Exactly how you should be applying your foundation

Rosie Huntington Whiteley - how you should be applying foundation

The pros have revealed their top tips

Marie Claire marie claire Beauty Director / August 17 2018

Fingers, brushes, sponges...

When it comes to applying the latest bases, the experts like to mix it up.


"I prefer to use brushes when applying foundation to achieve that beautiful Giorgio Armani complexion," says Grant Power, national face designer at Giorgio Armani Cosmetics. "I use the [Giorgio Armani Cosmetics] Maestro Blender Brush #4. It's made with synthetic bristles and the slightly pointed shape ensures even application for that flawless skin."

Try: Giorgio Armani Cosmetics Maestro Blender Brush #4, Chanel Pinceau Teint 2-in-1 Foundation Brush

Fingers & brushes

"My go-to method is to apply foundation with a foundation brush then pat the foundation with my fingers to make it become one with the skin," says Liz Kelsh, make-up expert and ambassador for Max Factor. "I also use a fibre-optic brush to give the skin a final buff, especially around the jawline and into the hairline."


"Most cushion foundations are best applied with a sponge," says Kelsh.


New gen electronic buffers will polish foundation into skin for 60 seconds. The result is a complexion that looks as if it's been touched up by the airbrush wand.

Try: Clarisonic Mia Fit Pink Cleansing Device and Sonic Foundation Makeup Brush

"Sometimes women apply the same foundation in their 40s as they did in their 20s and wonder why it's not performing. If your foundation is getting too shiny or evaporating off your skin, it may be time to look for a new formulation."
Liz Kelsh
Max Factor
Make-up expert and ambassador

The new weightless

Gone are the days of slathering on the slap. The new breed of foundations are featherweight and effectively mimic real skin. "Women do not want to feel like they are wearing a heavy mask on their face," says Power. "They want it to radiate and glow."

Try: Elizabeth Arden Flawless Finish Everyday Bouncy Makeup, Giorgio Armani Cosmetics Face Fabric, Nars All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation

Do this: Look for formulations that allow you to build up the coverage to deliver your desired finish, while still keeping skin looking real. "I tend to go for buildable foundations," says Kelsh. "That way I can control the amount of cover and add a little more where needed." 

Partner up

Foundations have come a long way, but to keep skin looking fresh you'll need to team them with primer and powder. Here's why:

Primer magic: Air conditioning and warm weather can cause shine and your foundation to do a disappearing act by lunchtime. "If you are prone to oiliness, find a product that helps to regulate the skin," suggests Power.

Try: Giorgio Armani Cosmetics Armani Prima Day-Long Skin Perfector Trouble Zones

Powder power: Powder is your secret weapon when it comes to banishing shine. Dust it on in the morning then keep a compact on stand-by for touch-ups. "When applying the pressed powder, press it into the foundation with the applicator. This way it won't upset your foundation," says Kelsh.

Try: Bourjois Air Mat Powder, By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra Powder  

This article originally appeared on maireclaire.com.au.

Looking for a new foundation? Check out 9 foundations available in at least 30 shades.

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Main image credit:@rosiehw

marie claire Beauty Director, Sally Hunwick joined the marie claire team in 2017. Previously Sally has worked on Cosmopolitan as Beauty and Lifestyle Director, Women’s Health as Contributing Beauty Editor, and Harper's BAZAAR and Dolly as Beauty Writer and Beauty Editor respectively. An award-winning journalist with a long-running career both in Australia and in the UK, Sally is passionate about all things beauty and health.