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How to Apply Foundation


How to Apply Foundation Stone for Getty Images
The right foundation will even out your skin tone and give you the appearance of flawless skin. But you have to do it right, otherwise you risk looking like a clown. Follow these steps for a flawless complexion.

More on foundation:
18 Best Foundations for Every Price Point
How To Pick the Perfect Foundation
20 Makeup Tips for Gorgeous Skin
Splurge or Save: Foundation & Concealer

Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: 2 minutes

Here's How:

  1. Begin with clean hands and a clean face
  2. Apply a moisturizing sunscreen, moisturizer or primer that's perfect for your skin type. All foundations will go on more smoothly if the skin is well-hydrated. Foundation primer is my pick, because it creates a smooth surface for foundation. (Some makeup artists believe it's a crime not to prime).
  3. Let the moisturizer, sunscreen or primer set for about a minute.
  4. Camouflage your dark, under-eye circleswith a concealer. Pat, never rub, the concealer into skin.
  5. Makeup artists swear by foundation brushes to apply product. They soak up less foundation and blend flawlessly. But most women use a makeup sponge or the fingers to apply foundation. No matter your tool of choice, apply dots of foundation on your cheeks, chin, forehead and tip of the nose. You don't want to apply foundation over the entire face, just the spots that are uneven.
  6. Using the sponge, your fingertips or the foundation brush, blend the dots together. Pay special attention to your hairline and jawline to ensure there's no obvious line.
  7. Set the foundation with loose powder immediately after application.


  1. You don't have to put foundation all over your face. Try spot-fixes for those areas that need coverage (likely around the eyes, nose and chin).
  2. Don't want to go all out with a foundation? Tinted moisturizers may be all you need if your complexion is dewy, but you want a light, sheer wash to even out blotchiness. My favorite tinted moisturizers are by Bobbi Brown and Laura Mercier.
  3. If you use a sponge, make sure and wash out it out well so it doesn't start harboring all sorts of nasty bacteria. These Wonderpro sponges are cheap and work perfectly. Compare Prices

What You Need

  • 1 makeup sponge or foundation brush
  • foundation for your skin type
  • concealer
  • moisturizing sunscreen
Related Video
Apply Foundation with a Sponge

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