One of the most covetable beauty skills is perfecting natural-looking skin. Applying foundation can seem overwhelming at first – there’s almost too many options! – but it’s really straightforward once you know how.
To simplify the process, we’ve complied all the steps, products, and techniques you need to achieve beautiful base makeup every single time. Keep scrolling for our guide on how to apply foundation like a professional.
1. Prep and prime your skin
Good makeup starts with clean skin. Firstly, cleanse and moisturise your skin to ward off any dryness. Make sure to gently massage your moisturiser into the skin to boost circulation and reduce puffiness – it’ll help your face appear more awake.
Although some makeup artists work straight on top of moisturised skin, we always use primer before foundation. As well as making the skin look more luminous, it gives to foundation something to grip onto and leaves you with a smoother and longer lasting finish.
For ease, opt for a priming mist like our Every Day Vacay Setting Spray. Shake the bottle well and gently mist over the skin, keeping your eyes and mouth closed. The ultra-fine spray will give you a subtle radiant glow while helping your makeup last throughout the day.
2. Find your foundation match
When choosing a foundation, we look for a weightless formula with a second-skin finish. Our bestselling Extraordinary Foundation ticks every box – it creates a medium coverage glow whilst blurring pores and imperfections.
The versatile, buildable formula can be buffed into the skin, applied just where needed or layered all over for a fuller coverage. Plus, its Mimosa and Arctic Rose extracts help to instantly lift and energize skin, leaving it soft and radiant.
Not sure which of the 22 shades to try? We’ve got you. Enter the details of a foundation you know suits your skin tone into our Match my Makeup tool and we’ll tell you your perfect Extraordinary Foundation shade.
3. Apply your foundation
Whether you’re using powder or liquid foundation, it’s best to only apply it where really necessary for a natural-looking finish. We recommend using a makeup blending sponge, like our best-loved Piggy Perfector, for flawless application.
Dab a few drops of foundation over your cheeks, forehead and chin with your finger, damp the sponge with water then, with stippling motions, quickly tap the sponge over the dots, blending the foundation out toward your hairline and jaw.
You can also use a buffing foundation brush or stippling foundation brush for seamless coverage. Before sweeping the product onto your face – and working it into the skin with stippling motions – control how much foundation you apply by pumping a few drops onto the back of your hand and taking it onto your brush from there.
How to apply concealer and foundation? It’s important to remember that foundations, as a rule, aren’t designed to cover flaws – that’s why we have concealer. For a smooth finish, dab your concealer over the areas that need a bit more coverage, wait a few minutes to let it set, then blend it in with your sponge.
4. Set your foundation
Now you have silky, even-toned foundation with a lit-from-within glow, finish with a dusting of translucent powder to help your make-up stay put all day long.
You don’t need to set your whole face with powder after foundation: using our big fluffy Multi Brush and Extraordinary Translucent Setting Powder, lightly swirl over just the areas that tend to get extra shiny and oily, like your T-zone. This will seal in your foundation and prevent unwanted sheen.
There’s no need to worry if you accidentally apply too much powder and look a little chalky; a gentle spritzing of our Everyday Vacay Setting Spray will melt the powder into your skin for a natural finish.
And you're done! Now that your base is properly set, you can move on to creating the rest of your look. Whatever your style, you’ll find lots of beauty inspiration over on The Blog. As well as discovering the perfect products to suit your skin tone, you can learn how to create naturally beautiful wedding makeup, use highlighter and emulate Katie Jane Hughes’ tonal eye look.