FIND THE RIGHT FOUNDATION SHADE
Applying an undetectable base is the first step in achieving a gorgeous face. Here's help for picking your perfect hue.
If you're shopping at a department store...
Swipe three possible matches on your lower cheek or jawline (the shade should closely match your neck as well as your face). Take a mirror and head toward a window or go outside so you can see the hues in natural light. The one that fades into your skin without much blending is the winner.
If you're shopping at a drugstore...
The trick is to first determine if you are pale, medium, or dark. Once you know your skin tone, use the bottle shade name as a guideline. Pale skin tends to have some redness, so it's best to stay away from pink-toned foundation shades. Look for a hue labeled beige or buff to neutralize ruddiness. Girls in the middle of a skin-tone spectrum have light beige, olive, or tan complexions with warm undertones. Asian skin also falls into this category since it has a lot of yellow in it. Stick with shades labeled warm, medium, or golden. Dark skin can range from as light as cafe au lait to as deep as ebony. To prevent a grayish cast, go for colours like tan, sable, or chestnut. Also, dark-skinned women often have oily skin, which can cause their base to oxidize and appear darker when it mixes with oil, so try a foundation that is slightly lighter than your complexion.
KEY APPLICATION TIPS
Clean fingers can provide the sheerest, most natural effect since the warmth of your hands help "melt" the base onto your skin. It's best to use your fingers with liquid and cream foundation formulas.
Sponges provide more coverage and are good for blending cream-to-powder or thicker liquid foundations. Tap, don't rub, the base into your face with the sponge for an even finish.
A foundation brush gives a heavier, more velvety finish because you're literally painting on a liquid or cream base. This is ideal if you're going for a very polished look.
A single concealer won't cut it on every area of your face. You need one with yellow or even green undertones for tackling the redness in a zit, plus a pink-tinged shade to counteract the blue in under-eye circles.
YOUR FOUNDATION WARDROBE
When you need minimal help:
A liquid foundation or tinted moisturizer. They are sheer, blend easily, and will even out your skin tone. Look for versions that have light-reflecting pigments if you want to boost glow.
A cream to powder formula. It'll give you medium coverage and a noncakey finish.
When you won't be able to touch up your makeup all day:
A transfer-proof base-- it forms a light, flexible film that ensures the pigment won't fade for hours. Quick tip: Let your moisturizer absorb before applying your base, then blot your face with a tissue to remove any excess.
When your face is breaking out or you're more oily:
An oil-free foundation that contains the zit-fighting ingredient salicylic acid (it will say so on the package) won't clog pores or slide off your face.
WHICH GOES ON FIRST: FOUNDATION OR CONCEALER?
Foundation. It will be the base for everything. It evens out skin tone, so you can really see where, or if, you need concealer.
Mix your foundation with an equal part face lotion to create a tinted moisturizer.
Blend foundation over your eyelids to hide any red blood vessels. It'll also serve as a base for your shadow.
Use the foundation that pools and thickens in the bottle cap as a concealer in a pinch.