Best Way to Apply Foundation

The ultimate goal of applying foundation is to make your face look like an ethereal, glowing slab of marble with nary a blemish nor scar. Despite your best efforts, is usually a very visible, slightly chalky mask that screams.

Best Way to Apply Foundation

To simplify the foundation process, need the exact steps, products, and techniques that'll help you get the most natural-looking finish, every single time.

#1: Clean It

All of you sufficiently remove your makeup and wash your face every night, so there should be no reason to really clean your face in the morning. But if you do have some leftover makeup (ugh), oil, or grime, lightly swab your skin with a cotton pad soaked in cleansing water to make sure you start your foundation routine with a clean, oil-free slate.

#2: Prep It

Foundation gets a bad rap for looking dry and flaky, but 99 percent of the time, it's actually due to user error. Even the heaviest of matte foundations can still look soft and natural, as long as you correctly prep and hydrate your skin with a good moisturizer.

After cleansing, massage a thin layer of moisturizer all over your face (avoiding the eyelids), letting the cream sink in for 5-10 minutes before applying your foundation.

#3: Start It

Buy a foundation that's creamy, medium-coverage, and actually matches your skin type and shade. Add two pumps to your palm, then use a foundation brush (try the EcoTools Flat Brush) to dab the foundation onto your skin, starting at the center of the face and blending it outward. Don't worry about making it look perfect just yet—that part comes next.

#4: Blend It

Grab a damp makeup sponge (make sure you've already squeezed out any excess water into a paper towel), and gently dab, dab, dab—never smudge or swipe—the side of the sponge over your face to seamlessly melt the foundation into your skin. Use the pointed tip of the sponge to blend out the foundation around your nose and eyes.

#5: Fine-Tune It

If you're not feelin' your zits, acne scars, or redness, tap on a concealer with your ring finger, let it set for five minutes, then lightly bounce the tip of your sponge over the concealer to blend it out without smudging it off. Try a thicker, full-coverage formula.

#6: Set It

To keep your foundation from slipping and sliding by noon, dust a translucent powder over just your T-zone (where all skin types get oily first) with a giant fluffy brush, like the Real Techniques Powder Brush.

Dip the brush in the powder, then tap off the excess and and swirl it over your forehead, nose, and chin in soft, concentric circles.

Congratulations—you've officially mastered smooth, glowy, non-patchy foundation without throwing your phone at the wall.

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