How To Have A Perfect Foundation Routine Every Time
Learning how to have a perfect foundation routine that works the best for you is key to the success of your overall makeup look. It’s easier than you thought it would be!
Everyone has their version of the perfect foundation routine, and this is mine. It’s worked for me for years with some tweaking with new products of course!
I didn’t perfect my foundation routine overnight; in fact, it took me some time to figure out what techniques and products worked best for me.
Don’t feel like you have to master your skills overnight either but, it’s not as complicated as you might think to find what works best for you.
Sure, you’re probably thinking, how difficult can it be to slap some foundation and concealer on?
Well, it’s not just about those two products. Foundation products work in unison with each other – each enhancing and complimenting the previous layer of product.
I’ve got my foundation routine down to about 15 minutes which is really about average considering I use several products to get the desired look I achieve. I wanted to share with you what works for me.
There are many days when I don’t bother wearing eye makeup, but I rarely ever go without my foundation. And when I say foundation, I mean all the products I use in my routine.
As a former makeup artist, I discovered that your face is like a canvas and you must prep it properly in order for your eye make to be fully appreciated.
So, let’s started! I’m going to walk you through all the techniques and products that I’ve discovered for that beautifully flawless look!
Choosing The Right Foundation:
- First, you will need to understand what type of skin you have. Is it dry, oily, normal or combination skin?
- Now, choose your desired finish. Do you prefer matte, radiant, or natural? Remember, choosing the right foundation is all about creating a natural appearance throughout your face, neck and décolleté.
- What type of coverage do you prefer? Coverage means how much of your natural skin you want to show through your foundation. Coverage comes in sheer, medium or full.
- Next, determine your basic skin tone. Are you fair, moderately fair, medium, medium-deep, deep or very deep?
- Undertone is next – many people get confused about choosing the right undertone. Simply stated, it means what color is the most predominant in your skin such as yellow, pink-red, neutral or olive. Your neck and inside your arms is a good way to determine your undertone.
- Choose 3 colors that are close to your skin tone. Test them to your jawline or better yet, go shopping for your foundation without any makeup on. It’s really the only way to get a great match. Make sure that you apply enough foundation when you are testing – not just a little dot.
- The shade that blends into your skin without too much of a noticeable demarcation line is the best color choice.
As you age, you’ll want to stay away from foundations that are overly dewy or very radiant. They tend to settle into fine lines and accentuate them. You can always apply a highlighter to your cheekbone area to get that dewy glow we are all loving at the moment.
It’s also important to remember that certain matte foundations can do the same that’s why it’s essential to be sure that you choose a matte foundation with a good moisture base.
I prefer a matte foundation but always make sure I heavily moisturize my skin before applying.
Choosing The Right Concealer:
- For concealing under the eyes, you can choose up to 2 shades lighter than your skin tone.
- In general, for highlighting or adding clarity, choose a lighter tone. For use on dark spots or pimples, choose a neutral shade that’s close to your skin tone (slightly darker than your skin).
- For dry skin, be sure to choose a concealer with a good moisture base. This will ensure the product doesn’t settle into fine lines.
- Or oily skin, choose a concealer that’s specifically formulated for oily skin or it will slip off your skin.
To make your makeup last longer and prevent the concealer from caking, the powder should always be applied last.
When you use the powder-type foundation, apply the concealer first. When you use liquid or cream foundation, apply the concealer afterward and then finish up with face powder.
Always apply powder over your concealer to assist in the setting process.
Stick or Compact – When you want good coverage on small or narrow areas (When using a stick type concealer, choose a solid one.)
Liquid Concealers – depending on what your preference is, liquid concealers are very easy to apply.
They tend to blend into the skin faster. The drying time is a bit longer that’s why after applying a very liquidy concealer you should let them set for about 1-2 minutes before blending.
Many of us don’t – after all, we are in a hurry and can’t be bothered right?
My Foundation Routine:
I use several products for my foundation routine. If you can’t try these products at once be sure to bookmark them for future reference! You’ll thank me later!
Application: For applying foundation and concealer I love my Beauty Blender.
Ever since it’s début it became a cult favorite of millions and I can’t stop using it either.
This tool magically transforms your foundation. Applying foundation and concealer with the Beauty Blender is like nothing I’ve ever experienced before.
When wet, it doubles in size and absorbs less product It works with liquid, cream, mineral, wet/dry, loose and pressed powder foundations, as well as cream blushes and concealers.
