Many foundations on the market advertise all day wear, yet the number one complaint I hear from clients is that their foundation just doesn’t last. There is no reason why your foundation shouldn’t last throughout the day, just follow few simple steps. Keep on reading if you want flawless foundation around the clock!
First things first, much like your skin care regime, you have to think of your foundation as a ROUTINE. There are several steps to achieving a flawless complexion that lasts all day and a few products you’ll need that will work together to maximize wear.
Here’s what it takes to create a complete, long-lasting foundation routine:
Use a moisturizer that is best suited for your skin type. If you’re going to be applying your makeup immediately after your skincare, opt for a formula that is lightweight and fast absorbing. Be sure to massage your moisturizer into the skin to help it penetrate and to boost circulation for plump, hydrated skin. This step will allow for your foundation to adhere to a smooth base. When the skin is hydrated, makeup will last longer and look better.
The main purpose of a primer is to help your makeup last longer. Primers act as a base for your foundation and often contain ingredients (like glycerin) that are tacky to help makeup stick & stay put. Primer also acts as a barrier between your skin and your makeup, which means that your skin shouldn’t affect the way your makeup wears. If you do have skin concerns that are likely to break down your foundation (such as the overproduction of oil), choose a primer that will help combat the issue (like a mattifying primer). Just like a primer for paint on the wall, foundation primer fills in nooks and crannies for a smooth result. If you have concerns with enlarged pores, scarring or fine lines, choose a primer with a silicon base to keep your makeup from settling into textured areas.
APPLICATION TIP: Make sure to work your primer in well with clean hands. Add extra primer where you find your makeup creases or breaks down through out the day, but remember to start with a small amount of product. If you use too much, or apply your foundation before your primer has a chance to absorb, it can ball up and create texture underneath your makeup. As a best practice, I like to wait at least 60 seconds after priming the face before I apply foundation.
As a general rule, the more pigment a product has, the longer it will last and, unfortunately, pigment is a costly ingredient. This doesn’t mean that expensive foundations are necessarily better, however, higher quality ingredients = better performance. This is not to say that you can’t make a drug store foundation last all day. If you have a great foundation routine, getting 6-8 hours of wear from any foundation should be no problem. If you do need your makeup to stay on longer, say for a special event, you may want to opt for a higher end formulation.
APPLICATION TIP: When it comes to foundation, the key to application is to work in light layers. If you swipe your foundation on in a very thick layer, it is more likely to slide off of the skin. Between each layer of coverage, allow your makeup to dry and become tacky so that the next layer will adhere.
A tool to apply foundation with, such as a brush or sponge – I’m not opposed to using fingertips to apply foundation, but they can deposit a lot of product. As I mentioned, a thick layer of foundation is apt to slide off of the skin, and I find a brush or blending sponge will deposit just the right amount. Avoid using a wiping motion when applying foundation, as you’re not really depositing product this way, simply moving it around. The best application technique for any skin type, in my experience, is a stippling motion. Tap your foundation into your skin to marry the texture of your makeup and primer together, without lifting any product. Stippling will also give the smoothest result over pores and texture, and is the ideal technique for oily skin types.
APPLICATION TIP: Starting at the center of your face, work your foundation outwards towards your jawline. The jaw area is what I call the “transfer zone”, where the collar of your shirt can rub and where we’re likely to touch our skin. Having less makeup in this area makes transfer less likely and for most of us, the center of the face is where we need the most coverage anyhow.
It’s a simple truth that your makeup will last longer when you use a powder over top. Powdering your foundation will set it in place and keep it from transferring onto your clothes, phone etc. throughout the day. Don’t worry that your foundation will look cake-y or dry when using a powder. Opt for a translucent option with finely milled powders for the most natural result.
APPLICATION TIP: You’ll want to avoid sweeping your powder over a wet liquid foundation, as this will only serve to move your makeup around, especially if you have oily skin. To truly SET your foundation, use the “press and roll” method. Press your powder into your foundation and roll your brush or sponge to mesh the two textures together without disturbing your makeup. Touch your skin with clean hands once you have applied your setting powder. Your skin should feel velvety smooth to the touch and there shouldn’t be any tacky spots. Start with the smallest amount of product (I usually use the residue that’s left in the lid when I open it up) and build in areas where foundation is still tacky or is likely to move around.
For the ultimate long wear, mist your makeup with a setting spray at the end of your routine.Think of setting spray as hairspray for your face. Basically, it creates a film over your makeup (though obviously gentler and more flexible than hairspray) to defend against humidity and oil. You may not need to use a setting spray every day, but it is a must-have product for hot weather, a night out, or a special occasion.
APPLICATION TIP: Be sure to hold your setting spray at arms length. If you spray your product too close to your face, you could end up with water droplets on top of your foundation that will break it down! Try misting your setting spray in a T or X shape for even application.
It may seem like a lot of work, but the right techniques and products will keep your foundation flawless all day and all night!