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 • Makeup  • Makeup Guides  • 3 Makeup Artists Share Their Favourite Foundation Hacks For a Perfect Finish

3 Makeup Artists Share Their Favourite Foundation Hacks For a Perfect Finish

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Main image – Kalengankonge/Stocksy

So, you’re on the hunt for your perfect foundation finish. You know the sort – one that highlights your good bits, hides your flaws and lasts like a dream. 

But maybe your current foundation is your dream texture, but it makes your pores look that tiny bit too prominent. Or perhaps it goes a bit dry after a while, or it doesn’t have the longevity you’re yearning for.

Whatever your foundation issue, we’ve got the hacks to help you tweak yours in order to achieve the perfect finish.

With help from celebrity makeup artists Ashley Gibson, Azesha Ramcharan and Nyssa Green, as well as some tit-bits from my personal experiences as a beauty editor, here are 11 foundation hacks that’ll get yours working to its full potential.


1. Have a consistent skincare regime

One common mistake I see people making is applying foundation to skin that has not been prepped,” explains Ramcharan.

This is something I can personally vouch for. Before I started doing a proper skincare routine (for example exfoliating a few times a week and cleansing with water every morning, then applying a serum and moisturiser), my foundation wouldn’t last until lunchtime. 

“Exfoliation and hydration is so important to getting foundation to apply smoothly,” explains Ramcharan. “Gently exfoliate your skin 1-2 times weekly to remove dead skin cells,” recommends Gibson. “This helps create a smoother surface for foundation application.”

And, ‘use a good moisturiser suitable for your skin type as hydrating serums or creams can help address dryness and improve skin texture,” she adds.


Image – Hannahcriswell/Stocksy


2. Prep the skin with a primer

“A hydrating primer can smooth out the skin’s surface helping the foundation to apply more evenly and preventing it from clinging to dry areas,” explains Gibson.

If your foundation isn’t quite hiding your pores properly, “use a blurring, pore-minimising primer,” she says. 


3. Check your foundation’s formula

Another way to reduce the look of pores is to check your foundation’s formula. “Look for non-comedogenic foundations that won’t clog pores,” advises Gibson. “Lightweight, breathable formulas are often a good choice.” 


4. Setting powder can conceal your pores

Also, using a setting powder to minimise pores. “Lightly set your foundation with a translucent powder as this can help to blur and diminish the look of pores,” Gibson adds.


PRO TIP: However, if you’re worried about your foundation looking too dry, whilst you can still apply a powder to reduce the look of pores you should do so with a bit more caution. 


5. Stop your foundation from drying out

To keep your foundation from drying out, “opt for a hydrating or dewy foundation rather than a matte one, as matte foundations can emphasise dry patches,” Gibson explains.

I like Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Foundation (£39 from Charlotte Tilbury UK /$49 from Charlotte Tilbury US) for this as it leaves skin super radiant and not at all dry.  It’s definitely not one for oily skin types though.


Image – Ohlamourstudio/Stocksy


6. Use the right tools

For a smoother finish, think about which tools you’re using. “Apply foundation with a damp beauty sponge. This technique helps in achieving a more even, less cakey finish,” Gibson says. 


7. Build your coverage slowly

Another way to avoid dry patches and prominent pores Gibson says is to build your foundation up slowly. “Apply foundation in thin layers, building up coverage only where needed. This prevents the product from becoming too thick in dry areas.”


8. Hydrate your breakouts

Experiencing a breakout? “It may seem counterintuitive but making sure the skin on and around the breakout is hydrated will help keep the foundation from sticking to it in an unflattering way, but still allow the product to camouflage the blemish,” explains Ramcharan

Also, “consider using a cream foundation applied with a beauty blender for ultimate coverage without irritating the breakout,” advises Green.


PRO TIP: I always find dabbing a bit of translucent powder over each spot with a brush helps to set foundation or concealer in place and not rub off.


9. Blot excess oil

“Throughout the day, use blotting paper to absorb excess oil without disrupting your makeup,” Gibson says. “Excess oil can make pores more noticeable.”


Image – Ohlamourstudio/Stocksy


10. Applying selectively

If you don’t want to cover your whole face with foundation but still want coverage in certain areas, Ramcharan advises applying in sections.

“Using just enough foundation to even out redness or discolouration and applying it only where needed will keep the end result from looking mask-like,” she says.


PRO TIP: In this case, you will need to make sure you have exactly the right shade of foundation for your skin tone so that it’s not noticeable where the foundation ends and your skin begins.


11. Check your shade

And speaking of ensuring you’ve got the right shade, this is super important for a flawless, natural finish. “I recommend checking the colour in natural indirect sunlight,” Ramcharan explains.

“I like to check different areas of the face as well as the neck and upper chest. Shades that vanish into skin are the best colours for you.”


The takeaway

Your perfect foundation finish is possible, it’s just a case of doing a process of elimination and figuring out where you might be going wrong. Once you right these wrongs, you should notice a difference to your usual results.

Remember that a consistent skincare regime is the key to a smooth canvas for foundation and helps it to stay in place for longer. And finally, consider your formulations, tools and foundation placement too. It will all come together like a puzzle once you’ve found all the right pieces.


Meet the experts

Ashley Nichole Gibson is a licensed aesthetician and makeup artist who owns Paraposh, which provides on-site makeup services. Specialising in bridal makeup, her experience also extends to training and education for cosmetic brands, conducting master classes at Ulta, and working as a makeup artist at QVC for beauty brands.


Azesha Ramcharan is a makeup artist based in NY’s Hudson Valley region. Clients have included NBC, The Juilliard School, Hessel Museum of Art, Craftsy, and VOZ.


Nyssa Green is the Owner at The Green Room Agency. She has been voted “Best Makeup Artist” in Atlanta 4 times, and has has more than 15 years experience in TV, film, and print. Nyssa’s clients Include: Ebony Magazine, Real Simple, Vibe, Atlanta Magazine, Jezebel, The Atlantan, Simply Buckhead, USA Today, MTV, CNN, Fox 5, NBC, Bravo, and E! News.


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Beauty Editor

The former Beauty Editor of Glamour UK, Philippa has been a beauty and lifestyle journalist for over 16 years, picking up countless tips and tricks from makeup artists, hair stylists, dermatologists and celebrities. In that time she’s written for names like Cosmopolitan, The Sunday Times Style, The Telegraph, Grazia, Refinery 29 and Byrdie. Philippa lives in the UK with her husband, two children and their hyperactive cockapoo, Paddy.

Expertise: Makeup, hair care
Education: Oxford Brookes University

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