Foundation Basics Every Woman Should Know

Behind every flawless beauty look is a solid foundation. You need that even skin tone and smooth basis in order to complete even the most natural beauty look. While some lucky women can get away with just concealer every now and then, the majority of skin requires a little boost before that makeup look will go on smoothly. Here are a few foundation tips I’ve learned over the years of getting made up for both the camera and everyday life.

How to Wear Foundation

The type of foundation matters. Be it cream, powder, or liquid, the type of foundation is just as important as the shade, which I’ll talk about below. But here’s the kicker – everyone’s skin is different! Even if you’ve got the same skin type as the next girl, it doesn’t mean the same foundation will work for you.

Often creams are good for getting full coverage that you can build. Powders are great for oily skin but can be drying or cakey on some (look for one infused with Argan oil or other moisturizing ingredients), or not provide enough coverage. And many people find liquids easier to match with their skin tone in order to get the coverage they need. They can also be a huge help for those with dry skin. The bottom line? Shop around. It’s wise in the long run to try a few before deciding on what’s best, because foundation is so important to your overall look.

The shade depends on skin tone and undertone. Which of course, can make it seem impossible to find the right one! Luckily there are more options than ever in terms of foundation shades to choose from, and many take undertones into consideration (such as this and this). Also, when finding the perfect shade, test it along your jawline first – this helps make sure you don’t look like you’re wearing a mask (as close to Halloween as it is!). 

Swap foundations depending on the season. With foundation being a great base for makeup, which tends to change seasonally (see my fave fall look here), it’s easy to think foundation can stay in your bag year-round. But skin changes with the weather, and so do our foundation needs. Keep a lighter foundation for the wintertime (one that matches your skin tone – be wary of going too light or it won’t look natural) and one a few shades darker for when your skin becomes more tanned in the summer months. You can always blend the two to create your own perfect shade in between.

Some foundations come with extras. Foundations these days are often chockfull of SPF and antioxidants, which is great for those of us who simply don’t have the time (or desire!) to layer on the products. Although makeup with these benefits shouldn’t replace your daily sunscreen use or skincare regimen, I personally feel a whole lot more protected when I have a product that does it all.

If it’s your first time trying a new foundation, make yourself up and then head outside – the best way to know if it’s a great fit is if it looks flawless in the light! For more on keeping a fresh face, check out my thoughts on why you should indulge in professional facials every now and then.


How to Cover Up Dark Spots

A flawless face is something we all lust after, especially once we’ve seen less than flattering pictures of ourselves. While the start to obtaining such a look begins with a healthy lifestyle and proper skin care (and don’t forget genetic luck), there are makeup application tips and tricks that can help us achieve an even skin tone and gorgeous base.

Since I’ve received many questions about makeup, I thought this was a good opportunity to address one concern I hear frequently – dark spots. I have natural, barely-there beauty down, but when it comes to great coverage and stunning looks, I turn to the true professional, Motoko Honjo Clayton – my makeup artist for The Real. She is amazing! And was happy to share a few  product recommendations and tips with me on how to properly cover anything from freckles to dark spots without looking like you’re wearing a mask of product.

How to Cover Dark Spots

Motoko, me and Adriana getting me ready for The Real

Motoko offered two methods – one for light coverage and one for heavier coverage. Here’s what she suggested.

Light Coverage

Start off with a BB cream that delivers. There are plenty out with various tint options, like Bobbi Brown BB Cream, so you’re sure to find one that matches your skin tone. Once you’ve applied BB cream all over (only after your moisturizer and primer, of course), select and apply a concealer with heavy pigmentation to the spots you’re looking to hide. Her pick: Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage, long-lasting coverage. The trick here is to find a concealer with an orange or pink tone, as these colors will cancel out brown, purple or blue hued spots on the skin.

How to Hide Dark Spots

Full Coverage

If you’re getting ready for a picture perfect moment, skip the BB cream and apply a cream foundation with strong color payoff. Try applying Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Skin Enhancer with a sponge or brush and mixing with moisturizer to change the thickness and coverage. If you prefer liquid foundation, Motoko says stick with one that is matte, like NARS Sheer Matte Foundation. Once you’ve applied foundation – don’t be afraid to build up the product if you’re concerned about it looking cakey –then apply and blend concealer that is a shade lighter than your foundation over each spot. You can create a triangle of concealer under the eyes to illuminate the face and mask dark circles as well. Once finished, set it all with powder and move onto your next feature.

Have any other makeup application questions? Share with me below and I’ll try to post more with either tips from myself or more pros. ;)


Want to see more from Motoko? Follow her on Instagram and check out her website.