Be sure to use the Beauty Blender damp – I do know some folks who like it dry but trust me, it works so much more effectively damp.
Wet it thoroughly, squeeze out the remaining water, and you are ready to go. I like to place it in some tissues or a paper towel before using it as well – just to be sure I remove all the excess water.
A Thrifty Alternative – Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge
I also own this Real Techniques Miracle Sponge as well. Each for different reasons. This is the best alternative if you don’t want to spend the money on a Beauty Blender.
The rounded sides of the sponge does a fantastic job when blending large areas of the face with a repeated dabbing or stippling motion.
The precision tip helps cover blemishes and imperfections, and the flat edge helps contour around the eyes and nose.
Foundation: I have several I use in rotation depending on the season and circumstances.
M·A·C ‘Studio Fix’ Fluid Foundation SPF 15
Very affordable and lasts a long time. Studio Fix Fluid Foundation SPF 15 is a modern foundation that combines a natural matte finish and medium-to-full buildable coverage with broad-spectrum UVA/UVB SPF 15 protection.
The comfortable, long-wearing formula applies, builds and blends easily and evenly while helping to minimize the appearance of pores and imperfections, giving your skin a smoother, more flawless look and finish.
Studio Fix is my go-to foundation. I’ve worn it for years and it never fails me.
It’s basically an oil-controlling formula that offers a natural matte finish with medium to full coverage. I have combination skin and this foundation fits me perfectly!
Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup
I just repurchased this again! It’s a great price too for the super high-quality product you get. It’s a 15-hour flawless foundation that stays looking fresh and natural through heat, humidity, and nonstop activity.
Estēe Lauder’s Double Wear Makeup delivers a flawless natural look for carefree coverage. It’s a lightweight, oil-free and buildable formula and it doesn’t change color leaving your makeup looking as fresh as when you first applied it.
I love using this foundation when I know I’m out and about for long hours. I can trust that it won’t fade or budge. One of my top favs for sure!
Guerlain Parure De Lumiere Light Diffusing Foundation SPF 25
If you want to treat yourself to a high-end foundation, this is the one to try this Guerlain Parure De Lumiere Light Diffusing Foundation SPF 25.
When I apply this foundation, I feel like a princess. There are a lot of high-end foundations out there and I’ve tried many of them yet, this foundation always stands out as one of my favorite indulgences.
An Affordable Alternative – Maybelline New York Fit Me Matte Plus Poreless Foundation Makeup An outstanding alternative for sure. It’s an ultra-lightweight foundation for normal to oily skin.
It has a tone plus texture-fitting foundation for the ultimate natural fit and it erases pores and matches your natural tone. I love this foundation.
This ultra-lightweight foundation contains micro-powders that absorb oil for a matte and poreless looking finish. This unique formula goes beyond matching just skin tone and matches the texture of normal to oily skin for the ultimate natural fit.
Dermatologist and allergy tested, this mattifying foundation does not clog pores and is oil-free.
Concealers – they are a very important part of getting the perfect foundation routine.
Concealer application: When it comes to applying concealer, don’t be skittish. I apply it under my eyes in a V shape and make sure not to apply the bulk of the concealer directly under my eye – more so away from where fine lines would naturally.
Then, I take my Beauty Blender and gently tap, tap, tap, and start blending. I also apply concealer on my marionette lines, my chin, between my eyes, and down the center of my nose.
Some good rules for applying concealer are as follows.
- Pat, pat, pat. Blend by gently patting with your fingers. Don’t rub or you’ll just end up rubbing it off.
- Under the eyes. To counter darkness in the eye area, apply concealer in the inner and outer corners, as well as under the eyes all the way up to the lash line.
- Less is more. Since it’s thicker than foundation, you can easily end up with a cakey look. Apply a thin layer first and build up as needed.
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer – My go-to concealer. Coveted by artists for its luxurious texture and luminous finish, new NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer evens skin with lightweight medium to high buildable coverage.
Enriched with hydrating, multi-action skincare benefits and light diffusing technology, it creates a softer, smoother complexion while instantly obscuring imperfections and diminishing fine lines and signs of fatigue.
Estee Lauder Double Wear Waterproof All Day Extreme Wear Concealer – I love this one as much as I love their foundation. When I’m looking for heavier coverage, I grab this. Non-stop 24-hour wear helps keep dark circles and imperfections out of sight.
