Sunday, June 5, 2011

My Foundation Tips & Tricks

Photo is mine. I put ALOT of effort into this, and I wanted to share with you a few of my favorite tips for applying foundation, wether it's with a sponge, brush, or other techniques. Please remember while reading this that I have combination-oily skin and i am sometimes acne prone in my t-zone with occasional dryness on my cheeks (depends on seasons/weather). If you have techniques of your own that are different from mine PLEASE tell me, i always find them helpful and others might too :)
I have the hardest time finding a foundation shade that matches my skin tone, and sometimes they match but tend to be too drying or too oily so it is a constant battle for me. This is why over the years ive came up with the following techniques to balance everything out when a foundation i buy just isn't right for me. Im not an expert or anything just wanted to help you in some way and share my knowledge. I've divided them into categories for you. Enjoy :)
My Foundation Is The Wrong Shade…
  1. If it's too light try the new AVON Ideal Shade Foundation Adjuster, $4.99. Pour or pump a small amount of your favorite foundation onto the back of your hand, add a 1-2 drops of the foundation adjuster and mix them together!! It will instantly darken the foundation just a tad. Adding more drops makes it darker. It comes in shades for light & dark skin.
  2. If it's too dark mix it with a bit of your favorite moisturizer - specifically one that's white in color to lighten up the shade.
  3. After applying your foundation buff a lighter toned pressed powder onto of it to fix the shade a little.
  4. If you have one dark and one light foundation, mix them together! Do it slowly and use little amounts at a time until you get the right shade.
  5. If your foundation is too pink or too yellow for your skin, exchange or return it!!
My Foundation or Face Is Too Dry…
  1. Try mixing your foundation half & half with your favorite moisturizer, or ¾ foundation and ¼ moisturizer to balance it out.
  2. Spray a makeup setting mist onto a makeup sponge (try E.L.F. Makeup Mist & Set, $3) prior to applying your foundation to that sponge. It will keep it moist and the moisturizing properties in the spray will counteract the dryness in your foundation or skin. PLUS it will help your foundation last longer.
  3. Exfoliate and moisturize your face prior to applying foundation, it will provide a clean smooth surface for you to work with.
My Foundation or Face is Too Oily…
  1. Use a foundation base/primer to face prior to applying your foundation.
  2. Pay extra attention and make sure the foundation you're buying is suited best for oily skin
  3. After applying your foundation use a kabuki brush and buff on your favorite pressed powder or HD finishing powder (like the one from E.L.F. for $6). This will nix any shininess and oil plus the silica in it will automatically absorb any extra oil that produces throughout the day.
  4. You could also use a makeup setting mist specifically designed for oily skin to zap oil and set your makeup.
  5. Use an aspirin mask 1-2 per month - it instantly softens skin, reduces reduces, and eliminates oil. But, this is too harsh for weekly use which is why i suggest only 1-2 time a month.
Should I Use A Sponge, Fingers Or Brush?
  1. If you want medium-full coverage with an airbrushed effect, use a stippling brush like the Sigma F50.
  2. If you only need light-medium blendable coverage use a sponge like the Sonia Kashuk Blending Sponge at Target.
  3. If you're using your fingers this seems to only work best for tinted moisturizers. You're going to get better, more even coverage with foundation by using a brush or sponge. Always wash hands prior to using them on your face.
  4. No matter what you're using always clean them weekly, if not daily to reduce bacteria buildup and the possibility that it make break you out b/c its dirty. Check out E.L.F. Brush Shampoo or Daily Brush Cleanser for $3 each.
I Have Acne, What Are Some Tips I Can Use?
  1. Cleanliness is key here, just like the tip above you need to make sure whatever you're using to apply your foundation is clean and sanitary.
  2. Some companies like Neutrogena and CoverGirl have foundations specifically made for acne prone skin that include 2% salicylic acid to fight breakouts.
  3. Exfoliate! The buildup of dirt, oil, and dead skin cells contributes to breakouts. Exfoliating not only cuts down on acne but also provides a soft clean base for makeup. Also choose a moisturizer meant for your acne prone skin like LUSH Vanishing Cream - which balances oiliness, dry spots, AND acne.
  4. After cleansing/exfoliating and using a toner dab on an invisible spot treatment like LUSH Grease Lightning to dry up & fight acne prior to using your moisturizer and foundation.
  5. Mix a pea-sized amount of your foundation with a pea-sized amount of your favorite moisturizer and apply them to skin like a light tinted moisturizer. It provides moisturization plus a nice base to even skintone prior to applying your concealer.
  6. Choosing the right concealer is super important also. Pick a green concealer to balance redness and a skin-toned concealer to cover it and any other non-red blemishes (like the Physicians Formula ones in tubes). Dab the green concealer over any red spots or active pimples and allow to dry, then cover them and other problem spots with your skin-toned concealer. Pat around the edges to soften and diffuse then apply your foundation!
  7. NEVER pick at your face!!! Each time you touch an active pimple, scab, etc. you're extending the life of it by 7-10 days and inflaming it or even making it worse b/c your hands may be dirty. Leaving it alone is your best bet
WOW That was long hahaha. Sorry. These are all the tips i keep in mind when situations like this pop up and i hope they help you! As i said at the beginning, if you have any tips or tricks of your own please share them! Thanks so much for reading :)


  1. Thanks so much for putting this post together for us. This is probably one of the most helpful ones I've read. I too have such a hard time finding the right shade for me that isn't too drying, etc. I never thought of mixing it up like that to create my own little shade for what works well for me. Great post!! <3

  2. Wonderful post! I need to invest in a brush for my foundation any suggestions?

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  3. You're welcome, im glad you found it helpful!! :)

  4. @Tiffany - i would suggest the Sigma F50 which is $16, or check out the Sonia Kashuk line at Target for a similar duo-fibre brush.

  5. Great to know. I have oily skin and already do most of your tips, but I think I may try the aspirin mask.