The Foundation Step of Your Skincare Routine

To prepare your facial skin for a good foundation, first go through your skincare routine. If you don't have one, here's what to do. First cleanse, then use a toner, then mask for exfoliation. The mask doesn't need to be done daily, just perhaps twice per week. It's important to exfoliate so you don't have those dead skin cells ruining your makeup look, and causing your base cover to ball up when applied.

Next, you want to moisturize. At this point you can choose a moisturizer which already has sunscreen built in and is tinted, for those of you who prefer just a sheer layer of color. Apply that and then go to the "powder" step below. If you prefer normal coverage, opt for a moisturizer with just the SPF in it (unless you're allergic to SPF).

After you moisturize, you can apply concealer to any problem areas. One tip I learned is to use your concealer all over your facial skin as your base, then just use a very light layer of your foundation. I've tried this and I absolutely loved the results. Truly flawless skin!

Next step is your actual base. There are liquids, creams, creme to powder, sticks, mousse and more. You'll have to try them and find the right style and shade for your skin type, as well as the season. You'll need to switch up the formula seasonally if you're prone to dry skin in winter. If you're using a powder, apply that with a brush and you're ready to apply your color cosmetics. If you've used concealer as a base, just use your normal foundation very sparingly at this point. If you've just dotted your concealer onto the problem areas, then use a normal layer of foundation. Be sure to use the right shade! I see it time and time again, the neck is pale and the face shade is darker. Blend well at the jawline so people won't be able to tell where your face ends and your neck begins.

When applying it to your skin, use outward and downward strokes on your face, never go upwards. Apply with your fingers or a cosmetic wedge. I use the wedges, but they're not my favorite as they tend to soak up a lot of the product. They give a much nicer finish than when I just use my fingers, though. Also, they are more gentle to use in the delicate eye area. You don't want to do any pulling or tugging there.

Now you'll want to apply powder. You won't need to do this if you are using a creme to powder foundation. It will go on creamy and then dry to a light powdery finish. I like this kind of formula, as I don't have to touch-up as much during the day. Powders come in different formats as well, typically loose or pressed. Loose powder can be whisked on with a large fluffy powder brush, or patted on with a powder puff. Pressed foundation in a compact gets applied with a small powder puff or cosmetic sponge. I'd been taught that powder gets applied in a downward motion, since you'd want all the tiny hairs on your face facing the same direction. I follow that suggestion when I'm using the pressed powder, but when I let loose with the loose powder, I'm just all over the place with my powder brush.

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