Foundation these days is synonymous with makeup – and many consider it an indisputable part of their makeup routine. The unrealistic expectations created by the beauty videos on Instagram and YouTubers would make us believe that a flawless complexion can just be achieved by just a damp beauty blender and a full coverage foundation, but one try and you know that’s far from the truth. Here are some tips that may help or not (and may not be valuable or solicited) but you might benefit from one point or two. Especially if you’re a makeup-newbie. Heads up – I love a sheer dewy finish, I gravitate towards a look that makes people think I sweat gloriously. Now let’s begin!
1. Do your skincare
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been asked about why “my foundation looks cakey, is creasing, settles in patches on my face,” and more. It’s because of zero exfoliation and abysmal hydration! Remember guys, skincare is a process. Do it EVERYDAY. If you have excessively dry skin, try using sheet masks or a hydrating moisturiser before putting on makeup. It’ll give you the freshest glow ever. Exfoliation is also equally important – I like to use Pixi Glow Tonic and it is an extremely non abrasive exfoliating toner – but you can use what suits you best.
2. Find which foundation suits your needs best
Foundation is so personal – choose one according to your skin type. A dry skin would work best with a hydrating finish, and oily one with something that is matte. The idea is to choose something that keeps the oil levels on the surface of your skin at an equilibrium, neither Sahara nor oily enough that it piques America’s interest. Focus on coverage and finish – these two words are not interchangeable. Coverage is the level or strength of a foundation to cover up your skin and the finish is the overall look of the foundation – which can be dewy, matte, satin or velvet.
3. Find out your undertone
In the makeup world – undertone is such a big word. It seems that everyone is constantly talking about it yet most of us don’t know how to determine ours. Undertones are important because more makeup has undertones – especially foundations, lipsticks, blushes. You can wear whatever the hell you want, makeup is but an artistic outlet, but some colours will make your face pop more than others and that’s where undertones step in. If your foundation is looking ashy, you might have used a foundation with a pink undertone (fit for someone cooler toned), and might need something yellower or warmer. Similarly, if you’re looking too sallow or yellow, try using something peachish or with a pinker undertone. It helps your skin look like skin.
4. Get yourself matched at the counter
Before you go swiping your card at another online beauty sale, remember to get yourself matched on the counter first. MAC is pretty standard, as you can almost always find a foundation shade of another company compared to a MAC shade online. Even Maybelline works for that matter – just fill in your details on findation.com and finding more concealer/foundation shades will be a cakewalk for you. Another way getting matched helps is that you know how a foundation that is well-matched supposed to look on your skin. If it is a perfect match, it is considered a general rule of thumb to observe that it seems almost to “disappear” on your skin.
5. A thick layer of foundation does not mean better coverage
Most editorial makeup artists swear by layering your foundation or concealer. Don’t go Instagram makeup crazy yet and pour a whole dropper on your face – build your foundation in thin layers. It helps give you better control and better finish, while on the other hand, one thick foundation layer is prone to creasing, cracking and separating more on your skin than one done in layers. Try using colour correcting or spot concealing instead for focused coverage, and build up your foundation instead.
6. Start from your nose and move towards perimeters
Listen to me – we don’t have perfectly even skintones. And having one emulated through makeup might make you look rather flat and one dimensional. Use foundation where necessary, sparingly, and let your skin show. Move from your nose towards your perimeters. The triagular area – your nose, inwards of cheeks and chin might have the most redness compared to the perimeters, and this way, you keep it looking more natural and fresh, and not to forget, breathable.
7. Invest in the tools of the trade
Out of all the brushes and tools, the ones you used for your base should be of the highest quality. Don’t be stingy here! It’s not imperative they be super high end or expensive, but it is extremely important that they be of high quality that would last you a long time. So instead of trying to cut corners with a generic makeup sponge that you’d throw later on, go for something reputed like Real Techniques or Beauty Blender – which you know will not disappoint and last you ages. Another thing I’d suggest is settling on a tool. I love a stippling brush for my face, while some use hands. All are great! There are no rules. The only rule is that you enjoy it.
Real Techniques Buffing Brush, PAC 306, Nyx Flat Foundation Brush, Beauty Blender Sponge, Real Techniques Miracle Blending Sponge
8. Use a finishing spray
Set your makeup! If you’re using a lot of powder products, use a fixing spray. A fixing spray and a setting spray are different. A fixing spray will just merge your makeup seamlessly, but a setting spray will do this and also lock your makeup in place so that it doesn’t melt off of your face. According to the occasion and requirements, choose one.
Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray, PAC Micro Finish Makeup Fixer, Nyx Matte Finish Setting Spray, Mac Prep+Prime Fix+ Spray
9. Focus on the consistency
Don’t put liquid over powder – say, don’t put liquid blush over powder foundation, but you can definitely put powder over liquids. Liquids might set over powder and it cakey – think how a flour turns into dough when mixed with water. But anything powder that goes over liquid might just actually lock it better in place. Terms and conditions applied.
10. Choose your primer wisely
You don’t always need a primer. Let’s be real guys, nobody wakes up and goes to office in a full face of glam makeup. But sometimes, you do need a full face of makeup – when there’s an event, or a wedding, or a special function. If you’re someone whose face sweats a lot, or you tend to turn oily through the day, go for a mattifying primer. Similarly, someone too dry can go for a primer oil, a primer mist or a priming moisturiser.
Nyx Total Control Drop Primer, Flower Beauty In Your Prime Primer, Becca Backlight Priming Filter, Smashbox Primer Water