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While most primers are designed simply to make your foundation last longer, many can refine pores, mattify, illuminate, and hydrate. Before applying a drop of makeup, dot a pea-sized dollop of primer on the face and smooth it over skin evenly. This will anchor your makeup and keep it from budging as you go about your day.
Try: L’Oréal Studio Secrets Magic Lumi Light Infusing Primer, $12.99, available at Ulta Beauty.
Liquid Foundations & Concealer Pens
Liquid formulations are some of the most common types of foundation on the market because they are relatively easy to use. Use a foundation brush, applicator brush, or your fingers to evenly smooth over your skin (only where you need it), then buff or stipple with a damp makeup sponge to blend away any edges and make the makeup look like your own skin.
Try: Revlon ColorStay Foundation, $12.99, available at Ulta Beauty.
Cream Foundation & Foundation Sticks
Cream foundations tend to provide more coverage than their more viscous counterparts on the previous slide. (These solid formulations are also great for travel!)
Dot or draw cream foundation onto your skin where you need coverage and blend out with a brush, your fingers, or a damp makeup sponge, always working away from the center of the face. Your fingers make short work of these thicker formulas, since the heat from your body helps to soften the formulas. Remember: Your ring finger has the lightest touch, making it your best tool.
Try: Iman Second-to-None Stick Foundation, $16, available at Iman Cosmetics.
Those with oily skin will love powder formulas, as they reduce shine and pack buildable coverage. Load a dense brush with powder foundation by lightly swirling or dipping it in the product — this works for loose, mineral, and pressed formulas — then tapping off excess. Then simply dust it on, starting with areas that need more coverage.
This method provides sheer coverage all over the face, allowing your skin to show through. It’s always better to start sheer and build up more as needed, as this prevents skin from looking cakey. For more coverage, press it into the skin with a foundation brush or a makeup sponge, and buff off the excess with a fluffy brush.
Try: NYX Cosmetics Stay Matte But Not Flat Powder Foundation, $9.50, available at NYX Cosmetics.
Housed in a convenient compact, cushion foundations have the buildable coverage of liquid foundation without the mess. Simply press the included sponge applicator, or a foundation brush, into the sponge to pick up product. Then press it into the skin and blend, adding more layers as needed.
Try: L’Oréal True Match Lumi Cushion Foundation, $14.99, available at Target.