Foundation is probably the most important product you use on your face. It helps create the perfect, even colored base for the rest of your makeup.
But, there are some very important “Do’s and Dont’s” when it comes to foundation. Color matching is THE most important, but close behind it come application techniques and choosing the right type of foundation for your skin.
I’m going to walk you through the 5 most common foundation mistakes you might be making and tell you how to fix them!
Using the wrong undertone
Undertones can be tricky but they are super important when it comes to makeup application. If you are finding yourself constantly having foundation that’s too orange, or makes you look pink, mismatched undertones are the cause.
There are three main categories of undertones; cool, neutral, and warm. When you are shopping for a foundation, most brands have the undertones listed, usually by the letters C, N, or W.
To figure out what your undertones are, check out the veins in your wrist. If they are blue/purple you are like a cool undertone. Veins with a more green and yellow tint mean you’re warm, and if they’re a mix you’re neutral.
If you’re still having issues matching, check out the next tip.
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Using the wrong part of your body to color match
I see this ALL THE TIME. Someone swatching foundations on their wrists, hands, or arms. These parts of the body get more sunlight than your chest and neck, so when you apply it to your face you can tell it’s much darker.
The best way to get a seamless blend so you don’t look like your wearing a dark mask, is to make sure your color matching with the right part of your body.
Since you apply foundation to the face and blend down your neck, it should be blending into your skin tone somewhere around where your chest and neck meet. So, the best place to make sure you have matching tones is on your chest or neck.
I prefer to use my chest since my neck is a bit more pale. Then, when I apply my foundation I blend it all the way down until it blends in flawlessly!
If you’re buying a different shade of foundation intentionally to try to hide discoloration or blemishes, check out this post on color correcting and how you can achieve better results with less product! Plus, it will give you the most natural finish!
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Using the wrong finish for your skin type
Another big issue is using the wrong foundation finish for your skin type.
If you’re finding that your foundation looks cakey half way through the day, or you have shiny oil spots, this may be your problem.
Those with oily skin should lean towards a matte finish foundation, especially in the t-zone. Most mattifying foundations have agents in them that soak up oil throughout the day. This will help keep you oil free for longer and will help your foundation last. I have oily skin and I love the Maybelline Super Stay Foundation.
On the flip side, those with dry skin should lean towards dewy foundation finishes. The foundations usually have more moisturizers in them that can help keep your skin hydrated. This helps to prevent dry flakey patches, as well as cakey looking spots on your face.
Using your fingers to apply
Your fingers may seem like the best tool for the job, but there are so many reasons using your hands is a terrible idea.
First, even if you wash your hands, they still carry bacteria and oils that shouldn’t be on your face. If you’re already prone to breakouts, this could be making it worse!
Another reason is that it is really easy to over apply using your hands and clean leave thick streaks of foundation on your face, not to mention harsh lines where you’re blending in to your neck.
There are tons of tools out there to help you apply your foundation flawlessly. I typically switch between using a brush to buff or a beauty blending sponge.
Check out my post here to see why I think the beauty sponge is the absolute best and all the info you need to use and care for your own!
Related Post: Makeup Brushes 101
Using powder foundation
Powder foundations had their time, but that time is over.
Using colored powders probably isn’t doing you any favors. They are really great at settling into fine lines, wrinkles, and large pores and essentially highlighting the area! Nobody wants that.
Additionally, if you have dry skin, you could be drying it out further since most powders will absorb the oils on your skin. Your skin will be better off with you using a good moisturizer and a moisturizing primer before foundation. If you still want a matte look, you can try a more matte formula foundation, just make sure you’re properly moisturizing!
If you have oily skin, the powder foundation will absorb the oils off of your skin and turn cakey. This can ultimately make your skin look worse. To prevent this, it’s best to use a matte finish foundation to control oil instead of absorb it. Then, if you’re getting shiney throughout the day, you can apply a bit of powder to dry it up quick!
I hope you aren’t making any of these mistakes, but the good news is that all of them have simple fixes!
If you have any questions or need help with anything I would be so happy to hear from you! Drop a comment or shoot me an email and I’ll get back to you ASAP.