What are your tips & tricks for getting a flawless base?

I find exfoliating regularly (two times a week or so) helps a lot with getting an even application of product and minimizes product getting caught on flaky skin. A cleaner brush or sponge is better at distributing color–I’ve definitely noticed if I re-use a brush, the application is often a little less-good over time. If I’m working with a more matte formula, I also like to spritz my brush lightly with water or an adhesive spray, which helps it distribute more readily without disturbing the formula.

— Christine
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18 Comments

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Moisturizer as a first step helps get more even application. A tip I learned from Jackie Aina is that if your foundation is water based, your primer should also be water based. If your foundation and primer have different bases then they will not work well together.

I like to think layering products as a chemistry problem. 😆 A water based product is absorbed in the skin, a silicone based one stays on top. So anything after a silicone needs to be silicone base, otherwise water and oil will just sit over the silicones.

Once I started looking at the base of my base products (primer, foundation, concealer), I made less purchasing mistakes… and getting a foundation or concealer that looks awful just because they don’t work together.

You know as much has I’ve known this for a will, I still haven’t closely paid attention to that. I think I’m take the time to label my foundations and primers with a code so as to quickly take this into account. I tend to wing it and just memorise what works together and doesn’t, but this really is wise advice. Thanks both!

Hello Christine ! I also have been exfoliating my skin twice a week for two or three months, and it totally changes the game for me in order to get a flawless base. When I am using a sponge, I like to press the foundation with a sort of downward movement, and it truly gives a better effect in my opinion !

Yup, it’s all about skin care. I’ve been going through a battle with myself on base regarding coverage and light/medium cover is winning despite age spots, etc. It requires me to focus on my skin and rely less on base product. I am using SkinInc exfoliant bi-weekly and find my canvas to be much smoother.

Just like when I was in the house painting business with my ex-husband, it’s all about the priming and preparation *before* the paint!
Therefore, I do my best to keep my skin in good condition and exfoliate regularly. I take care to use SPF moisturizers from around March through early November to prevent my skin on my face from darkening to a level that wouldn’t match my foundations. The highest one I have is MAC NC41. So no sun tanning for me!
I also use various primers that go with my different foundation formulas, or that work best under specific weather or skin conditions.
Also, I make good use a finishing powders to add some sheen back to my skin and cause my foundation to last a little bit longer before breaking up.

My tricks and tips are quite basic:
* Have a good skincare. Nothing beats having a good skin underneath. Physical exfoliation twice a week and BHA/AHA daily reduces flaky skin and improves the look of pores. A good eye cream improves the look of my undereye wrinkles, without being too greasy to make the concealer move. Retinol, peptides and squalane make my skin plump and hydrated.
*I let my morning skincare, especially SPF, sit on my skin at least for 10 minutes before proceeding with foundation.
*Prime. I know some don’t consider primer a must, and I somehow agree when the skincare fills the needs of the primer (hydration, pore reduction). But I personally think that for me foundation applies better on top of a silicone based primer.
*Start with less than you need. I love a good buildable foundation, that I can apply in several thin layers, to customize coverage. Starting with a smaller quantity helps blending slowly, section by section, perfecting the look bit by bit, withouth needing to over blend too much product.
*Set. This is also maybe not a must in everyone’s mind, but the base needs to be locked in. For some with oilier skin this might mean a tons of powder. For some might mean the thinest veil of a lightweight powder. For folks with dryer skin it might mean using a setting spray to mesh all powders in. It’s just a matter of identifying what your skin and routine needs.

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant, Kate Somerville ExfoliKate, Kiehl’s Epidermal Re-Texturizing Micro-Dermabrasion!

For getting a flawless base, I use a very gentle scrub once a week – more than that it irritates my skin.
Secondly I use a good daily moisturiser and wait for that to ‘soak’ in before applying either sunscreen (another moisturiser with SPF 50+) or a primer. Again, I wait for it to soak in.
Then I apply my foundation – I just use one pump of the bottle onto my finger tips and rotate around my face. No brushes, sponges etc. And I wash my hands afterwards, because I have learnt the hard way, that foundation can stain any clothes you are wearing.
After applying the foundation, I then add the blush and after that setting powder. And I am done.

I do not get dressed until my makeup is finished! I have ruined too many clothes with makeup stains! I’m also kind of klutsy so it’s better to put my clothes on after lol!

Start with a clean & clear canvas- good skin care is a must.
I use a technique I learned from Mary Greenwell years ago- I apply a little too much foundation all over my face spread with my fingers, then buff out the excess with a synthetic brush. My IT Cosmetics buffing brush is my favorite for this technique and a Real Techniques buffing brush is my second favorite.

Those are a couple of good hints, Christine.

Having gone back to using a brush (in part) and using it 3x before cleaning, I’ve noticed just this week that the foundation tends gets much more streaky (then I have to smooth it out with a sponge) after a couple uses of the brush. Plus, they clean easier with less product in them.

I also notice, as my maturing skin gets drier, adding a couple drops of an oil based foundation such as Kosas leads to a smoother application. I’ve been preferring a dewy, luminous finish the past six months or so so this helps in that regard too.
I’ve also been using a soft angled concealer brush to really spread the concealer under and around my eyes, then I let it sit and sink in a bit before using my sponge to really smooth it out and it looks much more seamless and less obvious. Finally, a trick from a mature Youtuber, I use a damp sponge dipped in my loose powder to pounce under my eyes (not bake), this never would have occurred to me as I dreaded cakey and dry undereyes, but it works and I get less creasing!

Oh forgot to mention skin prep–the most important!
I’ve been using a couple of stronger products to keep my skin exfoliated and supple recently and they’ve been working great.

I run 6 days per week, which always makes my skin glow to start:
3x week the TARTE Frixxxon Stick before showering, days I don’t I use it, I use the Clairsonic in shower.
1x week a mask, generally the OLEHENRICKSON Phat.
1x night per week, sleep with eye patches, I love the TARTE ones.

AM: The Ordinary L-Ascorbic Acid Powder 1/2 scoop mixed with my hyalauronic serum. Let that absorb and dry, then apply cream and eye cream (I’ve only recently started with that as my eyelids are getting dry now too, sigh!) and let that sink in as long as possible (an hour if I can) before primer.
PM: after cleansing I’ve been using The Ordinary’s Glycolic Acid Toning Solution, which really tingles but I feel it’s really been keeping flakes away. Finally I’ve been experimenting with very heavy creams and oil combination before bed.
I got so desperate last month after a horrible dry spell I was layering petroleum jelly on my face for about a week at night and it did wonders!
I know, that sounds bad, but I had a neighbor growing up who wrapped her hair in toilet paper each night (to keep her style set) and slathered petroleum jelly all over her face and she had the most beautifully soft skin I had ever seen.

Make sure you’re washing off all your makeup before you go to bed. Moisturize! Exfoliate as needed. Let each layer of skincare soak in before adding the next or putting on makeup. Same for sunscreen.
Use primer, and make sure it’s the right kind for the foundation. Water-based to water-based, silicone-based to silicone-based. Try a different primer and application methods before giving up on a foundation. I find a dampened beauty blender usually works best, and always for liquid, full-coverage foundation. A domed, dense blush usually works best for creams/stick foundations. A flat-topped kabuki is best for powder foundations. If using a brush, blend down, so peach fuzz isn’t being lifted. I have oily skin, so I always use setting powder. If I need it to look really perfect or last longer than usual, I use a powder puff to press it into the skin. Spray with setting spray to take help makeup fuse together, take away powderiness, and lock everything in place.

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