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Hands up, who’s guilty of any of the below? If we’re honest, we have probably all committed at least one of these beauty crimes. Foundation is the beauty product we always somehow underestimate; compared to fiddly eyeliner or contouring, it seems a doddle (just rub it in and blend, right?). If only. With so many shades, formulas, and methods of application available, it turns out getting it right is trickier than you'd think.
The correct foundation sets the canvas for the rest of your make-up, so get it wrong and it’ll be a perpetual domino effect for everything else to come. We’ve outlined the biggest foundation blunders you won’t be commiting any longer.
You’ve got the right shade, wrong tone
It’s as important to get the tone right, as it is the shade. The point of foundation is to make our skin look better, so you can cheat it a little to add a bit more radiance or warmth. But you still want to look as natural as possible and this is all down to the right undertone. Fred Letailleur, YSL Make-up Artist for Northern Europe, advises: 'The easiest way is to dot three shades you think are close to your natural colour in a line on your cheek and blend. Don’t waste time putting it on your wrist or hands. As you blend them it will be obvious which tone suits.'
Oops, you’re using the wrong tool
Fingers for oil based foundation: Foundation that is oil based will work better with fingers. As you work it in your fingers heat up the oil, which helps it melt into your skin.
Brush for fusion foundations: The new fusion foundations should always be applied with a brush. Letailleur explains: 'Fusion foundations are formulated with volatile oils that evaporate as they touch the skin. You don’t need to use the heat of your fingers to melt it into the skin – it will do that anyway when you blend with a brush.'
Sponge for powder foundations: A sponge is best used with a powder because it will soak up liquid meaning it won't look cakey. When used with a powder, a sponge makes it easier to apply thin layers. 'It is always best to build up foundation so start with less than you think you will need', says Letailleur, 'This will keep it natural and lightweight.'
You’ve chosen the finish you want rather than the one that suits.
It’s easier to go with a process of elimination when it comes to finding the right foundation. It’s all very well wanting a radiant complexion, but if you’ve already got oily skin and choose a pearlescent formula you will get more grease than glow. Put simply,
Oily skin: Go for something mattifying to soak up the oil. This will stop foundation slipping off faster than you can apply it.
Sensitive skin: Something highly pigmented with little cream or gel base means there are fewer ingredients to aggravate. You only need a very thin layer (much like a concealer) so it looks really natural.
Combination skin: Don’t make the mistake of treating combination skin in the same way you would oily. You need a foundation that hydrates as well as soaks up the shine. Mineral make-up is great for stubborn dry spots as well as blotting any shine.
Dry skin: Applying foundation to skin that is flaking off is a dangerous game. As you would with a moisturiser, pick a really creamy formula with lots of anti-ageing benefits. Your skin will thank you for it.
Normal skin: Take your pick. Your skin is naturally primed so you’ve got license to experiment.
You’re using too much product.
'The biggest mistake women make is applying too much product. The best thing to do is always use less than you think you will need and then touch up the dark circles and rogue blemishes with concealer’ says Letailleur. Anything that saves time and money gets a massive tick from us.
1. Start with the cheeks and work your way outwards and upwards.
2. Blend sideways over the forehead, going right to the hairline.
3. Use leftover product on the chin and neck.
4. Leave the nose till last. It’s the centre of the face and a place where people focus on, so minimal product here will create an illusion of being natural.