Beautiful foundation application can be a bit elusive. As a general rule, base makeup tends to wear better on healthy, smooth skin, so the more you pamper your skin, the better your foundation will look—and the less foundation you may be inclined to wear (in theory, at least). But for most of us, our skin is a work in progress and on those days that we desire to wear foundation, it’s helpful to know how to make it as flawless as possible.
In my own experience, I’ve found that the less foundation I apply, generally the better—at least when it comes to casual daytime looks. But even a single pump of semi-sheer foundation needs the right finesse to look more like skin and less like makeup. Thankfully, many experienced makeup artists are eager to share their tricks for making foundation work to your advantage. Keep reading to change your makeup game and see our recommendations for vegan and cruelty-free foundation.
Best Natural-Looking Foundation Tips from Celeb Makeup Artists
1. Apply *just* enough.
“Apply foundation sparingly — and only to the parts of the skin that need to be evened out. This way, you have some barer areas of the complexion, which gives the overall look a more natural finish,” says Molly R. Stern, whose clients have included Reese Witherspoon, Lily Collins, and Mandy Moore.
While you’re at it, start with the smoother areas of your face: Laura Mercier suggests, ” To avoid creasing, put foundation on smooth, unlined areas first, like your cheeks. Blend from there, skipping crow’s-feet and smile lines.”
2. Be particular about how you set your foundation.
Makeup artist Mary Phillips says, “Set makeup and blur pores and fine lines by applying powder to the center of the face only, leaving the perimeter natural and dewy. That shine around the face is beautiful.” Better yet if you can find a setting powder with subtle, light-reflecting particles that will be more forgiving and look less cakey as the day wears on.
Lora Arellano offers this genius trick: “Mist a fluffy brush with facial spray, and press it over your makeup — foundation, blush, bronzer, highlighter — to make everything look more like skin.”
3. Don’t forget to color match your neck.
Jillian Dempsey, makeup artist to Kate Winslet and Kirsten Dunst advises, “You don’t want your face darker than your neck — test shades around your jawline, or dust bronzer on your neck to even everything out.”
4. Highlight with cream for a subtle glow.
“Instead of strobing, warm a small amount of moisturizer in your fingers,” Phillips suggests. “Then press it onto your cheekbones for a natural highlight. Whether you’re 19 or 50, this technique will not age you. After you’ve applied foundation, just press your fingertips on the areas where you want a little glow.”
5. Touch up old foundation with cream.
“Makeup tends to settle during the day. Before you go out at night, rehydrate your morning foundation by applying a little cream on top with a foundation brush,” Phillips says. “Then add more foundation or powder wherever you need it. Your makeup will look completely fresh again.”
Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream—Packed with six skin-loving oils, this lush formula infuses skin with plumping moisture. A little goes a long way!
Beautiful, Natural-Looking Foundations
Alima Pure Liquid Silk Foundation—This buildable foundation leaves even dry skin looking dewy and balanced.
Studio 78 Paris Foundation—This Ecocert foundation is infused with multiple natural ingredients, including clary sage and apricot oil.
Jane Iredale Liquid Mineral Foundation—This innovative formula time-realeases aloe and vegetable glycerin to smooth the appearance of fine lines.
100% Pure Second Skin Foundation —Perfect for the “no makeup” look, this fruit-pigmented foundation is packed with antioxidants and offers buildable coverage.
What are your tips for flawless base?
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