There’s nothing worse than coming home after work, catching a glimpse of yourself in the mirror, and realizing your foundation is all effed up. “How long have I looked like this?” you think to yourself as you frantically wipe it all off. So what can you do to make sure your face stays in place? Here are six common foundation mistakes and how to avoid them. We promise, it’s possible to look #flawless all day long.
1.You’re Not Considering Your Skin Type
Want I-woke-up-like this foundation that really lasts? You have to pick a formula that works with your skin type. And that can vary from season to season or even day to day, says Suzy Gerstein, a Eucerin makeup artist based in New York City, who works with celebs like Karlie Kloss.If your skin looks shiny, opt for a foundation with a matte finish, since it’ll absorb the oil, she says. We’re fans of Maybelline New York Fit Me Matte Plus Poreless Foundation ($6, amazon.com). If you’re dry, use a creamy moisturizing formula, which will make you dewy. Try Too Faced Born This Way Absolute Perfection Foundation ($39, ulta.com). You can also mix your foundation with your moisturizer for some added hydration and staying power, says Katie Hughes, a celebrity makeup artist. Simply apply from the center of the face out.
2.You’re Forgetting to Exfoliate
If your face has a tendency to look dry or patchy by the end of the day, exfoliate before you load up on products. “It will remove any bits of dead or flaky skin that will be more pronounced after using foundation,” says Hughes. Use a gentle exfoliating cleanser or toner, like Paula’s Choice Calm Redness Relief 1% BHA Lotion Exfoliant ($26, paulschoice.com). Then continue with the rest of your skin-care routine and move on to makeup.
3.You’re Not Working with a Dry Surface
Keeping the skin plump is crucial, especially if you want a nice base for your foundation to sit on. But, if you layer on foundation right after moisturizing, it’s just going to slide right off your skin. “I like to apply my moisturizer, then do my eyes, brows, lashes, and so on, and then do my foundation,” says Gerstein. Wait at least five to 10 minutes so you’re working with a clean, dry surface. If you’re in a rush, blot the excess moisturizer off your skin, and carry on with your routine.
4.You Haven’t Found the Right Primer
Luckily, there’s a primer for just about every issue. If you struggle with large pores, excess oil, or dull skin, the right one can really prepare your face before foundation even touches it. Gerstein recommends Benefit POREfessional Face Primer ($31, sephora.com) to fill pores and smooth things out.On the dry side? Look for a primer that has a luminous finish, like BECCA Backlight Priming Filter ($38, sephora.com). If you’re super-oily, sometimes it pays off to find a primer that already has skin-care ingredients in it, like Jouer Anti-Aging Moisture Primer ($38, jouercosemetics.com). That way you can cut back on the amount of other products you’re swiping on.
5.You’re Not Using the Right Tools
There are literally hundreds of foundation brushes to choose from, but what’s the best kind? Gerstein says a synthetic duo-fiber stippling brush will help you achieve the longest-lasting foundation. e.l.f. Stipple Brush ($4, elfcosmetics.com) is a good option. “Dip the brush into the foundation, make sure it’s on just the tops of the bristles, and dot it on to your skin,” she says. “That, I find, wears really, really well.” You can also use a sponge, which imparts lighter coverage than a brush. Beautyblenders help melt makeup a little bit more into the skin, which does make it last longer, says Gerstein.6.You’re Not Locking It in Place
“I think the key for long wear is that you don’t want to ‘bake’ the makeup onto your skin,” says Gerstein. “You just want to do a light veil of powder to set it.” She likes Shiseido Translucent Loose Powder ($35, sephora.com) for a light but lock-it-in-place effect. Not a powder fan? Using a mist can make all the difference, too. Just stay away from ones with a lot of oil, which can break up your foundation, causing unevenness and patchy spots later. Try Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist ($48, sephora.com) or Pixi Makeup Fixing Mist ($15, target.com).