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The Best Way to Apply Foundation Flawlessly With Your Hands

Confession time: In all my years as a beauty editor, I have always been intimated by foundation to the point of just forgoing it altogether most of the time.


By Sable Yong, Allure
Confession time: In all my years as a beauty editor, I have always been intimated by foundation to the point of just forgoing it altogether most of the time. Why do you think my skin-care game is so aggressively on point? So I don't have to fret about complexion makeup! I still spot-conceal on a daily basis, but whenever I do a full face of foundation, it looks and feels to me like I am wearing a second face (which ostensibly, I am). I love the evened-out effect wherein my blotchy bits and weird shadows are brightened but for the longest time I was just not able to get that effect without detectable foundation.
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My kingdom for a makeup product with the coverage of a buildable foundation but the feel of a skin tint — that's all I want, truly. Foundation should be seen and not felt... and not even seen that much. (I'm trying to think of a clever metaphor for this and the only thing I can think of is that pottery-throwing scene from Ghost and that might be a bit extra, but you get what I mean, hopefully.)

At first when cushion compacts burst onto the scene I was stoked — finally a convenient way to get that natural undetectable finish! But alas, cushion compacts — while worthy of many virtues — are still like using a tiny Tempur-Pedic mattress to apply foundation. Foundation drops are a great invention however not all of them play nicely with all moisturizers/sunscreens and separate or pill in an odd unpleasant way. I'm sorry but silicone sponges are just something I cannot get behind — try as I might (and I have tried many a time with many different products) I feel like I'm trying to apply foundation with a squeegee and it's just a real bad streaky scene.

[post_ads]Beauty Blenders are fine for the most part but they still leave either a detectable layer of foundation sitting on the top of my skin, or it blends in too well to the point where the foundation is buffed in to the point of invisibility. Look, I'm a face-toucher and I hate when I leave streaks of foundation on my face as I scratch an itch on my cheek and I absolutely abhor getting foundation beneath my nails.

Apparently the technique I was using to apply my under-eye concealer also applies for other things. I already had what I needed to solve my foundation problem all along, attached to my body — hands! Using your own fingers to apply foundation gives you the most natural skin-like finish because you really need to massage makeup into your pores (sorry, but it's true) with the warmth of your hands to melt everything in every crevice. You must become one with the foundation, in essence.

My theory had been confirmed recently as I was being foundation matched for a new yet-to-be-launched Nars foundation (it's called Naturally Radiant Longwear Foundation and it definitely lives up to its name). Jenny Smith, Nars' Global Makeup Artist, dabbed on two shades she mixed to match my skin tone and began massaging it in with her fingers — no brushes, no spongey eggs, just mitts. When I asked her about it, Smith said that pretty much every makeup artist applies foundation this way to get the most skin-like finish — tools often leave footprints, as it were, and you're left with a painted-on appearance. Jenny, you just saved foundation for me.

Image result for Smith said that pretty much every makeup artist applies foundation this way to get the most skin-like finish — tools often leave footprints, as it were, and you're left with a painted-on appearance. Jenny, you just saved foundation for me.
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It may feel wrong at first, rubbing in foundation as you would moisturizer, but the key is to start small and build.
  • First things first — make sure your hands are clean. Wash them, sanitize them —so important!
  • Squirt (or pump, I don't know your life) a drop of foundation on the back of your hand, and dot it around your cheeks, forehead, and nose with your finger. Now rub your hands together like you're trying to start a fire or you're a villain theatrically making an evil plan.
  • Starting from the center of your face and moving outwards, blend with the pads of your fingers, patting and rubbing into your face-folds as you see fit. Keep going until the foundation is invisible. If that's not enough coverage for you, dot again and go.
  • Now for a crucial step — wash your hands again and make sure they are dry. Here's a trick I learned from pal and makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes (Hi Katie!). Press your palms onto your makeup'ed face and sort of roll them to blot and wick off excess makeup on top. This gets rid of excess slime so it doesn't look cake-y throughout the wear. Again, the heat of your hands sets and blots simultaneously. You can follow up with finishing powder if you like, but I find that this wicking method actually does the trick for me.
Now admire your flawless face and give me a high-five (but only after washing your hands once more).
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Not sure which to get handsy with? Here are some ace options:




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Women's Lifestyle: The Best Way to Apply Foundation Flawlessly With Your Hands
The Best Way to Apply Foundation Flawlessly With Your Hands
Confession time: In all my years as a beauty editor, I have always been intimated by foundation to the point of just forgoing it altogether most of the time.
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