The gorgeous models featured in print media have spotless, poreless, and wrinkle-free skin thanks to the computer software used by graphic artists to create these unreal images. Accustomed as we are to this digital perfection, it is tempting to try recreating it in real life.
The “liquidware” available to us—foundation and concealer makeup—can indeed help to erase imperfections, but can also look chalky and feel heavy. To achieve the best results with your foundation and concealer, you will need to learn:
Foundation is perfect for evening out your skin tone, but it wasn’t designed to cover faults such as blemishes, pigment spots, or pronounced under-eye circles. You can try applying a few thin layers of foundation to cover a blemish or light under-eye circles; however, don’t put concealer on top if the foundation doesn’t work. Instead, use less or no foundation on these areas, and achieve the required coverage with concealer. Remember that foundation used together with concealer will look especially heavy under the eyes.
To better understand how much concealer you need, and exactly where to place it, apply it on top of your foundation. If you use concealer without foundation, apply it on bare skin. Only colour-correcting green concealer should be applied under foundation.
If you want liquid foundation to remain usable throughout its lifetime, always shake it well before application.
On dehydrated or dry skin, apply foundation before your moisturising cream is absorbed by the skin, blending foundation and cream together. On well-hydrated normal skin, let your moisturiser be absorbed for at least a few minutes before applying foundation. On oily skin, apply foundation on clean skin, or replace moisturiser with a skin-care product that reduces sebum production.
Apply foundation on the largest areas first—the forehead, the middle of the cheeks, and a small dot on the chin—blending outwards with your fingers. Work in the direction of your facial fuzz growth, if you have any. Blend it off on the jaw line and hair line. Then apply a small amount of foundation in the middle of your face, on the nose, the lips, and the eyelids. Wait a minute until the foundation is absorbed, then apply more foundation on the areas that need better coverage. Alternatively, use concealer.
On the under-eye area, apply facial makeup with a finger or with a small synthetic brush or applicator. These tools are particularly useful for accessing the inner corners of your eyes. Pat with your fingertips to blend, using your ring finger or pinkie to minimise the pressure. Never sweep makeup, to avoid wiping it off or pulling delicate skin.
On blemishes, apply concealer in small spots with a finger or a synthetic applicator, then blend the edges with your fingertips. If you use concealer on oozing blemishes, squeeze it onto the back of your hand before applying to avoid contaminating your product.
Because foundation is absorbed by your skin very quickly, you will need to apply it just as quickly to ensure even application. This is easiest to accomplish with your fingers, as the product warms up and becomes more fluid, easing application. Also, you will tend to take less on your fingertips than on a sponge or brush, sheering the application and reducing product consumption.
Foundation brushes and sponges can be used for blending; however, I prefer to blend with the fingers simply because they are easy to clean.
The worst mistake you can make is to follow liquid foundation with powder foundation (heavy powder pressed into a compact with oil). This will merely look artificial when first applied, and will have slid down your face by the end of the day.
To finish, and for retouching during the day, use loose or pressed powder that is light-textured and contains no oil. Setting foundation with a powder is a must for oily skin; however, if your skin is dry or if you use solid foundation, your foundation will stay in place without powder.
Liquid foundation should never be applied over your makeup for retouching purposes, because it is impossible to blend well on top of powder, dust, or sebum. To diminish unwanted shine, use finishing powder instead. If you use powder foundation or cream-to-powder foundation, you may sparingly retouch with the same product. Blot any excess sebum with facial tissue or special blotting paper before you retouch.