5-6 Minutes reading time
I’ve included 5 YouTube videos and their viewing times next to the links below.
There are so many different tools, techniques and tricks to perfect your foundation.
Foundation shouldn’t be a product to mask your real skin, but more about evening the skin tone, reducing redness and bringing down the appearance of pigmentation. This is is why I prefer light-medium foundation and conceal where I need to after.
There’s no one size fits all rule to foundation application, and if you have perfected your technique to what works for you and already know your favourite product then keep doing what you’re doing!
The Slice: Foundation Application Tools, Tips and Techniques
Even if you didn’t need to see my foundation recommendations, this slice will be good for anyone who is looking to get a foundation technique update or refresh.
Before I continue it’s important to add that I use liquid foundation, highlighted in the Foundation Pt 1 slice, so my tools and application techniques will reflect that. I also own a lot of Real Techniques tools because they’re a great quality for the cost, they’re accessible (I’m an impatient shopper and can’t wait for something to be delivered so I like to buy things in person) and there’s almost always a deal on at Boots or Superdrug so you can get even more for your money. I’ve neglected the importance of cleaning your tools and applicators in this post, but will be talking about it in a future post, so just as a friendly reminder: it’s important to clean your brushes and sponges regularly to prevent both product and bacteria build up which lead to blemishes and bad makeup application.
Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge – £5.99 at Boots or Superdrug
This is my absolute go to, failsafe foundation perfecting tool. You’ve probably seen the Beauty Blender sponges advertised everywhere or mentioned by big YouTube/Instagram gurus, but I always think “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” so have never purchased a Beauty Blender simply because I a) don’t need to when I know the RT sponge is so good, and b) can buy a RT sponge for a third of the price of a BB sponge.
I use a RT sponge on almost a daily basis: first running it under water and working the water into the sponge, then wringing it out so that it is damp (not wet) and nearly double its original size. I normally dispense one pump of foundation (I like a light base) on to the back of my hand and use my fingers on the opposite hand to dab the foundation onto my skin until I have even foundation dots across my face. Other times I go straight into the foundation with the sponge and apply from there. The technique I use is to “stipple” the sponge across my face in a light bouncing motion until all of the foundation has been worked into my skin evenly. If there are any areas that need further coverage that don’t require concealer, I will pump a little extra foundation where required.
Real Techniques Stippling Brush – £11.99 at Boots
I mentioned this brush in the last post as a tool to apply the Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua foundation. The stippling brush, as you will see from the picture, has dual fibres which are at different lengths. It’s perfect for light foundation application because the base bristles are where the makeup application and buffing takes place, and the longer, softer bristles are what smooths out the foundation giving it the airbrushed finish.
I don’t have particularly sensitive skin, but a stippling brush seems to be the best brush for buffing makeup into my skin, particularly when used with light foundations or tinted BB creams.
Real Techniques Buffing Brush – £20.99 contained within the Core Collection set at Boots or Superdrug
The buffing brush (furthest right on the above image) is perfect for heavy coverage foundation such as the NARS sheer glow, or with a mineral powder foundation like the bareMineral’s foundation which works so well with the buffing brush thanks to the dense, but soft, bristles. Buff the product into your skin with a light or medium hand (working too heavy and you’ll essentially be exfoliating your skin which can cause sensitivity, dry skin and the product will be rubbed off). EcoTools have a similar buffing brush but with even softer bristles, however I found that the bristles shed very easily after a few washes. Often I will still go back into my foundation with the complexion sponge because of my large pores and I’m careful not to overwork my skin with brushes.
I’m not going to take a picture of my hands because… I don’t like them… but don’t forget how important and useful, and free, your hands and fingers are for applying makeup. Particularly with liquid foundations your fingers are an invaluable tool because you can feel the product working into your skin, you will be warming the product with the heat of your fingers, and your fingers will be working in the same way that they would with lotions or moisturisers. If my blending sponge is too dirty I will use my finger tips to pat the product into my skin after brush application.
The Tips, Tricks and Techniques
For this section I think the below YouTube tutorials will really help you to see the different application styles and techniques you can utilise for your best base (amongst other tips you will pick up if you watch the whole tutorial), and these videos are where I’ve learnt a lot of very useful tips.
If you sat and watched all of the below videos then you would notice the theme of the skin looking perfected but natural and where it still looks like skin, rather than the heavy, ultra perfect Instagram or YouTube guru foundation. There’s nothing wrong with that look; I just can’t pull it off and so don’t try to, so I’m not going to go into that… today at least. Below are some of my favourite makeup artists on YouTube, so keep reading and click on the links for more.
PixiWoo – Makeup For When You’re Hungover But You Still Gotta Work – 12 minutes watching time
PixiWoo (Sam & Nic) are the creators of Real Techniques. This post is not sponsored or advertising RT in any way, I promise, but I really love their products and their tutorials. Here Sam is using a damp Miracle Complexion sponge and works a medium coverage moisturising foundation into her skin incredibly quickly. The video is almost a real time example of how quickly you can get an even, natural base with the sponge.
Lisa Eldridge – How To Apply Foundation – 10 minutes watching time
The second time I’ve referenced Lisa, and for good reason. If you watched the video in The First Slice then you will have picked up on her in depth and tutoring style. In this video Lisa shows her preference for using brushes to apply foundation and the importance of blending and smoothing light layers of foundation, starting in the centre of the face, to ensure a seamless foundation finish. Lisa also reminds us that actually we probably use far too much foundation because we think it’s meant to mask our skin, rather than helping us to create a natural looking base where your natural skin shines through.
Karima McKimmie – Skin-like Natural Foundation Routine – 6 minutes watching time
This video shows you how great your fingers are for applying foundation – but also the importance of super hydration on the skin. Here Karima is creating almost an editorial version of “my skin but better” and it’s inevitable that it would actually take quite a long time to pat the foundation into the skin. Again though, notice how she focuses with the centre of the face working outwards. This video also shows a bit of pinpoint concealing, which will be mentioned in the next post…
Wayne Goss – Invisible Foundation Routine for Women Who Hate Foundation – 8 minutes watching time
If you’re a fan of stick foundations then this will be an interesting one for you, but I also included this because of Wayne’s buffing technique and how much time he spends working the product into the skin. It’s a real time video so you can see how quick it is to buff product into your skin with a good moisturised base and quality buffing brush.
Mary Greenwell – Princess Diana Makeup Look – 25 minutes to watch the whole video
Foundation routine starts at 7 minutes and ends at 10.30 minutes, so 4 minutes maximum viewing time if you don’t have the full 25 minutes to invest.
Another Lisa Eldridge video but this time with Mary Greenwell as a guest MUA. Mary Greenwell is a legendary makeup artist and it’s so wonderful to watch her work with products, much like it is with Lisa. I’ve watched a lot of Mary Greenwell tutorials and she, too, really loves using her fingers as the main tool to apply foundation. Watch her between the 7-10 minute marks and you’ll see how she uses different pressure, strokes and fingers to work the product into the skin.
Thanks for getting this far! Hopefully this slice was more of a side compared to yesterdays beefy post and has helped to give you some foundation food for thought. The next post will be about concealing, and not just under eye concealing, so let me know what concealer specific info you would like to see in the next post.