Once you have found your perfect foundation (see our article How To Pick The Right Makeup Foundation), it is time to apply it properly. Believe it or not, properly applying makeup foundation is one procedure that most women get wrong. Using foundation today is about achieving coverage that looks natural and having skin that looks healthy and glows. The purpose of a foundation is to give you a smooth, finished look. It is not to add color to your face or change the color of your face. Foundation, when correctly selected and applied, can hide imperfections, fill in tiny lines, and add a youthful dew to your face and neck (see Katie Holmes at left). Incorrectly applied, it can cake, emphasize and exaggerate fine lines, and draw attention to imperfections. That is why you need to know how to properly apply makeup foundation.
How To Properly Apply Makeup Foundation
How To Properly Apply Makeup Foundation
Before applying the foundation be sure to wash your face thoroughly with face-wash and warm water (not too hot, not too cold either). Pat your face dry with a clean towel (never rub), then apply a toner and the right amount of moisturizer. You should always apply a moisturizer first because a good, lightweight moisturizer will help lock in moisture and allows for a smoother application of the foundation. Note: Be careful if you use a moisturizer underneath ultra-matte foundations. "Why?" you ask. Because moisturizers can tend to make ultra-matte foundations streak or appear greasy.
When applying makeup foundation, be aware that you do not need to apply the foundation all over your face. Simply apply a dot of the foundation to the center of your cheeks, forehead, nose, and chin using your finger. You may also dot the foundation onto any blemishes, or red spots, under your eyes, and around your nose. To apply your foundation, use a damp cosmetic sponge and then, beginning in the middle of the face, blend outward until you achieve a smooth look and even coverage. Using a damp synthetic sponge rather than your fingers to blend your foundation will give you a smoother look and is the method of application many professional makeup artists use to obtain their best results. Be sure to blend the foundation smoothly and evenly into your skin. Spread it uniformly to all areas of your face, paying special attention to the extremities of your face - the temples, ears, hair line, etc. Do not leave a noticeable line of demarcation between your jaw line and neck or at the extremities of your face. The last thing you want is to look like you are wearing a mask (see Leighton Meester's foundation faux pas at right - her face is too pale compared to her neck and body). Hint: A little cream foundation goes a long way. It is heavier and more opaque than liquid foundation, so you will want to apply it with a light touch, adding more as necessary.
To set your foundation (as well as remove excess oil) use a translucent pressed powder and large puff. If you are using a cream foundation or a foundation that sets to a matte finish skip the powder. Powder applied over cream foundation tends to flake and collect in the fine lines and creases. Otherwise, start by dabbing the puff on the palm of your hand to remove any excess powder, and then wrap the puff around your index (pointer) finger. Next, roll the puff over your face. Doing so allows you to achieve a more natural application. For a more polished look, you can apply the loose powder with a soft brush to set your foundation.
If you find that you need more coverage, wait for your first application to dry and then apply another layer. If you find that you need to re-apply your foundation during the day, keep your foundation with you and use it to touch-up any problem areas when needed. Stick foundations work great for this. FYI: Many women use their foundation in place of a concealer.
Selecting the proper type and form of foundation will add to your overall look by improving the condition of your skin, so take some time to analyze your skin needs. Remember, foundation should blend seamlessly with your natural skin color. You want your foundation to look natural, not painted on. If you want your skin to glow, look healthy and evenly toned, then just follow the methods mentioned above and you will be one of the few women who know how to properly apply makeup foundation.
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