You'll Never Apply Foundation The Same Way Again

We all have our own ways of applying foundation. But whether it's worked in with a sponge or a brush, smeared with our fingers, or artfully dabbed, at the end of the day, we all just want smooth, flawless, natural-looking coverage, right?

Well, what if there were a way for your foundation to work harder for you? Yeah, we can see your ears perking up. Together with makeup artist Grace Ahn and the brand known for high-def complexions, Make Up For Ever, we rounded up three easy tricks for rethinking your foundation routine. And to show off each one, we called on Wildania, Wesley, and Drei. These makeup-savvy real women won our joint Instagram contest, #ShareYourShade, giving them the opportunity to star in one of our shoots. We know, tough gig. Read on to see how, by thinking outside the box, you'll never apply foundation the same way again.
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PHOTOGRAPHED BY JACOB AND CARROL AT FACTORY DOWNTOWN.
Glowy All Over
There's glowy skin, and then there's this: skin so bright it looks like it's being permanently lit by a movie crew. To get it, you need to think beyond just a touch of highlighter. Instead, pump a few drops of foundation onto the back of your hand, and carefully mix in a little bit of loose shimmery pigment. Choose whatever color of pigment you like: gold, Champagne, or cool silver. You can always add more, so tread lightly at first. Blend the foundation and loose pigment together on the back of your hand, then brush it over your skin as usual. The effect? Full coverage that glows (not shines!) from every angle.
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PHOTOGRAPHED BY JACOB AND CARROL AT FACTORY DOWNTOWN.
Now that your skin is seriously lit, finish your look with subtle touches of warmth and definition. Fill in and brush up your brows, add a hint of contour along your cheekbones, and swipe on black mascara to make your eyes look open and bright. If you're worried about too much shine, set your foundation with a light layer of translucent powder.

Ryan Roche top, Jennifer Fisher earrings.
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PHOTOGRAPHED BY JACOB AND CARROL AT FACTORY DOWNTOWN.
A Backwards Flush
Conventional wisdom says that you apply blush after foundation. Well, screw conventional wisdom. Because to get a flush that looks as natural as the real thing, you need to reverse the order. Start with moisturized skin that's been prepped with Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizing Primer in Nourishing (so nothing slides around). Dab a cream blush directly onto the apples of your cheeks. It's a little weird, but follow up by tapping a few dots of your foundation on top of the blush and on the other areas of your face you want coverage. Then blend, blend, blend the two together with a foundation buffing brush. Keep working the foundation-blush combo into your skin until there are no harsh lines. The blush will ever-so-slightly peek through your foundation, making it look like it's just part of your skin.
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PHOTOGRAPHED BY JACOB AND CARROL AT FACTORY DOWNTOWN.
Your flushed cheeks are the star of this look, so keep the rest of your makeup neutral and soft. A little bit of rosy lip balm and a wash of brown and coppery eyeshadows are all you need to polish it off.

Veronica Beard blazer.
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PHOTOGRAPHED BY JACOB AND CARROL AT FACTORY DOWNTOWN.
Nontouring
The latest craze in contouring is nontouring, which only sounds insane. Basically, it's really, really subtle contouring that doesn't take hours to perfect. The trick here is to use a stick foundation in a color slightly darker than your skin tone to do all the work. (You probably already have one laying around from a time you were really tan.) Swipe the deeper foundation on all the places you would normally shade, like along your cheekbones and hairline. Once blended in, your contouring work will blend seamlessly with your skin.
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PHOTOGRAPHED BY JACOB AND CARROL AT FACTORY DOWNTOWN.
We're sure you already know this, but it's worth reiterating: The key to success with any kind of contouring is making sure you blend like a beast. Keeping working the foundation into your skin, using a base brush. When you think you're done blending — blend a little more. And since this hack is all about ease, keep the rest of your makeup simple. A little lip balm and mascara, and you and your cheekbones can run out the door.

Ryan Roche top, Jennifer Fisher earrings.
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