Finding the right foundation can be tricky at best and a cakey mess at worst. But even if you think you’ve mastered the foundation game, you’re probably still doing a few things wrong. We asked 11 top makeup experts to fill us in on the one foundation mistake they really wish women would stop making.
Testing foundation under the wrong light. “Lighting is extremely important when buying the right color. Try testing a foundation on your skin, and then after 15 minutes, go into daylight to see its true color. Foundation tends to oxidize with the natural heat from your skin after a few minutes, so it’s best to let the foundation set and then see it under the brightest light.” —Stephanie Flor, a Clinique colour pro
Choosing the wrong texture of foundation. “If someone has dry skin, a matte foundation will make the skin look dehydrated. And oftentimes people who are oily use powder foundation because they think they’re doing their oily skin a service, when a water-based foundation, like L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation is best.” —Sir John, a L’Oréal Paris celebrity makeup artist
Applying a shade that’s too light. “Just because you have a fair skin tone, don’t assume that you’re the lightest shade. If you’re choosing between two shades, choose the one that is a bit deeper, because that one will be more accurate.” —Sarah Vickery, a CoverGirl principal scientist
Trying to create a tan with foundation. “Instead, use a foundation that matches your actual shade, then use bronzer or Bare Minerals Warmth All-Over Face Color afterward to warm up the skin and give a sun-kissed look.” —Thang Dao, the manager of global artistry and events at BareMinerals
Using the wrong formula. “Heavy coverage can be chic, but it’s terribly difficult to get right. Medium-coverage buildable foundations are best for real life. Use a dense concealer only where it’s needed and apply sheer foundation with a soft, fluffy brush to ensure the concealer blends seamlessly.” —Katie Jane Hughes, the lead makeup artist for Butter London
Buzzfeed Asked For Foundation Recommendations From 4 Different Beauty Counters
No compatible source was found for this video.
Not blending your foundation enough. “A lot of times women use their fingers to blend and that leaves lines of demarcation all over the face. They also don’t blend out the color, which results in a blotchy look. Blending out foundation with an edgeless sponge, like the original Beautyblender, not only evenly distributes color; it mixes shades so the finished look appears as natural as possible.” —Rea Ann Silva, the creator of the Beautyblender
Forgetting to apply it all over. “One of the biggest mistakes I see women make when it comes to foundation is not applying it down to their neckline, so their face and neck are two different shades.” —Mally Roncal, a makeup artist who has worked with Jennifer Lopez
Powdering your foundation the wrong way. “When you test a foundation and look at it in a mirror and love the way it looks, don’t add powder out of habit. Most modern foundations are self-setting and don’t need to be powdered. This habit is particularly bad to have if you’re using mineral foundations that boast a glow-y finish. Powdering after with a flat powder will change the look you paid a good price to achieve.” —John Stapleton, a M.A.C. senior artist
Not switching up your foundation shade with the seasons. “Once you’ve settled on the perfect foundation, it can be hard to let it go. But most likely a woman’s face doesn’t stay the exact same color throughout the seasons. Switching up your foundation in the summer and winter is the way to go.” —Janice Daoud, the lead makeup stylist for Nars
Not wearing foundation at all. “I see that every day. My clients come in and ask me to fix their makeup, so I start by removing what they have on. Often, they don’t have enough on, or any at all, to even-out skin tone or give any depth or radiance to skin that is pale or ashy.”—Sandy Linter, Lancôme beauty expert
Not spending enough time researching what you want in a foundation. “There are so many different types of foundation on the market with so many different options in coverage and finishes that I don’t think women spend enough time figuring out what’s best for their skin type and tone. A great way to find out what foundation best fits you is to figure out what you want the end result to be and how you want your skin to ultimately appear. Once you know that, consider your environment and where you spend most of your time.” —Victor Henao, the director of global makeup design at Estée Lauder