Hydrating, comfortable crème formula creates the perfected look of flawless skin and lasts day to night. Color-true with full coverage that won’t crease, streak or cake. Natural matte finish. Oil-free and waterproof.
An Affordable Alternative – Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Brightener ($9.79) It’s amazing how well this works. So well, in fact, that it became a cult favorite and hit the internet like a wave.
I knew I had to try it and fell in love. I love using this on those nights I don’t sleep all that well and need an extra punch of brightness under my eyes. I think this concealer is here to stay!
- The Micro-Corrector applicator + super concentrated formula helps the eye area look radiant and refreshed.
- Instantly erases dark circles and fine lines*
- Visibly diminishes puffiness*
- Contains Goji berry + Haloxyl
- Erases dark circles & fine lines
- Diminishes the appearance of puffiness
- Eye area looks radiant & refreshed
Applying Face Powders:
I always apply face powder directly after applying my foundation and my concealer. It’s a must if you want to get the most wear out of your foundation routine.
t’s best to use a brush to apply and blend with a Beauty Blender. Don’t be worried about over-applying. Most powders fade quickly. I also recommend applying powder with a fluffy brush along the t-zone, where the face can get oily.
A brush gives the most natural finish. Under the eyes and on trouble spots, I pat the tiniest amount of powder with a powder puff to keep the concealer in place.
Loose powder will look the most natural. But it can be messy and impractical for touch-ups during the day.
Applying and Purchasing Face Powders
There are 4 rules for applying face powder that I like to follow.
1. Always match your skin.
2. Boost concealer with loose powder.
3. Create a natural-looking finish.
4. Touch up your powder at least once or twice daily – you can use blotting paper as well!
Here are some of the key powder products I use in my foundation routine.
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural is a luxurious, slow-baked domed face powder with low-level pearlized pigments that provide a dimensional yet natural-satin finish.
It can be used to set your foundation and to touch up makeup throughout the day. It’s formulated with the brand’s 77-Mineral Complex as well as vitamin E.
How to use: Apply to your face using a brush as desired. It’s what I use to set my foundation and concealer – end of the story. It’s simply the best. Your products will stay set all day!
An Affordable Alternative – RIMMEL LONDON Stay Matte Pressed Powder ($3.69 – 5.49) – This powder is truly terrific. It’s a grab and go staple for me especially when I’m casual and need a quick powder application that I know will get the job done.
Rimmel Stay Matte is an oil-absorbing pressed powder that leaves you with a flawless, shine-free complexion. It helps to minimize the appearance of large pores. Dermatologically tested.
Controls Shine For Up To 5 Hours Made in England
- Lightweight & Long Lasting Shine Control
- With Natural Minerals for a Flawless Matte Finish
- Helps Minimize the Appearance of Pores
- Dermatologically Tested
Illuminating Powders: Do you absolutely need them? No – but once you try them, there’s no turning back. It seems that illuminating powders—a long-time professional artist staple—are suddenly everywhere.
After all, who doesn’t want a little radiance? Illuminating powders allow your face’s natural highlights and curves to shine through. I have two that I can’t live without.
My all-time obsession is Dior Diorskin Nude Luminizer Shimmering Glow Powder. I don’t ever go without this.
After I apply my foundation, concealer, powder, and blush, I dip a large brush into this gem and give my face a good dusting.
This gives you an overall gentle glow and blends your blush into your skin perfectly so it looks totally natural.
The all-new Diorskin Nude shimmer powder provides a subtle combination of shimmer and pigment, this illuminating powder recreates the effect of nude skin bathed in freshness.
With one stroke of the brush, the skin blushes gently, catching the light and revealing a sculpted face. The complexion has a naturally dazzling outdoor glow.
My other obsession is by Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder. Once you try this product, there’s no going back!
I’ve blogged about this powder before and yes, above all, this powder is my go-to, can’t live without life-altering product. I’m not exaggerating when I say it takes years off your skin.
If there is any powder you need to get today, this is it. I use the color Dim Light but they are all just so wonderful – have fun deciding :)
A wardrobe of universal finishing powders that recreate exquisitely flattering light sources.
Each powder captures, diffuses, and softens surrounding light to refine the appearance of the complexion using Photoluminescent Technology.
The powders brighten the appearance of the complexion with sheer yet transformative coverage.
