How to Make Full Coverage Foundation Look Natural

How do you make full coverage foundation look natural? Follow these tips. Get flawless coverage that doesn't look fake or cakey.

Making Full Coverage Foundation Look More Natural

Many of us face a big decision each morning, often before we’ve even had our coffee when we stumble out of bed and first look into the mirror. Is today a lightweight tint makeup day, or do the dark shadows under our tired eyes, or our monthly hormonal pimple, require full coverage foundation? And if we make the leap to go with full coverage, how do we make it look natural and not mask-like or caked? And after we leave home looking like a fashion model, how do we know we won’t discover, to our horror, when we look in the office restroom mirror after a big meeting, that the makeup which looked great a few hours ago, is now caked in every tiny line on our face, and clearly defined in streaks under our neck a shade darker than our skin tone?

Pro Tips for a Natural Look With Full Coverage Foundation

Exfoliate First! One important factor in keeping your makeup from caking into creases, flaky areas, and tiny bumps, is to start with the smoothest possible surface. Exfoliating to remove dead skin cells first will minimize these tricky areas that result in an uneven appearance. Using a good scrub or chemical exfoliator will help you to start with the smoothest possible skin.

After exfoliating, apply a light moisturizer for normal to oily skin, preferably while your skin is still damp. A heavier moisturizer may be necessary if your skin is excessively dry.

Use a liquid foundation for the most natural look in a full coverage foundation, and apply with a sponge. Liquids create a surface that more closely resembles real skin versus thicker creams or stick foundations.

How to Find Your Perfect Foundation Color

Finding a shade to match your natural skin color is vital. Because makeup can be expensive, and mistakes are costly, this is easiest at a makeup counter where you are allowed to try samples. Instead of trying out a shade on your face, try rubbing a small amount on your neck, or jawline. If a shade appears invisible on your neck, that’s the best match for your skin. If you are naturally a pinkish tone, you want to look for cooler shades. Golden toned skin needs warmer shades.

If you aren’t sure whether you are warm or cool, a good tip is to look at the veins on your wrists. If they appear blue, you are a cool shade. If they look green, your skin has golden tones. Another method is to consider whether yellow gold jewelry or silver and white gold jewelry best suits you. If you look best in silver, you have cool skin tones. If yellow gold makes you glow, you have warm tones. This method works well for dark-skinned people as well.

If you still can’t find a seamless match for your color, you can purchase two colors and blend them on your hand before applying to your face. This also gives you some flexibility to adapt the shade to any changes, such as tanning in the summer.

Always start applying your makeup in the center of your face and then smooth upward and outward with a sponge applicator. Finally, smooth gently down your jaw and neck for a seamless blend.

If your makeup still appears too thick, you can add a small amount of a lightweight moisturizer on top of your makeup. Dab it on with a cotton ball, rather than rubbing it in, to avoid streaking your foundation.

Is Contouring a good idea?

Some people avoid contouring completely because it’s one of the more difficult makeup applications to apply and still emerge looking natural. Go too far and you’ll look like you are about to walk the runway in some new outrageous designer ensemble, rather than spending a normal day at the office. Skipping the contouring completely can leave your face looking unnatural and mask-like.

So what is the best way to contour and achieve a natural look? Lightly apply your bronzer, or darker contour under cheekbones, down the sides of your nose, along the jawline, at the temples, and around the hairline. Use a shade that’s just slightly darker than your foundation. Then use your highlighter and apply it to the bridge of your nose, under your eyes, between the brows, and on the center of your chin.

Also, remember not to mix and match formulas. For instance, using a cream highlighter and a powder bronzer can result in an unattractive paste that will appear caked.

How Less is More with full coverage foundation

Remember to apply layers very lightly. It’s much easier to add more if needed than to try to remove makeup too heavily applied and end up having to start all over.

Follow these tips, and face the day with your perfect face!

Resources— Self.com, Elle, Byrdie, Byrdie-Contour