudge or swipe as you apply your foundation.
TIP: Remember not to overdo your foundation application as it will result in a cakey situation. Make sure to start with small amounts until you find the perfect amount required to cover up your skin.
Always work from the inside out – Concentrate the foundation in the center of your face, where redness and blemishes are most noticeable, and then blend outwards.
5. A long-lasting finish – Blot, then Set
By now, you’re looking fabulous. So what’s next? Usually, we try the powder. But not so fast.
- If you want to make sure your makeup lasts longer, then make sure to take a tissue and press it all over your skin to seal the product in and to absorb any excess oils present in your foundation.
- Finally, dust some translucent powder on your face by dipping your fluffy powder brush into the powder, then tap or shake it to remove any excess. Then, gently dust it across your face, using a stronger touch on areas that tend to get oily, such as your T-zone, chin, and under eyes, if required.
- For those who aren’t a fan of setting powders due to dry skin, you can always opt for a matte liquid foundation and follow up with a setting spray instead. Misting your face with a setting spray is a great way to ensure that your makeup application goes as smooth as silk.
The ultimate goal of foundation application is to make your face look ethereal, glowing like a slab of marble, without marks, scars, or any imperfections. Regardless of the skill level, we can all benefit from a few extra make-up tips and tricks when it comes to applying foundation. This article sums up all the necessary steps from locating your perfect shade to mastering techniques that will help you get an airbrushed finish every single time.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Should I use BB Cream or CC Cream?
BB cream is great for dry skin and is used as a tinted moisturizer, while CC cream is great for oily skin and provides extra coverage.
Should you apply foundation under your eyes?
Though it doesn’t have any effect, it is advised to use a concealer for under eyes.
Can I use concealer without foundation?
If you’re going for a simple natural look, you could only use a concealer.
Can I skip foundation?
It all comes down to personal preference. You may use a concealer, BB cream, CC cream, or a tinted moisturizer on your blemishes, and you’re good to go!
TIP: Apply a small amount of foundation onto your eyelids, and set it with some translucent powder. This will ensure that your eyeshadow remains in place and also prevent smudging.