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How to Apply Foundation Makeup

Learn how to apply foundation from professional makeup artist Michelle Dittrich in this Howcast makeup tutorial.


My name is Michelle Dittrich and I'm a makeup artist. I've done makeup on a lot of celebrities: Pam Anderson, Kanye West, Lenny Kravitz, Cynthia Nixon. There's a big misconception that I could never do that look on the runway and you absolutely can. Everybody can. And you'll play to your best attributes and I can show you how to do that. When you're applying foundation, it's best to start in the middle of your face. That way you can cover the most discoloration, work your way out, and have a very natural blending line. When you're picking your foundation, you always want to make sure that you match your foundation to your neck as well as your face and never on your hands. So I'm going to show you two different foundations and we'll be able to see which one actually will work for Delphine. The first is going to be way too dark. And we're doing a pretty sheer foundation because we want her freckles to kind of show through, but we do want a perfected finish. But you can see that it's far too dark. And the next should match almost perfectly. So when you put it on, you'll see automatically and it should blend effortlessly. So, this one is far too dark. So, now we're actually going to remove the wrong color foundation and start again in the middle of Delphine's face. So let's do that. I like to use a moisturizer as a remover since we've already prepped her skin with moisturizer. And I'm going to start with illuminizing cream moisturizer to really give Delphine that super dewy, fresh, natural finish. You can see how it lightens and brightens the skin without actually putting foundation on first. So we want to get the most natural look and finish without actually having to put foundation on. We want to use the least amount possible so it looks great in every natural light as well. So let's go ahead and put the cream on. And this you're going to put all over the face with your hands. Just kind of put a very soft, pretty, dewy finish. We're actually going to avoid the nose and forehead area because you don't want to look oily, but you want the lights to catch on the planes of your face that protrude. So next we're going to go in with a foundation brush and apply a lightweight, light reflecting foundation. And we're going to see how much it covers. So you want to do that first, because maybe you don't need concealer after that. But if you do, foundation will show you where you need to follow with concealer after. So I like to use the least amount of foundation possible. I am going to use a foundation brush which is generally a synthetic brush. If you are going to take good care of your brushes, with synthetics in particular, you need to make sure you wash them once a week with maybe a little bit of shampoo, but because you're using something has moisture to it, you want to make sure it's bacteria free. So we're going to start by putting foundation through the middle of Delphine's face to start. And then I kind of wipe the brush off, because I think that's enough for now. I want to see how far that little bit of foundation goes. So start blending out. I like to start on one side and fully blend it in order to make sure you get all of the parts of the face evenly. So when you're using the brush, you want to make sure that you're using the tip of the brush and working out. If you're pushing too hard, it's just not necessary and you're actually absorbing the foundation back into the brush. So just kind of think of painting a picture. You're just blending it so that you get really soft, pretty, feathered but totally even effect. And once I've gone all over the face, I'll go back with a little bit bigger strokes just to work it into the hairline and back down next to the neck. This looks really even, but I think that I could get an even more perfected finish by adding a little bit more of that illuninizing cream that I used in the beginning. So I'm going to go back with a little bit more of the strobe cream, which it's called because it reflects light, to give her a little bit more dimension to her face without contouring. So if you just apply with the same foundation brush, once again on the cheeks. Maybe a little bit down the nose, if you're not an oily skin type. Right above the lip to give that shine and it also will pull out the dimension of your lips if you want a little bit fuller finish. A little bit on the chin and then next to the neck line as well as on the clavicle. So I've applied it in all of the places, I'm just going to go back once again with larger strokes around the hairline - just so pretty when it catches the light. If you're not planning on wearing a heavier eye makeup and maybe if you're not even going to wear mascara, this too is ok to put right next to the brow bone as a highlighter as well as right underneath the eye for your concealer. Because it is an illuminizer, so it will make sure it's throwing off light. It's not shimmery, but it's a light reflector. And then go ahead and blend it on to the clavicle bone so that really catches beautiful light as well. Ok, so those are the basics for how to pick and apply a foundation.

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