Forget what you think you already know about foundation and powder: these are the smart ways to use your base according to three top make-up artists
Foundation is the bread and butter of many a make-up routine; the thing you daub on most mornings, however haphazardly, before you’re out the door.
Most of us have probably never considered that you can make foundation work harder, have controllable coverage or create a bespoke look.
Well, think again. We asked three top make-up artists for their best foundation secrets, and got some tips that can elevate your base to new levels.
Trust us - your morning routine will never be the same again.
1. Tackle shine by mixing it up
“If you prefer a natural finish, but find the centre of your face becomes shiny, use a dewy foundation and add a dab of matte formula to the areas where you’d like a more ‘perfected’ look,” says make-up artist Alex Babsky.
“Since these foundations ‘set’ more, they should be applied over dewy formulas to keep the integrity of the finish intact.”
TRY: YSL All Hours Foundation Stick, £31.50
2. Reverse your routine
“I recently discovered powder can create the perfect canvas for oily or combination skins if applied before foundation,” says make-up artist Caroline Barnes.
“With a powder puff, press ultra-fine translucent powder into the T-zone to absorb excess oil. This allows your foundation to glide on.”
TRY: Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder in Translucent, £29
3. Team up your products
“Layering liquid over powder is generally considered a no-no, but if you find your concealer still leaves your under-eye area looking dark, try a multiproduct approach,” says Babsky.
“Start with a cream concealer and apply a small amount of powder. Then use a light-reflecting pen to illuminate any areas that still look shadowed. The powder will give the reflective pen grip without lifting the concealer.”
TRY: Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer, £24
4. Go 3D
“To give your foundation a subtle 3D effect, apply a cool-tone cream blush from the apples of the cheeks towards the edge of the jawline,” says make-up artist Pablo Rodriguez.
“Next, apply your liquid foundation over the top using a brush, then finish with a dab of peachy blush on the apples of the cheeks. The delicate effect is like looking at a blush rose petal.”
TRY: Clarins Skin Illusion Foundation SPF10, £30
4. Use different strokes
“Tailor your powder application to the coverage you’re trying to achieve,” says Babsky. “To set make-up, sweep over it with some powder on a big fluffy brush to give a natural finish.”
“To conceal more stubborn blemishes, I often set the immediate area by pressing the powder in with the corner of a folded-over powder puff.”
TRY: Bobbi Brown Sheer Finish Pressed Powder, £30
5. Like patchwork
“Don’t be afraid to use more than one foundation,” says Babsky.
“There’s often the assumption that the entire face should cater to the areas of most concern, but it’s more flattering to build up a patchwork of product, paying attention to blemishes or redness and leaving everywhere else more sheer – or even bare.”
TRY: Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Gel Cream, £28
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