9 tips from celebrity makeup artists that will help you apply foundation like a pro

Luminous, glowy, dewy and flawless – these are some of the adjectives that are often used to describe celebrities’ photo-ready and red carpet ready skin.

And as for us, we just can’t seem to get it right sometimes. As we apply foundation on our pallid and tired faces, hoping to transform it, we’re only disappointed by caked foundation that emphasises on our fine lines, or worse, awkwardly mismatched shades and streaky marks.

You don’t need to sign up for a masterclass with an expert just yet. Here are some foundation application tips straight from the mouths of celebrity makeup artists that will help you attain that flawless celebrity look.

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1. Moisturise your skin first

Romy Soleimani backstage at New York Fall 2016.

Make sure your skin is prepped and moisturised in order for the foundation and product to sit nicely on your canvas. Romy Soleimani (makeup artist for Kate Hudson, Keira Knightley, and Rachel McAdams) emphasises on its importance, “This ensures the foundation glides on for the most natural-looking finish.”

Rachel Goodwin (Emma Stone’s makeup artist, and who created her beauty looks in La La Land) agrees, “Wait five minutes before you apply foundation to let moisturiser sink in.”

Dehydrated skin tends to leave a finish that looks unnatural and obvious. Moisturising your skin hydrates your skin, ensuring your foundation looks healthy and like it’s glowing.

2. Apply highlighter and blush before your foundation

Dick Page at Fall 2012 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

Here’s a little trick that makeup artists such as Dick Page (artistic director of Shiseido Makeup and has worked with Kate Moss) uses at fashion shows – strobe and blush before your foundation.

Swipe a cream highlighter across your cheekbones, smear a blush on the apple of your cheeks and blend it out with your fingers. It may sound unorthodox but applying your highlighter and blush before your foundation will actually make you look naturally rosy and flushing from within. Take note to only layer cream formulas under your foundation!

3. Choose your foundation shade and type wisely

Troy Jansen

Formula matters, and using a liquid foundation can create a natural finish. Find a formula that is buildable and a liquid foundation that falls around medium to light coverage. Troy Jensen, celebrity makeup artist for Nicole Richie and Kim Kardashian, also recommends mixing your foundation with a colour correcting primer. Mixing your primer and foundation keeps your makeup from lasting longer throughout the day.

4. Shell out on good brushes and tools

Mediocre brushes tend to create foundation streaks all over your face. Invest in a higher quality foundation brush; it helps foundation to apply better on your face, achieving the desirable buffing effect that you’d want.

If you are looking for higher coverage, get a Beauty Blender sponge. Blend a few drops on your face with the sponge when it’s damp. It soaks up and absorbs excess foundation and keeps you from laying too thick a foundation. That way, you can also build coverage with your beauty blender on the areas you want to cover up more.

5. The way you work your brush matters

Ermahn Ospina with Darby Stanchfield working on set of Scandal.

If you have no idea how to move a foundation brush around, this is a tip you should know. Ermahn Ospina (who has worked with Sarah Michelle Gellar and Darby Stanchfield) likes to put five dots of foundation on her client’s face. “…one each on your cheeks, forehead, chin, and neck — and distributing outward in circular motions using a foundation brush will give you a flawless result.”

6. It’s okay to use your hands

Joseph Carrillo

If you still prefer to use hands, that’s fine. Joseph Carrillo (makeup artist of Alexa Chung and Uma Thurman) does that too. “I like to apply foundation with my hands to help warm it up, press it into skin, and into the contours of the skin. I usually go in a outward and circular motions. Then, I fine-tune any additional blending with a clean foundation brush.”

7. Conceal your blemishes and under eye bags away

Tap out your zits and sallow skin with colour-correcting concealers. Using colour-correcting concealers is an effective way to cover your problem spots. Beige concealer often accentuates the muddiness of the skin area. If you have a big zit, use a green-pigmented concealer to cover the redness. Cover up dark under eye circles with a salmon or peach concealer as it cancels out the blue or greens under your eyes.

8. Set your work well

Dust a bit of translucent powder on your skin to set the makeup and to take down the shine on your skin. Troy Jensen recommends dusting a tiny amount of powder on your T-zone area.

If your skin type is dry and you’d rather not apply powder, try what Michael Anthony (makeup artist of Allison Williams and Rita Ora) suggests, “Spray a skin-soothing mist onto the large, flat side of a damp Beautyblender and press it into your skin all over to diffuse the look of ‘makeup’ and give you a very natural, hydrated complexion.”

9. You don’t necessarily have to use powder for touch-ups

Min Min Ma (makeup artist of Mia Wasikowska and Zosia Mamet) opts for blotting papers over setting powder during touch up “to avoid looking like you have too much makeup on.”

But the best way to make your skin look flawless? To step up your skincare game and actually have flawless skin! Read more tips and recommendations at the Daily Vanity Radiant Skin Guide.

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Today's Beauty Tip

Do not add water to your mascara to make the formula thinner. You're actually introducing germs to the tube because you're diluting the preservatives.