Fake It Until You Make It: Expensive-Looking Foundation on a Budget

Image via Imaxtree

Image via Imaxtree

Through all of our handy beauty products, we enhance and improve upon our features that we were born with, and play up the ones that we wish had a bit more prominence. So that saying “fake it until you make it” can really ring true in the beauty world — if you want fuller lips, make them; bolder brows, create them; and a countered jawline, contour it! In this column we’ll teach you the tips and tricks to tweaking your features and “faking it” until you “make it.

Any beauty connoisseur can attest to the fact that sometimes a trip to our favorite high-end beauty store can lead us to have to eat nothing but ramen noodles for a week.  While doing this isn’t great for our wallets, health, or complexion for that matter, it’s best to look at some of your drugstore options. Inexpensive makeup (when applied correctly) can look like you spent a fortune on it. One of the best products to save on? Foundation.

Allow us to explain. Sometimes a $5 tube of mascara or a $3 blush just doesn’t translate well on the face, but a drugstore foundation can absolutely be made to look expensive. To help you get this look, we’ve compiled some of our favorite tips and tricks for getting a movie star complexion on a budget.

1. Do Some Prep Work: In order for foundation to look its best, you have to prepare your skin. Remember to moisturize both morning and night to keep your skin soft and supple and eliminate any dry patches. Additionally, a weekly exfoliation with a fine-grain exfoliating wash doesn’t hurt to help slough off dead skin. Lastly, before you apply your foundation, try a primer, like NYX Studio Perfect Primer in Clear. Primers help to fill in pores and blur out any imperfections—the perfect recipe for flawless skin!

MORE: Breaking Down Drugstore Foundations

2. Consider Consistency: Remember that oil and water don’t mix when choosing moisturizers and foundations. An oil-based foundation and a water-based moisturizer won’t work well together, so remember to either choose both oil-based or both water-based products. Additionally, if you have oily skin, oil-based isn’t the best option anyway.

3. Go Hands-Free: Applying your foundation with your fingers is a definite no-no. Not only is this distributing the dirt, oil and germs from your fingers onto your face, but it also doesn’t allow for flawless coverage. Instead, try a damp Beauty Blender or a foundation brush. These both give off an airbrushed effect without lines or uneven application.

4. Powder Puff: Powder is a great way to set your foundation and can actually help improve the look of your foundation ten-fold. Try a loose powder (it’s more natural looking than pressed powder), like Maybelline Oil Control Loose Powder. If you have very dry skin, powder isn’t necessary. For oily or combination skin gals, dust a small amount on your T-zone.

5. Skip the Matte: Matte foundation can look a bit mannequin-esque, so choose a more lightweight foundation to help give off that dewy look. We suggest: L’Oreal True Match Foundation, Revlon Nearly Naked Makeup, Neutrogena Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup, or Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse Foundation.

6. Highlight: Adding a touch of highlighter to the top of your cheekbones is a surefire way to get a healthy-looking glow. NYX Illuminator is a great powder highlighter to give you that Hollywood luminescence without breaking the bank.

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