Instructions for use: Dust Ambient Lighting Powder all over the face. Powders can be combined and layered to create a multi-dimensional glow. Free of parabens, talc, fragrance, nano-particles, and gluten.
Well, I hope you got some inspiration for tweaking your foundation routine. The products I shared with you today are simply the best.
I can say this with assertion after testing hundreds of products and of course, share the best of everything with you.
I know it was a long read but trust me, it’s worth it. Once you have your foundation routine down you will feel more beautiful, more confident, and feel inspired to take on the world! In the picture below, this is how my foundation routine looks.
I’d say it’s a mostly natural look and makes me feel and look younger than my age – and for that, I’m grateful.
Please let me know if you have any questions about any of the products I featured here today. I’ll be more than happy to answer them promptly for you.
Don’t forget to read 10 Witch Hazel Uses and Benefits You Need To Know too!
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Carolann. the only thing missing is a video on each step, which would be so great. Do it? ;-))). I am so pinning this. Do you use the blender damp?
I actually plan on doing that next so you’ve read my mind! And yes, I’ll add that to the post as I did leave that part out so thank you. I had so much I wanted to say! lol Thanks much Carol xo
Oh and yes duh, to answer your question, I use it damp for sure. I know some folks who prefer it dry but it doesn’t really carry the same impact as it does damp. I also updated my post detailing how I like to use it. Thanks much Carol!
You know your stuff lady! I don’t wear make up except a bit of eyebrow pencil and lipstick. I have used foundation in the past, but I don’t like to take the time to apply it and after all that work, I don’t like how it feels. I’ve been fortunate to have good skin genes, and I know at my age many wear it, it just is not my thing. I think all your tips here are essential for women to look real and not so made up. Many do not apply it properly.
I recently had my make-up done professionally…..TWICE. Liked the second guy better and he used Diorskin Nude Shimmer Instant Illuminating Powder with Kabuki Brush and a couple others you mentioned. It DOES make you feel great. Thank you for the additional tips
I am still thinking about the Hourglass and want it. Can’t wait for the video now too.
Thanks Sue. Oh my gosh you will love that hourglass! I’m hoping to get that vid done by next week! I’m excited to do it.
I agree with your tips, Carolann! I’m also a late bloomer when it comes to make up. And I’ve learned much through the years through YouTube. Thank God for YT! In my situation, foundation application has been so much easier when I started using the sponge (I use the Real Techniques sponge and love it!). It’s made a difference in looking more even and flawless.
Carolann I needed this post and have pinned and posted on my Sizzling Towards Sixty facebook page. Trying to get a natural look is not easy but you have explained it perfectly. Can you come and do my makeup for me? LOL:) Can’t wait for the video!
Love the contour photo! Excellent.
Hi Michelle, I think you have just chosen the wrong foundation for your skin type. Foundation is not supposed to feel heavy or annoying. If you ever want to try it again, go for something light and weightless like Urban Decay Naked. It’s very lightweight and feels so comfortable on. You are blessed having good genes! Yes, a lot of women don’t know how to apply makeup and it ends up looking so staged. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. have a wonderful weekend!
Oh wow Carol! It’s so much fun having it done professionally. I love the Diorskin soooo much. There are so many really great foundations out there. It’s finding the one that works best for you…that’s the challenge. It’s fun trying them too! Thanks much and have a wonderful weekend!
Hi Joy! Yes, thank goodness for YouTube. I can spend hours looking at beauty related videos. It’s so much fun discovering new products that way too. I love the Real Techniques sponge that’s why I made sure to feature it. It’s a great value and works almost the same as the Beauty Blender. Thanks so much for stopping by to comment. I hope to see you again soon. Have a wonderful weekend!
Hi Sue, Thanks so much for sharing and pinning! XO I’d love to do your makeup! If you lived close by I totally would! I’m glad you found this post useful. If you ever have any question, please don’t hesitate to ask me. I hope the video helps too. I can’t wait to post it. Thanks again so much and have a wonderful weekend XO
Yes, it’s a great explanation on how to highlight and contour. Glad you enjoyed it Tam!
I can always use makeup/routine tips. I subscribed to your YouTube channel. Can’t wait to see!
Thanks so much Janice! I appreciate the stumble a lot! And thanks for subbing to my channel. I couldn’t find yours. Can you ping it to me please? Thanks much for stopping by and I hope you have a great weekend!
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