Makeup Tutorial: How To Apply Foundation

If you’re just starting out using make up, you’ll know how intimidating the makeup aisle can be. You might be standing in front of the Revlon stand at Clicks not knowing the difference between concealer and contour. The make up fairies in white coats may be trying to explain to you exactly why you need a matte mousse and you want to scream, “I’m still using my fingers!”, but you’re far too polite to do that. 

Well, fear not Cinderlly. Your fairy makeup-mother is here to help. Lemme break it down for you. Here’s a few tips and tricks to get your foundation looking Instagram ready. 

1. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!

Believe it or not, a good foundation starts about half an hour before any kind of make up goes on your face. One thing we want to avoid when we’re doing foundation, is that whole face peeling, dry-looking,  I-haven’t-had-a-glass-of-water-in-months appearance. If your skin is dry and flakey, anything you put over it will raise the dryness. So make sure that you and your skin is hydrated. Drink lots of water and find a skin care routine that works. About 30-40 minutes before you want to start make up, get a good moisturizer and apply it to your skin. Give it about 15 minutes to absorb and take 1 PLY tissue and blot down all the excess moisture. We don’t want dry skin but we don’t want a slip and slide either. If your skin is oily, get a skin regiment that works for you. But you still gotta moisturize!

2.  The Prime of your life

If your body is a wall, imagine primer as a base coat. Your skin has lots of textures and tiny little holes called pores. When you put the foundation or concealer on without the primer, all of the make up will stick differently to these parts and start creasing (creasing is when it clumps up in different areas). The primer creates an even base for all the foundation and concealer to stick to the skin more effectively. It also protects the make up from going into your pores and helps prevent break out. 

3. Conceal, don’t feel

Here’s where things get a little artistic. Gone are the days where concealer is only one colour that goes everywhere. Some genius somewhere figured out that different colours need to be covered, with specific colours. The main things we’re trying to cover are bruises, spots and redness. 

This picture is of a colour correcting palette. The browns are for very light blemishes that have faded over time. The green covers any redness, i.e. acne, pimples, pink scars, etc. The reddish colour is meant to cover any dark bruises, like the bags under your eyes. The yellow cancels out any purple blemishes and the purple cancels out the yellow (because colour wheel and things).

Thank you for coming to aunty Carmel’s art class.

And don’t worry. Your face might look like a Picasso but it will balance out once you put your foundation on.

4. Let’s get in foundation

Foundation’s the easy part right? WRONG! 

There’s two parts to getting a good foundation going. First of all, get yourself a colour that matches your skintone. The absolute worst thing you can do is get a foundation that doesn’t match you. When choosing your foundation, get the brightest light possible and look at yourself with the foundation on in that light. Pay special attention to the difference in tone between your face (feat. foundation) and your neck. There is only so much that blending can fix. 

Next is the application process and unlike job hunting, this comes last. The way I apply works for me so if you find this a bit tricky, there might be a different way that works for you. 

For the application, you need two tools. Yes, we are building a foundation so we need tools.  The first, is a foundation brush which looks like the flat Fenty brush in this picture (the beige one). Different people use different brushes but this type of brush will allow you to use less product. The next thing you’ll need is a beauty blender. This is an absolute essential. If the budget is tight and you need to choose between a blender and a foundation brush, get the blender. The blenders come in many shapes, sizes and colours. Get the one you like most.

Now we get to the fun part. Take the bottle of foundation and apply the foundation directly onto your face from the bottle. Draw a line on either cheek, your forehead, a tiny one on your nose and chin, and under each eye. Next, take the brush and, well, paintbrush it onto your face. Sweep it all across until your face is covered. (For extra security, go down into your neck as well). 

By now, your face will look a bit strange because it literally looks like you painted it on. FEAR NOT! This is why we need a sponge. Take the sponge and either spray some setting spray onto it, or run it under a tap and squeeze all the excess water out. With the damp sponge, pat down the foundation onto your face. DO NOT RUB! Flip it to the narrow side to get the little areas under your eyes. Keep patting until everything is smooth and looks even. If you see some spots are still not covered to your satisfaction, go back in with a little bit more. Don’t put any foundation directly onto the brush or sponge as it will use more foundation than necessary and you will run out very soon.

5. Girl Powder

We’ve all seen the movies where a girl says shes going to “powder her nose”. And at some point we’ve seen that this powder is either white or very light and wondered to ourselves “how does this help anyone?”. I come bearing answers.

This is called fixing powder. It’s there to fix your foundation in place. You want to make sure your face isn’t oily or shiny from the foundation and that it doesn’t move around. Enter: fixing powder.

Many people would advise you to get one that has pigment similar to your foundation or skin tone. However, all this does is add layers to your face that you dont need and creates an even cakey-er (is that a word?) look. Instead, opt for a translucent fixing powder. Before applying, blot your skin with old faithful 1 PLY to absorb any excess moisture. Apply the powder lightly with a big fluffy brush until it blends away.

6. Ready, set, go!

Finally, and easily, get some setting spray and spray it onto your face. This will make sure the make up doesn’t run or rub off during the course of the day.

Thus concludes our journey through Foundation Station. Whatever your make up ends up looking like, wear it with confidence. If you make a mistake, pretend it was meant to look like that. Make up is meant to be fun so have fun and don’t stress. If Madam Lucy will have me back, we’ll navigate our way through Contour Country and the Isle of Eyeshadow until you’re ready for Instagram.

Stay safe. Stay Strong. And remember, don’t blend and drive.

Writer’s BioCarmel Absolon


Carmel is an avid makeup fan and amateur stylist. She loves keeping on top of all the beauty trends from makeup, to hairstyle and fashion. When she’s not busy with all things beauty, you can find her exploring Japan’s scenic landscapes.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s