Foundation—many women have a love/hate relationship with it. Love the potential for creating the appearance of even-toned, blemish-free skin. Hate that it can be so tricky to look natural. Here, New York City-based celebrity makeup artist Natasha Severino shows us her step-by-step application tips on how to get the most natural-looking foundation.
Start with smooth, hydrated skin.
Your foundation will only look as good as the skin underneath, so maintaining a consistent skin care routine is key. Right before applying foundation, it’s important to cleanse your skin to help prevent clogged pores and remove any dirt that may be dulling your natural radiance. Next, gently exfoliate to sweep away any dry, dead skin cells that may cause foundation to look uneven or flaky. Finally, apply moisturizer; foundation sinks best into hydrated skin. (Think of how a wet sponge soaks up water more readily than a dry sponge.) Check off all these boxes with the 3-Step Skin Care System.
Apply a light layer of foundation all over, then add more only where needed.
Foundation should even out your skin tone—not mask it or change it. When you’re using the right shade, you should be able to apply a light, sheer layer of foundation all over, and still see your natural skin tone shine through. Apply across your forehead, cheeks and chin using a foundation brush, cosmetic sponge or your fingertips. Then add a little more only where needed for extra coverage.
Stipple makeup into skin.
This may sound counterintuitive, but don’t rub the foundation into your skin, because that can actually cause streaks. Instead, use a stippling motion—quick tapping motions that help blend the foundation seamlessly, without smearing it. Another option: The densely packed bristles of the Foundation Buff Brush gently buffs foundation into skin and can be used with liquid, powder, cream or stick formulas.
Feather it out along your jawline.
Be sure to blend your foundation all the way down your neck until it fades away. A light feathering motion is perfect for maneuvering the curves of the jawline and neck area.
Heat up hands, then press into skin.
Natasha’s secret trick for the most natural looking foundation: First, rub your hands together to heat them up, and then gently press them against your face. The body heat from your hands warms up the foundation, helping it melt into your skin.
Video: Christian Witkin | Words: Natalie Haimo