How To Make Your Foundation Look Like a Second Skin

How to Make Foundation Look Natural

I’ve been wearing makeup since middle school. Growing up with strict parents, I was always trying to hide it back then. And not that I was doing a good job at it with my thick eyeliner and a powder foundation that was way too dark for my complexion but still. For me, wearing makeup came with the necessity to make it look as if I’m not. Of course, I got better at it over the years.

And these days, it’s not my mom that’s giving me a hard time but my own skin. I’m in my late 30s and I almost gave up on wearing foundation because whenever I wore full coverage foundation, my makeup would look cakey, heavy, and just overall too much, making it impossible to create a seamless, no-makeup makeup look.

But practice makes perfect. Whether it was something I tried myself or a makeup trick I picked up at the beauty counter, I’ve learned ways to make my makeup look smooth and skin-like. So if your makeup looks cakey, unnatural, or uneven, or you just want to look like you’re not wearing any, keep reading to find out how to make your foundation look natural.

How To Make Foundation Look Natural

Prep Your Skin

Hydrated skin prevents your makeup from looking cakey and unnatural.

Skincare is the most important part of makeup because it all starts with good skin and skin prep. And when I say good skin, I mean skin that’s freshly cleaned, hydrated, and moisturized. So before anything else, wash your face.

Maybe slap on a hydrating face mask or two and multi-mask. Try layering toners and essences for the ultimate glass-skin look underneath that makeup.

Apply your hydrating serum, especially a hyaluronic acid serum because it will give you that plump and bouncy skin. After that, apply your moisturizer and sunscreen and let it soak in.

Take advantage of multi-benefit moisturizers to use under makeup, which will keep your skin hydrated and make your foundation look even better.

Don’t worry about your skin looking too glowy, dewy, or wet. Remember that you’re about to layer foundation and you’ll soak up that glow with a sponge or brush in a minute anyways.

Use an Illuminating Primer

Glowy primers make the foundation look natural by adding dimension to your complexion.

Makeup primers can take a load of your foundation especially if you’re going for a full glam, day-long makeup look. They can keep your skin hydrated so your foundation doesn’t look patchy.

They can smooth out wrinkles so your foundation looks smooth. But more importantly, they can make your skin glow so your foundation looks more natural.

Glowy, illuminating primers work like light reflectors to imitate your skin’s highlights, therefore creating a second-skin look.

This is especially helpful with full-coverage, matte foundations. Because those types of foundations usually don’t give your skin depth or dimension and can look flat.

So by applying a glowy finish primer underneath your foundation, you will create a beautiful, glistening effect on the skin which will give your foundation a more natural, radiant finish.

Apply Foundation Only Where Needed

Using little amounts of foundation on animated areas of the face prevents your makeup from looking heavy and cakey.

If you want to make your foundation look natural, you can’t apply the same amount to every area on the face. The under-eye area, the sides of the mouth, and the sides and the tip of the nose usually can’t hold thick layers of foundation.

It’s because of that reason that the sides of the nose are the first areas where your makeup starts to separate and look patchy.

So to avoid that, focus on the big areas of the face like the cheeks, and only apply a thin layer of foundation on animated areas such as around the eyes and mouth.

Try Liquid Foundation For a Natural Look

Liquid foundations blend in better with the skin and look more natural.

Let’s be real for a second. The choice of your foundation is the most important when it comes to your finished look. It has a defining role in how natural your end result will be.

So pay attention because there are different types of foundations. They can come in liquid, powder, cream, and stick formulas.

Among these, liquid foundations are the easiest to work with, especially if you’re a beginner in makeup. Among liquid foundations, medium coverage foundations are the best ones to use if you’re going for a natural-looking, second-skin appearance.

So go for a liquid foundation of your choice that’s suitable for your skin type. You can try dewy finish foundations which actually complement your glowy base.

Spot Conceal Before Applying Foundation

Spot concealing in advance makes you use less foundation, which makes your makeup look more natural.

Some people use concealer before foundation and some people apply it afterwards. But if you’re going for a more natural look, applying it before the foundation is the way to go.

When your skin is freshly prepped and primed, apply dots of concealer on the areas you want to cover such as dark spots or pimples.

Use your finger to pat it into the skin to blend it and avoid harsh edges. Once you’re done with your concealer, move on to the foundation application.

And now that you’ve already concealed pretty much anything that gives you uneven skin tone and texture, you’re going to be using less foundation just to practically tint your skin.

Blend, Blend, and Blend

Blending removes harsh edges and lines to make your foundation look natural.

Brush streaks and an uneven layer of makeup foundation are nowhere near that skin-like finish we’re going for. These are big giveaways and they can make it look like your foundation is sitting on your face.

The good news is even if you’re wearing a full coverage foundation, you can still make it look natural by blending it with your skin.

Moreover, blending also helps blur out the lines and the shade difference between the concealer on the under-eyes and the foundation on your cheeks, which can be a big giveaway of how much makeup you’re wearing.

So when applying foundation, remember to blend things well. This way, you can even get away with an imperfect concealer/foundation shade. Don’t forget to do the same for your blush and bronzer too!

Use Setting Powder Sparingly

Using a setting powder only on certain areas prevents your makeup from slipping and looking patchy.

Using a setting powder might sound counterintuitive as it can look heavy and make you look like you’re wearing too much product on your face.

But the choice of your setting powder is incredibly important. It needs to be finely milled and you need to use very little amounts.

Now, here’s the important according to the makeup artist Spencer, aka ‘PaintedbySpencer’, that changed everything for me. He suggests applying the setting powder on the under-eye area, around the nose, the mouth, and the chin.

And he suggests doing it for a few reasons. First off, it makes your makeup last long. Secondly, it holds your makeup in place and prevents melting, slipping, and creasing.

More importantly, it mattifies the center of the face because having glowy skin all across the face can make it look greasy. So applying setting powder on these areas makes your foundation look more natural and multi-dimensional.

The Takeaway

I’ve learned that it takes time and effort to do full-coverage makeup and then make it look natural. It’s like trying to do a messy bun that looks effortless but takes 40 minutes to perfect. But it all comes down to a few essentials. And it’s about great skin prep with skincare, a good foundation, and lots of blending. In the end, you want to have a skin-like finish that looks glowy and matte in all the right places.

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