How To Apply Your Foundation Exactly As An MUA Would: We’ve Got The Expert Tips

Want your foundation to look flawless? We asked a pro make-up artist for her top tips.

Makeup artist applying liquid tonal foundation  on the face

As far as make-up goes, foundation is pretty important. It’s responsible for evening out your skin tone, brightening your complexion and enhancing the rest of your make-up, but somehow we just can’t seem to get it looking – and lasting – the way our make-up artist does.

That’s why we asked pro MUA Clare Hogan for her exact technique when it comes to make-up application.

Prep and prime

The very first step? Making sure your skin is squeaky clean, to give your make-up the best possible canvas. “Your skin needs to be free of any residual make-up so make sure you’ve cleansed, toned and moisturised,” recommends Clare.

“If you want your foundation to last from early in the morning right into the evening for say a special occasion then a primer is a good idea,” she suggests. “It works as a good base for foundation and can help with issues such as a shiny t-zone or enlarged pores. A few of my favourites are Estee Lauder Primers (Matte & Illuminating) and Porefessional from Benefit.” Don’t overdo it though. A peasized amount of primer is enough.

Estee Lauder Matte Perfecting Primer

Estee Lauder Matte Perfecting Primer, €33

Benefit Porefessional

Benefit POREfessional, €34

Blend and buff

“The key? Foundation should only be used to even out your skin tone and complexion not as a mask to cover everything,” Clare instructs. “Concealer can be used to cover any blemishes, redness, dark circles or other issues later.”

“Start by putting some foundation on the back of your hand and use either your fingers, brush or sponge to apply it in light layers starting at the centre of the face and working outwards. Once it’s applied you can use a sponge, like a Beauty Blender to buff in the foundation and get rid of any streaks or uneven finishes.”

Beauty Blender

Beauty Blender, €23.50

Remember “you don’t need to cover the whole face if it’s not needed,” Clare explains. Apply where you think needs to be evened out and then blend, blend, blend. Using too much product can result in your foundation sliding off later so keep it light and just build where you need.

“Make sure you blend well around the ears and down your neck so it looks seamless and natural too. There’s nothing worse than the dreaded mask look where you can see where the foundation ends and your neck starts. This is especially important if you’re wearing your hair up or pulled back from your face.” Got it.

Get set

The last step? “If you have oily or combination skin it’s likely you’ll need to set your base well with a loose or pressed powder, this will also ensure it lasts longer,” says Clare.

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