13 Pros Share Their Top Foundation Hacks
13 Pros Share Their Top Foundation Hacks

13 Pros Share Their Top Foundation Hacks

How to apply foundation is still one of Google’s most common beauty questions – which suggests many of us are still looking for ways to make our base look better. To help you achieve flawless results every time, we asked some of the UK’s leading make-up artists to share their hacks. Whether it’s mixing your foundation with fake tan or perfecting the best buffing technique, these are the tips to know.
By Rebecca Hull

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Use A Little Oil

“I love to mix foundation with a small amount of a hydrating oil. It gives a real buttery finish to your foundation and boosts an impactful glow that looks fresh and healthy. It’s a great hack to try in the colder months when our skin is a bit more dehydrated.” Cat Parnell

Mix It With Fake Tan

“Achieving glow-y skin is easier than you think. Simply add two to three gradual tanning drops to your foundation or base so you can apply everything in one go. Use a brush and blend it all over, right up into your hairline; over the next few hours the colour will build, delivering greater luminosity and a healthy-looking glow. The Isle of Paradise Tanning Drops are particularly good for this – plus, they’re vegan.” – Cher Webb

Buff, Never Paint

“Technique is paramount when it comes to flawless foundation. You want your base to melt into the skin, rather than just sitting on top. Find brushes with a flat base and fluffy hairs to really buff the foundation in. Use a dabbing motion to push the product down, rather than wiping it on and off in the same movement. If you see creases or streaks starting to form, keep working the formula in and be sure to buff around the jaw and hairline to avoid tidemarks, too.” – Em-J

Apply Skincare On Top

“A daily exfoliation with something gentle like Medik8’s PHA Daily Exfoliating Tonic will get rid of surface dirt and dullness, giving you a smoother, more luminous complexion. Then, after you’ve let your foundation set, press in some of the Herbivore facial oil on top. You only need a small amount, but it’s a great way to get the glow.” Caroline Barnes

Match Your Face To Your Neck

“You don’t want your face to be darker than your neck – so test out different shades around your jawline, or dust your bronzer down and over your neck to even everything out for a more seamless blend.” Jillian Dempsey

Turn Foundation To Blush

“Foundation can be a great product for creating custom blush shades. If you’re like me and you have a lot of different lipsticks you never use, try this hack and turn it into a cream blush. Put a small amount of foundation onto a clean palette or the back of your hand and mix it with your favourite lipstick shade. Keep blending until you have a shade you’re happy with, then apply this to your cheeks as a cream blush. It sounds odd, but it works every time.” Levi-Jade Taylor


Don’t Forget To Prep

“Preparation is the key to good foundation. When I work with a new face, I’ll always do a complete skincare routine first to see where we need make-up. By going through the process of balancing out (dry or oily) skin, exfoliating and hydrating the lips, then prepping the eye area, you can make sure foundation sits well and stays put. It’s simple advice, but it’s something I wish I was told when I was younger. Look after your skin and applying foundation will be easier.” Camilla Hewitt

Layer Base Make-Up With Highlighter

“Coming into autumn, a lack of sun and the cooler weather makes our skin appear duller. To counteract this, mix one part liquid highlighter to two parts liquid foundation. This will illuminate your skin and keep it looking fresh.” Lisa Potter-Dixon

Stick To Similar Textures

“The ‘lightweight’ look isn’t just about your foundation. Yes, it’s the starting point, but to maintain that healthy, dewy glow, you need to be using similar textures in your other products. That includes bronzer, blusher and highlighter, so apply these (if you can) in cream or liquid format. This way, everything will work in synergy and you’re less likely to get pilling. Finally, always shake your foundation first – lightweight textures often separate in the bottle, and you want the liquid to combine for even, flawless coverage.” Jessica Kell 

Apply Foundation First

“Don’t be afraid to skip a full face of foundation if you don’t need it. I recommend starting by applying a little around the eye and then just use it to spot check any problem areas with a fine-tipped brush. It’s why I often apply bronzer first. You warm up the skin quickly, then you go back in with foundation only where it’s needed. Doing it this way round means you tend to use less base make-up and the result will be fresher.” Gucci Westman

Contour With Foundation

“If you have uneven skin tone or texture and you’re struggling to use a cream bronzer over your base make-up, use a darker shade of foundation instead. This can then contour your skin in all the right places. I recommend ALLEVEN’s Instant Perfector. It’s a spray-on foundation and it’s so easy to blend. Plus, unlike some textures, it lasts for hours on the skin and gives a budge-proof summer glow we all crave at this time of year.” Kelly Mitchell

Start In The Centre Of Your Face

“Foundation should be applied from the centre of the face outwards for the most natural coverage, then thinned out towards the jawline so it blends seamlessly into the neck and hairline. Doing it this way means the areas where you need more coverage (like the nose and under eyes) get a flawless and even blend. Try to avoid caking it over your nose, too – especially if you have freckles.” Kenneth Soh 

Identify Your Undertones

“Finding out whether your skin has warm, cool or neutral undertones is the key to finding the right foundation. There are easy ways to do this. First, you can do the vein test by looking at the ones on your wrist. If you have blue/purple veins, your undertone is cool; if you have green veins and yellow, golden skin, your undertones are warm. If you find your veins are neither or in between the two, then you’re considered a neutral undertone. Most foundation brands have warm (W), cool (C) and neutral (N) shades to choose from.” Mira Parmar 

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