Flawless foundation is the key to a good makeup day – after all, it’s literally the base of the look. But we all know how temperamental it can be – one day you nail it, and the next day it looks patchy, flaky, or has completely vanished from your skin by 3pm. Not cute. Follow our tips for a failsafe ‘good foundation day’, every day.
It’s always best to apply your eyebrows before anything else, and work around them. This seems like strange logic, but for longevity it makes total sense. Your base products combine with the oils you produce throughout the day and break down other makeup; if your brows are applied on top of these products, they’ll be the first thing to slip, slide and start disappearing – and we certainly don’t want that. Apply your brows first however you normally would (of course, we recommend Brow Queen Anastasia Beverly Hill’s Brow Wiz to do so, for ultra-defined, long lasting brows), and then clean up around the entire outside with some concealer and a fine tipped brush (such as the Nabla Close Up Concealer and the Anastasia Beverly Hills Concealer Brush). Not only will this give you a really neat, defined brow, the concealer on the outer edges will give the illusion your brows were applied atop your base and will help your foundation blend around them seamlessly.
On lazy days primer seems like the obvious step to skip, but if you’re going to spend twenty minutes on your look, why not spend another twenty seconds locking it all in? A primer is the final stage post-skincare, pre-makeup, and you can even choose one specifically for your skin concerns; whether you want to reduce oiliness (try the Cover FX Mattifying Primer with Anti Blemish Treatment) or redness (Stila One Step Correct), hydrate (Makeup Revolution Hydrate & Prime) or add radiance (Milani Prime Light Strobing & Pore Minimising primer) to your skin, all designed for maximum makeup longevity. By using a primer for your skin type, it can counteract the things that might normally interrupt your foundation, creating a flawless base that lasts all day.
If you watch literally any beauty YouTuber makeup tutorial, they’ll tell you to apply foundation and then concealer on top. For big nights out, the heavy, bright coverage under the eyes may look amazing – but for everyday use, it can just be too much. The heavy layers of products on top of each other can look cakey in harsh, daytime light. This is why for the daytime, it’s actually better to apply your concealer under your foundation. Applying it under your foundation takes away some of the ‘brightness’, while still giving you the undereye coverage you want. Using concealer this way also means it blends out more seamlessly with the rest of your makeup, as the foundation applies as a flawless base, rather than having other cream products stacked on top of it. For a lightly brightening daily concealer, we recommend blending the Illamasqua Skin Base Concealer Pen out with a damp beautyblender before your base makeup.
There are multiple methods for foundation application, and you don’t have to stick to just one, as they each give different results. If using a dense brush, your foundation will apply with heavier coverage. But if using the damp sponge method, your foundation will appear to have a lighter coverage. The combination of the sponge’s porous nature will ‘suck up’ more product (depositing less), and the damp will dilute it slightly. However, results will appear better using the sponge method, as it ‘pushes’ the product into the skin for a more flawless blend, rather than just letting it sit atop it, which is why sometimes foundation applied with a brush can look streaky, or patchy in coverage. For the best of both worlds, we would recommend using the techniques in tandem; applying foundation with a brush (we recommend the Beauty Bay Rose Gold In The Buff Foundation Buffing Brush) to retain the product’s full coverage, and buffing it out with a damp sponge (if you haven’t already tried the classic beautyblender, you need to) for a smooth finish. You can also choose to use different methods on different parts of the face. For example, if you get an oily t-zone throughout the day but the rest of your face is dry, use the brush method for the middle section of your face and blend outwards to where you need less coverage with a damp sponge.
Setting powder is a must; not only for all-day wear, but to make sure your other powder products blend seamlessly together. If you apply powders such as bronzers and blushers atop unset foundation, you’ll end up with a patchy result, as the powders will cling to the wet foundation. By lightly dusting your foundation with setting powder, you’re laying down a base for your contour, highlighting and bronzing products to blend smoothly over. We recommend the Jeffree Star Cosmetics Magic Star Setting Powder, which not only locks your makeup down, it also comes in eight shades (so say goodbye to ghostly flashback!)
Like primers, setting sprays might also seem like a step you can skip in a rush – but see it as the ‘topcoat’ to your face; you wouldn’t spend ages on perfecting your manicure only to miss the final, crucial step! A setting spray ‘locks in’ your makeup to last against the day’s unavoidable oil and sweat, but it can also be used to take away any powdery or cakey residue from your foundation routine. If after applying multiple layers of creams and powders you’re thinking things could look a little more blended than they do, or if you have a slightly chalky look after powdering, a setting spray instantly ‘melds’ these layers together, for a flawless finish. If you prefer the dewy look or have dry skin, the Anastasia Beverly Hills Dewy Set spray will be your new best friend, but if you want a matte look with no chance of an oily t-zone raining on your parade, look no further than the Gerard Slay All Day Setting Spray.