There are some things that you definitely need to know before using foundation for the first time. While foundation is an essential for a lot of people, it can be really difficult to apply – and nobody wants to walk around with blobs or bad shading! There are also millions of different products, and choosing which one is right for you can feel like trying to win the lottery. This guide to using foundation for the first time will help you ensure your first time is a success, and it won’t just be beginners luck!
1. Choose Your Texture
The first thing to do before using foundation for the first time is to choose the type of foundation that you want to use. The two most common types are powder and liquid, although there are now hybrid products such as creams which suit some people more. In general, liquid foundations are anything that’s liquid. Cream foundations are usually a mousse, or a coloured paste. Powder foundation can either be pressed, or loose pearls. It’s possible to use a combination of textures, and you might find that you prefer that, but for simplicity it’s easier to master one when you first get going.
2. Find Your Shade
Next up, you need to find the right foundation shade for your skin. Foundation comes in a wide variety of colors, and these are often named things like beige or ivory, which can make it difficult to pick one straight off! Head to a makeup counter, and they should have marked tester bottles. Don’t apply it to your face, though! Use your wrist or neck, and use just a tiny bit of the foundation. Get one that matches your skin tone as closely as possible. If you’re struggling, some beauty stores have machines that will suggest your best color, or the staff will be able to help.
3. Read the Packet
All foundations are not made equal, so you can’t just grab one. For example, some foundations contain ingredients that will illuminate the skin – perfect for some people, but not great if you have oily skin. Likewise, matte foundations are often highly praised for being so portable, but they aren’t the best idea if you have dry skin. There are some ingredients that you should look for, too – salicylic acid, for example, is ideal if you’re having a breakout.
4. Check the Thickness
Some people prefer foundations that are thick and cover everything, whilst others prefer a more sheer, light finish. Decide what you need, and make sure that you pick one that matches! There’s nothing more disappointing than finding that your new foundation is just too thin, or feels painted on. Here’s a quick rundown: Tinted moisturizer will provide a really minimal, light and natural foundation. Medium coverage is a little heavier, and will cover up blemishes. Full coverage is thicker still, and will cover everything. If you’re not sure, get a beauty attendant to apply different coverages to different parts of your face, so you can see the difference.
5. Start with Primer
Before you apply your foundation, you need to apply primer. This will ensure that your makeup lasts all day, as well as keeping your skin in good condition. Treat is as a vital first step! Your primer will essentially even out your skin and create a smooth base for you to apply your foundation. Apply the primer, and wait for 10 minutes to let it settle and set.
6. Grab a Brush
If you’re applying liquid foundation, you’re going to want to apply it with a stippling brush. Don’t be tempted to paint it on, though! Instead, use gentle circular movements to blend. If you’re not a fan of brushes, you can also use a sponge, but it’s generally much easier to blend with a brush. For powder foundation, use a kabuki brush or a powder brush. Again, use light circular movements to blend.
7. Conceal Everything
Once you’ve applied your foundation, give it a few moments to set. If you are using a heavy coverage foundation, you probably won’t need to use concealer, so you can skip this step! If you’re using a lighter foundation, take a look and see if you can see any blemishes or dark circles that you’d like to cover. If there is, apply and blend your concealer.
8. Don’t Go Overboard
A common mistake when using foundation for the first time is to plaster it on. Resist the urge! Use foundation a little bit at a time, and build up the coverage. It’s likely that you’ll need a lot less than you thought, and that “small blob” will actually paint your entire body two shades darker. If you put too much on, you’ll look like you’re wearing facepaint, and you’ll have to strip it all off and start again. Instead, apply a little at a time until the colour and blending is how you want it to be.
Now that you’ve clocked using foundation for the first time, practice a few times, and trial different foundations when you have the chance! Some people prefer to set their foundation using a setting powder once it’s dried, as this can prolong coverage and also absorb oil and prevent your face from looking cracked or shiny. It’s up to you whether you use it or not – as with everything, try it and experiment!