Foundation Application Tips For That Perfect Second Skin

by | Mar 29, 2024 | Make-up

What has two hands and has seamless porcelain, photoshopped, fresh skin because of their foundation. You, the answer you. So what do you do to get this flawless complexion? Well, just start by following our tips and tricks. Whether you’re a beauty beginner or a make-up maven, these tips will help you achieve that coveted airbrushed look and make your foundation game strong. So, let’s dive into prepping, choosing, applying.

Prepping The Skin For Foundation

Let’s start with the obvious: good healthy skin prep is the cornerstone to every radiant skin. Before diving into applying foundation, it’s crucial to start by cleansing your face with a gentle cleanser to remove any dirt or oils. If you need to exfoliate your face to buff away the dead skin that cause your make-up to flake and look patchy. We suggest a gentle chemical exfoliant to protect your skin barrier.

Next, hydrate your skin with a moisturiser that suits your skin type. This step helps in keeping the foundation from clinging onto dry patches and ensures a more even application. Don’t forget sunscreen as well to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.

If you have specific skin concerns like redness or uneven texture, consider using primers targeted towards those issues. Primer helps in extending the wear of the foundation and gives a smoother appearance to the skin.

Video by Polina Tankilevitch Pexels

REN Clean Skincare Rosa Centifolia No.1 Purity Cleansing Balm

A rose-infused cleansing balm that gently melts away dirt and make-up. It gently yet thoroughly melts away dirt and make-up while calming, soothing and purifying skin. It also protects the skin’s defence barrier against everyday environmental stress, free radicals and pollution.

La Roche Posay Effaclar Micro-peeling Purifying Gel 

We really like this exfoliator that stars salicylic acid, this exfoliator has anti-inflammatory, bacteriostatic and also sebum regulating properties. It helps rebalance the microbiome and reduce irritation. 

Clarins Hydra-Essentiel Silky Cream

This cream just feels good on the skin. Very moisturising this daytime face cream hydrates and plumps. It’s enriched with hyaluronic acid and its fresh and silky texture melts instantly into the skin, leaving it supple, luminous and comfortable. It never disappoints.

MAC Prep + Prime Fix+

This stuff is a tried and true staple among the make-up girlies.. It’s a lightweight water mist that gently soothes and works nicely before you apply your make-up. You can use it to wet your blender sponge while applying your foundation. And it refreshes make-up too after a long day.

SkinCeuticals Ultra Facial Defense SPF 50

We love this ‘screen. It’s a great all-arounder containing UV filters. It can also be used as a lightweight moisturiser for those with non-fussy skin or for those with mild acne, especially if their skins are more on the dry side (dry, acne-prone skin). Basically for errrbody.

How To Apply Your Foundation

This is the part that matters. Achieving that ever-elusive second-skin finish is all in these fine-tuned application tips.

Apply Thin Layers

Instead of slathering on thick layers of foundation, opt for a gradual build-up as needed. This technique allows you to achieve more natural-looking coverage while avoiding cakey or heavy finishes.

Start At The Centre

Begin applying foundation from the centre of your face outward using gentle strokes or patting motions. This avoids excess product build-up on certain areas like corners of the mouth or hairline.

Tap On Your Foundation

Whether you’re using a foundation brush, Beauty Blender or your fingers you should tap the foundation into your skin as opposed to brushing it on. You will avoid a streaky finish and be left with a smooth finish.

Blend Well

Whether using brushes, sponges or fingers, make sure to blend your foundation thoroughly into your skin for seamless results. Pay extra attention to areas like the hairline, jawline and neck to avoid any visible lines.

Don’t Forget About Touch-Ups

It’s hot! Carry blotting papers or a compact powder with you throughout the day for quick touch-ups, if needed.

Photo By Pexels Boom

How To Blend Your Foundations 

Because you don’t want your face looking like it’s been to Umhlanga beach without your neck…


The quickest, easiest and most foolproof way to apply foundation. They’re quite dense, so work in small sections to avoid streaks. Bonus: you can control the amount of product you apply to an area – meaning less waste.

All Woman Pro Stippling Brush
Sisley Fluid Foundation Brush
Elizabeth Arden Dual Foundation Brush


Run under water and squeeze until lightly damp, or mist with a spritz, then dab product from the back of your hand onto your face. Best for pressing foundation into skin for a more seamless application. Our trick? Use the pointy end of the blender to get into small areas like around your nose.


Real Techniques Miracle Sponge

Essence Multi-Use Airbrush Blender 01

READ MORE: Exactly How You Should Be Cleaning Your Make-Up Brushes, According To A Make-Up Artist

Ashley Piszek at Unsplash

Best Foundation For Every Skin Right Now

Choosing the right foundation for your skin type is key to achieving a flawless makeup look. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to find the perfect match for your skin. These releases will help you put your best face forward. Here’s our faves right now…

Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Foundation Hydration & Longwear

This is a natural-looking foundation that infuses the skin with the radiance of a day spent in the great outdoors. Its fine, silky texture glides over skin and forms a layer that is both invisible to the eye and imperceptible to touch.

Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Wear 24HR Foundation SPF 15

Its blendable and fresh texture is divine. Plus, it leaves you with a complexion that’s perfectly smooth, velvety and matte with no powdery effect. Retouch- and shine-free, your complexion stays perfectly sublime. Flawless.

READ MORE: 11 Best Foundations And Brushes For A Flawless Application

Benefit Hello Happy Soft Blur Foundation

A lightweight foundation that evens out skin tone and blurs imperfections with soft-focus optical blurring spheres. Enjoy a natural-matte finish and a light to medium coverage.

READ MORE: Sweat And Humidity Are No Match For These 12 Waterproof Foundations

Women’s Health participates in various affiliate marketing programmes, which means we may get commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites.

Gotlhokwang Angoma-Mzini

Gotlhokwang is the Editor of Women’s Health, where she oversees the brand across its print and digital platforms. She has 17 years of experience in health and wellness journalism. You can catch her boxing or playing tennis with her husband or sprinting after her ginger tabby – all for the love of movement. 

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