Foundation Application

This month’s “Ask The Makeup Artist” blog is all about foundation application. I think we can all agree that applying foundation can make or break your entire makeup look - especially HOW that foundation gets applied.

We had a client @sarahjanes ask, "What's the best tool/way to apply foundation. I've tried a brush and makeup sponges but the results don't seem to be even."

Great question! First I need to address the different types of foundation that Pure Anada offers. We have loose mineral foundation - a full coverage powder. Second, there is pressed mineral foundation - a medium to full coverage pressed powder. Then we have liquid foundation - a medium to full coverage cream to powder liquid. Lastly, we offer tinted moisturizer - a light coverage moisturizing foundation.

The next important thing to address is the fact that natural cosmetics brands do NOT use silicone in their products. Silicone is the saving grace of many cosmetic products, however it is in no way natural nor from the earth, therefore it is left out of natural makeup. The reason I bring this up is to let you know that silicone is what gives non-natural makeup its smooth consistency and that lovely glide (lipstick, lip gloss, and importantly, foundation). Knowing that, you can hopefully understand a little better just how truly difficult it is to make a natural (liquid) foundation that goes on evenly and smoothly.

Now onto application techniques. Always make sure your skin is well-prepped before applying any makeup. Cleanse your skin twice a day (morning and most importantly, at night). Exfoliate regularly to slough off dead skin (once per week for dry skin and 2 times per week for normal to oily skin). Make sure your skin is hydrated and moisturized by using a toner and moisturizer suited to your skin type. Toner helps to shrink the pores and hydrate the skin (especially a natural, non-alcohol based toner). Usually I encourage letting the moisturizer soak into the skin before applying foundation. However for really dry skin, you might want to apply your foundation immediately after moisturizer.

As much as I hate to admit this, and you might not like hearing this, foundation application is often a personal preference. One method of applying foundation may work wonders for one person and terribly for the next. So, my techniques are what I have found to work best, but please take them as suggestions and not the be all end all of foundation application.

I find it works best to let your moisturizer dry completely before applying (again, depending on your skin type). Powder foundations are the most forgiving because they don’t leave streaks like liquids do. Take our Flat Top Foundation brush, dip it lightly into the minerals (I take minerals from the lid instead of the pot as I feel I have more control that way), and then swirl the minerals onto the face and down the neck. If you are using the swirling technique you want to make sure your brush is very soft, so it doesn’t irritate your skin. I recommend our brush because it is the softest brush ever!

Very similar to loose mineral application, except it takes a little more work to get the powder onto your brush. This can be great for those who have a heavy hand or find loose powder to be messy. Again, use the Flat Top Foundation brush and swirl it into the pan of pressed powder. Then using swirling motions, apply it to the face and down the neck. If you ever notice that there is a shiny coat on your pressed powder foundation, that is just oil from your face. So simply take a butter knife or cosmetic spatula and scrape it off!

Liquid Foundation Application:

This one is a little trickier. Since liquid foundation is harder to blend than powder, you need to spend a bit more time on it. Also, this is where the silicone issue comes into play. I have heard contradicting information on application when it comes to our liquid foundation specifically. If I want full coverage, I use our Flat Top Foundation brush to apply our liquid foundation. And there are others who swear by the same method. Then there are those who have tried using our brush and find it doesn’t blend at all! Maybe this has something to do with skin types, maybe how you have prepped your skin, I’m not quite sure. My method with our liquid foundation is to squirt a little drop onto the back of my hand, then take the Flat Top Foundation brush and apply it in downward strokes onto the face and down the neck. However, every now and then I find that it doesn’t blend well on a certain client. So, my trick: spritz a bit of toner on the brush and blend away any streaks. Works like a charm!

Now, if you prefer a lighter coverage of liquid foundation, simply apply it with clean fingers in a swirling motion. Again, if you want to make sure it won’t streak, add a drop of moisturizer into your foundation and apply it to the areas of the face that are harder to blend (hairline, jawline).

Tinted Moisturizer Application:

The easiest and fastest application for Tinted Moisturizer is simply with your fingertips. For those of you who don’t prefer to use your fingers, you can definitely apply it with our Flat Top Foundation Brush. I use the brush when I am applying it on clients, but day-to-day on myself I just use my fingers.

We have another brush, the Blending Face Brush, that works great for a light coverage of powder foundations. Keep in mind that it won’t work well for liquids. And always, ALWAYS blend your foundation down your neck past your jawline!!! It doesn’t matter if your foundation is THE perfect match, it will still leave a line on your jaw if it’s not blended in.

Finally, good lighting is the key to good foundation application. Do your makeup in the most natural light possible, or at least check it in natural lighting afterward. This will save you many embarrassing moments of the dreaded unblended foundation, or the all-too-common orange foundation line along the jaw.

Happy application! And always feel free to email me any questions at

Recommended Brushes in this blog:

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