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17 Tips You Need To Know If You Wear Foundation

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1. Before you do anything, get to know your skin.

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Determine your undertone, and figure out your skin type. This will allow you to narrow down what foundations are actually right for you. Just as a general guide, shades for cool undertones will have a pinkish hue and shades for warm undertones will have a yellowish hue.

Have a look at this guide to figure out what your undertone is.

2. Think about what type of foundation you want.

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So you basically have two options when it comes to foundation, liquid or powder. Liquid foundation, like the name suggests is anything wet, I would include cream foundations, mousses and pastes in here. Powder foundation normally come pressed or loose.

You can choose one or the other or you could go for both.

3. Decide on what type of coverage you want.

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Coverage is basically how heavy or how light you want your foundation to look. You can get sheer, medium, or full coverage foundations. Sheer foundations will provide a very light, no makeup look, while a medium coverage will be slightly heavier to cover up blemishes. Full coverage should be thick and able to hide all blemishes.

I always go for full coverage foundation, and I mix it with primer if I want a more sheer or medium coverage.

4. Figure out what finish you want.

This tends to depend on your skin type, must people with dry skin are after a dewy finish, while those with oily skin want a more matte finish.

If this applies to you, then for dry skin opt for a moisturising foundation. Dry skin tends to be flaky so you want a formula that will add moisture but won't settle in your lines. And for oily skin go for a formula that is matte and if possibly oil free.

The Glamour Index page has a great tutorial on achieving the dewy look, and check out Alyssa's page for a matte foundation tutorial.

If you're looking for a good dewy foundation try,


NARS Sheer Glow Foundation
, £32 which comes 18 shades.

Max Factor Skin Luminizer Foundation, £11.99 which comes in 6 shades.

Or for a more matte finish try,


Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation
, £32.50 which comes in 42 shades.

B Flawless Foundation, £9.99 which comes in 12 shades.

5. Always test foundation on your face and not your hands.

Essence / Via essence.com

"Always try foundation on your face and not on your hand. Check the shade in natural light, and take a selfie outside, this is the best way to check if the colour and tone is right for you." - Lisa Potter-Dixon, head makeup artist, Benefit Cosmetics UK

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6. If you're not sure what your shade is, ask for samples at the store.

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Most beauty stores, if not all will be happy to give you samples, so always ask. Try the sample on your face, and wear it for a while. Check the colour after an hour in a natural light and if it hasn’t darkened or turned ashy then it’s a good one to go for.

If you are unable to get a sample, go to the beauty store first and try the foundation. Do the rest of shopping and see how the foundation wears after a while.

7. If you can't decide between two shades, go for the lighter one .

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"Most shades will warm up on the skin anyway, and once you get your other products on it will deepen the base colour." -

Samantha and Nicola Chapman, Pixiwoo

8. You can actually buy shade adjusting drops, for when your foundation is not quite right.

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You can actually lighten your foundation, or darken it. Shade adjusting drops are great because it means you don't have to buy new foundation every time you come back from holiday or when the seasons change.

NYX have a great range of foundation mixers, the range comes in six shades, including a bright white shade for really pale skin.

9. Consider using two different shades or formulas.

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For some people it's actually worth considering using two foundations. Mainly because your face is actually not all one colour, or type. Depending on how the sun hits your face, your forehead might be darker than the rest of your face. You might also want to use a matte foundation for your oily t-zone, and a more moisturising foundation for the rest of your face.

10. Moisturise five to ten minutes before applying foundation.

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This tip is simple but essential. Letting your moisturiser sit into your skin will make it easier to apply your foundation, and it allows the foundation to rest better on the skin.

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11. Use a primer!

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Oily skin or not, primers are essential when it comes to foundation. Primers basically even out your skin and create a nice smooth canvas for your foundation. Check out this really helpful in-depth video on what primers are actually worth buying.

My favourite primer is the Benefit Porefessional Primer, or if that is a little expensive the elf Studio Poreless Primer is a great dupe.

12. Makeup sponges are great for applying foundation.

Helloluvvy / Via helloluvvy.com

Sponges allow you to dab on foundation, and blend it into your skin perfectly, plus almost every makeup artist swears by it.

"When it comes to applying foundation, I love a Beautyblender. I always use it damp so that it doesn’t soak up as much product." - Lisa Potter-Dixon

14. Apply foundation before you apply concealer.

RUBEN CHAMORRO, KATJA CHO / Via cosmopolitan.com

Always put on foundation before concealer. Putting on concealer just to wipe it all around and cover it up with your foundation is pretty pointless. Apply your foundation first, and If you can still see blemishes or dark circles then blend on concealer. Leyla Rose's foundation routine is definitely worth watching and copying.

15. BLEND, blend blend!

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Blending is your secret weapon when it comes to foundation. Blend foundation over your ears and neck, this will stop those horrible demarcation lines.

16. To prevent runny streaks, apply setting powder after you've finished blending in your foundation.

Laura Mercier / Via lauramercier.com

Setting powders are great for keeping your foundation in place. They glide over foundation and make it last longer. People with really oily skin should try applying setting power or any translucent powder before foundation. This little trick works wonders for me.

17. Always check your foundation in natural light.

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You should always try to apply your foundation in good natural light,but if you can't, at least try to do a final check in good light. This will help to ensure everything is on point. You'll be able to tell that the shade is right, and that you don't have any unblended areas.

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