One of the worst mistakes that people do when selecting foundation is to test the color on the top of the hand. The top of the hand is not exactly the same color as your face and, therefore, will potentially make you choose the wrong shade. The foundation for everyday use should match your face color as close as possible (this will be different for performance). If your skin can get a suntan (mine can't), also note that the color does change with the season. So it's possible that you may need 2 colors: one for winter and one for summer.
The second worst mistake is stopping application right at the jaw line. You should apply it slightly beyond (i.e., towards the neck) so that it doesn’t create a line right at the jaw; the foundation needs to blend in towards the neck.
This is the sequence (roughly) of how I apply foundation:
- Start application on a cheek and expand towards the hairline (make sure that you get all the way to the hair), jaw line, and nose.
- Apply on the eyelid, making sure to go all the way to the brows and down to the cheek bone. You could omit this step if you are applying the foundation after application of the eye makeup for everyday use. However, I generally prefer to put some foundation on the eyelid anyway to ensure that the whole face is the same color.
- Repeat Steps 1 and 2 on the other side. (Or you could have done both cheeks before going to both eye areas.)
- Apply on chin and the area above the lips.
- Apply on forehead, making sure to apply all the way up to the hairline and remembering to bring the application down on the temples.
- Apply on nose.
- Assess whether your application makes your face look even.
There are conflicting opinions on when foundation for everyday use should be applied: before or after application of eye makeup. I've done both. Right now, I apply it before. It’s really a matter of preference as to which one you prefer:
- Before: If you apply it before your eye makeup, it preps (somewhat) your eye area too and can ensure that the color all over your skin will be even.
- After: If you apply it after your eye makeup, it removes the fallout from the makeup application that may have fallen on your face. There are other methods to take care of that.
Liquid foundations typically come in many different formulations for different skin types. They often have an SPF 15 in it too, which is an advantage. Due to their light texture, they are generally the preferred formulations out there.
- Pour some foundation in your off hand, near the wrist.
- Dip your sponge lightly in the foundation. Dip lightly again whenever necessary.
- Use downward strokes if you have a naturally even skin. Pat the sponge on your skin (still going in a downward motion) if your skin is not even.
Q-tip and sponge method:
- Dip Q-tip in foundation. Dip again for each of the lines that you will apply.
- Apply one line on each cheek.
- Apply a small line on the chin.
- Apply a line on the nose.
- Apply a line on the forehead.
- With the sponge, blend the lines into the skin in the same order as you applied the lines, blending all over your face. Remember to also do above your lip, your eye areas, and the temples.
You will notice that this type of foundation does not cover as much as liquid. That’s normal. It also feels heavier and, if you have oily skin, you may not like this formulation. Whatever skin type you have, you still want to use a light coat of foundation with a cream foundation to minimize the heavy feeling.
- Use a sponge to get a little foundation on it. It’s better to dip more often than get too much on your sponge.
- Use downward strokes.
Powder foundations generally are the bare minerals kind. Their advantage is that they are real good for your skin to the point where you could sleep in them and it’s fine. You can also sweat in it without any issues. A lot of the bodybuilder ladies who wear makeup at the gym use bare minerals because of that. Some with oily skin will love this formulation as it absorbs the oil. I liked them for a while but then I thought that my face looked too powdery.
- Dip lightly a big fluffy powder brush in the powder. Use a circular motion in the cap to even the powder on the brush and remove excess.
- Use a circular motion to apply the foundation. The bare minerals brands call it “buffing.”
Combination Cream and Powder Foundation
This type of foundation actually contains both a cream foundation and a powder like you will apply in your 2nd step of makeup application. It’s a 2 steps in 1 process. However, it’s not exactly the same as applying a cream foundation and then loose powder.
To apply: Use the same method as the powder foundation. However, depending on the exact consistency of the formulation, you may want to just use downward strokes as opposed to the circular motion.