How To: Apply Foundation

Welcome to the next segment of my How To series… each segment of the series will tackle a category of makeup and cover how to properly apply each one.  For you beauty gurus out there this may be old news, but I’m hoping this will be helpful for beginners or those who have always dreaded makeup application.  Stay tuned as we work our way over the whole face!

Today’s topic is foundation.  There are so many types of foundation and ways to apply it… I will try to touch on the main ones!

How To Apply Foundation www.jilliandanielle.com




There are countless different formulas of foundation, but most of them can be divided into these categories: Liquid, Cream, Mousse, Cushion, Powder and Airbrush. Foundations can also be oil-based or oil-free, which you will want to consider when selecting one appropriate for your skin type.

Liquid foundations can range in viscosity from thin and runny, to very thick.  What consistency of liquid foundation you choose will depend mostly on personal preference, but in general, the thinner the formula the more natural looking and seamless your coverage will be.

Cream foundations are typically sold in compacts or sticks, and have a very thick (often oil-based) texture.  Cream foundations are usually most suitable for those with drier or more mature skin.

Mousse foundations are usually packaged in tubes and have an airy, mousse-like consistency.  I think the finish of mousse foundations can be quite unpredictable… ranging from light and sheer, to thick and cakey.

Cushion foundation is fairly new to the game and is one of the many ingenious makeup products to come from the Korean makeup phenomenon.  A compact houses a sponge which is soaked with a liquid foundation.  Pressing the sponge will release the product to be applied to the face.

Those that love powder foundations are pretty dedicated followers.  While I have found that it does not suit my oily skin, it is loved by many for its light breathable texture.

Airbrush foundations produce a flawless finish that make it popular with brides.  Precision airbrushing is often done in a salon, but at home options are available.

Current Foundations www.jilliandanielle.com

My Current Foundation Stash: Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Cover Foundation, Sephora Teint Infusion, Loreal Infallible Pro-Matte, Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet (my fav!), and Loreal True Match



There are countless tools and methods you can use to apply foundation, ranging from your fingers all the way to elaborate mechanical devices.  Choose the device you will use based on your desired finished look!

Fingers – This is the most common method to apply foundation and probably the one most of us learned first.  This is actually my least favorite application method for three reasons: it can result in smears and fingerprints in the finished look, it takes longer, and unless you are diligent about washing your hands, it can be a bit un-hygienic and messy.

Should you choose to use your fingers, thin to medium liquids should produce the best results. If you have only ever used your fingers to apply foundation, I would suggest you give one of the methods below a shot!

Brushes – Using a brush is my personal favorite way to apply my foundation!  Don’t think that you are limited to using a brush only with powder foundations… I love my using my Real Techniques Expert Face Brush with my favorite liquid foundations.  There are many different types of foundation brushes, but the most common have short, densely packed, soft bristles for smooth, comfortable blending.

In my opinion, brushes are the fastest way to apply foundation, and also the most versatile as they can be used for any type of foundation!  Powder foundation must be applied exclusively with a brush.

Sponges – Beauty Blenders have become a makeup staple over the years, and there are now many similar, cheaper options available as well.  Don’t confuse these beauty sponges with those small triangular sponges our moms always used.  Beauty sponges are somewhat egg shaped, and are meant to be used wet.

Beauty sponges can be used with almost any type of foundation (except powder), and create the most seamless finish.  They make the most noticeable difference with thicker foundations and concealers.  They are also great for those with dry skin, as the dampness from the sponge will help diminish the appearance of dry patches.

Airbrushing – Airbrush foundations come in an aerosol can, or in professional cases, a mechanical sprayer.  For at-home application, airbrush foundations are best dispensed on the center of the face or on a mixing palette, and then blended in with a brush or beauty sponge.  This will prevent you from airbrushing your hair and walls as well!

For professionals trained in airbrushing, they will spray the foundation directly onto your face, often applying additional layers of color and contour as well.

I hope you enjoyed these little tips for the perfect foundation application!  If you have any suggestions for foundations, either formulas or application, please comment!  I would love to hear!

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You might also like: How To: Apply Primers  &  Product Empties



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  1. […] This week I shared my stash of product empties along with mini reviews and whether of not I would repurchase them.  The next installment of my How To series also went live, and this week’s topic was foundations!  You can read all about my empty products and my How To series HERE and HERE! […]

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