Foundation. As beauty products go, it’s a bit of a troublesome one, with potential pitfalls leading to cakey coverage, tide lines and poor shade matches. With so many mistakes to be made, we’ve rounded up the 7 most common that ALL of us are guilty of, from using it to warm up your skin tone (tick) to shoveling the stuff on (double tick).
1. Picking the wrong foundation for your skin type
These days, foundations do so much more than simply offer coverage; they’re armed with skincare benefits that can temper oil or plump parched pores. While this is largely good news, it means you can no longer slather the nearest pigments on – instead, you should be looking for foundations that deftly match your skin type. For example, if your skin is shiny, a luminous base might exacerbate an oily t-zone, while a mattifying veil could cling to and highlight dry complexion. So, pick your base as you do your face cream, and the flawless coverage will follow.
2. Skipping primer
Makeup primers aren’t booming in business for nothing – so don’t go skipping them. These silky creams and gels set the stage for your base by ensuring it glides on smoothly, preventing errant pigments from slipping into pores and lines. More than that, they anchor pigments down for long, comfortable wear, ensuring you get a little extra mileage from your usual foundation.
We know you’re in a rush, but when you smother your base on before your moisturiser has absorbed, your foundation can end up looking streaky, uneven and greasy. Let your skincare sink in for five minutes – you could be brushing your teeth or taming your hair at the same time – and your base will glide on much smoother.
4. Testing shades on your hand
We’ve all done it – covered our hand in foundation to check if the colour is a perfect match. The problem is, this part of your body is not the same shade as your face. The best place to trial is under your eyes, on your nose or in a stripe along your jawline. If it disappears into your skin, you’ll know you’ve found the winner.
5. Applying a mask-like layer
Foundation should not be a mask, but rather a touch of coverage wherever you feel your face needs it – like the edges of your nose or patches where the skin appears uneven. To avoid a shoveled-on look, blend foundation only where necessary, avoiding the hair and jaw line (where pigments can cake) for a fresh, undetectable finish.
6. Patting on concealer before foundation
No matter how keen you might be to disguise dark under-eyes the second you get out of bed, be patient with concealer – it should always be applied after your foundation. Why? Because, by applying it first, you risk nudging it out of the way with a makeup brush, resulting in less coverage for blemishes and tired eyes. Also, be sure to avoid concealers that are too light for your skin tone, as this can work to highlight the very imperfections you’re trying to cover up.
7. Using foundation to warm up your skin tone
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that a darker foundation equals healthy, bronzed skin. The mismatch against a lighter neck will completely give the game away. Instead of opting to warm up your skin with foundation, use a bronzer on the lowest points of your face – the hollows of cheeks, temples, sides of the nose and the top of the forehead.