Monday, January 30, 2012

How to Do Foundation Like a Pro

Forget what you think you know about foundation - it's come a long way since the cakey, mask-like stuff your mom used to wear. Celebrities look so great on the red carpet because they're usually wearing foundation, and it can make anyone's skin look flawless.

Step 1 - Find Your Perfect Color: Test foundation on your jawline and check it in the daylight. The color is correct if it disappears without blending. Using your hand to test a shade does not make sense, use your face! Finding the right shade at the drugstore can be hard when everything is sealed and you can't put it on your face. Try going to a department store and getting a beauty adviser to help you pick the perfect color. Ask for a sample to take home, and then take it with you to compare to the cheaper brands to find the closest match.

Step 2 - Prep Your Skin: Make sure your skin is clean and moisturized before you do anything else. After applying moisturizer, wait 5 minutes to let it soak in. Primer is skipable unless your makeup has to last through a late night, or you can use it alone as a quick complexion smoother. Primer can minimize pores and mattify your face.

Step 3 - Swipe It On The Right Way: If you want just a little coverage, use your fingers. For more coverage, use a sponge. The Beauty-blender cosmetic sponge ($20, beauty.com) is a favorite among pros. It leaves just the right amount on the skin. For everyday, dab foundation only where you need it to hide pimples, camouflage redness or even out your T-zone. To get an airbrushed finish, blend makeup all over, including the eye area by starting in the middle and working your way out.

Step 4 - Do Concealer After Foundation: Applying concealer before will force you to use more than you need. The base of foundation keeps the concealer crease-free. Look for a lightweight liquid in a color one shade lighter than your skin. Going too light looks fake. Use a small, pointy brush to cover the darkest part of the under-eye circles. If other little skin flaws aren't quite covered by your foundation, dab on a tiny bit of concealer there too.

Step 5 - Finish with Luminous Powder: Unlike old matte versions, it won't suck the life out of your face. New translucent powders that reflect the light help skin glow and take down shine. Dust one on in a W motion. Start at your hairline on one side, swoop down to your cheekbone, up to the bridge of your nose, back down the other cheek, then up again to the opposite hairline. 

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