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Cosmetics: applying foundation

I wish you had given me more information because without knowing how you typically apply your makeup, what type of foundation you're using, what skin-care products you're using, and even the condition of your skin, there is no way for me to know what step or steps along the way are going awry for you.

Many factors can affect the way your foundation will end up looking. I wish it weren't so complicated, but it is. For example, if you have dry skin and your cleansing/moisturizing routine is leaving the surface of your skin flaky, foundation can make the problem more noticeable. Alternatively, if you have oily skin and are using a moisturizer or a foundation that is too emollient (even an oil-free one can be too emollient or not oil-absorbing or matte enough), the foundation can slide right off. Even on oily skin, drying skin-care products can also cause flaking, so you could have two problems working against you even before you put on your makeup.

In terms of applying foundation, the right foundation for your skin type (appropriately matte or appropriately smoothing) and the right color for your skin tone are paramount. If you had told me your skin type, I could make some recommendations, I just need more information. But I don't want to leave you without any suggestions, so following are a few ideas about some typical mistakes women make when applying foundation.

_If you have dry skin, use a moisturizer that reduces flaking, but not one so emollient that it leaves the skin greasy.

_If you have oily skin, do not use a moisturizer. Rather, use a toner loaded with state-of-the-art ingredients. That way you give the skin what it needs to look healthy and smooth without adding emollients.

_Don't be afraid to put on enough foundation. A lot of women put on too little, wiping away more than they blend on. Not enough foundation means poor, uneven coverage, and unless you have flawless skin that won't fulfill the goal of applying foundation.

_Some women are really good at applying foundation with their fingers, but that is the exception rather than the rule. It is rare for professional makeup artists to ever use their fingers to apply foundation. A smooth, flat sponge can apply foundation evenly over the skin. Think of how finger-painting looks on a paper or canvas, and you'll realize that won't get you the results you're looking for.

_Be sure to apply foundation over the entire eye area. For foundation to look even, it needs to be applied all over the central area of the face and then blended out to almost nothing along the jaw.

_When you are done applying foundation, apply a concealer under the eye area that is only one or two shades lighter than your foundation. This is basic for creating a brightness around the eye. Be sure to blend the edges of the concealer into the foundation.

_The last step is to lightly apply a sheer pressed or loose powder using a brush. This should only be a dusting. Dip the brush into the loose powder or sweep it across the pressed powder and knock off the excess, as that reduces the risk of applying too much powder.