The Biggest Mistakes You’re Making With Foundation.
Foundation is one of the trickiest makeup products to use properly. While it can give you flawless skin that makes you look younger and less tired , applying it incorrectly can have the exact opposite effect. So try to avoid these common mistakes — your foundation (and face!) will thank you.
- Applying too much.
Achieving an even complexion is wonderful, but overloading your entire face with layer after layer of foundation is not the way to do it. Rather than looking perfect, your skin will simply look cakey and fake. If you’re dealing with a glaring blemish, gently buff away flakes with a clean, damp washcloth . Apply a spot treatment to your zit, then smooth on your moisturizer.
- Not properly setting your makeup.
In addition to using primer, another important step to maintaining your look all day long is setting your makeup. One of the quickest ways to do this is by spritzing on a
makeup setting spray .
- Choosing the wrong foundation for your needs.
Before buying a foundation, it’s important to determine which type your skin actually needs. Have an oily complexion? It’s important to use noncomedogenic (i.e. pore-clogging), oil-free and oil-absorbing formulas (for reference, here’s a list of
Good Housekeeping-approved foundations for oily skin ). If you have sensitive skin , look for mineral-based formulas that are free of dyes, fragrances, and preservatives that could be irritating. If your skin is dry, pick a creamy, moisturizing foundation that keeps your face hydrated.
.Picking the wrong color.
There are few things more embarrassing that looking at a photo of yourself from the side and realizing your face doesn’t match your neck. A too-light foundation washes you out and can even make you look a little sick, while a too-dark foundation can seem like an egregious self-tanning error. Avoid using a foundation that’s the wrong shade for you by testing colors on your jawline, nose, and cheeks — not the back of your hand or wrist, which are unlikely to be the same color as your face. The proper shade should disappear into your skin. Then, head out into the daylight to see how it looks away from the harsh lights of the department store. If it’s still invisible, you’ve found the right foundation for you.
- Applying it with your fingers.
Do this, and you’ll get blotchy, streaky results. Plus, touching your skin with your fingers all the time can do more harm than good. Instead, use a damp makeup sponge or foundation brush to apply your foundation. Bonus: This allows you to use less foundation for each application, as a little goes a longer way when water is added. If you’re utilizing a brush, apply the foundation onto your skin in circular motions, then blend as needed. For an even complexion, apply it all over your face, including your lids, on your undereye area, and around your nostrils.
- Not blending down your neck.
If you’re applying full-face foundation, be sure to blend down your neck, as it tends to be a little lighter than your face. As mentioned earlier, use a brush or sponge to smooth your foundation onto your face first, then from the jawline down your neck.
- Using a formula that ages you.
One of the big reasons women use foundation is to maintain a youthful appearance, but picking the wrong formula can actually exaggerate the signs of aging. Powder foundation looks cakey and can dry out your skin, making it a poor choice for anybody, whether they’re concerned about aging or not. Then there are creamy formulas, which seem like a great idea since they’re smooth and offer a lot of coverage, but due to their high pigmentation , can actually wind up appearing cakey after your skin absorbs the product’s moisture.
Overall, the best picks for anti-aging purposes are hydrating and satin-finish liquid foundations. Search for a version containing moisturizing glycerin or hyaluronic acid to keep your skin looking plump and supple rather than dry and dull. Tip: If you still desire a creamy formula’s coverage, just pair it with a rich moisturizer or hydrating primer.
- Applying foundation before your moisturizer is dry.
Always give your moisturizer time to absorb into your skin before applying foundation. Otherwise, you can end up with a streaky mess.
- Skipping primer.
When you’re in a hurry, it can be tempting to skip primer. After all, it doesn’t have any color to it and you’ve already used moisturizer, so why should you bother using it all? Here’s why: It is one of the biggest keys to getting a smooth, long-lasting finish for your makeup overall. If you’re worried about your foundation creasing, a silicone-based makeup primer can smooth out your skin .
- Using concealer before applying your foundation.
Applying your undereye concealer first can make you use more foundation than you would otherwise need. Instead, use a small, pointy brush to apply a lightweight concealer to your undereye area (as well as any other discolorations or blemishes) after your foundation application, then blend.