How to apply foundation: this TikTok trick shows you how to get coverage without wasting your product

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Hanna Ibraheem
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Hanna applying make-up and after applying foundation

Ever feel like your foundation fades quickly? Give this TikTok trick a go.

I rarely do my make-up without some kind of base product and a full coverage foundation is usually my first choice. I like the way it evens out my skin tone and it’s a product that gives me confidence.

Annoyingly though, I find that my foundation often fades throughout the day and it’s a difficult product to top up without having to reapply the rest of your base lineup.

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In an attempt to nail my foundation routine, I often switch up my application technique. Currently, it involves dispensing a few pumps onto the back of my hand and then applying it with a dense kabuki foundation brush.

This style of brush is brilliant at buffing out foundation for an even finish but there’s one major downfall: it eats up a lot of my foundation. Yep, brushes can soak up a lot of your product, causing the formula to get stuck between the bristles. This means that you either aren’t applying how much you’re thinking or you’re getting through your product a lot quicker than you should be.

One evening, while scrolling through TikTok (because what else is there to do during this sporadic, rainy weather?), I came across the answer, thanks to make-up artist Tamra Lords and a video that currently has over two million views.

“If you put foundation on with a brush, you’re going to want to listen up because you’re doing it wrong,” begins Lords in the video. And reader, that was enough to capture my attention.

Explaining that she’s a make-up artist who has worked on productions all over the country, Lords demonstrates dispensing foundation directly onto your brush before applying it onto your face. “Look where all of that product just went,” she says, showing the brush.

“This product just went straight into my brush, which means that it’s going to get deep into your bristles and not give you as much coverage as you thought.” Basically, the exact problem I’ve been having.

But Lords has a solution.

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“Take a non-porous surface, put the same amount of foundation and just put it onto your face, like this,” she explains while swiping a bottle lid topped with foundation all over her face. “And then you can just blend it in.”

“You’re going to use a lot less product and get a ton more coverage and you won’t have to wash your brushes as quickly either,” she finishes.

Hanna before applying foundation
Hanna before applying foundation.

After watching the video, I dove for my make-up bag and pulled out my foundation.

I dispensed a couple of pumps onto the smooth lid and began dotting the product all over my face. I then took my kabuki brush and blended it in. 

A couple of pumps of foundation dispense on a non-porous bottle lid
A couple of pumps of foundation dispense on a non-porous bottle lid.
Hanna with foundation dotted on her face (left) and after blending it with a kabuki brush (right)
Hanna with foundation dotted on her face (left) and after blending it with a kabuki brush (right).

Now, at this point, I’d probably reach for my foundation for a couple of more pumps – but I didn’t need it. I wasn’t losing any product to my brush, meaning two pumps was actually more than enough to cover my entire face for once.

Hanna after applying foundation
Hanna after applying foundation.

Since using this technique, I feel like I’m getting a much more even and longer-lasting coverage as I’m actually applying the right amount of foundation. Plus, I’m not wasting as much product, meaning this trick will probably save me some money in the long run, too.

Man, do I love TikTok.

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Images: Hanna Ibraheem