7 Foundation Mistakes We All Make — And Shouldn’t


Photo: Luca Cannonieri/GoRunway.com

Foundation is the canvas on which we build a gorgeous makeup look. So no matter how pretty a lipstick or smoky eye, no one will notice it if your coverup is streaky or caked on. Avoid these common foundation mistakes to enhance your complexion and create a natural-looking finish.

1. Applying With Your Fingers
Although it seems easiest to apply foundation with your fingers, it oftentimes leaves harsh lines on the skin. For a more accurate blend, use a brush or sponge, like the Beauty Blender ($19.95, sephora.com). With a brush, blend the foundation in circular motions to create an airbrushed finish with little product. With a sponge, dab to avoid lines.

2. Using Powder Foundation
Powder foundation can look chalky and settle into wrinkles. Plus, it dries out the skin and looks obvious in pictures. Instead, use a matte foundation to eliminate any unwanted shine around the T-zone, and use a dewy formula around the perimeter of the face. You should use powder, however, when setting your makeup at the end.

3. Highlighting Fine Lines
Foundation is meant to hide fine lines, not enhance them. Avoid creasing by applying a thin amount of product under the eye and around the mouth (where wrinkles are most prominent). Use a tissue to dab any excess product off.

4. Testing the Color on Your Hands
When you color test at a Sephora or department store, don’t dab the formulas on the back of your hand. Instead, test the color on your jaw line, underneath the eyes and around the nose to find a match. Another option: Sephora’s Pantone Color IQ service. An employee holds a gadget to your cheek and forehead. Within minutes, your skin tone is matched to foundations throughout the store. Then you have the option to choose which formulas you want to test without the hassle of testing multiple colors in the line.

5. Skipping Primer
Ever find your foundation to change color throughout the day, turning a light shade of orange? This happens when too much of the pH in the oil of the skin mixes with the pigment in the foundation. To avoid this oxidation, a primer should be applied to act as a barrier.

6. Applying Concealer Under Foundation
Concealer’s purpose is to add additional coverage when foundation doesn’t completely cover a trouble area. If you apply foundation over concealer, you’re thinning out the concealer you just strategically placed over trouble spots. What’s the point of that?

7. Coating the Entire Face With Foundation
Use foundation where needed, not all over the face. The less you use, the more natural it appears. Spots to pay attention to: redness around the nose, dark under eye circles and any blemishes. Blending with a brush will make it look like all-over color.

Read more: How to Choose the Perfect Foundation