Applying foundation: one of life's great joys! No seriously, given all the things that can go wrong, it's a miracle we're even considering putting it on our faces on a regular basis... Or not? Because, if all goes well, isn't this liquid multi-tasker the best thing that ever happened to mankind since the invention of denim? So in the light of getting it just right each and every time, here goes: the 5 most common mistakes made when applying foundation (I've done them all!), and how to avoid them.
MISTAKE 1 / USING IT TO COVER UP YOUR SKIN TEXTURE
We get it: the appeal of looking like a live baby doll, with just a mere 4 layers of foundation, can sound tempting. It's like: wait what, if this thing can make me look like a completely smooth version of myself, then why not go totally crazy with it? Because 1) it's '90s Britney (and not in a good way) 2) it looks unnatural (and a bit scary) 3) it clogs your pores. So, just as with mascara, try to take it down a notch and apply just 1 thin layer, so that your skin texture remains visible. If you'd like to have a bit more coverage you can apply a light BB or CC cream as a basis, and add a thin layer of foundation on top. If necessary, dab on a little extra with your fingers on small blemishes or the red/dark area around your nose and eyes. That way, your foundation doubles as a concealer, and it will do what it was designed for: enhance your natural beauty!
MISTAKE 2 / GOING TOO DARK
I've talked about this before (because it was my very first beauty mistake, and lasted waaay too long): seeing your foundation as a convenient way to add a fake tan is likely to go very bad. Unless you're going to apply it on your entire body it'll just look weird, and much more noticeable than you'd think. I now use 2 shades, 1 for Summer and a slightly lighter version for Winter, and they're both a bit lighter than my natural skin tone. Because that's another thing: artificial light will make your skin look a LOT different than daylight, so if you want a complete accurate idea of the colour of your foundation before buying, put a dot on your skin, walk outside the store and then decide whether or not it's the right fit.
MISTAKE 3 / FORGETTING TO EVEN OUT YOUR FACIAL EDGES
This is actually something my best friend pointed out to me one day (yeah, the stuff that true friendship's made off), by grabbing my chin and casually swiping around the edges, then poking her finger at me, revealing an amount of foundation that I didn't even think I was wearing. What's up with that? As all liquids, foundation tends to slide down a little towards the bottom of your face ('cause gravity), where it will happily sit and form a dark 'line' around the edges, no matter how well you tried to even it out when you first applied it. I suggest evening it out again, using your finger tips, 30 minutes after the initial application (and again during the day if it's really hot or humid outside). Because if you remembered to apply foundation onto your neck (we all know we have to by now, right?), it's such a shame to have this little imperfection mess things up!
MISTAKE 4 / AVOIDING YOUR HAIR LINE
As a blonde, this is one of the most difficult things about applying foundation: to make my foundation blend in naturally with my hair line. Since this part of my skin doesn't catch as much sun light as the rest of my face, it's a bit lighter, thus prone to standing out as a pale stripe between my foundation and hair. Of course you don't want to start rubbing foundation into your hair, so what to do?? My AHA-moment came when a professional make-up artist revealed her trick to me: just swipe on a little bit of bronzing powder onto your hair line! So simple, and it works like a charm - it's definitely my go-to trick ever since.
MISTAKE 5 / USING A NOT-SO-SOFT BRUSH
The thing with cleaning your make-up brushes is this: it sucks. But just like other stuff in that category - going to the dentist, taking your car for a good wash - it's SO fulfilling when it's done. And in the case of your foundation brush, it's actually necessary to get a good end result, simply because it's impossible to get a smooth finish with a not-so-soft brush. Using a beauty blending sponge instead is of course also an option, especially for hard-to-reach areas such as your nose and the area close to your ears.
SHOP MY FAVES: Dior Backstage foundation brush to apply Chanel CC cream (dry skin) or Normaderm BB cream (oily skin), and classic Beauty Blender sponge to blend Chanel Les Beiges foundation (dry skin) or Estée Lauder's Double Wear foundation (oily skin).
Picture of the Olsen twins