How To Apply Foundation Like A Pro

You know that feeling when you get your makeup done professionally and you foundation is just bang on point? It’s perfectly blended, flawless and lasts all night. Ever gone to do your makeup the next day expecting to recreate it and wonder why you’re not getting the same result? I’ve got six tips that makeup artists use to help you get that flawless base each day, coming right at you!

1. Clean slate, prepped well.

As a makeup artist, there’s a crucial step that I take before an ounce of makeup reaches my client’s face. Cleansing. The fact is, no matter how long-wearing your makeup is, it doesn’t have the best odds when you’re putting it over the top of oils, dirt and whatever else that’s already on your skin. A clean base gives the foundation the best chance of blending, settling and looking like part of your skin. Once clean, always moisturise. No matter the skin type, it needs prepping. Your moisturiser of choice is going to help the makeup apply, and remain, even and without patchiness. If you find you get to lunch time and it looks like you never even put makeup on that morning, this step is especially important for you!

2. Test your shade.

I still see those orange jaw-lines too often! One of the best parts about working in retail makeup was being personally able to match people to their correct shade of foundation. When you have your makeup done professionally, you might not always be an exact shade of foundation. Your artist will, in this case, mix foundation shades and you leave with the exact match to your skin. True, it’s not always possible, or financially viable, to get yourself two shades of the one foundation – especially when you’re buying yourself something high end. If you take the time, however, it’s easy to get your best match. I recommend picking two or three shades that look the closest to your own. Apply each shade in a line beginning just above your jaw line and ending down onto your neck a little. Give them a chance to set and walk around the aisles for a moment. Often foundations actually dry a little darker than when they first go on so give them time to see their true colour! Once you’ve allowed a moment, go back to the mirror and see which shade best matches you neck. Your neck is obviously slightly lighter to your face so if you match your foundation to there you minimalize the risk of the dreaded orange jaw line! If you have the chance to look outside in the daylight – even better!

3. Let it sit.

When applying makeup each morning I tend to apply foundation first and then move on to eyes. I come back to powder and contour at the end. I find this gives the foundation time to really settle into the skin and then see where I need to add anything.

4. Less is more.

I saw MAC Senior Artist Nicole Thompson teach a workshop one day and she couldn’t emphasise this point enough. I completely stand by the notion that less is more when it comes to foundation. Start with a light base – even if, like me, you opt for a full coverage. Follow the step from above and let the first layer settle into the skin. You might find that once it’s on and blended well you only need to touch up with a little concealer. Otherwise, you can opt a second application of foundation. Just go in small stages and build it up. It’s so much better when your own skin can shine through so don’t be so quick to judge it. Give it a chance!

5. Mix your products.

I’m not saying every product can be mixed. It wouldn’t make much sense to waste a completely matte foundation by mixing it with your glowiest of primers. However, I’ve been known to get creative with skincare and foundation. Sometimes, I’ll mix a serum in to give an added bounce and glow to the skin. Or a moisturising primer to water down the product for a natural, not-so-heavy coverage. Napoleon Perdis’ Pre Foundation Skin Primer is my favourite for this! You don’t have to be stuck with the foundation just as it comes. Play around with different things and see what works!

6. Don’t forget to prime.

Primer is often overlooked as too time consuming. However, it will make the biggest difference to your makeup – both in application and longevity. You might have tried a primer in the past and found it didn’t work for you. That’s ok, some don’t suit everyone. But there is definitely one out there for everyone! Do your research – there are moisturising primers, smoothing primers, blurring primers, shine-reducing primers. Once you find your ideal product your makeup won’t look back. Trust. Me.

What’s you’re ideal base routine? We want to know what you use below!

Rachel x


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