A major part of looking good is having flawless skin. If you’re one of the women who naturally has this – good for you! However, if you’re like the rest of us who don’t, let’s all say thank goodness for cosmetic foundations. They’re truly a very important component of any make-up routine, and the extra two minutes to put them on definitely pays off. One of the handiest forms that a foundation comes in would be the stick foundation – it’s really designed to be carried around, and to be applied fast and smoothly. Some of the most popular brands of stick foundations include L’Oreal ($14.60), Shiseido ($19.40), Bobby Brown ($38) and Laura Mercier ($40).
The question here is, how do you apply foundation properly? Here are some steps you could try out:
1. Start with the right foundation. It’s essential that you use the right foundation in the first place. You know you’ve got the right foundation for your skin tone if it actually looks as if it were your own skin. The best way to know that it’s appropriate for your skin tone is by applying it to your wrist (which is virtually the same tone as the skin on your face). It should cover the blue veins, but the foundation should not be noticeable at all.
Other factors to take into consideration to make sure that you have a good quality foundation would be check if it provides adequate protection against the sun’s ultraviolet rays, if it’s water-based (veer away from oil-based, especially if you have oily skin) and if it is so thick that it forms unsightly crusts (especially if you perspire).
2. Start with clean skin. Remember, foundation must always be applied to clean, moisturized skin – or else you’d take the risk of having unsightly breakouts. And yes, it’s still recommended that you moisturize your face (so that your foundation will more easily glide into and be absorbed by your skin), even if you have an oily complexion. The key is to choose a moisturizer appropriate for you. Some professional make-up artists also apply a pre-foundation make-up base (also in stick base form, though it’s usually found in liquid form) for a more natural effect. You could forego the moisturizer and opt for this instead.
3. Apply the foundation. Stick foundations are applied the same way as regular cream foundations – you could dab the tip of your finger on the foundation, and then apply this foundation to your face. Yes, it’s better to use your finger than a sponge, because your fingers would have less tendency to pull harshly on your face’s very delicate skin. Plus, sponges trap more dirt (especially if they aren’t cleaned regularly) than your fingers (which could be cleaned very easily).
A recommended technique is to put spots of the foundation all over your face, focusing on the T-area: your forehead, your nose, and your chin. Dab some on your cheeks, and focus also on areas that have blemishes, spots and scars. Next, make sure that you blend the foundation well – don’t pull on your skin! You shouldn’t see any unsightly patches or harsh lines, and make sure that it looks natural (no cakey foundation build-ups, please). If possible, use natural lighting (that is, sunlight) while applying your foundation so you could really gauge if your foundation has been applied seamlessly.
Another very important thing to remember: apply the foundation down to your neck, and up to the edge of your forehead’s hairline. You wouldn’t want your face to show sharp lines where your foundation obviously ends: the key is for the foundation to blend in smoothly to your whole face.
Stick foundations also double as concealer foundations, since its precise tip could be used to cover up eye bags (working as an under the eye foundation) and other flaws. Be assured that applying stick foundation is very easy and you’d sure to have this technique down pat in no time. Good luck!