How to get flawless foundation in six easy steps

It's a question that gets asked time and time again: how do I get a flawless finish with my foundation? 

Beauty blogger and make-up expert Aaman Birk shares her tips and techniques on how to get the perfect base in six easy steps.

First things first, there are plenty of tips to get your foundation looking great (they are on their way!), but unless you are bringing in a professional air-brusher, you’re not going to look like models in magazines. Besides, that’s a tad too much for day-to-day, don’t you think? The below steps will show you how to get a natural, flawless finish to your base. It’s not as hard as you may think!

1. Find the right primer

The first thing you want to get is a primer. Primers are products that prep your skin before applying foundation. They can hydrate and smooth out lines and pores to create a great base ready for makeup. 
It’s like painting a wall, you’re going to get a much better finish if you prime it first rather than slapping the paint straight on, right? 

There are two main types of primers. The silicone-feeling ones make your skin feel like silk and are great at minimising the look of pores and fine lines. Benefit’s the POREfessional and Maybelline baby skin are great examples. 

The other type are primers that are more like a moisturiser. Clarins’ beauty flash balm is one of them and Laura Mercier has a range of primers that are more lotion-like in texture. These are great for plumping out the skin and providing a little more moisture. 

2. Get the right formula

Next up you want to get the right formula of foundation for you. It totally depends on your skin type and what finish you like. I personally am a fan of a ‘dewy’ finish, but as I have an oily t-zone I tend to opt for more mattifying foundations as I know they won’t stay matte for long on me. 

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3. Choosing a colour

The most important step is picking the right colour. There’s no point in doing everything else right if you get this part wrong. Most premium makeup counters will have staff to test the right shade for you. If you’re buying self-select makeup, head out with no foundation on and test some on your jawline. The colour that best matches your neck and pretty much disappears on the skin will be the right one.

4. Applying it

Next up is application. There are three main ways to apply foundation, all good in their own way. Fingers, brush or sponge. I more often than not opt for a brush, I detest getting messy hands and the best sponges are beauty blenders which require dampening before use. That's quite often too much of a faff for me, although t's a great way to apply when you can be bothered. 

I swear by the real techniques brushes, these are available in Boots and Superdrug and are relatively inexpensive in the spectrum of brushes out there. For foundation, their buffing brush is fabulous. I simply dollop a few drops onto the brush and work it into my face in circular motions. The brush gives quite an airbrushed finished and avoids any caking. When applying, start from the centre of your face (this is where most coverage is likely needed) and then work out to the edges.

5. Using concealer

An additional step is concealing. Most foundations out there have concealers in the same range, quite often with the same shade names, which makes life much easier. 

Target the under-eye area and anywhere else that requires more coverage. I find that using my finger here works well as you can dab the foundation on, this method gives more coverage than buffing.

6. Adding powder

Last but not least is powder. Translucent powders are widely available and super easy to use, I love Benefit’s agent zero shine and Bourjois’ healthy balance compact powder. All you need is to pop a light dusting of this over the face to set everything into place and make it last longer. 

So there you have it! The key steps to achieving a flawless foundation. Once you’ve got the knack of it all you’ll be doing it in no time at all!

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